Hand Populous Reincarnated

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Game Data

Friday November 12, 2010 | by IncaWarrior

Results for players:

The previous post mentions the new Game Results page as a replacement for the game log text page. All the recent (and on going) game information can be found on that page.

Now there are pages for individual players that display all the previously played games, the point graph, and statistics on game results for that player. These can be found by clicking on the name of the player on the Game Results page.

Other data:

There is now a multitude of data available on games played, but as with all data, it needs to be processed to useful.

For example, just seeing a list of games played might show some basic information, it is much more interesting as a graph of the number of games played per week:
Games Played

Other data that can be pulled from the list of games is the play count for each map. The Weekly Map Plays shows that Face Off has been by far the top map for 38 weeks and running, but the number two map switches around between several choices.

If anyone has an idea for presenting game data, I can provide database structure information to create a page (or graph) and publish the results.

Map Ratings:

In the recently release mappack Team Nashua Worlds, there is a 3 vs 1 map called 'Juggernaut':
This map pits Red against the other three colors in a fairly evenly matched battle. Because the ranking system is not designed to handle maps that aren't played 2 vs 2, this map will be ranked the same as a Free For All game - that is, there will be no rank change on the new league system. The same thing will be done to any other maps that similarly do not fit into the scope of the ranking system.


Host Options

Monday October 25, 2010 | by IncaWarrior

Matchmaker 1.6.0.x Released:

The latest matchmaker contains new options for the host before they get in game. Hosts can now choose whether a game should be rated or not, the number of players in the game, and can rotate the tribes on the maps (as seen in the following image).
map host options

There is now also a way to restrict the hut to a range of ranks as well as the previous method of restricting a hut with a password.

Players can view the settings on a hut by right clicking on the host on the hut list. This will show the mappack selected by the host and restrictions the same as joining the hut would.

Game Data:

A new page has been created to display the results of games (similar to the game log) in an easier to access format. The Game Results page displays the results, alliances, ending populations, point changes, and other statistics about games. More data will be added as pages are created.


More Matchmaker Updates

Friday August 20, 2010 | by IncaWarrior

Updates for Rankings:

The ranking system has been modified slightly to reduce the point loss per day. Previously 0.03 was added to each player's sigma value per day, that has been reduced to 0.01. The league has been recalculated from the beginning to include this change so there may be some jumps in points.

There is a new page with some ranking system FAQs that should explain things more clearly than the raw equations. Please contact Inca for any questions that would be good to add.

Additionally, the matchmaker now shows more subdivisions for ranks with a + or - on the rank. These divisions are 25 points wide so a spy+ is better than a spy is better than a spy-.

Populous Options:

The standard Populous options are now available in the matchmaker options page. This will read current settings and rewrite them to Populous before every game.

Included in this is a feature to show enemies in the minimap. This is something that many players already have been using by enabling it in cheat mode in single player then the setting would copy over into multiplayer. The process has been simplified to checking a box in the matchmaker, but as this was originally a cheat, it is only enabled in game if ALL players in the game have it enabled or allow it.

There is also a fix for the Windows 7 color glitch. The current version will only fix the game for people using hardware mode, but software mode will be fixed in the next release. The matchmaker must be run as administrator at least once for this to take effect.

Other Random Features:

A few other notable new features are in the matchmaker including the level restore function - which will restore the original Populous multiplayer levels (located next to the install button in the currently installed mappack).

There is an 'Auto Hut' that will create the most fairly matched games with the people in it, but it will need to have at least 4 people to join.

Some new status icons popped up on the players list, there is a legend to explain them all. The game statuses are based on the populations of the players in the game.

Also, there is a ping function (found by right clicking a player on the right-side player list). This only works between people where one of them can host, which shouldn't be too much of a restriction since someone needs to be able to host in order to play.

Finally, there are a couple other features like the best teams and English-only Language filter. The language filter is experimental, but could be improved if someone sent in a few thousand lines of chat in a single language.


Ranks Changed

Friday May 21, 2010 | by IncaWarrior

New Skill Based System:

After years of wanting it and months of testing, Populous finally has a skill based league table! The system used is based off the Trueskill System that is used for ranking on Xbox Live with modifications made to work with Populous. It is a comparative system where ranks are changed based on wins and losses, similar to the Elo ranking system, but with the addition of skill uncertainty and it works with team games instead of only 1v1. Here are the details of the implementation for anyone interested.

The old league system will remain in place same as always, but will not be used in matchmaker rankings.

Ranks in the Matchmaker:

The ranks in the matchmaker are based on this system and distributed across players based on how many points they have. Any player that has played less than 10 ranked games since mid-February will have a rank of wildman until they get enough games. Currently, the distribution of players across the ranks (different colors are different ranks) looks like this:


Qualifying Games:

Not all games played will change your ranking in the new system. The biggest item is free for all games are not used at all as there isn't a way to get a meaningful comparison out of them. Any quits, loss of connection, or game crashes will be counted as a loss. 'Tied' games are also not counted - these are games where the majority of players changed allies at the end of the game (allied up).

Games watchers will not be considered in a ranking, only the two players actually competing will be compared. To designate yourself as a watcher, ally all the players in the match at the start of the game, and remain allied for the first 10 minutes of the game.

Other Tools:

With this new system, a variety of new tools are available that will be linked into the site as time goes on. One nifty tool is the Best Team Generator. Just put the usernames of the four players in the game into the form on this page, and the best team matchings will be generated as well as displaying the 'Match Quality' of all the team combinations.

Players can see how their ranking has changed over time with the experimental skill graph. To use it, replace the number in the address with the number of your user-account (can be found in address bar of your user profile). For example, here is the graph of skill for the player Nefarius. This is currently the only way to tell your skill level if you have under 10 games played - something that will be fixed soon.


Matchmaker Update

Tuesday February 23, 2010 | by IncaWarrior

Populous Matchmaker Released:

After a lengthy delay since the previous version, the latest Matchmaker has finally been released!

There are several new features that have been added, the most controversial probably being the removal custom ranks. Players will no longer be able to pick a rank lower than their actual rank (sorry noob bashers). This is in connection with the advanced game reporting built into the matchmaker. Over the next month or two there will be a new ranking system implemented using the data collected. Currently players will get points as normal, but anyone can view the results of game on the game log page.

Another more popular feature is the built in port check. This sends a test packet to the client on port 7575 UDP to check if it is open. If it is open, then you can host. If the check fails, then you will not be able to start a game until it passes. You can run the test again by clicking the [Port Test] button.

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