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Hi guys,

I read many posts saying that devs should care about save scumming and avoid it at all costs.
I really don't understand and reading articles about it doesn't really help.

According to me save scumming is just a way of "cheating" to write the story we want.

I'm not the biggest save scummer (?) but sometimes I'm doing it. In exemple when playing games like XCOM or The Darkest Dungeon because I don't want my high level character dead.
I also do it sometimes in RPGs when the event takes a path I don't like.
In BG1/2 I also do it sometimes if one character is perma dead, or if 5 characters out of 6 die in battle.
I just reload and do it again.
In Total War I'm ALWAYS saving before any battle and I reload the auto save before each turns A LOT.

I guess that's what's call save scumming.

I could also do it in BG3 in exemple if I miss a roll that leads to a combat when I was planning a pacific solution.

Anyway I understand that sometimes I'm not really playing the game like devs expect me to play it. I don't always accept the consequences they planned for specific situations, so I'm "cheating".

And what ? Why is that a problem ?

Sometimes I just force me not to save scum to have a different expérience and that's fine too. It's just another way of playing.

Without save scumming I'm playing the game like the devs expect me to play with all its (sometimes, especially in BG3, unexpected) consequences.

With save scumming, I'm driven by the devs but I'm writing the story I want to write.

What should be wrong with this ?
Why couldn't I choose ?

I read some people saying "don't use backstab if you don't like it", but the game is extremely hard/impossible if you don't backstab. This "don't do it if you don't like it" have real and huge consequences on the experience.

But I don't understand why the "don't do it if you don't like it" should have negative consequences on everyone's experience. It looks to me like a complete matter of choice... The choice to assume consequences or the choice to write the "exact" story you want to write.

Why should devs limit our experience to their expected path ? Because a few of us can't avoid save scumming if it's possible ?

So here's the question...
Can you explain me why devs should care about save scumming ?

PS : as usual, I'll probably edit my message a lot. EN is not my native language so I'm usually reading again and again what I wrote to correct a few things. But you get the idea.

Last edited by Maximuuus; 02/02/21 10:26 AM.
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Is it even "Save Scumming" if the game has Quicksave/Quickload as a feature? Or even a manual save option rather than using set checkpoints like some games do. It is technically a game feature and part of the mechanics.

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I don’t have a problem with save scumming. It’s optional. And I can understand finding the dice rolling mechanic frustrating. If it would make hardcore players happy they can include some sort of Ironman mode that prevents quick loading.


“But his mind saw nothing of all this. His mind was engaged in a warfare of the gods. His mind paced outwards over no-man's-land, over the fields of the slain, paced to the rhythm of the blood's red bugles. To be alone and evil! To be a god at bay. What was more absolute?”
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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Hi guys,

I read many posts saying that devs should care about save scumming and avoid it at all costs.
I really don't understand and reading articles about it doesn't really help.

According to me save scumming is just a way of "cheating" to write the story we want.

I'm not the biggest save scummer (?) but sometimes I'm doing it. In exemple when playing games like XCOM or The Darkest Dungeon because I don't want my high level character dead.
I also do it sometimes in RPGs when the event takes a path I don't like.
In BG1/2 I also do it sometimes if one character is perma dead, or if 5 characters out of 6 die in battle.
I just reload and do it again.
In Total War I'm ALWAYS saving before any battle and I reload the auto save before each turns A LOT.

I guess that's what's call save scumming.

I could also do it in BG3 in exemple if I miss a roll that leads to a combat when I was planning a pacific solution.

Anyway I understand that sometimes I'm not really playing the game like devs expect me to play it. I don't always accept the consequences they planned for specific situations, so I'm "cheating".

And what ? Why is that a problem ?

Sometimes I just force me not to save scum to have a different expérience and that's fine too. It's just another way of playing.

Without save scumming I'm playing the game like the devs expect me to play with all its (sometimes, especially in BG3, unexpected) consequences.

With save scumming, I'm driven by the devs but I'm writing the story I want to write.

What should be wrong with this ?
Why couldn't I choose ?

I read some people saying "don't use backstab if you don't like it", but the game is extremely hard/impossible if you don't backstab. This "don't do it if you don't like it" have real and huge consequences on the experience.

But I don't understand why the "don't do it if you don't like it" should have negative consequences on everyone's experience. It looks to me like a complete matter of choice... The choice to assume consequences or the choice to write the "exact" story you want to write.

Why should devs limit our experience to their expected path ? Because a few of us can't avoid save scumming if it's possible ?

So here's the question...
Can you explain me why devs should care about save scumming ?

PS : as usual, I'll probably edit my message a lot. EN is not my native language so I'm usually reading again and again what I wrote to correct a few things. But you get the idea.
I have not been in the forums long, but I have already noticed exactly same thing. I think I have even seen posts where game mechanics decissions have to take account "save scumming". I believe latestest I saw was claim that HP and AC changes are somehow related to save scumming. I am totally baffled by this. I do not have slightest idea why any decission regarding HP of enemies or their ACs are any way related to save scumming.

Great post!


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Let us free to savescum and give us an ironman for those against it.

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Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
Is it even "Save Scumming" if the game has Quicksave/Quickload as a feature? Or even a manual save option rather than using set checkpoints like some games do. It is technically a game feature and part of the mechanics.

Yes, it's still save a cunning, and I'm in apologetic savescummer. If you weren't supposed to fail things every now and then then the developers wouldn't make failure an option in the first place.


Originally Posted by Wabash
Let us free to savescum and give us an ironman for those against it.

This is what they should do. I understand the want to not be able to be tempted to davescum for those who doesn't like it. The mere availability of frequently loading saves affects how pressured you feel about doing it or how satisfactory you feel about not doing it. Out of sight, out of mind. An optional ironman-ish setting solves the issue to both parties favour.


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Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Hi guys,



I read some people saying "don't use backstab if you don't like it", but the game is extremely hard/impossible if you don't backstab. This "don't do it if you don't like it" have real and huge consequences on the experience.

.

I disagree on this point. I am a casual player that in all games chooses the "easy" difficult option, I am no strategist, I got easily annoied by difficult battles, and I never use backstab. Once I learned the mechanics of the game and found the way to overpower my toons before the boss battles, I had no difficulties in my playthrough, but even in my first playthrough I found some difficulties in advancing but in the end I was able to end the first chapter without too much effort (obviously I had my full of missteps like adventuring in the Underdark when my party was level two, or trying to fight ordes of goblins instead of eliminate them one little group at the time or frontally engaging the owlbear mother and so on.. ..) and again I didn't use backstab.

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Save scumming is an interesting topic. It is definitely not always bad and it is definitely not always good.

Take for example combat in Fire Emblem. Some players will always save scum to get hyper stats for characters, so for Fire Emblem: three houses all your level ups are determined when battle starts. So that the player will have to consider "Do I risk repeating this battle?" The devs also made fishing for better stats unneeded as battalions are a chunk of stats late-game.
  • It's an example of save scumming that players found fun, but the developers didn't like. The developers didn't want players to make all difficulties easy for themselves, so measures were put into place for the player to avoid save scumming.

Another Fire Emblem example. Permadeath keeps combat engaging, I wouldn't want to play without it. But I have friends who would always restart combat if a player died. So now we have a rewind feature and the option to turn off permadeath.
  • This was done for the players and Fire Emblem has gone on to grow a larger fan base. The changes embraced player choice and avoided save scumming, making the game a better experience overall. I definitely enjoy the rewind feature even while playing with permadeath.


In Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 players would save good stat rolls and keep re-rolling. The players who wanted to start the game with a juggernaut main character got the choice to.
  • It was save scumming players enjoyed, it was a choice that would impact the whole game so incentives are high to do that in both games. It's probably why Larian is avoiding rolling for stats.


For Baldur's Gate 3 it makes sense for dialogue DC checks. Some are currently just bogus requiring multiple DCs in a row, giving the player a re-roll is nice but it is not clear why I have it in some situations and not others. It doesn't take that long to reload the saves before a conversation, but I believe Larian would like players to not be experiencing a game where they feel they have to save before every conversation. Larian also probably wants players to experience all dialogue options.
(To avoid save scumming, reduce the dialogues with multiple DC checks.) wink

Originally Posted by Cirrus550
I believe latestest I saw was claim that HP and AC changes are somehow related to save scumming. I am totally baffled by this. I do not have slightest idea why any decission regarding HP of enemies or their ACs are any way related to save scumming.
The whole idea that players can't handle a few misses is baffling to me. That's like saying fans in the NFL can't handle an incomplete pass, all most fans remember is who won and who lost. Fans will even forget fumbles and interceptions if their team wins. (Maybe it's because an incomplete pass isn't always an incomplete pass, the chance for an interception is exciting).

HP-bloat does have the benefit of ensuring combat won't take too long, so it's not just about avoid save scumming at least.

Last edited by DragonSnooz; 02/02/21 01:41 PM.
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I agree with the thread starter. I don't see a big problem with save summing. I use it sometimes for role-playing purposes, to get an outcome in line with the character I play. That can also be the case, when I want to botch a roll and did get lucky.


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Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
HP-bloat does have the benefit of ensuring combat won't take too long, so it's not just about avoid save scumming at least.

Well, HP-bloat makes combat last longer and drags it out, really. As the only thing that it accomplishes is that you have a chance to hit more, but that is off-set by the fact that everything takes more hits to go down. And you still can miss. Not only that, spells lose some Oomph. Control spells like sleep and colour spray affect less enemies and damage spells make less of an impact. You need more spells to take down an enemy generally. The HP-bloat is one of the reasons combat is such a slog to go through right now.

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You can't completely remove save scumming, but you can minimize it. The idea is to keep the flow and pace going without stopping to reload. By reloading you are stopping the story, breaking immersion to mechanically alter something. Many people complain about immersion, so maybe the devs want you to remain in the moment instead of reloading. Like a badge of honor that the game is immersive enough that you don't want to waste time reloading.

Just a theory though.

Personally i'm grateful that they are trying to minimize reloading from "unwanted" results from a game heavily based on chance. I've seen people spend so much time reloading that its kind of sad honestly. The reasons vary though. Sometimes people pick something to hard but are too proud to tone it down. Other times its to succeed at something that made them feel bad.

If I was a dev I wouldn't want people to get hung up on anything and just enjoy themselves. Challenging should be something difficult that you can overcome with skill in real time. If you have to die to learn then, as a dev, you have to choose what to do. Appeal to masochism or casual. If its story then do you want to waste time making scenes fail if everyone will just reload anyway?

All speculation of course. I don't know definitively.

Last edited by Aishaddai; 02/02/21 03:22 PM.
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People will save scum no matter what. I'm a chronic savescummer because as others have said, sometimes I want a specific outcome that I failed to properly put into motion. This includes choice games like Heavy Rain and games with more combat where I meticulously snipe every enemy I encounter, reloading if I get caught before I'm done. It does depend on the game to what extent I will save scum - sometimes I am literally fighting with game mechanics, other times I just want what I want.

I do think devs should have "heatmaps" of where players savescum often. The one change Larian did so far due to a lot of savescum data is in the initial Kagha scene.
First time I played prior to patch 3, I didn't think you could save the child at all!
. I think this change added something to the game, especially if they elaborate on Kagha's characterization in particular. While devs certainly do not need to make any changes based on savescum data, and accept that things are working as intended, the data can let them know that there aren't enough options for particular routes that a good number of players want to take. And making changes based on that, with respect to maintaining their artistic vision, can make the game better and reveal much of the game as properly intended.

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Originally Posted by TheFoxWhisperer
Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
HP-bloat does have the benefit of ensuring combat won't take too long, so it's not just about avoid save scumming at least.

Well, HP-bloat makes combat last longer and drags it out, really. As the only thing that it accomplishes is that you have a chance to hit more, but that is off-set by the fact that everything takes more hits to go down. And you still can miss. Not only that, spells lose some Oomph. Control spells like sleep and colour spray affect less enemies and damage spells make less of an impact. You need more spells to take down an enemy generally. The HP-bloat is one of the reasons combat is such a slog to go through right now.

There actually is a thread in here where someone did simulations and found that the HP-bloat would make combat take the expected number of turns more often. (A more centralized distribution). So the trade offs are: The player loses the chance to end combat quickly, but gains the chance that combat will take the expected number of turns more consistently.

[Edit] Links are nice, so here is a link [/Edit]
Larian clearly did the math to ensure that over 20 hours in the game, the player should have spent the same expected amount of time in combat.

On spells
  • Just as most spells lose their oomph so do sword swings and arrow shots.
  • I've mentioned in other threads, HP Bloat through -AC +HP does hurt spells reliant on spell save DC. And something should be done about that.
  • Control Spells should have been adjusted as well. The HP gains for losing 1AC should be close to 5%, so Control spells should have gained a bump as well.

Sleep in 5e the HP pool is derived by rolling 5d8 at level 1. 24 HP (BG3 level 1) is close to the expected roll (22.5). So sleep got the expected pool + ~10%
We'd have to make a table of average enemy adjustment (-AC and +HP%) to find out if sleep is nerfed or not.

(Assuming some variant of HP bloat remains in the game). Personally I would like to get the upside sleep has in 5e, in Baldur's Gate 3. Something like 3d8+16 at level 1 would be more exciting. In the current game meta sleep feels very lackluster and could use a buff.

Last edited by DragonSnooz; 02/02/21 03:35 PM.
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Originally Posted by Wabash
Let us free to savescum and give us an ironman for those against it.

Yup. It has no effect upon the experience of other players.

I do agree with some others who have chimed in that said devs should re-evaluate points where players tend to save scum often. It’s a sign that particular encounter or event needs to be refined.

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I think that devs should provide both playstyles. If people want to savescum, they should be able to, and if they don't, there could easily be a toggle of some kind.
I've never understood the gatekeeping surrounding savescumming. Why are people so concerned with how other choose to play a game?

Personally, I thoroughly enjoying dealing with the consequences of my actions and running into bad luck that's out of my control sometimes, as long as the systems in place are fleshed out and fair.
If someone else wants that "perfect playthrough" where everything goes their way and they're willing to reload until it works out for them, more power to them.

It's all on the player to decide to play the game how they choose to, and it's weird to try to tout yourself as a "purist" in a situation that's related to video games.


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Why not? If players roll to succeed every time, there's no challenge. Or that's what I would assume that is in BG3 but not predecessors. In previous games, the dice were not a factor for diplomacy checks, etc.

Now as for what I've done? I absolutely had to pass the Owlbear animal handling. I'm trained in it so the 18+ check irritated me. I also wanted to see what would happen if I passed animal handling with the chicken and dexterity check for the ring. Basically, I reload if I fail something that I see to be easy (must roll a 2 and I roll a 1 by the will of the evil gods), or if I die. Dying isn't something I can get over lol.

I also got rejected for advances from a party member and I was a little irritated lol. So I may reload if that conversation went FUBAR.

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I can't fathom someone wanting save scumming disabled. In a table top game you have a GM who is guiding the experience. If you have one player that constantly rolls ones, it becomes a running joke and the GM adapts the experience to make that player have a blast while rolling abysmally. The game systems in BG3 don't care about the feelings of the player rolling 1 every time. They'll just bend that player over the table and have it's way with them. when the failure for rolling is no options in role-playing and no success in combat, what is left? Starting over from where they last saved, which is essentially a forced save scum.

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Chances they prevent save scumming approach 0%.

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Originally Posted by Bufotenina
Originally Posted by Maximuuus
Hi guys,

I read some people saying "don't use backstab if you don't like it", but the game is extremely hard/impossible if you don't backstab. This "don't do it if you don't like it" have real and huge consequences on the experience.

.

I disagree on this point. I am a casual player that in all games chooses the "easy" difficult option, I am no strategist, I got easily annoied by difficult battles, and I never use backstab. Once I learned the mechanics of the game and found the way to overpower my toons before the boss battles, I had no difficulties in my playthrough, but even in my first playthrough I found some difficulties in advancing but in the end I was able to end the first chapter without too much effort (obviously I had my full of missteps like adventuring in the Underdark when my party was level two, or trying to fight ordes of goblins instead of eliminate them one little group at the time or frontally engaging the owlbear mother and so on.. ..) and again I didn't use backstab.

All right but then you're using something else.
That's not really important but you get the idea : save scumming doesn't impact the experience of everyone, only those who choose to use it.

Originally Posted by DragonSnooz
The whole idea that players can't handle a few misses is baffling to me. That's like saying fans in the NFL can't handle an incomplete pass, all most fans remember is who won and who lost. Fans will even forget fumbles and interceptions if their team wins. (Maybe it's because an incomplete pass isn't always an incomplete pass, the chance for an interception is exciting).

HP-bloat does have the benefit of ensuring combat won't take too long, so it's not just about avoid save scumming at least.

The big difference is that playing a solo video game is not a competition...
As your friends, I also restart a battle when a single character die in FE : Three houses^^

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I really don't care if people save scum in a single player game, it doesn't affect me. They aren't trying to force it on us as a game mechanic, it is only a matter of player preference. Only time I do it is if an outcome is bugged or makes no sense, otherwise I prefer to keep playing even if something I don't like happens. All they need to do is have an option for people to turn it off if they want.

I think in EA there is a lot more of this since people are trying to see different outcomes, once released there will be less of it. They should take this into account with balancing some things that may not need balancing.

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