Populous: Enhanced Edition – V1.5.3776 – Patch Summary

Lovenji here once again to update you with the latest Enhanced Edition patch! There was no patch in April and that’s because the Enhanced Edition team were hard at work being delivering this absolute monster of a patch. There’s a lot to go through here, so bear with me while we do the summary and the breakdown, as it’s going to take us a little while to go through all of it! Similar to the last patch, this patch was also hot fixed within 12 hours of its release, so I’ll include those in this listing as well!

A direct download for this version is available here.

Remember to report any bugs you find via the Bug Tracker or via #Support in the official Populous: Reincarnated Discord.

Summary of this Version:

Additions;

  • Ability to bind keys to “None”
  • Option to choose the Population Limit for a game of populous.
  • Keybind to select the Shaman.
  • Keybinds to select buildings.
  • Ability to Cycle allies backwards in lobby.
  • Broadcast messages in lobby when the host changes options.
  • New Feature; Disable Wildman Respawn.
  • New Feature; Swarm Ignores Allies.
  • New Tooltip for dark fog.
  • More LUA functions.

Changes;

  • Wood Search Improvements
  • Revert some blast changes
  • Adjusted auto-casting logic, in order to replicate 1.03 behaviour.
  • Braves drop wood before chopping another tree.
  • Discoveries are now instantly given to players in multiplayer.
  • Spies lose invisibility when burning wood.
  • Spies can burn damaged buildings.
  • Sound Quality gone, replaced by ambient sounds option.
  • System messages are coloured grey in the lobby.
  • Renamed “Raw Input” option to “Legacy Mouse”.
  • Brought back 3d object highlight animation.
  • Wood Piles are now highlighted white.
  • Adjustments to new tribes building textures.
  • Encyclopaedia is now single player only.
  • Game will not animate things while paused.
  • Map editor configuration is shared no matter if it’s a mod or default game.
  • Updated Russian Language.
  • Updated German Language.

Fixes;

  • Fixed an issue where braves would be stuck behind building after its first layer appears.
  • Fixed an issue where lightning activated earlier than it should.
  • Fixed an issue where the swirl effects caused lag in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue with Preachers and Towers.
  • Fixed an issue where units could reset their state mid-air preventing them taking falling damage from blast.
  • Fixed an issues where units would target a Vault of Knowledge.
  • Fixed Shaman spawning in a Reincarnation Site despite her being linked to a trigger.
  • Fixed an issue where fog of war was causing desync when placing building plans.
  • Fixed being able to place plans in the Dark Fog.
  • Fixed sounds stopping outside of world view.
  • Fixed Firestorm sounds over caster.
  • Fixed building’s smoke being offset incorrectly for non-blue tribes.
  • Fixed being able to place more than one building plan, if its availability was set to TEMPORARY.
  • Fixed the Spell Discovery Animation.
  • Fixed minimap rendering glitches.
  • Fixed minimap borders not scaling.
  • Fixed Landbridge Trick when used in combination with flatten/volcano.
  • Fixed computer players targeting Vaults of Knowledge.
  • Fixed computer players behaving odd due to increased ACTION_TABLE size.
  • Fixed Computer players not ignoring waypoints with ATTR_GROUP_OPTION 1 and 3.
  • Fixed LUA function “get_sprite” returning wrong sprite bank.
  • Fixed Atlantis Effect not updating Minimap textures.
  • Fixed SearchMapCells(SQUARE) logic with not processing single tile.
  • Fix weird pixel glitches around dark fog cells.
  • Fix forge world GUI, spells now have clicking sounds.
  • Fixed forge world not giving initial mana after the timer reaches zero.
  • Fix forge world spawning inactive/dead players at 0,0 coordinates.

Hotfix;

  • Fixed an issue where land bridge would create odd slopes on one side while expanding the base.
  • Fixed an issue where the objects within the game were brighter than normal.

And we’ve got quite the adventure ahead of us!

The Breakdown:

Well it goes without saying that we are going to have quite the amount of material to cover, to save on some space and some time, I’ll be summarising a lot of the options I don’t feel a player needs to know under sweeping categories, for example the items related to modding Populous. Rest assured though, there’ll be no being lazy for me as we tackle this epic patch together. Before I get started I once again want to thank the Development Team for working on this patch, that is Tyler, MrKosjaK, Toxicity, Inca, WhitePhantom and anyone who wasn’t called out in the patch notes, but also may have contributed to this patch’s changes. With that said, let’s take a deep breath, grab a coffee and get right on with this Populous: Enhanced Edition patch breakdown.

 

Ability to set Key Binds to “None”:

This does exactly what it says on the tin really, before there was no way to set your key bindings to “None” meaning if you wanted to unbind a bunch of items, such as the camera controls on your numpad, you would have to bind them all to a “Burner key” which was a nightmarish key you gave 12 different keybind assignments effectively creating a DO NOT PUSH super button on your own keyboard! Now by pushing the same key the item you want to change is bound to, the game will set that key to “None”. To give an example, Toggle Level Stats is bound to “S” by default, if I found that option in the Enhanced Edition, selected it and then pushed “S”, it would then be bound to “None” and impossible to toggle until I bound it to a new key, nifty!

Added Population Limits:

A controversial topic depending on who you talk to, but a change I’m happy to see! This change again is pretty straightforward, in your multiplayer lobby you can now change the population limit of your Enhanced Edition games. Your options are 50, 100, 200, 400 and Infinite with Infinite currently being the default. So if your PC isn’t quite up to scratch for a game with 10,000 Population, you can limit it back down to the standard 200 we’re used to from the base game!

New Keybinds:

Grouping these together as it seems logical, not only can you set keybinds to spells but because of their popularity even more keybinds have now been added, now you can select your shaman with the push of a button instead of having to assign her to a control group every time she died and reincarnated, additionally every type of building can be bound to a hotkey, and I know you’re all just bursting to find the optimal key to bind Balloon Hut to!

Lobby Changes:

Another grouping from me here, as they both affect the Pre-Game Lobby, if you don’t know where that is, that’s the bit after you’ve launched from the matchmaker but before you’re slinging converts at the wildmen! A few quality of life changes have been added here, broadcast messages have been changed to white so that they’re easy to see among player text first and foremost and these broadcasts are now sent whenever someone changes a feature, so no more sneaky Craters Preachers, you’ll be able to see what the host does (or doesn’t!) change as they flick through options. With that comes another small change, you can now click to get back an option when choosing you ally. So if you actually wanted to be “Evil” and you accidentally left click one two many times, a simple right click will rectify that and take you back an option.

New Feature, Disable Wildmen Respawn:

This has been a feature hotly discussed ever since the end of the first Beta Tournament in January, and that is when players have been attacked and taken down to low population, wildmen will begin to respawn across the map as the wildmen population is linked to the global population of the world, this allows lucky players to get huge converts, comeback from games they should have lost, or make unfavourable trades counting on the random spawns of wilds to be in their favour on maps like Craters and Pressure Point. This feature disables that respawn, so after you’ve done your initial wildman convert at the start of whatever map you’re playing, that is it, that is your lot! No more wildmen after that! We’ll have to see how that affects Craig’s win rate come Friday Free For All!

New Feature, Swarm Ignores Allies:

We’ve all been there right, we’ve just killed the enemy shaman, your ally is trying to help you get in with troops and you’re throwing down ghost armies to distract towers and swarms at groups of braves and firewarriors trying to stop your devastating attack only for those swarms to send your ally’s warriors running here, there and everywhere making your attack a bust. Well, thanks to this new feature, you no longer have to worry! Toggle it on and your allies warriors will be able to swat away your swarms as if they’re harmless flies and continue their bold charge into the depths of the enemy base granting you additional shaman flexibility while around allied troops.

Changes to Fog of War:

As you may or may not be aware, Fog of War in the Enhanced Edition re-shrouds itself as you lose line of sight, meaning there are two types of Fog of War, Dark Fog and what we’ll call Dim Fog for now. Dark Fog is completely pitch black and impossible to see even the shape of the terrain beneath, dim fog won’t reveal what is happening, but will show you the shape of the land as you once previously explored it. Dark fog has now been given its own tooltip when mousing over it, indicating that it is different from Dim Fog now. Additionally Fog of War now no longer triggers an endless cycle of resynchronisations until the game crashes in a hot mess the second you place a plan down, meaning it can once again be used for multiplayer games, remember plans cannot be placed in dark or dim fog, and the area must be completely explored to build there.

Spies:

Everyone’s favourite unit, the powerhouse, the unstoppable Spy has just been made one stage stronger. Have you ever been in a single-player level, watching an AI spy burn the same building over and over until naught remains but damaged ground? Well you can now do that too! Spies are able to burn damaged buildings meaning you can give them much more flexibility to run through the enemy base causing havoc than stood by a single hut hoping to destroy it with queued commands. A fix was also found, it’s a well known fact that invisible spies are annoying, but it was only recently found that when they burn wood (as opposed to buildings) they don’t get revealed from their invisibility meaning you could cause havoc on an opponent’s wood supply without them being able to do anything about it! Well, that’s fixed now, invisible spies are still going to be annoying, but at least you’ll be able to see them tormenting you now!

Preachers:

Aside from being everyone’s favourite unit to impersonate, preachers are a strong anti-warrior unit that helps keep you alive in times where all might be lost, the tactical advantage of a single preacher can be so significant that it’s hard to ignore. It was known that the preacher when placed in towers would not function correctly, he would not have the tower’s preaching range and then actually choose to leave the tower in order to preach, instead of staying safe within its walls. This bug has been found and sufficiently splatted, a preacher in a tower now remains the ultimate anti-AI trooping unit, and will help many a player progress through single-player campaigns once more.

Wood Search Improvements:

The Enhanced Edition wood search engine has been a work in progress for a while, a continuous cycle of community feedback and developer updates has continued to make it better each iteration. The latest change to it is that it has reworked what the game considers “Safe Wood”, what does this mean? Well it means that when you’re building aggressive towers in enemy territory your braves will actually be able to find the wood you sent to those towers, now the engine only cares if the wood pile is within range of an active enemy tower, to stop your braves wandering into shots from firewarriors, building aggressively and even setting up camping towers around the Reincarnation Site is now much easier!

Reverting Blast Changes:

Blast is a powerful spell and one of the spells we use the most in Populous: The Beginning, it is useful both in offence and defence and incredibly cheap. That means any change to blast seems to get noticed almost immediately. A few changes were made to blast as a result of the additional power provided by the Enhanced Edition, including specific conditions, angle modifications and the like. We don’t need to go into what it was, suffice it to say that this line is incredibly important, what it basically means is that we’ve identified some anomalies and now Blast should be going back to how you know it to be in 1.03, bringing our most important spell back in line with our probably memorised expectations of it.

Adjusted Auto-Cast Logic:

Auto-Casting is something we do by selecting a spell and clicking out of range, it is called auto-casting because the Shaman will automatically cast when the Shaman gets into range, this is used to exploit movement in particular ways; it can get units unstuck by forcing them to slowly move along a coast, it can move a shaman onto the edge of the coast to get maximum range of her land bridge, and it can be used to force shamans to take more direct paths instead of fighting with land bridge. Whilst we have the new pathfinding taking care of day to day walking, the Auto-Cast logic has been brought back in line with how we know it from 1.03 so forcing units to walk to specific locations should behave how we expect it to, and not how the mystical faeries decide. You should also be able to autocast your Shaman out of combat once she’s blasted a unit away, instead of waiting for that unit to land.

Braves Drop Wood:

So those of you familiar with the concept of harvesting will appreciate this one, currently in Populous the command queue of orders cannot exceed 8 and to harvest trees you had to click on the ground after clicking a tree to make them drop the wood they were holding, meaning you could do a maximum of 4 trees at once, that’s now been changed! You can now fully utilise all 8 commands by clicking on 8 trees in succession, the brave will simply drop the wood next to the tree before moving on to the next tree. You can still continue to use the old method to move the wood piles where you want them, so there’s now a choice to be made between how much you’re harvesting, and where you’re keeping those woodpiles.

Units Performing The Blast Glitch:

You’ve probably seen it a number of times, you blast a warrior as he’s charging you and he resets his state mid-air, teleporting back down to the ground and starting a fight with whatever he flew over. Whilst this isn’t a “True” blast glitch, it had the same effect, causing the follower to take no falling damage from Blast, if you haven’t watched The Beginning’s Spell Breakdown for Blast then I’m delighted to tell you that most of the damage from blast is actually falling damage, so their ability to negate this was a big problem. This issue has now been rectified meaning troops should now always take the true damage of blast, stopping one particularly stubborn warrior being overly tedious to kill! Huzzah!

Not this kind of bridge!

Land bridge:

Land bridge is an interesting spell, and one you gain appreciation for the more you play Populous against other players, it can prevent units sinking, save shamans from the brink of death, cause a surprising amount of destruction, fix pathing, expand your borders, create walls and so much more. It’s a spell we love to use and one we use a lot. One exploit with the Land bridge spell is the ability to create long pillars of max height land when combined with flatten and or volcano causing even more destruction amongst enemy bases. The powers that be are testing the waters with this update and have now patched that out, meaning land bridge should be used to connect two points of land, and not create walls of max height land. There’s still some umm’ing and ahh’ing with how people feel about this change, so feel free to head on over to Populous Reincarnated to express your views on how you feel. Initially this patch did break land bridge, causing random points of elevation to appear, but this was patched out as part of the hotfix that was delivered shortly thereafter.

Spell Discoveries and the Vault of Knowledge:

Another grouping being done here, first and foremost we can talk about the straightforward change here, units will no longer attack Vaults of Knowledge, meaning that you won’t load into a level wondering what the heck is going on as the AI tries to break the centre of its own discoveries! As well as the buildings themselves being un-targetable, there has been a change to the discoveries themselves. In the days of old there was a seven second delay between a pray successfully completing and the player receiving the spell in multiplayer. This update, based on community feedback, has done away with that delay meaning players will receive their spell instantly (not accounting for ping) so that they can immediately unleash hell upon their enemies! In addition to that, but where swirl effects occur, these effects have been reworked slightly to cause much less FPS lag in some situations, making the Enhanced Edition just that much smoother throughout!

Options:

The options in the Enhanced Edition are admittedly not the most user friendly options one can encounter. The further one goes into the SHIFT + F1 menu, the more intimidating the adventure can become. Some of the more common options have been moved to the game menu and some of them even renamed to make them more useful. Raw Input has been renamed to Legacy Mouse to make it slightly easier to understand what it does, that is, it makes the mouse behave more like the 1.03 version of the game by running your mouse through a handler instead of using native windows DPI. With the introduction of the new sound system, Sound Quality will always be High, this means that the sound quality toggle is redundant, it has been replaced with an Ambient Sounds box, this box toggles the sounds of waves and the lack, much to the delight of Craig. Games will no longer animate items while paused, meaning gone are the days of the permanently dying follower during a last minute pause break. Lastly the encyclopaedia, which is the bane of my existence in multiplayer has now been completely disabled for Multiplayer, making it now a Single player only feature.

Forge Worlds:

Forge Worlds is a nifty little tool that not many players actually play with. It allows the game to begin with a stage of land creation for each tribe involved, as it’s not used terribly often it took a while for us to find any issues with it. However some issues have been found and since been rectified, they’re only minor fixes, but fixes all the very same. The spells in Forge Worlds now make that satisfying spell select sound, it no longer spawns in dead players which could have some unusual effects and, perhaps most importantly, the initial mana that players are given that allows them to start with 1 blast and 1 convert is now being appropriately awarded at the start of the game, so no tribe is at an immediate disadvantage when the carnage begins!

Minimap:

Now that the Minimap can be turned on, we’ve seen a few issues with it. The Minimap used to not scale properly within the circle, making it quite the eyesore around the edges, that’s now been rectified and the Minimap properly fits the area it’s been placed in for most resolutions, if you’re still experiencing an issue, it’s worth reporting the bug OR adjusting your resolution to one that fits it better. Additionally the Minimap will now update properly with the use of the Atlantis effect, if you don’t know what that effect is, don’t worry. It’s just the trigger used to make a segment of a base rise from the water, you probably know it from Level 10, From The Depths.

Scripting, Modding, AI Behaviours:

I’m not going to do a breakdown on all of these as it’s not necessary to unless you’re a modder, but with the addition of even more LUA features as well as the fixes of behavioural issues of the AI in single player, the Populous: Enhanced Edition is also being even more single player viable for modders and players alike, old levels should behave more like how we remember them to, and our modding power has even increased. With each one of these updates our ability to modify the game gets greater, and the AI will grow more and more powerful, it won’t be long before we’re seeing all sorts of interesting modding abilities. If you’re interested in Populous Modding, feel free to speak out in the Populous Reincarnated discord within the Modding section, someone will be happy to help you get started.

Remember:

The Enhanced Edition relies on the feedback of its members to continuously splat bugs and improve itself. If your game crashes while you use it, click the send report button to send us the results of your crash. If you encounter a bug, Shift + R or Shift+F1 are both ways that you can easily report bugs as you go. Doing so this way sends a save of your game to the developers, so they can launch right on in and experience the crash first hand!

Once again I have been Lovenji, and I have once again been delighted to work on these patch notes for you all, here’s hoping the next patch will be less of an essay.

I look forward to seeing you out there in the Solar System.