Poll: Saving game - how, when, where, how often?

So we are having a discussion about how to implement saves. Some of us have problem with saving anywhere, because it lets players exploit some mechanics that are based on players skill and limited resources (locpicking, alechmy, blacksmithin) or let him behave more carelessly (when you know there is a save, you are not afraid of anything which kinda destroys the survival element). On the other hand limited saves discourage people from trying different options in our quests or exploration. So here is the question - what type of saving would you prefer?

Before you answer keep in mind, that all those options will not let you save during dialogs, near enemies and in combat.

  • ANYWHERE + AUTOSAVES - you will be able to save anywhere anytime (except during dialogs and in combat) just like in Skyrim. Game will save automatically during important moments in quests. This would be on NORMAL difficulty. HARDCORE DIFFICULTY of the game would let the players to play with AUTOSAVES ONLY.
  • ANYWHERE + GAMIFICATION - you will be able to save anywhere anytime. After you load, you will start getting bonus (most likely bonus for received XP or to some stats). This is going to increase with time you play without LOADING. The moment you load, this bonus resets (except loading after SAVE & EXIT). This will give people motivation not to reload after every minor failure in lockpicking etc. This would be on NORMAL difficulty. HARDCORE DIFFICULTY of the game would let the players to play with AUTOSAVES ONLY.
  • AUTOSAVES ONLY - You will not be able to save at all. The game will save automatically at important quest moments and periodically after some time (every 10 minutes or so).

0 voters


Anywhere saves without gamification just end up being an F5 buttonmasher in my opinion


and there is no fear in dying (which is not realistic in a medievel game, if you fuck up, you fuck up, no going back)


But you dont have to F5 if you dont want to. And considering how hardcore the combat is, a lot of people will ragequit if the autosaves will be far from each other and before cutscenes and stuff


Well, frankly I would be OK with any of these options, as long as there is autosaves only option in difficulty settings - not to confuse with permadeath settings, I am not that good, I just want my decision to have meaning and consequences, not just loading after every bad decision.

Gamification option seems like a nice balance tho, but I would fear that if effect is too small, it wouldn´t discourage people from abusing save/load, and if its too big, it in theory might break balance or smthng… but with well set values, its probably best option for general players


Although I like the gamification approach, it gives the game the vibe of MMO games and does not really makes sense storywise as saving/loading is not availibe in real life yet.

Ideal option IMO would be similar to first option “anywhere + autosaves”.
With exception that difficulty would have no impact on saving mode. You could simply switch between two saving modes at each difficulty.

Though, a question is what the Hardcore difficulty is.

The problem, as I see it, is that if you force all players into “autosave only” you might lose some players which just would not be able to digest it. But I am sure you already thought about it.

But “Autosave only” could pretty much work if the saving points would be smartly placed so you dont spend shit ton of time by going through long cutscenes, dialogues, travels between locations or timely fights with lesser enemies because the “boss” who comes after them keeps killing you.

So for now (not that I can change my vote) i am going with the first option, because it is more save (pun intended).

Edit: I will play it on hardcore anyway. My decision is based on how others would look at it. And by others I do not mean the small community here on forums, because here are only crazy people. I am thinking about casual players.
But the idea of not being able to save it at all, is really tempting.

1 Like

Why not all of it?

Normal difficulty -> normal saves + autosaves
Higher difficulty -> normal saves (with benefit loss) + autosaves
Hardcore difficulty -> autosaves only

I mean I like the gamification idea but I think it’s a terrible, really terrible idea to force everybody to use it. I mean, that’s something some people will hate and they will feel punished by that and repelled and you as a game dev can’t want that. But I get the idea of the loss of XP and benefits and it sounds reasonable for me. So why not letting the players choose at the start of the game which system they prefer for their playthrough? Giving players options is always a great idea and highly welcomed. Don’t close your systems down, make them open and flexible and enjoyable for a wide range of people.

So, bottom line, I don’t think that both systems are mutually exclusive. They could work together well, just for different people. Empower the gamer.


From these options I find the second one the best. I was never a fan of unlimited saves. It just doesn’t make the player think very much about consequences of his actions if he can just reload any time something goes wrong. It changes the whole approach to attacking stronger groups/threatening people and other things quite significantly.

Another option might be existence of save stations scattered around, but that would have to be somehow balanced not to make player run back and forth after every little thing done.

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This is kind of a tough one. All three have pros and cons to them. Well, the first two for me more than the third, but I’m trying to think of how others might work with that.

  1. Being able to save anywhere, any time is my general preference just because it allows for the most flexibility. Yes, some people will abuse it when it comes to deaths or failing something (hello, hacking in the Fallout games - guilty!), but it’s true that it does encourage you to try different things aside from that if you’ve got a recent save that keeps you from having to go back very far and replay other stuff if you mess up. In a single-player experience, it doesn’t really matter whether or not someone “abuses” their saves. It doesn’t impact other players, and people still have the option to save less often.

  2. The “boost” is an interesting concept, and not one I’ve come across before in any other games to my knowledge. I’d be curious to see how it might be portrayed in the context of the game itself, just as a way of furthering the immersion, but I don’t know if that’s being considered or not as part of this. Considering the overall attempt at a realistic setting, I hope there would be an explanation worked in somehow. I would also think that if someone goes for an extended period without loading a save, there’d have to be a cap of some kind to this boost. Either way, I’d like to hear more about it.

  3. I think this should be kept for a Hardcore mode only, to be honest. I’ve never been a huge fan of being restricted to when the game allows me to save (I understand not being able to do it in a dialog part, but that’s different). Sometimes things come up, you may have to shut a game off unexpectedly or go do something else for a while and you don’t want to leave the game running, and progress can be lost. A backup every 10 minutes or so is good, though.

In order of preference I’d go 2-1-3, pending more information about how the boost might be implemented within the context of the game, so I threw my vote to 2.

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How about autosaves during important moments and saving manually by sleeping in a bed for example?


If the player doesn’t want to think about the consequences of their actions, that’s their prerogative. I don’t think games should punish players for playing the game in whatever way they want.

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I agree. If it’s a single-player game let people spam the save option if they want. If others wish to play hard-core autosave (or even permadeath) then they should have that option. I really don’t understand the opposition to players exploiting a single-player game. Multi-player, of course not, but it shouldn’t be a problem in single-player games for the player to enable godmode (or fly, or noclip, or whatever) if that 's the way they wish to experience the game’s content.

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I can understand that. Because as a developer you want to player to experience the game how you designed it. If you designed the game as survival game where every decision counts then it wont pleasure you that the game turned out to be just another F5, F9 game where you can change your mind anytime.

And if thats the way here, then I would advice to go with unpopular third option without any concern to wishes of other people.


I do see your point, but plenty of games have difficulty options that include “the way it was meant to be played” along with “i just want the story” (easy mode) and “punish me 'til I cry” (hardcore). Heck, WH can feel free to demean me by calling the easy mode “Crybaby” or whatever they want. I’m not saying they shouldn’t build the game they want, but when an opportunity to broaden your market (in this case based on optional save mechanics) then as a business you should seriously consider that opportunity.

That’s true. You should of couse offer the possibility to play the game the way “it’s meant to be played”.

But if the player voluntarily and willingly decides to play it a different way, why preventing them from doing so?

That’s why I’m all for options in a SP-only game like this. If the players want to break your game, let them do so. Empower them to have fun with the game in every way they want to. That doesn’t necessarily compromise your vision for the game as long as you give players the option to follow your vision.

The Metro games are a good example for that. They are designed to have a distinctive survival element with very few amounts of ammunition around and a high difficulty grade. It’s “the way it’s meant to be played” and that’s pretty openly communicated. But the devs don’t force you to play the game like that. You can also play the game like a more “normal” FPS with a lot more ammunition around. I’ve played the game like that and I’d enjoyed it. At the same time I knew that the game was originally desinged for a slightly different experience and I respect that. But I was also happy that the devs gave me the possibility to experience the game in a way I see fit - even if that means that I don’t follow their vision completely anymore.

I think game devs should always focus on their vision - of course. But they should try to convince people to play their game that way by having good arguments for that (like good gameplay for example) and not by forcing them to play the game that way at all costs. I think the latter unnecessarily alienates and repells a lot of potential players without any benefit for those who want to play the game “the way it’s meant to be played” no matter what.

Edit: One argument again pure autosaves is that real life can always cross your gaming experience. Sometimes you have to take care of certain things pretty fast (especially if you have family) and in such situations you’d naturally want to be able to save the game, just in order to be sure that your progress isn’t lost due to whatever reason while you’re away. On top of that pure autosave systems are pretty error-prone. The AC franchise is an infamous example for that with a ton of people having corrupted savegames that hinder them from continuing the game (I experienced that myself…). Multiple autosave slots can mitigate the issue but I always feel more “secure” when I have freedom when to save a game. Knowing that I can save (and end) the game at every given time gives me some sort of background security and - beyond that - a feeling that I’m not “forced” to play more than I want just to reach the next autosave spot which can be more tedious than fun…


Fourth option - limited amount of saves

And what about another option, limited amount of saves? There would be autosaves + player would have an option to save the game 3 times per hour (this amount/hour is just an example, it would need to be tested so it’s not too many on one hand and not too limiting on the other hand). In this case player would have possibility to save the game whenever he wants, but at the same time he would need to think whether he really needs it at a given moment since he has only limited amount of them and he could need it more later. This would make him think more about the decisions he does and wouldn’t play it like save/try/load all the time.

Think about it like it was in Witcher 1 and 2 with elixirs. Most players practicaly didn’t use elixirs at all, because they always thought “if I use it now to beat this monster, what if I will miss this elixir later and I won’t be able to kill another monster without it?” This lead to the paradox when many player finished the game with full inventory of never used elixirs (it’s definitely my case, who else will confess? :slight_smile: ) This is the reason why in Witcher 3 you make every elixir only once and then you can use it unlimitedly. So doing it with saves, it could have the same effect as the elixirs in the W1/2 - players would try to use saves as little as possible, because they would always waited that there might be a more difficult sitution later that would need the save more than the one they actually are in. And at the same time they would still have possiblity to save anytime.

Now back to the poll options - in reverted order

  1. Having only automatic saves every 10 minuts is imo terrible idea - it would inevitably lead to a game of waiting. “Just 2 minutes remain to the next save? Yeah, I’ll wait before I try it. Ah 30 seconds? Yeah, I’ll wait…”

  2. The gamification option doesn’t sit right with me, as someone already pointed out, it feels really MMORPG-like. I don’t think this belongs to a RPG and although it might sound weird when speaking about a save mechanic, it feels unrealistic. Like if it is too big and too noticeable intervention to the gameplay, you would know that you basicaly make the character better in e.g. swordfighting by completely alien mechanic that is not part of the “ingame world”. I hope it makes sense to someone. :smiley:

  3. I voted for this option, although I would prefer some kind of limitation (as described earlier in this post). However I would suggest something even for this option. I think one of the worst thing with this option is that you can save before lockpicking and hence you basicaly don’t care about broken lockpicks, because you can load and save everytime. I don’t think that many people can resist the urge for the same reason why they don’t use elixirs in W1/2 - “what if I will absolutely need the broken lockpicks later? I can’t allow that - LOAD!” And in this case lockpicking is basicaly becoming save/load minigame. So I would suggest that loading would have no effect on lockpicks. Once you would broke a lockpick and loaded, the lockpick would not be back. It could be also applied on any other crafting so no one can use save/try/load/try/load on crafting items. Alchemy would be also afected by this - everyone will be loading after failed poition to get the herbs back. I honestly don’t know if it is possible, but if you are able to make a photorealistic game, this seems like such a little thing. :slight_smile:


I think #1 is the best option as it gives each gamer a choice, between normal and hardcore. It also provides some replay value for those who played on normal can replay on hardcore.

Wasn´t that in Vietcong or Flashpoint? Autosaves + one quicksave per mission. Woked quite well in my opinion and could even in open world (as you just desribed).

I think that it would be nice if this “quicksave(s)” would be avaliable after you rest. Means no automatic save after the rest but refresh you the option to save after you rest. (Jako magenergie v Dračím Doupěti :- ) )

In my opinion the first choice will be best for the broader audience of players.

I personally enjoy a more hardcore gameplay experience however when it comes to saving I need to be able to save at any point in time, otherwise I risk losing progress when I need to jump off quickly from time to time to tend to my family.

Giving players options is the best choice. Making it Autosave only will drive away many players.

If this becomes autosave only I personally would feel like the near $400 dollars I have spent supporting this game would be a waste, because I would have to plan my day around being able to play.

The entire argument of abuse through saves is completely null for single player game, its the players experience and their choice to play however they see fit. I was honestly surprised to see that as a factor considering WH has said they will support modding which is complete abuse and manipulation of game mechanics and content.