Worms Armageddon ReadMe (English)/v3.6.19.7 Beta Update

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v3.6.19.7 Beta Update (2004.02.09)

Features

  • A host can now limit the number of players joining, simply by resizing the upper-left player list box. To do so, click and drag the bottom edge of this box. (In v3.5 Beta 3pre1 "Avacado Build" [sic], this wasn't working 100% — now it is.)
  • 3.5 Beta 3+ users can now connect with each other online without going through the time-consuming CD-check; this saves time for people joining a game and reduces jerkiness/lag for the host.
  • You may now play TCP/IP online games directly, bypassing WormNET.
    • One person hosts, by leaving the IP address box blank and clicking the Direct TCP/IP button.
    • The other people join by entering the host's IP address and hitting Enter or clicking Direct TCP/IP.
  • Localisation is improved. Your Nation is set directly from geographic location information if available (Control Panel: Regional and Language Options: Location). Your Language is set in a more direct manner. Sublanguages don't have to be explicitly recognised for the main language to be used, and messages that haven't yet been translated are shown in English.
  • Backwards compatibility with previous patches starting at 3.5 Beta 1
    • A new feature or bug fix which changes the game logic will not be activated unless all people present in a game are using a patch at least as recent as the one in which that feature/bug fix was implemented.
    • When all players light up to signal readiness, a message will be printed stating which game logic version will be in effect. If emulation of an older version is necessary, the message states which players' presence is causing emulation to be necessary. The host then has the option of either booting the players who do not have the latest logic patch, or starting the game with emulation.
    • If a player present in an online game at the host/join stage is running a version too old to support a certain game setting (for example, a colour map) the host will see the player's name crosshatched in red in the player list. If this is the case, then when all players light up, the printed message will explain why the game cannot be started with the current settings and players.
  • The maximum line length that can be entered in the front end chat text entry boxes has been increased from 249 to 512 characters.
  • Networked Game Message History
    • Now carries through to extra rounds and the finish of a game.
    • Can now be read after the host or all other players have left a finished game.
  • Features affecting game logic
    • Teleporting – Before, if you tried to teleport somewhere that was blocked, the game would search up and down for available spots. Now, it searches nearby in all directions and picks the closest spot, with an orthogonal bias.
  • Volume can be changed in-game and in the Options menu of the front end. Using this allows you to balance the game volume with MP3s, voice chat software, etc.
  • Added an AFK (Away From Keyboard) mode that automatically skips your turns while you're gone. This mode is activated by entering /afk or /away in the chat. It is cancelled when you press anything chat-related, such as typing or pressing PageUp or PageDown. You can minimise while staying in AFK mode; when you restore, your AFK status will be cancelled.
  • The chat is now opened by default in online games, and a message describing how to open it with PageDown is displayed until the user presses a chat-related key.
  • Changes relating to maps/levels:
    • Imported colour maps are saved in PNG format (with metadata) and usable in online games.
    • Maps may have up to 64 colours (65 including black) if graphical glitches are to be avoided.
    • Maps can have up to 96 colours (97 including black), but then soil textures (the background that appears when land is blown up) will get corrupted. This is not a problem if Indestructible Terrain is enabled. [Also however, the background graphics get corrupted; the solution is to disable backgrounds while playing.]
    • Map previews and thumbnails are now anti-aliased for better detail and aesthetics, and to be informative and accurate in the case of maps with patterns or thin lines. All types of maps now have thumbnails.
    • Large map files now transfer more smoothly, and have no file size limit (previously they were limited to 64985 bytes). Progress bars are shown as maps are sent or received, and players can chat in the meantime.
    • While clicking rapidly through map thumbnails, you may accidentally skip past a good looking one. Now you can backtrack with a Shift+Click.
    • The logic for classifying a custom map as island or cavern has changed. Now, it is only a cavern if its eight topmost rows of pixels are entirely filled. (Before, it was only an island if its entire top, left and right edges were empty.) The reason for this change is that it matches the game's logic; the cavern border added by the game itself always overlaps the top eight rows. To facilitate this in the editor, right-clicking on the Borders button will now add a top border, turning the map into a cavern.
    • Maps can be organised into folders underneath User\SavedLevels, which can then be navigated in the map editor combo box.
    • Black and White maps, or colour previews of them, can be converted into full colour maps by right-clicking the Preview/Edit-mode button. They can then be saved in PNG format.
  • Games are automatically recorded and can be played back.
    • The files are stored in User\Games under your main W:A folder, with the extension .WAgame
    • Double-click one of them to play back the associated game.
    • You can launch playback instances while another instance of W:A is running minimised.
    • The recorded game files are self-contained, and can be moved, emailed, posted on the web, etc. They will play back for anyone with an up-to-date W:A installation.
    • During playback, the speed can be controlled with the top number keys 1-9,0. The progression is geometric in pairs: the keys correspond to multiples of 1×,2×,3×,4×,6×,8×,12×,16×,24×,32×. Holding Shift while pressing a speed key will slow down playback, otherwise it will be speeded up. (Note: Slowdown is limited to ⅛×, and your machine may not be able to play at the fastest speeds.)
  • The command line parameter /dir can be used to specify what directory to use as the main W:A directory. This allows W:A to be started from an arbitrary directory using a single command, even if the executable being used is not in the main W:A directory.
  • Front End
    • Buttons now behave more closely to standard buttons in other applications.
    • Scrollbar functionality is much improved. Before, dragging the scrollbar to the end of a long list wouldn't actually go to its end, which could cause frustration when slogging through long scheme lists, map lists and message histories.
    • List boxes and Combo boxes, such as the list of Schemes and Level Files, are now properly sorted and respond intuitively to keyboard control and the mouse wheel.
    • Chat Bars always get the default keyboard focus so that it is not necessary to click on them before typing.
    • Front end screens such as Multi-Player, Network Hosting and Game Options behave more uniformly and logically. For example:
      • Numerical option buttons that are locked to certain values (e.g. Turn Time of 15,20,30,45,60,or 90 seconds) will now display a value rounded to the nearest instead of defaulting to one value (e.g. Turn Time used to show 90 for any unrecognised value, even low ones like 13 seconds). [Unfortunately, "infinite" turn time (a negative number) was rounded up to 15 seconds for display, which was misleading. This was rectified in v3.6.25.1.]
      • A right-click now causes all settings and options to go backwards by one tick, whereas before, in many of them you had to go all the way forward and wrap around just to go back to the beginning.
      • Teams can be edited while in an online game.

Fixes

  • For some people, in the Team Editor the OK button would remain greyed out inappropriately, making it impossible to edit a team. [Apparently, this may not have been fixed after all. The cause is still mysterious.]
  • Bug introduced in v3.5 Beta 1: When Large Fonts (120 dpi fonts) were enabled in Windows, W:A's dialog boxes were enlarged beyond the size of the screen.
  • Bug in a feature introduced in v3.5 Beta 1: High-ASCII chars (128 and above) could not be pasted from the clipboard.
  • When hosting, an updated map was not sent to people in the game if the host Previewed right before exiting the Map Editor. This would result in a desync when the game started.
  • Bug introduced in v3.5 Beta 1: There was an invisible colour in the host/join player/team lists. This blue text colour, invisible against W:A's blue background, has now been changed to red.
  • At some point the "Delete" command on the WormNET game-hosting server was broken, making games stick on the list until they timed out if the host quit without starting the game; to work around this, the client now uses the "Close" command instead.
  • It is no longer possible for other users to crash you by using an invalid nation flag in the WormNET user or game list, or in host/join. (v3.5 Beta 3pre1 "Avacado Build" [sic] was released to rectify this; extra protection has been added since then.)
  • Flag and rank icons were loaded all at once outside a channel, but one by one, slowly, inside a channel. This has been fixed; they now refresh along with the game listing.
  • At the Next Round stage, if only players of a single ally remained after others quit or disconnected, all buttons would be disabled and the "WA.exe" process would have to be killed externally.
  • Bug in a feature introduced in v3.5 Beta 1: If you join a network game, light up, then minimise before the game has started, your ready status will now be automatically cancelled. This is now done because otherwise, the host could start the game while you were still minimised, causing a crash on your end.
  • The Team Editor and Missions screen would crash on teams with "out of bounds" animated sprite graves. Of course the ability to use these graves was a bug in the first place. ;-)
  • The Map Import wraparound bug no longer happens under any circumstances. (This is a bug that happened when a picture with fewer than 64 non-black colours was Imported.)
  • Fixes affecting game logic
    • Bugs introduced in v3.5 Beta 1
      • A Girder could be placed anywhere while the player's worm was on the Rope, Bungee, Parachute or Jet Pack. If the same thing was attempted with a Teleport, the attempt would fail and the worm would be teleported onto itself without moving.
      • Letting the timer run out during manual worm placement would do either one of two things:
        • If the central coordinate of the map had space for a worm, it would be forced to place there instead of a random spot.
        • Otherwise the game would be thrown into an endless loop, beeping constantly in random spots instead of placing the worm.
      • Once Worm Selection was disabled by the onset of Sudden Death, it did not come back in following rounds.
    • A team's stats could be lost in a multi-round online game, causing them to lose their weapons in Stockpiling or Anti-Stockpiling mode. This happened when multiple teams were entered, followed by one or more being removed from the middle of the list. This bug is now fixed. Furthermore, when it is emulated for compatibility, you will get a more informative message saying which teams' stats were lost. (In v3.0, not only was the message uninformative, but it popped up when the screen was faded to black, so it couldn't even be read and had to be dismissed blindly.)
    • In Stockpiling or Anti-Stockpiling mode, an allied group of teams would receive a stockpile for each member team. For example, if there were 2 Grenades in the scheme with Stockpiling enabled, an allied group of 3 teams would receive 6 Grenades every round. Now, the same thing happens, but regardless of whether Stockpiling is enabled or not. [This change was opposite to what should have been done, and was not properly disabled when emulating older versions. See v3.6.19.11 fixes.]
    • Before, powerful weapons with Damage×2 could have their blast radius artificially limited, resulting in a bizarre combination of widespread damage with a relatively small hole. Now the effective blast radius limit is doubled. (The explosion sprite is still limited in size, so it may look a bit weird but will work properly.)
    • The glitch in which graves could absorb arrows was not fully fixed in v3.5 Beta 1; an arrow hitting a grave at the same time as it would have hit land was still absorbed. This is now wholly fixed. [That "wholly" was rather holey; see v3.6.19.12 fixes.]
    • At a certain water level, Crates and Oil Drums would float, throwing the game into an endless loop while it waited for them to sink.
    • A bungeeing worm used to look very odd when swinging more than 45 degrees away from straight down. Now it progresses smoothly through 360 degrees of rotation.
    • There was a mismatch between the Fall Damage threshold speed, and the threshold speed at which the Parachute was activated. There was a small space between in which your Worm could accrue fall damage without the parachute activating. This only happened when the worm was sliding, for example from the Rope. [This fix was not enough; see v3.6.21.1 for the complete fix.]
    • In a game with Stockpiling and the Aqua Sheep enabled, stockpiled Aqua Sheep would be lost in the next round.
  • The [T] key (thought bubble) now works while you are aiming a weapon with the mouse.
  • There are some filename inconsistencies between the various Soundbanks on the W:A CD-ROM. Some have "oof1.wav" instead of "ooff1.wav", similarly for "uhoh.wav" instead of "uh-oh.wav". The game now handles these variations. Affected Soundbanks include Brummie, Cad, Drill Sergeant, Formula One, Geezer, Rasta, Redneck, Rushki, Russian, Thespian, and US Sports.
  • Fixed a variety of bugs in the front end, many of which could cause crashes upon minimise + restore in various places.
  • The Intro now fades like it used to before v3.5 Beta 1. As before, it can be skipped by adding the /nointro parameter to your W:A shortcut, e.g. "C:\Team17\Worms Armageddon\WA.exe" /nointro
  • Starting with this W:A version, there was some basic compatibility with Windows Vista (even though Vista wasn't released until much later). Instead of crashing upon the first mouse click in the main menu, it would now have only some palette bugs, although restoring after minimisation in the front end still didn't work (and would not, until a partial fix in v3.6.29.0, and a complete fix in v3.6.30.0).


W:A Version History
v3.5 Beta 1 • Beta 2
v3.6.x.x 19.7 (.11 • .12 • .14 • .15 • .17 • .17a • .18 • .19) • 20.1 (.2 • .3) • 21.1 (.2 • .3) • 22.1 • 23.0 (.1 • .2) • 24.1 (.2) • 25.1a • 26.4 (.5) • 28.0 • 29.0 • 30.0 • 31.0 • 31.2b
v3.7.x.x 0.0 • 2.1
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