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10/14/2009 21:54:40   
Corwin
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Using IRC


Have you ever wanted to chat with your forum friends in real time without the need to stand around in one of AE's MMOs using the public chat? Do you want to avoid lag and most connection issues? If the answer is yes, then there's good news for you: the AE forums has it's very own IRC server where AE players can hang out online without the need for anything aside from Java. You can even use it on your iOS or Android device!

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, it is a chat protocol that was developed in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen. The primary difference between IRC and other chat protocols is flexibility from commands and modes. These make channels (think chat rooms) on an IRC server both configurable and moderatable.

Sections of this Guide:
  1. The Quick Fix - Want to Chat Now? Here's How!
  2. The Long Haul: For those that want to get into the nitty-gritty of IRC
    1. Clients- You gotta get on to IRC before you can use
    2. Servers - How to access your AE friends!
    3. Commands
    4. Modes
    5. Services
    6. Channels
    7. Highlights
    8. Scripts
  3. Further Reading
The Quick Fix - Want to Chat Now? Here's How!

Quick step by step method for those who just want to connect and chat:
    Step 1) Navigate your browser to this page and click on "web chat". This will open a new window.
    Step 2) Pick a nickname and enter it into the nickname field, your nickname is what you will be seen as to others on IRC.
    Step 3) (optional) If you've already registered your nickname (covered next), enter your nickname's password into the password field.
    Step 4) Click on "Chat now", this will start a java applet that will connect to one of Caelestia.net's IRC servers.
Once connected:

The first thing you'll want to do once connected is register your nickname, to do this type "/ns register <password> <email>" in the window (sans quotes, the <>'s just denote fields to be replaced in their entirety. The email address MUST be valid).

You will then be sent a confirmation code from services@caelestia.net to the email you entered. It will contain a confirmation code. To complete registration, type
"/ns confirm <code>" in the same window you sent the registration command in.

At this point, your nickname is registered. To automatically identify upon connect, enter your password into the proper field during step 3.

The two main AE-related channels on caelestia.net are #Battleon and #Yulgarsinn (the # denotes a channel name):
  • #Battleon is for talking about the games themselves
  • #Yulgarsinn is a general chat channel for the Artix Entertainment community.
To join these channels type "/join <#channelname>". These channels require you to have a registered nickname so do not skip the above steps.

To chat, make sure your focus is on the channel tab that you wish to speak in (just click on whatever one you want to change tabs), then just type and hit enter. To use emotes (purple messages that are actions), type "/me <message>" (Note: #Battleon typically has these disabled). For private messages, type "/msg <nickname> <message>".

If you decide you wish to change your nickname, type "/nick <newnick>". At this point, you can link your two nicknames together with
"/ns group <old nickname> <that nickname's password>". Grouping nicknames means they use the same password, and have all of the same settings and permissions.


The Long Haul: For those that want to get into the nitty-gritty of IRC

So you used the Quick Fix method of joining, found you love IRC and want to learn more about it. Good for you, the quick fix method is quite limited and there are a LOT of things you can do on IRC. Before we can get into the fun/complicated stuff, we gotta go through a lot of the basics so that you're familiar with terminology and are ultimately capable of setting up your IRC experience your way.

The purpose of this section of the guide is not so much to give you a step by step guide to using IRC, but rather to point you in the proper direction to learn more on your own. A secondary goal is to single out more commonly used and important features in order to give you a starting point, as it is rather a lot of information to absorb. Note that this section covers the "basics" of IRC and does not go into scripts, that is the next section

Clients - You have to log onto IRC before you can use:

Connecting to IRC is done with a program known as an IRC client. There are two common types of IRC clients, a standalone client and a webclient. Webclients do not require installation or altering any settings to work, unfortunately this makes the less customizable and less powerful than a standalone client, though simpler to use.

There are may types of IRC clients out there, far too many for one guide to cover, however this guide will cover the more popular ones as one of the most confusing things when using an IRC client is getting it set up properly. Note that you are always welcome to use the web client linked in the Quick Fix section, but if you want to do more things, it's recommended you upgrade to a more versatile one.

By far one of the most popular webclient used is Mibbit. It's a free client that has tons of features, including the ability to save your preferences online so that when you log into your account, you're already set to chat with others! For a more comprehensive listing of what Mibbit can do, it is advised you check out the Mibbit wiki here as this guide will only cover how to set up your account on Mibbit.

If you're the type of person that has your own personal PC, then the client of choice is normally mIRC which is not only one of the most popular Windows IRC clients but has a multitude of hidden features in there that mibbit sadly does not have. The main advantage mIRC has is it's extensive scripting options, so if you like scripts (see next section), then you'll definitely want this. Note that it is listed as 30-day trial shareware which afterwards costs $10 to help support future updates (see this link for more information), otherwise you'll get blinking "your subscription has run out" notification on start-up. You can keep using it far past the expiration date, but if you do not wish to pay, see below for free alternatives.

If you want a downloadable client you can customize that's completely free, look no further then Ice Chat. It's a rather handy client for those who are new to IRC and has a different interface then that of mIRC. Sadly it also has a different scripting language then mIRC, thus those who use this will most likely have less support in this guide the third section about Scripts. Therefore it is highly reccomended you check out the help page for IceChat to learn more.

There are many IRC clients with many different features. It is beyond the scope of this guide to describe their individual uses or settings, that information will have to be found on the client's website. Commonly used IRC clients include mIRC (Windows), Irssi (Linux with a Windows port), and X-chat Aqua (Macintosh port for Xchat).

Servers - How to access your AE friends!

So you have your client picked out, so now you need to know how to use it. There's many IRC servers out there, and if you go with the default one your client has it'll usually take to someplace that's not the AE server, which is Caelestia.net. Below is a list of the servers currently active on Caelestia.net. The top 3 servers should be used for any client/field that asks you for the server name.

Caelestia.net Servers:
    Darkstar.caelestia.net (IP: 72.20.27.120)
    Immertot.caelestia.net (IP: 173.163.96.186)
    Midgard.caelestia.net (IP: 149.255.97.105)
    Worldpool.caelestia.net (IP: 216.245.216.187)
    irc.caelestia.net (A Round Robin DNS)
    Open plaintext client ports on each server: 6660 6661 6662 6663 6664 6665 6666 6667 6668 6669 8067
    SSL client port: 6697
Most ports default to 6667, you'll be fine keeping that value right there.

Most clients will either open an option or connection window upon starting the client where this information can be entered, but for ones that don't, typically the command
"/server <caelestia.net server of your preference>" will connect you to the network. Further information on how to use the clients is provided by the client's own website and help documentation.

Commands:

Commands are how things get done on IRC. Everything from speaking to quitting from the network is done with a command. The helpop system provides syntax and information on commands and modes. To use the helpop system type "/helpop <command>". For a list of user commands, type "/helpop cuser", and for a full list of helpop categories type "/helpop" without any arguments.
A quick guide to reading helpop syntax:

/COMMAND [required parameter] [Required Parameter A|Required parameter option B] {[optional parameter]} {,[Optional comma delimited list]}

For example:

/MODE  [target] [+|-][modes]{[+|-][modes]} {mode parameters} has a requirement of a target, +/-a mode (or more than one), then a parameter  
/mode #yulgarsinn +k fahrvergnugen would be a valid syntax.
Common commands:
    /list - This command will give you a full list of non-private channels on the network. (NOTE: Many of these channels are not related to Artix Entertainment and are also not required to follow Artix Entertainment rules and regulations. Enter at your own risk.)
    /join - There is more to it than explained above. You can join more than one channel at a time with a comma delimited list. (/join #channel1,#channel2). Creating a channel is as easy as joining an empty one.
    /whois - Provides information about a specific user.
    /mode - Alters either user or channel modes.
    /kick - Forcibly removes a user from a channel. Can only be used by channel operators.
    /topic - Changes a channel's topic. (The message seen upon joining).
Modes:

Modes have been referenced a few times in this guide thus far, and they are essentially settings for either users or channels. Channel modes modify permissions of users in a specific channel and can only be set by either channel operators or half-operators. For a list of channel modes as well as a description of what each of them does type "/helpop chmodes". User modes modify settings specific to you, and you can change your own user modes at any time. For a list of user modes and their description type "/helpop umodes".
Adding and removing modes is done with the /mode command, and all of them are case sensitive.

Common channel modes:
    +o - Marks the user as a channel operator. This allows access to changing channel modes, as well as kicking and banning users. A channel operator is IRC's version of a forum moderator.
    +i - Marks the channel as 'invite only'. Only those either invited or on the invite list (+I) can join.
    +m - Only users set +v (voice) or above may speak in this channel.
    +s - Marks a channel as 'secret', it no longer shows up in /list.
    +S - Strips mIRC color codes from messages sent to a channel.
    +n - No user outside a channel can send messages to the channel.
    +N - No user in this channel may change their nickname.
    +t - Only operators can change the channel topic.
    +b - Bans a user from a channel, typing /mode #channel +b without anything following will retrieve the ban list for the channel.
A quick explanation of 'hostmasks':
Every user on IRC has a nickname, an ident, a hostmask, and a real name field.
The first three are represented in any command asking for a hostmask by Nickname!ident@hostmask.
You can discover these by using /whois on a user.

The majority of commands involving hostmasks accept the wildcards "*" and "?".
The wildcard * stands for any character, any number of times (including zero). It covers everything.
The character "?" stands for a single character, though it can be any one.
For example, *!guide@?attleon.com would match any nickname, with the ident of guide, and a hostmask twelve characters long, ending in "attleon.com".

Services:

IRC Services are bots on the network designed to maintain nicknames, channels, as well as provide other ease of use and protection features.

NickServ:

NickServ is dedicated to the registration and control of nicknames on the network. Registering your nickname is synonymous with creating a user account and most other services rely on you having a registered nickname. NickServ assumes most commands sent to it relate to the nickname you are currently using.

For more information as well as a list of options and commands that can be used in conjunction with nickserv, type:
/ns help
(Note: Some clients might not recognize /ns as a valid command due to it being a server alias and the client not sending unrecognized commands to the server, in which case replace it with either "/msg nickserv help", "/quote ns help", or "/raw ns help".)

A few of the more useful NickServ commands:
    /ns identify <password> - The standard way to login to your nickname. Can also be done with the server alias /identify.
    /ns info <nickname> - Provides information about a specific nickname. Typically a good way to check if a nickname is registered.
    * /ns info <nickname> <- Look for the line that starts with "Nicks :" to find the nicknames within your group
    /ns help set - There are many settings and options that you can change with your nickname. For more specific information on a particular option use /ns help set [option].
    /ns help set kill - Provides information about the 'kill' option, which will forcibly change an unidentified user attempting to utilize your nickname's nickname to a standardized one.
    /ns ghost <nickname> <password> - Sometimes you may disconnect from the network and reconnect before the server realizes you are gone. These connections are known as ghosts, and this command will forcefully disconnect them.
ChanServ:

ChanServ is dedicated to the registration and control of channels on the network. A registered channel cannot be taken over whenever the channel is emptied (at which point it ceases to exist), it also automates many of the functions such as giving specific users permissions and setting specific modes on channel creation. Unlike NickServ, ChanServ does not automatically know what channel you are attempting to change settings for. You must have a registered nickname to use ChanServ, or to be given access to ChanServ functions. The alias for ChanServ is "cs".

A few of the useful ChanServ commands:
    /cs help - Provides a full list of ChanServ's commands and options.

    /cs register <#channel> <password> <description> - ChanServ's registration command. The password can be used with /cs identify to give other users near-founder-level access to change settings, the description field is merely a description of your channel.
    /cs help set - Many options to set here, as well.
    /cs help vop|hop|aop|sop - Provides information on setting users to automatically receive voice (+v), operator status (+o) or protected status (+a) upon joining the channel. These settings also modify what permissions a user has to certain ChanServ commands.
    /cs help flags - adding , removing or adjusting a users privelages and or power level in a specific channel.
    /cs invite <#channel> - Can be used to invite yourself to a channel provided you have access.
Additional Services:

While those two are the big ones, there are a few more services on Caelestia.net:
MemoServ (/ms help) - MemoServ can be used to leave messages to offline users.
BotServ (/bs help) - BotServ is used to change settings with channel bots.
HostServ (/hostserv help) - HostServ is used to request and turn on 'vanity hosts' to mask your already automatically masked host with something a bit more special.
AnnounceServ (/as help) - AnnounceServ is used to send announcements to the entire network about some special event or channel you may have. (Note: All announcements go through Caelestia.net network operators. Please don't spam us. This goes for requested hosts, too.)

Channels:
Here a list of official channels you may wish to join:
  • #battleon: General AE discussion
  • #yulgarsinn: General discussion on non-AE topics
  • #AQWWiki: The AdventureQuest World Wiki's official channel
  • #OSWiki: The Oversoul Wiki's official channel
  • #HSWiki: The HeroSmash Wiki's official channel
  • #legendsandlore: Discussion about written art
  • #gallery: Discussion about visual and other types of art
  • #help: For IRC-related questions
  • #mIRC-scripting: For mIRC coding/programming help
Highlights:
Highlights are an IRC client's form of notifications which in the form of tooltip popups, sounds (commonly beeping) or even coloured text (where the message contains the "buzzword")

For ChatZilla users:
  • Click on "Global Settings" and then "Lists" and add the words you wish to highlight to in your "stalk list"
  • If you have checked "Copy Important Messages" in the menu "View," the message is copied into the network view.
  • You can use the default beeping noise or add a new sound for your "stalk words."
  • IMPORTANT:Your nickname is always in the stalk list. Other words and nicknames can be added in
For IceChat users:
  • Goto Options > Sounds
  • Click on the action you want to be highlighted to
  • Choose your own sound file or use the default sound
  • Apply > Save
For mIRC users:
  • Go to your Address Book (ALT + b)
  • Click on the Highlights tab "Add"
  • In the first text box put in "$me" without the quotations
  • In the "Match on" drop-down menu, select both, under "Play sound" select whichever sound you like, you can also set it to give tip messages for however long you want and/or flash however many times you want.
  • If you choose to use a Tip Message, input the message you wish to be displayed. The message will include "in #channel" at the end (e.g. "in #battleon")
For Mibbit users:
Mibbit is more user-friendly, albeit with less functions. As such, Mibbit users can only highlight to mentions of their full nicks. To highlight to the nick you're presently using:
  • Go to Preferences
  • Click on the Sounds tab
  • Check the "mentionednick" checkbox
Scripts:
Useful scripts for people using mIRC. Both of these scripts should be pasted into the Remotes tab of your Scripts Editor (Alt + r).
  1. Auto-Identify - if you use a registered nick, this will automatically identify you when you log in so that you don't have to enter your password every time (replace <password> with your password)
    on *:NOTICE:*This nickname is registered*:*:{
      if ($network == Caelestia) { id }
    }
    
    alias id {
      ns identify <password>
    }
    
  2. Auto-join - If you have a group of channels you regularly join, simply add this script to your Remote (mIRC users):
    on *:NOTICE:*Password accepted*:*:{
      if ($network == Caelestia) { joins }
    }
    
    alias joins {
      join #battleon,#yulgarsinn
    }
    

  3. Highlighting Script - If you leave mIRC open when you go AFK, this is a useful script to have as it will show you what time you were highlighted at and what was said. (Replace <your name here> with the name you want this script to highlight on, if you want this script to work when people use /me you need a copy of this script with "text" changed to "action")
    on *:text:*<your name here>*:*: {
     var %chan $iif($chan,$chan,PM)
        /window -nek0 +ts @highlight2 -1 -1 700 125 
        /aline -h 4 @highlight2 $fulldate $nick highlighted you on $network - %chan
        /aline -h 5 @highlight2 < $+ $nick $+ > $1-
    }
    The output for this script will be sent to a new window and look something like this.
    quote:

    Sun Mar 14 16:55:28 2010 User123 highlighted you on Caelestia - #battleon
    < User123 > YourIRCNickHere, blah blah blah

Further Reading
Inspire IRCd - This is the internet relay chat daemon that Caelestia.net uses. We use version 1.2. To view version information, type //version
IRC's RFC - While most client and server software don't adhere strictly to the RFCs, some useful information can be found.
IRC clients - Another list of IRC clients sorted by operating system.

< Message edited by Scakk -- 11/25/2014 23:14:45 >
AQ  Post #: 1
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