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Delterius

Minimizing Save scumming. Or is it too much of a hassle?

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I pose that, limiting the locations where the player may save, would greatly limit save scumming in general. Perhaps not anywhere in a dungeon, perhaps simply not in a dungeon - regardless, I believe that being able to save whenever and wherever causes gameplay to suffer. The value of randomness and risk is negated and the player is encouraged to deny his own choices (and, therefore, become strangely selective of what constitutes a 'fair' game or not).

 

But of course, that causes another issue. What if someone happens and you've got to stop playing the game? Well, for that I suggest a second form of saving - a save&quit - that boots you from the game and can be used at any moment. Maybe even during combat.

 

Feel free to flame me for this idea as much as you like, but I'm not selling this as gospel. I do question wether save scumming should be minimized or not, and would like to know what you think about it.

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What's wrong with save scumming?

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JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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What's wrong with save scumming?

There's a rather long list of game mechanics, ideas and even classes that lost their value in the IE games because save scumming was allowed. Character death, rest ambushes, the Wild Mage, etcetera.

 

Furthermore, a player that can save scum isn't encouraged to make good decisions. If I could save and reload right before every pit during a Mario run, I wouldn't ever have bothered with trying to get better at the game.

 

Of course, its not like save scumming doesn't have some value. You can design encounters around the idea of the player trying over and over again. But that's not necessarily the case.

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People should be free to have the kind of gaming experience that they want. But it might be nice to have a difficulty level option somewhere between "save scumming" and hardcore.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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There's a rather long list of game mechanics, ideas and even classes that lost their value in the IE games because save scumming was allowed. Character death, rest ambushes, the Wild Mage, etcetera.

 

Character death loses it's meaning? Seriously? So if your penalty for dying is not to replay the entire game from the start then that makes dying worthless? Also, what wild mage? I haven't heard PE mention anything about a wild mage.

 

Furthermore, a player that can save scum isn't encouraged to make good decisions. If I could save and reload right before every pit during a Mario run, I wouldn't ever have bothered with trying to get better at the game.

 

So if you think save scumming is bad then I guess you must really hate the existence of cheat codes or mods. To me save scumming (I prefer to just call it saving but whatever) is the difference between my purchasing and playing a particular game or not even thinking about playing a partiicular game. I find enforced repetition awfully boring. I don't like having to replay a game right from the beginning every time I face a difficult battle. So let's say I have to fight Firkraag and it takes me 30 reloads before I can defeat him. With your system I would have to go through Chateau Irenicus 30 times in order to do that, right?

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JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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There's a rather long list of game mechanics, ideas and even classes that lost their value in the IE games because save scumming was allowed. Character death, rest ambushes, the Wild Mage, etcetera.

 

Character death loses it's meaning? Seriously? So if your penalty for dying is not to replay the entire game from the start then that makes dying worthless? Also, what wild mage? I haven't heard PE mention anything about a wild mage.

 

Well, first things first: those examples are not from PE. They are from the IE games. Wild Mage is specific to Baldur's Gate, Rest ambushes and character death are specific to the Forgotten Realms games where you can resurrect a companion.

 

But then again, you won't ever need to drag a companion's body to the altar because no one is going to die. You are going to save before every encounter and if things don't go smoothly, you are going to reload. And you won't even try to finish the adventure, not the entire game, with a casualty. If you're forced to go a couple of battles (again, not the entire game) without reloading, then things might get more interesting.

 

And for added emphasys, you're confusing ironmanning with save scumming. Ironmanning is replaying the entire game because you died, save scumming is reloading the entire game after every little mistake. And that's why character death lost its meaning in the IE games, because its very likely you won't accept anyone's death.

 

Lastly, I'm not necessarily suggesting that you must complete a entire dungeon without reloading. Its certainly a option, but not a ideal one.

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Maybe it could be connected with the chosen difficulty? Just don't give us the black and white; super easy, super hard. If they had i.e. 4 set difficulty modes then the easiest could allow you to save in the middle of the combat while on normal difficulty you couldn't.

 

Personally I like to be able so save whenever when outside of combat because I don't want that consolized feel that I have to continue to the next "checkpoint" just to be able to quit the game without losing my progress. I would also like to be able to backtrack and re-choose something if I feel I've made the wrong decision.

Edited by qstoffe
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Is this really a big deal...?

 

Just exercise some self control and save only in moderation... or, play with perma-death. :mellow:

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If you dislike save scumming, just don't do it.

 

This.

 

If this was a suggestion about improving another player's experience, sure. My way of playing the game isn't better than anyone else's. But these forums are about design. And what that implies goes without saying.

 

I, personally, believe that save scumming can (and did) lead to bad design. And I believe this was the case in the Infinity Engine games. It cuts 'unnecessary' features quicker than Bethesda can 'balance' (read, cut major chunks) their games. You may disagree with me, which you're entitled to, but saying that people should play however they like isn't much of a argument and does not include 'playstyles' that end up negating the quality of game mechanics.

Edited by Delterius
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If something important comes up in RL, I want to have the ability to save the game now and come back to it later.

 

For people with more free time, who want to make a challenge out of completing the game in a single session (or whatever) there's already an ironman mode in place. I fail to see the need to further limit saving/loading beyond that.

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If something important comes up in RL, I want to have the ability to save the game now and come back to it later.

 

For people with more free time, who want to make a challenge out of completing the game in a single session (or whatever) there's already an ironman mode in place. I fail to see the need to further limit saving/loading beyond that.

 

Second paragraph.

 

MInd you that my suggestion isn't a further limitation on top of ironmanning - it would add a new level of complexity to ironmanning, but only because the original game itself has become more complex. The original game would be less exploitable, but certainly not as hard as ironmanning itself is.

Edited by Delterius

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But of course, that causes another issue. What if someone happens and you've got to stop playing the game? Well, for that I suggest a second form of saving - a save&quit - that boots you from the game and can be used at any moment. Maybe even during combat.

 

Yeah maybe with a COOLDOWN that only allows you to start the game after 10 minutes have passed. :devil:

 

No seriously I don't think that would be a good idea. IMO restricting saves can easily lead to a frustrating experience. As an option maybe?

Edited by qstoffe
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The problem with not save scumming (as you put it) in BG2 was that there were not an infinite number of companions to replace your dead ones. If you can just keep replacing them then it's not such a big deal, but what if half your party gets killed in nearly ever fight? You would need an awful lot of replacement characters. Or you would just have to go solo. But even then what happens if you die in nearly every encounter? Soloing is not even supposed to be easy. That's the whole point of it. That it's hard. I just don't see any way to avoid save scumming. Unless of course you want to make the game so easy that combat is almost never lethal. Or if you can't die like in Torment. You definitely didn't need to save as much in Torment because you could just continue the game even if all of your companions were killed. I've soloed PS:T a few times. It's totally doable.

 

Of course PE probably will have at least some replacement companions at the Adventurers Hall or whatever, but I'm not sure there will be an infinite number. So if you are not talking about an ironman mode then it will only be a matter of time before you are soloing the game. While I don't have anything against that style of play. Could be interesting occassionally. It's definitely not my first choice for normal playthroughs. OTOH, if there are an infinite number of replacement companions then I guess you could just keep going back to the tavern or whatever and ask new Red Shirts to join you. I could see that play style as being potentially fun for novelty value I guess. Probably a good argument for the ability to hire an infinite number of adventurers from the hall.

 

I sort of have two modes when I play. In one mode I allow some or all of my companions to die and only reload when I have no choice because it was my main character who died or my entire party was killed. I find this mode much easier to play actually. In BG2, once I reached ToB I found that it wasn't practical to play any other way. I had to allow at least one or two of my companions to get gibbed in order to have any chance at all of prevailing in the encounter. I found myself forced to use raise dead, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to play at all. I don't think I have ever been a good enough player to solo ToB. Especially with SCSII installed and I don't like to play any other way these days.

 

In the other mode, what you call save scumming, I reloaded whenever anyone died as a result of the fight. Sometimes that meant reloading several times even on a fight with just average difficulty, but I still prefer that to losing all of my companions quickly or doing the whole raise dead thing which to be honest I've never really liked. Even in PnP I resisted having to use that either from my own priest or at a temple. It just doesn't seem very "realistic". Yeah, I know it's fantasy, but I still have trouble finding it plausible even within a fantasy world. Just my personal preference.


JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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I understand the desire to not want the ability to save at anytime, but if I had to pick betwen save any time, and specific save points, I'll take anytime 'every' time. Sometimes you just have to stop and the idea of losing half an hour to an hours worth of progress and not being sure where the next save point is is a pain in the ass. It's just bad design as far as im concerned. That said a lot of IE games where based off you getting ganked first shot at an encounter, reloading and going at it with pre-knowledge. So was DAO for that matter. I think the only game where I didn't actually worry about that as much, in relation to IE games, was Planescape: TOrment. And that was becuase death was embrased. If you died, you started at what amounted to a respawn point due ot your character being immortal-ish. Other characters could die but, at a certain point in the game you could learn how to revive dead companions which removed the irritating part of party death in other IE games.

 

Which is really the only reason I can think of as to why I would just reload in most IE games. Because how you had to deal with that was a chore, a chore that took a long as time to deal with. They didn't embrace death as its own mechanic it felt more shoehorned in unlike PST. And if you look at some of the harder games of the day, say, Dark Souls.. death is again an embraced mechanic. It impacts your growth, there is a risk/reward vs spenting collected souls vs pushing forward into an area since dying means losing all of that. And 'that's how you progresss in the game, thats how you advance your character... so to lose that.. yeah.

 

I would LOVE for the 'event' to be a PST type thing where your character, for whatever reason, can keep coming back and have in-the-field ways to revive people. Or have the whole resurrection spell stuff. BG2 you only had I think... 3 characters who could do that besides your character if you happened to play a cleric (andonly a cleric). Then only if you where high enough for it. Which ultimately made it easier to deal with in BG2, less so in BG1 as you where all such low lvls that option only really existed in temples.

 

Anyway I just hope they come up with some other way to deal with death that comes with a penalty but isn't such a pain to deal with that reloading is always the least headache enducing option. Ultimately, that's what it comes down to for me, I like a challenge, I loved Dark Souls and some other crazy stuff like that but once you have certain things feel more like a chore then just a part of the game is when reloading starts to seem infinitely the better option.

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Def Con: kills owls dead

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But of course, that causes another issue. What if someone happens and you've got to stop playing the game? Well, for that I suggest a second form of saving - a save&quit - that boots you from the game and can be used at any moment. Maybe even during combat.

 

Yeah maybe with a COOLDOWN that only allows you to start the game after 10 minutes have passed. :devil:

 

No seriously I don't think that would be a good idea. IMO restricting saves can easily lead to a frustrating experience. As an option maybe?

 

Well, I think its weird when people deny a idea because it might be too frustrating. Once I even read one post, and I paraphrase, 'I'd much rather a hassle free and strategic experience'. For me that was weird: wouldn't the very need of strategy or forethought be a hassle? Of course, that's not the case if by tactics you're satisfied with Pokémon's element game.

 

Mind you, that doesn't mean your question isn't legit because, in fact, I can't answer it. After all, aren't game mechanics are sorted 'frustrating' and 'challenging' is ascertained by testing?

 

The problem with not save scumming (as you put it) in BG2 was that there were not an infinite number of companions to replace your dead ones.

Raise dead.

Edited by Delterius

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Your confusing challenge with hassle. It can be 'fun' to be challenged. It can be fun to learn things, it can be fun to do all manner of **** that from another perspective is just horrendously tedious. As an example sometimes, say you just played through an hour of something, forgot to save and you end up dying. Now for me, that's a bitch... I had a blast for that whole hour, died, my fault, forgot to save (due to no checkpoints and just...forgetting) and I gadda play through it again. That right there is often enough for me to just stop and come back later cause the idea of doing something (even something I enjoyed emensly) again immediately is boring. It's a hassle to deal with something you 'just' delt with.

 

You also get that with fake difficulty stuff... where you die not because you failed to miss something or yo ur not thinking fast enough or you just aren't good enough with the controls... but the games just setup to gank you when you turn that corner. That kinda ****s not fun... it's hard, but its not really challenging. It's designed for you to fail with the only method to get past it is to knkow that guys around the corner and throw a grenade/fireball to kill it before you could possibly precieve it as a threat via any other means. That, isn't fun... never will be.

 

That's what it comes down to me at least. You want things to be challenging, and fun. You want it to test your abilities (at whatever skill level your at) but you don't want it to get boring which... can happen at either end. If its to hard and your constantly re-doing content or is just cheaply built to gank, thats a hassle. If its waaay to easy to the point your wondering why your even playing that can be a hassle. Granted, a really good story can over come the 'to easy' part, even if your felt wanting with the challenge aspect. Harder for the story to make up for a gank-fest game design though if its to constant as it'll continiously pull you out of things.

 

Ehh yeah so either way 2 seperate things, why they're 2 different words.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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Raise dead.

 

I hate "raise dead". It's cheesy and implausible and removes nearly all the penalty from dying. In terms of making the game easy it's much worse than save scumming. Actually I'd like to propose that all versions of "raise dead" even at a temple are removed in expert mode. The whole mechanic is just silly. If that's what people mean by permadeath then I am all for permadeath.

Edited by metiman

JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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Raise dead.

 

I hate "raise dead". It's cheesy and implausible and removes nearly all the penalty from dying. In terms of making the game easy it's much worse than save scumming. Actually I'd like to propose that all versions of "raise dead" even at a temple are removed in expert mode. The whole mechanic is just silly. If that's what people mean by permadeath then I am all for permadeath.

 

Raise dead has its penalties, financial and experience wise. Not to mention that to use Raise Dead, someone has to have died, which isn't the case with save scumming: if you think that removing the penalties for dying is a issue, then you should be against save scumming.

Edited by Delterius

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"Save scumming" as such destroy most ideas of strategy or tactic, as people have not only no incentive to not be reckless, but it destroys any of the more interesting parts of living with the consequences.

 

However, you have to be careful in how to limit it: I would say that when entering a dungeon, there should only be:

*Saves if you need to quite the game. If you come back to the game, that save will be deleted once used.

*Saves once you are 'safe' (have cleared a floor, have fortified your position, whatever).

 

When out of dungeons, saves should be unlimited.

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How is reloading when someone dies any worse than casting "raise dead" on them when they die? Would you still be against save scumming if there were no "raise dead" spells in the game even at a temple? Maybe that sort of magic just isn't possible in the world of PE. After all it's not D&D. Raise dead is not guaranteed to be in the game.


JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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Just like anything along these lines . . . the second you try and punish or limit the people exploiting a system, the fallout still lands on the people that aren't exploiting it, in addition to the originally intended targets. I'm never a fan of any system that's going to punish or limit people that were never a problem, in order to take care of the ones who will inevitably find a way around any limitations you put in place anyways.

 

-

 

The reality is we live in the real world, and have real world responsibilities . . . we have to deal with the fact that even the time we set aside for our hobbies can be interupted. Sometimes you need to quickly exit a game, and being able to save any time works with that reality, that 'stuff happens' so to speak. Or, "Life is what happens while you're making other plans" . . . save any time systems work with your real life occurences. Systems that making saving more difficult, or limited, such as only being able to save at rare save spots, just create real life problems with your potential player base. Any kid can explain to you the issue with limited save systems, that being they get called away and 'something' happens to their game, or someone just shuts of their game, or their parents make them and so on. Then they have to redo who knows how much content they've already done.

 

When you're talking about a game for an older audience it can be hard to remember that, even if you're not a kid . . . stuff still comes up. Save any time systems work with the fact that you have a real life and it will sometimes interfere with gaming time you've set aside. Be it that you have kids, that you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, that you have a spouse, a pet, a weak tummy that easily gets upset and on and on and on - it doesn't matter what or why. Those save anytime systems need to be there, and I look down on limited systems, that ignore the fact that 'life happens' for those reasons and far more.

 

Being able to save any time is simply the right choice, yes, people will abuse it. Others will not. The ones who will abuse will just find something else to abuse if the limitation is in place. The ones who don't will just have more issues than they need have if something comes up in real life. There's nothing good about forcing a person to replay an area that they couldn't save in because something came up in real life that they had to get to right away. It's easy to say, "Just pause it" or something like that, but again, any kid can tell you the issue with that solution when their friends, brothers, sisters, parents or even the house pet accidentally or purposefully shut it off while they were over doing a chore. Any adult can tell you that blackouts, power surges, pets, spouses, kids and the like can just as easily happen to their game while they're stepped away. And more.

 

A save system needs to realize that people have real lives they need to attend to sometimes, even during the time they've set aside for a personal pleasure like a game, because the unexpected can whille and inevitably does happen at some point. There's no need for that frustration to occur just because you were trying to address an issue with people who . . . quite simply, in a single player game, are none of your business.

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*Saves if you need to quite the game. If you come back to the game, that save will be deleted once used.

*Saves once you are 'safe' (have cleared a floor, have fortified your position, whatever).

 

When out of dungeons, saves should be unlimited.

 

That's my suggestion. Save&Continue when (relatively) safe and Save&Quit for dangerous areas. That also doesn't rule out saving in the middle of dungeons, provided the devs can find a good explanation for your (relative) safety.

 

How is reloading when someone dies any worse than casting "raise dead" on them when they die? Would you still be against save scumming if there were no "raise dead" spells in the game even at a temple? Maybe that sort of magic just isn't possible in the world of PE. After all it's not D&D. Raise dead is not guaranteed to be in the game.

 

For one, Raise Dead isn't readily avaiable. And if it is, its because you had the forethought of memorizing some Raise spells - but even then that doesn't make it a infinite resource like save scumming.

 

If Raise Dead isn't avaiable, something else is. Death might work like in DA:O; Death might work like in PS:T; but Death most certainly isn't going to be permanent (as a standard difficulty feature, that is).

 

Regardless, save scumming is relevant to many more mechanics and features than companion death. Losing a companion isn't the only mistake you don't have to cope because saving and loading is convenient. Actually, you could say that there's no mistake that you don't have to deal with because saving is convenient. And I believe that makes saving too convenient.

 

Just like anything along these lines . . . the second you try and punish or limit the people exploiting a system, the fallout still lands on the people that aren't exploiting it, in addition to the originally intended targets. I'm never a fan of any system that's going to punish or limit people that were never a problem, in order to take care of the ones who will inevitably find a way around any limitations you put in place anyways.

 

I do not believe anyone is exploting anything. I believe that the games were designed with the real possibility of Death and player mistakes in mind, but that its all negated by how saving is implemented.

 

A save system needs to realize that people have real lives they need to attend to sometimes, even during the time they've set aside for a personal pleasure like a game, because the unexpected can whille and inevitably does happen at some point. There's no need for that frustration to occur just because you were trying to address an issue with people who . . . quite simply, in a single player game, are none of your business.

Again, second paraphraph of the original post.

Edited by Delterius

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