Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 9th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Jimmious wrote: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 didn't write them down, but after a few tries, I gave up. But I most certainly did run through every zone before leaving for California to grab the containers I missed. Eventually, I learned it just wasn't worth it, itchy fingers or not. Finally picking a lock to find a handful of .38 bullets quickly taught me to not care. I also found that recording the videos helped too, because who wants to watch me save scum?
Zombra wrote: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.
Never played. Most games I've played, RPG and otherwise, forbid saving mid-combat. Except RTS games where it's pretty much always combat.
Zombra wrote:It's not about stopping anyone cold; it's about making the barrier reasonably high to discourage abuse.
I don't know how much difference that would make. But if just removing the convenience without the functionality is a sufficient bandage...
Zombra wrote:Several checkpoints per map... time limit... Making saves a limited resource... Making saves cost resources
No offense, but all of those sound awful. Checkpoint saves are the absolute ban of anybody who is busy. Likewise, a time limit again makes saving a matter of the game's convenience as opposed to mine. Limited resource saves and costly saves are both way to meta for my taste; we've had that conversation before.
Zombra wrote:You want me to come right out and say it? I'll say it.
Who's petard is this and why am I suddenly hoisted by it? Not what I was angling towards, but your objections seem much less white knighty.
Zombra wrote: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.
All that said, I have to admit that this is probably one of the best arguments against scumming that I've seen. I'll even admit that there is a problem here to look at; my contention is just that 99% of the proposed solutions seem to be of the "that's a bad hang nail, we'd better amputate your arm" variety.

Zombra wrote: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?).
I hate myself for giving you ammo, but an idea is and idea and I try to be intellectually honest. I have a time limit save option with in-game rationale that could be expanded/shifted into a token system easily enough that still allows for a "house on fire" save.

First, the panic button: A few handheld Castlevania games used this: you have a "save-and-quit" option. That let's you do your "oh shit, gotta go" save while not allowing it to be used for scumming. The save is removed when you restart.

Your radio battery idea isn't terrible, but with that in-game excuse, I'd prefer a time limit. Our supposed system would eliminate the normal save and replace it with save-on-radio. Whenever you want to save, you radio in and give a "progress report". Do it too often in a time period (one minute? two?) the person on the other end yells at you for tying up the radio with penny-ante updates. That stomps on your scumming while not doing some stupid item. It also gives the panic save.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 9th, 2016, 1:16 pm

Drool wrote:
Jimmious wrote: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 didn't write them down, but after a few tries, I gave up. But I most certainly did run through every zone before leaving for California to grab the containers I missed. Eventually, I learned it just wasn't worth it, itchy fingers or not. Finally picking a lock to find a handful of .38 bullets quickly taught me to not care.
For the record, I quickly stopped caring about the loot too. I can't remember finding anything worth writing home about in any safe or lockbox. It was all about the XP ... and perhaps moreso, the sense of completion.
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:It's not about stopping anyone cold; it's about making the barrier reasonably high to discourage abuse.
I don't know how much difference that would make. But if just removing the convenience without the functionality is a sufficient bandage...
It would certainly help. Again, compulsive behavior doesn't need to be prohibited; just adequately discouraged. What's "adequate"? Obviously it will vary from player to player, but for me "more than zero" would be a good start.
Drool wrote:Limited resource saves and costly saves are both way to meta for my taste; we've had that conversation before.
Too many times, old friend.
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:You want me to come right out and say it? I'll say it.
Who's petard is this and why am I suddenly hoisted by it?
Haha. Well, you did turn it into a personal question with "What do you care, anyway?" And like I said, this is a touchy subject for me. Apologies if I was out of line.
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote: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.
All that said, I have to admit that this is probably one of the best arguments against scumming that I've seen. I'll even admit that there is a problem here to look at; my contention is just that 99% of the proposed solutions seem to be of the "that's a bad hang nail, we'd better amputate your arm" variety.
Fair enough. Let's focus on that 1% and see if we can find something that will work for everybody ... that inXile might possibly implement in our wildest dreams of being listened to.
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Zombra wrote: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?).
I hate myself for giving you ammo, but an idea is and idea and I try to be intellectually honest. I have a time limit save option with in-game rationale that could be expanded/shifted into a token system easily enough that still allows for a "house on fire" save.

First, the panic button: A few handheld Castlevania games used this: you have a "save-and-quit" option. That let's you do your "oh shit, gotta go" save while not allowing it to be used for scumming. The save is removed when you restart.

Your radio battery idea isn't terrible, but with that in-game excuse, I'd prefer a time limit. Our supposed system would eliminate the normal save and replace it with save-on-radio. Whenever you want to save, you radio in and give a "progress report". Do it too often in a time period (one minute? two?) the person on the other end yells at you for tying up the radio with penny-ante updates. That stomps on your scumming while not doing some stupid item. It also gives the panic save.
I have always, always been in favor of the "panic save": allowing a save on quit no matter what. As far as I know, no one has ever, ever argued against this.

Radio saves with time limits sounds great. To me that is just as good as the battery idea, maybe better. I just thought "people" might not respond as well to a time limit, since a battery is something they would still have complete control over as players; a time limit gives the player less FREEDOM.

EDIT: Thinking it through, actually the time limit would not be that effective. If you found a new safe every 5 minutes, you could still save with no cost just before trying to open it, and reload 100 times. Batteries would be better, as you would have to consciously spend a resource before each scum session. The only instance in which the time limit would be effective would be if several difficult skill checks occurred in the space of a few minutes. Or if there was a time limit on LOADING saves, but I think we can all agree that's a bad idea.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 9th, 2016, 1:41 pm

Zombra wrote:Apologies if I was out of line.
Not at all. I opened that door. I shouldn't have been surprised that something walked in and socked me in the nose.
Zombra wrote:I have always, always been in favor of the "panic save": allowing a save on quit no matter what. As far as I know, no one has ever, ever argued against this.
Probably not, but after some of the design ideas in WL2 (CLAAAAAAAAASSIIIIIIIIC!), I'm a little jumpy about things. I'd rather needlessly mention panic saves a million times than not and find them mysteriously missing.
Zombra wrote:I just thought "people" might not respond as well to a time limit, since a battery is something they would still have complete control over as players; a time limit gives the player less FREEDOM.
Very true, but it's a balancing act. Batteries allow for save whenever, but are limited in that you only have X of them, which provides a hard cap on saving while also taking up inventory space. Even if the inventory is unlimited and the batteries are weightless (and you know someone will demand they have weight because immersion), they're still clutter. My personal gaming obsessions tend towards hating inventory clutter. There was a time back in the original Wasteland days where I would trade items to myself to adjust my character's inventory so they were all Weapon, Armor, Canteen, Ammo, everything else. I've broken that habit, but I still cringe at inventory clutter (incidentally, that's my complaint about quest items; not the hand holding, but the clutter). For Heaven's sake, in Dark Souls I bought the Bottomless Box before I bought the Repair Kit just to get control over my inventory (pity the damn interface was so clunky). Timed saves, on the other hand eliminate clutter.

Also, if there's something that you really want to save scum (eg: the medical checks in Rail Nomads or Highpool Hospital), you still can. Sucking down a 2 minute timer would be annoying enough to stop casual scumming without being so heinous as to stop "really really really important" scumming.

And finally, maybe it's just me, but the narrative hook of the radio time limit seems to gel better than radio batteries or some other consumable does. But that's totally YMMV.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 9th, 2016, 2:31 pm

Drool wrote:I'd rather needlessly mention panic saves a million times than not and find them mysteriously missing.
Point well taken.
Drool wrote:Batteries allow for save whenever, but are limited in that you only have X of them, which provides a hard cap on saving while also taking up inventory space.
The nice thing of course is that putting a reasonable (or even liberal) limit on batteries would be a godsend to stop save spamming. For most people, having enough batteries to save 10 times per map would be fine. A scummer on the other hand will have to think twice before dumping a save on every rusty lockbox.
Drool wrote:Even if the inventory is unlimited and the batteries are weightless, they're still clutter. My personal gaming obsessions tend towards hating inventory clutter.
Me too. Make the battery a separate meter then, not an inventory item. Like Frank's camera in Dead Rising*. Actually that is a great idea. Make it rechargeable for free at widely-spread electrical access points**, and when fully charged it has 10 uses. Die hard scummers could still walk back and forth to an access point, but this behavior would not be encouraged.

*Which I just replayed, so it's fresh in my mind; sorry if that's an obscure reference.
**Like the wells of water in Wasteland 2, except ... not meaningless.
Drool wrote:Also, if there's something that you really want to save scum (eg: the medical checks in Rail Nomads or Highpool Hospital), you still can. Sucking down a 2 minute timer would be annoying enough to stop casual scumming without being so heinous as to stop "really really really important" scumming.
Sounds good, but is the limit on saving or loading?
Drool wrote:And finally, maybe it's just me, but the narrative hook of the radio time limit seems to gel better than radio batteries or some other consumable does. But that's totally YMMV.
Either way works for me. The annoyed radio operator is good for a time limit. For a battery, say that the "high volume burst transmission" necessary to transmit full audio-visual recordings of the mission up to that point requires a ton of power, way more than just calling home to say hi to Woodson. Lampshade = successful I think.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Nekot-The-Brave » October 9th, 2016, 3:30 pm

Zombra wrote:EDIT: This conversation started in response to Solomize's excellent "Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing."

Good post in general, I don't agree with everything you wrote, but
Solomize wrote:My personal nemesis:
  • Save-scumming
is a big deal and I am with you 100%. There was a big battle over this for Wasteland 2 and again for Torment - let's hope the devs have a better solution this time around than "Eh, just have F5/F9 be the answer to every noncombat challenge".
The thing that Wasteland 2 does, was that if you critically failed both your lockpick/safecrack AND mechanical repair checks, you always had the third option of just blowing the thing up. There was *always* a way to get loot in the game regardless of what way you went about it.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 10th, 2016, 1:23 pm

Zombra wrote:Me too. Make the battery a separate meter then, not an inventory item. Like Frank's camera in Dead Rising*. Actually that is a great idea. Make it rechargeable for free at widely-spread electrical access points**, and when fully charged it has 10 uses. Die hard scummers could still walk back and forth to an access point, but this behavior would not be encouraged.
Could work. Feels fiddly, but I suppose one would get used to it easily enough.
Zombra wrote:Sounds good, but is the limit on saving or loading?
Well, saving, much like any typewritter ribbons would be.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 10th, 2016, 7:19 pm

Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:Me too. Make the battery a separate meter then, not an inventory item. Like Frank's camera in Dead Rising. Actually that is a great idea. Make it rechargeable for free at widely-spread electrical access points, and when fully charged it has 10 uses.
Could work. Feels fiddly, but I suppose one would get used to it easily enough.
It'd be way less fiddly than dealing with it as an inventory item, I think you'll agree :)
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 11th, 2016, 4:36 am

How is this thread still going? To limit saving is to ask for trouble by solving a problem that doesn't exist and nobody(except literally one or two people out of hundreds of thousands) is asking to have solved. Anyone complaining about save scumming can't speak for anyone other than himself or herself and if the complainers want to say that they don't do it then why complain? 1) what others do in their game is none of your business and 2) where do you even get the idea that anyone is save scumming? How do you know? This whole thread is literally looking to make up a problem that doesn't exist.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 11th, 2016, 4:46 am

Darth Trethon wrote:Anyone complaining about save scumming can't speak for anyone other than himself or herself
And you can?
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 11th, 2016, 5:00 am

Zombra wrote:
Darth Trethon wrote:Anyone complaining about save scumming can't speak for anyone other than himself or herself
And you can?
I am not speaking for anyone other than myself and not asking for solutions to problems that don't exist and nobody is asking to be solved.....even if others are save scumming that is NOT your business, NOT my business, and nobody else's business but their own.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 11th, 2016, 5:21 am

Darth Trethon wrote:I am not speaking for anyone other than myself
Of course you are. By claiming that the problem doesn't exist, you are asserting that no one has this problem. That's speaking for everyone who plays the game. You are also asserting that everyone who says there is a problem (and there have been more than "one or two") is a liar.
Darth Trethon wrote:if others are save scumming that is NOT your business
Sure it is. inXile has explicitly expressed a desire for input on what will be a good game for everyone. They asked for my (and everyone's) opinions. I can (and will) criticize a Skinner Box design that promotes unhealthy behavior in others, and I can certainly criticize a design that I personally do not enjoy.

Also, please look up the word "literally" before the next time you use it. It will help you in being taken seriously.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 11th, 2016, 5:50 am

Zombra wrote:
Darth Trethon wrote:I am not speaking for anyone other than myself
Of course you are. By claiming that the problem doesn't exist, you are asserting that no one has this problem. That's speaking for everyone who plays the game. You are also asserting that everyone who says there is a problem (and there have been more than "one or two") is a liar.
Darth Trethon wrote:if others are save scumming that is NOT your business
Sure it is. inXile has explicitly expressed a desire for input on what will be a good game for everyone. They asked for my (and everyone's) opinions. I can (and will) criticize a Skinner Box design that promotes unhealthy behavior in others, and I can certainly criticize a design that I personally do not enjoy.

Also, please look up the word "literally" before the next time you use it. It will help you in being taken seriously.
Promotes what now? Show me numbers.....what percent of the player base is abusing this imagined problem of yours? And why do you care what others do in their game? Mind your game and who you play with if you choose to play with someone.....not what you imagine others could maybe do but have no proof anyone is actually doing.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 11th, 2016, 5:58 am

Darth Trethon wrote:Promotes what now? Show me numbers.....what percent of the player base is abusing this imagined problem of yours?
Show me the numbers. What percent is not save scumming? Prove it. See how that works? Not a great argument, is it?
Darth Trethon wrote:And why do you care what others do in their game?
Because I have experienced this bad behavior myself, and I know for a fact that it is not fun and resoundingly bad for gameplay. I do not want other people to suffer the same way I have suffered, and I also know for a fact that other people have this problem because I have spoken with them. It's called compassion, you might want to look that up too.
Darth Trethon wrote:Mind your game and who you play with if you choose to play with someone.....not what you imagine others could maybe do but have no proof anyone is actually doing.
I am minding my game. I admitted upthread that I myself am a save scummer. That's proof, my friend.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 11th, 2016, 11:24 am

Two things to say here:

1) Self control is a personal problem....don't like save scumming? It's up to you not to save scum.

and

2) The only real way to do this is by eliminating luck from the game.....make skill levels required to do certain things and no dice roll....either you can or not. Same with weapon damage....always know how much you will do if you can tell enemy defenses. Though they can add a player skill minigame like lockpicking and hacking in the Bethesda games.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by GodComplex » October 11th, 2016, 11:27 am

The quickest way to change a behavior is to eliminate the opportunity for it to happen. Since that's not a lot of fun, the next option is to create an incentive to not. So, I'm throwing out that there are multiple ways to open loot crates and have loot depending on what you do, like making brute force easier with some loot and safe cracking harder with better loot. I'll spend 10min trying to crack a 60% chance, but I won't spend an hour trying to crack a 15% chance.

Course, I save scum for every chest, cause why not? If you don't want to save scum,then don't. The best think about RPGs is you effectively get to choose your challenge level at every obstacle.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 11th, 2016, 11:38 am

Darth Trethon wrote:Self control is a personal problem....don't like save scumming? It's up to you not to save scum.
The best way to do this? Play games that don't outright encourage it. I want Wasteland 3 to be a game that doesn't outright encourage it.
Darth Trethon wrote:The only real way to do this is by eliminating luck from the game.....
I guess that must be why roguelike games have no random elements. Oh wait.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 11th, 2016, 1:45 pm

Darth Trethon wrote:How is this thread still going?
Because the zebra and I were having a nice conversation about potential game design theories. Even though we disagreed with each other, it was an enlightening conversation that helped both sides understand the other.
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Darth Trethon » October 11th, 2016, 4:10 pm

An equal but different reward for failing wouldn't really work.....because people who intend to save scum wouldn't just be neutral and not care which they'd get....they'd choose which outcome they'd like best and save scum for that specific outcome. And limiting saves would create more problems than it would solve. Like I said....the only real solution would be to completely eliminate dice rolls from the game and make every outcome a certainty based on what you can and cannot do. Though to be honest I don't really see much validity in the "save me from myself because I have no sense of self control" argument.....you're in control.....don't like it, don't do it.

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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Drool » October 11th, 2016, 6:49 pm

Darth Trethon wrote:the only real solution would be to completely eliminate dice rolls from the game and make every outcome a certainty based on what you can and cannot do
We've mentioned a few possibilities in this thread including less odious save limiting (either via time limit or charge limit) as well as simply eliminating critical failures for lockpicking and safe cracking. Care to address what you see as failings in these specifics?
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Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Post by Zombra » October 11th, 2016, 7:16 pm

Darth Trethon wrote:An equal but different reward for failing wouldn't really work.....because people who intend to save scum wouldn't just be neutral and not care which they'd get....they'd choose which outcome they'd like best and save scum for that specific outcome.
Not true. There's a huge psychological difference between "reward 1 or reward 2" and "something or jack shit". When you get jack shit, that's when you want to reload.
Darth Trethon wrote:Though to be honest I don't really see much validity in the "save me from myself because I have no sense of self control" argument.....you're in control.....don't like it, don't do it.
So it's good to encourage crap gameplay because players can choose not to follow that encouragement. Is that really the best we can do?
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