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  1. What is IRC?
  2. Why IRC?
  3. Channel Features
  4. Server Information
  5. Software clients
  6. Help
  7. See also
IRC, short for Internet Relay Chat, is a protocol designed for text-based communications. Battle of the Bits relies on IRC as the official source of instant site-wide communication among BotBrs, linking it with the unofficial Discord channel and becoming a part of BotB culture.

What is IRC?

IRC was developed in 1988 by Finnish programmer Jarkko Oikarinen, as a replacement to the MultiUser Talk system designed for OuluBox, a BBS owned by the University of Oulu. Afterwards, he got friends of his in Helsinki and Tampere to run IRC servers of their own before connecting it to NORDUnet, effectively making IRC global after universities in the United States had made their own IRC servers. By 1990, Eris Free network (EFnet) was founded, initially as a way to quarantine themselves from the chaotic server.

From there, IRC grew exponentally, with the EFnet server being forked into Undernet, which was forked into DALnet, and IRCnet. Meanwhile, multiple other servers were being founded, such as freenode -- currently the largest IRC server around with 90k -- and QuakeNet -- a gaming server founded from multiple regional Quake-focused servers. IRC usage nowadays, however, has decreased significantly from it's peak in 2003, decreasing to 400k in 2012.

Why IRC?

Active BotBrs nowadays use the unofficial Discord channel located in puke's personal server, Cave Dingle. While it is certainly used more often by the average BotBr (especially nowadays), there are a few reasons as to why the Discord channel is not considered the official channel.

  • Some BotBrs might be limited to insufficent hardware -- whether it be a Pentium III running Windows XP or a smartphone from 2007. In these cases, Discord might not support the low OS version number and specs of these devices and must rely on IRC to communicate.
  • Discord might be suffering an outage or down for maintenance reasons, considering that it's a proper application and not a protocol. In these times, IRC is the preferred choice for communication among BotBrs.
  • Some BotBrs might not have a Discord account or trust Discord due to a variety of factors. IRC serves as an alternate throughway for those wanting to connect with the community without having to deal with Discord.

Channel Features

A mainstay of the channel is the BotB IRCBot. This bot announces when battles start and end, when an entry is submitted to a battle, and when a BotBr levels up, as well as allowing you to search for entries using !entry and !entry_id, BotBrs using !botbr, and so forth. Before October 2018, this bot also used to log IRC activity during a battle, but has been out of commission since then.

Another mainstay of the channel is Vombot, whose most remembered function is as a chatbot utilizing the Markov chain system, generating many memorable chat quotes. Later on, when the BotB channel on puke's Discord server was founded, an extra function was added -- a relay link between the Discord channel and the IRC channel, giving the IRC channel more functionality.

Server Information

Channel: #botb
EsperNet's website

On the top banner, there is a button labeled Chats
. Clicking that leads you to the webchat client, which you can use as an alternative to the...

Software clients

IRC clients are programs whose primary function is to connect to and communicate with a server. Some of these clients, like the list shown below, are standalone programs able to be downloaded and executed on a computer.

- Windows
- Windows (pay for W10 app, free otherwise), Mac OS X, Linux
- Windows (pay), Mac OS X, Linux
- Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD
- Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
- Linux
- Linux
- Windows
- Windows


/join #channelName[,#channelName2,...,#channelNameN] — Joins a channel(s) (e.g., /join #botb)
/part #channelName[,#channelName2,...,#channelNameN] [message] — Parts a channel(s) with optional message (e.g., /part #botb all n00bz!)
/join 0 [message] — Parts all channels.
/me action — Displays your message as an "action". Normally written in third person.
/msg nick text, /query nick text, or /privmsg nick text — Send a nickname a private message.

/server [server address] [port (optional)]
for example: /server 6667

/server add [server name] [server address]/[port (optional]
/connect [server name]

Auto-connection tutorial
1. Run mIRC
2. Hit ALT-R and you'll get a little window
3. Insert the following code ::
on 1:START: { /server }
on 1:CONNECT: { if (* iswm $server) { /j #botb } }

4. Save by clicking 'OK' and restart mIRC

1. Run HexChat
2. Open the Network List dialog
3. Click on EsperNet and click the 'Edit' button
4. In the Edit dialog, check the "Connect to this network automatically" box
5. Go to the 'Autojoin channels' tab and add #botb to them
6. Save by clicking 'OK' and restart HexChat

See also

IRC support thread

BotB Terminology
Helper Tools