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IRC - A guide on setting up and using

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Xzanth, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Xzanth

    Xzanth PUG Lord

    IRC - Internet Relay Chat
    IRC is a chat protocol, around since 1988, that facilitates real time chat in channels and private messages across a network. Clients can be found for nearly any operating system imaginable and there are hundreds of irc networks to choose from. If you would like to learn more about the protocol in general please look here.

    What is the relevance to midair?
    There is an official IRC channel: #midair that is on the Quakenet network where the community can chat about anything, midair related or not. Channels like these are useful for establishing a community around a game.

    There are also for those lucky enough to be playing the game, a channel: #midair.pug on Quakenet again exists for organising pick up games, and there is also the option to use your IRC client to connect to the midairbackers slack (also only for those who have access to the game).

    Plus who knows, some fps-z games (e.g. tribes 2 and legions) actually had ways to connect their game to irc, maybe midair will have something similar.

    How do I connect?
    You connect to IRC using one of the many choices of clients, I will go through some of the choices, look at webchat and will have an extensive guide to setting up HexChat. Here is a short list of the clients most people will use:

    Web browser: webchat (Quakenet only)
    Windows: HexChat, AdiIRC, mIRC (paid)
    Linux: irssi (CLI), weechat (CLI), Xchat
    Mac: ???

    Webchat
    webchat.quakenet.org is an IRC client created by Quakenet that enables you to connect to their network using something I'm sure you already have, an internet browser, all you have to do is enter the nick/channel you want to connect to and click 'Join Chat' and you are in. It is by far the client with the lowest barrier to entry which is extremely useful for introducing people to IRC, but if you are using IRC frequently I would argue the features of the other clients make them much easier to use after a bit of setup, which for HexChat I will talk you through. I see the benefits to using an actual client over webchat as follows:
    • Not tied to your browser. With other clients you don't have to worry about losing your connection whenever you want to close your entire browser window
    • No need to type settings. Just typing your nick and #midair is pretty simple but when you start wanting to join multiple channels the task gets longer with every channel. All good clients will save and automate settings such as setting nick and joining channels.
    • Can connect to other networks. While all you might want to connect to is Quakenet at the moment, now that you know about irc you might find you want to connect to other networks in the future e.g. irc.tribalwar.com. An action impossible with Quakenet's webchat.
    • Logging in and other perform commands. To administer channels (or to make use of future features of the midair pugbot) you need to have signed in to the Quakenet's network, which while it is possible, it is somewhat of a bother to do every time you connect. Like settings, all good irc clients will automate this behaviour (and incidentally any other commands you want to automate).

    Setting up HexChat
    So you decide to use a proper client, clients will require a little bit of set up that will vary from client to client but after that set up, the client should be extremely easy to use. As HexChat is my recommendation for windows I will focus this guide on setting this particular client up, the steps should be very similar across all clients though. By the end of this guide you should have a client that on running the program, automatically connects to #midair on Quakenet using your chosen nickname.

    Despite the wall of text and images this is actually a very simple task, I've just spelled it out for the more challenged members of our community

    1. Install hexchat, download from here the appropriate binary (.exe) for your system, x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit), 32-bit will work on a 64-bit system, so if you don't know just get the 32-bit version: x86 and install this program.

    2. Start up the client you should be greeted with a network list somewhat similar to this:
    [​IMG]
    Just enter your Alias (The name other users see) in the User Information boxes, the 'Second' and 'Third' choices are just backups in case someone has already connected with your nick. The username is for logging in to certain things, we will cover this in other sections so just leave it the same as your nick name.
    You can tick the "Skip network list on startup" since once we are done here you won't need to use it again, unless adding new networks.

    2.1 Since we use the quakenet network you will want to find that, and to make things easy in future if we want to modify it we will 'Favor' it and check 'Show favorites only'
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    3. Now we can edit the network to customise it for our use: select Quakenet and then 'Edit...'. We want to always connect to this network when we start our client so we can check that box.
    [​IMG]
    3.1 OPTIONAL: prioritise connecting to a server close to you by selecting the relevant server in the server list and moving it to the top with the keys: Shift+Up. So as I am from the UK I will move that server to the top:
    [​IMG]
    (americans could add irc.us.quakenet.org as for some reason it isn't in the defaults).

    3.2 Now go to the channels tab and we can add the channels we want to autojoin whenever we connect:
    [​IMG]
    4. Now you are done you can close the 'Edit Quakenet' window and either Press 'connect' to connect to Quakenet or quit the program and restart to connect automatically. That was easy wasn't it?

    Using IRC
    Now you are connected you can chat away, it should be very intuitive how to use most clients. Don't be surprised if you see a channel with lots of people in it but no-one talking, lots of people idle i.e. stay connected to irc despite not having anything pressing to say. And also don't be surprised if no-one responds immediately to what you have to say, everyone else in the channel is not necessarily keeping their client open in front of them all the time waiting for someone to say things, they're idling and checking it periodically. To attract specific peoples attention you can say their nick in a chat or private message them, but don't abuse this feature.

    Other topics
    That covers the essentials, it came out a bit more extensive than I intended but hopefully this is useful to someone. This thread will have sections on registering and logging with Q i.e. quakenet and on using irc to connect to slack once I write them.

    Useful links
    Thanks to @Dabbleh for his thread on the legions forums which I copied a lot from.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
    Jordan, thecaptaintea, Brooky and 4 others like this.
  2. Xzanth

    Xzanth PUG Lord

    Setting up an account and logging in

    Quakenet has an authentication system, unlike other IRC networks it doesn't register your nick for only your use, but you do get a user name and password. This is useful if you want to administrate channels, enables you to hide your IP/hostmask, and will be used to identify yourself to the #midair.pug bot. Q is the name of quakenet's bot and so to get set up we will be messaging Q. The username you are given is taken from the nick you are using when you register, so there's a chance the nick you are using already has an account with that name which will mean you must change nick.

    While on quakenet use the command

    /msg Q HELLO [email protected] [email protected]

    to register, you should receive a link to a page that looks somewhat like this:
    [​IMG]
    Use the /auth command they give you to log in, now we want to change our password so we can remember it. We will message Q again (although this time we will make sure we don't message someone spoofing as Q by adding the hostmask).

    /msg [email protected] NEWPASS oldpassword newpassword newpassword

    Now you have changed your password. The last thing left to do is to set hexchat up to automatically authenticate when you join the network. Go to the menu bar and select: hexchat -> Network List... then we want to edit our Quakenet network. Select the 'Challenge Auth' login method and type your new password in the box. If your username from Q is different from the username in your global settings (back on the network list) you can uncheck "Use global user information" and define your specific username here.

    [​IMG]
    Now every time you start hexchat you should be authed.

    RECOMMENDED - Hiding your IP
    You might have noticed that whenever someone connects to irc their hostmask/IP is displayed. Now that you have an account you can hide your ip address and have it replaced with a Quakenet one, you do this with the command:

    /mode yournick +x

    but we want to run this before we join channels so we shall add it to be ran automatically, open Quakenet settings again and go to the 'Connect commands' tab, you can then add the command:

    mode %n +x

    (%n will automatically be replaced with your nick)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
    No1Special, Jordan and Wildefyr like this.
  3. Xzanth

    Xzanth PUG Lord

    Connecting to slack via irc

    never coming, RIP backer slack.

    Reserving post in case needed in the future.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  4. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore #1 Stinkiest NA

    Xzanth is well on his way to becoming the next @GReaper.

    XzanNet might be a serious contender to GReapNet yet!
     
    Wildefyr and TylerMarket like this.
  5. Nidums

    Nidums New Member

    /mode "nick" +x (no quotation marks) - to hide your IP if you are worried, not 100% sure this works on webchat
     
  6. Dabbleh

    Dabbleh New Member

    woo credit
     
    TylerMarket and thecaptaintea like this.