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Veteran Member - Level 13
It's happened to all of us. After questing for hours, losing yourself in the intricacies of an immersive role-playing world, your party falls in battle. Sometimes you're legitimately outmatched by a powerful new enemy. Other times the death can be chalked up to experimentation or laziness on the battlefield. As the battle turns against you, you drop the tactical exercise and hedge your bets on your tank standing tall in melee combat and outlasting the final opponents. After all, with the handy autosave feature backing up your every move, what do you have to lose? If your gambit fails, you can simply pick up from where you left off, right? Wrong.
A few beers and hours into exploring world of Ferelden in Dragon Age, I got careless. Wandering the back alleys of the massive city Denerim, I was approached by a band of thugs who dropped all pretenses of pleasantry and drew their swords. My party was a band of seldom used characters. Sick of Leliana's bubbly spirituality, I dropped her for the rogue Zevran (who, by the way, has the worst character introduction in role-playing history. Who adopts an assassin right after they try to kill you?!). I rounded out my band of misfit companions with the sarcastic golem Shale and the ever dismissive Morrigan, who hates me a little bit more every time I take another sidequest. As the battle started, I let my new comrades run loose see if they had the mettle to find permanent spots in my party rotation. As the fight turned ugly, I came to the conclusion that without some series tactical revision, these health poultice addicts were good for nothing but draining my supplies. Rather than waste half my medical goods, I let the fight run its course in anticipation of picking up where the autosave left off. Having taken on and completed several quests around town over the last few hours, it made sense that there would be an autosave not too far in the past. Boy was I wrong.
When my last save point loaded, my jaw dropped in astonishment when I saw my former party in Honnleath. It took me a while to recollect how long it had been since I had freed the golem in that village. Retracing my steps, since my last hard save I refitted all my companions with new equipment in the party camp, had a heart to heart with Alister about the Arl of Redcliffe, defeated the Trickster Whim on the road to Denerim, and completed countless quests within the city confines. WHERE WAS THE G@DD@*$#D AUTOSAVE?! As I sat there letting disappointment take hold, I flashed back to the countless role-playing games that burned me in the exact same fashion. Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - you name it, and I likely spewed a deluge of swear words at the screen when a save failed me proper.
I've been a fan of lengthy RPGs like Dragon Age since the first time I journeyed to Brittania in Ultima decades ago, and meticulous save files have always been a necessary part of the equation. When you're looking at an uphill climb of over 60 hours to finish the narrative and its complementary sidequests, the pain of forgetting to document your every accomplishment and the arduous trial of recompleting quests can be such a maddening experience that it ultimately breaks your spirit and makes you abandon the game altogether. Rather than picking up the pieces in Dragon Age, I ejected the disc from my console and opted for a game of Madden to cleanse the palatte.
The most frustrating part of the autosave failures is that these games are at their best when I'm not thinking of saving every five minutes. As my conversations with my companions grow deeper and the missions become more involved, I forget the necessarily mechanical dimension of interactivity, the barrier between the controller and screen disappears, and I'm left with the nakedness of the experience. With a forgiving autosave system that chronicles your every achievement or location change, this naked interaction could be preserved, even if on a whimsy I play fast and loose, falling ingloriously in a routine battle. Tomorrow I'll resume Dragon Age, but you can *** well bet I'll be hitting the start button every five minutes to make a hard save.
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Wow. Sorry, that sucks. Happens to us all tho. And you always have to play a different game when it happens cuz you dont want to sit through the same thing u just did minutes earlier.
I can't even think of the number of games where this has happened to me. I usually have to take a long break from the game and come back to it a week later.
It's not limited to RPG's though. If you failed a mission in GTAIV it would send you way back, and I got sick of spending 10 minutes driving to the same location, spending 15 minutes in the mission before failing, and then having to repeat the process.
Doesn't compare to your Dragon Age loss, I know, but it's another example.
I completely agree.
I recently started Oblivion. And it is a HUGE buttpain to have to remember to save every 5-10 minutes. It is really hard for a game to tout itself as immersive and deep if they force their players to remember to save it.
I am also playing Borderlands (official junkie right here), and I love it's save feature...precisely, it doesn't really have one. If you die, you spawn at the nearest new-U station. And then you save when you leave. I never worry about saving, and that is great, because I know that I can pick up right where I left off without even having to blink.
The thing with Dragon Age is that even if you have Auto-Save, when you let it auto-load it will go to you last hard save, so I have to physically select my last save every time, I can't just hit "Continue"
I personally wasn't impressed with Dragon Age AT ALL, because of many small bugs such as that. (Including one time that the game cheated me out of all my secondary classes I'd unlocked, without at least having the good grace to reset the conversation trees so I had a hope of earning them back.
Dragon Age started grating on me towards the end. The enemies suddenly became very powerful and I felt the need to save after every battle for fear of rounding the next corner and being wiped out by a set of Alpha Darkspawn. I'd say the last third of the game convinced me to not play through it again, which is sad since I'd been having fun up to that point. I went from wanting to at least go through all six origin stories to simply packing up the game and sending it back to GameFly, content to never manage the save files of Denerim again.
I've run into this on Pokemon soooo many times! You're out and about level grinding your 'Mons and then the batteries run out on your Game Boy. Before you know it, you're two hours back and 10 levels lower. Think you're going to pick it up and start again? Yeah right.
Ironically, I've run into the opposite problem playing Shadow Complex. Sometimes you get curious when looking around the map, and then end up hopelessly lost on the other side of one-way doors, and you can't get back to where you loaded your save because you've passed through 17 different auto-saving rooms on your way down to that obscure corner you were exploring. Oy.
Something very similar happened to me in DAO last week. Lost about 2 hours worth of questing, gear and story progression. Really frustrating. Now I save after almost every battle, which is a pain, but less of one than playing through a bunch of the same content over again.
This happened to me in The Saboteur. I didn't lose as much work, but I was about midway through a two-part mission when I said 'screw it' and manually saved it, and pulled out Modern Warfare 2. The next day, I turn it on, expecting to start midway through, and I end up having to do the hour of work over again.
I truly hate it when games have poor save systems. Modern Warfare 2 has a good save system, imo. You reach a checkpoint for every two minutes of gameplay If I need to stop suddenly I don't have to fight and trudge and backtrack around for half an hour and worry about losing the past half hour. And I don't to remind myself to stop and save my game constantly, so I don't lose hours of stuff like we all have.
Demon's Souls auto saves anytime you do anything. Pick up and item, kill an enemy, use a spell, etc.
Man, I remember my first time playing DA (on PC). Got my ass whooped by a stupid wispy thing twice in a row. Just beat the joining. My sorcerer looks like Ganondorf. Thanks for the heads up on saving.
Every game should have autosave, and it should never obstruct the game in any way. Pure and simple. You shouldn't ever have to feel like you need to pull yourself out of the game to save every few minutes.
Assassin's Creed 2 handles autosave perfectly. It's usually about every 2 minutes of gameplay, and it doesn't have to pause to do it.
Haha, Mass Effect was god awful for that, lol. I played it for the first time on an account with out XBox Live. I have since begun using another account that had XBox Live enabled before, because it was easier than setting up a whole new account. Though I should have just created a new account. So since I will be playing it on my new account I purchased it again and began playing.
On my first play through I wound up getting bit by the Autosave bug multiple times. I remember, I got all the way through Ilos and I screwed up the run down the hill to the Conduit. I wound up getting sent back to the very start of the mission. Before I opened up the door, before I drove through the almost endless tunnels, before I dealt wit the annoying VI. I have to say that I was PISSED at that. And you are right, they don't seem to put autosave points in the right spots.
I combated this the second time around by choosing to save with reckless abandon. Land on a planet, save, enter a new area, save, clear an area that I know is important, save. You get the point. I never got hit with a massive penalty for falling in battle because of autosaves, but when all was said and done I wound up saving a total of 99 times. That's not a typo either. I wound up saving 99 times throughout the course of the game. That's some hardcore save-age right there.
In defense of not autosaving every two seconds, using Dragon Age as an example. What if you wound up making a choice that you really didn't want? Like you chose to do something that ruined your plans for a character or you sell an item that you really want. What if you got so lost in that experience, like you were talking about, that you didn't realize you just sold the most powerful sword in the game? Wouldn't you be pissed if you happened to be relying solely on the autosaves and realized you couldn't go back to a point before you sold the sword because the game autosaved right after you sold it? I know I would. There are times in a lot of games that you've probably gotten hopelessly stuck in some dungeon that you aren't equipped to get out of, like in Zelda, and you need to be able to go back to that save you know you made. If you rely on Autosaves too much, then moments like that suddenly mean you could be jumping back hours, which can equate to multiple days of real world time. Autosaves aren't exactly the best choice for fixing the things you f'ed up.
That's a horrible thing. Happened to me multible time on FF12
One of the worst feelings you can have as a gamer. It's happened to me a few times in Fallout 3 and Oblivion. When I start exploring every nook & cranny in the game I sometimes forget to save every few minutes. Usually I have to turn off the console and do something else whenever this happens.
I've had this issue with DA:O at least once myself...certainly learned my lesson too. However, my sympathy is reduced somewhat based on the fact that you're playing the console version. Losing a similar amount of progress in the PC version is spirit-shattering, on account of the considerably greater level of difficulty.
Also, look on the bright side...it could be worse. I've made some really, really embarrassingly bad mistakes...like wiping 40+ hour save files by accident, just because I was being impatient. That hurt bad...like, step away from games for a week bad.
This just happened to me right now on mass effect. I know how it is...Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age all did this. But, hey, who knows....maybe 2010 is the year of auto-saves.