Do you save and reload? If so, why?

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KShrike
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by KShrike »

Ok, I'm new to the forum, not to the game. Here's what I have to say about save scumming.
While save scumming will seem to save time and all by squeezing out RNG heaven, it doesn't actually make the game fun. It becomes a frustrating game full of constant restarts and constant losses and constant restarts and constant losses and so on. It just becomes an endless loop until you are too frustrated to find the RNG heaven you are looking for in that one turn, and it eventually kills the game.

Battle for Wesnoth was supposed to be a strategy game, where you looked at all the possibilities instead of just assuming your Knight was going to get his double damage hit in and kill the troll before he killed you. Honestly, this perfect game where you always make your hits and he never makes his, where your units never mess up... it won't give you what you are looking for.

I know the pain of save scumming, because I've been completely guilty of it. I've reinstalled this game 3 times, so in all I've had four seasons of me playing this game, spaced apart very much so, over the span of 5 years.
And in this one recent time that I reinstalled the game, I almost fell down the road of save scumming again until I read something. The subsection "Getting the most fun out of the game" from http://wiki.wesnoth.org/GettingStarted (yes, I re-read the newbie notes after playing this game several times. Judge away).
Don't abuse saved games. Long ago, Wesnoth only allowed saving the game at the end of a scenario. Mid-scenario saving was added as a convenience to use if you had to continue the game another day, or to protect against crashes. We do not recommend loading mid-scenario saved games over and over because your White Mage keeps getting killed. Learn to protect your White Mage instead, and balance risks! That is part of the strategy.
If you must load a saved game, we recommend going back to the start of the scenario, so that you choose a new strategy that works, rather than simply finding random numbers that favor you.
But remember, the aim is to have fun! You may have different tastes than the developers, so do what you enjoy most! If you enjoy loading the saved game every time you make a mistake, looking for the 'perfect' game where you never lose a unit, by all means, go right ahead!
That got me to thinking to try a challenge. Do an entire Wesonoth campaign (I chose Heir to the Throne) without restarting. Ever. Unless I lost the scenario, in which I would restart the entire scenario. If it didn't make the game more fun, no harm done; it was worth a try.
So if my Druid dies (oh Celestia, the horror! NO! NOT MY DRUID!), or if my silver mage dies (yes, I had a Silver mage die. The tears on my face when I knew I would never see it again), I would not restart the scenario and live with the losses (while fighting tears).
I became more patient. I started thinking before I acted. I made use of the undo feature several times, but of course you can't undo attacks, moves that reveal/remove FoW, and the recruiting of a fresh unit. I used level one units as sponges, kept my experienced units behind to wait for a favorable time of day, whatever... You get the picture. I started playing the game strategically.
And what was once a very annoying struggle through the flagship campaign became a slow and delightful breeze. The game became extremely fun again, and this time not only for the concept, but for the gameplay.

As of right now, I cannot tell people that they are scums for save scumming (ha, see what I did there?) because I know how it feels, and why. I wanted that complete, godlike control over the game, where no-one I loved died because of a mistake.
A lot of what I realized was not that I was a bad player. I was simply a bad strategist. I probably still am a bad strategist. But one thing for sure, I was becoming a better strategist.
And an even better incentive that kept me going was that if I save scum at all, if I reload at a certain turn at all, the replay file becomes corrupted and unusable. I can't see the final product of my work. It feels like I get cheated or something. But now, I can see my entire campaign victory played out. If you want a certain incentive for not save scumming, THAT is a great one.

So I challenge the reader to go through a campaign (any would be fine, any difficulty would be fine, but probably start with the easiest one), and do an entire campaign without a single turn load. Yes, you are going to get the bad luck that your Fighter was standing in a forest and that orcish grunt that attacked you from water got 2 hits at you and you gave no hits back and died as a result because it was night and you were holding a line. Yes, it's going to happen several times because your units tend to be very incompetent. But one thing for sure, I promise that it will make the game better.

At the end of all this, I think I'm going to be playing this game for a long time. And I mean it this time.
/really_long_post

tl;dr I used to save scum like you, then I took an interesting idea to the knee (sorry), and I will NEVER look back because this game is 10 times more fun now than back when I save scummed.

KShrike, the brony strategist.
I actually don't like cavalry... isn't that ironic.

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zookeeper
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by zookeeper »

I wholeheartedly agree that saveloading doesn't make the game fun, and that playing in a "restrictive" fashion is much more enjoyable and rewarding. I don't think allowing oneself a load when something goes wrong in a completely unexpected and unacceptable way has the same effect, but if you know that you'll be able to load whenever you want if things don't go the way you planned, there's hardly any incentive to really think what you're doing, and playing a strategy game sloppily tends to get pretty boring; after all, the whole point of the genre is to use your brain to overcome the strategic/tactical challenges. And when it gets boring you'll be more inclined to rush so that you'll progress faster, leading to even more mistakes and loading.

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Boldek
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Boldek »

Oh yes, definitely. Several days ago, I decided to give up save reloading all together, and it really makes the game more fun and challenging. Before, my mindset was more like 'JUST, GOTTA, WIN!!!', and it did neither help in mp or in sp. By removing that sense of power, I felt more challenged and more excited.
Guys I never thought I'd come back to this forum after 8 years this is wild

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KShrike
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by KShrike »

zookeeper wrote:I wholeheartedly agree that saveloading doesn't make the game fun, and that playing in a "restrictive" fashion is much more enjoyable and rewarding. I don't think allowing oneself a load when something goes wrong in a completely unexpected and unacceptable way has the same effect, but if you know that you'll be able to load whenever you want if things don't go the way you planned, there's hardly any incentive to really think what you're doing, and playing a strategy game sloppily tends to get pretty boring; after all, the whole point of the genre is to use your brain to overcome the strategic/tactical challenges. And when it gets boring you'll be more inclined to rush so that you'll progress faster, leading to even more mistakes and loading.
I suppose if you feel like you should move your unit-that-will-die back, then saving-loading for that isn't as bad.
But save-loading so your unit can survive in RNG heaven? That's not going to make the game fun.
I actually don't like cavalry... isn't that ironic.

Jean_mi
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Jean_mi »

I re-load when I recognise I made a mistake. If when the ennemi turn, a key unit or a high level one dies, I re-load then act differently so that these units doesn't die.
I don't re-load and do the same thing just for the "RNG heaven", however, I sometimes do it to escape RNG hell. For example if I use 50 attacks against ennemis with 40% defence and only hit 2 or 3 times while the ennemi hits almost all his attacks against your units with 60% defence, something that usually never happens (but still happens to me because I have such awful luck at this game sometimes :x )

I try to avoid doing it, I don't use it much, I try to protect the units that needs protecting but I still do it time to time.

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KShrike
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by KShrike »

I suppose the difference is:
Learning (making different decisions that turn that you loaded so that your stupid mistakes are corrected)
vs.
Not learning by doing the same move over and over and expecting different results (which you will get in this game), and being frustrated forever because you can't get that perfect roll where that experienced horseman won't die.

Even then, loading a bunch in a corrective fashion won't help you prevent mistakes before they happen.
Anyway, the game is played how you decide it. My words are just food for thought.
I actually don't like cavalry... isn't that ironic.

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pyrophorus
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by pyrophorus »

I don't save/reload very often, quite only when damage calculator tells me I have 97% chance to kill an enemy and the attack fails, or an enemy with one hitpoint left survives three successives attacks, so to speak, to avoid very unprobable events.

Besides this, I cheat creating special units in debug mode. Not particularly powerful, but with a good leadership ability. This allows me to beat more quickly scenarios I get bored with, particularly those where you have to mass recruit and finally win some 50 or 60 turns later. But this is not the topic...
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Jabie
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Jabie »

I generally save-scum through a scenario that I think is too hard, particularly if I'm enjoying a campaign. I see no reason to abandon an enjoyable campaign just because one or two scenarios have set the difficulty bar too high for me. (And please don't tell me to go back three scenarios and build up a better / different army list. That's just another way of saying Tomato Surprise!)

I appreciate that some scenarios are deisgned to grind down your army list. That's fair enough, but there does comes a point when a scenario goes overboard and a little save-loading can save on a lot of future frustration. I agree with the point that another correspondent in this forum made about reloading from the start of the turn and doing things differently. That's often a lot more rewarding and instructive than hunting RNG heaven.

Under the Burning Suns, for instance, is a really good campaign, but, IMO the underground section was too difficult. (And looking through the forum threads, I'm not the only one!) As I had really enjoyed the campaign up until then (and enjoyed it immensely afterwards) I save-loaded through the two nightmare scenarios, so I could enjoy the rest of the campaign.

When I do save-load, I normally make a note of it in the forums, generally with a little feedback on how the scenario might be simplified or what parts of the scenario I struggled with. The designers may or may not agree with my assessment, but if there are a number of people suffering from the same problem, it's almost certainly indicative of an unnecessarily high difficulty spike that needs to be assessed, especially if that problem occurs on the easiest difficulty level. Remember that a scenario can be challenging and enjoyable, but if it is too difficult it stops a player dead they won't see the real cool scenario two stages down the campaign, and a lot of effort will be wasted both on the part of the player and on the part of the designer. Hence it's in everyone's interests to set the difficulty level correctly.

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taptap
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by taptap »

After a bad tomato surprise I actually feel entitled to redo a turn or so though often it is even easier to redo the whole scenario. I am writing plenty of feedback and maybe this has helped in reducing them in some UMC campaigns. If limited surprises were random this would be different, but as is knowledge of the surprise is often necessary.

In some campaigns there might be an unbalanced scenario (or I am too weak to clear it whatever) but actually I usually abandon the campaign instead of trying to luck it out. (e.g. DM when my ally King Haldric died everytime, when I last tried it at least, until recently I stopped IftU and TRoW at scenario 2 or 3 respectively after being unable to clear them on hard which I now either managed or decided to redo on easier difficulty, scenario 3 of Bad Moon Rising is still the same). I do reload however when I sometimes blackout and forget to move the half of my army, yes that does happen.
I am a Saurian Skirmisher: I'm a real pest, especially at night.

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Wesbane
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Wesbane »

Poor players are poor designers. So, no unless I wrote a verbose function and I am testing something.
Crushmaster wrote:Yes.

It's easier, as I'm just playing for fun.
I thought that easier difficulty levels are for that... :oops:
Nightmare I use just to see how far I can go although I commonly use this setting.
KShrike wrote:The subsection "Getting the most fun out of the game"
QFT
Pauline wrote:There are SOOO big differences in the strike power of one and the same unit
that strategies and tactics are ALWAYS beaten by pure luck.
Totally wrong. Victory is not achieved because of luck, gold, income, whatever. But acting smart. Using any available resources on your advantage. That is not only villages and gold but also terrain, abilities, even your own units deaths. Otherwise how it could be possible to defeat enemy on nightmare with three time as much gold as you. With access to high level troops, base income and so on. See AI modification demos add-on to witness this in practice. It is well shown in Pass Defence scenario.

ClimbingEast
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by ClimbingEast »

I save and reload like it's nobody's business. Possibly a hundred times a scenario, in later scenarios.

When I save and reload, it's because I feel the RNG has violated the spirit of the gamerules by making victory untenable despite careful strategic planning.

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Dixie
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Dixie »

You play however you like, sir, but let me make a prediction: you are gonna become pretty bored/pissed with the game relatively soon and are gonna stop playing. It has happened to most (all?) save-loader that I know, myself included. Maybe it won't happen, but you will clearly be the exception. If you wanna keep playing for a long time, you have to change your mind set or playstyle... But then again, don't let me tell you how to enjoy the game, if this makes you happy and fulfilled :)
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Current projects: Internet meme Era, The Settlers of Wesnoth

ClimbingEast
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by ClimbingEast »

Heir to the Throne seems to be balanced such that it stays challenging as you accumulate leveled units and start achieving the early finish bonus. Unfortunately, if an opponent gets one lucky round and lands, say, 6 of 6 attacks combined from their 3 orc warriors during the night, on Delfidor with a 40% chance to hit, the game ends. Someone less clear is what impact it has on the game if you lose your Mage of Light early in the game to such a run of bad luck. Or what happens if you lose your entire screening force, or etc. It may be that you'll be able to finish the scenario just fine, but having lost that particular unit or units you'll no longer be in a position to finish the campaign.

I don't save and reload to try to find the one path through the game that assures me victory despite poor planning or reckless decision making, but I expect a certain degree of 'fairness' from the system and when I don't see it, I have absolutely no qualms about reaching over the table and punching the RNG in the face, figuratively speaking. I bravely suffer runs of bad luck that do not in and of themselves put me in a situation where victory is untenable, but any situation where the RNG essentally tells me "Nope! The game ends here for you!" calls for a reload imo.

The best way to sum up my feelings on the issue is this, when the RNG tosses me a bad set of numbers during a campaign playthrough, I feel like I've just been reading a book that had the ending ripped out of it. Thankfully, with save and reload, I can enjoy the rest of the story. :)

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Captain_Wrathbow
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by Captain_Wrathbow »

ClimbingEast wrote:if an opponent gets one lucky round and lands, say, 6 of 6 attacks combined from their 3 orc warriors during the night, on Delfidor with a 40% chance to hit, the game ends
:shock:
You should not have Delfador in such a place that he is vulnerable to be attacked by 3 orcish warriors in one turn, let alone at night! :augh:

Part of the strategy of the game is to expect the worst, and be prepared for streaks of bad luck. Always have a backup plan in case the unimaginable happens, and never have yourself in such a position that you are reliant on "decent" odds for your strategy to work out.

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8680
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Re: Do you save and reload? If so, why?

Post by 8680 »

Back when I played Wesnoth, I never save/loaded. Instead I made my units invincible with :debug. Much less tedious.

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