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Savegame limitations?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Pentium, Jul 25, 2021.

?

Should there be any savegame limitations in RPG games?

Poll closed Aug 25, 2021.
  1. Yes, I'm a die-hard RPG specky nerd, save scumming is lame

    24.4%
  2. No, wtf I'm a casual crybaby, let me save anytime I want

    49.6%
  3. Who needs saves anyway? I always play games in a trice with a pile of Red Bull cans

    1.5%
  4. RPG games are crap anyway

    23.7%
  1. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    This is why roguelikes use procedural generation - when you fail and have to start over, you are not repeating exactly the same thing, meaning you still have to pay attention to where you are going and what you are doing. I would compare it to board games in a way, where it is possible to have a fresh experience despite always using the same parts to set up your game. Frankly, I wish more video games took clues from board games.

    That's not my take. You're quoting Bad Sector here.
     
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  2. Sweeper Unwanted Zionist Agent

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    Stop playing vidya you cunts.
    There's nothing to be gained from it.
     
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  3. Nifft Batuff Liturgist

    Nifft Batuff
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    I played a lot the old roguelike (moria, angband, etc.) before the current fashion. They were ok as soon you realize that the procedural generation is basically repeating variations on the same theme. At that point they became repetitive. On the other hand, while the randomness provide you some (limited) replayability, it also hinder the decision making.

    I played them as pastimes, in short sessions, between other chores. At least the old roguelikes had a save & quit feature, so you had the freedom to stop and resume the game as you wanted.

    Now this freedom seems like science fiction. In modern "roguelikes" or "roguelites" this save & quit feature is ironically very rare... At present almost every game wants to be a roguelike. When I see "roguelike", "roguelite" or "procedural generation" in a modern game description, I just look away as soon as possible.
     
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  4. WhiteShark Learned

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    Very sorry about that, corrected.
     
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  5. WhiteShark Learned

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    Hindering decision making is kind of the point of RNG. You are required to constantly analyze and re-analyze varied and ever changing situations, and to have a backup plan when RNG decides to really screw you over. Risk management is a skill.

    Dunno what roguelikes you've been playing without save & quit, though I do agree that the term "roguelike" has been used very dishonestly for marketing purposes as of late.
     
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  6. Peachcurl Learned

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    There are a few rogueli(k/t)es without save on quit. A recent example: Stoneshard.
     
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  7. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    About that:

    Source: https://steamcommunity.com/app/625960/discussions/0/2567564516573337688/
     
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  8. DeepOcean Arcane

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    The question is consistent in what? Being consistent in something isnt a general player static attribute, the more you learn an encounter, the more consistent you get at it.There are a few problems with this idea that repeating content achieves consistency:

    a) It is impossible to master an enemy type on a single situation, unless it is a really simple one, you need to face that enemy type on different situations. There is a whole game to teach mastery to the player, you dont need to force him to repeat an easy fight to teach him.
    b) Repeating content has diminishing returns in teaching the player because of rote memorization, once you know where the enemy are, when they spawn, how many spawn and etc what can be done quickly, there isnt much more to learn. It isnt that the exact same encounter is an endless well of learning.
    c) The performance of a player degrades once he replays a content too much, the more he is forced to repeat, the more bored he becomes, the more bored, the less interested he is, what leads to him losing attention and making more mistakes. However, he is making mistakes because he isnt interested on the game any more not because he is inconsistent.

    It is a fact that limited saving on games with hand made content, if the game isnt easy as fuck, will lead to content being artificially used well beyond its expiration date. I think games like Dark Souls should remain with limited saving because tension and risk are two core pillars to its game design and forcing the player to lose progress really ramp up not the challenge but the stakes. However, this tension doesnt come free with alot of extra boredom that alot of players will reject and I disagree that limited saving is a panacea for all games.
     
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  9. Peachcurl Learned

    Peachcurl
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  10. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik Wumao

    Hóngwèibīng
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    People who are against unlimited saves have bad impulse control and thus require to be handheld by the devs in order to gitgud as to not need to save everywhere.
     
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  11. Nifft Batuff Liturgist

    Nifft Batuff
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    There are so many cases of half-backed limited savegame implementations in modern games, everywhere, not only in the roguelike genre. They are the rule, not the exception. Because "muh, difficulty". In this context it is completely facetious discussing about the issue of savescumming. And declaring that savescumming is the reason of decline in gaming it's utter idiocy.

    In other news, game companies are eager to find motivations to justify the monetization of the "new game" button.
     
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  12. Hóngwèibīng Arcane Vatnik Wumao

    Hóngwèibīng
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    Blaming savescumming is just a way to hide one's own insecurities under the guise of elitism. If you could get to the point where you play well enough as to not need it without being forced by game limitations to strive towards that level of competence, then whether the saving system is unlimited or not wouldn't affect you and thus you shouldn't care about it.

    Nevertheless, to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, there are a few prestigious autists such as Desiderius who do support such limitations out of an honest no fun allowed elitist attitude. I just doubt that most of those that whine ITT (and elsewhere) about unlimited saving do it in the same spirit and not just as a cope in order to save face for their lack of willpower of which they are ashamed.
     
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  13. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    That's true, but shitty implementations are not the argument against limited save games. It's an argument to make sure you make a good implementation. Which is somewhat similar to "How about instead doing a shitty game you make a good one?" and the reason why you have to curate stuff: because some games are not worth your time.

    The argument was that savescumming can undermine developer's intentions. While this much is true (as one alleged developer said in this thread) I would add: but this is not true for every game. In some games you aren't expected to win on your first try (or losing is not part of the process), so you can and should reload.
     
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  14. Nifft Batuff Liturgist

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    I agree in theory, but I see that the in the actual context things are more the other way around. The argument against savescumming is used to justify limited and broken saves games implementations.

    Nowadays almost all AAA gaming have check points/save points married with heavy scripted linear gameplay. This is the real decline in gaming. Examples of antithesis of this trend are the non-linear open-ended games with save everywhere. Like the classics, at least in the PC gaming scene. Games likes the aforementioned Ultima, in particular the Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Doom, Thief, Fallout 1-2, Deus Ex, Stalker, etc. They all have a save everywhere, and nobody at the time saw this as a problem. People in the '90s would have said: 'Savescumming? it's your problem, not mine.'

    - Doom (1993): save everywhere -> Doom Eternal: checkpoints, no save & quit.
    - Thief (1998): save everywhere -> Thief (2014): checkpoints
    - System Shock: save everywhere -> Dead Space: save points, no save & quit.
    - Stalker: save everywhere -> Chernobylite (2021): checkpoints, no save & quit (the "save" is basically a registration of your state at the checkpoint, reverting also all the basebuilding sessions, that it makes absolutely no sense)
    - Ultima Underworld (1994): save everywhere -> Underworld Ascendant : ... for Christ sake, this game was initially released without a save system at all...
    - etc., ...

    In the indie gaming scene, the argument against savescumming is a true blessing for the developers, because they can justify to avoid implementing a save everywhere feature, that (if it is not already sufficient the default save game system included in the engine they are using) is a pain in the ass to implement from scratch. As a consequence you don't have a proper save & quit feature neither (because technically you need to implement the possibility to save everywhere in order to save when you quit, if you don't want a limited "quit the game" too...). Hence the reason why so many modern indie games have a broken save system.

    In this context, when I see people whining about savescumming and advocating more limitations to save game systems I...

    :deathclaw:
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  15. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Im not elitist. I believe that everyone can suck less and enjoy doing it.
     
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  16. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
    Right, obviously introducing an obstacle type - be it a platforming section or an enemy encoutner - isn't something to be done one and thrown away, but this should be done in terms of the level design: if the game wants to test your skill several times, then the levels (or whatever) should have those tests instead of implicitly relying on the lack of a savesystem that will force the player repeat previously beaten sections. Games that rely on that are doing exactly what i call artificial increase of their length: it isn't their levels' length that is long, it is the game being padded by repeating the same short level sections over and over.

    Of course this has a ton of positives from the developer's perspective, even if we ignore the technical side, so i understand why developers do it and as i wrote previously i'm often willing to ignore its downsides as a player.

    This example is basically what i wrote several times: Mega Man X relied on its lack of a proper save system for its difficulty, so of course introducing savestates would obliterate it.

    I was actually surprised to learn recently that Unity, the by far most used engine among indie (and many non-indie) developers, does not provide a save system and developers have to implement it from scratch - which is something they often do late in development. I mean sure, implementing a save system isn't exactly rocket science, but i always considered it a core feature of a game engine and was certain Unity would have one.

    Anyway, one group reply:

    All of the above are issues with RNG and the solution is something i've already wrote about in my previous posts in this thread: have the RNG state be part of the game state that is saved so it doesn't matter if the player loads after a bad roll: the next time they reload they'll get the exact same roll. You could even use different RNGs (each with their own saved state) for each type of roll to avoid muddying the RNG state by unrelated actions (e.g. to avoid something like "use skill A => skill A check fail => reload => do a search or whatever else that relies on a random number => use skill A => skill A check succeeded" because both both "skill A check" and "do a search or whatever" would use the same RNG).
     
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  17. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Oh, we do have a backup plan. Literally :smug:
     
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  18. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Goodluck doing that with serverside saves
     
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  19. mondblut Arcane

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    Goodluck purchasing "license to use" software held hostage by its developer :roll:.
     
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  20. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    all you had to do was stop cheating, now you're forcing me to lobby every developer to move to GaaS.
     
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  21. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Back in the coin-op (and Atari 2600) days repeating sections was the only option. That kind of suspense adds a whole different dynamic that there’s really no other way to recapture and the automaticity one develops in the repetition hones ones skill to a level hard to attain in any game that allows saving at all.
     
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  22. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    Add a "save anywhere" difficulty to games and call it "video game journalist mode"
     
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  23. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    *quicksave*
    *drink unidentified potion*
    "woops this potion is bad, time to reload"

    There's nothing you can do to prevent this using fixed RNG. If the outcome of the potion is determined each time it's drunk, they will repeat it until they get a favorable outcome. If it's predetermined, they will do it once and reload if it's an unfavorable outcome.
    This is a mechanic completely destroyed by being able to rewind time at will.
     
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  24. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Hard drives drastically reduced the amount of time required to save and load games relative to what had been required when saving and loading to floppy disks, thus allowing save-scumming without a corresponding expenditure on the part of the player. Designers could artificially restore a time delay to saving and loading, permitting players the option of save-scumming but with added time expense. :M
     
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  25. mondblut Arcane

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    I've heard the feeling of crushing your balls with a hammer is hard to recapture in any other way, too.
     
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