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.
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.
WarLight has just been updated to version 3.17.0! This blog post describes what’s changed.
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.
– 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.
Try it out today by going to past games, picking a game, clicking “Game Summary” in the upper left then “Export to YouTube.”
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.
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.
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).
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!
– 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.
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.
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.
For the preview, we’re displaying the player with the highest score for each level. Can you set the highest score?
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
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:
Head to the Change Color page to check them out or to purchase.
– 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.
WarLight has just been updated to version 3.13.0! This blog post describes what’s changed. This update is the first part of overhauling the single-player part of WarLight. It’s far from complete, more changes will be coming in future updates!
WarLight has a new AI! This is an enhanced version of the old AI, which is improved in many ways:
It’s smarter about where it attacks, defends and deploys.
It’s smarter about what territories it picks in manual distribution games.
The old AI could only play reinforcement cards, whereas the new AI can also play sanctions, blockade, bomb, and diplomacy cards. Just like the old AI, it will never play cards when teamed with a human teammate unless it’s forced to.
It understands multi-attack and has the ability to attack long distances.
This new AI is now available and will automatically replace the old AI in all multi-player games (either where AIs were directly added to the game, or when surrendered/booted players turn into an AI), as well as custom single-player games (when started by the Custom Game button, or in custom single-player levels, discussed below). However, the six built-in single player levels continue to use the old AI. Since these levels were carefully balanced against the old AI, they will keep using the old AI so we don’t change their difficulty. Also, the iOS and Android app continue to use the old AI in single player until they are updated to 3.13.0 or newer.
Of course, an improved AI is still an AI, and it’s still nowhere near as good as a human player. It’s also worth noting that this new AI is a work-in-progress. It’s expected to be have further improvements over the next few months.
As previously announced, this new AI is also open source on GitHub, so if you’re interested in how it works you can read the code, or even make improvements.
Custom Single Player Levels (beta)
You now have the ability to make your own single-player levels! Under the single-player tab, you’ll find a new link labelled “My Levels.” Here, you can create your own level, and share it with other players by link.
The process of creating a level is very similar to how templates are created. However, by creating it as a level, it can be more easily started by other players. Levels also give the creator the ability to set the names and colors of AI opponents.
For now, levels can only be shared by sharing the “Play” link that creators are given. In a future update, a more formal system will be introduced to make player-made levels an integrated part of the game. I’ll discuss further plans about this in the AMA.
Autopilot is a new feature available to WarLight members. Autopilot can enter orders for you, using one of WarLight’s AIs. This can be used in any game — both multi-player, or single-player.
To use it, just click the new Autopilot button on the menu (it will only show up if you’re a member), select which AI you’d like to use, and click Run. The autopilot will enter orders for you and allow you to examine them. You can then modify/delete them, or just commit as-is.
Obviously, WarLight’s AIs are nowhere near as good as a human player, so autopilot isn’t going to give you a competitive advantage. However, it’s useful during “clean-up” — where you’ve already essentially won a game, and are just making the final moves to finish off an opposing AI or an opposing human player who refuses to surrender. It could also be useful if you’re stumped about what to do and are curious about what the AI would do in your situation, or if you just want to compare the behavior of different AIs to better understand how they work.
There are five AIs to choose from:
Prod 1.0: This is the old AI that used to power all AIs prior to this update. It still powers the six single-player levels.
Prod 2.0: This is the new AI that’s being introduced with this update. This one doesn’t use randomness, and will almost always produce the same orders from the same situation.
Prod 2.0 with randomness: Similar to prod 2.0, except it allows randomness to influence its actions. This is the AI that currently powers players in multi-player, as well as custom single-player games.
Wunderwaffe: An AI written by Norman for the AI competition.
Cowzow: An AI written by Dan Zou for the AI competition.
Feel free to experiment with the different AIs to see what kind of behavior you get!
– In the real-time ladder, the East Asia and Oceania template now uses 0% luck straight-round. Since it has neutrals of 3, this makes it more consistent since 5v3s would rarely fail in the old settings.
– In the real-time ladder, the “Season IV: No-luck strategic 1v1″ template has been replaced with the “Season XXIII: Commanders” template. Since the 1v1 ladder was changed to be no-luck, this made the real-time template a bit of a duplication, whereas this template was originally designed to be a variation to the strategic 1v1 template.
– Overhauled the way single-player saved games work. Instead of having to manually save, now all games are automatically saved all the time. When you start a level, it now prompts you if you want to resume your saved game on that level or start a new game. If you have a saved game under the in the old save system, you can access it at https://www.warlight.net/SinglePlayer/SavedGames
– Updated built-in templates to be more modern.
– Added a hotkey: “C” will check or un-check the Commander check box in the attack/transfer dialog.
– New maps being published now require that all territories and bonuses have unique names.
– Players who join a game which is deleted before it begins will now receive a notification telling them it’s deleted, assuming they didn’t turn off game-finish emails.
– Fixed the “pure skill” icon on the multi-player dashboard.
– Fixed a bug that made it impossible to bomb territories that were fogged in complete fog games.
– Fixed a bug on real-time tournaments that made the “time left to begin” number jump around instead of counting down cleanly.
– Fixed a bug that made it possible to earn the “1 takes a 1″ achievement by using a commander.
– Fixed a bug that could cause an error in history of manual distribution games on turn 1.
Today, we’re proud to release a framework that allows anybody to develop a WarLight AI! This framework allows any programmer to write code that plays games of WarLight, using any of WarLight’s settings and maps, for the purposes of eventually developing a new, smarter, AI to replace the current one.
Last year, TheAIGames.com ran a WarLight AI competition that allowed players to write their own WarLight bot, which would then compete with everyone else’s bot in a big tournament. This was a lot of fun, and produced a lot of WarLight AIs.
The authors of three of the top AIs from that competition have agreed to donate their source code to WarLight: GreenTea, Norman, and cowzow. I have converted Norman’s AI to work with WarLight’s engine as an example of what can be done. You can find it on github at https://github.com/FizzerWL/WarLight.AI. This project includes a framework for writing and debugging WarLight AIs, and two example AIs. The first example AI is called Wunderwaffe, which was written by Norman for the AIGames competition, and the second example AI is the current WarLight AI that’s used in production today, called Prod.
The ultimate goal of this project is to replace the current AI with a new, smarter, one, for both single-player and multi-player. This is the first part of a larger effort to overhaul the single-player section of WarLight. Updating the AI needs to happen before new single-player levels can be developed, since those levels need to be balanced based on the AI. We don’t want the AI to significantly change after these levels are made, since the levels could be made too hard or too easy to be fun.
When developing a WarLight AI for this purpose, it’s important to understand what the goals of the AI are. In the AIGames competition, the goal of the bots were to be as good as possible when fighting the other bots — win the maximum number of games at all costs. For a WarLight AI, the goals are different. For example, some bots would have logic that would tell them to run away from the opponent once they’ve detected that they can’t win the game, in the hopes of prolonging the game and forcing a draw. This wouldn’t be a fun tactic to play against when playing a single-player WarLight level.
The main goals for a good WarLight AI are, in order:
1. Be fun to play against in single-player.
2. Be fast (don’t consume a lot of CPU or memory).
3. Be good at defeating human players.
4. Be fun to play against in multi-player.
5. Be good at defeating other bots.
As you can see from this list, being fun to play against is a higher priority than being good. While being good is a goal, it’s more important that people have a fun enjoyable experience while playing WarLight.
Since the AI is used in every single-player game, and only select multi-player games, single-player is placed at a higher priority than multi-player. The single-player experience is an important part of WarLight since it’s the first thing most people experience when they first play.
Making the AI fast has to be a high priority since a slow AI will time out, essentially breaking the game. Of course, “fast” is relative. The key thing is that the AI doesn’t take an insane amount of time. Some people play WarLight from low-powered devices/computers, and if they have to wait 30+ seconds in between every turn, it would not be fun for them. Since you can play with many AIs at once, the AI should not take more than one second to compute its moves/picks, even on large maps and relatively slow devices.
I was tempted to include “don’t be predictable” as a goal. However, this really falls under the category of “Be good at defeating human players.” One key part of defeating human players is not following the same patterns every time. Defeating an AI that’s too predictable will train players to fight that AIs tendencies, when an AI should be training players to fight other players.
If you can code and you want to help contribute to the AI, I put together a short video giving an introduction to the code: