There are a variety of changes in the latest Populous Matchmaker version that allow for some new and interesting gameplay options. Most visibly is the new game settings panel that replaces the options previously beneath the hut list.
In this image, the colors have been rotated twice, but the player in the blue base has been marked as a watcher, so he will not have any followers or buildings.
The Obelisks in the map will be replaced by Gargoyles (to avoid the Obelisk bug where blue gets the spell if the worshiper leaves at the very end).
The game is set to be a timed game lasting at a maximum of 20 minutes where the player/team with the highest population at the end of that time will be the winner. Other options for time games include Armageddon, Most kills, and Most shaman kills.
Finally, there are a couple Map Additions checked meaning those buildings will be placed prebuilt on the map. Training huts are placed randomly near the CoR, towers are placed on hills around the base, and for regular huts, as many as possible are placed in the base. Followers are placed along with the huts, or directly in the CoR and Mana is placed as a discovery that can be grabbed above the CoR. All additions are added in a balanced way, so no player starts with an advantage
Within Populous a few minor changes have been made. The framerate the game runs at has been doubled which makes scrolling in the game much smoother looking than before. As a side-effect, smoke and fire will look twice as fast, but not in a way that affects gameplay.
The No-Pillar Trick, while still working, now works in a more realistic manner, so not having a Reincarnation site has the predictable consequences.
The league will be recalculated soon, along with a redistribution of the ranks so there is a more even spread of the grades in the lobby. Stay Tuned!
The game results page has a few new filters available to narrow down games. Games can now be filtered by a players tribe, game result. hosting, and alliances.
These new options can be found on the left side bar by expanding the section under a player name. Options to filter by player names, number of players, map, date range, and rated games (those that get points) are also available in the section.
For all those that have been hoping to share their victories on Facebook, the site will now show better page previews for links shared for game results, maps, forum posts, news, users, etc.
Also, be sure to Like Populous Reincarnated on Facebook where you can get updates on new features and server issues.
From time to time, people have expressed interest in donating to Populous Reincarnated in order to help out. In the past there was no way to do easily handle the money so it couldnt be done, but now thanks to our webhost Dreamhost, anyone can Donate directly to hosting costs through PayPal.
The latest matchmaker has a major update to the map pack system with a complete rewrite of the back end and a new method of installation. Map packs are now installed into a separate directory leaving the original Populous files untouched. This should cut down on the permission and corruption issues people have seen that require a full reinstall of Populous to fix.
There is a little bit of setup required to copy the files that is done the first run of the matchmaker. If there is ever a problem with the game not starting or issues with levels, just type !restore to recopy the files.
Another new feature in the update is testing of maps not in a map pack. Often map creators found that it was difficult to try out their map in a multiplayer setting to work out balance and game play issues, so this should help with that.
In the matchmaker, enable map testing on the Populous tab in Options (all testers must do this). There will then be a new "map pack" available labeled "* Test Map" at the top of the map pack list. Click that and pick the map to play on the list for install. Only the host needs to select the map.