From Worms Knowledge Base
The Scheme Comparator is one of three ingenius solutions to a common problem with "over-customisation".
The problem is this: extensive customisability will make it very hard for players on WormNET to (a) find a scheme that doesn't use options they don't like, and (b) avoid being surprised by hidden and unexpected adjustments that the Host has made in the scheme.
It's a fair point. No one wants to play a game only to find out that the Longbow doesn't do the damage you thought it would, or that the mines are actually instant. And checking the scheme for these defects is tedious, even with the current extent of customisability. So if the editors in this section did exist, something would have to be done. It turns out that there are three solutions to this problem, and they can all be implemented simultaneously for maximum effect.
The first solution requires changes to the WormNET lobbies and how they operate. Back in the early days of WA, WormNET had a number of channels, some of which forced the scheme being used (the schemes available would be determined by WormNET admins). This meant that anyone entering these channels and playing a game would know exactly what to expect; as the host couldn't change anything. This is a solution in itself, but I see it as inspiration for a better solution - instead of seperate channels, players should have the ability to host "forced schemes" in any channel. WormNET would indicate this to all other players. Through this method, the host is effectively saying: "I'm hosting this, and you know exactly what it's going to be". No fuss necessary.
The second solution is the Scheme Comparator, perhaps a little more complicated. The Scheme Comparator is a feature devised by Deadcode, who works on the updates for Worms Armageddon and will eventually implement it into WA. When in the host-join lobby, it is often a good idea to check the scheme settings if you are not sure what to expect. The Scheme Comparator is a feature that does this checking for you. You will be required to select a scheme from your own list of schemes, and the Scheme Comparator will then compare it with the Host's scheme, and list all the differences between them.
Of course, the list of differences may be very extensive, but the Scheme Comparator will also be configurable, allowing the player to order the differences in a priority that the player finds most suitable. For example, you might want the fuse setting of mines to be listed at the top, and crate probability differences listed at the bottom.
This way there is no excuses for complaining once the game has started - you knew what was coming.
The third and final solution will not prevent you entering a game with dodgy settings, but it may help you if you forget what the scheme includes or prevent you messing up a turn. It is simply this: players will have the ability to view all scheme options while in game. So, if, for example, you've forgotten how much damage the Longbow will do, you will be able to check before you use it. This system will be designed with efficiency in mind - holding the cursor over a weapon in the weapons panel will not only provide you with its delay and ammunition, but every parameter, neatly organised in a box in the corner.
The weapon factory is a supplement to the weapon editor, allowing players to throw in several different versions of the same weapon. For example, suppose you want one grenade that releases fire, and another that releases radiation. You could make one of them in the scheme, but then you wouldn't be able to have the other. That's where the weapon factory comes in. Simply choose a weapon, edit it as you would normally, give it a name, save it, and it will be immediately available for inclusion in the schemes you choose to edit thereafter. Simple as that.
Additionally, a more advanced version of the Weapon Factory would have options much like that of the Fiddler (a third-party program for Worms Armageddon), allowing far more customisability and even selection of sprites used.
The files made with the Weapon Factory are called Weapons Modules, similar to the Fiddler's "weapon setting file", except that those contains code. Quite similar to some Liero clones.
- counter-strike mod (similar to the one already done using the fiddler)
- map-specific weapons or utilities (think Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (aka Gravity Gun) from Half-Life 2)
The Dependent Changer control panel is basically a big extension on the Scheme Editor. And I mean big: Dependent Changer covers everything. Whether it's Worm health, Retreat Time, or Crate Probability , Dependent Changer allows these values to change over time ("time" meaning number of rounds, number of turns in a round or clock time in a round) for any specific scheme option. It could potentially lead to horribly confusing chaos and mayhem, but in moderation it has strategical uses in creating new schemes.
For example, you might want a weapon to gradually become more powerful throughout the game, giving players an incentive to save it for later. Or, you might want to set an alternating pattern which the crates conform to. You might want the amount of health of health crates to be steadily increasing/decreasing as the game progresses. The list goes on. A host could even set it so that the entire game switched from one scheme to another at some point.
On any particular time, which you can cycle through using the control panel of this option, you can choose from three options:
- Set This Option To A Specific Value
- Increase/Decrease A Specific Number
- Increase/Decrease A Specific Fraction
In the last option, mixed numbers would be used and it would refer to a fraction of the actual value. It is important that the Dependent Changer feature has an unconfusing interface, since it is clearly a confusing feature. The graphic that I created poses a possible solution: the panel at the bottom contains a number of boxes that correspond to turns. They act as tabs; clicking on one will open up the settings page for that turn. Obviously, this would have to be as convenient as possible to use, as you would not want to be constantly making the same changes on every turn. A drag-and-drop system on the Dependent Changer panel would allow you to quickly "copy" settings from one turn to another. Colours or shapes inside the boxes could be used to differentiation between settings, so if you wanted an alternating scheme, you might want blue-red-blue-red-blue-red, for example. The final turn for which settings have been configured would last the rest of the game. Or, in the case of alternating gameplay, the final few turns would repeat themselves in pattern. Special mouse commands would have to be assigned to manipulating the panel in this way.