Update 2.7: No-split mode, banking boot time improvements

WarLight has just been upgraded to version 2.07.0! This update makes no-split mode available for non-ladder games, and makes improvements to the banking boot times system.

No-split Mode

No-split mode is now available as a reward at level 39. If you’re already over 39, you’ll get access to it on your next level up. See the previous blog post for an explanation of what no-split mode is.

Just like any time a level reward is added, this causes the number of points to achieve each level to be adjusted, usually shrinking them. Therefore, you may notice your progress in your current level going up automatically at the time of this update. If you were near the next level, you could even wind up a situation where your progress bar shows as being over 100%. In this case, you’ll simply get a level up the next time you receive any points. Any extra points will be automatically rolled over into the next level, so nobody gained or lost points with this update.

Banking Boot Times Improvements

With this update, boot times are now much more flexible!

Banking boot times is a feature that lets you “bank” time that you didn’t spend. For example, in a 5-minute boot game, if you take your turn in 4 minutes you are eligible to bank up to 1 minute (the actual amount can vary based on the game’s configuration.) This banked time can then be used to exceed the boot time in subsequent turns. In this example, you could go up to 6 minutes the next turn before you’d become bootable.

With this update, two new fields are added that increase the flexibility of this feature.

First, game creators can now grant free banked time at the start of the game. For example, in a 2 minute boot game, all players could start with 10 minutes pre-banked. This would give them 10 minutes additional time they could spend over the boot limit.

Second, game creators can now control when banked time expires, in number of turns. For example, if you bank a minute on turn 1, and don’t use it by turn 11, it would expire. This limit exists to prevent someone from acquiring too much banked time. Prior to this update, when banking boot times were enabled, this number was always 10. Now, game creators can set it to anything from 0 to 200.

Banking Boot Time Examples

These two new fields allows a lot of flexibility in controlling boot times. Let’s start with a fairly typical example.

Boot time of 2 minutes, Bank 50%, no initial bank, bank duration of 3: You always have at least 2 minutes to take your turn. If you take your first turn in 1.5 minutes, you’d bank 50% of the 30 seconds difference, or 15 seconds. Therefore, your second turn would give you 2 minutes and 15 seconds before you’re bootable. If you take 2 minutes and 10 seconds to take your turn, you’d eat up 10 seconds of your bank and be left with 5 seconds in your bank, giving you 2 minutes and 5 seconds for your third turn. If you take your third turn in 30 seconds, you’d bank 50% of the 1 minute 30 second difference, adding 45 seconds to your existing bank of 5 seconds giving you a bank of 50 seconds. For your forth turn, you take exactly two minutes, which doesn’t adds or subtract any time from your bank. However, since the bank duration is only 3 turns, the 15 seconds earned in the first turn expire, reducing your bank to 35 seconds, or a total boot time of 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

Let’s look at how adding initial time changes things:

Boot time of 12 hours, Bank 50%, 12 hours initial bank, bank duration of 20: You always have 12 hours to take your turn. However, because all players start with 12 hours already in their bank, the first turn boot time actually becomes 24 hours. Let’s say you take your first turn in 14 hours. This eats up 2 hours out of your bank, and gives you 22 hours to make your second turn. You take your second turn quickly, after only 2 hours. You bank 50% of the 10 hour difference, adding 5 hours to your existing bank of 10, which means you have 27 hours to make your third turn. If the game made it all the way to turn 10, the initial 12 hours would expire leaving only the time earned in the last 20 turns in the bank.

Let’s look at how we could use this to address a common request, adding additional time for the game’s first turn:

Boot time of 5 minutes, Bank 0%, 10 minutes initial bank, bank duration of 1: In this case, the 0% banking percentage means there’s no way to add to your bank. The initial bank is the only amount that applies. Therefore, the first turn gives you 15 minutes, and all subsequent turns give just 5. If this is a manual distribution game, those 15 minutes would apply to the territory selection step, otherwise they’d apply to the first turn of the normal game.

Banking boot time wrap-up

Just like before, you can always view how much time anyone has banked by visiting the Nudge/Boot panel and clicking the “speed” link next to any player’s name. Note that the bank amounts will differ for vote to boot, direct boot, and auto boot, if they’re set to different times.

There’s also a change to the way the clock works in real-time games when banking boot is enabled. After committing your orders, the clock shows how much time you have banked. In games without banking boot times, the clock continues counting down so you know how much time other players have. However, this doesn’t work in banking boot games since all players could become bootable at different times.

Let me know what you think of the new boot time flexibility! I’d like to find ways to make the boot timer more flexible, as long as it’s easy for new players to understand.

Other Changes

– Fixed a bug that could let team Round Robin tournaments create more games for a team at a time than the limit.
– Added optional e-mail validation.

12 thoughts on “Update 2.7: No-split mode, banking boot time improvements”

  1. regarding no-split mode at next lvlup… so if i am a high level player, i will have no-split .. never??? it’s totally unfair.. if i were a new player i would unlock it in a matter of few days, if i am an experienced player, with level over 55, it will take about a year to unlock it..

      1. yup, I was a bit to fast with the comment.

        great update. It may seem small, but all the stuff is interesting and for sure an improvement.

  2. > Let me know what you think of the new boot time flexibility!
    > I’d like to find ways to make the boot timer more flexible, as
    > long as it’s easy for new players to understand.

    The way to (ab)use this new flexibility for a longer first turn is one of those things I’m not sure whether it’s a really elegant solution or a very dirty hack… There’s no middle ground, it’s definitely either of the extremes, but I just can’t figure out /which/ of the two…
    Either way, a downside of this over a dedicated “extra time on first turn” feature is that it might be a little tricky to get correct settings for a longer first turn *and* banking boot times during the game itself.
    Of course, I can’t see how often banking boot times are used (I don’t think I’ve ever used them myself, for instance), whereas Fizzer does know; maybe this is a way to give everybody their longer first turns without removing banking boot times for the three players who actually ever use it? :p

    On a semi-related note:
    I’ve never really understood why it’s possible to boot a single person. If you’re waiting for multiple people, booting one of them (let’s say, somebody on the opposite team) but not the other (on your own team), will not actually make the game progress. Wouldn’t it be better to restrict the options you have to either “don’t boot anybody (and keep waiting)” or “boot everyone at once (and get it over with and go on to the next turn)”?
    This would be awkward in games with banking boot times (where such a button can only be enabled once everybody is over the boot time… meaning a lot of other players are over *their* boot time, yet still cannot be booted).
    Unfortunately I don’t have a nice, clear-cut, perfect solution. But if anybody has ever wondered the same thing, feel free to PM me or make a forum topic to discuss it; I have the feeling an elegant solution must exist (and would get rid of a large part of “strategic booting”).

  3. I like the idea of improved Banking Boot Times very much !

    Actually increasing time for making your picks was a way to use it, that came to my mind in a first place :) I hope it will get popular at least among top players.

    I didn’t participate in ladder in this month, so I’m defiantly going to check how does non-split mode works.

  4. I actually don’t fully understand the banking system. What confuses me is the first example, after the fourth turn for some reason you have 35 seconds which would only make sense if it were the 45 seconds from turn 3 minus 10 second from turn 2; but what would have happened if turn 3 was played in 2 minutes; you’d have negative banked time? and if turn 5 was played in 2 minutes it would go back up to 45 seconds since the 10 seconds consumption expired?
    I think the overtime from turn 2 should only affect the previously banked time from turn 1 and once turn 1 expires it should take away those 5 left over seconds.

    On another note the initial banked time can be used for an exploit creating a real time game with several hours of initial banked time. Knowing you’ll be able to move shortly before your banked time is consumed and making it expire for turn 2 where you’d boot the rest of the players after a few minutes since they’ll most likely not know it’s their turn or simply not be available (i haven’t tried so maybe there is a limit to the initial banked time preventing this, if there is such limit or any other way to prevent it then disregard this part).

    1. The way it works is this: Look at the last X turns, where X is the “bank duration” parameter. For each turn, if you committed orders in less time than the boot time, add to your bank the difference times the bank percentage. If you committed after the boot time, subtract the difference from your bank. Sum all of these up and you have the amount banked.

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