Cryptic is killing off cross-game chat in Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online Monday

    
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No time to re-evaluate the situation, too much plowing ahead making everything worse to do!

One of the best features of Cryptic’s MMOs over the years was the fact that players could communicate cross-game in a unique multi-server global chat, allowing friends in different guilds and worlds to stay in touch. That’s now coming to an end.

“On Monday, March 9 2020, we will stop supporting Global Chat across Cryptic games,” the studio announced last night, referring specifically to Champions Online, Neverwinter, and Star Trek Online. “This decision was not made lightly but was necessitated by the resources required to sustain this feature and the standard of quality we strive for across our games.” That includes cross-game chat, cross-game private messages, cross-game private user-owned channels, and the cross-game friend and ignore lists.

“Cross channels that currently exist will remain within each game, with the messages staying within the shard the message originated from. For example, if you are a member of a channel on both STO and NW, you will still have the channel available in both games but only see messages that originate in the game you are currently on.”

MMO players will recall that last year Cryptic and PWE likewise put an end to the Foundry, the player-generated content system that was one of the other best features MMOs have ever conjured. The games have recently all enabled account linking on Steam, and of course Cryptic has another online title on the way.

Source: Official forums. Thanks, Micah.

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Armsman

I assume they think it will alleviate the massive lag and rubberbanding; but I doubt that’ll be fixed. They’d need a better ISP for that.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I hardly ever use chat, so that wouldn’t effect me much. But, that still doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

…this is something that is very important to me, both personally and from a convenience perspective… dammit Cryptic… i have loads of pals that play one of the games and none of the others and we try to coordinate here and there to hang out… heck, introduced MANY MANY players to one of their other games because of this….. blah, ffs, am actually very, very, VERY annoyed right now, so i’ll stop here

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EmberStar

The sad part is… I know of people who are going to be happy about this. I have been on a cross-game channel for years, since before City of Heroes even went away. And every so often someone in the channel (which was maintained for the specific purpose of allowing former City of Heroes players to hang out together) would complain about how the conversation about Klingons was bugging them when they wanted to hunt kobolds.

There was at least one who kept *demanding* that everyone should leave the channel and go to one of the game specific channels instead. Because to them, the most important thing about the channel was “Neverwinter,” not “City of Heroes players.” :(

Ririrawr
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Ririrawr

thankfully, my pals are pals-first in that regard (plus we kept the game-talk to team channels)

this is the very first time (in like nine!!!! years) i am worried about champs’ future and well, cryptic as a whole… something VERY funky going on with the upper management over there considering all their recent decisions

i mean, what am i supposed to make of them basically saying: ‘cryptic as a studio can no longer maintain a unified chat server’ what the heck does that imply about their status, that they suddenly went, oh well, lets axe it, even tho it does not affect game-system/latency performance one bit? blaaaah

yah am prolly still to angree to be posting anything,i tink

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Does not check email

death by a thousand cuts.

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Hravik

Who’s the one guy that plays Champions going to talk to now?

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hachibushu

I’ll just talk to the NPCs and pretend that they talk back.

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IronSalamander8 .

This is bad news. I haven’t been playing their games much these days but when I was playing more CO and a friend was playing STO, we could chat back and forth which was nice. Losing functionality people really like is not a good thing at all.

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Tanek

WHAT

That was one of the best features of chat in Cryptic games. I have friends who play both STO and Neverwinter and being able to cross-link the chat and friends lists was very handy.

Seriously, Cryptic. What is going on over there? Does anyone know how the systems work anymore, or are we just going to keep losing features?

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EmberStar

From past experience with their completely inability to document their code properly, probably “keep losing features.”

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Daniel Reasor

So who was the one cross-game chat technician who quit the company?

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Don’t forget they also killed off XMPP chat a while back. Used to be able to chat in custom channels when not in game with that. Can’t do that anymore.

All the cool features they used to have are gone. That seems to be Cryptic’s MO these days. Strip everything down and monetize what’s left. Feels bad.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes its foundry, XMPP and now Global chat which makes me think they are or had downgraded their servers hosting to a cheaper one in order to manage expenses – I am not sure what is their current financial status but its a sign something isnt going too well with their finances as it feels they cant afford their current games hosting costs or their new game hosting costs and had to cut down on other parts to fit Magic Legends costs in.

Either way feels bad indeed

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Eamil

It’s brain drain. They’re losing the people who understand how their spaghetti code works and they don’t want to devote time to having new employees learn to maintain features that management considers less important, so when the last person who understands how the code for the foundry works leaves, the foundry goes bye bye.

This is a really common problem in the gaming industry, and long-term projects (such as MMOs) seem to invariably suffer because their teams don’t want to spend time keeping the backend up to date, which causes problems five, ten, fifteen years down the line.

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PanagiotisLial1

I would believe into that if the systems were being actively updated over the years. All 3 systems hadnt seen any update in ages but they were still working. If global chat had broken for example, and they didnt have enough knowledge to fix, yes, would definitely agree. This seems more and more like lowering the bandwidth usage

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Eamil

Retiring a feature because you’re in a position to know it’s going to break down the line and you don’t have the working knowledge required to fix it, as bad as it looks, is still much better PR than letting it break and THEN saying “sorry we don’t know how to fix it so we’re taking it out.”

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EmberStar

Either way looks bad in my opinion. The difference is that if you let it break, then say “Sorry, we really want to fix it but can’t,” you might look mildly incompetent. If you cancel it in advance with no explanation other than “Meh, too much work,” you look like a jerk. (Generic “you,” not you (the previous poster) specifically.)