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  1. #1
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    Gamasutra Discussion on Save Scumming (or using too many quicksaves)

    Just been reading this

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/EricS...ng_Problem.php

    And I am absolutely disgusted that other devs think this a problem, let alone try and do something about it, if a player wants to save, LET THEM, how they play the game is their choice not the game devs and if they choose to use multiple quicksaves to get different out comes or to get through that bit they're stuck on, let them, don't try and work around it or bring in check points or anything else like that, just let people play the single player game they have bought in the way they want to.

    Discuss?

  2. #2
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    Jagged Alliance 2 offered the option to either allow yourself to make as many saves as you want during a fight, or to turn it off and whatever happens, happens. In 1999, I'm glad PC Gamers were offered choices in what they want, instead of letting developers decide for us.

    Quick saving was in pretty much every game back then and those games were still a challenge -- if your entire challenge relies on taking away a player's ability to save often, then you need to rethink your game.

    I personally hate checkpoint systems, especially when developers place the checkpoint BEFORE an unskippable cutscene or make you complete a large portion of stuff just to get back to that boss fight. Making me replay 20 minutes upon dying is a shitty punishment -- I'm already punished by having to re-do what I was currently trying to do, why add to it?

    Plus, I think this is in the wrong forum -- you'd get far more traffic in General Discussion. Maybe it can get moved?
    Last edited by Roufuss; 13-01-2012 at 04:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Good point, so cross post or ask mods to move?

  4. #4
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    Why do some devs fight so hard to stop players playing the game different than intended? If someone use quick saving to make the game easier why does it matter? No one else is disadvantaged; in vast contrast to checkpoints.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    I'm the sort of person who hits the quicksave button constantly, and I don't find it detrimental to my gaming experience in the slightest. Quite the opposite, it allows me to enjoy the game even more and it doesn't even ruin the atmosphere or tension like it's often argued to do. Limiting my saving only serves to, well, limiting my saving - it doesn't add any magical extra value to the game or make progressing in it feel more significant or heavier.

    Quite frankly I've always thought that making such a fuss about what is ultimately a personal preference and completely in control of the player is incredibly bizarre.
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  6. #6
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    This thread should stay here. I don't post in General Discussion.

    I believe that all CRPGs should restrict saving in some way. Forcing you to only save at inns or temples makes adventuring much more dangerous and risky. When you can save after each step you end up ignoring risk factors altogether because you have a save to fall back on. In a way it makes half of the RPG mechanics redundant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    This thread should stay here. I don't post in General Discussion.

    I believe that all CRPGs should restrict saving in some way. Forcing you to only save at inns or temples makes adventuring much more dangerous and risky. When you can save after each step you end up ignoring risk factors altogether because you have a save to fall back on. In a way it makes half of the RPG mechanics redundant.
    Why can't you just play the game and make the decision to only save at inns or temples yourself? Why does everyone else need to be subject to your preference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    This thread should stay here. I don't post in General Discussion.
    It was originally in the Rock, Paper, Shotgun Discussion subforum which doesn't see a lot of traffic. I meant Gaming Discussion but whoever moved it knew what I meant, haha.

  9. #9
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    1. Let me save whenever and wherever I want. Period. Phones, doorbells, SOs, mother-in-laws, pizza deliveries and pets won't wait.

    2. Since I'm a pretty compulsive maximizer, I WILL try various outcomes whether you want me to or not. If you don't allow me to explore various branching paths via saving, I will read walkthroughs during my play.
    Which one sounds better to you? Play your game or read about your game?

    3. If you want to reduce my maximizing, save scumming or whatever (but seriously, don't, it's my choice), you can
    A. Postpone the consequences (see Witcher or Fallout NV for examples)
    B. Avoid black-and-white thinking when writing the paths so that none of them is an entirely winning or losing scenario (see Witcher or Alpha Protocol)

    You want to give me fun and take my money, I want to have fun on my terms. So please, dear developer, think before talking condescendingly about save-scumming.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kandon Arc View Post
    Why can't you just play the game and make the decision to only save at inns or temples yourself? Why does everyone else need to be subject to your preference?
    Game balance. Rule system design. Lots of reasons.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
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    I'm with Wizardry on this one. Some restrictions on saving is good, for certain types of games. I can't imagine Roguelikes being as much fun as they are if we can save where/when-ever, don't lose our saves etc.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaco View Post
    I'm with Wizardry on this one. Some restrictions on saving is good, for certain types of games. I can't imagine Roguelikes being as much fun as they are if we can save where/when-ever, don't lose our saves etc.
    On the other hand, my wife just got wrathful while playing Dredmor on permadeath mode =P but she is having lots of fun with the possibility of reloading (though I don't think she has reloaded very much).

    There is no reason not to have a Save Anywhere option unless you are making a game for tiny children to teach them the meaning of commitment. Too many scenarios in people's lives can't be anticipated by the developer, and people who don't want to quote-unquote cheat might still need the option of saving often.

    I like it when games also let you choose to play without save-anywhere, and I usually pick that option when it's available. But we have hard drives for a reason. =P
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  13. #13
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    Actually, there is a way around this issue that allows you to quit whenever you want and save and only save in certain locations, as Wizardry suggests.

    A lot of console RPGs, especially those on the handhelds, give you the option to make a temporary save file when you quit; when you reload that save, it is deleted from the system, so its primary use is pretty much "I have to stop playing immediately but don't want to lose my progress."

    Being a console player before a PC one, I'm very used to the idea of save points (but do prefer to just save whenever I want), and I'm not opposed to them, but man do I hate checkpoints since they are never done right.
    Last edited by Roufuss; 13-01-2012 at 06:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Have two modes. The hardcore mode which restricts saving but offers bonuses to compensate (Fallout Tactics and I think Mount & Blade did this), and the casual mode, which allows the player to save whenever they want. Problem solved!

  15. #15
    Just have a toggle-able save anywhere mode. People who like doing that are set, and those who don't like the feature can just turn it off. Developers think too much in ones and zeros sometimes. Either it has something or it doesn't. There's nothing wrong with having both.

  16. #16
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    Let me play the game!.

    We have saves because is a good thing. Stuff like savepoints gets in the way!.

  17. #17
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    Personally I think quick-saves can ruin the game by cutting up/disrupting tempo and choreography. I mean the entire idea of creating suspense is a science and it is something done in steps, gradually increasing and increasing until a climax - then the calm, and then to start over again. If you can quick-save/quick-load then you could easily end up admiring the trees and missing the forest, so to speak. And then from a game-balance PoV, games that use percentages could be easily manipulated to the desired outcome. Of course I consider the existence of percentages to be a bigger problem so this is prob. a moot point. However, quick-saves can easily alter the difficulty (or rather, experience) intended. 5 replicas charging down the hallway at once is a drastically different experience from 4 of them (1 of them picked off with an amazing shot you quick-save/load scummed).

    I think part of the problem is that checkpoints aren't done well. The end result? You die too often and have to restart a fairly boring interval and even an interesting one soon reduces into the banal due to repetition. Or more specifically in the context of the problems outlined above, the checkpoints are placed in areas that interrupt the flow, or there are areas where checkpoints could be placed without affecting tempo but aren't.

    Then there are the sort of open world games where checkpoints are sort of hard to insert because the player's actions cannot be easily determined. In that case, I think a compromise would be acceptable, in the form of a "diminished" quick-save. Quick-saves can be limited in The Capital Wasteland, such that each region gives you N amount of save slots that you may or may not be able to overwrite. Another option is to put saves on a timer i.e. you may only save every N minutes.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Kaira-'s Avatar
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    I actually prefer autosaves/checkpoints over manual saving. They allow me to immerse much more into the game, rather than making me worry about manually saving every now and then. See Amnesia and Dark Souls for great examples how to do this. Also, Dark Souls would be totally destroyed if the player would be allowed to save anytime and load the game after single mistakes - the whole game is built upon persistence of your actions. And on the plus-side, the autosaves in the game can't even be noticed, everything that there is to tell you about saving happening is a small icon in the upper corner, the game continues as it does normally. Obviously many games have done autosaves/checkpoints completely wrong, but that doesn't mean the system is inheritently flawed.

    Also, I agree with Wizardry above. If you can save any time, where does the challenge come in RPGs? You may just keep reloading until the RNG favors you enough, or maybe you just want to see all the consequences of all available choices (a problem which The Witcher solved greatly in my opinion).

    Then again, freedom to save is a good thing. Depends on the genre/style of the game though, in open world-games where you can't strictly tell when player goes from checkpoint to checkpoint or area from area free saving is an absolute must. So, to conclude this haphazardly put-together-post, free saving is usually a good thing, but the lack of it can be justified by game mechanics and/or design.

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    It depends on the title, and game format. I don't mind static checkpoints if the game is smart about the why/how of them, and doesn't punish me for having to stop at any point for whatever reason. Sometimes though, quicksave is the only reasonable option. I'm currently playing Risen and would have quit the game entirely after 30 minutes if not for quick save.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaira- View Post
    Also, I agree with Wizardry above. If you can save any time, where does the challenge come in RPGs? You may just keep reloading until the RNG favors you enough, or maybe you just want to see all the consequences of all available choices (a problem which The Witcher solved greatly in my opinion).
    Jagged Alliance 2 froze the RNG in place after each action. So if you missed a shot and reloaded, you would still miss the shot as it wasn't calculated on the fly. Granted, this could be circumvented by simply moving your character and firing again, but if you were low on action points it would pretty much lock you into a situation and you'd have to just accept the consequences if you were using the quicksave system.

    So there are ways for developers to be crafty with it, its just most don't bother.
    Last edited by Roufuss; 13-01-2012 at 07:39 PM.

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