Update 4.12: Addressing booting

Warzone has just been updated to version 4.12.0! This update aims to reduce the number of boots that players experience during games. This blog post describes what’s changed.

The web version of Warzone is updated right now. The Android app will be updated in the coming days, and the iOS app will be updated in the coming weeks.

Booting

Warzone’s boot feature is essential. Back in the old days, before booting was implemented, a single player leaving a game would render that game stuck forever. Booting solves this as it ensures that the players who wish to continue the game can do so.

However, in an ideal world, players would never get booted and would instead surrender. Some people don’t seem to understand the importance of surrendering and will simply walk away from games whenever they are losing. This manifests as players who show 40% or higher boot rates on their profile.

These players are bad for Warzone in a few ways. In real-time games, it’s always annoying when you’re playing a game and your opponent doesn’t surrender, as it requires you to sit there waiting for the boot timer to expire before you can move on.

Additionally, it’s a bad experience for the players who get booted as well, as they often find that their open games fill very slowly, or they have very few options available to them on the open games list due to prerequisites. I often get contacted by people who experience these troubles and have no idea that their boot behavior is what’s causing it.

This update aims to address this problem. Here’s how!

Open Games Shows Number of Hidden Games

Players with boot rates over 5% will now be shown on the Open Games page how many games they’re missing out on due to their boot rate. A small message will appear at the top that says something like “87 games are being hidden due to your 60% boot rate”

This helps educate players on what they stand to gain by improving their boot rate.

Surrender Tutorial

The first time a player is booted (or every time if they have a high boot rate), they’ll be forced to endure a Surrender Tutorial. This is a new tutorial that walks them through how to press the surrender button in a game, and also educates them on why it’s better to surrender than get booted.

This accomplishes four things simultaneously:

  1. It shows them how to surrender. New players sometimes simply don’t know how, as prior to this update there’s nothing at all in the app that even mentions the existence of the surrender button. Players were expected to find it by exploring the user interface, and some people never do that.
  2. It educates players on why they should surrender. Similar to the above Open Games change, it explains why it’s beneficial to have a low boot percentage.
  3. It’s a deterrent against rage-quitting. If players with a high boot rate know that every time they fail to surrender they’ll be forced to go through the tutorial again, they might think twice before walking away from games. At least, it’s taking up some of their time that they took away from their opponent.
  4. It develops muscle-memory of pressing surrender. Muscle-memory is a powerful tool, forcing humans to develop it can drastically affect human behavior.

If you want to see what it’s like, use this link.

Boot percentage

Some people have been booted thousands of times, which is a hole that is impossible to dig themselves out of. Now that they’re being educated on why they should stop getting booted, they need a way to return to single-digit boot percentages that doesn’t take years.

To accomplish that, all player’s boot percentages are now calculated based on their last 100 games instead of all games. This is a more accurate reflection on their likelihood to get booted from their next game.

Conclusion

In time, all of these changes combined should have a drastic reduction on the boot rates of players. I hope to post a graph of the boots per game ratio in a few months, and I expect to see a drop in the numbers in the weeks ahead of this update. Stay tuned!

Other Changes

– UJS: Alerts now use the UJS alert system instead of the browser’s.
– All: Chat raffles are now sometimes a super raffle, awarding many more coins.
– All: Fixed CannotAssignSlotsWithoutCustomScenario error caused by changing the map of a template that had a custom scenario defined. Thanks to TBest for reporting this.
– All: Fixed CannotMixTeamsAndNonTeams error caused by templates that got saved with bad team data. Thanks to Braveheart for reporting this.
– All: Fixed a bug that sometimes made chat room messages appear out of order.
– All: Fixed a bug that sometimes made chat room messages get missed, particularly if they were sent very close together such as when rafflebot responded to a player.

23 thoughts on “Update 4.12: Addressing booting”

  1. Would be interesting to see separate graphs for multi-player and real-time games, and for real-time games separate graphs for 5+ minute games and faster games. E.g. I like to play a lot of very quick games (1 or 2 min boot rate) and sometimes I just don’t manage to submit orders on time, not because I quit or forgot. I think it is important to handle very quick games differently from other games, e.g. you just got booted against your will in a 1-minute game, and then to ad insult to injury you have to go over the surrender tutorial on top of that

    1. I disagree. A fast game should be played fast. Sometimes, it means you cannot complete all of the moves that you would like to make. That’s part of the game. It is even more annoying waiting out the boot time when the game is supposed to be fast.

  2. I have a high rate of booting, and I´m fine with all these measures, I hope it helps my rate to be better. But I´d like to suggest one other small measure: can the remaining time to play in the game be shown in minutes, along with hours? Sometimes I don´t know if I have one minute or one hour to play, and it makes a difference.

  3. i think the system is still broken i haven’t beem booted for ages but due to the past ive got an 8.4% boot rate im going to me missing out on playing some games even though i don’t remember being booted at all this past year

  4. Great Update! Finally players learn how to surrender.
    It is a needle in the eye as a teammate leaves without any communication or reason

    My request to further lower the boot rates is to make some adaptations in the Quick match games, players automatically join, also when they’re inactive, and then they will automatically being booted.
    This needs some improvement, I won many quickmatch games due to booted inactive players.
    I propose to put a algoritm that if players are getting booted in quickmatch games, the quickmatch “Invite me to multi-day games” of the (inactive) player is automatically set on 0

  5. I agree with muddles. My boot rate is also around 8% and i don’t think I’ve missed an a turn or been booted in over two years. Plus, life goes in cycles. 30-day, 6-month and 12-month should be the criteria.

    1. The problem with using time-based criteria is that it doesn’t account for different levels of activity. Some players only play 1 multi-day qm game at a time, so they may only have a few games in the last 30 days. That means their boot rate would be stuck at 0%, 33%, 50%, etc without much in between. It’s not an accurate measure at that point.

  6. Just to over communicate 😉 I have a high boot rate, and get messages that it’s my turn to move, and when a game is over, but never that I am about to be booted. How do I enable this feature

  7. Great idea. I have been thinking about this problem recently. I like the solutions. I have a suggestion to add.

    Change the name of “surrender” to “resign.” This is a little bcon trick to ease the psychic pain of losing the game.

  8. for real time games, once all spots are filled, some type of role call check to see if all players are still there, so host can remove absentees before game begins instead of waiting for boot timers to run out and then vote to end?

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