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Start with a clean boot (ie. when your machine has just been switched on). Then run your virus checker (You do have one don't you? And you have updated the data file recently, haven't you? Of course you have - foolish not to.) While you're at it, defrag your hard disk and check that you've got plenty of free space (70MB would be good.) With that out of the way, check the icons on the taskbar. If you have any programs running in the foreground (ie buttons with icon and text) close them down or disable them unless they are vital for your online connection. Child protection programs, such as Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny may cause problems, so disable them if you have the password. Let's face it, if you need to be protected from bad language, you shouldn't be using any form of online chat facility (such as the lobby) anyway. Similarly, right click each of the icons at the right hand end of the taskbar and disable those which you don't need. Any program using a timer should go, and SETI@Home is a particular menace, so close that. You can leave the volume control, and any software needed for the CD. (EA recommends shutting down your anti-virus software as well. I don't, and it works ok for me, but if you get problems, it might be worth trying.)
If you are the host, then when the hut has the number of players you want, click on the 'Launch' button to launch the game. No one else can do it, so don't hang around waiting or you will hack everyone off. Most people who join will be expecting a 4-player game unless you tell them otherwise, so make it clear to everyone beforehand if you want a smaller game, or else you will get sworn at. As a newbie, I would recommend that you join other peoples games to start with, rather than hosting your own, at least until you have figured out what needs to be done.
If you're a newbie, I would recommend that you go for 3-player games to start with. Just about everybody will be better than you at this stage, even if you are a whizz at the single-player levels, so any 2-player games you have are likely to be short and brutal. 4-player games will be worse, because they usually work as two teams, 2 vs 2. Because you don't know what you're doing (yet!), you won't be pulling your weight and your partner will have a hard time of it. Your team may well lose therefore and it will be all *your* fault! It's not a good idea, therefore, to pretend that you are better than you are.
To translate: They're mostly three letter acronyms, or extended three letter acronyms (ie more than 3 letters) or abbreviated three letter acronyms (less than three letters)!
Acronyms are a convenient shorthand to save typing, if you know what they mean, or a baffling code if you're on the outside. Most come from online chat and there are a number of sites with good glossaries, just search for 'IRC acronym' in any search engine. www.acronymfinder.com, for instance, has a comprehensive database which you can search, although you can't get a listing. Other 'abbreviations' are in the form of 'smiley's or 'emoticons' - just type one of those terms into a search engine and you'll get them by the truckload.
A few acronyms which crop up regularly in the Populous lobby, or which are not found in many glossaries include:
Away from keyboard|
Angel of Death
Be right back
Circle of Reincarnation
Electronic Arts (publishers of Populous)
Laugh my ass off (not to be confused with In My Arrogant Opinion)
Mate (English slang for 'friend')
Wassup = What's up? = Is there anything of interest happening at the moment, my good man?
Team Adept, a clan for Populous players (See clans)
Team Havoc, a defunct clan for Populous players (See clans)
Boats and Balloons
If you want to try hosting a game, you will want to look at the hosting page which describes the various options.
That should be about all you need to get you going. If you have problems, check out the troubleshooting page. If you find people are being abusive towards you, it may be that you are inadvertantly upsetting them: check out the etiquette page to see where the problems might lie. In fact, check it out anyway as there is a lot of useful stuff there.
Once you've tried a few games, you're bound to be hooked, even though you got mashed. Getting mashed is not the best bit of playig Populous though, so if you want to raise your game, check out the pages in the strategy section on the navigation bar (top left of each page). There are details on how best to use all the spells and game features, and tips for playing each of the multiplayer maps, written by a range of experienced players.
Finally - Have fun, and I look forward to seeing you online!
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Last updated: 17 October 2011