Xat sucked. It constantly had syncing issues, and was somewhat obnoxious to idle in as it constantly booted you for inactivity. It drove a lot of people away with its clunkiness and the New England Brawl Chat eventually died.
IRC is a very old, but still incredibly widely used protocol for chatting among people. You connect to a server, and then create and utilize your own channels. It's free, and reliable. There are plenty of standalone clients that allow you to customize all kinds of stuff, but for most of you, you can just use Mibbit: http://mibbit.com/?channel=%23nebrawl&server=irc.badnik.net
Mibbit is a browser based IRC client that via the link above, connects right to the server and channel. For those with the knowhow for regular IRC clients...
The perks of using an IRC channel:
- You can set up clients such as mIRC that always run and keep you idled in the channel.
- With clients you can have logging where everything said in the channel is saved to your computer.
- It's fast and reliable, and doesn't have any sort of intrusions such as the ad's and other bloat on Xat.
- Idling, there will never be a "Disconnected due to inactivity", so you can be connected to the chat 24/7.
- Robust scripting and utilities, allowing you to have whatever you want. If you can think of it, IRC scripting can probably do it (For clients only).
- No random visitors asking if we're from Europe (Perhaps a Disadvantage?)
Disadvantages of using an IRC channel:
- You don't have things like drawing, smilies, and avatars that I know so many of you loved so much on Xat.
Assuming people join and activity starts, I'll start handing out admin powers to those who deserve it and teach anyone how to hand out kicks, bans, and whatnot. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I'd love to see everyone start using this, and I'll be idling it whenever possible.
There are IRC clients for EVERYTHING, such as clients for smartphones (I'm on talking to people when I'm at work!), or even things like homebrew'd DS/Wii's. So even if you dislike using Mibbit, and want to take a small amount of time to learn and set up a dedicated client (I'd recommend mIRC for beginners), there is something else out there you can use.
Some easy access commands for beginners:
Changing your name: /nick InsertNameHere
Joining/creating another channel: /join #ChannelNameHere
Talking in Third-Person: /me does a jig (This would show up in chat as *Sails does a jig)
I'm positive that everyone else here misses the old shenanigans we used to have in Xat, and now we can again but without all of the mess and with far more ease. Tell everyone you know to come back so we can get things lively around here again!