Wednesday, November 11, 2015

new features! chat after game, spades hand history

This morning, the server was down for a brief time in order to apply some updates.

Registered players can now chat after their game has finished at World of Card Games! After the game finishes, you will now see three buttons: "Home", "Chat", and "Play ..." (see screenshot below).
Click Chat button to chat with the Registered players after your game
Clicking the "Home" button takes you back to the main home page, where you can decide what new game you want to play. Clicking the "Play ..." button takes you directly to a new game of the same type that you just finished (for example, Hearts or Spades).

Clicking the "Chat" button takes you to a "chat" table where only the registered players from the game you just finished are invited. This gives you time to discuss the game in as much detail as you like, should you care to do so. The "Chat" button goes away after 30 seconds, so be sure to use it as soon as possible if you are interested in a chat with your group of players. Caveat: No one is obliged to go to the chat table, so you may find that no one joins you there.

If any who played with you goes to the chat table after your game is finished, this chat table will show up in the list of tables. Here's a screenshot of how to recognize it:
"chat" table shows up in the list of tables
Another new feature is the ability to save your "hand history" in Spades. The hand history is already familiar to those who play Euchre. Registered players can download the history of their previous hand, and replay it in the browser to review all the cards played, one step at a time. In Euchre, this feature can be a nice tool to discuss strategy. It is also very useful to report bugs in the bots to me. I'm hoping Spades players will find it useful as well. Sometimes, people report problems with the bots, but it's too time-consuming for me to figure out just what happened. With this new feature, if the bots make a boneheaded mistake, you can grab the hand history and send it to me with a description of what went wrong. I will be more likely to fix a problem when I know exactly what happened, and can reproduce the issue.

To download the hand history, click the old-fashioned "floppy disk" icon that appears next to your avatar after a hand has finished. You can see what it looks like in the screenshot here.
Click the floppy disk icon to download the hand history in Spades
Hm, I can't believe I just called a floppy disk "old-fashioned"! :)

Another important change: at ranked tables, the Elo ratings now reward the first-place player only. Elo ratings in Hearts was discussed in the previous blog post. I did not receive a lot of feedback, one way or the other, about this... but most players appear to like the idea, so I've made the change. I will continue to keep track of any feedback on the issue. Please post to Facebook or Twitter or here on the blog if you have comments. (FYI: anonymous posts are not treated very seriously; anyone can post anonymously multiple times, so I don't consider them to be so useful.)


Anonymous said...

I don't like taking away the ranking reward for 2nd place. It gives an incentive to try harder. It softens the cut-throat aggressiveness of some players, especially the "friends" that team up to protect each other. There was nothing wrong with the ranking system, so why change it?

This is Kaycie, I just don't know how to post without putting out information I want to keep private.

no bots plz said...

Chat after the game! Interesting concept... Hand history looks like it might be useful, I will try it. Thank you for all you do for us player at WOCG...

Anonymous said...

And TRAM is now on Pinochle! Yay!!!!! Thank you, Marya! AG Butterfly/Angel Girl/Karen

Marya said...

Hi Kaycie,

I didn't quite understand what you meant. Are you saying you think that giving credit for 2nd place actually gives people an incentive to try harder for 1st place? And also softens the cut-throat nature of Hearts?

I like the idea of giving people a consolation prize for coming in 2nd. But if people are throwing point cards at the high-scoring player in order to finish the game and come in 2nd (or even 3rd!), that is bad, because it encourages all players to gang up on the last place finisher - nasty! I can't tell if this is happening; some players certainly think so. So if it's true, then giving credit to 1st place only would be helpful.

I think I've experienced the problem of "friends" teaming up to support each other. But it's never perfectly clear to me what is happening. Sometimes, it seems like I'm just the victim of poor playing (and I'm not great myself, so I can hardly point fingers).


Marya said...

I hope you'll have fun with the "hand history"! Just send me an email if you have any questions about it.

Marya said...

With all those cards in Pinochle, TRAM will really help :)

Anonymous said...

I like the chat feature, but it does essentially nothing more than that people wanting to chat have done here, which is to start a private table... the advantage now, i suppose, is that you can have four people there (how often will THAT happen... it's normally two people who want to chat anyway and I don't believe they're normally discussing cards) and not be annoyed by a card game . Still, a good feature.

Regarding your new ratings system for Hearts, bravo! I played for 14 years at Yahoo. They had more players (at Hearts anyway) than MSN, by half at least, and the play was better. No one there protested the fact that second place was not given ratings points (did they win the game, or lose?), or that third place did not lose as much as 4th (absurd). New members were sure at some point to hear this refrain: "Second place only counts at MSN."

By the way, I have yet to hear anyone make any argument to the effect that granting a win to second place improves play. The closest has been the idea that players are less likely to quit if there is a consolation prize... I'm glad that is trumped by the desire for good game play.

If anyone have a reasoned argument against a ratings system that only credits you for a win if you actually DO win, let's hear it. Just be concise, please, and don't blow smoke .

- DrDammit

Anonymous said...

That was sloppy, but I am serious.

A Hearts ratings system that rewards second place is inaccurate, necessarily so, since second place is not a winning position.

If you believe that is incorrect, I'd like to know why (but don't just point at MSN).


Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is just a question about the purpose of ratings. How eager are all of you, really, to find out who t

Hank Wheelie said...

Thank you for the "chat" option, which I would love to use, but it seems that players either aren't aware of this or choose not to, which is a shame.

Anonymous said...

Floppy is old term. did you mean 5 1/4 or 3 1/2? haha