Site and mobile update 1.16.3

WarLight has just been updated to version 1.16.3! This is primarily an update to the mobile client, however a few changes snuck into the website too.

This update also marks the point where the mobile client graduates from alpha to beta! This simply means that the features in the app now are mostly the same features that it will be officially released with. I may have been inconsistent in using the word “beta” prior to this, but officially it was alpha before and beta now.

If you’re a member with an Android device and have been holding back on trying the Android app, now is the time to give it a whirl! Let me know what you think at

Website Changes

  • The “Do you want to attack your teammate?” dialog no longer comes up when issuing repeat attack orders. For example, if you order armies to transfer to your teammate from A to B, then click A to B again, the game will assume your teammate answer is the same as when you first entered that order. You can still change it by altering the “treat teammates as enemies” checkbox.
  • The server now allows games to be created on versions of maps that have been superseded by newer versions (retired). You still can’t create a new template with a retired map, but if you already have one, you can now use it. In other words, you aren’t forced to use the newest version of a map if you don’t want to and happen to have a template already using the older version.
    This also helps to ensure that CLOTs aren’t broken just because somebody updated a map. The CLOT creator can choose to update his template to the new version, but they don’t have to.
  • Fixed a bug when watching the AI play itself in single-player that caused it to just skip to the last turn.
  • Fixed a bug that gave a misleading message if you tried to play a diplomacy card on someone who just got booted.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the letter “T” to appear in the chat box when using the “T” hotkey.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the invite list and black list buttons to appear on your own profile.
  • Added code to prepare for Season X.

Mobile Client Changes

  • Added players summary, below the orders list on the expandable right-column. This is similar to the Players section in the lower-right hand corner of the website; it shows the list of players in the game, accept surrender buttons, etc.

    This only appears when viewed on a device with enough vertical space. Depending on how big your device is, it may or may not appear, or it may appear in one orientation and not another. It will most likely never appear on phones, unless it’s an extremely large phone. On medium-sized tablets, like the Nexus 7 or iPad mini, it may appear in portrait orientation but not landscape. On a normal iPad or large Android tablet, it will appear in both orientations. When it’s not present, a “View Players” button appears in its place, so that you can still get used to going to that area to see the players.

  • Added advertisements for testing, just to ensure they work. They’ll appear at the top of every page. If they don’t show up on your device, or cause other problems, please let me know.
    Once you get tired of them, you can turn them off under Settings, and they’ll stay off once you turn them off. It was necessary to default them on, otherwise nobody would turn them on and I need to make sure they work on a wide range of devices.
  • Overhauled the look of the main menu.
  • Added the introduction balloons to the single-player levels.
  • Added the tutorial.
  • Added question-mark links next to the phases (deploy, attack, confirm) to help new players.
  • Added help menu.
  • The text at the top of the nudge/boot screen now scrolls.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the map to move erratically when zooming in.
  • Fixed a bug that caused errors on maps with bonuses that used non-ascii characters, such as the Concrete Complex map.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AIs to not play themselves in single-player games.
  • Fixed a bug that caused errors when using single-player’s Custom Game in rare cases.
  • Fixed a memory leak.
  • Android: Fixed a bug that, on some devices, caused text boxes to lose focus after the software keyboard came up.

Members: Sign up to beta test WarLight on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

EDIT: We have all the testers we need for now. Thanks for everyone who applied!

If you’re a WarLight member and would like to be a beta tester of WarLight’s mobile client, now is your chance!

However, due to Apple’s restrictions, space is very limited. Not everyone will get in. So please only apply if you want to help improve the app, and are willing to share your experiences of using the app with me. Sharing your experience helps me improve the app, which is the primary goal of having beta testers.

If you’re not interested in providing feedback and just want to play the game on your device, you will need to wait until the app is officially released or switch to Android, where all members are allowed in since it’s not bound by Apple’s restrictions.

All iOS devices that are running iOS 5.0 or higher are supported. The first invitations will be sent out as soon as the upcoming 1.16.3 release is ready (hopefully in about a week).

If you applied before…

If you’ve applied to be a beta tester before and did not get in, feel free to try again. More space has recently opened up, so the bar is slightly lower. Please be sure to read the application page carefully, as the most common reason that players didn’t get in was not following the instructions precisely.

If you were an alpha tester…

If you’ve tested WarLight on iOS before, and are no longer a tester due to switching devices, feel free to apply again now. I will review the feedback you sent the first time, so you don’t need to submit as detailed of an application as the link above requests.

Season IX

Congratulations to Heyheuhei for winning Season VIII!

Last season was unique since the winner only completed 17 games (20 is the norm). Players who complete fewer than 20 games get a penalty of 40 rating points per game. This penalty isn’t too visible in the ratings since it’s not assessed at the end of the season (otherwise there would be a big jump at the end.) Instead, it’s implemented by simply giving 40 points to each player every time they receive a game, up to a max of 20 games. This is also why ratings tend to always go up as the season goes on.**

The purpose of this penalty is to prevent abuse. For example, if someone started off a season 15-0, they might get the bright idea of leaving the season to avoid having to face any more tough opponents. This shouldn’t be advantageous, since it prevents other players from getting their chance at taking on the champion.

For future seasons, this penalty is being increased from 40 to 65. However, I want to be clear that I don’t think Heyheuhei did this on purpose (since when has HHH ever refused a game?) This change is just being made in case someone else saw what happened and thought they might use it to their advantage.

Season IX

Season IX will use an elevated defensive kill rate – 85% instead of the normal 70%. This means when attacking, attackers suffer worse losses than normal. This marks the first time that a ladder has used alternate kill rates. It’s up to each player to figure out how to adjust their strategy.

Season IX will also continue to use the randomized bonus values that Season VIII did, with one exception: The zero-bonuses in Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Japan are no longer randomized and will always be 0. All other bonuses, just like before, will have a 1/3rd chance of being increased by one, a 1/3rd chance of being decreased by one, and a 1/3rd chance of remaining unchanged.

Also changed from last season are the luck values. The luck percentage is now 0% instead of 16%, but rounding mode is still weighted random. Move order has also been changed to cyclic.

You can check out the settings with this template, however the randomized bonuses will not be present: multi-player / single-player.

The season begins on Tuesday at midnight GMT. (Which is really Monday night for those in negative timezones.) Good luck!

Have an idea for a future season? Let me know!

** It’s worth noting that this extra rating bonus does not impact matchmaking. Determining who you get matched against gets done before this rating bonus gets applied, so this mechanism does not penalize players who join late, as long as you get 20 games before the season ends.

Site and mobile update 1.16.2

WarLight has just been updated to version 1.16.2! This blog post describes what’s changed.

Updated UI

The first thing everyone will notice is that the UI of the left and right columns of the main game screen received some improvements. This is just one small part of a larger UI overhaul that was done to the mobile client, which itself received lots of updates throughout the app.

The new website UI provides a fresh look and also fixes a few minor visual issues. The game name now fits within the left column and won’t overlap the map anymore. The turn number is now easier to spot. The gradients that used to exist in the lower corners are gone, as they always looked strange when overlapping the map (this was most noticeable when the right column was unpinned.)

Surrender Prompt

When surrenders are available to be accepted, the game now pops-up a message asking if you want to accept them, instead of requiring your to click the Accept Surrender button in the lower-right. This prompt is simply a convenience, it does not change the surrender mechanics at all.

This helps for cases where there are a lot of players and you may not have seen the accept surrender button due to the players section scrolling. It also helps when multiple players surrender at once, as it can automatically accept all surrenders instead of requiring you to click Accept Surrender for each player. Additionally, it’s big help for players who play with the right column unpinned, as they wouldn’t notice the surrender button appearing.

The primary motivation for adding this feature is for the mobile client, where there isn’t room for an Accept Surrender button on the main screen like there is on desktop computers.

Improved Common Games

When viewing another player’s profile, there’s a link that allows you to see games that you played in common with them. This page received some improvements in this update. In addition to showing the game name, it now also shows the team makeup (1v1, 2v2, FFA, etc.) and the game’s date.

Misc Improvements

– If you don’t get your normal color in a game, but on the first turn of the game repeatedly try to deploy to territories that are your normal color, the game now kindly reminds you that those aren’t your territories. This fixes the “I can’t deploy” bug.
– Fixed a bug when creating games that sometimes caused the map thumbnail to not appear.
– Fixed a bug that prevented the escape key from being able to close the Analyze window.

Mobile Client Improvements

– Added a chat button alongside the game’s menu button. This allows you to see it when it flashes, and also brings the UI closer to parity with the Flash version.
– Added a “Skip” button while watching turns play out.
– When in landscape mode, the menu button is now in the bottom-left corner instead of the top-left. This maintains parity with the Flash version and portrait mode.
– Re-designed the button style slightly.
– Added a cards button for tablets, as well as labels on the three phase buttons.
– Added the ability to view other player’s profiles, which includes the ability to add or remove them from your invite list and see games that you shared in common. The only things missing are the ability to see favorite maps and ranked games stats.
– Added support for the blacklist. Players who are on your blacklist now get their chat hidden and little “B”s over their names on the My Games page.
– When viewing history on a manual distribution game, your picks are now shown by default.
– Nudge/boot is no longer shown on the menu for single-player games.
– Fixed a bug when creating games that prevented map changes from taking effect.
– Android: Fixed a bug that caused the app to consume more CPU and memory than it should have, sometimes even when the app was closed.
– Android: Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the screen to re-size itself incorrectly when rotating your device.
– Android: Fixed a bug that caused moving the attack/transfer dialog around on tablets inconsistent.
– IOS: Fixed a bug that caused some big maps to render incorrectly.
– IOS: Fixed a bug that caused things to layout incorrectly if you started the app while your device was in landscape orientation.

CLOT Improvements

CLOT is a way for players to make their own Custom Ladders Or Tournaments. The CLOT system has received a couple of improvements in this update.

First, it’s now possible for CLOTs to create games that use open seats. However, when doing so, a member-only prerequisite must be used on the open seats. See the Create Game API for details.

Second, CLOT now has an authentication system. Up until now, CLOT creators had to choose between allowing any player to add any player to their ladders (as unknownsolider did), or only allowing themselves to add or remove players from the ladder (as ps did). The problem with the former is abuse, and the problem with the latter is that it creates extra work for the CLOT creator.

CLOT’s new authentication system gives a third option where players can securely add or remove themselves from the ladder, as well as do anything else a CLOT creator can dream up. See CLOT Authentication for details.