The mousewheel zoom in the Liquify Tool has never been updated to use the more modern "zoom to mouse-location" style that is used in Photoshop's main window, in Google Maps, etc.
Instead, the mousewheel zoom simply zooms to the center of the picture, regardless of where your mouse is aimed. This means the user must then manually drag the canvas as a follow-up step. Why?
Frankly, I don't understand why this improvement hasn't been made over the past few years. This is a trivial fix (simple zoom equation) for an immediate improvement in UI consistency and for the UX of the Liquify Tool. I hope the team will consider it.