Originally Posted by Rack
The reason why save scumming is a problem is that given the opportunity players will optimise the fun right out of a game. There's no point putting points into conversation skills if players never fail a conversation check because success is just a quick press of F9 away. It's not really a minority most people will end up acting this way when you make reloading to avoid ever suffering consequences too easy.

Ignoring any issues I may have with the article itself (or how it is less applicable for narrative RPGs), its conclusion and advice is basically what Larian is looking to implement.

The premise of the article is that fun is removed due to players doing tedious, repetitive tasks due to their compulsion to optimize. The recommended solve from the article (coloring is mine for emphasis):

If possible, designers should provide the ability to turn an exploit on or off, giving the players control over their worst instincts. For example, most games with save/load functionality can be abused by players to improve their odds; an RPG in which smashing a box produces random loot can be reloaded as many times as necessary until the best possible weapon or armor appears.

If the worry is specifically about save scummers ruining the game for themselves due to tedious reloading, Larian is also planning for this with a loaded die options.

People who want more extreme anti-reload options will have ironman mode, which is basically an industry standard at this point. The only other thing I can think of getting Larian to add, is maybe a "soft ironman mode", where dying doesn't lead to save-deletes (you only get 1 save and need to load from it).

If anything, the article warns us that trying to control the player experience and forcing some sort of exploit-removal doesn't really work. From the article again:

With Civ 3, we introduced a feature that preserved the game’s random seed in the save game file, guaranteeing that individual combats would play out the same way regardless of how many times the player reloaded the game. No longer were players tempted to reload every bad combat result, which could slow the game to a crawl.

However, the community response was not what we anticipated. Although some players appreciated that they were no longer tempted to reload combats, many others were frustrated that one of their old tricks disappeared. Indeed, some angry fans actually felt that the game was cheating on them by always reproducing the same combat result!

We solved this problem by turning this feature into an option on game start. Players who want the chance to reload a particularly unlucky roll can use the old exploit, but the game, by default, discourages this work-intensive strategy. Ultimately, the designer can’t go wrong putting the player in control of his or her own experience.

Last edited by Topgoon; 06/02/21 02:30 AM.