Good news everyone!
Populous Reincarnateds very own "New Worlds" are currently undergoing some huge changes.
As you all probably know, New Worlds are the first mappacks that were released in the early stages of Populous Reincarnateds services (more than 10 years ago!)
Over the past years we have had quite a few suggestions on how to improove these old maps, but we also had complaints about some maps being bugged or imbalanced.
Reason enough to double-check all the New Worlds mappacks and fix all the needed things on every map;
Stoneheads, base-sizes and structures, pathing problems, tree / wildmen imbalances and all other kinds of things will be finetuned to make the maps better playable and more fun!
You can already download the new and improoved version of "New Worlds 01: Oil Worlds" and an updated version of the mod "Populous: Reloaded" (which is now compatible for software too!).
The revamped mappacks will be listed as "01 - New Worlds: Oil Worlds" and so on, more revamped New Worlds will be released in the upcoming weeks, make sure you try them all out!
Here you can see the differences between the old and new version of 2 maps
Along with the revamps, we also released an additional mappack with completely new maps, check out New Worlds 2014!
This mappack has a very special map called "Jailbreak 2", this map is made for 2vs2 (Blue and Red vs Yellow and Green), every player has to multitask on 2 different areas; on one Island they have to build up their base and worship totems to connect their islands, on the other Island they have to maintain a strong defense as thats where the shamans are incarcerated.
I decided to post this info since many people are probably confused on how to play this map, while it can be great fun if all players are equally skilled and know what to do!
Theres also a map specially made for "blast wars" called King Of The Circle, before starting this map you want to make sure that you set the ammount of "shaman lives" to 10 or less (infinite will mess up the maps goal!), and make sure to select all 75 braves on the far away Island and make them guard or set a continuous waypoint, else they will die and you will get no mana!!
The goal of the map is simple, all shamans have to kill eachother with only Blast, the last shaman standing wins the game and has to worship the AOD in the center, this will kill all the tribes braves and end the game (so make sure noone worships before only 1 player remains, as this will put all players managain to 0!)
In an upcoming update on the matchmaker we may change the mechanics of how this works, for the meantime maps like this must be played with these restrictions.
The other maps in this mappack are "normal" maps and have no special restriction settings or requirements, although some are made for specific teamplay, try them out to see for yourselves!
In the recent matchmaker update, population counts are sent for each tribe a few times a minute allowing a nifty graph to be created showing each player's progress over the game. That has been taken a step farther on the map statistics page to show a graph of the average population over time for the winning players. The results show some interesting characteristics about some maps with a few highlights shown here.
One note about the graphs - you may see a regular bump appearing in some of the graphs making them not perfectly smooth. This is due to people playing the maps with fewer players than they are designed for with two of the players spectating.
Easily the most popular fan made map, this is a good first example because it is perfectly mirrored for all four teams. There are also no wildmen available to convert at the start, so the population doesn't start growing until the players have built a few huts.
Blue and Red are the typical winners of this map due in part to a bug in the game, but it seems that when yellow and green win, they do it with a slightly higher population.
The all time most popular map made by bullfrog has a surprisingly large handicap for the Blue player. The start of the game is fairly balanced with a few wildmen available to be converted to the tribe moving to normal growth from huts, but around 10 minutes into the match Blue starts to split off from the other players. The issue is just the amount of space available to build huts. Sure an argument can be made that Blue as host has no lag and there are strong defensive hills around the base, but the overall stats show that this disadvantage definitely gives Blue a harder time.
Another popular Bullfrog map that is much more balanced. A lot of the early game is devoted to converting all the wildmen around the map, which shows up on the population graph as a quick surge up to around 40 braves before a slow growth as the players build enough huts to support that many people!
Another point of interest in this map is the average game length is just under 24 minutes, but the populations plateau at 25-30 minutes. Basically don't expect to get a full base built up before engaging the enemy since most of the time you'll already be dead by then.
This less popular map by Bullfrog (mostly because of the super powerful spells given from the two stone heads) has quite a range of populations in the later game. The blue tribe gets a bit of an advantage at the start of the game from having more wildmen available and seems to keep that advantage for most of the game.
At around 20 minutes (the average game length) there are two tiers of populations with Blue and Green having a higher population than Red and Yellow. That conveniently matches up with the positions of the tribes where Blue faces Green and Red faces Yellow so Bullfrog might just have known what they were doing when they made the map.
Another popular fan made map has a twist where Red is dependent on Blue and Green is dependent on Yellow. The Red and Green tribes start with nearly no land and no ability to make more, while Blue and Yellow have lots of land and are given the Landbridge spell to make more.
The map is also symmetrical between the teams and it's clear the two teams use a similar strategy in building. Similar to Two On Two (but much more distinct), there are two tiers of population visible. Just after the average game ends at 25 minutes, Green breaks off from Red with more people, so it would seem that Yellow is better at providing their ally with land.
A unique fan made map designed as a three vs one battle with the Red tribe (the juggernaut) having a much larger base and extra mana. The other three tribes all have similarly sized small bases that don't even get up to 75 people each. When Red wins, he gets up to nearly the maximum population which closely matches the combined population of the three players of the opposing team. The three shamans will usually wear him down if the game gets to that stage, so Red really needs to work to keep them down while doing heavy expansion.
Long time visitors of Populous Reincarnated may remember when we had a "Picture of the Moment" visible where we would update with a new picture every now and then if someone remembered. Even longer time visitor might know that was originally the "Picture of the Month" but there just werent enough pictures around to keep updating it! That was eventually replaced by a random fact about a follower, but recently its been replaced by more up to date content from current games.
The matchmaker has an option (Options > Populous > Send screenshots) to send screenshots once per minute when in game that can be found on the game results page by clicking on the population graph. When people who have this option enabled (or are streaming the game) are playing, the website will cycle through live images of the game marked as "Live Game" or "Live Stream". If no one is sending screenshots at the time, then an image from the previous day will be chosen instead.
After solving the lack of image submissions, we are reintroducing the Picture of the Day! Every day a screenshot from the past 24 hours will be selected and shared with our fans on our Facebook page a s well as being published to the new Screenshots Gallery on Populous Reincarnated.
Matchmaker 184.108.40.206 brings some of the biggest changes ever seen! Major parts of the back-end have been upgraded and changed for better compatibility with modern systems fixing many long-standing bugs (such as crashes with multiple displays) and allowing some new useful features (such as Unicode support). The front end has also been rearranged to improve the user experience and cut out unneeded panels.
A new panel has been added containing all the settings of the now removed Game Settings window plus hut settings and map preview.
The players box not only contains the players and colors/start locations of the game, but now has a new ping field to preview what the in game ping will be once the game starts.
The lobby panels displays informational boxes such as the map of the day and welcome message when not in a hut and can be hidden entirely for those wanting a more minimalist view.
Some people may have noticed that the last update wasnt ENTIRELY accurate when it said everyone could host. The new update improves upon that with a revamped connection system including two-way NAT hole punching and full IPv6 support! The pings will show up for the players connected with a ? for those still joining and a X for the rare occasion when someone isnt able to connect.
Port forwarding is still the best way to be able to host every one, and the Matchmaker makes that easier with automatic UPnP port forwarding and firewall rules plus an informational box with instructions for manual forwarding.