Ok, there isnt actually one for reading the news, but there are around a hundred other achievements that are now unlockable. Achievements are unlocked for performing certain actions or reaching milestones. For example, the achievement "Master Assassin" is given to a player who has killed 50+ shamans in a single game, and "Part of the Tribe" is given to players with 10+ ranked games (advanced from wildman).
Once unlocked in the matchmaker, the achievement will appear listed in your profile page with the medal (Bronze, Silver or Gold) for all the world to see. A description is shown by hovering over the title.
Some that require multiple games to unlock such as "Conquerer" will only include games from now on, but others that are accumulative stats will count all previous games in the new system.
A new map of the day has been added thats visible in the daily matchmaker message. Todays map is Devil Worlds 2: Grass Worlds - Three Cats. Any wins on the map will receive double the traditional points for the game, and the player with the most wins will be announced Player of the Day (theres even an achievement for your bragging rights).
As most regulars will have noticed by now, the website has received a complete redesign. A big thanks to Apnea for designing the new graphics. The new design separates the website into six main categories and provides useful stats to logged in users on the left sidebar.
In upgrading the website, a big portion was to move from the 8 year old phpBB 2 forum to the recently released (and updated) phpBB 3 software. The entire site is now integrated with this software which should provide better consistency and better working pages. As there are a lot of pages on the site, some not commonly used, there may be some missing pages that were not converted. If you see any missing or broken pages, report them to IncaWarrior so I can get those fixed up.
More pages and features will be rolled out as they are completed and tested.
Aside from the basics on the left side bar, there are many more statistics available. User profiles will give many nifty tidbits of information such as the players favorite map, Nemesis, total time played, and more.
Every map now has a page with similar information specific to the map, as well as a new league based on games just played on the level. For those that missed it on the old site, there is an interactive preview of every level that shows the land and information on any monument found in the world.
The latest matchmaker version has a few bug fixes in it (best teams show up for Yellow and Green, longer messages allowed, AutoHut is nicer, PM colors) and some changes to the way hosting is detected so hopefully there will be less false positives and more hosts.
'The Beginning' mappack has also been updated to include the most commonly used restrictions, so everyone will need to update.
A 5.8 earthquake in the capital, tornadoes ripping up trees and houses, and of course the on going war that's lasted over 1 year and 2 months that's so far claimed the lives of over 2,551,831 brave men. It's a very dangerous world out there, so I hope everyone will keep the survivors in their thoughts as they go about their day.
The world I'm talking about is of course Pressure Point, which has in the last couple months surpassed Face Off as the most played map for the first time since records have been kept!
Populous Matchmaker 126.96.36.199 comes with support for several languages that can be changed on the Options panel. Currently available are Dutch (by Synchro), French (by Kiyana), German (by Nefarius), Portuguese (by Snak), Romainian (by Kiyana), Spanish (by Apnea), Swedish (by MentiX), and others (translators can be found on the Staff Page). If your language is not on that list and you feel like translating to it, Contact us for instructions to do so.
Since images don't translate as well as text, most skins will still have English buttons. The new skin Iconic solves that issue by having only icons and no text on the buttons:
For those of you that were helping test version 188.8.131.52 - please run the Matchmaker Installer as auto update is disabled in that version.
Onkar has created a DLL of his Populous 3D level viewer that is now integrated with the matchmaker. Any map can be viewed in a 3D view by clicking the [3D Preview] button above the 2D version. Users who were previously having issues with AVG displaying a warning on this version should update to version 184.108.40.206 or higher.
Since the old autohut was fairly useless, it has been completely recreated into something that serves some purpose. When clicked, the new autohut will instantly place you in the hut that best matches your skill for the fairest game, possibly a new hut. If someone else joins after, it is also able to combine users also in huts via the autohut to make larger combinations of players.
Most of the time, it will just place you in the hut that is most fair and will be most fun.
Thanks to Brandan and Alex, there are a couple changes to Populous. First off, all versions of Populous using the matchmaker will no longer be able to crash games using the building dismantle glitch.
There is also a new patch 1.04 created by Alex that allows users to chat while paused and cuts down on the CPU usage. This can now be used on the matchmaker against players that have older versions without resync problems.
Once again I'm going to try to get User Submitted Worlds 2 going. The previous version had some buggy maps, so those will be replaced. If you have any ideas for a new map but don't want to make an entire mappack, this is a great time to get it released. Just Submit the map and the best ones will be picked for the new versions of the mappack.
Regulars of the forum might have noticed some changes - the suggestions forum has been split into the Website and Matchmaker forums, and the General section has been broken into a Populous and Community section.