Group ride chat funkiness---can only see some of the messages

Now crashed to desktop 3 times in 4 rides.
On the last ride didn’t send a message using the M key, sent all messages from CA and still crashed to desktop so rejoined and didn’t send any further messages when rejoined.

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There’s a fix out for the crashing issue, see the update thread. :+1:

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@Dave_ZPCMR
Can you confirm the fix is just for crashing to the desktop or does this fix the issue of not seeing all group rider messages?
As your release note refers only to the long message bug.

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Reads to me like it’s just the long message thing. It’s not my release note! :wink:

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Can you advise where I can find the release notes as only hear about them 2nd hand?

That one was a ninja edit to the opening post of Game Update - March 16th, 2021

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Group chat remains broken. @Eric can you advise us your best guess when this is going to be fixed? I am a regular among two of the largest Zwift rider groups in your service and the amount of grief this is causing is not insignificant.

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Hi Tony — I think you’re referring to all participants in events not being able to see ALL of the messages? By design, we keep the messages to the folks around you with the exception of the ride leaders / sweepers (which was fixed recently). Now if the question is whether we plan to open up ALL messages to EVERYONE in the event, this is something we are considering maybe as an option. In very large groups, this can become very noisy though and the reason why we have limited messages to those around you. I just want to confirm what you mean by broken. Thanks!

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Hi Eric. Thanks for responding on this. Just to confirm I was the lead sweep yesterday and couldn’t see all the messages. It looked like the leader was talking to himself. This is needed when trying to understand who genuinely needs help back to main group. Group rides only work if all participants can see all messages. No point have light hearted jokes and only see part of the joke. Thanks :blush:

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@Eric
Hi Eric, unfortunately the chat is still not working according to the fixed description you gave. As I mentioned early in this thread (about a week ago):
“I did an Ascenders ride this morning and was right next to someone who was clearly responding to chat messages that I never saw — so I was reading half of a conversation and couldn’t make sense of it.”
Clearly in this case distance was not the issue.

Moreover, I want to add that this fix of nearby proximity would be problematic even if it was working properly. In a group ride hearing only half the chat is disorienting and negatively impacts the experience. We often see replies to questions that we didn’t see or don’t get responses to queries we make. The basic premise of throttling the chat doesn’t make sense in social group rides. At a minimum, ride leaders/organizers of group rides should be able to determine whether the whole group sees all chat messages. I understand that for big events like the TDW that it would not make sense to hear from everyone but surely it does on smaller, regular rides.

Thanks

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Understood. I’ve fed this back to the team so we can resolve this… Thanks

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Plus we see run event messages inside ride events and they are not limited by range. Having an option to see all messages inside club events would be most welcome and would still allow Fondo’s to have this disabled.

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I can confirm this.

BMTR Saturday century rides sometimes go through the Watopia desert; on those rides we can hear the runners. By now we can recognize a number of their leaders.

We greet them like old friends, but sadly they cannot hear us. :man_shrugging:

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Thanks for the update, @Eric. To answer your question:

Given the difficulties with chat currently, I think all messages to everyone is the way to go right now.

It is a good default, and should always remain available as an option for event organizers if it’s possible to do the selection on a per-event basis.

From that base, it may be worth it to re-examine whether limiting chat reach can be implemented in a way that doesn’t cause issues, especially for racing.

And yes, as detailed by others above, bugs remain in the current implementation. There’s still:

  • Yellow/Red not visible to all (or each other)
  • All messages not visible to Yellow/Red
  • All messages within a bunch of riders not visible to everyone
  • Other event chats bleeding into chat (especially run events, especially Watopia Pier…)
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By design, we keep the messages to the folks around you with the exception of the ride leaders / sweepers (which was fixed recently).

Just to be clear, this is not the observed behavior of chat prior to the TDZ changes that introduced the bug.

As someone who rode mid-pack, let’s say position 250 out of 500, I could easily communicate with someone who rode at the rear of the group (a “sweep”). This was how Zwift worked from the point I joined in late 2019 until this bug.

At no point was there any filtering of chat among a group ride based on proximity. I’m not sure if that was your teams intention or not, but it worked well and is our expectation of how things should be. Since these messages are being sent from server to client regardless, and the client is filtering, this is not a technical issue but a design decision. It’s not one that we want.

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For whatever it is worth, prior to the late January update there was a proximity cutoff. On our long BMTR Fundos a faster group can get pretty far ahead of a slower group, and at some point the two groups would not be able to chat with each other. I do not know what the actual threshold was, but it felt similar to the threshold in a free ride where you only hear people around you. (So for example, someone in the desert would not hear someone climbing the Alpe.)

But yes, I agree with @Tony_Agee. The chat function worked great in building community prior to the late January.

@Eric: I think most, if not all, would be happy if the restrictions on group ride chat messages introduced in late January were rolled back, and let group ride chat function as it was before the January update.

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Thanks for all of your feedback.This is very helpful. There were some changes made between our back end services which may have caused inadvertent behaviour. We thought we got to the bottom of it but clearly we have not. Our team is sorting this out.

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Been catching up on thread and as a BMTR sweep I thank everyone and Eric for trying to resolve this issue asap! Ride on :+1:

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I’ll second that from Michael - it’s good that this is being looked into because I’ve felt that big events have become slightly less social in the past couple of months.

I’ve struggled to put my finger on why, but in the chat for the Tour of Watopia yesterday, one person was leading a bit of fun by saying “guess the punchline to the joke.” I saw some guesses people made, and I saw the “joke leader” say someone had got it right, but I couldn’t see the response which had been declared as right. It feels as if we can only see chat from those very close to us, and that “chat radius” could benefit from being extended.

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Thank you Eric! We have been patiently waiting to be able to hear everyone on chat within group rides. I speak for many who really miss the comradery that has been impacted by the chat proximity change.
It will also be nice to be able to hear those who inadvertently fall of the back and need help with a wheel. Right now once they are past 3 seconds back, you can’t hear nor see them.

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