EVE Online to axe voice chat during its back-end revamp

Atmospheric, but now silent

Sometimes you need to take a step back to take two forward, and sometimes your server infrastructure is such a colossal mess of interconnected software systems that you just have to hack out a bloody great chunk of it before anything can be improved.

In order to upgrade their server software to 64-bit standard, EVE Online studio CCP are officially saying goodbye to Eve Voice, their integrated voice comms client, and moving their regular text-chat system outside of their gameplay server infrastructure.

According to CCP, the death of EVE Voice is no great loss, with only 0.4% of players using it. The vast majority have long-since used third-party tools such as Teamspeak and Mumble, with Discord rapidly moving in to take its place as the dominant group communication tool. By externalizing text chat as well (apparently it will run via its own Amazon server cluster), it means that no matter how strained servers get, players should at least be able to stay in contact, lag-free.

This isn’t even close to the first time that EVE has made cuts and down-scaled on plans in order to support the whole. The largest feature to be left behind has to be the ability to walk around inside ships and stations. Originally planned as a whole on-foot layer to the game, they eventually pared it back to just a captain’s cabin aboard your ship, and then dropped it entirely after very few players ended up using the feature. Around the same time, they also axed Twitch integration, a seldom used and largely unnecessary feature.

Probably the largest concession EVE makes in terms of gameplay is Time Dilation. In order to save their servers from bursting into flames during larger battles (encounters on a scale quite unparalleled in the genre), time itself is slowed down as more ships congregate in a given area. During the largest of encounters, the game goes into super-slow-motion as missiles lazily swim through space and super-capital class ships maneuver at a glacial pace. Case in point: The battle in the video above.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t very major news, but it’s yet another example of CCP being willing to be clear and open with their audience about what needs to be changed in order to keep the lights on for the enormo-scale space sandbox.

EVE Online is now free to play, with an optional subscription allowing access to larger and more specialized (although not necessarily better) ships.


  1. Viral Frog says:

    Wait. EVE had integrated voice chat? When did that happen?

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      Case in point. less than one in 200 players used it, so most didn’t even know it was there.

  2. blainestereo says:

    > EVE Online is now free to play, with an optional subscription allowing access to larger and more specialized (although not necessarily better) ships.

    have they loosened alpha clone restrictions again or is it an incredibly dishonest statement?

    • Evan_ says:

      They did recently. Not that it matters much. Smart ones were able to do well already before, the others will be able to lose more at one go now.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      They did a major loosening of the restrictions recently. Free players are pretty much allowed to fly any ship up to Battleship class, cross-faction, and access to tech-level 2 small/medium gear.

      Plus an increase to the number of skill points on a free character.

      • Darloth says:

        That being said, there are tech 2 ships which are flat out better than tech 1 ships at the same size class.

        You would not want to fly them all the time because they are orders of magnitude more expensive without being orders of magnitude better, and the loosened restrictions do let players fly the pirate faction ships now (which are somewhere in between, but rare drops only), but there certainly ARE cases where the T2 ships are just better in every way.

        There are very few cases where more people in cheaper ships wouldn’t work just as well, mind you.

  3. racccoon says:

    Old school text chat is the better way as who needs hear high pitched or croaning voices on mass lol

  4. buzzmong says:

    Problem with EvE voice is that it was added 3 years after launch, never matched the features from 3rd party apps and it also had the requirement of you actually having to log in.

    No loss at all.

    Glad to see the back of CQ as well, such a failure of a feature and understanding of the community.

    • LewdPenguin says:

      I wouldn’t say CQ was a misunderstanding of the community itself, the 2 biggest requests had been ‘fix lag’ (pretty much an impossible task as there have pretty much always been more players able to bring more ships to a node than can be gracefully handled, whatever CCP do to improve performance) and ‘let us get out of our ships’ right up until Incarna happened. The biggest thing to kill Walking in Stations/Ambulation/Captains Quarters as it eventually became known wasn’t even that both at release and in it’s final form before being killed it was a complete clusterfuck that met pretty much none of the desired/intended features, but rather that it launched with and was from then on forever associated with the cataclysm that was the introduction of ‘micro’transactions into the game, and that the fallout from that not only irrevocably tarnished the CQ portion of Incarna but also left CCP with no resources with which to even try and develope it into something along the lines of what was promised and expected.

      As for EVE Voice it was a great tool for quick adhoc fleets, especially amoung newer players, that let everyone get talking fast without spending more time messing around OOG getting everyone setup than you were probably going to spend together in fleet. Sadly there’s a cost involved in maintaining functionality and as with anything not vital it’s getting hacked off to save a few pennies towards keeping the lights on and server hampsters fed.