Monday, May 30, 2016

euchre ranked tables

You can now play ranked games of Euchre at World of Card Games! Euchre is a team game, so the rules are the same as for Spades. There's only one real difference: there are no "skill points" for Euchre.

FYI - In the next week or two, an Elo ratings "decay" will be introduced. If a player has not played in a ranked game for 2 weeks, their Elo rating will be decremented. This will continue each week that the player is not active in ranked games, until the rating reaches 1500 again. All that's needed to keep the decay from occurring is to participate in a ranked game.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

player info available at tables

You can view a few player statistics while you are at a table, after this morning's update. Just click any player's avatar, and a "mini stats panel" will pop up for each player:
mini stats panel
The first number is their Elo rating. This only appears in games that have rankings (currently Hearts and Spades). If all that you see is a dash, then the player is not yet ranked.

The 2nd number is how many games the player has "completed". This is the same as the number shown as "Finished" in your own stats panel.

The 3rd number tells you how much the person tends to quit games. You should not expect this to be a perfect 0%, since people sometimes get kicked from games accidentally, or have to leave due to unforeseen circumstances. Only the last 16 games are tracked, so it's pretty easy to improve this score with just a few games. Note: it is not counted as quitting if
  • you leave a table that has not yet started
  • you leave a bots-only table before the game finishes
  • you leave a private table before the game finishes
This score is supplied to give you an idea about how reliable the player is. The higher the percent, the more likely it is that the person might skip out on your game.

The update this morning also fixed a long-standing issue that players were able to sign in from a table. It's convenient to be able to do this if you forget to log in from the home page, but some people were using it to manipulate their stats by logging in just before a win at a table. It's no longer allowed, and there's an obvious reminder at the top of the home page letting you know when you're not logged in.
sign in from the home page only!
Other changes: The cards are now fanned wider by default in the Twenty-Nine game, and chat lobbies now hang around for 24 hours at least. Also, bot strategies have been slightly improved in Spades and Double Deck Pinochle.

Friday, April 15, 2016

chats no longer blocked

I got several emails from players that the chats of the player to their right were blocked by the scoreboard in Spades after the update of April 10 that allowed cards to be fanned wider.

This should be fixed now. Thanks to those who reported this, and let me know if you notice any other problems!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

rankings added to spades card game

Ranked games have been added to Spades!

You will only be ranked if you choose to play a ranked game, which is shown in purple in the list of tables. Here's an example:
ranked tables are purple in the list of tables
Ranked tables are more strict than regular ones:
  1. You must be registered and have finished at least 10 games to get into one.
  2. You cannot start a game with bots! They can be invited if someone leaves, however.
  3. If you quit, and do not return within 2 minutes, you are banned from ranked Spades games for 4 hours.
  4. Quitting counts as a loss to your Elo rating. If you quit, you take a loss to your two opponents. (The Elo rating of the quitter's teammate is computed independent of this - it depends entirely on whether their team wins or loses, as long as they stick to the end of the game).
The idea is to make ranked tables a little more serious than regular ones. People who enter a ranked game should be committed to sticking to the game, and not quitting at the drop of a hat.

Note: Since Spades is a team game, Elo ratings are computed as if you are participating in two matches, one against each opponent. You are not ranked against your teammate.

BTW you can also get to ranked games from the Spades menu. Click the "Menu" button at the lower right of the Spades game panel, and then click the "Play Ranked Spades" link to be taken to a ranked table:
get to ranked tables using the Menu button
In addition to ranked games, the update this morning applied some more changes. Trick cards can now be piled vertically. And the cards are fanned wider in Hearts, Spades, and Double Deck Pinochle. I hope these additions will make it easier to use the site. Feedback is welcome.

cards fanned wider in Spades, Hearts, and Double Deck Pinochle

The cards in your hand are now fanned wider in Hearts, Spades, and Double Deck Pinochle. Also, the chat button and chat input are moved closer to your avatar. Here's the new view:
For comparison, here's the previous look:

There are two settings for fanning your cards. I had some feedback that people were misclicking cards because the cards were not clear and separate enough on smaller screens. This change is intended to help with that.

This also helps an issue that was plaguing Double Deck Pinochle players. This game starts with 20 cards in your hand, and the chat bubble would obscure a few of these if you chatted early on in the hand. With your chat bubble moved way over to the left, this should be less of a problem now.
Chat bubble in Double Deck Pinochle
Different card decks have different dimensions, so you may want to try using a new deck if your current one doesn't look as good with the new view.

cards in the trick pile can be set vertically

There's a new setting that lets you see the cards in the trick pile lined up vertically, like this:
Trick cards piled vertically
It's off by default. To turn it on, click on your username in the upper right corner to get to your settings. Check the box for "Pile Cards Vertically", and you'll see it take effect immediately:
Pile Cards Vertically user setting

The default way that the trick cards are piled up can sometimes obscure the card rank. I hope this helps with that problem.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

server update, new features

The server was updated this morning. Sorry for the outage while this was done!

The update applied several improvements:
  1. Twenty-Nine now has the Double / Redouble Option
  2. Double Deck Pinochle players can download hand histories
  3. Gin Rummy players can see the size of the stock pile
In addition, the site uses a new audio library that works on more devices. I have an Android tablet where alerts are now audible, so this is an improvement for Android users, at least. [Edit Mar 12 2016: I want to mention that this library breaks the site for versions of the web browser Opera that are earlier than 11.60. Sorry! But that is a pretty old version of Opera, from Dec 2011. Please upgrade if you are using this browser. Thank you to Doriano for bringing this to my attention!]

Players at ranked Hearts tables now have a 2-minute grace period to return to their table if they get disconnected, causing them to leave the table (note that this does not apply if you click the "leave table" link - if you do this, you will be warned of the penalty, and it does apply). If you've ever been frustrated because you were kicked from a ranked Hearts table due to an internet disruption, I hope this helps. Note that the remaining players at the table are free to call on a bot to replace you during the 2-minute grace period. However, as soon as you return to the site, you will replace that bot, provided it is within 2 minutes of your leaving.

At all games, it has sometimes been a problem that a player would hit the backspace button, intending to erase a character in their chat, but it got interpreted as telling the browser to "go back" to the previous page. It would get you kicked from your table unless you returned to the site very quickly! With today's update, the backspace button is ignored unless it's used within a text input field. I hope this problem is solved, now.