Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

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Darth Trethon
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 8th, 2016, 1:02 am

Zombra wrote:
Darth Trethon wrote:Limiting the ability to save has NEVER turned out well.
Sure it has. To use an obvious example ... Wasteland 2.
I would argue otherwise but that's besides the point....it isn't something that can work in Wasteland 3 in any capacity because of how they're approaching the game where the only way to find where you can and can't go and what you can and can't do is seeing how tough the AI is.....that basically demands the ability to save every two minutes.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Godfather101 » October 8th, 2016, 2:13 am

Zombra wrote:
Darth Trethon wrote:Limiting the ability to save has NEVER turned out well.
Sure it has. To use an obvious example ... Wasteland 2.
hmm?
where in wasteland 2 was the ability to save limited?
Or are you talking about iron man mode (or how that was called in Wasteland 2)?

In the normal difficulty there were no limit to save.

I have nothing against an ironman mode or something like this, for everyone who likes it, but making all people
play the "no savescumming allowed- you need to play hard ironman"-version is nothing i would like to see.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 8th, 2016, 3:03 am

Godfather101 wrote:
Zombra wrote:
Darth Trethon wrote:Limiting the ability to save has NEVER turned out well.
Sure it has. To use an obvious example ... Wasteland 2.
hmm?
where in wasteland 2 was the ability to save limited?
Or are you talking about iron man mode (or how that was called in Wasteland 2)?

In the normal difficulty there were no limit to save.
You didn't even notice it, did you? In Wasteland 2 you could not save in combat. This is exactly the kind of "Bronzeman" limitation I'm talking about. It didn't ruin the game at all, did it? Apply a similar system to opening chests - disable F9 as a "try over again as much as you want" key - and I'm sure most players won't even notice. However, a significant segment - compulsive achievers - will find that the game doesn't reward their boring behavior.
I have nothing against an ironman mode or something like this, for everyone who likes it, but making all people
play the "no savescumming allowed- you need to play hard ironman"-version is nothing i would like to see.
Note that in no way am I advocating extreme limitations. Just some limitations so that every! single! mistake or failure can't be instantly erased.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by undecaf » October 8th, 2016, 3:11 am

paultakeda wrote: But yeah, anti-save scumming is a solution looking for a problem: the game is only broken if you are breaking it. You worry about your game and let others worry about theirs.
Very much agreed.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Jimmious » October 8th, 2016, 4:34 am

Guys, of course save scumming is a personal issue and the rate in which you do it completely depends on you as a person..
BUT, a game's mechanics can make that an option of value or not.
When save scumming is something that will give you better results, it means players will eventually use it (more or less depending on their personalities) and that is simply bad game design.
A good CRPG should give incentive to players to make choices that aren't always optimal or have a fail/succeed state.

TL;DR : People will save-scum but a good CRPG should not promote this behavior mechanicaly
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by NickAragua » October 8th, 2016, 7:32 am

Jimmious wrote:Guys, of course save scumming is a personal issue and the rate in which you do it completely depends on you as a person..
BUT, a game's mechanics can make that an option of value or not.
When save scumming is something that will give you better results, it means players will eventually use it (more or less depending on their personalities) and that is simply bad game design.
A good CRPG should give incentive to players to make choices that aren't always optimal or have a fail/succeed state.

TL;DR : People will save-scum but a good CRPG should not promote this behavior mechanicaly
I definitely like your idea of rewarding extra XP for a failure. The only thing that I would suggest is that you can only get one batch of XP per activity. So, for example, you can't keep intentionally failing a lockpick to rack up unlimited XP.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Godfather101 » October 8th, 2016, 7:34 am

I don't think there needs to be more adjustment than other that you can't save when you're in a fight.
And even this can be "savescummed" when you save before the fight starts und when you loose one or more Rangers you reload and do
that fight again.

Also, i don't think there is a possibility to bring such a system to everything like lockpicking and other tasks.
IF you try to this, you need really bad limitations as only one autosave at the start of a map and nothing more.
Otherwise, when there are chests (even if theres a fight, before you open the chest) you can save and load if you fail to
open it.
Of course you could try to only place chests , locks or anything else skill based in places where it is possible to do this,
but designing a game that way would be really bad.

As i said, i don't have anything against an ironman-mode or anything, but design everything to prevent savescumming only will produce
a bad game.

And, the "bronzeman" thing was also no problem.
Some fights i lost(or lost one of my Teammembers) i reloaded again and the second try worked out.
So why make it more complicated to reload (savescumming will never be not possible) in trying to let it take longer to come
to the challenge which i want to solve, only because some want the challenge but have not the will to fail it and savescumm and are angry about
themself?

If someone savescumms or not is not the choice of the Game, its the Choice of the Gamer.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by alxtronic » October 8th, 2016, 7:58 am

Wouldn't an obvious solution be just to seed the rolls so that even if you reload, the result will be the same every time? (i.e. the XCOM route).

To avoid having items that are impossible to open, adjust skills so that maxing a skill will always succeed. This way there's some incentive to actually invest in the higher levels of skills. I hated how even max-level lockpicking would still have around a 30% success chance on some of the harder lockboxes in WL2. Given how hard it is, and how long it takes to max a single skill on a character, it seems like a fair tradeoff.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Jimmious » October 8th, 2016, 8:18 am

NickAragua wrote:
Jimmious wrote:Guys, of course save scumming is a personal issue and the rate in which you do it completely depends on you as a person..
BUT, a game's mechanics can make that an option of value or not.
When save scumming is something that will give you better results, it means players will eventually use it (more or less depending on their personalities) and that is simply bad game design.
A good CRPG should give incentive to players to make choices that aren't always optimal or have a fail/succeed state.

TL;DR : People will save-scum but a good CRPG should not promote this behavior mechanicaly
I definitely like your idea of rewarding extra XP for a failure. The only thing that I would suggest is that you can only get one batch of XP per activity. So, for example, you can't keep intentionally failing a lockpick to rack up unlimited XP.
My idea was more to reward XP (or even better skillpoints of some sort) only when the failure is permanent, eg you broke a lock beyond repair.
Therefore getting the "reward" only once.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Gillsing » October 8th, 2016, 8:51 am

Wasteland 2 doesn't allow saving the game in encounter areas, so placing all the 'random' locked containers in such areas would've prevented save-scumming of all sorts, while at the same time reassuring the player that nothing unique is missed, and that there will be more containers, and that time spent save-scumming would be better spent searching the wastes for another random encounter. A missed opportunity.
alxtronic wrote:I hated how even max-level lockpicking would still have around a 30% success chance on some of the harder lockboxes in WL2. Given how hard it is, and how long it takes to max a single skill on a character, it seems like a fair tradeoff.
With the Master Thief perk you would be guaranteed success. Eventually, since that perk prevents critical failure. Which is the only thing that prevents another attempt. Though in order to qualify for that perk you'd need to raise both Lockpicking and Safecracking to 10 on the same character, and not stop at 8 and rely on a trinket for the last couple of points. So I can see why players would be reluctant, as it is a very expensive perk. I thought I'd be able to achieve the same effect with the Handyman perk and simply repair the lock after every critical failure, but apparently a jammed lock can be repaired only once, so that didn't work out at all.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 8th, 2016, 9:37 am

Godfather101 wrote:I don't think there needs to be more adjustment than other that you can't save when you're in a fight.
And even this can be "savescummed" when you save before the fight starts und when you loose one or more Rangers you reload and do
that fight again.
But ... reloading a saved game once in a while is not save scumming. No one is trying to abolish the saved game concept entirely.

We're talking about the difference between use and abuse. Normal use is fine! But a system that outright encourages abuse could be done better.
Godfather101 wrote:Also, i don't think there is a possibility to bring such a system to everything like lockpicking and other tasks.
IF you try to this, you need really bad limitations as only one autosave at the start of a map and nothing more.
That's the worst possible example. What about having checkpoints around a map? What about limiting saves to once every five real-time minutes? What about eliminating quicksaves and just having normal menu saves, which are slightly inconvenient, to discourage the "tap one key to erase every mistake" idiom? What about limited-use "typewriter ribbons" to make reloading a game an interesting decision instead of a foregone conclusion?
Godfather101 wrote:And, the "bronzeman" thing was also no problem.
Some fights i lost(or lost one of my Teammembers) i reloaded again and the second try worked out.
Good. No one is trying to take this away from you. This is exactly how it should be. If we agree that "bronzeman" works well for some parts of the game, why not apply it to others?
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 8th, 2016, 1:27 pm

NickAragua wrote:1) Do what X-Com did and keep the random seed when you load the game.
2) Don't put the really valuable/unique loot into random locked containers, and make sure the player is aware of that.
3) Award the same amount of XP even if the lockpick or whatever fails.
4) Try to include an alternate means of opening a container (this kind of happened already in WL2 - if I couldn't lockpick a safe, in most cases, I could blow it open with a stick of dynamite).
5) Eliminate critical failures, or have Critical Failures still apply the injury but not destroy the device. Or let Mechanical Repair undo multiple crits instead of just one.
Jimmious wrote:So my idea is to reward the player with extra experience/skill points for the specific skill when he fails a check(and can't repeat the process)! You lose the loot, you gain experience.
I find that a good trade-off which would probably keep people from constantly reloading.
I think you vastly underestimate the compulsive loot-grabber.
paultakeda wrote:In the real world you can keep trying to pick a lock until other things happen, like the lock breaks, the lockpick breaks, you are detected, or you give up.
And how often does the lock break? Almost never, I wager. Hell, I imagine the break rate on the picks is vanishingly low as well. Which loops back to just getting rid of the critical failure. A critical failure while disarming a bomb makes sense, but I've lost track of how many times the tumbler on a safe randomly fell off and rolled away in Wasteland 2. It was more than a little silly.
Zombra wrote:You didn't even notice it, did you? In Wasteland 2 you could not save in combat.
Probably because not saving mid-combat is pretty common. But removing the quickload button won't stop compulsive save scummers and you know it. You would have to restrict actual saving. So how would you Bronzeman that? Game only saves when you enter an area? That would blow pretty hard, especially considering how big some of the WL2 maps were. Going through Happy Valley or the Valley of Titan would suck pretty hard if you couldn't save. Seems a pretty extreme "solution" to something that's only a problem because you personally find it distasteful.
Zombra wrote:Note that in no way am I advocating extreme limitations. Just some limitations so that every! single! mistake or failure can't be instantly erased.
Again, honest question: why do you care? I see a lot of people charging to the rescue of those poor obsessive folks, but I see very few people begging, "Please! Stop me before I reload again!"
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 8th, 2016, 2:24 pm

Drool wrote:5) Eliminate critical failures, or have Critical Failures still apply the injury but not destroy the device. Or let Mechanical Repair undo multiple crits instead of just one.
You know ... the more I think about it, the more I think this is a good solution. Cause some damage, apply a status effect, but let me keep trying.
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:You didn't even notice it, did you? In Wasteland 2 you could not save in combat.
Probably because not saving mid-combat is pretty common.
Hmm, I disagree. The Jagged Alliance series, commonly held as a high water mark in good tactical combat, practically screamed for the player to save scum. I know I did plenty of scumming in those games, and I believe I would have enjoyed them more if I hadn't had the option.
Drool wrote:But removing the quickload button won't stop compulsive save scummers and you know it. You would have to restrict actual saving. So how would you Bronzeman that? Game only saves when you enter an area? That would blow pretty hard, especially considering how big some of the WL2 maps were. Going through Happy Valley or the Valley of Titan would suck pretty hard if you couldn't save. Seems a pretty extreme "solution" to something that's only a problem because you personally find it distasteful.
It's not about stopping anyone cold; it's about making the barrier reasonably high to discourage abuse. Not forbid, outlaw, prohibit; merely discourage. Having F5/F9 right there at all times to erase every mistake is downright encouraging, and the game shouldn't encourage constant reloads.

Earlier examples of "Well people can redo things by hacking their save files, so there's no point in designing systems to stop them" are silly. The question isn't whether it's possible to change a result, because of course it will always be possible; it's a question of how convenient it is. Hacking a save file is a pain in the ass. Pressing a single key built right into the game isn't.

As for what I would actually do, I brainstormed a few ideas above. I agree that only using autosaves on map change would be insufficient, mainly because in Wasteland 2 the maps were pretty huge. Several checkpoints per map, in "hub" areas, would work. A time limit would work. Making saves a limited resource would work. Making saves cost resources, even a small amount, would work. Removing or retooling critical failures would definitely work. Hell, putting the quickload button on a 5 minute cooldown would work. Just anything to make it less convenient than "You failed. Press F9 to succeed instead" available 24/7.
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:Note that in no way am I advocating extreme limitations. Just some limitations so that every! single! mistake or failure can't be instantly erased.
Again, honest question: why do you care? I see a lot of people charging to the rescue of those poor obsessive folks, but I see very few people begging, "Please! Stop me before I reload again!"
You probably don't see it that much because no one wants to brag about how compulsive they are. Consider for a moment that these crusaders - and yes, there are a lot of them - may actually want to help someone closer to home.

You want me to come right out and say it? I'll say it.
I save scummed every container, alarm, etc. I could find in Wasteland 2.

I have compulsive tendencies. It's important to note that that is not an easy thing to admit. Look for me in 30 years and I'll be one of those little old ladies in front of a slot machine, glassy-eyed but pulling that lever again and again in search of another dopamine hit. I'm not proud of it, but I did it. And the whole time, on a higher level I was thinking, it's too bad that this is designed like this, because I love the rest of the game and they simply could have done better. Combat was great, and I loved that I couldn't retry every missed shot like in JA. It made combat more substantial than the rest of the game. Reloading a save became a real decision instead of a reflexive reaction to any momentary disappointment. There are a lot of reasons behind why I save scummed, rationalizations, reward:effort ratios, even RP reasons, but I won't get into all that. The bottom line is that Skinner Box design is bad and diminishes a good game to those who are susceptible to this kind of encouragement. I am living proof, and I fucking promise you I'm not the only one out there.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by dorkboy » October 8th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Zombra wrote:
Drool wrote:5) Eliminate critical failures, or have Critical Failures still apply the injury but not destroy the device. Or let Mechanical Repair undo multiple crits instead of just one.
You know ... the more I think about it, the more I think this is a good solution. Cause some damage, apply a status effect, but let me keep trying.
But isn't that just removing the 'reload' part of the equation, without changing the boring/obsessive 'retry' part of it?

I think regardless of save/load scheme the failure state still has to somehow be "enjoyable", or offer some kind of gameplay value other than just .. uhm.. "void".
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Jimmious » October 8th, 2016, 3:07 pm

Zombra my man you're not alone.
I actually believe that people that play CRPGs, especially turn-based ones with a lot of stats and numbers, tend to be completionists.
In WL2 I actually wrote on a paper all the containers I couldn't open after like 15 tries(with save scumming) and came back to them later.
I can't leave anything unopened and no quest unsolved.

So if a game is promoting save-scumming as a valid way to fulfill my weirdness, I will do it. I did it a lot in WL2.
Once more, the point is not if the people do that, the point is that the game should not encourage this kind of stuff.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 8th, 2016, 4:15 pm

dorkboy wrote:
Zombra wrote:
Drool wrote:5) Eliminate critical failures, or have Critical Failures still apply the injury but not destroy the device. Or let Mechanical Repair undo multiple crits instead of just one.
You know ... the more I think about it, the more I think this is a good solution. Cause some damage, apply a status effect, but let me keep trying.
But isn't that just removing the 'reload' part of the equation, without changing the boring/obsessive 'retry' part of it?
I think regardless of save/load scheme the failure state still has to somehow be "enjoyable", or offer some kind of gameplay value other than just .. uhm.. "void".
I agree, and I think limiting saves is a much better idea ... but it seems there are those out there who don't use quick save very much, but you'll have to pry it out of their cold, dead fingers because
FREEDOM
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Removing the "reload" part of an effort loop is an acceptable compromise for me, because it would mean at least I'm still playing the game instead of continually erasing what I just did. And I bet a good designer could make it so that continuous gameplay was actually fun instead of simply repetitious.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by dorkboy » October 8th, 2016, 6:01 pm

@Zombra
So your argument really isn't about 'rewarding boring behaviour' but actually about 'rewarding meta-gaming'?
Because endless fail-retry-fail-retry gameplay with no definite fail state will definitely reward boring behaviour.

At least with critical failures there's a narrative reason to stop trying - like the GM saying "No really, your character is unable to open that container.. let it go, dude". Of course, the game is not my real dad and can't tell me what to do, so I might decide to cheathaxsavescum anyway.
You want an optional game setting for people who can't avoid save-scumming? No skin off my teeth, as far as I can tell. :)

Skill level (+luck of the roll) is supposed to determine whether the character is able to open a container, though, isn't it?
Or is it just supposed to be a modifier for how long it takes (the player) to inevitably succeed? :?
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 8th, 2016, 6:44 pm

dorkboy wrote:@Zombra - So your argument really isn't about 'rewarding boring behaviour' but actually about 'rewarding meta-gaming'?
Because endless fail-retry-fail-retry gameplay with no definite fail state will definitely reward boring behaviour.
Agreed. I guess I can't accurately sum my position with a three-word sound bite :) I oppose both, and Wasteland 2 rewarded both.

BUT given a choice between evils, I would rather have boring behavior be part of actual intended gameplay instead of thoughtlessly enforced by an unnecessarily poor metagame structure.
dorkboy wrote:At least with critical failures there's a narrative reason to stop trying.
I like critical failures. That is to say, they had a place in the effort:reward structure of Wasteland 2. That is to say, they should have. But the "erase any mistake" button effectively removed them anyway.
dorkboy wrote:Skill level (+luck of the roll) is supposed to determine whether the character is able to open a container, though, isn't it?
It's supposed to ... but in Wasteland 2 what it really was was
a modifier for how long it takes to inevitably succeed.
The only way for the character to actually fail was if the player got bored rerolling. Not ideal design in my opinion.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by dorkboy » October 8th, 2016, 7:24 pm

@Zombra
Yeah, I think we more or less agree, though I would rather have the game validate my decision to stop trying (critical failure) and it seems you would rather (in a totally evil game design scenario) have the game validate your decision to keep trying..?
A bronze man setting alone (optional or not) would only do away with one of the two boring behaviours/evils, though.
Of course, that presupposes WL3 having such a setting.. :D
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 9th, 2016, 12:35 pm

dorkboy wrote:@Zombra
Yeah, I think we more or less agree, though I would rather have the game validate my decision to stop trying (critical failure) and it seems you would rather (in a totally evil game design scenario) have the game validate your decision to keep trying..?
Oh, I'm not married to "keep trying". Not at all. I'm happy to critically fail and be done with it - provided that there isn't a "succeed instead" button right there on the keyboard. If that button is there, what game reason would I have for not pressing it? It's not even cheating.
dorkboy wrote:A bronze man setting alone (optional or not) would only do away with one of the two boring behaviours/evils, though.
Agreed, but I'll take what I can get. I'm not going to get the actual best solution, which I think would be "typewriter ribbons" (radio batteries?). This would put reasonable limitations on save abuse, while not affecting those who play normally. For some reason, though, saved games as a manageable resource is perceived as a throwback system - something which only existed in the past because of technical limitations - although this is blatantly untrue.

A bronzeman system is something that could actually happen.
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