Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Poll: should timeouts at ranked Hearts games be changed?

Everyone reading this post probably knows that at World of Card Games, you get forced to play a card if you don't play it quickly enough. Possibly you've been frustrated in experiencing this. But people waiting for you to play your card often share a similar frustration. The timeout is designed to keep the game moving along, so that people are not stuck waiting a long time for someone to play.

If you don't like how long someone is taking, you can always "dislike" them and drop off the table. This hurts your stats, though, and many people like to finish a game once it has started. I have gotten feedback that some people like the timeouts. At other game sites, people sometimes deliberately take a long time to play, in order to get people to drop out of the game. This gives them a win, and improves their stats artificially. I don't want players at World of Card Games to have this problem.

Now with ranked games, I've gotten feedback that some do not want timeouts at all, or that the timeouts are too short. So here's a poll - it specifically refers to ranked games (currently only Hearts has a special ranked table, but rankings will come to other games asap).

I think I've set enough choices to satisfy anyone who has an opinion. If I didn't think of something, please mention it in the comments. I can always run another poll.

Note that in Hearts, the current timeouts are 30 seconds to choose your cards to pass, and 15 seconds to play a card. (I just want to mention that the "show results" link is not showing results properly... click here for current results).

Sunday, January 31, 2016

chat lobbies at world of card games

Each game now has its own Chat Lobby at World of Card Games. The lobby is a way for players to meet up, and leave messages for each other. Note: All messages are public!

To get to the Chat Lobby, click on the Menu button at the lower left corner of the game of your choice. In the screenshot below, the Menu button for Double Deck Pinochle is encircled in green. It's where the old Tutorial button used to be (tutorials are now accessed by clicking on the Menu button).
Menu button replaces the Tutorial button
When you click the Menu button, the Menu panel opens. You will see several links displayed. This next screenshot shows the Menu panel for Hearts. There's a link to the Chat Lobby, the Tutorial, a link to play with bots, one to play with people, and one to play ranked Hearts games. Currently only Hearts has ranked games, but some other games will get rankings soon.

If you want to close the Menu panel without clicking any links, click the red/white x in the upper right corner, as shown below.
Menu panel has links to Chat Lobby, Tutorial, etc
You must be a registered player, and logged in, to use the Chat Lobby. As you can see in the next screenshot, leaving a chat in the lobby is very simple. Just make sure your mouse cursor is focused in the long text input near the bottom of the page - this should happen by default. Then, type in your text, and hit the Return (or Enter) key on your keyboard.
How to use the Chat Lobby
Chat lobbies persist for 30 minutes after the last person has left them, and the lobby holds a total of 200 chat messages. Because likes and dislikes apply in lobbies, just like at regular game tables, there may be more than one lobby for your game. If you don't see the person you are looking for in the first lobby where you go, you can click the "next" link at the bottom of the screen to get to any other lobbies for that game. If there are no more, you will get an error message.

Chat lobbies are completely new, so please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements or additional features, or if you see any problems with them. I hope this new feature helps people more easily find each other at the site.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!
I'm en route to Florida for a little vacation. A special thanks goes out to "beachwoman" for hosting me and my boyfriend on New Year's Eve. We had a fun (and delicious) visit!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

update for bug fixes

The site was down for a few minutes while it was updated for bug fixes this morning. Apologies for the interruption in your games! It's now back online.

There is one minor change that you may notice. The redeal feature that is available in Spades and Double Deck Pinochle has been modified so that players are given 30 seconds to redeal if someone leaves the table. This is true regardless of whether the game is paused or not. I hope this helps those who found that they were not able to agree upon a redeal before the game restarted.

Monday, December 14, 2015

holiday word puzzles 2015

If you like word puzzles, you might want to try these holiday themed puzzlers, courtesy of World of Card Games. Enjoy! And Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

new euchre option to avoid stick the dealer

If you're one of those players who hates the "Stick the Dealer" (STD) rule in Euchre at World of Card Games, you now have an option to avoid it.

Stick the Dealer option
Open your "Options" for Euchre. The new option is called "Stick the Dealer". By default, it is set to "Either". It is the least restrictive option. If you keep it this way, you'll be seated most quickly, at any Euchre table, no matter whether the rule is applied or not. If you are first to the table, the STD rule is applied.

If you really like the STD rule, you may want to click "Yes" for this option. This means you will be seated only at tables where the STD rule applies. If you are first to the table, the STD rule is applied.

If you strongly dislike the rule, click "No" for this option, and you'll be seated at tables where the rule is not applicable. If you are first to the table, the STD rule is not applied.

There were a few other updates this morning.

The Euchre bots have been tinkered with, so they should play a little better now. If you see them make a particularly bad move, you can always send me the hand history so I can look into the problem.

The Pinochle bots had a problem with their meld bids, and this should now be fixed as well.

In Hearts, the rule for who gets points when shooting the moon has been modified. Now, points are deducted from the shooter's score, unless adding points to the other players' scores keeps (or puts) the shooter in first place.

There's also a new "welcome" banner that can be clicked to find out more about ranked tables. You can play ranked Hearts games already. Rankings will come to other games in the next few months.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

hearts ratings bug fix, list of tables bug fix

There was a bug in the update to the Hearts ratings last week which caused the losing players to get more points deducted from their Elo ratings than they should have. My apologies, I know some of you take the ratings very seriously!

I've applied a fix to the problem this morning. Anyone who would like to get their Elo ratings set back to where they were last Wednesday need only write to me and ask (marya@worldofcardgames.com). To do this, just make sure that you send me the email from the address that you registered with, so I know it's you. I will do this for people up until the end of November.

[Edit on Nov 24 2015: Only a small number of requests to reset Elo ratings have come in. After receiving negative feedback on the way this was being done, I decided to just go ahead and do the work to perform a bulk update of Elo ratings. Anyone who played at a ranked table prior to Nov 17 has had their Elo rating reset to the value from Nov 11, before the bug was introduced. To be clear, this was only done if it led to an increase in their ratings - I did not reset values that were lower.]

I've written a page about how the Elo ratings are computed at World of Card Games, so you can always check for yourself to make sure you are getting the correct results.

I've also applied a fix for the "list of tables", which had a bug that caused the list to stop updating. Third times the charm? I hope so!