Well, my argument is that it isn't fun. Do you think it's fun? Do you know anyone who thinks its fun?
My argument is that people are going to play to win, which doesn't necessarily mean playing for fun. As a game developer, I feel it is my duty to make winning fun.
Quicksaving in particular? No, I don't think it's fun, as it's a tool for retaining progress. That's like saying if a drill is fun. No, it's a fucking drill.
Well, before we start some definitional arguments, I'll lay out my definition for grinding and see if you disagree.
Grinding -- A repetitive act that allows the player to reduce risk in other parts of the game.
It's a broad definition, but I feel it fits.
That's a bit too broad. By that definition, the very act of playing a game is grinding, as you play and get better, thus reducing the risk in other parts of the game.
And as to why I think that quicksave abuse, savescumming, is grinding is that it fits my definition.
e.g. In X-COM, I can take the time to save after every single step. This will reduce the risk that my party gets wiped due to some fluke, but at the cost of wasting a lot of time and fun for me the player. It isn't fun for me to do this, but it also isn't fun for my team to get blown up on the first turn.
Then maybe you should grow some balls
. Are you seriously saying that quicksaving is bad because you, as a player, are too afraid of a defeat to play any other way? This isn't a problem with quicksaving, this is a problem with you having no backbone. Seriously, savescumming a fight in XCOM? Fuck, that's like savescumming Dwarf Fortress. Losing is part of the game. It's the best part of the game in XCOM, honestly. Stomping all over aliens is boring as fuck. Tense battles where I lose half my troops in the first two turns and struggle to survive and win with the remainder is what makes XCOM a tense, engaging experience. If you don't want that, go ahead and savescum. But don't call the designers lazy or bad because you are too much of a pussy to accept failure.
I know that savescumming isn't grinding in the traditional "I'll kill 1 million boars to level up," but I feel that it is just a different in the mechanic being abused. One abuses a bad leveling system and the other abuses a bad save system, but both have the same causes (poorly balanced game) and the same symptoms (player taking a repetitive action to make the game easier).
Once again: quicksaving or manual saves are not a bad saving system. Wanting a little more control of the placement of saves as a user is not in any way bad. And if a player wants to grind to make your game easier, let them. That's their problem. Grinding is only an issue if the game requires it by design to complete the game.
For example, you can grind in FF6 and FF7. You can also just play it straight through from beginning to end without being forced to grind. It depends on what the player decides they want to do.
I strongly disagree. By creating the game, you are dictating the everything about the user's experience. If I want to dictate their pace, that's my prerogative. Now, whether I do that well or not falls on me, but throwing up my hands in the air and saying "Wow, it's hard to pace this properly. Well, I'll just let the user do it." smacks of defeatism/laziness. If the developer does their job correctly, the dictation of pace/session time shouldn't be a problem.
By that definition, no developer does their job correctly. I have yet to play any game where a checkpoint system has not forced me to replay a portion of the game multiple times. Where you are arguing that there is a perceived ability for abuse (in a single-player game, big fucking deal), I can point to pretty much every game with a checkpoint system and denote where it fails. In other words, manual saving is being argued against in theory, with the theory being that the perfect autosave will make manual saves defunct. Except that's out and out bullshit, and almost never true.
This is probably the closest I would come to agreeing with a manual save solution, but the game knows when a big decision is about to made. Wouldn't it be better for the game to seamlessly create a save (or have some sort of chaptering system) such that when you hit a point like this you wouldn't have to do it yourself? What advantage is to be gained from forcing the user to do it? I only see downside.
Because players can label saves, save when they like (which doesn't necessarily mean right before a big conversation), and pick up in the open world they left off from. I save manually for a lot of varying reasons, including my mood at the time. No developer can predict all the instances in which I am going to save. And, in fact, most developers autosave AFTER a big decision instead of before because they want to force the player to replay the game in order to continue. Manual saving alleviates this annoying developer intrusion.
Thought experiment time.
I make a game. In that game you can grind and level up to level 100 and guarantee success, or you can play through regularly and have a 50% chance of success. The optimal strategy is to level up to level 100 and guarantee success, no matter how long it takes to do that.
That is the shittiest, most incorrect application of game theory I have ever seen.
What this boils down to, from my perspective, is that people are arguing that designers must dictate everything about a player's experience, right down to things that the designer can't actually control, like session time or player choices. In a 100% linear game, with no replayability, I can fully understand using only a checkpoint system, as your game is a shitty linear mess (if it's a shooter, anyway; if it's an arcade-style game or a platformer I am fine with your decision). But if you are making a classical (read: maze-like) shooter, strategy game, or open-world game, trying to predict and control the player's progress is not only fruitless, it's actually offensive to the player.
Quicksaving and manual saves are not universally shit. They fit certain genres much better than others. Playing Quake 1 with only autosaves would be frustrating and shitty. Quicksaves and manual saves allow the player to determine their path. I don't really see how player determinance is being considered bad. Isn't that kind of the point of games? Giving players meaningful choices and letting them determine their own way through a scenario? I think attempting to control the experience of the players to such a fine degree that you are proposing to not only be hubris, but also futile.
My philosophy is that unless you're making a competitive multiplayer game or w/e, you should let people play your game however the fuck they want.
This is my philosophy as well. Also, quicksaving is not even remotely the same as an infinite ammo, instakill weapon.
You should dictate pacing through smart usage of mechanics and level design, not forcing a player to play until they reach your predetermined autosave.