Although MMO players who desire voice chat have always had the option of third party voice chat services such as TeamSpeak and Ventrilo, their offerings have always stood behind daunting licensing terms and high monthly fees. In mid-2008, SOE sought to give players an in-house option: free in-game voice chat provided by Vivox.
The Vivox service has had its ups and downs, but we can only assume that it is widely used. Sometimes, a certain amount of fiddling with firewall or sound card settings has been required, or a cycle of leaving and re-joining channels to force a connection, Vivox has worked reasonably well for players and guilds who can forgive its less-than-99.99% reliability.
However since the end of May, a growing number of players have faced a consistent connection problem with the service which have not been resolved with repeated disconnect-reconnect cycles and reboots. A thread posted to the EQ2 forums “Cannot join voice channels” has already reached five pages in length. To help steer players who are experiencing this same problem to the easily overlooked Support area, our own Dethdlr created a linking thread “Voice Chat Issues?”
It is to this thread that SOE President John Smedley made an appearance:
I asked that this be looked at and rectified ASAP. Sorry for the problems.
The EQ2 Community forums have spiraled out of control over the last two years. And in recent months, we’ve seen heavy moderation of unpopular viewpoints with no significant engagement of the player community. It’s been all stick and no carrot. Perhaps these direct communications from Mr. Smedley are recognition of how much confidence has been lost in the EQ2 community team.
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