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? ) 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
3) 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.
1) 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.