Update 3.13: New AI, custom single-player levels, autopilot

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!

I hope you’ll also join me in my twitch.tv live stream this Monday at 11am PDT where we’ll be talking through these changes in detail, and I’ll be answering your questions!

New AI

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!

Other Changes

– 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.

11 thoughts on “Update 3.13: New AI, custom single-player levels, autopilot”

  1. Nice! The ability to create single player levels to share and in the future, rate and compare is a good feature for Warlight to have. Furthermore I like the new unique names for territories and bonuses rule as well!

  2. Why did you replace the Season IV template with the commanders template on the RT ladder? Wouldn’t it have made much more sense to replace it with the old ladder?

    1. Commanders is a premiere feature of the site and deserves to be in the RT ladder. I’d be OK with adding the old ladder settings to the RT ladder too.

  3. I would like the autopilot feature to automatically kick in once a player enters auto boot time or gets booted directly.
    Maybe as an option when setting up a game similar to ‘number of times a player can take back control from AI’.
    That way instead of ruining an otherwise good game when a player misses his deadline once, he will get a penalty for missing the deadline (a bad AI move) but the game won’t be completely ruined like when a player gets booted (especially in team games).
    This would also enable games to proceed faster without waiting for days for someone to take his turn (e.g. in games without autoboot).
    Yes this is very similar to taking back from AI when booted but there are some importent differences:
    1.) Very few people actually take back from AI once they have actually been booted (maybe because the game doesn’t show up after boot)
    2.) Once booted the AI commits the next orders straight away . This can be used to get the game to progress quickly. So the AI will have effectively ruined your game within a ferw turns. With the autopilot giving orders instead the player would have another 3 days (time to autoboot) to commit new orders.

  4. Where have my saved games gone? All very well to implement My Level but why can you no longer save a single player game?

    1. You can find them at the link in the blog post. All single player games are auto saved now, so there’s no need to manually tell it to save.

  5. So, all of my saved games are gone. Will I be able to have more than one single-player game saved at a time?

    I appreciate the work put into updating and maintaining Warlight, but I’m really not happy that all of my saved games are gone, to the point of putting me off playing Warlight altogether.

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