Zombra wrote: ↑
January 29th, 2018, 6:52 pm
... distracting me with busywork ...
Have you ever played a word-find; or tried to solve a cypher? (rhetorical, of course
I don't see mapping as busy work; especially not if the maps contain elements that are not meant to be obvious. The first three levels of 'Eye of the Beholder' are a sewer; the box came with a sanitation department map from the city of Waterdeep. The second level had a nondescript button in it that changed the layout of the entire level—it altered the drainage pathway for sewer overflow. This was meant to be a shock to the unsuspecting player. The level is full of the undead—some of them locked in the closed passages that get opened by this change.
So how would an auto-map handle this? Suddenly the whole map (just traversed) is now unexplored, but the player doesn't know this yet. The auto-map would either re-occlude the passageways, or would replace them with the new layout, or do so as it was explored anew; in each case this would announce the change to the player ahead of time. Solving this sudden, and unexpected conundrum, is part of the game; and it's made into busywork with an auto-map that makes it immediately obvious and pointless, rather than a sudden mystery to be solved. There were more of these to come.
Later on there is a trap with a figure-8 hallway that would be immediately revealed in an auto-map... The player wouldn't even be caught off guard by it; the impossibly accurate map would display the true layout of the halls—ostensibly drawn by a party of adventurers who have only just noticed it, and aren't really sure yet of what they've just noticed. This wasn't the first or last of these either, there were some devious teleporter/spinner traps traps in the EoB series. **One such, is listed on the sanitation map as a gas leak.
The advent of the detailed all-seeing auto-map (while cool in some respects) was the death knell of the clever map; because it points everything out. At least Grimrock's doesn't identify secret doors until they are found & opened. But even in Grimrock (in the campaigns), the auto-map will reveal the destinations of blind teleportation, and at their relative places on the map; even to and from different floors.
This is information that is impossible for the party to know. There is no hiding an architectural puzzle from a magic atlas.
The enjoyment of solving it isn't even an option... It's like being told who won the Sugar Bowl before you get a chance to watch it; "Oh, so that's how it is".
Grimrock does allow disabling of the auto-map at least; at the start of the game. It is common on their forums, for new modders to ask how to forcibly disable the auto-map in their mod; it's because they have something to hide—for [as long as it takes] until the player figures it out.