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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. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Never underestimate the craftiness of players, fools. You can store terabytes of fixed RNG seeds for every action in the game, we will still find a way to reset a poor roll where it doesn't matter and conserve a good one for where it does :obviously:

    Ask JA2 how did their pitiful attempt at storing the seed fare. Protip: it was bent over and buttfucked just like every other attempt to control the way we want to play.
     
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  2. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    We already know we're never going to convince you that you're a cheater.
    We're just convincing everyone else that you're a cheater. And you do a good job of helping us.
     
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  3. WhiteShark Learned

    WhiteShark
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    Honestly reading this just boggles my mind. A real time fight with a unique boss isn't "real" difficulty if using save states makes it easier, huh? Care to explain what "real" difficulty would be then?
     
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  4. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Average savescummer argument: "nothing is difficult because I'm cheating"
     
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  5. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    And surgeons are cheaters for doing surgeries on patients instead of praying for deus to vult it out.
     
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  6. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Post your perfect Pitfall II score and you can join this conversation.
     
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  7. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    P:K tried that.
     
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  8. Gastrick Learned

    Gastrick
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    It is more intense and suspenseful to play these retro action games with no save states, but save scumming lets you become more skilled a lot faster. Playing the game after without saves after playing with them will make it noticeable. It's because you repeat all the difficult parts but quickly go through the easy parts. Also, would that even carry forward to RPGs? If RPGs involve a lot of steps like giving characters items.

    P.S. Does Pitfall I count?
     
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  9. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Of course. II’s the one I remember because of that cave.
     
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  10. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
    I have already written about my thoughts on the matter previously in the thread. For Mega Man X explicitly i cannot really answer because i haven't played the game (or any Mega Man really) as aside a few exceptions (e.g. Duke Nukem 1) i'm not into 2D platformers much.

    As i already wrote, there were more factors into play than just some designer deciding to use a limited savesystem (or not a savesystem at all, in these cases) to artificially increase the game's length, like hardware limitations or in the case of coin-ops, gouging your coins :-P. But i already wrote about that, are we now in the part of the thread where i have to start repeating myself? That's boring and i wont bother :-P

    You can always open the savegame in a hex editor or whatever and TBH i do not really care how people play the game as long as they're having fun.
     
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  11. WhiteShark Learned

    WhiteShark
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    Honestly this is what I had expected but I didn't want to jump to conclusions. I think the fact that you don't even play the genre you're declaring to be replete with "fake" difficulty speaks for itself. Here's all what I found for your definition of "real" difficulty:

    The fact is, the "actual rules" of Mega Man X is that you must dodge the enemies attacks consistently (or at least consistently enough to not die) while attacking the enemy until he dies, all in real time. Depending on the boss fight this can be a fairly challenging task. It absolutely qualifies for "real difficulty" by your definition: there is no special hindrance by the game's implementation. Nevertheless, you can trivialize any boss fight by doing what I did: saving after every successful hit, loading after every instance of damage received. It would be absurd to assert that because you dodged successfully once that you had mastered that attack pattern; it is likewise ridiculous to say that you have mastered a boss just because you defeated it once. However, this is exactly what you state here:

    By this reasoning accomplishing a task successfully, once, is the only "real" difficulty, and any repetition of said task regardless of context is "artificial" difficulty only meant to pad out the game. I suppose in your ideal, "real" difficulty game with no padding, bosses would only use each of their attack patterns until you successfully dodged it once, there would only be one unique instance of each platforming obstacle, and so on. Such a game would not be trivialized by save states, I suppose, but it wouldn't matter since it would be trivial to begin with.

    You know, it's okay to admit that you just like being able to quicksave/quickload anywhere at anytime regardless of how it affects the game experience. It would be more honest than these arguments that it somehow doesn't affect """real""" difficulty or consequences.
     
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  12. Humanophage Arcane

    Humanophage
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    Case in point - currently playing Thea 2.

    Been doing quite great, spent about 15 hours between 3 days on a run. Logged in today whilst a bit tired, wrongly assessed the risk and got a couple of key characters killed in the second fight. Time to restart again and waste 15 more hours on getting to this point. Or I suppose I could trudge on and waste 10 more hours until I die with a crippled party.

    All this is testing is your consistent attention when playing games. Everything turns boring because you are incentivised never to take risks and never do anything non-trivial (or else pay with your time). To be honest, I suspect that many of the people who use 'savescumming' to denote saving are probably not used to complex games and are justifying their ineptitude by getting back at people who like those games. They learned a word and are now applying it to anything that moves, like people using 'simp' to refer to anyone commenting on women's appearance in some god-forsaken comment section.
     
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  13. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    But i already wrote that savegames can make a game easier. And yes, from your description it sounds like the difficulty of the game would be those actions you performed between using savestates and the perceived increase of the difficulty is due to the lack of savestates in the base game... which is basically what i'm writing so far.

    No, i already wrote to you previously that:

    The game itself can ask you to do something more than once, that should be obvious and self-explanatory (to the point where i shouldn't even have to write that quote above, and TBH i am a bit annoyed that despite writing this i have to repeat it again, is there a point of making arguments if they aren't going to be read?) and is in line with what i've written so far. If a game asks you to overcome an obstacle (jump puzzle, encounter, whatever) six times as part of its level design or enemy design or other part of the game's rules/content it is different from you having to overcome the same thing six times because you had to restart five times from a checkpoint (or whatever) that was placed before the obstacle.

    One is part of the game itself (which is also something that can be criticized - e.g. for being repetitive, or avoiding to be repetitive which is the ideal as having to overcome the exact same obstacle multiple times isn't exactly fun) and another is part of the game's implementation - specifically the interface between the player and the game's rules - that exists outside the game itself. If nothing else (and not to be confused as my main point, just another thing that shows how these two are different) you can't criticize a game for being repetitive because you had to repeat a checkpoint 10 times, but you can criticize a game for being repetitive for placing the same encounter 10 times in a row.
     
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  14. WhiteShark Learned

    WhiteShark
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    If you cannot see how being required to do multiple tasks in real time, consecutively, successfully, and with minimal margin for error is genuinely more difficult than doing one task at a time with infinite margin for error, there's no point in continuing this discussion. You might as well argue that being unable to slow the game speed is also an "implementation detail" that only raises "perceived" difficulty.

    These two statements contradict each other. Can you not see that? According to the first, if you've done something once you should never have to do the same thing again. Whether it's content repeated due to checkpoints or content that simply recurs at multiple points in the game, it's still repetition. I'll just assume that you weren't being clear in the first statement and the second is your true position as you assert now.

    You absolutely can and people often do.
     
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  15. Pentium Learned

    Pentium
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    1. Yes, it does. The fact you're in denial won't make your life any safer.
    [​IMG]
    2. Do you feel smart coming up with retarded analogies? It shoudn't work that way, tho.

    Blah blah blah this argument was too old even before this thread.

    Achievement: Badass Clicker

    Then don't play games if you're unable to satisfy your chick for a long time enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  16. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    Thing is - the player shouldn't have to "exercise self-restraint" when interacting with the game. The game should be designed in a way that the player is interacting with it as is it meant to be played, without the player having to resort to house rules.
     
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  17. Valdetiosi Educated

    Valdetiosi
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    I always love resource based saving like in older Resident Evils and Kingdom Come Deliverance. It strikes good balance of allowing to save at leisure or being cautious, depending how much of save items you have.
     
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  18. jungl Liturgist

    jungl
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    It doesnt work for most games. Imagine playing gothic 2 with save game limitation. It was bad in kingdom come. Works fine in strategy mission based rpgs, fps and survival horror games.
     
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  19. Valdetiosi Educated

    Valdetiosi
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    Oh I would dream of that.
     
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  20. Techno Union Obvious alt Dumbfuck

    Techno Union
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    Wtf am I reading. Even normie RPGs usually don't allow saving in the middle of combat, let alone a boss fight. What is even the point of playing a game if you can use saves to immediately circumvent all of your failures?

    That would be fantastic.
     
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  21. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    Well, perhaps since you manage to ignore even the bit that you quoted where i acknowledge that it makes a game more difficult. That many games rely on their (lack of or broken) save systems for their difficulty is something i mentioned from the beginning of this thread.

    The second clarifies and expands on the first statement - after the part you quoted i wrote "even in the case of player skill based games, the game should introduce something different and more challenging for the player to overcome instead of using the repetition introduced by a limited (intentionally broken) save system".

    I mean think about it logically, this was even in the context of using a platformer as an example, would it even make sense to imply that after you -e.g.- show to the game that you can jump there wont be any more jumping on a platformer? Because your interpretation seems to be something like that, however that interpretation makes no sense at all, so why are you sticking to it instead of trying to understand what i meant (the full thing i wrote, not just the bit you quoted) especially when i write a clarification about it?

    In the case of the platformer i was referring to things like a gap in the level. After jumping that gap having the level ask you avoid the same gap is pointless repetition - the player already demonstrated their ability to jump that specific gap. Instead it should use something different (in the confines of what the game is all about, obviously - so a platformer will still use obstacles that you'd expect from a platformer to have), like a different gap, a trap, a combination of a gap and a trap, a jump that requires some initial running, a gap that relies on some lever and a mechanism to close or whatever. Many games, very often including platformers, have limited "vocabularies" in their design but that doesn't mean they have to repeat the same words or "phrases" over and over (a gap followed by a trap, followed by a gap, followed by a trap, followed by a gap, followed by a trap is still repetitive).

    Content that is repeated due to checkpoints is not the same as content that recurs at multiple points in the game which itself is not the same as content that is placed on a row multiple times one after another - note that i compared the first with the third, not the first with the second.

    And they are wrong because one (placing the same encounter 10 times) relies on the game's design itself and is an explicit choice some designer made whereas the other may vary between players (some might not even need to repeat a checkpoint or only do one or two repetitions, others may repeat it 20 times or abandon the game at that point). The first is something that pretty much every player will experience so it makes sense to criticize it as something you can point to and explain, the other will be a different experience for every player.

    Read all the previous posts i made in this thread, it should all be explained there. If you have questions and find something not clear, i can -try to- clarify.
     
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  22. Nifft Batuff Liturgist

    Nifft Batuff
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    If you have any save game system, even limited or resource based, it is like cheating. Only the old arcade games have the correct save game system: i.e. they don't have it at all. Furthermore you have to pay with real money every time you want to play the game again. This increases tremendously the difficulty and the enjoyment of the game. Restarting the game without restriction is like cheating.
    Show Spoiler
    :troll:
     
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  23. Gargaune Cipher

    Gargaune
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    I know this'll sound like semantics but it really isn't, you gotta distinguish between form and content. There are other aspects related to the form of videogames, the medium itself, which impact the challenge of the experience, things such as difficulty settings and cheats, but I hope we're not gonna get to "devs should disable the debug console 'cause I can't resist toggling god mode." So when you sit down in front of your screen, you've gotta be able to decide what sort of experience you want from a game and whether you'll let a suboptimal outcome play or if you'll drop the difficulty, cheat or hammer that F9 key. That's you choosing how to "interact" with the pages of a book, not with the story written on them.

    Videogames are not strict directorial affairs, and determining your own approach to save/load as a house rule falls outside of the scope of the content (in most cases). Even if you value that added challenge and tension, games are lengthy experiences and often prone to bugs, mishaps and muddied design, so having to moderate your own behaviour towards platform affordances like cheats and savescumming is generally worth it over finding yourself locked out of exploration or experimentation or, yes, even opening that fucking chest after three natural ones in a row. Also, as a point of courtesy, consider that it's a smaller ask of an Ironman afficionado to simply ignore the Load function than of a savescumming addict to exploit or hack their save states into the game. Naturally, I have no objection to a setting in that respect.

    But at this point you'd argue for that holistic design approach where purposefully building the game around a single, rolling save state would force developers to make a better, more interesting title that would present the player with continual value throughout a "no refunds" playthrough, am I right? Well, actually it would force them to make games easier. All those arguments about how killing savescumming would elevate games by upping the challenge are wrong, in a beautiful fit of irony, precisely because they are correct. Designers would have to tune down all across the board (not just combat or platforming, but stuff like character building and consequence severity as well) to keep it accessible to a wide audience. Yeah, there is a target demographic for punishment and games to cater to it, like Dark Souls, but then that one game almost defined a subgenre in and of itself to the point that non-sliced bread became the "Dark Souls of bread." It's not for everyone and it's not for any game.

    Bottom line, there's been a lot of focusing on minutiae and unwarranted optimism at work in this thread. Save limitations work in a niche segment, but there's no incline to be had in rolling them out across the whole medium, quite the opposite, and it's a big price to pay just for not having to resist the appeal of the Quickload key when you end up using one too many healing potions.
     
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  24. Harthwain Cipher

    Harthwain
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    1) There is no point discussing cheats. Anyone is free to use cheats in a singleplayer game, but I think everyone agrees that playing a game with cheats defeats the purpose of playing the game.

    2) If some plays are more suboptimal than others (or other plays are way stronger than others) then that's a balance design problem and telling the player to not use a playstyle that is stronger is not really a solution, because each skill, item, spell, etc. was designed to be used. While increasing difficulty can be useful in adjusting the difficulty to a desired level, it is only going to exacerbate the fact that the other stuff is going to be less effective, meaning the broken play still remains the strongest. Can the player not use the play in question? Sure. But he shouldn't be asked to do so. That's my point. So trying to use that as an argument is not really going to work.

    3) If the game has save and load fuction then it is there to be used. If the game designer wants the player to play in a specific way, then he designs the game to be played so. This included how the save game system operates within the confines of the game.

    There are roguelites.

    You are still not expected to reload there (if you die, you die). However, roguelites can have meta-progression system rewarding you in various ways after you are defeated. The upside means you get access to more interesting content. The downside is that the game may get easier as unlock generally can be more powerful than the blank slate you start with. That said, it is not the same as "designers tuning down difficulty across the board", like you suggest, but the same we discussed previously: the game being less "difficulty-resistant" to certain perks/build/strategies, etc. But that's true for any game that is not "perfectly balanced".

    :nocountryforshitposters:

    Darkest Dungeon being an incredibly difficult game is a myth spread far and wide by the casual players. Once you get the hang of the mechanics you should be able to do just fine. Sure, you need to survive from checkpoint to checkpoint, but the same [beating opponents] is true for literally every game. That's how progression works.

    I don't think any reasonable man would argue otherwise. The point isn't: "All games ought to have limitations on saves". The point is: "Limitations on saves can be done in an interesting way and add something to the game you otherwise wouldn't get".
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
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  25. Gargaune Cipher

    Gargaune
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    Harthwain, the game developer gave you a platform affordance in the save system, it's up to you decide whether you want to employ it every once in a while or before every locked chest. You have that freedom the same way you have the freedom to min-max or not, it's not the game designer's job to strictly regulate how you interact with the game right down to the moment you go take a leak, nor does the existence of power builds amount to the developer "asking" the player not to use them. The point in bringing up cheats is simply that, like the F9 key, they're there and thus demand a similar "effort" to ignore as savescumming does. Arguing that they're clearly not part of the intended experience is pointless, because nobody who sits there mashing reload until they finally get the 19 to open that chest doesn't realise that's not part of the intended experience either.

    That's not the direction the thread's been going in. I've agreed that there is a niche segment where save limitations are valuable, but they're not generally beneficial to the majority of videogame types where the foremost thing they'd add would be either frustration or idle clicking. As for that niche segment, I'm not telling you not to like it but I have no interest in playing checkpoint to checkpoint whether it's Dark Souls, Darkest Dungeon or Darkly Darkness and I can't possibly imagine putting up with a save-limited Temple of Elemental Evil or Bethesda Game™. Or Kingdom Come: Deliverance, for that matter. I did, however, play Heavy Rain that way... almost. I ended up scumming twice because it was my first ever console game and I fucked up with the controller, but I otherwise had no problem committing to the playthrough because I had an idea of what I wanted to get out of it.
     
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