Sneak Peek: Commerce Games!

A new game mode has been added to WarLight!

In commerce games, instead of receiving armies per turn, all players receive gold per turn. For example, if you capture Central America which used to be worth 3 armies per turn, you’ll instead get 3 gold every turn. You can then use that gold to buy armies.

While it may seem like a subtle change, this actually has big implications on the game and allows for new strategic features to be introduced which couldn’t have existed in the old model. For example, you can decide not to spend all your gold every turn, and instead save it for future turns where you can then deploy more and surprise your opponent.

What’s more is that WarLight allows you to customize the cost of armies. By default, armies cost 1 gold for the first 10 you buy in each turn, 2 gold for the next 10, 3 gold for the next 10, etc. This multiplier means that armies are more expensive as you buy more, which helps balance against people who save their gold for future turns.

Cities

But wait, there’s more! In commerce games, players can also build cities on their territories. Cities produce one gold every turn for their owners in tax revenue. This gives a way of players of investing in the future.

Ensure you build your cities on territories that are well-defended! However, by default, cities cost 5 gold plus one additional gold for each city already on that territory. This gives you reason to spread out your cities, and not pile them all on the most defensible territory.

Cities open up interesting strategic opportunities. Each player needs to balance how much of their income they want to invest into cities and how much into armies, as investing too much into cities leaves them vulnerable to capture by an opponent who invested heavily in armies. Investing too much in armies could find you outmatched by an opponent who can out-spend you.

Want to try it now?

An alpha version of commerce games are available today in WarLight’s Unity client! The Unity client is being developed to replace the iOS, Android and Flash versions of the game. Try it today and let me know what you think!

Commerce games will be officially released at the same time as the Unity client.

Designed with Mods in mind

WarLight’s new modding framework is doing great, with 27 public mods already that affect the game in all sorts of interesting ways. Commerce games are designed to fit in well with mods, and mods will be able to add their own purchasable items. Mods will easily be able to do things like let players buy/sell/trade territories, treaties, cards, special units, and anything else you can imagine!

Official support for commerce game mods will be added in the next update.

Goodbye Flash ads

Hello!

If you’ve been following along on the forum thread, you know that WarLight’s new Unity client has been making a ton of progress! The Unity client is designed to replace the Flash, iOS, and Android versions of WarLight with a shiny new client that does more, better, faster, stronger, etc.

The Unity app is a very different beast since it was introduced it on this blog back in January. The app now has almost complete feature parity with the old clients. There’s still a lot to do before it’s good enough to be officially released, but if you want to try it out or make the switch today, there’s an alpha version available now for members.

As announced previously, one of the reasons WarLight must move away from Flash is because Flash is a dying platform. Google is trying it’s darnedest to kill it off, and one way they’re doing this is by discontinuing the ability to run ads from their ad network within a Flash app. WarLight has historically shown these ads and they actually make up a pretty sizable chunk of the revenue it needs to keep the servers alive.

Since Flash ads are no longer an option, I’ve made changes to the game today to replace them with html ads. These come in two forms: a vertical banner ad that sits beside the game, and interstitial ads that play before starting a single player level. Personally, I preferred the format of the Flash ads since they were closable, but Google’s decision to kill them off is understandable.

I understand that nobody likes ads, and honestly I wish I didn’t have to put them in the game at all. In WarLight’s first five years, it never showed a single ad! But that was not sustainable, as the game lost money every year.

If you don’t like ads, think of it this way: ads are what enable WarLight to be free. If ads didn’t exist, didn’t work, or if everyone ran adblock, WarLight would have to be a paid game. It costs over $1,000 per month just to keep WarLight’s servers online, and that money has to come from somewhere. Of course, players always have the option of getting a membership to play ad-free, which also gives you full access to the new Unity client!

Regarding the Unity client, I’m working hard to try to get it released as soon as possible. There are still a few unannounced surprises, so stay tuned — exciting things are coming!

Update 3.17.2: Small update

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.17.2! This is a small update to fix some bugs and add some minor features. Our primary mission is still to ship the Unity app, as covered in the previous blog post. This update is just a small break from that mission. Here’s what’s changed:

– Lifetime membership can now be purchased again by this secret link.
– Added the ability to turn off the tournament-ended email on the Change Notifications page.
– Updated the color of the dots on the multi-player dashboard so it’s always possible to tell when a player hasn’t moved yet.
– Updated the About page to credit the artist of the cards and special units.
– Fixed a bug with history that caused pressing the left arrow hotkey to take you to picks instead of the previous turn in some games.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error on games that were ended just after picks if you opened history to the first turn and attempted to change perspective.
– Fixed a bug that caused players who had been booted on the winning team of a team game to show as having income when they, in fact, had no territories.

Update 3.17.1: Small update

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.17.1! This is a small update to fix some bugs and add some minor features. Here’s what’s changed:

– Added a “Play Random” button to the top of the Community Levels page. This button will play a random community level that you have not beaten.
– Inverted the order of seasons on the seasonal ladder page.
– Tweaked forum voting: The threshold for hiding/promoting posts within a thread is now less than the threshold for hiding/promoting threads.
– Fixed a bug that caused custom single player games created off of a template to not save.
– Fixed a bug with the “jump to last page” link in the clan forum.

Update 3.17: Forum voting, liking single player levels

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.17.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

Forum Voting

All forum posts and threads now have voting buttons next to them, allowing players to up-vote or down-vote posts/threads. The goal is to increase the visibility of the good content that’s being posted, and decrease the visibility of the content that’s being posted that players aren’t interested in.

WarLight needs your help to clean up the forums! Visit the forum and begin voting! All players should vote based on whether or not you think the WarLight community will find the content of the post interesting, enjoyable, or useful. You should be careful not to let your own prejudices affect your voting, such as voting based on how much you like a player/clan/etc. You shouldn’t necessarily downvote just because you disagree with the opinion stated.

All voting does right now is highlight or hide posts/threads. If a post/thread is upvoted beyond a threshold, it will become promoted which highlights it. If a post/thread is downvoted beyond a threshold, it will become hidden by default. Hidden posts/threads can still be viewed by clicking on their link.

Voting on the top post in a thread is the same thing as voting on the thread.

Votes by members and high level player count more than low level non-members. This helps ensure that players can’t use alts to artificially increase their votes. This also gives another benefit to being high level, as every level you gain increases the amount of voting power you have, and there’s no limit. You are expected to only vote on any given post/thread once. People that abuse the voting system will find their voting rights revoked.

The way that forum posts are shown on the Community and MultiPlayer Dashboard changed with this update, too. After notable posts, it now shows the highest voted threads from the most recent 100 threads.

Community Level Likes

It’s now possible to “like” a single player community levels! This helps reward level creators who make great levels.

When you finish a level, the red end-game window that pops up will prompt you to give the creator a “like”. The community level page itself allows giving or taking away likes, and the number of likes are displayed next to the level on the Community Levels page.

Other Changes

– The “Community Events” section on the Community tab now shows just the first few with a “Show All” link to show the rest.
– The 30-second autopilot penalty now only applies if you took less than 1 minute to commit.
– The “Live now” twitch ad at the top now displays the streamer’s full name in the tooltip.
– Fixed a bug that caused custom single player games created off of a template to not save.
– Fixed a bug in discussion posts that caused links to not be clickable when they multiple links were listed in a row.
– Fixed an issue that occurred when a single player level is won when no internet connection is available and therefore can’t be recorded. WarLight now remembers the win and attempts to record it as soon as an internet connection is available again.
– Fixed a bug that caused new single player level results to not show on profiles.
– Fixed a bug that allowed going over your maximum number of open games.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error if a switch-perspective hotkey was used while looking at picks of a finished game.
– Fixed a bug that allowed joining a team ladder while one of the teammates was on vacation.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error on some boss levels in some locales.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error while using multi-attack while not signed in.
– The “Automatically start game once all players join” setting now says “multi-day games only” next to it.

Update 3.16: Export a game to YouTube, Strategy Forum, Community Events

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.16.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.

Export a game to YouTube

WarLight can now make a video out of your games! When a multi-player game finishes, you’ll see a new “Export to YouTube” button.

Here are some samples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xw_GNXhBTQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFx88MRF1rs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pECrNHDnEU

Try it out today by going to past games, picking a game, clicking “Game Summary” in the upper left then “Export to YouTube.”

Strategy Forum

WarLight has a new forum for discussing all things related to WarLight strategy, both single-player and multi-player.

Just another forum? NO! This forum is fundamentally different from the other forums in that the strategy forum is moderated. Volunteers from the community have agreed to help organize this forum to try and increase it’s quality level. Moderators have the ability to hide posts or threads. This will make the thread or post hidden by default for all viewers. Hidden threads and posts can still be viewed by clicking on them, in addition to viewing the reason why it was hidden. Moderators can also change thread subject lines.

This is an experiment to see how well this kind of moderation works on WarLight.

Update 3.15: New single-player levels, community levels

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.15.0! This blog post describes what’s changed. I hope you’ll also join me in my twitch.tv live stream this Thursday where we’ll be talking through these changes in detail, and I’ll be answering your questions!

New Single-Player Levels

The Single Player tab now features WarLight’s new campaign! This combines the 34 levels that were previously available only under the “preview levels” link along with the tutorial to make for a 35-level campaign that replaces the old 7 levels WarLight used to have.

The old levels can still be played via this link.

This update is the third part of the single-player overhaul, which is now complete on WarLight.net. The next, and final, step of the single-player overhaul is to launch these new levels in WarLight’s mobile app (iOS and Android).

Community Levels

It’s now possible to publish your own single-player level! In the My Levels tab, there’s now a “Publish” button. Publishing a level will make it public and available to everyone to see and play it in the new Community Levels tab.

In order to publish a level, you have to be able to beat your own level. This ensures that all levels you’ll find in Community Levels are actually beatable.

All published levels keep track of, and display, the player who can defeat the level in the fewest number of turns. Note that the level creator can never set the record for their own level.

As a level publisher, you’ll be able to see some information about people playing your level. You can see a graph of how many turns it’s players to beat it, how many players have attempted it, and you can even watch the full replay of any game that sets a world record for the fastest time.

I’m looking forward to watching the warfare on community levels! Can you defeat a level that nobody else can? Can you design a level that nobody else can beat? I’d like to see you try!

Other Changes

– Level “Kill or be killed”: Gave the player one additional territory to start.
– Level “Caesar’s challenge”: Boss health now varies based on its stage.
– Level “Sinsiter Water”: Enemy AIs now have commanders.
– Level “Finding the limit”: Reduced difficulty.
– Defeating built-in single player levels while signed in now give points. 2500 for the first win, and an additional 2500 for earning a gold star.
– Non-members now see a short video ad before starting a new single player level instead of the banner ads. The first three levels will never show ads.
– Fixed a bug with Autopilot that made it cause errors if the button was clicked too quickly.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error in history if you switch perspective while viewing the last turn of a game.

Update 3.14.1: Preview level updates, other fixes

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.14.1! This is a small update that improves the preview single player levels and fixes a few things. This blog post lists the changes:

– When watching a turn where a player is eliminated, the lower-right players section no longer says Eliminated until you actually watch the elimination.
– The tournament page’s refresh button disables itself for a second after being clicked so it can’t be spammed.
– Bonus rewards on new maps must be between -1000 and +1000.
– The power of all boss’s is now equal to their health. This number is now always shown above their head.
– Modified the boss’s behavior to be less random.
– Adjusted difficulty of levels “World War 2320″, “Someone stole my oil”, “World War Pixel” and “Hopscotch”. Wiped level results for Hopscotch.
– Level “Finding the Limit” now uses the Republic of Macedonia map.
– Prod AI now tries to defend it’s commander when threatened.
– Removed Pink Lace from purchasable colors.
– Fixed a bug that could cause territories to not fog properly when commander is killed via a blockade or emergency blockade card.
– Fixed a bug when a boss transfers that could cause it to disappear into the fog temporarily. It should always be visible.
– Fixed a bug that caused an error if you surrendered a single player game during territory selection.
– Fixed a bug with the “map of the week” auto game that caused the achievement for winning to not be awarded if the game finished after the map of the week switched to the next week.
– Fixed a bug with the airlift dialog that allowed typing numbers into the box before a destination had been selected.

Update 3.14: Preview of new single player levels, ladder changes, premium colors

WarLight has just been updated to version 3.14.0! This blog post describes what’s changed. This update is the second part of overhauling the single-player part of WarLight. It’s not done yet — more changes will be coming in future updates!

New Single-Player Levels

We are proud to release 34 new single-player levels! They’re currently available as a preview by selecting Single Player -> Preview Levels. These levels will eventually replace the six main levels that serve as single-player today.

I’d appreciate feedback on these levels! Give them a whirl, and let me know what you think!

For the preview, we’re displaying the player with the highest score for each level. Can you set the highest score?

Ladder Changes

As voted on by the community, some changes are being made to ladder settings. You can read the full discussion on the forum, but here’s just a list of what’s changing:

    • 2v2 ladder: Each player now gets 3 territories instead of 2.
      RT ladder: The Turkey LD template has been replaced with France LD
      RT ladder: The Season I template has been replaced with Strat ME 0% WR
      RT ladder: The Heavy Earth template has been replaced with French Brawl
  • Premium Colors

    It’s now possible to purchase access to additional player colors that were previously only available in large games. Colors can either be purchased with money or with WarLight coins. Purchasing a color gives you unlimited use of that color forever!

    The following colors are available:

    •          Tyrian Purple
    •          Mardi Gras
    •          Royal Blue
    •          Wild Strawberry
    •          Pink Lace
    •          Smoky Black

    Head to the Change Color page to check them out or to purchase.

    Other Changes

    – Added the ability for single player levels to add or remove initial card pieces by slot.
    – Added single-player levels to profile pages. For now, it shows all levels, however once publishing levels is possible it will only show published levels.
    – Added maps created to profile pages, as well as a page that shows all maps created by a player.
    – Added member icons to player’s names on clan page. Added member icons and clan icons to player’s names on the map page.
    – Single player games with more than one AI now end immediately on surrender or elimination instead of having the AIs fight each other.
    – Single player levels can now modify slots all the way up to AX.
    – Single player levels that use custom scenarios and commanders can now give a commander to slots without giving one to everyone.
    – Internet Explorer 8 and below now get a message telling them their browser is unsupported, instead of strange error messages.
    – Added a “Try again” button in the end-game window at the end of custom single-player games.
    – Maps can be rated at the end of single player games again.
    – In the Flash map browser, removed the “All” page size, since loading too many maps here just crashes Flash. Also increased default map paging size.
    – The 4-player coin FFA game is now multi-day.
    – Lowered the maximum zoom level, since zooming in too far crashes Flash in Chrome.
    – Fixed a bug with challonge export.
    – Fixed a bug when commanders are used along with spy cards that allow spying on neutral.
    – Fixed a bug that caused saving single player games to fail if your browser ran out of space.
    – Fixed a bug with using built-in templates that use features that you have not yet unlocked in single player.
    – Fixed a bug when trying to save settings you haven’t unlocked as a template.