The Ammunition Slot In Actuality
As of 188.8.131.52, the “Ammunition” slot serves as one of several ways to refill the magazine, as well as being able to empty the magazine It does not, as some (myself included) would suppose, serve to represent the chambered cartridge, though it would be far more worthwhile if it did. All of the current functions of the “Ammunition” slot in the attachment menu should be done in the “Magazine” slot. A separate slot to refill magazines with cartridges is no more necessary than a separate slot to refill tactical lasers with batteries; they both need to be done, but neither of them should get a specific slot. If refilling the magazine through the attachment menu is too slow, then the interactions with the attachment menu as a whole are too slow. Instead of having to bring the cursor over and click on a slot to highlight it before actually being able to do anything with that particular slot, just mousing over a slot should be enough to highlight it, and it should be possible to cycle to highlighting a different attachment slot with a single stroke of a key, press of a button, flick of a joystick, or pull of a trigger. If that still doesn’t offer a fast enough way to refill the magazine, then the “Magazine” slot should be highlighted as soon as you open the attachment menu, making it’s options readily available.
When I first saw the Ammunition slot, I thought it might be a representation of the chambered cartridge. By the time I made the original version of this post, I didn’t understand the true purpose of the Ammunition slot, but could tell that if it were meant to represent the chambered cartridge, it was failing horribly. If it were to represent the chambered cartridge, then the stack of cartridges in it couldn’t be more numerous than the number of chambers a firearm has, it would be empty (or atleast have an empty case) if the action hadn’t been cycled yet, it would remain full or empty, regardless of whether a magazine is being put in or taken out, and selecting a different stack of cartridges would replace the one(s) ready to fire, not get placed as the very last cartridges in the magazine. If an attachment slot for the chambered/indexed/ready-to-fire cartridge(s) were added, it could help simplify the addition of any or all of the following:
- Being able to load ammunition into a weapon, if a compatible magazine isn’t available at the moment.
- Being able to load special purpose ammunition, whithout messing with the magazine.
- Being able to collect empty cases without needing a brass catcher or dropping interactive items after every shot.
- Being able to keep a cartridge in the chamber when the magazine is removed (whether as part of an interruptible reload animation or simply removing the magazine)
- Being able to insert chamber flags to give a visible indicator that a weapon isn’t loaded
Reloading and Interruptible Animations
These really should go without saying, but I’ll mention them here because they somehow became an important part of the conversation before I made this edit. The “Reload” keybind should be used to replace the magazine, not to cycle the action, (although personally I would like if there were also another keybind exclusively for cycling the action, not just the “Primary Attack” keybind.) Both reload and cycling animations should be interruptible, and an interrupted animation should neither be treated like a completed animation or an animation that never happened, but should, depending on how far along it was when interrupted, keep some of its progress.