In Magic: The Gathering news, there has been some fairly interesting changes going on. First up is some changes made to the Modern format and the banning of Splinter Twin. This change hoses a top tier deck that has been dominant in the format and gives other decks a chance to shine.
In Commander, there are three major changes. First up is the banning of Prophet of Kruphix. Commander doesn't see much change, but this is a pretty big one as U/G decks are the dominant colors in the format. This powers them down a bit, but except cards like Seedborn Muse to raise in price. Second is the removal of Rule 4. With this change, you can now tap for colors outside of your color identity. Sen Triplets and Havengul Lich all get some much needed love with this rule change. Thirdly is that Partial Paris is no longer a thing and Commander uses the standard Multiplayer Mulligan rule instead of any other mulligans. After a few years of no changes in the format, it's about time something happened!
Oath of the Gatewatch was just released not too long ago and Shadows Over Innistrad is the next set coming out in April. When SOI drops, the Khans block will rotate out.
As to IRC...
Gren is still working on setting up a server, however since everyone is looking for an update, there is some good news and bad news. The good news is that he could potentially host a server on his own machine, the bad news is that if he can't, he has no income to pay for the costs. If you wish to support him in paying the costs and have him maintain the server on his end, please feel free to PM him.