Playing how the game was intended to be played

How should games be played?

  • As designed by devs

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • As preferred by player

    Votes: 1 7.1%
  • Options to allow both approaches

    Votes: 12 85.7%

  • Total voters
    14
  • Poll closed .
Topic came up in the current "How often do you save your game?" thread.

Three main views:
1. Games should be played as the devs designed it;
2. Games should enable the player to play how se wants;
3. Compromise via options.

Please vote, and if you have something of interest to say—ie a lot more than "I voted X"—please reply to the thread, or a post in the thread.

My view: Options are a Good Thing!
 
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I don't think that analogy works. Movies, books, movies, TV shows—none are interactive like games are. Interactivity is why games are my primary entertainment, the ability to create my own plot, to write my own story.

I subscribe to Sid Meier's philosophy that games should present the player with interesting choices.

I posted a new thread and poll on this topic, so this one can get back to talking about the narrower topic of game saving.
I really don't mean to yuck your yum @BrianBoru you want to play some Far Cry, but you don't want to play the story, have at it! I cant tell you whats fun for you, I can only say what works for me, and what doesn't. I apologize if I come across as rude or harsh about it. I've been moved to post because I felt that there were points of view I thought that were being missed and I find it interesting to bring them into the conversation..

The movie/book/song analogy works for some games. In any case every game you play, you are playing within the boundaries the developer put there. Some games have wider choices and a larger world. Some games have tight boundaries, and less choice. Perhaps because they are trying to tell a more traditional story in an interactive setting. Perhaps because a tightly defined path through a game allows for more controlled pacing and engagement through progression with less exploration. The options are endless.

My main point across a couple of these discussions has been that there are many different types of game. Just as boss battles are not universally bad, in many games the limiting of your options is more strict and works well because not all games have to be sandboxes! Because of that I just feel that in many games having certain options negatively affects the overall game.

There was some debate around things linked to this a few times in the past I referred to in the other thread. You might find these interesting if you didnt catch it before. (2 articles) :)
 
I feel the more choices the better, it only adds to the replay value and makes you feel less on rails. That said, I have mixed emotions about intended play areas. On the one hand, I'm not a big fan of invisible walls and constant "leaving the mission area" warnings, but I also feel using exploits that allow a player to entirely leave a map and skip to another spot quickly is basically cheating.
 
depends on the game tbh. if its QoL improvements that are significant, i'll probably play them. That said, if achievements are locked out, i'll probably play it as the devs intended before trying it with mods another time. The exception to the rule is when the mods make massive improvements to QoL that would make it more enjoyable like turning a rogue-like into a rogue lite or not a rogue-like at all.
 
Oh heck, now my yum is all yucky…

points of view I thought that were being missed and I find it interesting to bring them into the conversation
Right on, that's why I thought the topic deserved its own thread—keep 'em coming. Or as the Dark Souls/Sekiro bosses say "I got all day, what you got?"

in many games having certain options negatively affects the overall game
I generally disagree, and my view is more eloquently expressed by Dave Thier in the Forbes article you linked:
"an almost stunning lack of respect for players with the idea that they cannot be trusted with their own gameplay experience, that even those who want a challenging game would somehow be lured by the siren song of lower difficulties and destroy their own experience because they're too impatient or immature to know what they actually want"

That's the bit I have difficulty with. If you argue for less options in some games, why? Why does the option that works for me somehow affect your game?

Thier also says:
"only a certain sort of player with time, inclination, reaction speed and lack of physical issues will ever see the final boss fight anywhere but on Twitch"

In the Cnet article by Andrew Gebhart, he talks about:
"They're meant to be teaching exercises. They're meant to provide a feeling of hard-won accomplishment not found in other games."

I checked the blurb on Steam. It says nothing of the sort, so where did Gebhart get his claim? Some obscure blog where one of many developers tried to defend their design doesn't count—what's on the product buy page is what everyone sees, and that's where the nature of the game needs to be explained.

…"not found in other games" shoots his credibility anyway—or has he managed to survive 100 turns against a dozen opponents in Civilization 4 on Deity difficulty?

But again, for me it boils down to:
Why does an option for me somehow spoil your game, or anyone else's game?
 
I selected 'choices' but it's possible to miss out on something great that way. Maybe sometimes the developer actually should impose their will on you. As I said mentioned in the other thread, Alien Isolation would be a completely different game if the save system were changed. And while I fully believe in choices, choosing to change the save system would rob you of the best experience in that masterpiece of a game.

What bothers me is when there's no good reason for not making a user friendly save system, and yet the game has a crappy one.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
If it's a single player game, play however you want. If it's multiplayer, though, everyone has to agree to the mods for it to be OK. And there's a nasty twist here: getting achievements is seen by some as a multiplayer game that's part of most every modern game. Devs decide if modders are allowed achievements.

Hacks are harder. If the hack also turns off achievements then I'm definitely fine with it. If it doesn't, that's harder. LOTS of people really don't care about achievements but some really do care. Sounds like a classic shared resource issue. Heck if I know how to resolve it.

P.S. I haven't seen the Save topic's new posts yet, so I'm not real sure of the context this came from!
 
Alien Isolation would be a completely different game if the save system were changed
Sounds like it. But they're up-front about the restriction, it's labeled "a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger" which makes it pretty clear what you're in for—as does the later "not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive" statement in the blurb.

I'm totally fine with games which lay out their stall clearly and accurately, so you know what you're getting. I then have the option to jump in, or avoid. < See that? I still got an option! :D

I'm not fine with eg Sekiro, where the blurb, when it's not bragging about awards, claims things like "adventure".
That's the main genre hint in the very top blurb. I've played many adventure games, and Sekiro is nowhere near what I regard as an adventure game.
Again they claim "adventure" further down, in the secondary blurb—altho "Action Game" does appear first there.

If I had any concerns I was getting into an unforgiving game, they'd be allayed by the next blurb claim "nothing will stop you on a perilous quest to regain your honor, not even death itself"—cool, dying isn't a big deal, and there won't be any major obstructions to my progress.

If I continued to the final paragraph of the secondary blurb, there are definitely warnings there:
"a brutal period of constant life and death conflict … a dark and twisted world … visceral head to head combat in a bloody confrontation"
Perhaps the meaning of the Adventure genre has recently been changed. Someone should tip off Wiki—"interactive story driven by exploration and/or puzzle-solving"—before others fall for such deceptive marketing.

But I digress—sorry, deceptive marketing gets me going. Who knew? :D
 
If it's multiplayer, though, everyone has to agree
Oh of course. Options are mainly for single player I guess, altho I've seen them in multiplayer a long time ago when I checked it out a bit. You'd see a lot of "No rushing" Command & Conquer games.

Achievements should probably be understood by the industry to apply to the vanilla game—even unaltered gameplay mods like Civ4's super BUG make the game so much easier to play that it would have a significant effect on achievements.

Mods are sort of 'super options', giving the player far more choice or latitude than vanilla—sometimes even being completely new games. So I see them as well outside the 'how the game was intended' topic, but kudos to the devs for providing the facility for players to make such changes.
 
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Sounds like it. But they're up-front about the restriction, it's labeled "a survival horror set in an atmosphere of constant dread and mortal danger" which makes it pretty clear what you're in for—as does the later "not just to succeed in your mission, but to simply stay alive" statement in the blurb.

I'm totally fine with games which lay out their stall clearly and accurately, so you know what you're getting. I then have the option to jump in, or avoid. < See that? I still got an option! :D

I'm not fine with eg Sekiro, where the blurb, when it's not bragging about awards, claims things like "adventure".
That's the main genre hint in the very top blurb. I've played many adventure games, and Sekiro is nowhere near what I regard as an adventure game.
Again they claim "adventure" further down, in the secondary blurb—altho "Action Game" does appear first there.

If I had any concerns I was getting into an unforgiving game, they'd be allayed by the next blurb claim "nothing will stop you on a perilous quest to regain your honor, not even death itself"—cool, dying isn't a big deal, and there won't be any major obstructions to my progress.

If I continued to the final paragraph of the secondary blurb, there are definitely warnings there:
"a brutal period of constant life and death conflict … a dark and twisted world … visceral head to head combat in a bloody confrontation"
Perhaps the meaning of the Adventure genre has recently been changed. Someone should tip off Wiki—"interactive story driven by exploration and/or puzzle-solving"—before others fall for such deceptive marketing.

But I digress—sorry, deceptive marketing gets me going. Who knew? :D
The good news is that 'unforgiving' is now the latest craze, so games will be sure to start putting that in their descriptions. Unfortunately, some publishers will probably be tempted to call everything 'unforgiving'.
 
Oh heck, now my yum is all yucky…


Right on, that's why I thought the topic deserved its own thread—keep 'em coming. Or as the Dark Souls/Sekiro bosses say "I got all day, what you got?"


I generally disagree, and my view is more eloquently expressed by Dave Thier in the Forbes article you linked:
"an almost stunning lack of respect for players with the idea that they cannot be trusted with their own gameplay experience, that even those who want a challenging game would somehow be lured by the siren song of lower difficulties and destroy their own experience because they're too impatient or immature to know what they actually want"

That's the bit I have difficulty with. If you argue for less options in some games, why? Why does the option that works for me somehow affect your game?

Thier also says:
"only a certain sort of player with time, inclination, reaction speed and lack of physical issues will ever see the final boss fight anywhere but on Twitch"

In the Cnet article by Andrew Gebhart, he talks about:
"They're meant to be teaching exercises. They're meant to provide a feeling of hard-won accomplishment not found in other games."

I checked the blurb on Steam. It says nothing of the sort, so where did Gebhart get his claim? Some obscure blog where one of many developers tried to defend their design doesn't count—what's on the product buy page is what everyone sees, and that's where the nature of the game needs to be explained.

…"not found in other games" shoots his credibility anyway—or has he managed to survive 100 turns against a dozen opponents in Civilization 4 on Deity difficulty?

But again, for me it boils down to:
Why does an option for me somehow spoil your game, or anyone else's game?
In the context of the previous thread I was arguing that the ability to quick save at any time would provide a poorer experience in some games, like souls games. Zed Clampet mentioned Alien Isolation, Zloth mentioned Shadow of Mordor.

A developer might want something to be challenging to have provoke an emotional response in the player. They might want to build tension in a way not possible if you know you can just spam save through it. They might want your decision to have a weight to the story it couldn't possibly have if you could just save before it and see if the result suits you. If a horror film is too violent should they make it less violent so that everyone can watch it, or should people who dont like scary films just stay away? That's the developers choice to take your choice away to manipulate your experience. Maybe because they want to say something, or make you feel something you wouldn't have if you could have got around it.

If I could have turned down the difficulty after my 30th run at Sword Saint Ishinn on my first playthrough of Sekiro I would have been sorely tempted and I might have caved. Then I wouldn't have had the chance to jump out of my seat and fist pump when I finally did beat him, it would have felt hollow. If Dave Thier doesn't like that, its a shame. My advice is find another experience. Not everything has to be for everyone.

I have to say at this point everyone knows what a Souls game is, and what that means. People aren't reading the backs of boxes in stores any more to make buying decisons. There has been for several years a genre tag for 'Souls like' and challenging is a buzzword as Zed Clampet mentioned directly because of From Software games of the last 12 years since Demons Souls.

The way the AI cheats in Civ at higher difficulty levels (at least used too) is not comparable, especially across genres like taht. Souls games are challenging but almost entirely fair, and beatable by just about anyone with the patience to keep banging their head against the wall until they break through. Some will do it quicker and some slower but if you keep at it you will make it.

You also cant really leave mods out of this, because everyone has the option to mod anything if they want to.
 
I generally disagree, and my view is more eloquently expressed by Dave Thier in the Forbes article you linked:
"an almost stunning lack of respect for players with the idea that they cannot be trusted with their own gameplay experience, that even those who want a challenging game would somehow be lured by the siren song of lower difficulties and destroy their own experience because they're too impatient or immature to know what they actually want"

That's the bit I have difficulty with. If you argue for less options in some games, why? Why does the option that works for me somehow affect your game?
I agree with Thier on this. I don't think options should be excluded because they tempt the players. However, as I've said before, I do think it should be clear what the intent of the developer was and how picking certain options might change the experience.

By the way, I think it's interesting that Dark Souls is always referenced as an example of a game that doesn't give you difficulty options and is so hard to beat, when you can be carried through pretty much all of the game by using the white soapstone.
 
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I do think it should be clear what the intent of the developer was and how picking certain options might change the experience
@Kaamos_Llama this is the crux of it for me. I've said before, by all means have a setting which is how the boss dev would like it played—if there are arguments about this at executive level, as no doubt there are in any healthy dev company, I assume those would also be called boss fights ;)

Everything you say is valid, a coherent viewpoint.
My #1 complaint is against deceptive marketing, eg deceptive trailers and deceptive blurbs. If the dev/pub tells me 'This is not a game for you', that's fine—it'll join my long Ignore list and I move on, grateful for their honesty.

There has been for several years a genre tag for 'Souls like'
Someone should tell Sekiro marketers—it's mentioned nowhere in their blurbs, when it would probably be the most useful genre indicator to lead off with. Maybe they think their marketing should also be 'unforgiving' :rolleyes:

My #2 complaint is from a business and player standpoint, which is the options argument. I'm not going to rehash that, since almost every product sector has demonstrated it—even Henry Ford dropped his 'as long as it's black' pretty quickly once customers required options and the competition started listening :D

Interesting discussion :)

Options are a Good Thing!
 
I agree with Thier on this. I don't think options should be excluded because they tempt the players.
If there was an easy mode in any of the Souls games I don't believe they would have been as influential as they have been. It helped the original cult formed behind Demons Souls that Dark Souls made more popular. The updated PC release was the 'Prepare to Die edition' and have you seen the beginning of Dark Souls 2? they knew it and played into it, maybe a little too much with 2 IMO.

In that case including an easy mode as an option from the start would have robbed the world of the influence of Souls games in the last 12 years. Which has been pretty wide ranging and produced quite a lot of awesome indie games that have riffed on some of those mechanics and the difficulty, as well as a fair few larger budget games. What people want isn't always what's good for them, or the world around them.

By the way, I think it's interesting that Dark Souls is always referenced as an example of a game that doesn't give you difficulty options and is so hard to beat, when you can be carried through pretty much all of the game by using the white soapstone.
That's why I've mostly been mentioning Sekiro, which does not have summoning. Even so, Summoning in DS games helps with bosses but doesn't help much with the traps and ambushes. Some of the mid level areas are almost worse than some bosses across the series. All the games are still tough even with summoning to help out.

My #1 complaint is against deceptive marketing, eg deceptive trailers and deceptive blurbs. If the dev/pub tells me 'This is not a game for you', that's fine—it'll join my long Ignore list and I move on, grateful for their honesty.
Perhaps I'm in a bit of an echo chamber. In my mind almost everyone who reads about games knows what Fromsoft is and what they do. Being obscure about everything is a large part of the appeal. Mechanics are often completely unexplained in the game and players form communities around it to figure out exactly how everything works. There is a cottage industry around Youtube of channels playing, delving and interpreting the lore of the world which is never explicitly explained. There are streamers still who have run souls games almost exclusively. I watch or listen to something Fromsoft related quite often. And I don't even consider myself very hardcore compared to many. I've only got a few hundred hours across the games and I havent ever touched Bloodborne and barely tried Demon Souls before I bounced off in like 2010. (PC ports please!!!!)

I cant imagine a world where many doe eyed people pick up Sekiro because they think its going to be a Dynasty Warriors or something. Tenchu maybe if people were old enough and literally didnt read anything else about it before buying it. The two first user tags on Steam are 'Souls Like' and 'Difficult'. I really think if you polled the general PC gaming public 95% would have some idea who Fromsoft or their modern games were, and if they wanted to even think about playing those games. The other 4.99% would look at the user reviews or critic reviews first.

However, as I've said before, I do think it should be clear what the intent of the developer was and how picking certain options might change the experience.
I still feel like that's really up to the developer on a game by game basis. It can be fun when they get tricksy too.

Everything you say is valid, a coherent viewpoint.
Millenium, hand and shrimp!


My #2 complaint is from a business and player standpoint, which is the options argument. I'm not going to rehash that, since almost every product sector has demonstrated it—even Henry Ford dropped his 'as long as it's black' pretty quickly once customers required options and the competition started listening :D

Interesting discussion :)

Options are a Good Thing!
This leads back into something that's been just behind the conversation all along. It seems you think of games as a product or toy that you have bought and you want to do whatever you want with it. Not all, but some games are to me more like either a piece of art or a puzzle I chose to experience. I don't believe either view point is invalid. :)
 
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If there was an easy mode in any of the Souls games I don't believe they would have been as influential as they have been. It helped the original cult formed behind Demons Souls that Dark Souls made more popular. The updated PC release was the 'Prepare to Die edition' and have you seen the beginning of Dark Souls 2? they knew it and played into it, maybe a little too much with 2 IMO.

In that case including an easy mode as an option from the start would have robbed the world of the influence of Souls games in the last 12 years. Which has been pretty wide ranging and produced quite a lot of awesome indie games that have riffed on some of those mechanics and the difficulty, as well as a fair few larger budget games. What people want isn't always what's good for them, or the world around them.
I think they could've added an easy mode to Demon Souls that made it clear it wasn't the intended way to play, for example by turning off achievements. I don't think that would've tempted most players to lower the difficulty unless they weren't enjoying the game anyway.

Not all, but some games are to me more like either a piece of art or a puzzle I chose to experience. I don't believe either view point is invalid. :)
I do agree with this. I think developers are free to want a uniform experience between all players. Not because an easy difficulty would tempt players to ruin their own fun by trivializing the game, but because there's something special about knowing everyone who played the game has faced the same challenges as you.

I also think that for some games, there aren't many options you could add without them changing the fundamental experience of the game. For Dark Souls for example, the only way I can think of to make the game easier without messing with the experience too much is by giving the player more health, but that only helps so much when you're bad at the game. And you can't increase it so much that being hit is trivialized.
 
I think they could've added an easy mode to Demon Souls that made it clear it wasn't the intended way to play, for example by turning off achievements. I don't think that would've tempted most players to lower the difficulty unless they weren't enjoying the game anyway.

I also think that for some games, there aren't many options you could add without them changing the fundamental experience of the game. For Dark Souls for example, the only way I can think of to make the game easier without messing with the experience too much is by giving the player more health, but that only helps so much when you're bad at the game. And you can't increase it so much that being hit is trivialized.
I still don't think if Demons Souls had an easy mode it would have gained the notoriety it did. Impossible to say obviously so I'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

Grinding levels is possible at any point to be fair. You can then grab Havels ring early and use great shield and heavy armor. That way you could face tank a lot and not really have to time anything. It would take a really long time and you'd have to do some research or follow a guide to get there if you hadn't played a lot before. You can probably do something similar across the trilogy if you really wanted.

Agree that if they started removing enemies the whole game experience would be messed up. No one would remember the Anor Londo archers if there was only one of them, and no gargoyles before for one example.

I do agree with this. I think developers are free to want a uniform experience between all players. Not because an easy difficulty would tempt players to ruin their own fun by trivializing the game, but because there's something special about knowing everyone who played the game has faced the same challenges as you.
I think the difficulty level thing only really applies to the souls formula. Most games can do that without affecting the experience. It was just one example of lack of a choice improving an experience (IMO) from a game I've played relatively a lot.
 
I think the difficulty level thing only really applies to the souls formula. Most games can do that without affecting the experience. It was just one example of lack of a choice improving an experience (IMO) from a game I've played relatively a lot.
Another game that came to mind as I was writing that was Sunless Sea. I don't think you can alter much about the game without messing with the intended atmosphere. Some people complain about how slow the game is, but that's a big part of the ambience and making your ship faster without drawbacks through mods or cheats fundamentally changes the experience of the game.
 
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Another game that came to mind as I was writing that was Sunless Sea. I don't think you can alter much about the game without messing with the intended atmosphere. Some people complain about how slow the game is, but that's a big part of the ambience and making your ship faster without drawbacks through mods or cheats fundamentally changes the experience of the game.
Good call. I always really liked the mad idea of the Untersee (?) setting of that game but I couldn't get really into the game at the time a few years ago. I remember I couldnt work out how the Rogue like elements carried over across runs, and something else came along and took my attention. I could see how changing the speed would change the experience. I should go back and try again, its not one that would age at all.
 
Good call. I always really liked the mad idea of the Unterzee setting of that game but I couldn't get really into the game at the time a few years ago. I remember I couldnt work out how the Rogue like elements carried over across runs, and something else came along and took my attention. I could see how changing the speed would change the experience. I should go back and try again, its not one that would age at all.
It was easy for me to get into because I'd played quite a lot of Fallen London, which is based in the same universe. It also helped my wife had been playing it a lot and could help get me started and find my way around.
 
By the way, I think it's interesting that Dark Souls is always referenced as an example of a game that doesn't give you difficulty options and is so hard to beat, when you can be carried through pretty much all of the game by using the white soapstone.
You can also have a friend join your game. Talk about cheesing the difficulty...
 
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It seems you think of games as a product or toy that you have bought and you want to do whatever you want with it. Not all, but some games are to me more like either a piece of art or a puzzle I chose to experience.
Yes, you are correct. When I buy a painting I'll choose what frame to put it in, which room to hang it in, what wall, what kind of lighting for it. I just don't care if the artist intended it to be viewed only in a coal cellar at midnight with no lighting, just so I get the experience of waiting for a full moon on a clear night, and leaving the door open when it's freezing-ass cold outside :D

Shakespeare intended his plays to be seen in person by the people of his time. That didn't stop me enjoying reading them centuries later, seeing some performed in local theater, or watching the occasional movie of them. Different experiences than intended obviously, but somehow worse—not in my book. Reading, theater, movie were all quite different too, but all had value.

So… playing as intended has great value and is of course preferred by many. Playing as preferred by the player also has great value enjoyed by many. Neither is better by some absolute or objective standard, playing experience is subjective and different for every player. My point remains, don't limit the options when there's no need to.

Terry Pratchett fan? :D
 
You can also have a friend join your game. Talk about cheesing the difficulty...
White Soapstone ;)

That's why I've mostly been mentioning Sekiro, which does not have summoning. Even so, Summoning in DS games helps with bosses but doesn't help much with the traps and ambushes. Some of the mid level areas are almost worse than some bosses across the series. All the games are still tough even with summoning to help out.
Yes, you are correct. When I buy a painting I'll choose what frame to put it in, which room to hang it in, what wall, what kind of lighting for it. I just don't care if the artist intended it to be viewed only in a coal cellar at midnight with no lighting, just so I get the experience of waiting for a full moon on a clear night, and leaving the door open when it's freezing-ass cold outside :D

Shakespeare intended his plays to be seen in person by the people of his time. That didn't stop me enjoying reading them centuries later, seeing some performed in local theater, or watching the occasional movie of them. Different experiences than intended obviously, but somehow worse—not in my book. Reading, theater, movie were all quite different too, but all had value.

So… playing as intended has great value and is of course preferred by many. Playing as preferred by the player also has great value enjoyed by many. Neither is better by some absolute or objective standard, playing experience is subjective and different for every player. My point remains, don't limit the options when there's no need to.

Terry Pratchett fan? :D
Terry Pratchett basically raised me.

No, that's not it at all. I'll try to keep it simple I'm bad at explaining myself I know , I'll try not to ramble too much anymore.

In some rare cases, things that are normally adjustable options in other games like difficulty in Dark Souls actually become game mechanics that are essential to the experience. Dark Souls does not work without the difficulty and all of its other pieces are designed around that, including the summoning, invasions, and the canned message writing. Changing the difficulty to easy in this case using your analogy is like painting over the painting you bought itself with a new image. If you want to do that sure be free! I'm just saying you might miss out on a more positive experience because you did that.

In a vast majority of games more options baked do not destroy the experience and are absolutely positive. I'm not and have not been suggesting that any quality of life options are bad, or that all mods are bad and I think if you go back and carefully read of my posts carefully that is very clear. It just happens to be that those games are most of my favourite action games.

Some games I've played and others have mentioned that have been better because of lack of an option, because that lack of an option is intrinsic to the design of the game.

Its difficulty and saves we are talking about here it seems, I'm sure there are other games and possibly other options in some cases.

All Souls and Sekiro (Difficulty)
Hollow Knight (Difficulty)
Doom 2016 (No quick save)
Alien Isolation (No quick save)
Shadow Of Mordor (No quick save)

Now that doesnt exclude the possibility that some other games have awful checkpointing and are frustrating because of it, but I'll stop rambling now.
 
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I get your point of course, and I'm going to bow out of this interesting discussion after this, because I've probably repeated myself too much already.

like painting over the painting you bought itself with a new image. If you want to do that sure be free! I'm just saying you might miss out on a more positive experience because you did that
I would say above is more like uninstalling Dark Souls and installing another game in the now-free space :)

In some rare cases, things … become game mechanics that are essential
No doubt. My point is for the vast majority of games.
 
Yes, you are correct. When I buy a painting I'll choose what frame to put it in, which room to hang it in, what wall, what kind of lighting for it. I just don't care if the artist intended it to be viewed only in a coal cellar at midnight with no lighting, just so I get the experience of waiting for a full moon on a clear night, and leaving the door open when it's freezing-ass cold outside :D

Shakespeare intended his plays to be seen in person by the people of his time. That didn't stop me enjoying reading them centuries later, seeing some performed in local theater, or watching the occasional movie of them. Different experiences than intended obviously, but somehow worse—not in my book. Reading, theater, movie were all quite different too, but all had value.

So… playing as intended has great value and is of course preferred by many. Playing as preferred by the player also has great value enjoyed by many. Neither is better by some absolute or objective standard, playing experience is subjective and different for every player. My point remains, don't limit the options when there's no need to.

Terry Pratchett fan? :D
Sorry. It's been about 10 years. I only have vivid memories stretching back about 5 minutes...
 

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