Well spdude said it was staying in the last poll that was made about this due to the amount of activity it brought to the site. If it is removed/changed to an IRC the site traffic will decrease drastically and for spdude that = bad. Also from the aspect of noticing people and building relationships within the community it gives noobies a opportunity to be noticed and make friends much easier then they could by posting in other threads. I know it took me several hundred posts before most people knew I was alive...almost 800 and some still don't have a clue, Yet due to the chat threads more people notice you quicker then ever before. Having stated the benefits here lays the problem. IT KILLS THE REST OF THE SITE IMO. But we can't come in here and say nuke it when it is the biggest driver in the forum. You have to give the site a reason to kill it. START POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE DARN THING. Make the other areas where you spend your time and the chat area will die, then nuking it won't be a big deal because the activity is going on outside of that area. I think this is part of the reason the clans will be such a great thing cause it gives opportunity for clan leaders to bring activity back out of the darn chat area. Just my thoughts.