Save Points

Having died far too many times through “a moment of carelessness”, I'd really like to see some sort of “savepoint” facility come into crawl. It doesn't have to be unlimited-use, but there should be some way to restart games from an earlier, saved, point. A couple of ideas:

  • Altars to your god… after all, folks have long looked to their gods for salvation! ;-)
  • * If you save in Pan or the Abyss, you get restored to a fresh level of the same region.
  • * Demigods can save to any altar… once apiece.
  • * Optional: each altar maintains a separate savegame.
  • Make save points like portals, with most appearing erratically and/or with timeouts.
  • Make saving a consumable item? It would pretty much have to be a scroll or wand….
  • If you really want to be harsh, you could make the runes the savepoints!

mental_mouse 2010-12-01 03:35

Something similar to this has been proposed before; read all the discussion in 1206. I, of course, detest this idea, and hope it dies quickly. If you really want to savescum, do it yourself: copy your savefile, say, every time you accomplish one of those goals, and put it back in its place when you die. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-01 04:29
Play Felids. :) — jpeg 2010-12-01 11:48
I'm still playing 7.1… but the thing is, felids seem to be yet another way of dancing around the same problem, and early reports suggest they're not terribly balanced in their own right. Why not give in and allow for limited-use savepoints, for those of us who aren't always focused for hours of playtime! — mental_mouse 2010-12-05 21:34
On saving to avoid requirement of focusing for hours of playtime, you do realize there's a save and quit feature, right? Save and quit saves your game and quits it, so for fair play you shouldn't be restoring any more than once. Saving and quitting is also an important step in save scumming. — mrmistermonkey 2010-12-05 23:03
Still hours of playtime, just split up. And I suppose you have the self-awareness to quit before you get tired, every time, and the leisure to play the game without worrying about any distractions… and hey, if the character you've been advancing for 10 hours of playtime gets knocked off, no biggie, just start again at the beginning! Some of us would like to be able to salvage some progress from a death. Notice, I'm not talking here about “save every time you get a cool randart” – indeed, I've suggested several ways the use of savepoints could be limited. Your only response has been to call it “savescumming” and snark “you do realize there's a save and quit feature”. The single-game pattern of roguelikes dates back to when rogue and nethack were running on shared machines, and my account had a whole megabyte of storage. There's no reason a modern game can't allow for some degree of mercy. — mental_mouse 2010-12-06 01:00
I have bought, with real money, RPGs that I have sunk far fewer hours into than Crawl or Nethack. The top three non-RL RPGs put together probably constitute less time than either one on its own. The reason is simple: Too much saving and too much free progress. In a roguelike, the only thing that makes you closer to beating the game is gaining skill in and knowledge about the game. There is one and exactly one way to accomplish this, and that is by not letting you take back your mistakes. This is not just a trait of the game, it is a core design principle.
I'll admit that adding, say, two saves over the life of the character and letting you only load each a second time wouldn't utterly destroy this principle. But it would strain against it, weaken it greatly, and be both unintuitive and aggravating. It would certainly not be satisfying to the people who want saves, like you, and would probably drive people like me up the wall trying to decide when to use them. What would be satisfying to you would be save points that are “limited” loosely enough to destroy the “no takebacks” nature of the game, added in on top of the existing characters (it's a different matter when it's effectively treated like a class feature of the new Felid race, and very strictly limited). — brickman 2010-12-06 02:07
Sorry, I beg to differ. The thing is, a lot of people forked over real money for Diablo and the like, even with savepoints. More, this “design principle” hasn't been adopted anywhere else – indeed, many large games these days effectively have savepoints for each level or stage. Sorry, “No savepoints, ever, and if you want one you're a savescummer” is not a design principle, it's a legacy tradition: “Roguelikes don't do that! Never have, never will, and any game that does isn't a real roguelike anyway.”
And yes, your crippled version would indeed be frustrating and unsatisfying for all concerned – but not because it's breaking any principle! It would be “unintuitive and aggravating” because you-as-designer are giving with one hand and taking with the other. “OK, fine! You can have your savepoint! But you can only restore from it once! What? Well, maybe I could let you have two of those points. But that's all, and only one restore apiece, mind you!” — mental_mouse 2010-12-06 17:08
Will not come. Btw Mental Mouse, “the self-awareness to quit before you get tired” is the most important Crawling skill I personally have learned. Not having had to learn that would kind of suck. Now if I can just extend that to other areas in my life than playing Crawl.. — evktalo 2010-12-06 10:41
I think you're completely missing the point mental_mouse. Permadeath has absolutely nothing to do with shared-machine and storage space. You complain that you can't play the game sloppily while tired, but that's the whole point. Crawl is a tense game and that's how we like it. You want to salvage some progress from death, then learn from your mistakes. Like any crawlers, I've died hundreds of time. Each time, I've either thought “If I had done that it could have saved me” or “How stupid I am to not have done this!”.

If you're still frustrated that you can't see the rest of the game, then just savescum. You won't be the first one, and you can even google for a few scripts to make it very convenient. But you'll soon find out that it makes the game just boring, that's why we don't want it as a feature. — galehar 2010-12-06 14:13
I don't see any point in savescumming, too – why won't they just use the wizmode? It lets people avoid death _and_ get other goodies. — kilobyte 2010-12-06 14:39
I'm missing the point? You're the ones who are refusing to admit any difference between allowing some mercy within the game, and completely overriding the game from outside. [ETA2: OK, that was unfair to Brickman, he didn't do that.] I repeat: occasional savepoints are not equivalent to: “Naah, I don't wanna die. SAVESCUM! And I'ma wizmode me an +eleventy Holy Scourge of the Archmagi, while I'm at it!” ETA: Yes, it changes the nature of the game, for the better! If there were, say, three single-use savepoints available at various depths, the effect would be to partition the game into four segments. (That is, the Temple is actually too shallow to host the first of them.) In each segment, death still loses the progress since the last savepoint, and that can be substantial. But you don't lose everything back to the race screen! And note that you can still save a doomed character (mis-allocated skills, chose the wrong god or such). — mental_mouse 2010-12-06 15:35

In fact, I'm starting to like the idea of using the runes as savepoints. The first one is well past “early game”, you get more for taking on optional branches, and they're (in)conveniently placed in guarded vaults and the like.

  • You'd need to wield and invoke the rune to save a game, so you would need to have acquired possession.
  • Each rune can create a single savefile, which can be restored as many times as you want. When starting Crawl, deceased-but-saved characters are listed with other games in progress, and if they are selected, the player chooses which rune to restore from (they are listed by rune, location and XL).
  • There should be some way to restore a rune over a “live” game, but we don't want to add a step to routine startup. Maybe an extra button in the choice screen?
  • Demonic runes all access a single savefile. Ditto Abyssal runes, if the player somehow manages to get more than one.
  • Each rune can save a single game only (marked before save), and cannot be used twice in a game. But that still leaves an option, if we restore a game that isn't the latest:
  • * Hardass version: If a rune's associated save file is present, the rune is considered used and useless.
  • * Kinder version: If a rune has not been used in the current game, it can overwrite a prior save file for that rune. Of course, this and future saves from this game will have the rune marked as used.

mental_mouse 2010-12-06 19:30

Not happening, so you might as well spare your breath. Sorry! (Well, no, not really.) Go ahead and savescum, or play Felids, or use wizard mode, but don't expect us to add a savepoints feature, ever. All major developers are against this. If we got a patch, we wouldn't use it. Really, we're absolutely serious about this: This. Won't. Happen. Just say no!jpeg 2010-12-06 21:46
Well, <grumble>, <snort>, <piss & moan>, etc.mental_mouse 2010-12-07 02:13
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dcss/brainstorm/gameplay/savepoints.txt · Last modified: 2011-12-22 00:30 by XuaXua
 
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