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Author Topic: Autoplay?  (Read 487 times)

Offline AdamH

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Autoplay?
« on: 17 November 2017, 02:34:43 PM »
All right, I'm extremely excited that autoplay is a thing. I read the "documentation" on it and I have no idea what it means. Something about answering questions? I have no idea what a lot of these options do. OK fine, let me start up the game, just turn some of them on, and see what happens. Maybe that will help.

I put Crown on "Auto-end actions" and I found myself with one action left, a single Crown in hand, and a bunch of treasures. No other actions. Here it goes! I click the Crown without clicking end actions first! Crown is played as an Action! WTF? It doesn't work.

I have no idea what autoplay is supposed to do, and it doesn't appear to work. The documentation needs to be much clearer, because I read it like 3 times and I have no idea what it's trying to say. Also, whatever is happening with Crown is not right, because I just tested it.

Man, I really thought this was the end to so much frustration and I feel like we're so close, but this was a huge disappointment.

Offline Ingix

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #1 on: 17 November 2017, 02:42:42 PM »
I agree that the documentation could be better. It is very concise and half assumes that you already know what this is all about, and then it fills in the details.

Quote
I put Crown on "Auto-end actions" and I found myself with one action left, a single Crown in hand, and a bunch of treasures. No other actions. Here it goes! I click the Crown without clicking end actions first! Crown is played as an Action! WTF? It doesn't work.

You are right, that's not how it is supposed to happen. I just tested it minutes ago, and it worked as it should. What's strange is that you were in your Action phase, because the idea is that you are automatically advanced to your buy phase when you only have Crowns in your hand. You didn't overlook a Necropolis in your hand, by chance?

Offline markus

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #2 on: 17 November 2017, 03:08:44 PM »

Offline Stef

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #3 on: 17 November 2017, 03:09:44 PM »
I made this post about it.
Apparently this is not a place people read.

It should have been an in-game message.

Offline Cave-O-Sapien

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #4 on: 17 November 2017, 07:14:28 PM »
I wasn't sure how much I would use this until I had a game with a bunch of Warriors I wanted to keep. Very convenient!

Offline WhiteRabbit1981

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #5 on: 17 November 2017, 07:40:03 PM »
I went from "nobody need that" to "how did we ever play without it?" within two games  ;D
Nice work Stef!

Offline AdamH

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #6 on: 18 November 2017, 02:54:27 PM »
 sorry for being terse, I'm on mobile.

I did not have a necropolis in hand. This can be reproduced easily. Just have a hand with your only actions being crowns, and you have actions remaining. I should be sent to my buy phase but I am not. What is the point of auto play if not this?

I read the post but I still don't get it. Can someone give an example of one auto play option, have a specific in-game scenario, and describe the behavior with autoplay on and off? And perhaps explain what these questions are? I just don't understand it, please try to use little words for me so I don't get confused.

Offline Stef

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #7 on: 18 November 2017, 03:15:18 PM »
It's much easier to answer if you have an actual question.
But we were talking about Crown, so here is how it works.

Suppose your hand is Crown-Silver-Copper-Copper-Copper.

Without autoplay, you're asked what action you want to play.
If you click Crown now, you're wasting it. You have to click "end actions" first.
If you have autoplay on, it assumes you don't want to play actions and puts you in your buyphase.

Offline Reinder

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #8 on: 19 November 2017, 06:47:12 PM »
I can confirm that Crown with Autoplay works great, good job!

Offline Ingix

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #9 on: 19 November 2017, 10:29:40 PM »
This can be reproduced easily. Just have a hand with your only actions being crowns, and you have actions remaining. I should be sent to my buy phase but I am not. What is the point of auto play if not this?

I cannot reproduce that. I find in my tests that the autoplay behaves as you expect it to work: If you have only Crowns as your Actions in hand, it goes straight to your buy phase. Could you check that autoplay for Crown is on and not by some strange reason off (which would explain the behaviour you see)? You can check either in the game by right-clicking a Crown card or the Crown pile or under "Options"/"Autoplay Options" (see attached pictures).
 
I read the post but I still don't get it. Can someone give an example of one auto play option, have a specific in-game scenario, and describe the behavior with autoplay on and off? And perhaps explain what these questions are? I just don't understand it, please try to use little words for me so I don't get confused.

Let's take Tournament. If your opponent plays Tournament, and you have a Province in hand, the game will want to know if you'd like to reveal a Province or not (see attached picture). That is the 'question' that the game is asking, even though it is not formulated as a question. It is showing "You may reveal a Province." in the log area, and a "Don't Reveal" button. "You may reveal a Province." is the question mentioned in the autoplay doc with regards to Tournament. You can 'answer' that question 2 ways: By clicking on a Province in your hand ("Yes, reveal") or by clicking the button "Don't Reveal".

If you have the autoplay option for Tournament set to "Always reveal Province", the game will work as though you have clicked on a Province in your hand in this case. That's what the effect line in the autoplay doc is saying "You reveal a Province.". It mentions the effect that would happen in an IRL game instead if the action that would be required in the online version to indicate the same effect ("You click on a Province in your hand."). I argued for that, maybe it would have been better to strictly mention the required action in the online game.

The autoplays under "Other autoplays" and Changeling work the same way. The "Cleanup phase autoplays" I think are well explained in the post by Stef. The remaining "Default autoplays" are Crown (discussed above) and Coin of the Realm, which is no longer asking about calling it when in some Golem/Throne Room chain and any of the mentioned conditions are true.

Feel free to ask about any specific autoplay or if something I explained is unclear.

Offline drsteelhammer

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #10 on: 20 November 2017, 01:08:17 AM »
Is it possible that you turned the Crown autoplay on during one game, and tested it in another? The changes you make during the game will be reset after every game, the changes you want to keep (such as autoplaying crowns) should be made in the options menu.

Offline AdamH

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #11 on: 20 November 2017, 04:36:43 PM »
OK, I've spent about an hour on this and I think I have most of it figured out.

1. When I originally posted, I went back and reproduced it 4 times. This was when I originally posted. I don't remember what the circumstance was but it definitely didn't work and I had the autoplay settings as described. There may still be a bug related to that specific situation but since then it has been working for me as you said, so yeah I guess we can disregard that.

2. The options page for autoplay, this is probably fine, but there should at the very least be a link to the documentation page for autoplay here. The problem is, well, the next point.

3. The documentation page for autoplay; this thing; I have no idea what this is trying to say. When I was trying to understand what autoplay did, this page actually did more harm than good. Even after reading Stef's post which kind of explains it (which is linked nowhere from the client) I still don't really get this whole name/question/condition/effect. The questions aren't questions, and and a lot of them are terse enough that if you aren't intimately familiar with the card (or even if you are and you don't know what is meant by "question") they don't really mean anything.

It would be much better to describe an in-game situation where this decision comes up, then describe what the client will automatically do for you with each option enabled.

Also, the use of the word "default" is misleading here. Let's take Peasant for example. On this page it says "Peasant's default is [Exchange/Keep]", which suggests that the menu will still come up, but if I just click OK then [Exchange/Keep] is the thing that will happen. This isn't really the desired behavior (and the client doesn't do that, so good) -- I think you should change the wording here to "Peasant will be [Exchanged/Kept]" and maybe even add "without a prompt" if you want to be clearer. Also consider changing the name of the option from "default keep" to "automatically keep" or something similar.

4. The options specific to a given game. Right-clicking on a card to open autoplay options seems like a decent thing to have, but this should not be the only way to set game-specific autoplay options. It's like how you have to hover over your name to see duration stuff, it's a kludge and really isn't good enough to keep around forever.

The best place by far to have these game-specific autoplay options presented to the user is when they're actually making the decision. Every time I have to discard a Curse to a Mountebank, there should be a checkbox near the place I click that says "automatically do this for the rest of the game" or something like that. If that seems annoying, then you could hide it behind some option that is off by default.

Something not as good, but still much better that the current thing and probably easy to implement, would be a button up by the "resign" buttons in the top right which says "Autoplay" and opens up a menu of all relevant game-specific autoplay options. I mean, really this could be combined with the ability to set options during a game which is desperately needed.

5. This is minor, but in my opinion, the groups of options in the options menu should probably be changed so that the "cleanup phase autoplays" are at the bottom. These are the kind of thing that I think people could set automatically thinking they're great, and then wonder why they can never exchange their travellers. This is probably minor though.

-----

In any case, it seems that the actual functionality is there, so now that it's been uncovered, it looks like the quality of my online Dominion life will improve!

Offline Ingix

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #12 on: 20 November 2017, 08:32:21 PM »
Thanks for the extended feedback, Adam. It's often hard to see one's work critizied, but otherwise we wouldn't know what worked and what didn't.

Some comments (numbers from your post)

2) In the autoplay options page, you can click on the name of any autoplay setting and it will open the autoplay doc page in your browser (on the setting for the card that you clicked on).

3) If you say that the autoplay doc was of no help, than that is the bitter truth that we have do deal with, and I don't think you are alone.

4) I agree that one klick that shows/brings you to all of the current game's autoplay options would be nice. I don't agree that the right-click interface is somehow a kludge. Why should information that belongs to a certain card not be accessable by right-clicking it?
Another thing is that for a card like Urchin, your are *expected* to change the autoplay setting during the game. The game doesn't know how many Mercenaries you want, so the expected way to use that autoplay setting is to have it at "off" in the options, and yet set it to "Never trash" for the game once you have the Mercanery army that you want. Doing that from the right-click card image seems to me a good way to do that.

Your Mountebank proposal is a very good, but it involves additional UI (and something similar would be required for most of the other autoplay settings), and I think that UI changes are not "cheap" on a 'work required' metric.

Offline markus

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #13 on: 20 November 2017, 09:18:57 PM »
In general, autoplay aims at people who know the cards and get tired of repeatedly answering the same question that the client asks them. If you don't know what Settlers does, you won't understand what autoplay does from https://dominion.games/doc/english/autoplay.html#settlers
But in that case, it will be turned off anyway and doesn't do any harm. And I think it's useful for a new player to explicitly see the option of taking a Copper and confirming that. If you increase the amount of explanations in the documentary and make it longer, it's getting worse for experienced players who "know" that there can be only one reasonable autoplay option for Settlers and face a wall of text in the doc.

Traveller autoplay: if all travellers that could be exchanged have a default set, the window doesn't pop up. If there are some travellers, that don't have a default, the usual exchange windows pops up for ALL travellers you had in play - with default set according to autoplay where applicable. For example: no autoplay set for Warrior, Keep set for Disciple and you have Disciples and Warriors in play. Then the window will pop up with Keep preselected for Disciples and (the usual) Exchange for Warriors. You only have to change the setting for the Warriors.

Offline AdamH

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Re: Autoplay?
« Reply #14 on: 20 November 2017, 09:50:27 PM »
4) I agree that one klick that shows/brings you to all of the current game's autoplay options would be nice. I don't agree that the right-click interface is somehow a kludge. Why should information that belongs to a certain card not be accessable by right-clicking it?

I wasn't trying to say that this should be removed -- right-clicking on the card should pull up what it does, I think that menu looks great. I'm just saying that this shouldn't be the only way to change autoplay settings in the middle of the game, since there doesn't appear to be any indication in the client that this can be done.