Games With Single Slot (Auto) Savegames

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Trippy Turtle:

Dirty Hipsters:
snip

That is entirely beside the point.
What I am trying to get across is why the hell would a developer add bother adding in the first place, when it would be used to play the game in a way the dev didn't intend?
I'm not arguing whether or not its a good feature. Simply that nobody in their right mind would put in the effort to add something that would possibly take depth or difficulty out of their game.

So no one in their right mind would work to give people an option they want which would make the game more enjoyable for them? That's absolute and complete bullshit. There's TONS of things that developers put into games that may "clash" with their intention for the game, but they do it anyway to make the game more enjoyable for people, or to reach a wider audience.

A few fun points...

Dynasty Warriors 6 (and I think 5 as well, but 6 was the worst of all the games, including 1) had a "limited saves depending on difficulty" feature which I found to be rather hilarious because "saving" was being factored in to the difficulty of the game. So when people attempted the harder difficulties they had to finish the mission straight through or leave the machine on.

Silly, really.

I, of course, had become very accustomed to "save scumming" (nice little derisive spin on the practice) and thought this was silly but what was even more hilarious was how it basically taught people the concept of save scumming.

See, not everyone thinks to use save features in such creative ways. Many people... a LOT of people, actually, use saves to do just that... Save when they are going to stop playing or when they reach a save point because it's what they are "supposed" to do. Keeping save backlogs to rewatch cutscenes or planning on restarting if you miss something or make a mistake is not the super widespread practice people think it is. But when people found out they couldn't save in cahos mode in DW6 they all learned right then what they could have been using saves for all along.

So let's look at us, the players. The consumers. I understand that a developer controls the vision. The ultimate goal, of course, should be to provide the best experience to the player that they reasonably can while staying as much in line with their vision as they can. However I think there are boundaries and it gets to be a little problematic when developers start feeling like they have more control over player perceptions than they really do.

To use the Dynasty Warriors games as an example again... I was staunchly against the franchise at first. Warmed up to it but wasn't a die-hard like I am today. A lot of the things I did, save scumming being one, in order to guide myself through to the desired results (that I still had to achieve either way) built and strengthened my fandom.

As a serious fan now I have a lot more patience for the game and view my experience in a bit of a different light. But I'm not about to tell another budding potential fan that he has to "pay his dues" if he wants to learn to respect the franchise like I do.

That's the big thing with games... Some people may not care that much. Why in the world are we at war with people who may have just enough interest in a title to cheese their way through it but not enough to go through the "right" way? It's one of the things I miss about Game Genie/Game Shark. There were tons of games I wouldn't have given a chance to if I had to play normally either because I just wasn't interested enough at first in devoting the time or, more often, because the game was so poorly designed that I pretty much needed a cheat device to make it work better (Final Fantasy 8). I know a person who likes games like I do but not as much as I do. A lot of these new... directions are simply keeping this person from playing the games at all rather than forcing them to play them "right."

We silly video game fans... What do we gain in the war against save scumming?

We give developers a convenient "noble" cause to try to monetize the fact that another person in the same household won't be able to start their own game without deleting yours (someone wanted to see the story of Warriors Orochi 3 from scratch and my only choice was to delete my save or mess around with nonsense rather than select a simple slot).

We keep dastardly players from going through their games "wrong."

And what do we lose?

Protection from corrupted saves.

Multiple people in a household enjoying a game.

Protection from bad game design.

Protection from bad game pacing.

Protection from lack of level select options.

Smart.

A good protection against save scumming = save points. You can't save in the middle of battle in Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes so if you fail or restart to "try again" you go back to the beginning of the level. Stapling the consequence onto people the moment they die or fail simply isn't worth it.

4RM3D:

CloudAtlas:

4RM3D:

But the game auto saves in 1 slot only. The other 2 slots are for new playthroughs.

No, you can tell the game to auto save in any of the 3 slots. If you change the auto save slot, the previous earlier save is kept.

But you can only change the save slot when starting a new game, no? You can't change mid game, thus the problem still exists.

No, you can change it mid game. Believe me - I did it. :)

CloudAtlas:
No, you can change it mid game. Believe me - I did it. :)

Well, the devs could have explained it better then. Heck, if they give you the option, they might as well remove the 3 slot limit.

What infuriates me is that- for me- it limits exploring what the game has to offer.
I'll often go, "oh, gee, I wonder what happens if I do this, or go here when I'm not meant to, or..." But obviously, if it's just going to autosave after I've done this potentially really stupid thing just to see what happens, I'm not going to do it.
Which kind of sucks, because that's a way to learn about the game- when you're curious but you KNOW it'll probably have negative consequences that you don't want to deal with, you either save it, see what happens and then re-load, or you don't do it at all. And that seems like you'll be missing out on stuff just because you don't want to take the risk.

Some of you might say that's a good thing. But why can't you choose? If I want to throw myself off a cliff to see if I can land without dying, or see what happens if I hit on that NPC, or see what happens if I HIT that NPC, or if fire will kill me... Shouldn't I be able to explore what the game has to offer if I so choose, and other people don't do stupid stuff "just to see what happens" if that's how they'd rather play? If it's single-player, the way each person chooses to play affects nobody else.

This, of course, excludes Dark Souls. Although I wouldn't mind a save slot at the beginning of each New Game + (or ++, or +++, whatever) so I can go back to the game from the beginning with my character, instead of half way through when I can't even remember (or care about) what I was doing. Other than that, yeah, a single save slot works with Dark Souls due to the "point" of the game

One of the reasons I like multiple save slots is that when my brother comes over for a gaming fix & a break from the kids he plays on my Xbox and the games he wants to play. A house with only 1 console & more then 1 person playing makes sense to have multiple saves.

Multiple saves definately are needed for rpgs that have character creation. As you will need a save slot for each character. Yes this inlcudes Dark Souls! You can have one save slot as a knight and another one as a thief where you go down the stairs in one save & up the stairs in another and you can see more of the world.

Doing this doesn't take away anything from the punishment of death as they're two different characters in different areas. All that happens is that you get to sample different parts of the game that you wouldn't be able to with just one character and not have to worry about getting rid/replacing the character you've spent so many hours with.

rhizhim:
it sucks, especially when you cant back track. resident evil 6 does that too.

you think "oh, hey i need to go here, but first i am going to explore over there for ammunition and stuff"
well to bad, motherfucker! turns out "over there" was the real way to progress the story.
and god damn i hate that.

ARGH! Maddening! I detest games that don't realise what a pain this is. If you're going to have areas that will be shut off, give us a clue - especially where the path forks, otherwise you end up feeling like you're taking a 50/50 chance on missing something great or crucial, and feel like you need to have an FAQ to stop you missing out due to a lack of psychic powers or intuition.

And that really does ruin a game. That feeling of needing to know what you're doing before you do it (and I don't mean hand-holding, I mean 'if you don't do it in the order you couldn't possibly know, you may miss out) is much more cloying and aggravating than knowing that you could 'save scum' if you have a mind to, and apparently having the feature is a GAEM BRAEKER for most of its opponents here..

Gladys Knight:

And what do we lose?

Protection from corrupted saves.

Multiple people in a household enjoying a game.

Protection from bad game design.

Protection from bad game pacing.

Protection from lack of level select options.

Smart.

I'm going to save now, then ask you to marry me - that way I can reload the save if you say no, and preemptively punch you in the arm. You've summed it up really, I can't understand why people are crusading against save systems, which primarily are there for convenience and safety (taking a break to prevent RSI and embolisms perhaps, as well as the wealth of bug potential) and I can only assume you're right, and that people are seen to be DOING GAMING WRONG.

Silly, really.

Palmerama:
One of the reasons I like multiple save slots is that when my brother comes over for a gaming fix & a break from the kids he plays on my Xbox and the games he wants to play. A house with only 1 console & more then 1 person playing makes sense to have multiple saves.

This to a limited extent seems to be what different profiles can be useful for. That said, with how darn clunky the 360's sign-in system is (reloading the whole game with every signin/out, if you don't know exactly what is on which profile, then you'll be there for 10 minutes or so trying to figure it out. It's not an ideal solution, especially when there can also be DLC issues (I'm sure at least some titles are profile-locked for DLC, I may be wrong) and progress-unlock issues when there is one profile that's unlocked x y and z and person 2 doesn't have time to spend 20 hours unlocking it also.

Multiple saves cut clean through all of this, and yet people are derided for wanting them.

Double you, tea eff.

God, I hated that in Dragon's Dogma. Long games with multiple choices/different endings along the way. It's a big no-no for me in those games. If people want to save-scum, let them. No real harm in doing that in a single-player game. Me, I just want to enjoy different parts of a game at my leisure, especially after I've finished it already.

Scrustle:
Dragon's Dogma has this. Fucking hate it in that game. A single save file in an open world RPG which has quests with multiple endings! No! Terrible!

I had one quest where I had to go around collecting evidence for a trial, and depending on what I gathered the verdict would be either guilty or innocent. If he was innocent he rewards me, if guilty then he gets thrown in the dungeon and his family hate me. What's more, it was timed to three in-game days. I collected all the evidence to make sure he came out innocent, and waited for the three days for the trial. What I didn't realise is that I had to go and take the evidence to someone! And they decide to hold the trial right outside the inn. So when I woke up from my night in the inn to pass time, which also saves, I can't deliver my evidence, so he comes out guilty. I have to walk out the door, and I [/i]have[/i] to trigger the trial. After that I get shit for being lazy and not doing the quest! I fucking ran around everywhere trying to gather information! That pissed me off more than anything else in any game for a long while.

So yeah. All games should have multiple save slots. If not for stuff like that, then for things like glitches where you can possibly break your game through sequence breaking, or if you get stuck somewhere you can't get out of.

No offense but that actually sounds pretty funny, the guy is depending upon you to help him out and when he needs you the most you're in the bed upstairs, sleeping away. hahaha. Like sleeping in on the day of a job interview

tsb247:
This is something that I hate. I blame consoles because this feature didn't start showing up on PC titles until developing on consoles and porting to PC became common. It used to be standard for PC games to have a save menu. Now it is rarely seen, and checkpoints and auto-saves are the new norm. Then again, some developers do it on purpose to prevent players from having it too easy. Either way, I can't stand not having a good old-fashioned save system where I can save when and where I want!

I mainly hate it because I can't play the game the way I want or replay my favorite parts easily.

Oh please, consoles had nothing to do with it. Don't go blaming consoles every time something happens that you don't like.

OT: Yeah it's annoying. To be fair though, some games don't need multiple save spots, for example they wouldn't affect Bioshock Infinite in any way. I would, however, like to be able to save anywhere in Infinite, as the game tends to send me back an unreasonable amount.

There is one actually. To stop save-scumming. To stop the player reloading a save over and over again until they get their desired outcome. It gives weight to the gameplay. Dieing in Dark Souls is a big deal because you might actually lose stuff if you're not careful.

Obviously not every game needs that though. I don't know about Bioshock Infinite but Tomb Raider can't be abused with save-scumming, so I don't see the point of only having one save in that.

Why do some people get up in antsies over how someone else who they have never met, will never meet, and that will never affect them plays their own property in the privacy of their own home?

Shocksplicer:

tsb247:
This is something that I hate. I blame consoles because this feature didn't start showing up on PC titles until developing on consoles and porting to PC became common. It used to be standard for PC games to have a save menu. Now it is rarely seen, and checkpoints and auto-saves are the new norm. Then again, some developers do it on purpose to prevent players from having it too easy. Either way, I can't stand not having a good old-fashioned save system where I can save when and where I want!

I mainly hate it because I can't play the game the way I want or replay my favorite parts easily.

Oh please, consoles had nothing to do with it. Don't go blaming consoles every time something happens that you don't like.

OT: Yeah it's annoying. To be fair though, some games don't need multiple save spots, for example they wouldn't affect Bioshock Infinite in any way. I would, however, like to be able to save anywhere in Infinite, as the game tends to send me back an unreasonable amount.

The most dangerous words we can use as gaming enthusiasts is "it's not needed."

I'm not trying to pick on your specifically and multiple people have said something similar in this topic but I want to comment on the sentiment as a whole...

"It's not needed" or "it's not necessary" or words of that way are usually at the crux of all the stupid stuff we have to deal with in gaming, especially today. Our "friends" or "peers" who were developing the games of yesteryear and making honest mistakes and decisions with consequences they didn't think through are gone. Today there are sterile-minded businessmen and businesswomen who don't actually care about or like us. In fact, they harbor a sort of contempt for us. For we are at odds with them and their ultimate goal which is to determine just how much they can extract from us and price tag. How many hoops they can get us to jump through to pad their metrics. What is the absolute furthest we will go through to be able to (try to) enjoy video games. Note that all of those realities have no concern with whether or not we are pleased, happy, satisfied or content. Someone getting a game home today and being really disappointed that the element they saw in a trailer that excited them is actually special DLC that you had to pre-order to get and even then won't be available for a month doesn't violate their sensibilities in the slightest.

I paint that picture because "it's not needed" is their best friend. It's the easiest way to justify nonsense. Address everything in a vacuum and demonstrate that "it's not needed." It works because EVERYTHING is not needed and EVERYTHING, when considered by itself, can be reduced to some small deal that "spoiled, entitled gamers" are just whining over.

Can we have the full game at release?

"It's not needed."

Can the DLC you made "after development" for the PS3 port be available right away for the Wii-U port that you are releasing over a year later?

"It's not needed."

May I copy my save file and take it elsewhere?

"It's not needed."

Where's the game manual?

"It's not needed."

Can I have multiple save slots?

"It's not needed."

Why are these characters rendered unavailable at release?

"It's not needed."

Why are these cosmetics rendered unavailable at release?

"It's not needed."

Why do I need to pre-order digital content again?

"It's not needed."

May I play offline?

"It's not needed."

Can I disable trophies so that if there's another issue with the server my games won't keep me from playing?

"It's not needed."

Can I get a game without quick-time events?

"It's not needed."

Why are difficulty levels being locked away as DLC?

"It's not needed."

Oh dear, I just remembered Max Payne 3 with the horrible checkpoint system, up to the point where it is almost broken.

That wasn't a fun experience.

I love manual save systems because I love going back and revisiting favourite parts of the game. I can't count how many times I've been back and played through Tali's trial in Mass Effect 2.

There are many great moments in Tomb Raider that I'd love to go back and see again but because you are locked to the one slot while playing, the only way to see those scenes again is by playing through the game again.

In a single player game I really don't see why there isn't always a manual save system. If the developers want to make the choices have consequence to the players then have that as an option in the settings "No Manual Saves: Play as the Developers Intended". Then let the rest of us play as we want.

amara2021:

rhizhim:
it sucks, especially when you cant back track. resident evil 6 does that too.

you think "oh, hey i need to go here, but first i am going to explore over there for ammunition and stuff"
well to bad, motherfucker! turns out "over there" was the real way to progress the story.
and god damn i hate that.

This. This so much in Bioshock Infinite. They got me with this twice already and then locked a fucking gate behind me to boot. Any linear game with collectible items like voxophones and RPG elements should not deprive players opportunities to collect them. It's like they don't even want me to find them since they keep shoving huge blinking mission objectives in my face every time I stay in one area for more than 60 seconds. It took them years to design every single nook and cranny of this gorgeous game and I'm damn well going to take the time to fully appreciate all of it.

/Agree

Bioshock 1 and 2 had the ability to manually save, and it was fantastic.

Bioshock infinite's autosave is very haphazard for me so far. It's set me back quite a ways at times, like 3 or 4 rooms full-of-bad-guys far back. Which is frustrating. If I have to turn off the xbox for an hour and do something, I want to be able to pick up ~right~ where I left off, not spend 5-8 minutes treading previously covered ground. It's an annoying imperfection in an otherwise excellent game.

Yeah, I've been feeling the dread too with Infinite, at least you can reload prior checkpoints. At most those checkpoints send you back 2-3 gunfights. In shooters it's not so bad because it's mostly just to streamline the process, although all of the typewriters keep joking that I should save on them in every office room in Columbia. I'm kind of surprised to hear that about Final Fantasy, but if it is one of the 13 triplets then it is sadly believable. It's not like anything about those is well planned out anyway.

RPG's should use manual saves whenever possible because of the sheer amount of experimentation that is needed for each title before any amount of understanding may occur. Other genres can mostly use whatever works best.

I hate single save slot options. It's especially annoying when there are collectibles that help flush out the depth of the story or characters but if I explore I risk the chance of going into the wrong room that advances the plot but also cuts that room of from me for good.

I also hate messy save slots too. I love The Witcher and The Witcher 2 but the save system is really messy.

Shocksplicer:

Oh please, consoles had nothing to do with it. Don't go blaming consoles every time something happens that you don't like.

Tell me then, where did checkpoint save systems first become the norm? It sure wasn't on the PC. Some games my limit saved games claiming, "It improves gameplay," but the simple fact is that omitting a feature does nothing to improve gameplay. If a player doesn't want to spam the save feaure, then they won't! It's as simple as that.

The fact is that checkpoint and single save slot systems are console relics that get ported over to PC by lazy developers who can't be bothered to optimize a game before they port it. They're just out to make a quick buck. That's it!

This is my one big complaint so far with Bioshock Infinite. One save space and it only saves at set checkpoints which are not in any way visible in game until you pass them. It's annoying as if I get to a point where I want to quit out the game for whatever reason I have to play up until the next checkpoint whenever that is or take the hit and lose all the progress between now and the last checkpoint. Granted I may really only need one save playing on my pc but it should be my choice how many saves I need and when I need to save.

I don't understand why devs use this system unless it's a design choice to make you go back so far after dying. However since Bioshock Infinite has no real penalty for death having set check points seems pointless.

Reading conversations like this thread leaves me wondering how most of you find your way out of your house.

GundamSentinel:
God, I hated that in Dragon's Dogma. Long games with multiple choices/different endings along the way. It's a big no-no for me in those games. If people want to save-scum, let them. No real harm in doing that in a single-player game. Me, I just want to enjoy different parts of a game at my leisure, especially after I've finished it already.

Totally agree with this. Single save slots don't bother me at all when it's a fairly linear, action-driven game, but in anything more free moving they're just an annoyance. Games like that shouldn't force to to replay the entire thing just to see the different options for individual quests - that's frustrating rather than fun.

I despise single game save slots. It's a dumb practice, especially for RPGs. I should be able to have more than one save to be able to explore everything or try out different paths.

In Dragon's Dogma, after a point, being a mage meant I could only be a mage and still be effective. My brother though, could switch classes like clothes. I would have liked the opportunity just to play around with the classes and compare. Also, accidentally triggering a cutscene shouldn't lock me out of possible quests. That's really dumb in an open-world RPG.

The thing is... it can be both bad and good.
However, the player should have a choice.

Example 1:
FTL has this. However, it is designed in a way that it sometimes throws incredibly unfair or even random battles at you that ruin your whole progress. At least on easy difficulty, people should be able to reload. Instead, I crashed the game a few times on my relaxing playthroughs because there were some absolutely BS/unfair encounters.
I understand games having something like this in hard difficulty. But in something as random as FTL, people should have a choice, at least in lower difficulty settings.
That, or just decrease the randomness and make encounters more consistent.

Example 2:
The old Bioshock and its hacking system. The game isn't very punishing if you don't succeed. You just lose some health and hacked healing stations are cheap enough, especially when conserving ammo instead of going all-out every battle. However, there is a randomness factor of trap fields often forming rows that are impossible to get around once the water has started flowing.
Vita Chambers revive you pretty quickly and without huge punishment. So consequences are also very low there.
It is still annoying to fail and reloading often is simply faster and easier. And the randomness simply shouldn't be.

Example 3:
Pretty much every game with a thieving/pickpocket mechanic. Failing there can often completely ruin the game, especially because some of them have bugs. Doesn't really matter if it is Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Gothic or whatever... those thieving mechanics have an uncontrollable randomness-factor and consequences are often too severe, making players reload too often.
Punishing the player for failing at a minigame or something that is actually doable isn't a problem. If people forget about it after a while, it is not much of a problem either.
But when pickpocketing is simply casting a hidden die in the background and even high skill levels have a chance to fail, and even worse, making the whole town attack and never forgive you, then save-scumming is simply needed.

That said, save-scumming simply isn't fun either.

Another thing about multiple save slots is when you have to choose between paths in a game. You have a newbie/apprentice time, walking around doing errands, getting to know a little about the factions... and then you have to decide for one of them.
The game should make a save at those points so people can replay the game without having to replay the whole apprentice time.

Zeren:

Zachary Amaranth:

Zeren:
I HATE that. I would rather enjoy every game doing it like Skyrim does. 3 autosaves and as many manual saves as you like.

And the periodic save wipe due to bugs?

>.>

I never have that happen. I have played over 200 hours on skyrim and have never had a corrupted save. If ever I did, I wouldn't care because I have a backup save for exactly that issue. I also have my saves backed up on the Steam Cloud. I do not fear corrupted or erased saves because I can easily get them back. I could also just start a new character, pop in some console commands and have the save skills and items back in less than 10 minutes.

That was a pretty far way to go to defend terrible, flawed design.

Zachary Amaranth:

Zeren:

Zachary Amaranth:

And the periodic save wipe due to bugs?

>.>

I never have that happen. I have played over 200 hours on skyrim and have never had a corrupted save. If ever I did, I wouldn't care because I have a backup save for exactly that issue. I also have my saves backed up on the Steam Cloud. I do not fear corrupted or erased saves because I can easily get them back. I could also just start a new character, pop in some console commands and have the save skills and items back in less than 10 minutes.

That was a pretty far way to go to defend terrible, flawed design.

Flawed? As I said before, I have had no issues with it. No flaws. Maybe you should explain in depth why it's flawed instead of simply restating what you have already said? Tell me of another game that does it better perhaps?

The Artificially Prolonged:
This is my one big complaint so far with Bioshock Infinite. One save space and it only saves at set checkpoints which are not in any way visible in game until you pass them. It's annoying as if I get to a point where I want to quit out the game for whatever reason I have to play up until the next checkpoint whenever that is or take the hit and lose all the progress between now and the last checkpoint. Granted I may really only need one save playing on my pc but it should be my choice how many saves I need and when I need to save.

I don't understand why devs use this system unless it's a design choice to make you go back so far after dying. However since Bioshock Infinite has no real penalty for death having set check points seems pointless.

They also had a nasty habit of occurring when something else important was going on. So if you wanted to quit you had to concentrate on the corner, which distracts you from the conversation or what have you.

Giving the time-stamp of the last save when you try to quit was a nice touch, but doesn't save the broken system.

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