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What the Hell Happened to Saving in PC Games?
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StannieDum
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Unhappy What the Hell Happened to Saving in PC Games? - 12-30-2012, 11:18 | posts: 31 | Location: UK

Title says it all really. As an 'older' gamer, I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with developers for the modern take on saving in PC video games and the move to the more console orientated 'checkpoint' system is now becoming a genuine deal breaker for me when deciding which games (if any) to buy.

There are some checkpoint systems that work okay (at a push), but some are becoming just plain ridiculous. The recently released Far Cry 3 is one such example. In that game, it took me far too long to work out how the rather confusing system works and by the time I realised that checkpoints don't survive once you shut down the game and restart it, I had lost hours of gameplay. In an open world 'sandbox' type game like Far Cry 3, where players are encouraged (and rewarded) in exploration, it is utter insanity to make it so that you are actually afraid to stop playing for fear of losing all your progress. There are plenty of other games guilty of similar madness too.

I miss the days when you could save wherever you wanted and therefore quit the game whenever you wished, but sadly these are getting fewer and fewer. Bethesda still get it right, though. The ability to save anywhere without the annoying checkpoint system makes playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a pleasure rather than a chore.

Sure if your game is a linear, connect-the-dots type mindless corridor slugfest (ie. Call of Duty), then checkpoints are fine, but in open world games? Why encourage exploration on the one hand, then punish you for it on the other?

So come on developers, get a grip on reality and remember that your game is just that - A GAME! As in 'something to play and enjoy as a pastime'. Your creations are NOT as important as you think they are. Stop punishing players for having the audacity to switch your game off. We all have real lives to get on with and need to be able to stop playing when we bloody well want or need to.

Would love to hear other player's takes on this.


Stannie

   
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JonasBeckman
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:21 | posts: 9,442 | Location: Sweden

Far Cry 3 is a rather odd hybrid, you get the checkpoint system but you are still allowed to save or quick-save manually whenever you want with however the restriction that you can't do it at all during any ongoing mission and when loading the game no matter where you saved you are transported to the nearest radio tower or outpost, depending on which is closest.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:26 | posts: 2,857 | Location: Barrie, ON Canada

You still have quite a few games that let you save anywhere. Dishonored comes to mind as one example of a free saving game.
   
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kanej2007
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:30 | posts: 6,669 | Location: Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Yeah, Microsoft & their Windows Live, Steam, etc...

Several games require an internet connection by force to save, wtf?

So for those having a portable laptop may not be able to save all games should an internet connection not be available.
   
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lucidus
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:35 | posts: 6,553 | Location: Dubai

I miss quick save in many games. I recently replayed Arkham City and I hated the checkpoints, I had to force myself to play just a bit more to get it to save when I was tired. They say it "adds tension", if their game relies on checkpoints to add tension it's probably not going to be worth playing.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:37 | posts: 4,639 | Location: Not Far North Enough (England)

Doesn't F5 work?
   
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kanej2007
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:47 | posts: 6,669 | Location: Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucidus View Post
I miss quick save in many games.
Half-Life 1998 - F6 quick save & F7 quick load.
   
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lucidus
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:52 | posts: 6,553 | Location: Dubai

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLEH! View Post
Doesn't F5 work?
Nope. Probably due to GFWL's encrypted save BS.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 11:56 | posts: 467 | Location: Barcelona

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanej2007 View Post
Half-Life 1998 - F6 quick save & F7 quick load.

Every game 2012 - Wait 2 seconds behind a corner.
   
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aircool
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Default 12-30-2012, 12:03 | posts: 13,635 | Location: Devon, In A Little Town.

Console ports.


Don Aircooleone

   
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The Janitor
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Default 12-30-2012, 12:05 | posts: 994 | Location: Sweden

There's a lengthy discussion about this on neogaf, I'm surprised to see so many people against it. Apparently it "ruins the tension" which is pretty absurd

I'm guessing they are console gamers

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=505476
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 12:08 | posts: 6,553 | Location: Dubai

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Janitor View Post
There's a lengthy discussion about this on neogaf, I'm surprised to see so many people against it. Apparently it "ruins the tension" which is pretty absurd

I'm guessing they are console gamers

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=505476
lol, to think I posted the exact opposite a few posts above!
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 12:34 | posts: 1,188 | Location: Langley,B.C. Canada

Far Cy 3 really annoys the hell out of me for that reason as well.Plus the guy for having to save his friends sure has a lot of time to run around exploring.I hate the checkpoint system as well for the exact reasons given.I don't have big blocks of time to run around progressing to only lose it all I think I burnt the weed fields 5 times and I was so sick of that song by the time I finished.
   
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kanej2007
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Default 12-30-2012, 12:48 | posts: 6,669 | Location: Dubai, UAE / London, UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbmcmillan View Post
Far Cy 3 really annoys the hell out of me for that reason as well.Plus the guy for having to save his friends sure has a lot of time to run around exploring.I hate the checkpoint system as well for the exact reasons given.I don't have big blocks of time to run around progressing to only lose it all I think I burnt the weed fields 5 times and I was so sick of that song by the time I finished.
Haha, your right! Amazingly, somehow I did the weed scene on the second attempt, got fried the first time. It was tough & enemies seemed to keep coming & eventually you run out of ammo!

Music wasn't bad but was repetitive! I remember when my younger 11 year old brother got to the very same stage, I heard the SAME song for over an hour, lol.

He just kept dying & dying despite playing on easy. He is only a kid, so a bit of a noob when it comes to games!

Naturally after some time he came & begged me to burn the weed fields.

I said your playing on easy & you cannot burn the weeds? I then remembered he's just 11 & done it for him.
   
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StannieDum
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Default 12-30-2012, 13:07 | posts: 31 | Location: UK

Good to hear these views, guys. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Janitor View Post
There's a lengthy discussion about this on neogaf, I'm surprised to see so many people against it. Apparently it "ruins the tension" which is pretty absurd

I'm guessing they are console gamers

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=505476

Just had a very quick scan through that thread, and it seems to me that most of the posters there are 'pro' save anywhere. As are the posts here, so far. The point is of course that if you don't like the 'save anywhere option', then you need not use it, whereas if it's a checkpoint only system, you have no option and only get the saves that the devs (rather than the player) make.

Quite a few people blame the consoles for this checkpoint system, and to a point, that's probably true, but there are console games that permit free saving anywhere. Bethesda's games are one example and there are others, so why restrict the player so much. Give us an option to save - or not save as we see fit.


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gridiron whirlw
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Default 12-30-2012, 13:27 | posts: 3,572 | Location: Ohio

Quick save should be an option in every pc game.

If you do not want to use it fine....but it should be an option.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 14:38 | posts: 4,386 | Location: Kansas, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by aircool View Post
Console ports.
Yep. That perfectly explains everything that "PC Gamers" don't like in modern games. That's the answer.
And it explains Far Cry perfectly. A PC exclusive in 2004 with a checkpoint only save system.


Sorry, but to me that seems like a cheap 'throw out' excuse to cover almost everything people don't like about games these days.
Yet they forget games like RAGE, DisHonored, Borderlands 2.... and all the others that still allow manual saving and quick saving.

It's a developers design decision. Yes, in a lot of cases it is heavily influenced by the game being a multi-platform release. But it's not only because of that. It's a decision made by the studio during development.
The game being a console port, or a multiplatform release has little to do with it.
   
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Amaze
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Default 12-30-2012, 15:50 | posts: 1,424 | Location: Norway

I agree that there's way too many checkpoint saving games at the moment. But not all games should be save-anywhere-you-like either.
While I can't think of a specific example right now, there must be some games that are trivialized without checkpoint saving.
Think of it as a gauntlet. If you want to save you have to pass through this area without dying to earn it.
   
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StannieDum
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Default 12-30-2012, 16:47 | posts: 31 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaze View Post
I agree that there's way too many checkpoint saving games at the moment. But not all games should be save-anywhere-you-like either.
While I can't think of a specific example right now, there must be some games that are trivialized without checkpoint saving.
Think of it as a gauntlet. If you want to save you have to pass through this area without dying to earn it.
Whilst I might partly agree with what you say when it comes to linear and tightly scripted games, but do you feel the same way about open world games that encourage exploration?

Edit: Actually after re-reading your post, I see that you say not ALL games should be checkpoint based.

Last edited by StannieDum; 12-30-2012 at 16:50.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 17:48 | posts: 23,227 | Location: Hoek van Holland, Netherlands

nope , dont have any difficulty with it. quite used to it by now.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 19:38 | posts: 2,369 | Location: Ohio

Other than while in a Mission, you can save (or quicksave) anywhere and at anytime in FarCry 3.... I don't mind that setup. What I do dislike is that you can only have 1 SaveGame at a time, which is retarded and means I'm screwed if it gets corrupted and I can't have multiple savepoints throughout the storyline (since I like to go back and replay some of the most fun missions etc...). :/
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 21:55 | posts: 4,367 | Location: Romania

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridiron whirlw View Post
Quick save should be an option in every pc game.

If you do not want to use it fine....but it should be an option.
This, I freaking hate it when I immerse myself in a game and then do a mistake and die and have to redo a whole freaking sequence of actions 2-3 times...

Quick save should indeed be a must-have.
   
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Default 12-30-2012, 22:52 | posts: 4,386 | Location: Kansas, USA

See, when I'm "immersed" in a game... I'm so into the game I'm not thinking I need to quick save so I don't have to redo this.
I'm thinking about the game and what's happening. I never found quick save all that useful. Mostly because I always forgot to use it if I was enjoying the game, because I was INTO the game.
   
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Default 12-31-2012, 00:29 | posts: 1,459 | Location: Ohio/USA

Consoles!!
   
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Default 12-31-2012, 02:08 | posts: 2,270 | Location: Hong Kong

the saving option should depends on the game you are playing, it is a bad idea to allow ppl to save anywhere on platformer like Mega Men etc. It is a bad idea to have a bad checkpoint system on an open world game.

(Borderlands 1 and 2 have a good checkpoint mechanics tbh, i don't lose much progression even when i CTD but a save anywhere option would be good since sometimes rl stuff really do pop up now and then in the middle of a mission.).


   
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