Website update 2.2: Clans!

WarLight has just been updated to version 2.02.0! This update brings an official clan system to WarLight, as well as a few bug fixes.


WarLight now has an official built-in clan system! This allows players to form clans, which puts an icon next to each clan member’s name and gives clans ways to communicate easier.

Each clan gets a clan page, which works somewhat like a player’s profile page. They can upload their own image and enter the details they’d like to present. You can view all clans on the new Community -> Clans tab.

When you create your own clan, you have full control over who is allowed in your clan. There’s no limit to the size of clans, and you can remove anyone at any time.

Clan Icons

Instead of requiring clan members to change their name to insert their clan tag, when using the built-in clan system, clans can upload a small icon (21×15) to display next to all clan member’s names everywhere throughout the game.

This is better than using name changes for several reasons:

  • Since it’s an image, and not just text, it gives clan creators a lot more flexibility in what they can put here. You can design your own icon to which can stand out more. Of course, you can just use text in the icon if you want, but since it’s an image you can use different colors or fonts as well.
  • Players might not be eligible for a name change when they want to join your clan, so they may have to wait before inserting your clan tag.
  • It’s possible to remove people from your clan, which may be difficult to do if the person you’re removing isn’t eligible for a name change or isn’t cooperative.
  • Trolls can’t impersonate your clan, since there’s no way for them to get the icon without your consent.

Clan Forum

Each clan gets their own private forum where they can communicate. This works just like the public WarLight forums, except that only clan members are allowed to read or write to the clan forum.

Clan members can access the clan forum by visiting your clan page and clicking Clan Forum.

Clan Titles

As a clan creator, you can set a title for each clan member. These titles are displayed next to each clan member on the clan page.

For example, maybe you want to set your own title as “Leader” and assign an “Officer” title next to special clan members. Since it’s a free-form text field, you can enter any title you want for any member.

Clan Managers

Clan managers can edit the clan page, invite new players, remove players, set titles, and add/remove other managers. When you create a clan, you will be a manager by default. However, you can add more managers to assist in managing the clan.

You should be careful to only add managers that you trust 100%. Since managers can do anything to the clan, they could even remove your manager rights if they wanted to take control.

This also gives a way to hand off control of a clan if the leader retires. The current leader can make the new leader a manager, who then can take over managing the clan from that point forward.

Creating Clans

It costs $15 to create a clan. This is a one-time fee — once the clan is created, there are no more fees. This helps ensure the clan creators are serious. Without any barriers to entry, you’d wind up with thousands of clans, since people would create one just to put an icon next to their name. This would diminish the meaning behind clans, and make it difficult for clans to become recognized when there’s so many.

Having a barrier to entry also ensures that trolls won’t create clans that impersonate well-known clans and other such nonsense.

To get started creating your clan, visit the create clan page!

The future: Clan Wars?

I’m very interested in adding a way for clans to declare war on each other. Do you have any ideas on how you might like this to work? Let me know by posting on the clan wars brainstorming thread.

Other Changes

There are a few other fixes that aren’t clan related in this update:

– In games with lots of chat (particularly real-time games), public team chat will now prune older messages from the chat box. This helps keep it from slowing down when there’s a lot of people chatting. It will always keep the most recent 30 messages, and it will only remove messages older than 5 minutes. If you want to see something that was removed, just click the “View older chat” button. Nothing will be pruned after the “View older chat” button is clicked, so you can be sure you’re seeing everything.
– If someone is booted into an AI, they will be prevented from being booted again immediately after for 60 seconds. This gives the AI server a chance to calculate the orders for that player. This fixes the issue where someone would get double-booted and not get a chance to play as an AI.
– Fixed a bug that made surrendered/eliminated/booted players show as having income in the lower-right popup.
– Two-team double-elimination tournaments can’t be created anymore (they were bugged if you tried anyway).

Season XI

Congratulations to The Duke of Ben for winning Season X with a very impressive 12-2 record! Given that Season X was a 4-player FFA, even a 4-10 record would be considered above average. At the start of the season, I didn’t think anyone would get 12 wins!

Season XI

Season XI is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. This season will use the new Local Deployments setting. This setting makes it so that armies you receive from a bonus can only be deployed within that bonus.

For example, Central America is worth +3 armies per turn. If you control Central America, those 3 armies may only be deployed to one of the territories within Central America. The 5 base income you receive, as well as armies from reinforcement cards, can still be deployed anywhere as normal.

This will completely change the strategy of the game. This setting is new to everyone, however, so everyone is on equal footing in trying to figure out these new settings. To help ease us in to the new strategy, this season will use Light Fog, which should make it easier for less experienced players and also ensure games finish faster.

You can check out the template for Season XI here: multi-player, single-player. If you haven’t unlocked Local Deployments yet, you can still practice the settings if you can find an opponent you trust to deploy according to the local deployment rules.

The season will begin on Tuesday at midnight GMT (which is Monday night for those in negative time zones like North America). Good luck!

Experimental feature: Orders are now saved

WarLight was just updated with a new feature: If you start taking your turn in a game, but then close it without committing, your orders are now saved locally on that computer.

If you open the game again later, the orders you entered will be restored. If you don’t want them, you can click the Start Over button as you could have normally.

This is useful if you’re interrupted and not able to finish your turn, or if you’re not sure what to do and want to save a game for later. Note that your orders are saved on the device you were playing on, and not the server. That means they will only be restored on that same device — you can’t start a turn on an iPhone and finish it on your computer, for example.

This is also helpful if your computer crashes or accidentally close the game (example: hit your browser’s back button). Orders are saved every 5 seconds, so if your computer crashes within 5 seconds of entering an order, you may have to enter that last one again.

Website update 2.1: Mail, editing forum posts, private notes

WarLight has just been updated to version 2.01.0! This update brings a bunch of new features and improvements to the website, mainly centered around making it easier to communicate with other players.

WarLight Mail

It’s now possible to send messages to other WarLight players! This makes it easier to communicate on the site, especially with players who you might not happen to be in a game with at the time.

There are two ways to send mail: You can visit a player’s profile page and click the Send Mail button. This starts a one-on-one mail thread that both players can reply to. Alternatively, you can visit the new Community -> Mail tab and click Compose New Mail. Then you can select up to 20 players that will all be able to post in the same mail thread. You can think of this like a private forum thread that only the players you select can read or write to.

You can read mail that other players have sent you on the new Community -> Mail tab. Additionally, when on the single-player or multi-player tabs, there is a small envelope icon in the top-right corner that will blink when you have mail you haven’t read yet.

This new system is called Mail or WarLight Mail to help differentiate it from the other ways of communicating. WarLight has lots of ways of communicating: public chat, team chat, private messages, the forum, and the chat room. I didn’t want to call it “messages” or “chat” since those terms are already used elsewhere on the site and could cause confusion.

By default, if someone sends you WarLight mail and you don’t read it within 15 minutes, you’ll get an e-mail notifying you. You can control this email on the Settings tab.

Editing Forum Posts

You can now edit posts you’ve made on the forum! Next to any post you’ve made, you’ll find an edit button that lets you change it. You can edit any post as long as the thread hasn’t been idle for more than 30 days. Threads that don’t receive any new posts for 30 days can’t be replied to or edited.

As part of this change, much of the forum code has been re-written, so you’ll also notice other minor differences in the way the forum acts. Behind the scenes, the forum is actually stored in an entirely different database and data format now which should make it more extensible for the future.

Previously, forum posts older than 6 months were automatically “deleted”. This is no longer the case — forum posts now stick around indefinitely. Additionally, most of the old forum posts that were “deleted” have now been restored, as they were never actually deleted (I always kept a backup). You can now go browse back to the very first forum posts that were ever made! The only posts that weren’t restored are the ones that were in the old Bugs and Features forums since those forums don’t exist anymore.

Private Notes on a Player

It’s now possible to take notes on a player. These are stored for yourself only — nobody else can view them. For example, if you want to write down why you blacklisted somebody, you can do so. Or if you find that another player is an exceptionally good ally, you can write that down as well so you don’t forget.

Just visit a player’s profile and click the Private Notes button. Then you can enter whatever you’d like, or view/edit what you wrote previously.

Invite List renamed to Friends List

Originally, the invite list was named such because it defined which players you could invite to games. As WarLight grew, this became blurred a bit. For one thing, it became possible to invite players who weren’t on your invite list via the Search feature. Additionally, the invite list was used for more and more things, such as gifting memberships, teaming up on the ladder, and now sending mail. These things aren’t really “inviting” per se, so the name is a bit dated.

After much deliberation, I decided to just rename it to the friends list. The concept of a friends list is familiar to most people since it’s commonly used by most sites with a community. Of course, WarLight’s isn’t a perfect 1:1 match to what most sites call a friends list, but it’s close enough.

If you see anyplace that it’s still referred to as the invite list, please let me know! But I hope I changed them all.

Blacklisting a player removes you from their friends list

If you blacklist a player, it now removes you from their friends list (previously called invite list.) It also prevents them from adding you back.

This helps for cases where someone is inviting you to something and you don’t want them to. By blacklisting them, you now won’t appear on their list of tournament invites, for example. It will also prevent them from creating new mail threads with you.

Misc Changes

– When creating custom scenarios, it is now possible to set the contents of an entire bonus at once. Just select the bonus via the bonus link and then type in the new value on the left.
– The achievements list now shows you 5 acheivements that you don’t currently have. This also provides a way to know if you’ve unlocked every achievement, as this section will be blank if you have them all.
– The text on some achievements was changed so they have consistent tenses (“Won a game” to “Win a game”, “Rated a map” to “Rate a map”)
– When you earn an achievement from a game, the Points page now shows which game you earned it in. Additionally, the in-game popup won’t appear until after you’ve watched the turn for that game. This avoids spoiling what happened. This only happens for achievements earned after this update.
– CLOT: The ValidateInviteToken API can now be passed a list of template IDs to verify if that player has access to those templates. This makes it easier for a CLOT to determine if it should let a player join or not. See the wiki for full details.
– Forum posts with wide images now use scrollbars instead of growing the table. This is done to ensure that posts can’t overlap ads.
– Negative sanction cards can no longer increase a player’s income above 10,000. If incomes get too high, it often causes overflows which break the game.
– Fixed a bug in games with the Army Cap that prevented the “You’ve reached the army cap” message from appearing.