After the August 10th update, Chinese players now have around 50% packet loss when connecting to the chat server. The main game works fine but most players now have to use third party “game accelerators” to reroute the connection to use chat properly.
When new Chinese players join my corp, the first thing we usually teach them is to “identify enemies’ presence using local chat”, and the second thing recently became “you gotta pay $10 a month for some game accelerator otherwise chat don’t work.”
Chat not working is a critical issue for nullsec and lowsec gameplay. After testing and pingtracing, it appears that live.chat.eveonline.com had either moved server location or server provider around August 10th, which was why connections started suffering for IP addresses in China. This is likely not an issue with the Great Firewall as we first suspected. this is because the game’s main server tranquility.servers.eveonline.com and test server singularity.servers.eveonline.com both work perfectly fine for those reporting the chat server packet loss issue.
The above issue is in fact widespread but extremely underreported since most who are affected do not post here in English nor are able to use English effectively for support/bug reporting. I have raised the issue in a support ticket but received no practical solution. On CCP’s end, however, it can be easily fixed by making the chat server use the same location/provider as the main game server, or consider backtracking whatever change was made to the chat server around August 10th.
I am unsure if the same issue may be affecting players in other regions, but if you interview a few Chinese players, you would be surprised to find that now a majority of them are forced to use the aforementioned ‘game accelerators’.