Tonight we released an update (on Windows, Mac, and Linux simultaneously) which add a handful of new, fun features.
== Elo Ratings & Steam Leaderboards ==
First off are "Elo Ratings[en.wikipedia.org]
" - the same rating system used to rate professional Chess players. These Ratings will be used for the Steam Leaderboards.
The very simple overview is that you'll be rated starting at 1200. If you beat someone at a game of Hive online, their rating will go down and yours will go up. If they're rated much higher than you, the amount you gain is higher. So if you beat someone rated 1400, your score goes up more than if you'd only beaten someone rated 1250. Similarly, if you lose to someone with a very low score, your score would drop more than if you lost to someone with a very high score.
One thing to be aware of is that for this system to work, everyone starts out with a "Provisional" rating until they've played 30 games. If you see someone with a rating with "P" at the end (eg: "1200P") that means that they're still starting out. If you're fully rated, playing against a newbie will NOT affect your score. This makes it easy for you to play new people without worrying that they are really good & their artificially-low score could affect you.
Until you have played 30 rated games, your Elo Rating will NOT be submitted to the Steam Leaderboard since it's not considered to be a highly scientific rating until you've played a decent number of games.
== Private Lobbies ==
If you want to play an online game with a specific friend, now you can create a Private Lobby. If you create a game with a Private Lobby, then your game won't be listed in the list of games in the Online Main Menu. This way, you don't have to worry about strangers joining the game and having to explain to them that you're waiting for someone else.
Since Private Lobbies aren't listed, to get your friend into the game you must use the "Invite Friend" button to invite them in.
== Bugfix ==
We were also made aware of a bug that placing certain pieces after a certain string of events could cause the game to crash. We believe we have this fixed, and this fix is why we rushed this build out without better documentation about the new Elo Ratings ^_^ ...don't tell anyone. But if you saw that bug before, we're sorry: you shouldn't be seeing it again. If you ever see this or any other bugs, please let us know! :)
Alrighty... so get out there and play some online games! Since all players have to play 30 rated games to make it on the Leaderboard, it's going to be a race for the top spots! :D