Above I went through how to get connected to #Roleplayerguild using the Mibbit web client service. If you ever feel frustrated with an in-browser chat system, this guide should help you through installing a separate client just for your chatting needs.
What is a client?
An IRC client is a program that allows you to connect to #Roleplayerguild and any other chatroom. Clients come in all shapes and sizes and you’ll quickly feel if one works for you or doesn’t. For the most part, they work in the same way and use very similar commands and options systems. Because of this, I’m going to try and give some very general guidance to using a client.
The screenshots in the information below are of Chatzilla, a simple, Firefox add-on client that I use. Other clients that I advise checking out are:
mIRC - a very comprehensive client with lots of customisation.
kvIRC - another very customisable client.
XChat – a basic, user friendly client. Make sure you use this version if you’re using Windows, the “official” version is a 30 day trial only on Windows.
Nettalk – a very user friendly client, with plenty of depth and customisability. Documentation is mostly in German, though.
For a bigger list, see here: Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The download and installation for a client should be quite straightforward, and for Chatzilla it’s just like installing any Firefox add-on.
Once it’s installed, open it up and you’ll likely get a very blank looking screen as such:
Connect to the server
Find your input box almost always towards the bottom of the window and enter the following:
This command connects you to server which hosts the chatroom. The one we use is Foonetic (actually owned and run by the creator of XKCD), but hundreds of other networks are out there, such as Freenode, Efnet and Quakenet. When connecting to a server, you’ll commonly be given the Messages of the Day (displayed below).
Join the channel
Once connected to the network, you can connect to any channel that exists on it using the join command above, but just to reinforce:
The server will then put you in the channel and tell you the following things.
- You have joined the channel
- What the topic for the channel is. This can be viewed at any time along the top of the chat window in the majority of clients
- The “entry message” set up by the Operators to provide information for anyone that enters the channel
That’s it! You’re in the channel and you can chat and use all the commands listed in the basic guide. However, the point to using a client is that it makes it easier for you to get chatting every day.
A standard feature for clients is the ability to perform commands and actions when triggered at the right time – however, how they do this varies. For the purpose of this guide, only Chatzilla’s functions will be shown, but other clients can carry out the same actions.
Setting a channel to automatically join is a very simple procedure; when connected, simply right click on the tab that represents that channel and select “Open This Channel at Startup”. This will join you to the server AND the channel whenever you launch the client.
Another very useful auto-perform is asking the client to identify your nick with Nickserv when you join the server. To do this, go to Chatzilla>Preferences… then select the server, irc.foonetic.net. On the “Lists” tab there is a box for “Autoperform”.
Into this box I would advise asking the client to always put your name back to its registered form (in case you logged off whilst using a name you don’t have registered and the nickserv registration fails).
Click “Add,” type in the command you want it to perform with the leading slash (/), and hit Ok! It’s simple as that.
msg nickserv IDENTIFY password
Automatically set usermodes
Finally, you can make your client set usermodes automatically upon connecting to the server. A usermode sets a status upon yourself. Each status is represented by a different letter.
I recommend setting +Txi, but a full list of usermodes can be found in the second table here. To autoset modes on Chatzilla, go back to the preferences menu and select the server again. In the “Identification” section of the “General” tab, you’ll find a field called Usermode. Putting +Txi in here will mean those modes are set every time you join.
So those are the basics. From here on, you’ll have to play around with the client, read the online literature or ask another chat member. Questions? Feel free to PM me here at the Guild or ask any of the Operators in channel. Thank you for taking the time to read this; happy chatting!