You may have noticed a delay in loading / starting games. For me, this is usually a 5-10 second delay before the player selection screen displays.
Well, the "global chat" function for this game has been down for quite some time. I guess Kerberos isn't maintaining their IRC server any more (which is really too bad and makes me very sad). It seems the load delay is a result of the system attempting to connect to this server at start.
On the main game splash screen (the one that by default has the demo battle raging in the background), if you choose Options, you can choose not to "join global chat". This should take take care of that annoying pause.
Perhaps this is old knowledge, but just thought I'd throw it back out there as I'm trying hard to get into this game after owning it for so many years (and being a huge SOTS fan) and eliminating as many of the oddities as I can makes me happy.
Talk about all things to do with the sequel to our flagship 4X title.
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