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To IRC or not to IRC


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Poll: Chat platform

What chat platform should TF use?

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#1
mynsc

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Had a talk with Kauhsa a while ago and he managed to clear up some of the questions I had on the subject of moving the chat from the current "in-house" platform to IRC. So now I'd like to bring this discussion on the forums and see what you guys and gals think, especially if you've been using the current chat tool.

 

I'm leaning towards moving to IRC, but I'd like for us to take this decision together, since I don't really plan on joining IRC just to talk to myself. To better put things into perspective, I'll make a few lists with all the pros and cons of the 2 options we have available.

 

IRC

 

PROs

  • much more customizable
  • ability to host multiple channels (#titanfocus, #titanpedia, #tfStaff, etc, etc)
  • will be easier to cooperate with the rest of the chat community that will form around the game
  • completely free
  • independent from the website's servers
  • no limits for the number of channel members
  • you can AFK all you want Euph without getting kicked out

CONs

  • a bit harder to configure and less accessible, although there are very simple options that only require a click and a nickname to join
  • no rank or avatar import or any other initial integration with the website. Anyone that joins can choose any nickname they want, different from the one on TF, which can make things a bit confusing.
  • no custom Hamsters rock, squirels suck words filter :(

Current Chat platform

 

PROs

  • very simple and accessible
  • fully integrated with the rest of the website

CONs

  • not free, gets more expensive as the number of chat members grows (not by much though... 15 bucks / 6 months for 50 max members)
  • very simple
  • might not scale well with a high number of people chatting, as the interface is not optimized for this.
  • only one possible channel
  • mods, admins, etc will probably still have to join IRC on a special channel in order to communicate easier with eachother.

Let me know of other PROs or CONS to any of the two options and I'll add them here so they get better visibility.

 

As you can see, there's a poll attached to this. While its results will matter in the final decision, it won't be the only deciding factor. Its main role is to get a clear look at the general preference.

 

22.03.2013 - testing out the IRC option. Try it out! 


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#2
Euph

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This. This is what I love about TF. I love being consulted about things!

 

My answer is sorta a mid-way compromise:

 

I think we should keep the chat for now while we're small because I like the feeling of it, okay!? It's really nice to be able to see if there's people in chat, I like that you know who the people are who're joining (profile pic and everything!) and I feel that with IRC you'll have people who'll just leave it on AFK all day (hate those people, omg) and you'll end up being alone.

 

HOWEVER,

 

I think once we get bigger, IRC is inevitable and the best way to do things... if you can work out how to link the active online IRCrs onto the website that'd be awesome.

 

<3


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#3
Sarnakyle

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I am in complete agreeance with Euph. Thank you for putting the community first when it comes to these decisions. 

 

The only downside that I see to the current chat system is that it is coming outta your pocket. I know its not much but its still taking away from cash flow that could be moved elsewhere. Other than that, It is perfect for the time being and more personable. However, just as Euph pointed out, IRC will be the way to go over time. So, maybe we should make the transition now while it is easier?


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#4
VladimirStukov

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I use irc all the time for a game called cybernations I play. It's simply the best chat platform there is. If you decide to use irc I recommend the coldfront server. I've been on there for over 5 years and have never had a problem. There are 6 different access levels on coldfront that you can set up for a channel; founder, super operator, operator, half operator, voice, and nothing. What my cybernations alliance does is just have people post their registered irc nickname in a thread and then we give them the appropriate access.

#5
Kauhsa

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if you can work out how to link the active online IRCrs onto the website that'd be awesome.

 

While I think this is a neat feature and is possible on IRC too (though somewhat involved), it might be worth considering if it actually does more harm than good - I mean, it practically shows 0 users most of the time. That said, if it starts to show users in IRC channel, the number will probably be non-zero even if there is no one active in the channel (as IRC is for idling!), which might actually encourage users to enter IRC. Other metrics are of course possible too, eg. show number of people that have spoken in the last X minutes.

 

If you decide to use irc I recommend the coldfront server. I've been on there for over 5 years and have never had a problem.

 

Yeah, there are large number of IRC networks to choose from. It's probably matter of which one has best webchat client available and maybe the general "theme" of the network - I think QuakeNet has traditionally been the gamer network, so part of the potential audience already is there.

 

EDIT: I would probably add the lack of control concerning the network as con for IRC. For example, if you are using shared internet and the network has banned your IP for whatever reason, you can't do much about it - user has to work around it if he wants to join to the channel. I can't think other practical issues that this would cause though.



#6
Templar

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I agree with Euph, I think we should keep our normal chat system until November at least, my logic behind that is the following, when / if Blizzard announces Titan at Blizzcon in November there will be a surge of new users on fan sites just like TitanFocus and we can expect an influx of new members, therefore we should wait until that influx happens to update our chat software.


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#7
Kauhsa

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I agree with Euph, I think we should keep our normal chat system until November at least, my logic behind that is the following, when / if Blizzard announces Titan at Blizzcon in November there will be a surge of new users on fan sites just like TitanFocus and we can expect an influx of new members, therefore we should wait until that influx happens to update our chat software.

 

It might be a good idea to not wait until it's too late, though.


If you're not familiar with IRC and unsure of how well web clients work or how complex they are to use, you could go on and try QuakeNet's take on the subject: http://webchat.quakenet.org/. qwebirc and it's forks are the only decent web clients available I have ever seen, so if the move to IRC happens it will probably be the client people will be using - if they don't want to install a desktop client, that is.

 

Other than web clients, there are various desktop clients available - for example, HexChat (http://hexchat.org/index.html) and good old mIRC (http://www.mirc.com/). Also there is a mobile client for probably every platform imaginable if that is something you want.



#8
Templar

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It might be a good idea to not wait until it's too late, though.


If you're not familiar with IRC and unsure of how well web clients work or how complex they are to use, you could go on and try QuakeNet's take on the subject: http://webchat.quakenet.org/. qwebirc and it's forks are the only decent web clients available I have ever seen, so if the move to IRC happens it will probably be the client people will be using - if they don't want to install a desktop client, that is.

 

Other than web clients, there are various desktop clients available - for example, HexChat (http://hexchat.org/index.html) and good old mIRC (http://www.mirc.com/). Also there is a mobile client for probably every platform imaginable if that is something you want.

I understand that, however, we don't need to move over to IRC right now, we can give it a few months.


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#9
Kauhsa

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I understand that, however, we don't need to move over to IRC right now, we can give it a few months.

 

Yeah, but I don't think the only reason to change to IRC is to handle the hypothetical masses coming after official Titan launch. This might be an argument that does not really apply to active part of TitanFocus community as it is, but I'm wondering if not using IRC suffers from slight credibility problem? My first reaction upon seeing live chat built in forum was "why you're not using IRC". Granted, I'm used to dealing with people and communities that are used to IRC and think it as no-brainer.

 

Anyway, the large chat communities that I know are in IRC, and at some point there will be large chat community surrounding Titan in IRC - it can be TitanFocus or it can be something else. If being TitanFocus would probably help the site grow - although there are of course other aspects to think than the sheer size of users of the site.



#10
Euph

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As I mentioned in my first post in this topic, I think IRC is great thing to introduce later on... but perhaps not as far as November. In my head I was thinking a few months away. 

 

Yeah, but I don't think the only reason to change to IRC is to handle the hypothetical masses coming after official Titan launch. This might be an argument that does not really apply to active part of TitanFocus community as it is, but I'm wondering if not using IRC suffers from slight credibility problem? My first reaction upon seeing live chat built in forum was "why you're not using IRC". Granted, I'm used to dealing with people and communities that are used to IRC and think it as no-brainer.

 

Anyway, the large chat communities that I know are in IRC, and at some point there will be large chat community surrounding Titan in IRC - it can be TitanFocus or it can be something else. If being TitanFocus would probably help the site grow - although there are of course other aspects to think than the sheer size of users of the site.

 

Kauhsa makes a good point. If we're going to be part of the Titan discussion community, it would be nice to populate and perhaps grow a new following from IRC goers. I don't know if there's anyway to make the server publicly visible to other QuakeNet users who can then join the 'Public' room of TF IRC, then we can have a 'Members' room and a 'Staff' room. If we could, it'd be a great way to get a few more people listening to us and it's always nice to be able to pass information on to a larger audience of people - we're hear to make Titan information and speculation clear to those who seek it, no?

 

I like the idea, and to clarify my previous statement... I think it's something we could begin working towards in a couple of months just because I'm attached to the current chat. Perhaps we just wait until the forum-chat 6 month period runs out and then we'll go IRC? :)


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#11
Templar

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Yeah, but I don't think the only reason to change to IRC is to handle the hypothetical masses coming after official Titan launch. This might be an argument that does not really apply to active part of TitanFocus community as it is, but I'm wondering if not using IRC suffers from slight credibility problem? My first reaction upon seeing live chat built in forum was "why you're not using IRC". Granted, I'm used to dealing with people and communities that are used to IRC and think it as no-brainer.

 

Anyway, the large chat communities that I know are in IRC, and at some point there will be large chat community surrounding Titan in IRC - it can be TitanFocus or it can be something else. If being TitanFocus would probably help the site grow - although there are of course other aspects to think than the sheer size of users of the site.

You've just relayed my point, when TitanFocus gets bigger which could very likely happen around November due to an impending announcement of Titan (hopefully), we should then move over to IRC. Our current system works for the number of people using it.


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#12
papaz

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When Titan is announced we need to be on TitanFocus chat!

 

Then we can move on in our lives in peace, but that chat needs to live until that :)
 

But I think IRC is a better option when it gets more crowded.



#13
Valkata

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Sorry wasn't reading all replies, don't have time at the moment, but why do we need live chat at all? Isn't that's the point of the forum - to replace it?



#14
Euph

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Sorry wasn't reading all replies, don't have time at the moment, but why do we need live chat at all? Isn't that's the point of the forum - to replace it?

 

The forum is for discussion and viewing of multiple topics by multiple people at multiple times! Live Chat is just a place where members can get to know eachother, really. It's a place where we relax, are under no obligation to form coherent messages and a place to learn about one another! The two serve completely different purposes. :)


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#15
Valkata

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Still makes no sense to me tbh :) At least here we know who's who, on IRC most of us would use different names, would be hard to remember all and everything. Besides, don't we already have some topics on this forum that are under no obligation to form coherent messages, and we go full off-topic? :D

Anyway, doesn't really matter to me whether we decide to use it or not, not a fan of live chats anyway (can't follow everything 24/7, and reading 2000 messages posted while you were gone is also not a solution), might be an OK place to be when Blizz announces Titan, but even then... can't see myself staying there longer than 10 minutes :D



#16
mynsc

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Could use a few more votes / opinions. It's neck and neck right now. :D

 

My current plan, according to most of what I've read here, is to keep the current platform for now, but open up the IRC chat for testing. If you guys like it, we'll switch to it immediately, if not, we'll see what we can do about it to make it better, more accessible and then move to it at a more distant point in the future.


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#17
Templar

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Could use a few more votes / opinions. It's neck and neck right now. :D

 

My current plan, according to most of what I've read here, is to keep the current platform for now, but open up the IRC chat for testing. If you guys like it, we'll switch to it immediately, if not, we'll see what we can do about it to make it better, more accessible and then move to it at a more distant point in the future.

As I have stated before, we should test it out and see how people react, if they love it, keep it. If not, we can go back to the drawing board.


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#18
Manfred

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Im connected to a few jabbers and irc's whats one more gonna hurt do eeet.



#19
mynsc

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Hokay, so for the purpose of testing, for the next several days, only the IRC chat option will be available. Keeping both active I think would be quite annoying and confusing, so until we get a verdict on IRC I'm going to disable the "in-house" chat. I might start a new vote next week, to see what people think of it then.  

 

Anyways, until then, don't be afraid to test it out! Just click on the tab above, enter your nick (preferably the one you have on TF) and that's it! Of course, if you want to, you can use a full-fledged IRC client to connect, but that's entirely up to you.  

 

I'll be waiting! (probably AFK though :D )


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#20
Euph

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Hokay, so for the purpose of testing, for the next several days, only the IRC chat option will be available. Keeping both active I think would be quite annoying and confusing, so until we get a verdict on IRC I'm going to disable the "in-house" chat. I might start a new vote next week, to see what people think of it then.  

 

Anyways, until then, don't be afraid to test it out! Just click on the tab above, enter your nick (preferably the one you have on TF) and that's it! Of course, if you want to, you can use a full-fledged IRC client to connect, but that's entirely up to you.  

 

I'll be waiting! (probably AFK though :D )

 

:(


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