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

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Baldur's Gate I and II, Planescape: Torment. And even if you're considering that too combat oriented, there is still no way you can pinpoint the save system as the reason. What is an example of a rogue/thief done how you like? I'm actually curious.

 

I disagree. And rouges/thievs/sneaky types done right are generally done right in a different type of game.

 

Ok, so how is that the save system's fault?

 

"At hte end of the day this amounts of "I think the game is better with X and without Y" and you saying "the game is better wihout X and with Y"."

The problem with this isn't your opinion, its your analogy. You're saying "the game would be better without X and with Y." But I'm not saying "the game would simply be better with X and without Y." I'm saying "the game would be better with both X and Y." You still get your Y. I get my X. Sure, you have to live with a little temptation with my version. But at least you have the option to play how you want. In your version, I don't get that same option. We're not talking about some new age streamlining game mechanic here. This is something that was present in every game this is claiming to be inspired by.

 

You're still repeating this?

I'm not (hypotheticly) getting what I want. No matter how many times you repeat it it won't be true.

Get that into your thick skull.

 

"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

whatever. I'm glad I'm going to get what I want. Sorry that you won't get what you want.

Edited by ogrezilla

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"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I still advocate giving the player to choose how restrictive the game's save system should be when you start the campaign. That should keep the players happy, right?

 

On the flip side, I've also seen plenty of games that allow you to "Save and Quit", yet when you reload the game, it places you back at the last/closest discovered save/check point, not where you actually were when you saved/quit. In those games, "save" just means saving your quest, inventory, and 'last checkpoint found' progress, not your actual location in the world.

 

As long as Save/Exit = I'm back in exactly the same spot where I left the game, I'm fine with that. That's how it should be done when you exit a game anyway, imo. However, I still want multiple save slots because there are times when the power goes out or the game may crash or the savefile may otherwise get corrupted and I might lose all my progress. I don't need/want endless save slots, but at least 6-10.

 

A game I'm currently playing has a save system that's slightly annoying, and one I'm referring to. Borderlands 2 has a "save and quit" option, but in a lot of cases it saves back to the last autosave point, which often times is at the very beginning of a level.

 

Right, what I was referring to is nothing like the Diablo-esque "save on quit" system.

 

Rather, the games (like the updated Final Fantasy titles for the GBA and DS) normally let you save at specific save points, but if you find yourself deep in a dungeon and have to stop playing you can "Save and Quit" (sometimes confusingly referred to as "Quicksave"), which basically creates a temporary save state that is automatically removed when you resume playing later on.

 

So this would be a mechanic that exists in addition to whatever regular save system the game uses, and it lets you load the game exactly as it was the moment you had to quit.


Something stirs within...

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"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

 

Quite so, I concur.

Edited by Umberlin
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"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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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.

 

Save scumming doesn't automatically mean bad design. In addition to the fact that not having it wont automatically mean there wont be any bad designs in a game, nor does it necessarily discourage someone from implementing a badly designed part of the game.

 

The only good alternative is quit to save, but that doesn't help when your game crashes or the power goes out and you've been playing all day without quitting.

 

I think auto saves wouldn't really fix the issue either, it just adds another layer of tedium to people who want to savescum and are going to savescum. And I don't believe the mentality that if people want to savescum with the Quit to Save and Auto Save system then they should deal with it because I don't think you shouldn't punish your players, at least like that, anyway.

 

Edit: Wow, I really need to pay attention to how many pages a thread has before replying.

Edited by chrisrobin

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Errr..... let's see here.... I think Sawyer (or one of the other devs?) said something about map travel is going to be something akin to Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate (wrong?). I've been reading so many threads so I won't even bother looking for the source... sorry :/ if anyone else can confirm this knowledge (for credibility) that'd be much appreciated (or if you know which thread I'm talking about you could link it perhaps?).

 

What I am speculating on, if the above paragraph is correct, is that we'll see "areas". One suggestion to lessen the save scumming could be to drop "Campsites" or some other Save "thing", 2 times per area. You'll have to return to these areas to save. It wouldn't necessarily remove the save spamming (because you could just simply drop one of the "Save Point", engage in a fight, return to your player generated "Save Point" and save, then repeat). It's the best solution I've heard though, which gives the best of 2 worlds.

 

It is practically Baldur's Gate saving anywhere with a twist. Another solution is to limit the times you can save in each area, with a slider (difficulty option?). "Unlimited" "10 times per area" "5 times" etc. etc. 1 time per area would be as low as you can go. This way it'll purely be your own choice and preference. Then it'll be your fault for save spamming, which it all comes down to anyways.

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The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

 

This is a really good post. And it brings up a really good point about the fact that implementing a system of being able to save any time allows *all* players options, whether they choose to limit themselves or not is another case, while a system of limited saves removes that option for players who do want to save whenever they'd like.


"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

thank you. that's what I've been trying to say but you said it better than I have been able to.

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"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

 

I don't really care about your rationalization.

 

The "best way" is subjective. And you support the one approach that caters to you.

 

Your frustration (15 minute spaced apart saves) is by no means more important than mine.

What you want is no more imporant what what I want.

What you consider a compromise isn't one, no matter how many times you claim it is. There's more to this than just saving.

You keep dancing about the issue by repeating the "just ignore it" mantra (basicly saying, the system is not the problem, you are)

I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. I'm not the problem. You are.

... see, I can do this crap too?

 

 

 

 

whatever. I'm glad I'm going to get what I want. Sorry that you won't get what you want.

 

Don't be. You don't know what I want.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Scientific Method:

http://www.sciencebu...fic_method2.gif

 

Ask Question:

Can you improve on the IE games save function? Can you improve on the save function altogether in a video game?

 

Do Background Research:

I think we got this covered but for the sake of it... only going to use "RPG" elements

A* Diablo uses a Checkpoint system. You'll always start off from the "Beginning" of the level. Waypoints help you get back on track though.

B* Baldur's Gate uses a "Free" system where you can save at any point in the game. Very flexible as every player can choose their own "preference" (Self-discipline) but also very easy to "abuse".

C* Final Fantasy uses a combination of the two, wherein you can save at any point on the world map, with "Fixed" save points in dungeons.

 

Graph:

Can save?

0's = False

1's = True

 

A: Save anywhere

[111111111111111]

 

B: Each "1" corresponds to an Act. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 in this case.

[100001000010000]

 

C: Each "0" corresponds to a Dungeon. Dungeons do most commonly have a Save point as you enter them, and right before a boss (most commonly the case).

[111011101110111]

 

Construct Hypothesis:

It could be possible to improve on the system of saving by giving more options but keeping the core of the game, it would not be an improvement on "Saving" exactly; It would rather be an improvement on the "Player" control and decision-making. Does the player want to save all the time? Does the player want to challenge him-/herself by limiting how much he/she can save? To make it easier, in this case we'll use Baldur's Gate gameplay as an example. By giving the player choice, in an "Options Interface" of A, B, C (See Background Research) the player would be able to choose the system they prefer the most, the way the game plays would not be different.

 

Test with an experiment:

This one's all yours Obsidian.

 

EDIT: But from a designing perspective (not meant for Obsidian, really, more reassuring the population of the forums), perhaps designing the game to be able to "Save everywhere" in mind might be a good idea, so that it can be restricted further down the line? If you have 2 apples you can split it in more pieces than restricting it with just 1 apple after all... bad metaphor but I think it makes the point(?).

Edited by Osvir

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That is your problem, and I, and anyone else, should not be penalized or otherwise made to experience something less-than-enjoyable because of your problem.

 

And that's all I'm reading here. When I read your post, I can't see anything besides "I have this problem, but I don't want to have this problem, so the game should keep me from having this problem". It's childish, and shows a lack of self-accountability on your part. Take my advice, don't use your willpower as a dump stat, if you know what I mean.

 

If I'm mistaken, then please, I encourage you to correct me, just make sure you're concise with it.

 

It's a game design problem, the same way that having carsomyr in the first room of Baldur's gate 1 would bea game design problem.

 

Sure, i can 'not use it', but it's dumb as hell to put it there when the game is actually geared toward a lower-level playthrough.

 

As i said, it all depends on what the game is supposed to be. If it's supposed to be some kind of linear game that is also encounter-based, then sure there is no real reason to encourage the players to not load games when they make a mistake (by that, i mean having a minore character dying, or being forced to lose a quest, or being forced to use a very rare potion).

 

However, if the game is designed for strategic gameplay as well as non-linearity, not giving an incentive to not reload is bad game design.

 

Now, i will repeat once again- i am not in favor of making saving impossible in most places, or "forbidding" people to reload. I am, however, in favor for there to be reasons for why the player should not want to do so.

You say it's bad game design, but, from my perspective, it isn't. Rather than repeating your point, can you please explain it to me, with as much detail as is possible? I really do want to understand here, but thus far, I am not.

"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

Thank you. I like you.

Errr..... let's see here.... I think Sawyer (or one of the other devs?) said something about map travel is going to be something akin to Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate (wrong?). I've been reading so many threads so I won't even bother looking for the source... sorry :/ if anyone else can confirm this knowledge (for credibility) that'd be much appreciated (or if you know which thread I'm talking about you could link it perhaps?).

 

What I am speculating on, if the above paragraph is correct, is that we'll see "areas". One suggestion to lessen the save scumming could be to drop "Campsites" or some other Save "thing", 2 times per area. You'll have to return to these areas to save. It wouldn't necessarily remove the save spamming (because you could just simply drop one of the "Save Point", engage in a fight, return to your player generated "Save Point" and save, then repeat). It's the best solution I've heard though, which gives the best of 2 worlds.

 

It is practically Baldur's Gate saving anywhere with a twist. Another solution is to limit the times you can save in each area, with a slider (difficulty option?). "Unlimited" "10 times per area" "5 times" etc. etc. 1 time per area would be as low as you can go. This way it'll purely be your own choice and preference. Then it'll be your fault for save spamming, which it all comes down to anyways.

This would be a wonderful compromise. And you could have it so that you need to make your choice at the beginning of the game, and once you've selected your save option, that's it, it's stuck on that; the only way to get a new one would be to start over from scratch. That way, people won't be tempted to give themselves more saves.

I see that my comment about a second playthrough being a cheat like saves has been ignored.

I read it, and thought it was a good point. Most likely, you're not getting a response because nobody has thought of how to refute it, and not refuting it would be like admitting you're right on the issue, which would weaken their stance. So, best option for them: try to ignore it, and hope it goes away.

 

Really, that's sort of the basics of underhanded debating. I like your point, though, and would love to see the 'opposition' (Too strong a word, I think, but I can't find anything better) response.


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I see that my comment about a second playthrough being a cheat like saves has been ignored.

 

EDIT: also hugs :)

How do you respond to it but agree? There is also the question of "I used these companions on my first play but on my second play a completely different set", hence changing the circumstances and tactical management completely making the upcoming battle entirely different. Of course I'd know the battle would be around the corner still. Maybe I'm a lower level, maybe I'm a higher level. Maybe I took a different route, maybe I'm playing more evil and previously I played more good how does that change the battle? Maybe I am part of the Bandit's faction taking out the Nobility this time but on my previous playthrough I was defending the Nobility from the Bandit's etc. etc. there's so many unknown factors between first playthrough and second playthrough with games like these. You won't make the same choices twice (unless, you know, you want to play the same path/way twice of course).

 

There's also difficulty taken into account, perhaps you played on Casual the first time, and now you want more of a challenge on your second playthrough. Perhaps it is the other way around, you played Hardcore the first time and the second time you want more of a breeze and you play on Casual.... see? There's so many "If's", "But's" and "Maybe's". I understand how it could be "cheating" playing the game a second time, but I fail to see the relevance.... edit: or is it the other way around? I understand the relevance but fail to see how it's cheating? xD I'm very tired...

Edited by Osvir

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. An optional prevent_save() function is trivial to implement. All it takes is a variable check on the part of the save function, a BetweenSaveTimer, and some way to actually set the variable, like maybe a line in a .ini text file or an obscure option in a setup menu. I'm just not sure whether enough people have this problem of compulsive saving to justify the extra programming time. Of course I'm not sure that would satisfy every compulsive saver here. Some may not be satisfied unless no one else is allowed to "save scum" either. To them, what other people are allowed to do may be more important than what they are allowed to do. I think certain people are just used to getting console friendly features in most games nowadays. In console games the anti-save-scummer faction is a large majority. A scary thought, but I guess that's just the way it is with console games.

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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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I've said it before and I'll say it again. An optional prevent_save() function is trivial to implement. All it takes is a variable check on the part of the save function, a BetweenSaveTimer, and some way to actually set the variable, like maybe a line in a .ini text file or an obscure option in a setup menu. I'm just not sure whether enough people have this problem of compulsive saving to justify the extra programming time. Of course I'm not sure that would satisfy every compulsive saver here. Some may not be satisfied unless no one else is allowed to "save scum" either. To them, what other people are allowed to do may be more important than what they are allowed to do. I think certain people are just used to getting console friendly features in most games nowadays. In console games the anti-save-scummer faction is a large majority. A scary thought, but I guess that's just the way it is with console games.

 

A good question to ask the Dev's, I'm sure; "How much, approximately, extra programming time would/could this take?" a bit of a "too early" question to ask as well though probably maybe...

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I see that my comment about a second playthrough being a cheat like saves has been ignored.

 

EDIT: also hugs :)

How do you respond to it but agree? There is also the question of "I used these companions on my first play but on my second play a completely different set", hence changing the circumstances and tactical management completely making the upcoming battle entirely different. Of course I'd know the battle would be around the corner still. Maybe I'm a lower level, maybe I'm a higher level. Maybe I took a different route, maybe I'm playing more evil and previously I played more good how does that change the battle? Maybe I am part of the Bandit's faction taking out the Nobility this time but on my previous playthrough I was defending the Nobility from the Bandit's etc. etc. there's so many unknown factors between first playthrough and second playthrough with games like these. You won't make the same choices twice (unless, you know, you want to play the same path/way twice of course).

 

There's also difficulty taken into account, perhaps you played on Casual the first time, and now you want more of a challenge on your second playthrough. Perhaps it is the other way around, you played Hardcore the first time and the second time you want more of a breeze and you play on Casual.... see? There's so many "If's", "But's" and "Maybe's". I understand how it could be "cheating" playing the game a second time, but I fail to see the relevance.... edit: or is it the other way around? I understand the relevance but fail to see how it's cheating? xD I'm very tired...

Setting aside the fact that I could chose to side with the opposite faction (if possible at all), all the things you have mentioned, usually, are slight variation of mechanics, variations that you would have to take into account anyway.

Let's say that in the opposing group of enemy there's a mage. He should have a wide array of spells. That means that he could start the fight by debuffing you, or paralizing you, or maybe he could fireball you, or maybe... ecc.

 

My point is, that having met an encounter before, by means of second walkthorough, save/reload spamming, or what else, doesn't mean that you'll know exactly how it goes. Sure, if you repeat it 20 times, you could develop a killer strategy to wind flawlessy in any circumstance, but so what?

Until the videogames will have true AI for the npc, this whole discussion is rather pointless.

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I see that my comment about a second playthrough being a cheat like saves has been ignored.

 

It's not a cheat becasue it's unavoidable, no matter what.

It's impossible to play a game a second time without running into the same things.

Unless the developers somehow find a way to randmize EVERYTHING.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Still.

They could develop a game playable only once (via DRM or something).

 

 

Is my point silly? Still it uses the same logic you are using for savegame. It's simply a little bit more extreme, but the same nonetheless.

Edited by DocDoomII

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Don't be. You don't know what I want.

I know what you don't want unless you are just making things up in this thread. you don't want too much freedom to save and apparently you don't want rogues who are capable in combat. Both will be present.

Edited by ogrezilla

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Aren't they implementing an Iron Man mode already? Or "Trial of Iron" as they call it.

If you're against save scumming and don't have the discipline to stop yourself enable this mode.

 

/thread

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Jivex5k, I already said that in page 1 or maybe 2. They don't care about that.

They feel that since the game, normally, allows them to save prior a battle and redo the battle countless times if you fail, than the game is flawed.

 

Or reading between the lines "I know there's a Trial of Iron mode, but my willpower sucks and I'll end up using saves anyway. So they should just develop a game that prevent saving whenever I want."

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Jivex5k, I already said that in page 1 or maybe 2. They don't care about that.

They feel that since the game, normally, allows them to save prior a battle and redo the battle countless times if you fail, than the game is flawed.

 

Or reading between the lines "I know there's a Trial of Iron mode, but my willpower sucks and I'll end up using saves anyway. So they should just develop a game that prevent saving whenever I want."

the argument is that somehow the rest of the game is designed differently because of the "flawed" save system. Game design doesn't happen in a vacuum and all that jazz. Nobody has given an example though. Unless you count the asinine assertion that Rogues being a more combat focused class is a result of the save system.

Edited by ogrezilla
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"I have to live with a little temptation?"

Tell you what - how about you get to live with a little bit of (loading-related) frustration?

The idea of having to re-do a battle because of a save point bothers you? Well, this bothers me just as much.

The issue is that, in terms of compromise (different players want different things), if there is to be only one method of saving ... then, while self-discipline isn't something we always have a lot of, all the time, it is definitely a player option to exercise it...whereas no multiple saves etc. creates a distinct lack of option. So while you're not getting what you specifically feel you need, it is, imo, the best way to handle it. The game designers are not responsible for individual's lack of gameplay self-discipline any more than an author is responsible for an individual's inability to not read the last page of the book first.

 

I don't really care about your rationalization.

 

The "best way" is subjective. And you support the one approach that caters to you.

 

Your frustration (15 minute spaced apart saves) is by no means more important than mine.

What you want is no more imporant what what I want.

What you consider a compromise isn't one, no matter how many times you claim it is. There's more to this than just saving.

You keep dancing about the issue by repeating the "just ignore it" mantra (basicly saying, the system is not the problem, you are)

I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way. I'm not the problem. You are.

... see, I can do this crap too?

 

The difference is, if you get your way, the people who want to save often can NOT play the game the way they want to play it. They're forced to play it the way YOU want to play.

 

Yet if the option to save anytime is present, you can still play the way you want; it just requires a bit of willpower on your behalf. But at least in this situation the OPTION is there for you to play as you like.

Edited by GhostofAnakin
  • Like 8

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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The difference is, if you get your way, the people who want to save often can NOT play the game the way they want to play it. They're forced to play it the way YOU want to play.

 

Yet if the option to save anytime is present, you can still play the way you want; it just requires a bit of willpower on your behalf. But at least in this situation the OPTION is there for you to play as you like.

Can I print and frame this post?

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