Perfecting "Autoplay"

"Newb Enablers" series

As a newb, I found OR’s Autoplay an interesting functionality. This contrasted with regular ARPGs wherein players get immersed in the game & enmeshed with the Hero character (often making amusing anthropomorphic claims such as “I died…!”, “I killed…!”).

Ergo, instead of the usual (involved, hero-like) “button-mashing” gameplay, I adopted a rather detached, Godlike (or “Godfather”-like, for all Marlon Brando/ Al Pacino fans out there) “build & let-it-perform” style. I build the Acropolis as best as possible & then “prove” the build in battles on auto-play with minimal human intervention. This, for me, is the best test of the build as well as the game itself. And, OR’s game engine performs almost flawlessly, … well almost! 

  • Often, the hero prematurely ejects Damocles immediately upon launching a battle well before encountering resistance (perhaps, he’s just testing the power before meeting his nemeses ?). God facepalms. 
  • More often than not, the hero shuttles between 2 towers unable to decide which one to attack (perhaps, he should toss a little Gold coin to make up his mind ?). Here, God facepalms again. 
  • Sometimes, while ramming the Gate, the hero forgets to cast fully charged spells (perhaps, he suffers concussions & memory blackouts because of the pounding received from the Statue ?). Then, the God intervenes.  
  • Would it be possible for the autoplaying hero to sense the most damaging tower or unit first & then attack it? In the same vein, can the hero avoid the most damaging tower or unit when his HP is precarious? Can the autoplay hero cast powers as per the weakness of the enemy units & towers? In case of 2 enemy waves coming close by, can the hero detect them by LOS & split the available/ charged powers between them? Can he sense the time running out, so bypass the Statue (leaving it to the troops) & start breaking down the Gate? Wishes, wishes, wishes…from a lazy God. ?
  • Occasionally, the AI hatches a smaller unit before the larger unit got a chance to fully incubate (would sequencing of the units in Hero Setup help the AI to prioritize?). If it was a smaller unit needed, I would click it before the larger unit spawns, but for the other way around, a sensing mechanism is needed for the AI as per the situation of the hero. That’s AI with a capital “I”. ?

Anyway…, as formidable a challenge as it is, perfecting Autoplay would be a significant enabler for new players as they get to learn how best to battle it out when manual intervention is warranted (besides the obvious benefits of better multitasking & reaction timing of computers). 

Bound to my PC (because I made the irrevocable mistake of downloading the Windows version as I was casually browsing for an MMORPG) and stuck to poking the screen with only a lone mouse pointer, the dexterity of 2 thumbs on a mobile screen is unavailable to me in playing OR. Autoplay, thus, was a savior that helped me continue with the game. Trekkies out there would know why I extol the virtues of AI by referring to the below video clip…

Thanks. ☺️

_ PS : IMHO, creating an AI program is almost mystical & godlike. I am awestruck with your existing Autoplay AI’s performance, and am just being plain greedy here praying for perfection. I hope you’ll forgive & grant_. ?

Auto play was intentionally made “stupid” a long time ago. It’s a design decision 

it’s still very workable for most of the heroes if you’re willing to set up your heroes a certain way. 

Trust me I lose on auto play only in 1 battle out of 100 raids that I do every day.(And it tooke me some time to figure out spells,unit combos and euipments types for heroes)

The greatest challenge for any player is to figure out how to make the best use of auto play feature.

I won’t vote for a better auto play algorithm as veteran players like @dumpster and @Prometheus has said that auto pkay should never be goid or better than manual play.

A player controlling heroes should be beeter than an A I controlled hero.

Also improving autoplay will just make game easy for top level a vounts as they will be able to make more raids easily without any invertentions between auto play.

I don’t really care one way or another, but I understand and appreciate the reason behind making it dumb AI. The idea of everyone playing a game where the OP move is to just watch the computer play for you is a little silly. I kinda like that you have to wrestle the AI into submission to get it to work for you now. 

I agree ofc but with just one note … the damn curse quests that require autoplay. With the proper heroes it’s ok, but with others … say Ajax and especially Artemis for example, you have to cross fingers for a very, very easy opponent on map (rarely at high thropies), or bring it in war and hope some enemy alliance have low levels along, or go on Itacha at 1 skull (and still cross fingers, with Artemis). Sure there are three options and if you really really want to unlock it you can do it, but sacrificing vp in war or fame points.

Still, it would be a boring game if all you’d have to do is remembering to activate autoplay and then just watch. I only wish there weren’t autoplay cursed quests especially with them two heroes, as with them the AI is not just dumb, it’s more brain dead.

@CaptainMorgan is it possible that autoplay related cursed quests can be removed?

They are annoying for me solution is to use gems to unlock the curse or to sell such items.???

Well, just as I apprehended, this discussion has been hijacked to a “Human vs AI” referendum, whereas the OP was on improving AI for new players (who constitute the silent majority & the widest base of the customer pyramid).

  • First, @CaptainMorgan may want to know that, on Windows version, handling the 4 corners of a screen rapidly & routinely using a single mouse pointer = Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. As I cannot migrate my game to a mobile Android device, Autoplay helped me continue (as mentioned in the OP). Let’s prevent injury to players, please.
  • If FG intentionally keeps Autoplay dumb, then why even keep it at all? Since it’s easier to create a dumb AI than to make a smart (or smarter) one, I exhort OR’s brilliant developers to rise up to the challenge of making Autoplay smarter. That’s why this OP. 
  • Given that Autoplay detractors have a choice of NOT using the functionality altogether, why block its improvement for others? Is the argument here: “I don’t like to use it, so nobody else should use it”…? Reminds me of an old parable.
  • Lastly, keeping aside the general anti-AI politics for a moment, why should Autoplay be dumber than button-mashing? As averred in the OP, manual labor on buttons can never supersede mental skill in “build”. An intelligent Autoplay should do the manual labor for a superior build successfully in battle. Superior hero build & smart Autoplay are complementary. Nonetheless, even a 100% perfect Autoplay cannot save a poorly built hero, as would Eddie Scissorhands. 

PS : In general, it would always be better to counter with logical reasoning based on usability, ergonomics & game mechanics instead of opinionated generalizations based on personal preferences/ dislikes. Both I & the devs can learn from the former. Thanks. ☺️

Can you explain why High level accounts stole massive trophies in a single raid from a low level opponents?

While those same low level opponents have to fight atleast five battles each for three trophies.(Meaning have to waste ambrosia on five raids and have to fight same high level opponents some of them are so hard to beat to)

Now you are asking for an improved auto play.

Trust me defenses are way weaker than offence.

Fighting opponents at same level is not hard but fighting someone higher is difficult but can be done in autoplay.

I only find nyxs tower bases hard to beat on auto play.

@AriesRising autoplay prob below lvl80 is winnable with almost all heroes and against 99% of opponents you will find, as long as you have a mid lvl hero (exp) and so half decent kit.  I used it to lvl up every hero to lvl20, as this can be done at double speed with this feature - so you get to manage your time better. I also would’t try and learn from this AI or you’ll be using damocles on barricades, and firing poison arrows at lapetos towers…

Above lvl100 I personally don’t fight much on auto, because the AI uses valuable powers at the same time when it didn’t need to use any, it charges forward in a ‘for Frodo’ -LOTR moment and will cost you ambrosia. Also as @Dheth say what’s the point in just watching and not playing.  I trust both @dumpster and @HOLYDIVINE regarding the fact high lvl battles can be won on auto with correct config, but haven’t got sufficiently good powers or gear yet!! 

Again, I don’t understand why those who don’t want Autoplay just simply switch it off

@HOLYDIVINE : When you say, defenses are way weaker than offense, is that a game mechanics issue or a “build” issue? Many players rush to ascend, effectively weakening their base. Could this be the reason? I honestly wish to know. 

@Philstar : You made some excellent informative points there. Thanks. On the statement of personal preference: “Why watch passively & not play?”, that’s one play style I discussed in the OP at the very beginning. At the risk of repetition: Some players prefer to rapidly press buttons, while others build a formidable “build” and then let the AI do the manual labor of button mashing. One cannot claim their playstyle is the best & the others’ style is bad. In religion, race, etc., such claims are called bigotry. 

Albeit, the threat of physical injury (i.e., carpal tunnel) in Windows versions rises without Autoplay. If that does not bother, what else will?

@AriesRising- I suppose there’s players who like playing championship manager and those who like playing FIFA.  I never considered playing OR as a CM style game! Interesting concept.   I play on windows using a mouse - the only real thing I’d say is that while I was ‘learning’ I hit the invocations button accidentally about 300 times wasting gems.  I find the size of the icons 50% larger than they need/should be. In the end I took un-equipped 2 of 3 invocations as they were blocking the base path.  I’ve since re-equipped pyro incocation to all heroes and don’t hit it mistakenly much these days.

Indeed, @Philstar. Championship Manager vs. Player… excellent analogy. I look at it simply as Strategist/ General vs. Warrior/ Soldier play styles. The strategist needs to master game mechanics, build the best possible defense, gear & setup, and then watch as s/he is either proved right or wrong by Autoplay. The warrior needs to build a good defense, reasonable gear & setup, and then compensate with speed of digital dexterity. Both are legitimate & have their place in the game. 

In the General Newb Guide, I have emphasized a more strategic style of gameplay. I see many players on my map with poor defenses because they rushed to ascend & end up being matched with higher opponents. They have not “hardened” their base with every leveling up of the Heroes’ Temple. Immediately upon leveling up of that temple, the entire base goes soft and the player is ascended to match with higher opponents. So, the player must rush to upgrade all other buildings, towers, powers & units, without exception, if they want to survive among the big guys. I think that’s the scenario HolyDivine was referring to. 

Good point on the Invocations button. I too had this issue earlier, but quickly learned to unequip these extra-large buttons. Now, only during wars, I put on Ariadne’s Spindle as an emergency measure, nothing else. 

Thanks for the insights, my friend. ☺️

In the early days of the game it was almost always the correct choice to use autoplay over manual play. The AI was faster, more accurate, and made fewer mistakes than the average manual player. It was a little odd in that way, and not how the dev team envisioned the game being played. If you look at the heroes that were introduced most recently, Ajax and Artemis, they’re almost impossible to play in auto. This is a deliberate design choice also. I don’t think the devs want the game to be played on Auto. 

To your point about offense being more powerful than defense, both are correct. If you follow the “recommended” build path, which is to upgrade the most affordable structures first, you will wind up with a high level broken account. Your defense will be very weak. BUT ALSO at the highest level, where all defenses are fully maxed out (or virtually so), offense is still much stronger than defense. 

I don’t need the AI to be perfect, I want it to be less dumb.

The devs don’t do subtle tweaks. 

Perhaps, the cost of perfecting an AI could be too exorbitant (though, an interesting challenge). You gave me an idea. Let me visualize it & post another OP. Thanks. ☺️