From Worms Knowledge Base
There are few flaws with the current interface of Worms Armageddon, especially WormNET, which is one of the most efficient, no-nonsense clutterless clients that I've encountered, and certainly far far better than those used in more recent Worms games. But there are still improvements to be made, and if Worms Unlimited existed (assuming all currently archived weapon ideas were included), many more changes would have to be made to accommodate the considerable number of new features available. Not only is a better in-game interface or front-end needed, but also the ability for the player to customise them completely.
This section doesn't cover the interface of the proposed editors, as that is covered to some degree in the Editors section of this site. Similarly, WormNET has its own section.
General In-Game Modifications
In Worms Unlimited you would have three System options appart from the ones you have now(I mean, option which are not related to the Scheme or the Map):
- Screen vibrations upon large explosions
- Aiming Sensitivity
- Instant Replays
This would not be longer an Scheme option. Instead you could set this for all offline games, and you could also enable/disable this for speficic game modes, so, for example, you could enable Replays in Deathmath and disable them in Missions.
Also, you should be able to disable water aesthetics in the game to see the true water-line and to have the falling debris without the gradient background. In the Deathmath, Missions and Training modes you could be able to restart the game. Aditionally, in all games(Including online games) you could exit straight to the Desktop.
One problem that crops up in Worms Unlimited is the F-keys assigned to weapons. In Worms Armageddon, each F-key cycled through five weapons. In Worms Unlimited they would cycle through ten. This is clearly not a sensible option. In the heat of battle when your time is running low it would be next to impossible to cycle through ten weapons without overshooting the one you wanted. It could be argued that it is unlikely that there would be a scheme with so many weapons on one row, but that won't stop it occasionally happening. A better system is needed, and it's difficult to think of one: there are simply too many keys needed.
The best solution is to allow players to assign their F-keys how they want. Too many weapons assigned to an F-key is a problem that only becomes apparent when you are rushing, i.e. when your turn time is about to run out. So the last thing you want to do when trying to select the Teleport is to cycle through Bungee and Parachute - the two tools you are least likely to use in such a situation. Where exactly are you going to parachute to in your final three seconds? Simiarly, you're not likely to want to select a homing weapon as you'll have little time to aim it. Nor Skip Go, nor Surrender. The list goes on.
Players should be able to assign F-keys more directly, allowing them to prioritise the weapons in a specific F-key row, so that they choose the one they want with just one or two presses, or assign F-keys to different weapons altogether, all in accordance to which weapons are most likely to be used in such situations.
And why just F-keys? There are plenty of un-used keys on the keyboard to be taken advantage of. The Numpad numbers could also be drafted in to help with all those extra weapons, reducing group sizes to six. Or perhaps the number row could be used instead, since that is in the same general area of the F-keys. Fuse settings could be assigned elsewhere.
Speaking of the weapon panel, something would have to be done about its size. In Worms Unlimited it would double, taking up most of the screen on smaller resolutions. A good starting solution might be to remove any empty columns. If it were extended vertically instead of horizontally, it wouldn't intrude too much on the screen to obscure things. Empty rows could also be removed from sight. And if F-keys could be assigned manually, there wouldn't be any way for a column listing them to work unless the weapon icons were automatically arranged with them, which would be undesirable and confusing for most.
There is a solution for this: In Worms Unlimited, At the right of the panel there would be arrows like this ">>". When you put the cursor over one of these arrows, the weapons of the corresponding columns would being displaced to the left by other weapons that are the right at the panel and were not shown until the displacement. Similarly, there would be "<<" that would have the inverse function.
In addition to assigning F-keys, players should also have the ability to re-arrange the weapon icons in the weapon panel, perhaps sorting them into more efficient and sensible groups. In the current system, the weapon panel is a mess. The weapons are not sorted according to type but have been sorted to conserve the F-keys from previous games, so as not to confuse people moving between the games. This is all very well and good but it doesn't help new players who are left wondering why the weapons are arranged so arbitrarily. Time could be saved by giving players three options: the traditional weapons panel; a sensibly arranged panel; and a custom panel.
In-game Scheme Checking
As mentioned in the Editors section of this site, it would be necessary to allow players to view the scheme settings within the game. The problem lies in how this information should be displayed. Players would still have to keep an eye on the game so it wouldn't be a good idea to provide entirely separate screens, or else players may miss their turn. Scheme information would have to be provided in smaller windows that don't obscure the playing area, perhaps in a form that resembles a weapon panel scrolling in from the left. The window, activated by a key rather than a click, could have tabs for viewing various sections of the scheme settings. There would be plenty of time between turns for a player to do this, and he would still be able to keep track of the game easily.
Weapon information need not be included in this panel when there could be a simpler and more relevant way to do it. Players may have different weapons and so each player would only want to see the weapon settings that are relevant to them, i.e. the weapons they have, rather than a screen cluttered with information about weapons they don't have. In Worms Armageddon, holding the cursor over a weapon already provides some information about it - the ammunition and delay, if any. Worms Unlimited could expand on this, but much more space would be needed as there are many aspects of a weapon that could be different to default (see Editors section of this site). Space could be reduced somewhat by only showing how the weapon deviates from default, eliminating redundant information.
Come to think of it, there is not much to be done with the front-end. Screen transitions have already been optimised in Worms Armageddon by the update and the front-end is pretty well organised as it is. However, I feel that there are far too many unnecessary submenus, and thus navigation can become tedious. The links in submenus such as Network Play, Options and Single-player could just as well be put on the main menu page, saving people time. There have even been suggestions for further conveniences such as a shortcut on the main menu which automatically logs the player into WormNET and presents the #anythinggoes lobby. And why not? It's common for people to go straight to #anythinggoes as soon as they load up the game so it only makes sense to make it easier.
Replays and Logs
In the replay files, there should be the ability to include a turn-counter in addition to game clock, so it's possible to start playback at a given turn and to fast-forward one or more turns at a time during playback. Also, there should be the ability to extract the map as it exists at a certain stage of the game.
About log files, the type of game mode (Quick Game, Deathmatch, Online...) should be printed on the log. Additionally, the log should statistics about the number of times a weapons has been used in the match and a list of which crates has the teams in the game collected and which is their content.