I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm SO GLAD you're redoing the chat system entirely, because right now it just feels... clunky. Really clunky. As in, I see chat messages from the lobby when I'm in a condo and I can't even tell because it just says 'LOCAL' or 'GLOBAL' next to the message. I can't wait to just forego all of that and have Tower automatically switch me to the Local chat tab when I'm in a condo. (...that'll be a setting, right?)
I'm also hyped for the shared lobby system as well. I'm assuming this means that the main menu Lobby button will just auto-select a server (unless specified in the Options menu) from now on? If so, then that's perfect and streamlines the system nicely. I like the 'wisp'
AKA BALLCOP(TM) idea for the ghost players you showed off at the most recent stream, but I'd honestly prefer a sort of 'ghost' playermodel (that isn't the one from Little Crusaders). Sort of a more ghost-y version of the main playermodel, except genderless. And with hats. (Heck, you can even get away with hiding the jetpack because ghosts can float!) Or even maybe just have transparent models of the players with all their outfits so that the lobby can look more realistically occupied (though I know this would be harder to program).
All in all, I'm excited for the future of Tower. With this update and the upcoming community condos, this is going to breathe even more life into Tower and I cannot wait for it.