Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

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Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

Post by Carcer on Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:04 am

As you should know, we have a wonderful IRC channel that lives on the Neverwinter Connections IRC server. It is called #dystopia. If you are competent and do not suck then you will not be able to click here and join it immediately because this forum software is sucking balls, but you will at least recognise what I was trying to do. If you are incompetent and do not know how to work this new-fangled IRC thing, this guide is for you!

What is IRC?
IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. Before MSN and AIM and all these other communication networks existed, people were using IRC to talk to each other in realtime. There are hundreds of IRC Networks on the internet, each of which is made up of one or more IRC Servers. People use IRC Clients to connect to these servers, and each of the servers communicate with the other servers through the network, so that clients connected to one server may talk to those connected to any other server on the network (most of the time. The internet is not perfect and sometimes connections between servers fail, an event referred to as a "netsplit", but these are usually resolved quite quickly).

Once connected to a server (and by extension the IRC network), a client may join channels on the network to talk to the other people in the channel. They may also communicate directly to another person as long as they know their IRC nick, technically known as a query but typically referred to as a PM (as in "private message").

How do I do that?
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is get an IRC client. There are many out there, but the most popular is mIRC. The rest of this guide assumes you will be using mIRC, but some of it may be applicable no matter what client you use. Don't worry that the program claims it is a 30-day trial - after the trial period expires you may continue to use it for as long as you wish, you're just presented with an alert when the program starts that asks you to register and will allow you to close it and go on your way after a few seconds.

The first time you start it up, the options dialog will appear and you should fill in the presented fields. Most simply use their online handle as their "full name" and, likewise, the e-mail address does not have to be accurate either. "Nickname" is the name that will appear when you're on a server; "Alternative" is the name the client will try and use if someone on the network is already using your preferred nick. These are just defaults and you can change your nick to whatever you want (as long as it's not in use) while you're connected to a network, using the "/nick" command.



Then you should go to the "Servers" subset of the "Connect" category, and click "Add". mIRC's server listings do not include the NWC irc network by default, so we need to add it; this isn't necessary for us to connect to the server, but it does allow us to easily make use of some of mIRC's more advanced features later on.





Now select your newly created server in the list by highlighting it and clicking "Select", then click "Connect" to open a connection to the server. After a little while for the connection to be formed and negotiated with the IRC server, you will be ready to begin. Sometimes the connection will be refused; mIRC will retry a few times and typically this problem will go away quickly.



Now of course you want to talk to your fellow Dystopians, so you may type /join #dystopia in the main window, and this will bring you into the channel to chat with us. However, there are still a few things that it's recommended that you do, such as registering your nick. This allows you to stop other people from using your nick and impersonating you on that IRC network.

To register your nickname, type "/nickserv register y0urp4ssw0rd your@email", replacing as appropriate. The e-mail address you supply does not have to be real, but if for whatever reason you forget your password and lose access to your account it will be used to help you retrieve access, so you should probably use a real address just to be safe. It can't be seen by normal users of the network, anyway.

Having done this, you will now be identified to nickserv, which means you can take advantage of things that have been tied to your nick - for example, the administrator of a channel could add your nick to the operator list, meaning that if you join the channel while identified you will automatically be given ops and be able to control some aspects of the channel. If you change your nick and then change back, you can re-identify by typing "/nickserv identify y0urp4ssw0rd"/

Now you'll want to go back to the mIRC options, and go to the "Options" tab in the "Connect" category. Connect on startup means that when you start your client, it will automatically connect to whatever server you last had selected in the Servers/Connect dialog, which is convenient. You'll probably want to uncheck "Pop up connect dialog on startup", since you'd no longer need it. Now click "Perform."



The perform buffer allows you to set up a list of commands to send automatically when you connect to a specified server, so you can do things like automatically identify for your nick and join certain channels. First, add NWConnections to the list via the add dialogue, then add appropriate commands, as in my image. The /timers are there to space the commands out a bit so that there's no danger of, for example, trying to identify to my nick before the nick change has actually completed.



Now having set this up, you have yourself a client that will automatically connect to Neverwinter Connections when you start it, automatically identify to your nickname, and automatically join our channel, so you can chat with us with the minimum of effort. What more could you want?

Oh, right.

DEAR GOD IT'S UGLY



mIRC's default font and colour scheme leave a lot to be desired, but fortunately they can be changed. Simply click "view" in the toolbar and there you may play around with colours and fonts to your heart's content. Light text on a black background is recommended, as it's easier on the eyes than a bright white background, and you might end up staring at your IRC window for quite a lot of time. When you're changing font you'll want to make sure "set font as default" is checked, or else the change will only apply to the channel you currently have open. It won't alter windows that are already open, but the next time you start up everything should be well.

When changing colours, you might want to consider changing the colours themselves instead of assigning different colours to things - do so by right-clicking on a colour in the boxes. This is because sometimes other clients behave poorly and send their text using colour codes that they shouldn't, so despite the fact that you assigned normal text to be white the messages they send are displayed in black on your black background. By changing the colours themselves you ensure that no matter what, you'll still have readable text.



Now you should know enough to be able to explore about the options and change settings with a reasonable idea of what they'll do. If not, remember you can always ask for help!

Addendum
You may wish to consider getting and installing an mIRc script like NoNamescript, and playing around with the settings therein. They grant you a much easier way to control advanced aspects of the mIRC client and set up other things like automated identification without having to use perform and suchlike. They can also make your client much, much prettier.

Okay, now what?
Actually talking in IRC is a pretty simple affair. Simply type what you want into the box and hit enter. Do try and take your time to spell correctly and don't use "txt tlk" and things; you're not using a numeric keypad, you have a full keyboard at your disposal and if you do not use it properly I shall crush you like an insignificant gnat with the power of my mighty ego. A short list of other commands you can use follows:

/nick - changes your nick to whatever you specify, if it's not in use.
/nickserv identify or /nickserv id - identify for your nickname, if it's registered.
/nickserv help - learn about how to use all the other features of nickserv
/chanserv help - learn about how to use all the features of chanserv, but you will probably only need to worry about this if you become a channel administrator (either by being appointed to the post or if you want to create your own channel for whatever)
/me - action/emote. Clients will display this in third person - so "/me hits you" would be displayed as "*Carcer hits you".
/query - Opens a private chat window with the nick specified. So, if you wanted to cyber in private with me, you'd do "/query Carcer". The same effect can be achieved by doubleclicking someone's name in the nicklist on the right of the channel window.
/join - join the specified channel. All channel names start with # (e.g., #dystopia, #fagballs, #whatever). You can be in multiple channels at the same time.
/part - Leave the current channel. You can leave with a parting message if you want; "/part Off for food" would cause you to leave the channel with that message.
/quit - Like part, but will disconnect you from the network entirely. Your parting message will be displayed in all channels you're in.
/server - this allows you to connect to a server directly. You can be connected to multiple servers at once; whatever commands you do will be applied to whichever server your currently active window belongs to. To connect to multiple servers, use the -n operator (i.e. "/server -n irc.gamesurge.net") to make the server open a new window, else your connection to the server you were previously connected to will be dropped.

If you wish to play around with your sent text a little bit, you can use Ctrl+B and Ctrl+U to bold or underline text. Each inserts a code that will cause text to be displayed as such. If you only want to bold or underline part of what you're saying, inserting the code again after the relevant part will cause subsequent text to be displayed normally.

You can also do colours with Ctrl+K - this will pop up a little colour index dialogue for you to choose the colour you want, although be aware that not everyone's colour schemes are set up the same way and just because your client says 4 is red does not mean that will be so for everyone. So, "[Ctrl+K]4 red" will display red, and "[Ctrl+K]4,3 fuck the colourblind" will display red text on a green background, if that's how your colour codes are set up. If you do Ctrl+K and then don't add a colour code, it will reset so that subsequent text is displayed in the default colour of the client displaying it.

Try not to do this too much, as it can become very annoying if someone is ejaculating a rainbow all over a channel when you're trying to read it, and especially don't choose yourself a fancy colour and send all your messages like that to stand out, because then you look desperate for attention and nobody wants that.


Last edited by Carcer on Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

Post by Freygon on Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:14 am

yaaay
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Re: Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

Post by Shatterbrain on Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:01 am

I give this tutorial a 10/10. Awesome job.

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Re: Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

Post by Shatterbrain on Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:05 am

Looks like chat.neverwinterconnections.com is down, and has been for the past few days.

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Re: Carcer's Wonderful Guide to: IRC

Post by Shatterbrain on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:42 pm

Will likely start a new IRC channel on Rizon soon. I'll also be looking into starting a vent server if there are enough interested parties.

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