My opinion on auto-play changed drastically from “no, never” to “well, sometimes” after playing a different game that has it. Part of why I say, “I’ve been playing GoW less” is when I sit down to spend my free time, it’s more attractive to let the other game grind itself.
It didn’t remove strategy from the other game. Generally, when new content comes out, you get creamed if you try to auto-play it. But in that game they have a clever system where the more you beat a level the more bonuses you get, so after the first few days most people have ground their farming levels to the point where auto-play with cheaper farming teams is possible.
I think the problem, though, is that game’s gameplay is not the same kind of repetitive as GoW’s. People want to auto-grind it because the game itself is not particularly fun, the game’s draw is more about collection and socialization. I feel like GoW rests on “the core gameplay is what people want to do” so automating it doesn’t seem as desirable.
So I can’t describe how I’d like it to work in GoW. Auto-play would reduce my interactions to just the stage selection UI, which is the part of the game I want to see less. I think I’d be just as happy with, “If you start an Explore you can opt to play all four matches plus bosses back to back without stopping” as I would be with auto-play for GoW.
Actually the above is why tower of doom is my least favorite event: in between every match I have to double-check a chart, pick a specific room, then tap “start match”. I spend more time in the UI than I do in the game!