Worms Armageddon ReadMe (English)

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This is a web version of the Worms Armageddon Update Documentation. The original RTF is included with the updates, and can be found in your W:A folder. You can also download it from here.

Introduction

Since its initial release in 1999, Worms Armageddon has undergone continual evolution, with two programmers, Deadcode and CyberShadow, continuing to add new features and implement community-requested improvements to the game. This document lists the changes which have been introduced in each version and provides a list of known issues and bugs in the current software.

Supplementary Documentation

Version History

Known Issues/Bugs

Crashes / Fatal errors

  • If W:A is minimised in the front end and it needs to display a dialog box, switch to a different screen, etc., it may crash or the screen elements may be displaced or appear corrupted on restoring. For example:
    • During the end-of-round screen in an online game, W:A will crash if the host clicks the "Play Again" button before you have restored;
    • If W:A is minimised just before entering WormNET, upon restoring the screen elements will not be placed at their correct locations.
  • There are crashes that reportedly happen for various other causes, sometimes before W:A even has a chance to start up. These have not been thoroughly investigated, but may have something to do with nonstandard or erroneous files in the directory structure of the W:A CD-ROM or installed "Worms Armageddon" folder, often due to a pirated copy of W:A.
  • W:A will not run on computers with video cards/chipsets or drivers which do not support the 640×480 screen resolution used by W:A's front end.
  • On systems with multiple monitors and Windows 7, the screen may flicker excessively or continuously upon start, or before and after a round, when using the Direct3D 9 renderers. Known workarounds include switching to the Direct3D 7 renderer (by importing the Tweaks\Renderer_Direct3D_7.reg registry script), or by enabling the "Disable desktop composition" option on the "Compatibility" tab in WA.exe file's properties.
  • On Windows Vista and newer, locking the computer (e.g. using a shortcut key), pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete or getting an UAC pop-up in the frontend may cause W:A to crash or get stuck on a black screen. The most likely cause of this is due to introduction of the Secure Desktop mode for the aforementioned cases. In this mode, applications cannot interfere with the foreground, which causes W:A to perform erroneous actions when drawing itself and crash. One solution to this could be disabling the Secure Desktop for the UAC pop-ups, however the security risks that come with this are to be considered. In other cases, try not to use the desktop-blocking key combinations when the game is active.
  • A crash may happen after closing and reopening the lid on some laptops, most likely due to the system automatically switching screen resolution to a lower one for power-saving purposes and then switching it back. You could try disabling this feature and instead making it only disable the backlight, if you know how to do this for your laptop. Alternatively, you could try minimizing the game first, and closing the laptop in that state instead.

Privacy

  • Whispers are not sent securely, and can be spied upon using a network packet logger. This applies both to the host/join screen and the in-game chat.

Network Connectivity

  • In an online game, the delay between turns (a minimum of 2 seconds) is perhaps sometimes longer than necessary.
  • When a v3.6.24.1 user is present in an online game along with v3.6.23 or v3.6.24.2+ users, a desync may happen during long turns of the v3.6.23 / 3.6.24.2+ users.
  • In v3.6.30.0, for a client in an online game with 3 or more players, if the host stops responding (without detectably dropping the connection) during a remote client's turn, then the game will not automatically time out the connection.
  • IPX/SPX support is not functioning, despite being present in the user interface.
  • A temporary network problem (manifesting as a TCP disconnect or timeout) causes the affected player to irreversibly drop out of the current game (and cause a two-player match to end). There is currently no way to continue an interrupted match.
  • The user's external IP address will not be autodetected until they connect to a WormNET server.
  • WormNET / Direct IP games hosted from systems lacking a network interface with a global IPv4 address (or behind a network firewall) may not be joinable by other players.
  • Network configurations with broken path MTU discovery (e.g. due to an overly-aggressive firewall) may cause network packets of a certain size to be lost. As a result, attempting to add a team after joining a game can lock up the connection.

Usability issues

  • The front end may be slow/laggy sometimes. One known cause of this is MSN Messenger; if you are using it, go to Tools→Options→Personal and uncheck the box “Show me as "Busy" and block my alerts when I'm running a full-screen program, such as a slide presentation”. Another known cause is video driver related, and this is addressed in v3.6.26.4.
  • In the end-of-round screen of an online game, the "Exit" button sometimes stays greyed out for an unreasonable or indefinite amount of time.
  • When a WAgame file is launched from Windows Explorer, a refresh is triggered in Explorer, so upon returning from Playback, the selection is reset to the first file in the folder.
  • A game hosted on WormNET will disappear from the list after a timeout, even if the game is still open for joining. If this is fixed before the implementation of a new rankings/server system, the fix will be an auto-renewal.
  • There are some text strings (mainly those added since v3.0) that have not been translated and are shown only in English.
  • Under certain conditions (possibly related to the v3.6.26.4 "slow front end" fix) the Alt fine-tuning key in the Map Editor doesn't work properly.
  • Certain Cyrillic characters are internally represented as their look-alike Latin characters. As a result, Cyrillic strings emitted in log files or copied into the clipboard may not coincide with the original strings. One effect of this is that it may not be possible to search generated log files using a Cyrillic search pattern.
  • It is too easy to accidentally kick another player in the host lobby.
  • When playing on maps with a width smaller than the screen resolution width and a height close to the maximum map height, the background may not be drawn correctly, resulting in visual artefacts.

Playability issues

  • Weapons dropped by a roping worm will sometimes immediately hit or bounce against the roping worm. Examples:
    • The Bazooka may hit the roping worm before it has any chance to retreat, instantly detonating even if there are no obstacles in the immediate vicinity.
    • The Holy Hand Grenade may bounce against the roping worm and fall the wrong way.
    • The Sheep Launcher may brush against the roping worm and drop straight down while requiring one less pressing of the Fire key than is expected to trigger explosion.
  • Graves can block a Girder from being placed in certain positions that would be possible if the grave were not present. The alternative, however, would be to allow the girder to be placed, thus causing the grave to fall down through the terrain, which would be rather weird (although it is already possible to do by shooting a grave with the Longbow).
  • It is too easy to accidentally Surrender.
  • It is possible to fall onto a Crate in the middle of Rope Roll without collecting the crate. This is very rare. (This can also happen in a Mission/Training round, if a worm continues roping after losing enough health to die; that is a separate issue, and if anything needs to be fixed in that case it is the fact that a zombie worm can keep moving.)
  • When computing the possibilities for firing a projectile, a CPU worm follows the paths with staggered pixels. However, a projectile's actual collision path sweeps a 7x5 rectangle, which may collide in a place the CPU worm didn't check. This can result in the CPU worm accidentally throwing a Grenade which bounces back onto itself, regardless of its CPU skill level.
  • When the Pneumatic Drill is used on top of an Oil Drum, it does not cause an explosion. (It does, however, if a corner or side of the Oil Drum is hit.)
  • The camera follows an opponent's active worm and cursor even if they are Invisible. This gives an advantage to players who are running W:A at a low resolution, since this narrows down the opponent's location.
  • There are several performance issues with large maps, particularly during the spawning of randomly placed crates.
  • In certain situations, it may be possible to have Double Time and Crate Shower crates in the weapon inventory, however these utilities will appear invisible due to not having weapon inventory icons.
  • The weapon tips in the sprites of worms holding the Uzi, Handgun and Minigun weapons do not correspond with the actual coordinates from where the bullets emerge.
  • On maps 32568 pixels tall or taller, objects will not drown, instead remaining on the bottom and blocking the end of the turn.
  • In some cases, fall damage is incorrectly not being applied to falling worms.

Cosmetic issues

  • PNG maps with more than 64 non-black colours create glitches in the soil texture when land is destroyed. (Note that the glitches can be avoided in 3.6.25.1+ by disabling Placement Holes, at the cost of losing soil textures and some or all background graphics.)
  • Several sprites for in-game graphics contain various errors:
    • In the sprite of a Worm holding a Freeze, the worm is incorrectly shown as standing on a downward slope if it is standing on an upward slope. A fix for this will be bundled with the next update of Gfx0.dir and Gfx1.dir (delayed because it is hard to get the palette just right).
    • In the sprite of a Worm firing a Minigun at certain angles, some stray pixels are visible at a 90 degree angle from the direction of the aiming angle.
    • In the sprite of a Worm aiming or swinging a Baseball Bat, the bat's tip appears cut off at certain angles.
    • In the sprite of a Worm activating a Suicide Bomber, the worm is incorrectly shown as standing on flat terrain if it is standing on a slope.
  • With ambient music enabled, sudden switches in the music track (for example, when Sudden Death initiates) can cause an ugly audio pop. It is unknown whether this happens on all systems.
  • Sometimes some buttons, e.g. the light-bulb icon in the host/join screen, are replaced by a small (16x16 pixels) black square.
  • When viewing a map of nonstandard size (something other than 1920×696) in the Map Editor, the cavern borders are not rescaled or moved; they are shown as if the map is still 1920×696. Also, the water level will not be proportionally correct.
  • The background debris in the front end moves at a speed dependent on your video refresh rate.
  • The description for the eighth mission, "Big Shot", is wrong. The error is present in all translations.
  • Long weapon names may not fit in the bottom text bar of the weapon selection panel (especially when the weapon has a delay and limited ammunition).
  • Various kinds of dynamic in-game objects have fixed count limits. Reaching limits may cause e.g. multiple explosions to cause older flamelets to disappear, or dud mines to not emit visible smoke.

Interoperability issues

  • Windows versions starting with Windows XP disable certain keyboard shortcuts, such as Alt+Tab, the Windows logo key, and Menu key, when they detect that W:A is running (even when it is minimised). This was presumably done as a compatibility measure for early W:A versions, which did not support minimisation — pressing such keys would cause W:A to crash. Even though those problems were fixed in W:A updates, the compatibility entry remains in Windows' compatibility database. One way to work around the problem is to rename WA.exe to something else, which avoids Windows' detection of W:A.
  • Certain versions of Media Player Classic may crash when W:A is started.
  • In the Steam edition of the game, it is not possible to open a replay if the game is already running.
  • In the Steam edition of the game, it may not be possible to open a replay if its filename contains international characters. To work around this problem, rename the file and remove international characters from its filename.
  • Temporary files use fixed locations, which may cause conflicts for multiple instances of the game. For example, opening two replay files, then rewinding the first one would cause the second one's map to be used, which will result in playback desynchronisation.
  • When certain compatibility flags are enabled in the WA.exe file's properties, W:A may crash when attempting to edit or create a team. The crash is caused by a problem in Windows' compatibility layer. Clear any unnecessary compatibility options to resolve this problem.
  • When certain compatibility flags are enabled in the WA.exe file's properties, it may not be possible to select high resolutions on the options screen. Clear any unnecessary compatibility options to resolve this problem.
  • Norton Personal Firewall, and possibly other personal firewalls, do not gracefully detect the replacement of "WA.exe" with a new version.
    • Symptom: You can no longer connect to WormNET.
    • Workaround: Each time after you install a new W:A update you need to delete the entry for "WA.exe" from your firewall so it can create a new, working entry.
    • Plan: In a future version this will be addressed by "faking" accesses to the needed ports before going full-screen, so that the user has a chance to respond to firewall windows that may pop up.
  • PeerGuardian may prevent W:A from successfully connecting to a WormNET server.

Replay/logging issues

  • In recorded replay files of online games, only the passage of game time separates lines of chat. Chat that took place during network lag or game loading will be displayed all at once during playback.
  • In situations where a Mine is triggered after the end of a turn but before the beginning of the next, a Checksum Spurious and subsequent Checksum Missing may be reported during playback or in an exported log.

Further Troubleshooting

Additional troubleshooting resources are available at the following locations:

Footnotes

  1. If a Worm dismounts a horizontally-stationary Ninja Rope in direct contact with the ground, it will land instantly, thus ready to do other things without delay. It is not always possible to extend a rope to the length necessary for this to happen — since it extends and retracts 4 pixels at a time, it may stop with 1-3 pixels of room remaining between Worm and ground. Also, even if a rope appears to be horizontally stationary, it may have a microscopic amount of momentum. Following are ways to recreate the circumstances required for an instant rope dismount:
    • (All versions of W:A) Worm is standing in a confined space (e.g. at the bottom of a tunnel 9 pixels wide and at least 8 pixels high), and shoots the Ninja Rope straight upward. It may then retract and extend the rope and/or fire a weapon, as long as it does not nudge the rope left or right. Then, when that rope is extended to maximum length (either by not moving at all, or by re-extending the rope as far as it will go) the Worm is in direct contact with the ground.
    • (v3.6.23.0 and later) Same as above, but Worm is not required to fire the rope from a confined space. It may do so from any standing position.
    • (v3.6.23.0 and later) Worm is in midair, with no horizontal velocity, and shoots the Ninja Rope straight upward. There is a 25% chance that the rope will be phased such that it is possible to put the Worm in direct contact with the ground.
    • (All versions of W:A) Same as above, but Worm must be in a 9-pixel-wide tunnel at the time the rope connects.
  2. This bug is emulated for compatibility with older versions of W:A. An emulated crash ends the game in a draw for those using a newer version. The older versions will still crash.
  3. The wa:// protocol can be used to join or host games with advanced parameters. The format is wa://address?param1=value1&...&paramN=valueN. Specifying a blank address will cause the game to host a game with the specified parameters. The following parameters are supported:
    • pass or password – specifies the game's password.
    • id or gameid – specifies the game's ID, as used on WormNET.
    • scheme – specifies the channel scheme to be used. This setting should be identical on all ends. Since this information isn't transmitted via the game peer-to-peer connection, unmatching values can cause a desynchronisation. For more information on the channel scheme format, see http://worms2d.info/WormNET_(Worms_Armageddon)#Channels
    Using the scheme parameter, it's possible to create direct IP games with rope knocking enabled. To do this, the host must run WA.exe wa://?scheme=Pf , and other players must run WA.exe wa://address?scheme=Pf .
    If the game is hosted on a TCP port other than the default one (17011), the port can be specified with the syntax: wa://address:port?parameters...
  4. The following registry tweaks allow setting certain game options, most of which can also be set using the Advanced Options screen. These files are located in the Tweaks folder, and are activated by double-clicking them (the game should not be running).
    • BackgroundGradientParallax_Disable.reg, BackgroundGradientParallax_Enable.reg - enable or disable the dithered gradient parallax effect introduced in the same version. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • FrontendUseDesktopWindow_Enable.reg, FrontendUseDesktopWindow_Disable.reg - Enables a workaround to allow the front end to render correctly under Wine. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • ForceWineVirtualDesktop_On.reg, ForceWineVirtualDesktop_Off.reg - Causes W:A to automatically restart itself under a Wine virtual desktop. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • LargerFonts_On.reg, LargerFonts_Off.reg - Use a larger font in some places in-game and in the front end. (introduced in v3.6.28.0)
    • LegacyUtilityKey_On.reg, LegacyUtilityKey_Off.reg - Use the key used for typing the ` character for the current input language to select utilities, instead of using the key under Escape (for non-US keyboard layouts). (introduced in v3.6.28.0)
    • LoadWormKitModules_Enabled.reg, LoadWormKitModules_Disabled.reg - Load WormKit modules (DLL files starting with "wk") on startup. (introduced in v3.7.0.0)
    • MapAreaWarnLimit_Always.reg, MapAreaWarnLimit_Default.reg, MapAreaWarnLimit_Unlimited.reg - Sets the threshold for which to display the map loading prompt, to prevent a Denial of Service attack by loading a very large map. (introduced in v3.6.28.0)
    • SkipIntro_On.reg, SkipIntro_Off.reg - Skips the intro and logos shown upon W:A startup; identical to the /nointro command line option. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • OfflineRopeKnocking_On.reg, OfflineRopeKnocking_Off.reg - Enables "rope knocking" in Offline Multi-Player and Quick CPU games. (introduced in v3.6.24.2)
    • Phone_Disable.reg, Phone_Enable.reg - Disables or enables the in-game telephone icon (used for notification of new chat messages). (introduced in v3.6.26.4)
    • RegisterAssociations_Automatically.reg, RegisterAssociations_Manually.reg - Enables associating W:A with replays and wa:// on W:A start-up. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • SlowFrontendWorkaround_Alternative.reg, SlowFrontendWorkaround_Off.reg - Enables a compatibility tweak for certain new video cards, which may resolve low responsiveness and refresh rates in the front end. Even if there is no frame rate problem, it can reduce the black-out period when switching between front end screens. (introduced in v3.6.26.5, v3.6.28.0)
    • SmoothBackgroundGradient_Disable.reg, SmoothBackgroundGradient_Enable.reg - Disables or re-enables the dithered background gradient in all in-game detail levels. (introduced in v3.6.30.0)
    • StereoEffects_Disabled.reg, StereoEffects_Normal.reg, StereoEffects_Reversed.reg - Disable, enable (default) and reverse the stereo sound effects. (introduced in v3.6.29.0)
    • TimerWorkaround_On.reg, TimerWorkaround_Off.reg - Prevents W:A from using the system's high-resolution timer. (introduced in v3.6.20.1)
    • UseCommunityServerList_Enabled.reg, UseCommunityServerList_Disabled.reg - Load CommunityServerList.htm (instead of ServerList.htm), which redirects to a third-party server list linking to community WormNET servers. (introduced in v3.7.0.0)

Credits

Lead Code Karl Morton
Lead Art Dan Cartwright
Original Concept Andy Davidson
Lead Support Code Colin Surridge
Support Code Rob Hill, Martin Randall
Network Code Phil Carlisle
Producer Martyn Brown
Scenario Art Tony Senghore, Rico Holmes, “Jan The Man”
Sound and Music Bjørn Lynne
Additional Audio Matinee Studios, Martyn Brown, Richie Palmer,
Cris Blyth (inc vocals on WormSong98),
Rico Holmes, Fraser Stewart, Mike Green
Additional Art Paul Robinson, Cris Blyth, Rory McLeish
Assistant Producer Craig Jones
Mission Design Porl Dunstan, John Eggett, Martyn Brown
Lead QA Kelvin Aston, Mark Baldwin
QA John Eggett, Grant Towell, Andy Aveyard,
Kevin Carthew, Paul Webb, Brian Fitzpatrick
QA Manager Paul Field
Localisation Paul Sharp
Update Coding/Design:
Versions 3.5 to 3.7.2.1 and later David Ellsworth — “Deadcode”
Versions 3.6.27.1 to 3.7.2.1 and later Vladimir Panteleev — “CyberShadow”
Version 3.6.31.2b Charles Blessing (Team17 Senior Programmer)
Update Localisation:
French “Jabba”, “LeTotalKiller”
German “bonz”
Dutch “Koen”
Spanish “OutofOrder”
Russian “Mr.X”, “CyberShadow”, “Shtirlitz”, “StepS”
Update Testing and Research: Alborz “MonkeyIsland” Shams,
Alex “Lex” Folland,
Balázs “Balee” Laky,
Ben Paddon,
Chris “Plutonic” Wallace,
Cody “Mablak” Myers,
Edward “Maz” Webb,
Gregor “KRD” Koželj,
John “Cueshark” Evans,
Kaddour “bonz” Bounab,
Kieran “Melon” Millar,
Liam Dobson,
Marc “DarkOne” Vrooland,
Mark “GreeN” Dawson,
Martin “Wyv” Denk,
Murray “Muzer” Colpman,
Nick “NickyNick” Tymchenko,
“OutofOrder”,
Paul “Bloopy” Harvey,
Paulo “Twyrfher” Miranda,
Simon Arlott,
Stéphan Kochen,
“StepS”,
Trey Brisbane,
Veronika Ajtai,
Vincent Povirk,
and others

Licence for "Flexible and Economical UTF-8 Decoder":

Copyright (c) 2008-2009 Bjoern Hoehrmann <bjoern@hoehrmann.de>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

Bug Reporting

Feedback may be provided through the Team17 Worms Armageddon forum, located at:

http://forum.team17.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=47

Before posting, please make sure to read the threads marked as "Sticky" relevant to your inquiry.

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