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Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 12:11 pm
by Zombra
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".

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 12:22 pm
by dorkboy
Regarding save-scumming; don't the various "iron man light" settings* usually deal with this issue?
Ie. automatic save on quit, and only load from main menu or after party wipe.
Or am I missing something?

*Of course, that presupposes WL3 actually having such a setting. :)

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 12:56 pm
by undecaf
dorkboy wrote:Regarding save-scumming; don't the various "iron man light" settings* usually deal with this issue?
Ie. automatic save on quit, and only load from main menu or after party wipe.
Or am I missing something?

*Of course, that presupposes WL3 actually having such a setting. :)
Something like that would solve the case. Manual saves on/off, autosave frequency 5-20 minutes or at "quit game".

But I swear to god, if they change the systems to hard gating - that you can't even attempt a level 8 task because you lack 1 point of the governing skill, that there's no room for flukes or organic character performance (only a robotic "no-go" or "yes-done" where everything is taken for granted) - I'll be extremely disappointed, a lot the appeal of RPG's for me would disappear into thin air. That artificial, rigid and gamey shit is the last thing I'd want for any RPG.

Failure is just fine as a result.

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 1:09 pm
by Zombra
dorkboy wrote:Regarding save-scumming; don't the various "iron man light" settings* usually deal with this issue?
They do when they're included. I certainly hope that, if the basic game systems are unchanged, some sort of "Bronzeman mode" is enacted.

It would be better of course to have stuff like locks and alarms retooled so that save scumming simply isn't useful in the first place.

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 1:44 pm
by dorkboy
Zombra wrote:It would be better of course to have stuff like locks and alarms retooled so that save scumming simply isn't useful in the first place.
Eh, not really a fan of hard gates and caps, if that's what you're suggesting.
Seems like throwing the baby out with the delicious bath water. (or something :? )
Much prefer some sort of hybrid solution with impossible tasks (way above your skill level, where you roll for critical fail if applicable), normal tasks (around your skill level, roll to determine [critical] success/fail) and guaranteed tasks (way below your skill level, roll for critical success where applicable).

That could shave off some of the ice berg, I think, without completely ending up in Stifleville, Stiflevania.

(Also, I loved the addition of critical failures in WL2.. )

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 1:56 pm
by Zombra
dorkboy wrote:
Zombra wrote:It would be better of course to have stuff like locks and alarms retooled so that save scumming simply isn't useful in the first place.
Eh, not really a fan of hard gates and caps, if that's what you're suggesting.
Seems like throwing the baby out with the delicious bath water. (or something :? )
Much prefer some sort of hybrid solution with impossible tasks (way above your skill level, where you roll for critical fail if applicable), normal tasks (around your skill level, roll to determine [critical] success/fail) and guaranteed tasks (way below your skill level, roll for critical success where applicable).

That could shave off some of the ice berg, I think, without completely ending up in Stifleville, Stiflevania.

(Also, I loved the addition of critical failures in WL2.. )
I don't know what I'm suggesting, but "press F9 to succeed instead of failing" is bad for gameplay. Your tiered system sounds cool, but meaningless if every result can be rerolled at the touch of a button as it was in W2.

Maybe Bronzeman Mode really is the best solution.

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 6th, 2016, 2:28 pm
by dorkboy
@Zombra
Well, I guess that depends on what you consider meaningful.
If the idea is to absolutely disallow any potential save-scumming, then sure, a tiered system doesn't completely solve that.
If, otoh, the idea is to reduce the amount of potential save-scumming, then the impossible/guaranteed tasks do just that (not taking criticals into account, mind you).

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 12:28 am
by MrMoe
Wastland 2 had some pretty solid mechanics against safe scumming - the long loading times :D

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 3:15 am
by Solomize
MrMoe wrote:Wastland 2 had some pretty solid mechanics against safe scumming - the long loading times :D
Hum, weeeell, even in those moments when F11 is 100% insta-crash until reboot, some.. people still relaunch the game, re-"continue" and re-critical-fail the 13% chest until it delivers its 15 scraps, 3 ammo and 1 empty litter bag.

Okay, not.. me, of course, but some err, friend did that. Every time.

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 12:59 pm
by Drool
Zombra wrote:I don't know what I'm suggesting, but "press F9 to succeed instead of failing" is bad for gameplay.
I'm open to suggestions, but hard gates are even worse, especially with the Bethesda-style implementation where 25/50/75/100 were the only values that mattered and literally everything else was pointless. I mean, the elimination of critical failures would pretty much wipe out 90% of save scumming. But beyond that, about all I can think of is some kind of timed lock-out like New Vegas used if you tried to save scum the gambling minigames.
Your tiered system sounds cool, but meaningless if every result can be rerolled at the touch of a button as it was in W2.
Well, this again is excluding the middle. Yes, people can dick around and succeed at anything. They can copy save files or hack character levels or any number of things, but you don't build in a hard-drive format failsafe for if the character files are accessed. You build around the non-insane player and let the lunatics do as they will, because they will regardless. The non lunatic will try a couple times and maybe even reload once or twice before saying "eh, screw it" and moving on.

Re: Wasteland 3 smelling good, here's my little list as my appetite is growing.

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 1:17 pm
by Zombra
Drool wrote:
Zombra wrote:I don't know what I'm suggesting, but "press F9 to succeed instead of failing" is bad for gameplay.
I'm open to suggestions, but hard gates are even worse.
Fair enough. I haven't come up with a good "in-system" solution, but I think the meta solutions of Bronzeman Mode or save seeding would suffice admirably.
Your tiered system sounds cool, but meaningless if every result can be rerolled at the touch of a button as it was in W2.
Well, this again is excluding the middle. Yes, people can dick around and succeed at anything. They can copy save files or hack character levels or any number of things, but you don't build in a hard-drive format failsafe for if the character files are accessed. You build around the non-insane player and let the lunatics do as they will, because they will regardless. The non lunatic will try a couple times and maybe even reload once or twice before saying "eh, screw it" and moving on.
That's pushing it. There's a huge difference between hacking a save file and pressing a single button that's right there in the game. I don't think it's reaching to suggest that a lot of gamers are somewhat compulsive - so why put in a system that encourages compulsive behavior? Nobody complained about being unable to save in combat. Why not extend that philosophy to noncombat activities as well?

Looks like this is turning into a conversation. Do you want to split the thread, or shall I? :P
EDIT: Wow, I didn't realize that 84% of the previous thread was about this one issue. Thread duly split.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 2:31 pm
by NickAragua
Most of my save scumming happened around lockboxes. Thus, what about the following approach:

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).

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 2:36 pm
by Jimmious
I completely agree that save scumming in WL2 was a problem. The way the game handled lockpicking and equivalent actions was just ...forcing you to do that until you succeed.

I have a kind of "crazy" idea about a solution. Bear with me:
What do we need for the player to accept failures? Some incentive. Something that makes even failure worthwhile in some way.
In some other topic we were discussing a "learn-by-doing" mechanic which I find pretty interesting.
But how do you learn stuff even better? When you try them...and fail. Then you slowly understand what you did wrong and improve.
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.

What do you guys think?

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 2:49 pm
by NickAragua
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.
That is a really good idea.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 2:52 pm
by Euclidean
Jimmious wrote:I completely agree that save scumming in WL2 was a problem. The way the game handled lockpicking and equivalent actions was just ...forcing you to do that until you succeed.

I have a kind of "crazy" idea about a solution. Bear with me:
What do we need for the player to accept failures? Some incentive. Something that makes even failure worthwhile in some way.
In some other topic we were discussing a "learn-by-doing" mechanic which I find pretty interesting.
But how do you learn stuff even better? When you try them...and fail. Then you slowly understand what you did wrong and improve.
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.

What do you guys think?
I kind of like it, of course you may end up with people save scumming until they fail because they'd rather have the xp.... :D

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 3:08 pm
by Jimmious
Euclidean wrote: I kind of like it, of course you may end up with people save scumming until they fail because they'd rather have the xp.... :D
Balancing it will be tricky, I agree :lol:

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 3:23 pm
by paultakeda
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. I once spent two hours picking a lock -- it was a real one in the real world. When playing a game, I would literally try maybe two or three times and then just move on.

Implementing similar mechanics will work fine except for the diehard save scummer who wants to preserve every lock and lockpick and doesn't want to do battle.

You can't code for that edge case and frankly, you shouldn't care seeing as when you are playing your instance of the game it is on you to decide on whether or not you are going to exit immersion and reload because of a crappy RNG.

Now with regards to multiplayer co-op, I don't know how that will be handled with regards to game saves, etc. So I'm waiting for more details on that before having an opinion.

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.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 3:50 pm
by Zombra
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.
Wild idea. It could work! I'm in!

It would be especially good in a Learn-By-Doing system. You wouldn't get raw XP, just extra points towards improving the skill.
paultakeda wrote:(Translated) [There's nothing wrong with a system that rewards compulsive behavior, even when it would be very easy to implement one that didn't. A Skinner Box is an excellent game design. If you don't like it, simply don't be a compulsive person! Problem solved! Most gamers aren't compulsive, you know; that's why things like Steam achievements are so unpopular and World of Warcraft was such a failure.]
Hmm. Am I reading you right? Because this seems pretty selfish.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 7:36 pm
by Darth Trethon
There is no way to prevent those who wish to abuse it from doing so without creating MUCH more severe problems. Limiting the ability to save has NEVER turned out well. Especially in huge games where you can play hundreds of hours.....save often and keep a lot of saves in hand is the only way to play.....not because of save scumming but because things often do go very wrong very fast. Exploration means you don't know what you will find around the next corner.

This particularly important in Wasteland 3, where the game allows you to go anywhere from the very start and the only thing to tell you that you're not supposed to be in a place yet will be difficulty so it will be a very common occurrence to walk into a place, get stomped on a few times and then realizing that "oh, right, can't do this until later when I'm higher level".......it is literally impossible to have this approach to making a game and then decide it's a good idea to limit the ability to save.

You having a problem with save scumming is very much a personal problem.....don't like it? Then don't do it.....simple....and if you can't control yourself then again....that's your own personal problem alone....NOT inXile's problem, and sure as hell not the problem of other players.

Re: Save-Scumming and Wasteland 3

Posted: October 7th, 2016, 11:36 pm
by Zombra
Darth Trethon wrote:Limiting the ability to save has NEVER turned out well.
Sure it has. To use an obvious example ... Wasteland 2.