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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the questions people often ask in the forums; click on a question to expand the answer.
Sections:
I'm new here - The interface - Game rules - Points - Bugs - Feature Requests - Helping out - Map

I'm new here

The easiest way to understand is to look at an in-game screenshot. If the concept is still strange read the intro to webDiplomacy.

The gameplay is quite self explanatory, but if you're unsure about something read the intro to webDiplomacy, and feel free to ask for help or clarification in the public forum.

Check out our Donations page which explains why we need donations and how to contribute!

The GNU Affero General License (Open Source Initiative approved), which basically says you can download and change the code as you like, and put it up on your own website, but you can't claim you wrote it, and you have to give any changes you make back to the community.

See the credits for information about the small elements which are under different licenses.

The interface

If you see an icon/button/image and don't understand what it means try hovering your mouse over it, it may give you a tool-tip helping explain it. If it doesn't feel free to ask on the forum.

Red order choices are unsaved; if you see a lot of red in your orders you should save, or you might forget and lose them by closing the browser window or chatting to someone.

'Save' saves your order; your red, unsaved order choices will turn green once they're successfully saved. 'Ready' means you have finished entering your orders, and are ready to continue to the next turn. If everyone is 'Ready' the game continues right away, speeding up the game.

After a page is loaded JavaScript runs, making a few changes (e.g. putting GMT/UTC times into your computer's time zone, making your posts bold, etc) which enhance the page.

Game rules

See the intro page.

See Avalon Hill's rulebook.

We use the DATC to lay out exactly how all sorts of tricky situations are processed, in the cases where there is ambiguity in the rules. (This sort of stuff doesn't come up in usual play though.)
See our DATC page here.

It's done as the DATC recommends: It's the furthest from your home supply centers. Distance is defined as the smallest number of moves to get from the unit's position to a home supply center. When calculating the smallest number of moves armies can move across seas, but fleets can only move across seas and coasts. If there are two units both the same distance from a home supply center then fleets disband before armies. If there's still a tie, the territory which is first alphabetically is removed first.

No; for a convoy to fail it has to be dislodged, and there must be no other convoys the the army being convoyed can go through instead.

The first build order will be accepted, the second won't

They will both be disbanded

No; you cannot dislodge your own units, or support the dislodgement of your own units

There is a full list of rules on the rules page, listing a few extra non-game rules you have to follow to help keep the site fun for everyone.

Points

You can't run out: Your total number of points include the number of points which you have 'bet' into games you're currently playing in, as well as the points you have in your account. Your total number of points never falls below 100; whenever it does you're given your points back.

To put it another way; any player who isn't currently playing in any games will always have at least 100 points, so you won't run out!

This depends on the scoring system of the game in question.
Read the scoring system and points guide for more info about how games our scored and how the points system works on webDiplomacy.

The way draws split points depends on the scoring system. Read the scoring system and points guide for more info about how points are split up depending on the result of each game.

Bugs

Sometimes (usually only shortly after code updates) a software bug or server error may occur while a game is being processed. When this happens the problem is detected, all changes are undone, and the game is marked as crashed.

Admins will see a message whenever a game crashes, and information about the crash is saved so that the problem that caused it can be fixed quickly. Once a mod or admin has marked the game as OK the game will continue where it left off again.

If your game has been crashed for a long time try asking about it in the forum.

When the server detects that no games have processed for a while (over 30 minutes or so), or a moderator/admin sees a problem and hits the panic button, all game processing is disabled until the problem is resolved.
After the all-clear is given games will usually be given time to make up for any during which orders couldn't be entered, and processing will resume. Until that point if a game says it will be processed 'Now' that means it would process now, except processing is disabled.

You may also see it if you a games timer counted down to 0 while you were viewing the page, in which case you should refresh the page to view the newly processed game.

Occasionally we get this complaint, but every time we have checked the input logs to see what order was actually entered it turns out to be the mistaken order. Also the mistaken orders are often the 'Bulgaria'/'Budapest' sort of mistake which are easier to imagine human error than a bug.

Try finalizing your orders and then checking them over, so you can be sure of what you entered.

Unfortunately it does seem that sometimes people will claim that their orders came out wrong to cover up the intention of their actions. (e.g. "I was going to stab you, then read your message and changed my orders so I wasn't going to stab you, but my old orders came out instead of the new ones! Oh so sorry about that!")

This is against the rules, as it makes work for admins over made up bugs. When someone tells you a bug caused a mistake in their orders you should reserve some skepticism, and remember that the official server alone receives and processes over 20,000 orders per day (as of Feb 2010) without mistake every minute of every day for years on end, so sudden bugs which change whole order-sets around simply don't seem to genuinely happen ever, despite checking every single report.

Before reporting this as a bug double check that you entered your orders correctly and you're not misunderstanding the rules. 99.999% of the time "adjudicator bugs" turn out to be a misunderstanding.

webDiplomacy isn't currently completely web standards compliant, so there may be glitches. We would like to get webDiplomacy working on everything (within reason) but we need users of alternative browsers to let us know what's wrong and tell us how to make it look right in that browser.

Feature Requests

This is being worked on, but progress is slow.

A translation system is built into our site and several people have created websites to play this game in Russian and Italian. Ask on the forum for links to these sites.

If a variant has lasting appeal, is well balanced, isn't gimmicky, has been tried and tested on another server, and was created by a reputable developer, then it's up for consideration to be included in the standard release.

Also creating your own variants or porting existing variants to the webDiplomacy variants system is easier than ever, from simple map-change variants all the way to strange rule-changing variants, the system is flexible enough to accommodate your variant ideas.

Helping out

You sure can: if you're an HTML/CSS/JavaScript/PHP 5/MySQL/SVG/Canvas developer, graphics/icon artist, or want to learn, check out the dev info, and if you get lost you can get help/discuss ideas in the developer forums.

Tell your friends about webDiplomacy, put links on your website, help new players out in the forums, and give helpful feedback to developers. If you enjoy the game please consider buying a physical version of the board game. Thanks!

Map

Not all orders are drawn on the small map. Below the small map there is a set of icons; the one in the middle (example) opens up the large map, which contains all orders.
Also at the bottom of the board page is a link to open up a textual list of all the orders entered in the game, if you can't see something in the large map.

We have several colorblind options available in the settings page of your profile. These settings only work on the small map in games currently. Currently we have support for Protanope, Deuteranope, and Tritanope.