How often do you save your game?

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Zloth

Community Contributor
Here's where I have issue with save whenever you want. If a studio makes a game and you can save scum your way through the experience you don't really play the game as its creator intended.
Errrr, yeah I did. If the creators intended me to play through without saving "too much," the creators should not let me save (like many other games). Or maybe let me save, but only after some period of time/turns. Or pull a Paradox and don't give me any achievements unless I play in Ironman mode.

You CAN load XCOM before every shot and re-load until you hit, but only if you change the random seed option. By default, you'll get the same result every time - unless you do something different first.

That's a good case in point, though. When I first started playing XCOM, I saved before every single turn - sometimes more than once! I was playing the game on normal difficulty, but I hadn't seen a game like it before (maybe Jagged Alliance 2, many many years earlier, which I didn't beat) and was getting pounded. If I had set the difficulty lower, I expect I could have made it through without my saves but I also wouldn't have learned so much. By using all those do-overs, I learned how to do it right! I loaded the game less and less, started forgetting to save at the start of each turn, and now I play on hard while only rarely re-loading. I even got through a lot of the Long War mod. But if Duke Nuke'm or Minsc gets killed, I'm definitely re-loading, even if I have to play the whole mission again!
 
Errrr, yeah I did. If the creators intended me to play through without saving "too much," the creators should not let me save (like many other games). Or maybe let me save, but only after some period of time/turns. Or pull a Paradox and don't give me any achievements unless I play in Ironman mode.

You CAN load XCOM before every shot and re-load until you hit, but only if you change the random seed option. By default, you'll get the same result every time - unless you do something different first.

That's a good case in point, though. When I first started playing XCOM, I saved before every single turn - sometimes more than once! I was playing the game on normal difficulty, but I hadn't seen a game like it before (maybe Jagged Alliance 2, many many years earlier, which I didn't beat) and was getting pounded. If I had set the difficulty lower, I expect I could have made it through without my saves but I also wouldn't have learned so much. By using all those do-overs, I learned how to do it right! I loaded the game less and less, started forgetting to save at the start of each turn, and now I play on hard while only rarely re-loading. I even got through a lot of the Long War mod. But if Duke Nuke'm or Minsc gets killed, I'm definitely re-loading, even if I have to play the whole mission again!

I had action games in my mind when was talking about not being able to save whenever you want. Not talking about all games, all of the time. That why I specifically picked up on your post about Shadow of Morder, its a game I quite liked myself.

Sure I save scummed my way through Baldurs Gate and also Deus Ex 20-25 years ago. I can see a case where the user save scumming could be considered and baked in to some games. I do think in 95 % of cases if a game comes out today where its necessary to get through, then its either badly designed or user error. And if too many users get that error, its still badly designed.
 
Fun fact: in the TBS game Eador: Masters of the Broken World, you can ask your advisor why all of your opponents have unique powers but you don't. Your advisor answers that you have the ability to rewind time whenever you want, which to him seems like the strongest power one could wish for.
 
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I understand that it really depends upon the game you're playing and how the implemented saving system works. Most of my gaming experience is with RPGs and similar games; where you can do a hard save anytime outside of combat (or with enemies in the area), even if there's a limit to the number of save slots. Those are my favorite, but I also play games with other save systems.

D2 Resurrected is a good example with it's "save on exit" formula. Back when the original D2 released I didn't like it, but the more I played, it made sense. D2 is about killing monsters, leveling up, and getting better loot. Clearing an area or map for a 2nd time when returning in the game makes sense.

Mass Effect Andromeda had a slightly different approach. You could save anytime (outside of combat, no enemies nearby), but there were a number of Vaults you had to explore & fight through that didn't allow any saving (though there were a few auto-save points). They were essential to the main story line, and not being able to save did add a certain amount of tension, though not overwhelmingly so. For all it's faults, that was one of the things ME:A did well.
 
I just read this Reddit post and thought it was an interesting addition to this thread:

View: https://www.reddit.com/r/truegaming/comments/qgnh2j/save_correctly_or_how_to_set_control_points_in/

Especially the part about Alien: Isolation

And in Alien Isolation you can save your progress only at special stations - and it takes some time. According to the developers, this approach not only solves the problem of the safes but also adds depth to the gameplay: game design director Gary Napper compared this approach to the active reloading from Gears of War. In both cases, the fundamental mechanics don't just serve their purpose, they evoke strong emotions. But such mechanics did not come at once. At first, the game used the classic invisible checkpoints, but this contradicted the unpredictable behavior of the xenomorph - what if the player was in danger while passing the checkpoint? The first solution was to weaken the onslaught of the monster when loading, but then the mechanics were easily "abused": it is easier to run to the checkpoint, die and load in complete safety than to try to hide from the monster. Therefore, the authors came up with station mechanics, like in Resident Evil. The system not only improved the gameplay experience but also referred to the first Alien, where Dallas interacted with similar panels to access the ship's AI.