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Old May 8, 2015, 07:41   #1
Dwarf
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Add auto-explore to Angband 4.0

Could the devs add auto-explore to Angband 4.0?

I've played quite a few roquelikes over the years, but stopped playing Angband after finding variants with auto-explore, namely Crawl. Auto-explore makes the user interface so much better, there is no point playing the variants that lack auto-explore after you get used to having it. The game is easier, faster and much more fun to play. Another useful command is the interlevel travel in Crawl. This makes it faster to go to a stair or backtrack to an item you've left behind.

Without interface improvements like the extended movement commands in Crawl, I find very little reason to try Angband even if it gets updated, and I think this is a view shared by most who've switched to Crawl. There are a lot of good things in other Angband variants missing from Crawl, such as the fog-of-war created by light sources, but most people won't touch the other variants since game-play is many times slower due to lack of the fast movement commands.
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Old May 8, 2015, 13:30   #2
desstorm
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you can let the bot play
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Old May 8, 2015, 14:12   #3
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Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post
Another useful command is the interlevel travel in Crawl. This makes it faster to go to a stair or backtrack to an item you've left behind.
I wonder if you realize how utterly pointless this is in a game without persistent levels.
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Old May 8, 2015, 14:55   #4
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Can you explain what you mean by 'auto-explore' ?
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Old May 8, 2015, 15:16   #5
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Originally Posted by Cold_Heart View Post
Can you explain what you mean by 'auto-explore' ?
Hit a key, the @ moves around till an enemy moved in to LOS, you see an item or are blasted from off screen.

Personally dislike auto-explore, but could easily ignore it if it was in the game.
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Old May 8, 2015, 15:55   #6
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First off, nomenclature: Crawl is not a "variant", because it's not related to Angband except in that they're both roguelikes.

The problem with auto-explore in Angband is that it will get you killed. Once you get past the early game, you pretty much have to know what monsters are around (via magical detection or telepathy) before you run into them. Deciding when to stop and use detection is a somewhat personal choice that more or less correlates with how paranoid you are as a player, but there are also wrinkles like playing a character that is utterly abysmal at spellcasting (half-troll rogue, say), or even warriors who must rely on consumables for detection (Staves of Detect Evil) up until they find a source of telepathy. Not to mention the problem of monsters spawning into the level after you've already explored part of it...or the fact that sometimes you're best off digging through walls to reach a location rather than walking.

So Angband isn't like Crawl where you can basically ask the computer to take you to the next encounter. The entire level is an "encounter" and the way you move across it can have major effects on your survival rate. Frankly, I view the existence of auto-explore, much like the existence of autoscum and the squelch system, as evidence of bad game design that needs to be fixed. They're all aids to help the player ignore boring bits in the game, but the game shouldn't have boring bits to begin with.
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Old May 8, 2015, 18:43   #7
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The problem with auto-explore in Angband is that it will get you killed. Once you get past the early game, you pretty much have to know what monsters are around (via magical detection or telepathy) before you run into them.
This is mostly the case in later levels, and before you have most of the level mapped. If you think its dangerous to use auto-explore, you don't need to. It would be just as useful in Angband. Some design choices in DCSS seem to work well with auto-explore, but the games are not that different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Frankly, I view the existence of auto-explore, much like the existence of autoscum and the squelch system, as evidence of bad game design that needs to be fixed. They're all aids to help the player ignore boring bits in the game, but the game shouldn't have boring bits to begin with.
Its not a problem of game design, but interface design. Much of the playing time goes to boring travel that should be automated. Using Angband's auto-run, moving from one room to another takes a few keystrokes, and you have to wait between commands or risk running into an encounter. Getting across a half-explored level takes a lot more time. Auto-explore does this with one command, without the delays.
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Old May 8, 2015, 19:02   #8
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Angband does have a form of autoexplore, albeit a very limited one: Running. You can press Shift + direction and your character will move in that direction until something happens or it comes across something interesting.
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Old May 8, 2015, 19:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwarf View Post
This is mostly the case in later levels, and before you have most of the level mapped. If you think its dangerous to use auto-explore, you don't need to. It would be just as useful in Angband. Some design choices in DCSS seem to work well with auto-explore, but the games are not that different.
Newbies to the game would use auto-explore, and it would get them killed. The early game should be teaching players how to handle things in the late game, not luring them into traps and teaching them bad habits.
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Old May 8, 2015, 19:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The problem with auto-explore in Angband is that it will get you killed. Once you get past the early game, you pretty much have to know what monsters are around (via magical detection or telepathy) before you run into them. Deciding when to stop and use detection is a somewhat personal choice that more or less correlates with how paranoid you are as a player, but there are also wrinkles like playing a character that is utterly abysmal at spellcasting (half-troll rogue, say), or even warriors who must rely on consumables for detection (Staves of Detect Evil) up until they find a source of telepathy. Not to mention the problem of monsters spawning into the level after you've already explored part of it...or the fact that sometimes you're best off digging through walls to reach a location rather than walking.

So Angband isn't like Crawl where you can basically ask the computer to take you to the next encounter. The entire level is an "encounter" and the way you move across it can have major effects on your survival rate. Frankly, I view the existence of auto-explore, much like the existence of autoscum and the squelch system, as evidence of bad game design that needs to be fixed. They're all aids to help the player ignore boring bits in the game, but the game shouldn't have boring bits to begin with.
+1000 (that's one thousand just to get over the char limit)
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