Saving and restarting the game

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

Moderator: Staff

Are you satisfied with the save/restart features listed in the original post?

Strongly satisfied
1
25%
Satisfied
1
25%
Indifferent
1
25%
Dissatisfied
1
25%
Strongly dissatisfied
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 4
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8662
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Saving and restarting the game

Postby Roots » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:17 pm

There's been some disagreements lately regarding saving/restarting abilities in the game. Thus, I suppose we need to revisit this issue so that everyone is satisfied. For reference, the previous discussion was in this thread, and also here (although that thread is in the staff-only section of the forums.

Here is what (I thought) we agreed to do as a result of our previous discussions:

    1. The player can save the game from nearly any location on any map that they wish to do so. There will be some occasional restrictions, like a cave in or some other type of event.

    2. When the player loads their saved game, they don't start out from the point where they saved, but rather the last "save area" that they stopped at. The game automatically notes when a player has arrived at a save area (like a town, or a mid-way point in a dungeon) and informs the player.

    3. If the player loses a battle, they can "retry/restart" it a limited number of times (2-4 times).

    4. The rewards in XP, drunes (money), etc. are significantly cut depending on how many times the player had to retry the battle to win it. Every time the player chooses to restart a battle, the game informs them of the penalty incurred for this particular restart.



The major gripes I am hearing lately are mostly about the battle restart feature. I'm hearing arguments that a "flee" ability will negate the necessity for restarting battles. I disagree with this because you can not (IMO) flee from all battles, such as important scripted battles and boss battles. If you lose those battles, then you have to re-load the game all the way back at your last save area and fight your way to the boss again. This is annoying as hell, especially if it is a particularly challenging boss. With the restart feature, the player gets to have a choice. "Do I want to restart at the save area and make my way to this boss again, or do I want to take a penalty so that I can take him on again right now?". Without the restart feature, the player doesn't get a choice; they get sent back to the last save area.


Now lets finish off this discussion once and for all. If you have a problem with anything I stated in that list of four items, tell us why. I started a poll too so you can state your approval/disapproval/indifference of the list . (Non-staff members are welcome to vote as well, just to make that clear).
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:25 pm

You need to adjust the poll. Since the battle restart feature seems to be where the most disagreement occurs, you should single that feature out for a poll, rather than lump it in with the rest. By itself, I strongly disagree, but with the others I'm slightly more agreeable.
User avatar
MindFlayer
Developer
Posts: 688
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:55 pm
Location: Kuopio / Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Re: Saving and restarting the game

Postby MindFlayer » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:39 pm

Roots wrote:The major gripes I am hearing lately are mostly about the battle restart feature. I'm hearing arguments that a "flee" ability will negate the necessity for restarting battles. I disagree with this because you can not (IMO) flee from all battles, such as important scripted battles and boss battles. If you lose those battles, then you have to re-load the game all the way back at your last save area and fight your way to the boss again. This is annoying as hell, especially if it is a particularly challenging boss. With the restart feature, the player gets to have a choice. "Do I want to restart at the save area and make my way to this boss again, or do I want to take a penalty so that I can take him on again right now?". Without the restart feature, the player doesn't get a choice; they get sent back to the last save area.


I sorta agree. If the player can't flee from bosses (which makes sense if it's a really critical situation), then there's really no way other than your suggestion. I too hate the idea of either 1) walking a long way just to get back to the boss or 2) constant "save-gameing" everywhere near the big bosses...

satisfied (for now). :heh:
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8662
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby Roots » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:55 pm

ChopperDave wrote:You need to adjust the poll. Since the battle restart feature seems to be where the most disagreement occurs, you should single that feature out for a poll, rather than lump it in with the rest. By itself, I strongly disagree, but with the others I'm slightly more agreeable.


The restart battle feature exists because of the way the rest of the save system works (ie, no placing save points right before a boss). Rather than single out a single feature, its best to discuss the whole save/restart system as a whole because each part compliments each other.


Anyway, care to tell us why you are so against battle restart? The only reason I've heard from you was because the player can just flee the battle, but I've already pointed out my thoughts regarding flee/restart working together.
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:05 pm

Alright, so I've been giving it some thought. While I do agree that there needs to be a way for them to re-try without having to trek through the dungeon again, I don't think immediately restarting the battle is the best choice for one major reason:

If they lost the battle the first time, how are they supposed to win with less items?

It baffles me, because if they do win the second time, then they must have no clue how to play an RPG (which I doubt). Now let's assume that's not the case. Let's say the boss is weak to fire, and they have no fire weapons. How is retrying supposed to help? They'll just lose again. Their only choice is to reload the game.

Now this is where my proposed solution comes in. Roots, I know you said before you didn't like the idea of having a save point outside the boss room, but honestly, it's no different then what you're suggesting, but it has some added advantages for the player.

Let's say the player wants to retry to boss. So we respawn him outside the boss room with a penalty (all his items are lost, and maybe he loses some money). Now, if he wants to try fighting him again immediately, he walks one step to the right and there he goes. BUT, if he decides he's not prepared, he can walk back to town or just hang around and fight more enemies. The advantage to this is that he can get better prepared without losing any XP he's gained along the way.

The current idea of battle restart only really works if the player could've won, but lost because he goofed somewhere. If this is the case, then he'd rather just reload and try again with all his items back. So I don't see any advantage to that method.

Now, as far as story-related battles go, we shouldn't need any kind of restart feature simply because they aren't supposed to be difficult. The point of story battles is to enrich the story, not challenge the player. I cannot think of a single RPG where I fought a story-related, non-boss battle and was challenged (apart form the ones you were supposed to lose). So the feature isn't really necessary for this type of battle.

So there's my rant. I am amenable to the restart feature -- I won't rule it out completely. But in its current form it's more a novelty than a useful tool.
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8662
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby Roots » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:37 pm

ChopperDave wrote:Alright, so I've been giving it some thought. While I do agree that there needs to be a way for them to re-try without having to trek through the dungeon again, I don't think immediately restarting the battle is the best choice for one major reason:

If they lost the battle the first time, how are they supposed to win with less items?

It baffles me, because if they do win the second time, then they must have no clue how to play an RPG (which I doubt). Now let's assume that's not the case. Let's say the boss is weak to fire, and they have no fire weapons. How is retrying supposed to help? They'll just lose again. Their only choice is to reload the game.


There is a critical flaw in your argument. You are assuming that items are the key to victory/defeat. Sure, in what we've released to date healing potions are pretty much the key to winning a battle. But we're going to have healing skills (soon), so maybe the player just made the understandable mistake of not conserving the SP of their characters enough and they weren't able to cast that critical healing spell when it was needed. As for having fire weapons or whatever equipment; if having the correct set of equipment is absolutely necessary to win a boss battle, then we have failed as game designers. If there's only one path to victory in ANY battle, we have failed. Remember, Allacrost aims to be a strategic game.

Therefore, I deny your two claims on that basis.

ChopperDave wrote:Now this is where my proposed solution comes in....


As for your suggestion, I do not think its a bad one. But I think it makes the game too easy. Basically, you could never lose. All you have to do is claim you want to restart the battle, lose some items/whatever, and you can merrily make your way back to a safe location. Your solution essentially allows infinte battle restarts, unless the restart penalty is so severe that the player can only use it a couple times until they are out of penalties (items/drunes) to surrender hence can no longer restart. And if the penalty is that enormous, the player isn't likely to want to use it in the first place. Especially if the player loses all their items: that's an ENORMOUS penalty and no sane player would do that: so no one would ever use this feature.

Not to mention if we have some scripted scene before a boss battle, how do we make things "flow" naturally if the player loses and returns to the map? It would be kind of weird IMHO. I honestly don't see much advantage of your restart scheme over the originally proposed one. The only difference is you send the player back to the map so they can run away and you take a different type of penalty than the other system.

ChopperDave wrote:So there's my rant. I am amenable to the restart feature -- I won't rule it out completely. But in its current form it's more a novelty than a useful tool.


I completely disagree that battle restart is not useful. If used in the current demo: yes it won't be very useful since the player doesn't get their used healing potions back. But remember we're going to have Laila around to fight too, and (I'm assuming) we'll give her a healing skill to use.
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:22 am

Your solution essentially allows infinte battle restarts


As does yours.

so maybe the player just made the understandable mistake of not conserving the SP of their characters enough and they weren't able to cast that critical healing spell when it was needed


Fine. With my method, that still works. Take two steps into the boss room and there you go.

As for having fire weapons or whatever equipment; if having the correct set of equipment is absolutely necessary to win a boss battle, then we have failed as game designers.


That was just a random idea of mine. What if they're under-leveled? There's no way they can possibly know how prepared they are for the boss without fighting him, so I'd rather not screw them over by placing them in an infinite battle loop they can't possibly win.

There is a critical flaw in your argument. You are assuming that items are the key to victory/defeat


If you are ever in danger of losing a battle, items always factor in. So in a bizarre kind of logic, they actually are key to victory/defeat.

If there's only one path to victory in ANY battle, we have failed


Oh hey! We agree on something!

Basically, you could never lose. All you have to do is claim you want to restart the battle, lose some items/whatever, and you can merrily make your way back to a safe location


To a point. Eventually they'll lose so many items/whatever that they won't even be able to survive the trip back to town. Or even if they still can, they've lost so much that the penalty is wasting time restocking/leveling up, which to me is a much more palatable penalty then just flat out saying reload. They still have the reload option if they so choose. I just want to give them that option if they want it.
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8662
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby Roots » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:40 am

ChopperDave wrote:
Your solution essentially allows infinte battle restarts


As does yours.


No, it does not. I stated in the original post that only 2-4 restarts would be allowed before its automatic game over. Yours has no way of keeping count of restarts since the battle effectively exits (unless we keep the restart info as part of the map, which I won't agree to).


ChopperDave wrote:That was just a random idea of mine. What if they're under-leveled? There's no way they can possibly know how prepared they are for the boss without fighting him, so I'd rather not screw them over by placing them in an infinite battle loop they can't possibly win.


If they're under-leveled they should be wise enough to know that they won't win no matter how many times they restart (ie they hardly scratched their foes before they were defeated). We shouldn't try to make this game idiot-proof; let the idiots be punished for doing things which are un-wise.

ChopperDave wrote:To a point. Eventually they'll lose so many items/whatever that they won't even be able to survive the trip back to town. Or even if they still can, they've lost so much that the penalty is wasting time restocking/leveling up, which to me is a much more palatable penalty then just flat out saying reload. They still have the reload option if they so choose. I just want to give them that option if they want it.


You contradict yourself. You just pointed out that you don't want to let the player screw themselves over by allowing them to restart infinitely, and here you are saying they should be allowed to restart as many times as they like. And they could still make it back to town because they could: A) flee from every battle, or B) if they don't flee in time and are defeated, just restart and they'll be back on the map again, whoopee!! I believe that such a system would only get the players complaining to us that we take too many items from them when they restart and its not even worth restarting. The other system instead reduces what you would earn through victory rather than take away what you already have.
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:44 am

Well, hmmmm........

I don't see us agreeing anytime soon, so methinks the only way to settle this is put it in as originally stated and get community feedback. Unless someone else would like to interject?
User avatar
Rain
Musician
Posts: 1525
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 6:43 am
Location: Granz

Postby Rain » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:40 am

There SHOULD be a penalty for losing in battle. That raises the stakes...yummm stakes.

Anyhoo, the only way to really find out what works and what doesn't is to give it a shot. The feedback that we get from whatever system we implement will help us merrily to come to a decision on what is practical features for saving. We should tailor it on that basis. EVERYTHING works in theory...until it actually gets tested.
'When Zeon lost his powers, he fell to Earth, and created a giant crator where he hit. His moan destroyed the mountains and the crater was buried by the debris.'

(of Zeon)

Image
User avatar
gorzuate
Developer
Posts: 2575
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:03 am
Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Contact:

Postby gorzuate » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:18 pm

Roots wrote:The other system instead reduces what you would earn through victory rather than take away what you already have.


I think this is the key statement. If by restarting a battle all you're doing is reducing the amount of items you can win at the end of the battle, then these items should have no effect on whether or not you can win the battle in the first place, meaning you didn't need them before and during the battle, which means you should be able to restart the battle without them and potentially get through it.
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:44 pm

If by restarting a battle all you're doing is reducing the amount of items you can win at the end of the battle


Uh, no. He meant that whatever you used during battle would stay gone. Restarting would not affect victory items.
User avatar
Roots
Dictator
Posts: 8662
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:07 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby Roots » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:49 pm

ChopperDave wrote:
If by restarting a battle all you're doing is reducing the amount of items you can win at the end of the battle


Uh, no. He meant that whatever you used during battle would stay gone. Restarting would not affect victory items.


I think we should reduce the probability of items dropped for each restart.
Image
User avatar
ChopperDave
Developer
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:07 pm

Postby ChopperDave » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:04 pm

I'd rather leave probabilities of item drops alone and just reduce money and/or XP. It's simpler, and besides, the only items with a decent drop rate are the common items. If they're going for a rare item, the drop rate would be low enough as it is.

Return to “Design”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests