The March 20th patch, named “The Hunt” along with the associated event, is facing considerable setbacks. While the actual content of the patch seem excellent and have engaged many players, the implementation seems to be leaving much to be desired. Problems are mainly centered around the new chat back-end, which ported the in-game chat services from a customised IRC-based solution to a new jabber-derived protocol. This update was cited by developers as one of the last blockers to the development of a 64 bit client. While testing on SiSi showed no problems, launch on Tranquility has not been so smooth.
Immediately apparent on launch was server instability which causes clients to hang when switching between tabs. Other problems include a universal implementation of wormhole-style local, with local chatlists showing only players who have recently spoken in the last 15 minutes. Other problems have included broken window placement, such that all chats have been pulled into one chat box. Players with more than one chat window open will find that chat tabs have been collapsed into one window. Options for display have also been reverted to default, meaning players have to manually select “show compact chat” in each of their channels; and the “settings cog” icon is completely dysfunctional.
There were also reports of a problem with ship SKIN and cleaning displays causing clients to hang. Whether this is related to the chat and sessioning in some way, or related to other graphical back-end updates included with this patch, is currently unknown.
On top of these critical errors, some players are complaining about changes to the chat UI that accompanied this patch. This includes the removal of an active users listing for player chats, that means players with too many tabs in one window will be unable to see the number of users in a channel. Adjustments to operator privileges may also have caused problems, as only channel owners will be able to set operator privileges or change passwords and states now.
Due to the critical server instability and likelihood of unexpected server disconnects, as well as the unexpected behavior of local chat userlists not displaying players who haven’t spoken in the last 15 minutes, capsuleers are urged to exercise caution when deciding to log in and undock. Until the server is stable and CCP has confirmed that it is finished deploying the patch, it may be prudent to stay offline, or at least limit activities to in-station with non-critical jobs.
At time of publishing, Tranquility has been offline unexpectedly since 1400 UTC, the third time the servers have been offline since the scheduled 1100 UTC downtime. CCP is working frantically to stabilize the servers, and updates can be found in this EVE-O forum thread. The initial downtime was extended beyond the expected 45 minutes this morning, with the servers first coming back online a little after 1200 UTC. Whether or not the patch will fully deploy or will be reverted and delayed for further testing is yet to be seen.
UPDATE: CCP Falcon has now issued an official release discussing the extended downtime and server instability. More updates as we have them.
1730UTC: CCP have announced the patch is now being deployed
— CCP Falcon (@CCP_Falcon) March 20, 2018