Reply To: No saving in combat?

Avatar photoAlesch

Main argument was that it would interfere with game design, the expendables type mercenary group with the small roguelike element of losing men. Making players who abuse the save miss out on the core concept of the low fantasy dark and bloody world of medieval harsh reality and such. It sure is a considerable part of the game and things will be build upon it later on. The recruits must flow.

While it is true, the opportunity to save and not lose progress is valid aswell. For many and me the current autosave is enought, for others not. Again, everyone choses for themselves. The final word is after Overhype.

Well, the word that I would take issue with there is “abuse”. Having the feature does not force anyone to make use of it; not putting it in at all because some players might somehow “misuse” it, and in so doing appreciate the game less somehow, seems like a very strange decision to make. I made the point my initial post that Player B (the fellow who doesn’t save) has no reasonable reason to be in any way annoyed by Player A (who does save), as the two will never interact. Most people here seem to agree that having some manner of “Save and Exit” option in battle is, at best, ideal, or, at worst, something to be indifferent about. I am personally in favor of having a “Save and Exit” option, and I don’t want people to think that I’m arguing against it in favor of saving all the time, or what have you.

What I’m taking issue with is the reasons that people are putting forward for thinking that “Save and Exit” should be the only acceptable form of in-battle saving. The common argument (yours included) seems to be to maintain some strange sense of “purity”, and that baffles me. The ability to save does not inherently rob the game of any “grittiness” or even necessarily difficulty. I thought I explained in my initial post how many games get around the issue entirely by having a set RNG seed, which prevents a game from recalculating a result if the game is loaded later. A miss, for instance, would always be a miss given the same seed. I don’t know how Battle Brothers does its calculations, and implementing a similar system might be a significant workload, but without knowing that saving a seed (and I really wish I knew the accepted Computer Science term for what I’m trying to describe) within the save file would be unfeasible, I don’t think it’s fair to say that save-scumming is an issue at all.

I really don’t think that the theme of the game is as threatened by an in-battle save as people seem to be worried it might be.

Oh well. To be honest I didn’t quiet read everything. It’s a wall of ranting and your comparisons with pizza and games I’ve frankly never heard about (and I probably wouldn’t care about) is tiresome.

Giving the player the option to reload and redo every little action would give people the wrong impression of what this game actually tries to achieve: being a medieval XCOM.
People should not believe that save-scumming is encouraged, nor a normal part of the game.

I wouldn’t consider a thousand words to be all that long, and I did try to avoid ranting. The games that I mentioned are the basis for the word “save scumming”, and I did not compare the game to pizza, but rather used pizza to illustrate income. Think of it as an impromptu lesson in basic economics, as written for kindergartners.

To summarize my point, as it relates to what you wrote in your post, no player, playing a single player game, has any reasonable right to declare the way that another player might play as being invalid, immoral, or even lesser in any way. The notion that save-scumming is somehow immoral or wrong is strange. It’s a reaction that players have to design decisions that they disagree with. It may be a subversion of the designer’s vision, but art is found in those who interact with it more than those who create it, just ask poor Ray Bradbury. Without getting to heavily into any kind of philosophical discussion, when people talk about the thematic ways that the game is threatened by the introduction of saving in-battle, I can only take that to mean in terms of “artistic purity”. That confuses me a bit, because art does not necessarily work that way. This, for instance, is one argument against that notion.

I would turn the argument back towards you, I haven’t heard a good argument that supports a battle save. The argument for it seems utterly alien to me. The “freedom of choice” argument I believe is valid, but not strong enough to influence a design decision in my opinion. It adds so little that it isn’t worth the trade off, which would be a reduction in the danger element that pairs nicely with the dark themes of the game. Having said – Would it ruin the game for me if a battle save was included? No.

I thought I made some decent points beyond simply freedom of choice. I would argue that the implementation of an in-battle save would increase the game’s broader market appeal, but I couched it in an analogy that wasn’t worded as clearly as it should have been I suppose. Increased potential revenue should theoretically be attractive for any company, I should think. It wouldn’t even necessarily compromise the game’s appeal to “hardcore gamers”, since the implementation of an Iron Man mode (which seems pretty universally desired) would keep everyone happy with a single save, in battle or otherwise. Allowing people to save outside of battle can really only make the game accessible to more people, and thus provide Overhype with more potential customers (or pizza, in my analogy). I also seem to have, not a different opinion on whether or not games are art, but a different opinion about the nature of art from the majority of the forums (and to be fair, possibly from the majority of people in general).

I’d also like to restate that I am, personally, in favor of a “Save on Exit” solution. I just don’t think that the arguments leveled against saving whenever you want are being made for the right reasons. I still can’t say that I am convinced, but I will admit that your opinion is valid. I think we are mostly disagreeing about the impact that in-battle saving will have on the strength of the game’s theme, or at least on the value of the feature when compared to the thematic reinforcement that’s lost.

t’s the idea of maintaining the weight of actions by removing the ability to undo them, in a game where consequences are a major source of tension and enjoyment for the player. Many things you can say about saving at will, you can say about being able to redo perks, or re-rolling levels, or undoing character death. It’s a single-player game, so who cares? The point is that once you start undermining these kind of fundamental design elements the player eventually stops caring about the game and stops having fun. It’s like how I can win any chess game by just smacking his king off the board, but that wouldn’t be according to the arbitrary rules we set and therefore be pretty boring. Another example is how in this game hitting in combat is satisfying because you can miss, it wouldn’t be exciting if you always hit.

I think you’re missing the point about the single-player nature of the game, or at least the comparison with chess isn’t quite right. Chess, after all, requires two players. Player A knocking over Player B’s king and declaring him or herself the winner would certainly impact Player B’s enjoyment of the game there. I think I understand what you’re trying to get across though, but I would still disagree. While many of the arguments for saving whenever you want (which, again, isn’t necessarily the argument that I am making) can be made for “redoing perks, re-rolling levels, or undoing character death”, not all of them can. While missteps in those areas can be detrimental to a player, none of them punish a player for needing to set the game aside at any given moment. Stating that a player will eventually stop caring about the game because of any specific design choice is a bit presumptuous. I could, after all, say with equal validity that a player might, as a result of being unable to save their game, be forced to lose progress and as a result of that lose interest in the game and stop having fun.

The discussion is not about redoing perks, re-rolling levels, undoing character deaths, or anything else that would strip the RNG of any authority, or the player of accountability. The argument, at least the one that I’m trying to make, is about the value of being able to save the game in battle. Saving the game at the beginning of each turn, and loading whenever things don’t go your way is not my intention, but at the same time I would say that a player who finds enjoyment in doing so should not be barred from doing so simply because you disagree with how the game should be enjoyed.

I’d also have to wonder exactly how “fundamental” any of these decisions are. As best as I can tell, the only truly fundamental aspects of Battle Brothers, right now, are that Medieval Fantasy Men fight Other Medieval Fantasy Men and Monsters. Fundamental, after all, means something that “forms a base or necessary core”, and I’m not sure that the description applies to the inability to save in battle.

If the weight of consequences is of such central and inalienable importance to the game as a whole, then I think the solution lies less with how and when you can save, but rather how and when you can load. While it might upset some people, loading from the main menu is enough of a delay to be inconvenient (and so slightly discourage repeat and rapid reloading) without entirely barring the possibility of resuming a game from mid battle.

In the thread about character customization I suggested tying Steam achievements to an Iron Man mode. Whether or not that happens, I do think that an Iron Man mode might be the best chance to make the greatest number of people happy with Battle Brothers.