Most instant message service (like AIM, Gtalk, Hamachi, Skype, etc.) focuses on one-to-one chat. Therefore, it's difficult to have a group chat. Plus, these services generally require us to install a client software, which we may not have, or want, on our gaming machine.
However, Cirqo provides public and private groups chat, one-to-one private chat, and no client installation (works on virtually all browsers and mobile devices). These traits makes it the perfect server for online gaming communication. Cirqo gathers no personal information from you. The only fields for registration are username and password. Therefore, sign up is quick and easy.
After signing up for Cirqo, enter the "Game Ops" chat room. There is no password. If "Game Ops" chat room doesn't exist, create it.
Before moving forward with voice chat, your microphone needs to match your computer. So if your computer has a stereo mic input, then your microphone needs to be stereo. See Stereo or Mono Mic Input?
Right click on the little speaker icon on the task bar to pop-up a menu. Click on "Recording Devices" from that menu. If there isn't a check mark on the Microphone, right click on "Microphone" and select "Set as Default Device". Double-click the Microphone device.
Change "Levels" to 100 under the "Levels" tab.
If necessary, you can enable "Mic Boost" under the "Custom" tab.
Click the "OK" button when done. Then click the "OK" button on the "Sound" dialog box.
Double click the little speaker icon on the task bar to bring up Volume Control. Click on the "Options" menu, then click on "Properties". Select "Recording" and click the "OK" button. Now, you should see the Microphone setting in the "Recording Control". Make sure it's selected. Then raise the level bar all the way up. When you are done, close the "Recording Control".
Currently, TeamSpeak works best for gaming. So until someone come up with a better suggestion, TeamSpeak it is.
Adjust the voice activation level until the LED is activated when you talk, but not when you breath. Use the local test mode to get it just right.
If you can't adjust it just right, you may need to go back to the previous section and adjust your microphone levels and enable/disable mic boost.
Set up a new TeamSpeak server connection with the following information. You can log in as "anonymous"; just give yourself a nick name.
Password: ask me for it
After trying out Skype, I realized that it really wouldn't work for us. To use Skype, you'll have to set-up a conference call with up to 9 participants. That means everyone's gotta be online at the same time. People can't join the call at will. That makes it hard for the early birds to start a game and wait for other people to log on.