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Hisymak

Is it even fun to play Doom without saves?

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I personally play games that I like. One such game happens to be Doom. I have a rather strict rule which helps me to get a definitive answer whether I like the game I am playing or not: if I at some point will lose the save file, will I be "ok" to replay the whole thing? If the answer is "Yes, absolutely... Hell I already want to replay the whole thing again, even without losing a save file." - then I like the game. If the answer is "No, absolutely not!" - then I drop the game I am playing right there, forever.

 

So, basically, the answer to this topic is that I am totally fine losing all the progress mid-level, and going through all the thing over again, find some secrets I have missed on my first run, try different strategies, pistol start levels, etc. However, if I don't like some particular levels, I will obviously use saves.

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I play casually saveless for the extra tension and because it makes me better at the game in the long run (at least psychologically, it prevents me from playing sloppily).

If a level is long and has an encounter that is outside of my skill level I mark the level saving in a different slot (I use separate save directories for each PWAD and normally only save at the beginning of the level to mark my progress) and I ressurect using IDDQD when I die.

I went in about 1 year of playing Doom on and off from struggling heavily with Plutonia (continuous UV) to breezing through Alien Vendetta (pistol start UV) & progressing nicely through Sunlust (HMP pistol start).

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1 hour ago, Clippy said:

 

That's awesome I didn't know that was a thing!!

 

@Graf Zahl 👀

I may be wrong but i think that's how runs like this are made. A̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶R̶N̶G̶ ̶m̶a̶n̶i̶p̶u̶l̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶s̶t̶u̶f̶f̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶l̶o̶t̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶w̶i̶n̶d̶

edit: zero master did this just by rewinding, based on the video description. 

 

 

Edited by HrnekBezucha

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Playing with saves and cheats is fine, but you have to understand that if you NEVER play without those things then you're a noob. Those are the rules. If an experienced doomer has never tried recording a demo before, what are you even doing? What is the point of your life?

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What is wrong with abusing saves anyway? Whenever I took a 80 rev ball or a 64 hell knight fireball, I’d just say “Screw that motherfucking troublemaking stupid RNG” and load my save file. See? totally fine

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Yes, it can be fun, as long as you are not way out of your league. If you are trying to do UV blind runs of difficult wads, and failing constantly, then you are obviously not ready for that level of challenge. Have you tried the IWADs without saves? It's a great way to regain appreciation for levels that you may have beaten a long time ago, and it will increase your skill.

When you restrict yourself from saving all the time, you get to experience certain nuances of the game that are otherwise easily "washed out." For example, you may have made significant progress through a level, but find yourself low on health and ammo. With unlimited saves, you have multiple easy ways out. You could save now, ensuring that you can keep trying again from that spot, or you could just recklessly die knowing that you either have a slightly earlier save point, or that you can abuse the saving more in your next attempt.

On the other hand, being in a tough (but possible) spot and refusing to save, you get to focus on actual game strategy. You have to think about getting the most out of your limited ammo, exploring for replenishment, tactically approaching monsters instead of just guns blazing, retreating from combat (gasp), and really executing those mechanics when you do find yourself in a dangerous battle. You will probably play better because you have a little bit more pressure on you to make it out alive. This is why non-saving runs are fun: Your health points suddenly matter a whole lot more. Maybe you only have 1hp left... then you start doing crazy stuff like wasting rockets just to kill some zombiemen from safely around a corner. If you knew you had a convenient save spot, you might still try with 1hp but you probably won't put in as serious of an effort.

No saving forces you to play a less "meta" game. Instead of depending on being able to inch your progress forward even with negligent play, you have to depend on your actual skill and strategy, and you'll feel greatly rewarded when you survive those knife-edge moments. Sure, you will also sometimes die and have to repeat most of a level. But this shouldn't be a huge deal if you are playing levels that are within your comfort zone of difficulty and length.

 

 

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I am somewhere in a middle ground. My main activity of playing Doom is the Ironman challenges - playing without saves there helped me become much more calculative of my health and ammo. I am a stats nerd so keeping track of those and making sure they're as good as possible is key. Also, learned how to take calculated risks, quite a necessary thing to have in Doom, especially in more modern maps.

 

Before I usually saved after literally EVERYTHING, but more recently, I've had two options. If a set has difficult levels, I save before a key objective. Otherwise, I try to pass every level saveless, but not pistol starting cuz that's sadism. Unless the map has unfair encounters at the very end, it's quite fun to make it through without saving. Your mistakes affect you a lot and you can't just reload and make them magically disappear. You're forced to make strategies for difficult fights before you get to them and each death gives you more experience on what to do and not do. That's the essence of Doom to me and why I enjoy playing saveless to an extent. I would never commit to completing each Sunlust map saveless, though. Lmao.

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I play without saves, not expecting to beat the map, just enjoying whichever part of the experience i carve out that time, then when I die I skip to the next level

lol

i've yet to be convinced of the virtue of beating anything

and I enjoy it more than headbutting my way through stuff
plus this way you cant accidentally practise and find yr too OP for your old faves

\o/

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7 hours ago, Clippy said:

I would actually probably abuse the shit out of that 

 

can't get ripped without ab use i always say

 

dsda-doom's rewind feature finally closed the gap, giving you the full choice between "save never" and "save always"

The near-complete freedom you get in a lot of PC gaming is a blessing and a curse. I do find playing on console from time to time refreshing for that reason.

 

I have in the past heard people claim you can't get good while using saves. Which is nonsense unless you want to be the best at the 1st encounter of every map. I think there was an old NiH post about using saves to pinpoint and practice your weaknesses in certain encounters that I found insightful

 

In the end of course it's a wash. I wore out the save key in Sunlust and had a hell of a time. I've also found playing some maps saveless to be exhilarating.

I think 'gitting gud' at video games is highly overrated, while at the same time watching someone like decino slowly get better over time and seeing their methods makes me want to try it myself

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8 hours ago, mrthejoshmon said:

Polish_20220607_123141459.jpg.25fa5142ca6ca5791a090fa6203883b4.jpg

 

Here, have a low effort shitpost instead of my actual articulated opinion.

 

That's a candidate for the Stupid Doom Wad idea thread.

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playing saveless is risky, but fun. It really makes you feel competent. Doubly so when combined with a first-time playthrough. When you survive a tricky trap, and it's not because of your perseverance in reloading a save over and over, but thanks to your fast on-the-fly thinking... there's nothing quite as empowering as that. 

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8 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

Let's put it this way:

 

A map that cannot be played without saves is broken by design - and I have seen enough of the kind where some trap springs up without any warning and you are dead before you know it.

 

Ideally it should be possible to get through a map without them, but since everybody makes mistakes, saves come in handy to avoid replaying the entire thing, which on larger maps really can become an issue.

 

 

I generally agree with what you said here but I would like to note an important exception: Map length/megamaps.

 

Sometimes, usually on GZDoom exclusive maps, you can encounter a map that's so long that unless you go for hours upon hours of non-stop play, you won't finish it. The only thing keeping it from being practical to play without saves is the massive length.

 

In some instances, a wad may have gone for an open world vibe that just breaks if you use IDCLEV to warp to levels. Stronghold and Abysm 2 are examples of this. Yes you can play Stronghold by warping to the various missions but with the way it's structured, it's pretty clear that the megawad was built for playing without warping and going through the maps in a sequence. However playing Stronghold without saves is impossible unless you plan to leave the game running overnight. Abysm 2 also kind of breaks if you try playing it by warping to individual levels. A big part of the experience is lost that way. To essentially get the full experience, you're either going to have to make a save, and then come back to it later or you're going to have to beat the whole megawad (short by megawad standards as it may be) in one sitting if you wish to do it without saves.

 

I can understand people enjoying Doom without saves. However playing something like these wads without saves is not a good idea because playing things like these or even a massively lengthy but very well-made maps without saves is less like trying to beat a map saveless and more like trying to beat all of Doom 2 saveless without level warps. It's going to be an exhausting and unfun experience for all involved.

 

Speaking of maps like that, Memorial.wad is basically all of Doom 2 jammed into one map. Anything that approaches that length requires saves. I don't think they can be considered fundamentally broken. It's just like how old games used to have levels and a lot of new games don't. It's a vastly different style of map.

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playing saveless is generally  more suspenseful. it kinda kills the game's competitive nature when you go back 1 minute and repeat. this lacks the thrill of staying alive.

 

however, it may be too much when you have little free time and lose half an hour of play. i tend to save after completing sections i find tedious, particularly large maps or jumping puzzles, so i don't have to do all again for some silly mistake. 

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14 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

Let's put it this way:

 

A map that cannot be played without saves is broken by design - and I have seen enough of the kind where some trap springs up without any warning and you are dead before you know it.

 

Ideally it should be possible to get through a map without them, but since everybody makes mistakes, saves come in handy to avoid replaying the entire thing, which on larger maps really can become an issue.

 

 

Agree with this 100%. If a trap or combat encounter cannot be cannot be reasonably be anticipated and reacted to without prior knowledge, it's bad design. I have often heard people excuse what I consider not fun games and maps with "it gets better once you learn the maps" and I am like... wha? Who has time for that? Why would I play something multiple times to learn it's badly considered combat encounters when I could just play something I actually enjoy.

As for the main topic - I save regularly but generally not in the middle of big fights to cheese them. I don't have time to replay whole maps due to one mistake.

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1 hour ago, Murdoch said:

If a trap or combat encounter cannot be cannot be reasonably be anticipated and reacted to without prior knowledge, it's bad design. I have often heard people excuse what I consider not fun games and maps with "it gets better once you learn the maps" and I am like... wha? Who has time for that? Why would I play something multiple times to learn it's badly considered combat encounters when I could just play something I actually enjoy.

I'm not about to say that you should force yourself to play maps that you don't enjoy in the hopes that you'll end up liking them more, but to say that it's bad design to create something that the player won't anticipate at first is closing yourself off to wide realms of design. It's like saying music is bad if you can't sight-read it. If I'm having a good time playing the map, I won't mind playing it again. Repeating something too many times or having to redo a huge section can be a drag, but Doom has always had a save system, and I think it's reasonable for map makers to expect players to use it to alleviate the worst of the repetition.

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Making fights beatable without prior knowledge or a reliable strategy just makes a combat puzzle map dull. And difficult fight/trap gives a combat puzzle map replay value. Unless you hate “Souless, repetitive, boring slaughterfests” Heh

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1 hour ago, Shepardus said:

I'm not about to say that you should force yourself to play maps that you don't enjoy in the hopes that you'll end up liking them more, but to say that it's bad design to create something that the player won't anticipate at first is closing yourself off to wide realms of design. It's like saying music is bad if you can't sight-read it. If I'm having a good time playing the map, I won't mind playing it again. Repeating something too many times or having to redo a huge section can be a drag, but Doom has always had a save system, and I think it's reasonable for map makers to expect players to use it to alleviate the worst of the repetition.

 

Sorry but i really dont get your analogy at all. I stand by what say. It's bad design to create a scenario that will almost certainly result in fatal damage and not give the chance for a suitably skilled and alert player to save themselves from death. If i die i want to because my skills failed me, not because i opened a door and there was a cyberdemon on the other side.

 

I don't expect everyone to agree. That's fine. It's a subjective thing. I'm busy and have a short fuse. I don't have time nor the patience to waste time reloading due to dickish design. 

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Save whenever it makes sense at x event like in a modern game. In my case , I save when I pick up keys, start boss fights, start horde firefights , platform sections , picking up rad suits, going to a point of no return ect.

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5 hours ago, Murdoch said:

Agree with this 100%. If a trap or combat encounter cannot be cannot be reasonably be anticipated and reacted to without prior knowledge, it's bad design. I have often heard people excuse what I consider not fun games and maps with "it gets better once you learn the maps" and I am like... wha? Who has time for that? Why would I play something multiple times to learn it's badly considered combat encounters when I could just play something I actually enjoy.

The reason why I "waste time" on maps with "badly considered encounters" is because they usually remain at least a little bit challenging even when I know what's about to happen.

 

You just can't do "top-end-difficulty-encounter-design" while also adhering to the arbitrary and overall baseless doctrine that anything that cannot be beaten "cold start" is "bad design". By your logic, virtually every challenge or slaughtermap out there is badly designed, and it should be readily apparent even to genre naysayers just how bad of a take that is at the bottom line - not to mention that something person A can do first try might also be something person B needs to practice first, which puts yet another dent into authoritative statements regarding what is or isn't "well-designed" when "first-tryability" is the only metric in question.

 

That being said, any argument about the quality of something that is made by someone who inherently dislikes said something, is best dismissed as hollow drivel, because at worst it poisons the well when it comes to forum discourse...

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Important PSA:

Playing with saves is fine! Playing with cheat codes is fine! Playing every map saveless without a keyboard is fine too! Doom is a hobby, do whatever feels fun to you!

 

 

3 hours ago, Murdoch said:

 

Sorry but i really dont get your analogy at all. I stand by what say. It's bad design to create a scenario that will almost certainly result in fatal damage and not give the chance for a suitably skilled and alert player to save themselves from death. If i die i want to because my skills failed me, not because i opened a door and there was a cyberdemon on the other side.

 

I don't expect everyone to agree. That's fine. It's a subjective thing. I'm busy and have a short fuse. I don't have time nor the patience to waste time reloading due to dickish design. 

I get where are you coming from, and I have my own beef with "wasting time reloading due to dickish design", and "why did the mapmaker decide to hide this part of crucial info from the player? Do they want me to open the map in the editor, or what?".

 

However, there is an impotranat caveat:

A suffiently skilled player can survive in absolutley insane scenarios, even without prior warning. And what at first seems like a "lucky chance" often turns out to be a non-obvious application of some subtle skill.

 

A year ago, when I watched UV-maxes of some insane maps on youtube, I assumed that dodging revenant crowds in tiny rooms is very luck depended. I thought that in those fights the speedrunners just try repeatedly until they get the lucky attempt. However, nowdays I myself can dance with revenant hordes in narrow rooms with good consistency.

What I considered a pure luck, turned out to be a skill! 

 

And the same can be said about ambushes. With a right mindset, good reflexes, and some experience with doom combat, it is possible to save youself from some blatantly unfair ambushes, even if those ambushes catch you completely by surprise. I myself was pretty surprised, when I was able to blindly escape some of the Ozonia later maps' setpieces alive. (Of course, other Ozonia setpices absolutely destroyed me on my first try. In the end, you win some, you lose some.)

 

Ok, I accidentally made a wall of text! Damnations!

What I am trying to say, is that "this fight can be survived without any prior knowledge" is very elusive and skill-dependent.

 

As for the issue of saves, I want to say the following:

1. Using saves is different from save-scumming. Save-scumming implies maximising saves to get as much advantage as you can. Saving once or twice per map should not be called save-scumming.

 

2. Playing maps without saves is fun, because it leads to unexpected challenges even on familiar maps. It also tests the player's adaptability and improvisation skills under pressure.

 

3. Playing maps with saves is also fun. This way, you can focus on the most fun parts of the map, and you also can allow youself to be careless from time to time. And, of course, playing with saves allows you to save your precious time.

 

4. Some of the longer maps can be exausting when played without saves. A casual UV playthrough of Eviternity Map 19 (for example) requires either saves, or a pretty high player skill. Keep in mind that most individual encounters on that map are relatively easy, even when compared to Map 17 from the same episode of Eviternity. It is the sheer quantity of encounters, which kills you on Map 19.

 

5. If someone wants a fun WAD to try some fun saveless runs - I highly recommend Bourgeois Megawad. The maps are short and diverse, and instant-death ambushes are very rare. Most maps are pretty approachable, especially in the first half of the WAD. And lower difficulties are present too! (Beware of map 27, however! This one is a sadistic bloodthirsty monster!)

Edited by Azure_Horror : grammar, yet again

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I say it depends on what you like to have at the Moment.

But it should be a Choice!

 

Going through without saving can be a fun Challange.

But it can be really annoing if forced.

 

In the End it is something that is born because of the Design of Consoles and their lack of Memory Space.

 

I personally had more Fun playing Doom 64 with saves in the modern Port as the original,

a simple Error and all the Level again, thats boring.

 

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

You just can't do "top-end-difficulty-encounter-design" while also adhering to the arbitrary and overall baseless doctrine that anything that cannot be beaten "cold start" is "bad design". By your logic, virtually every challenge or slaughtermap out there is badly designed, and it should be readily apparent even to genre naysayers just how bad of a take that is at the bottom line - not to mention that something person A can do first try might also be something person B needs to practice first, which puts yet another dent into authoritative statements regarding what is or isn't "well-designed" when "first-tryability" is the only metric in question.

 

You're applying my perhaps not quite specific enough ramblings to more wide ranging scenarios than what I intended. I will endeavor to clarify. I find reloading due to dickish design is tedious. I have a short fuse, and little patience. I want to fail because I zigged when I should have zagged, not because I had no conceivable way of reacting to something unless I knew precisely what was coming. That's boring and kills the feeling of surprise and spontaneity. I like combat where I am forced to quickly assess a situation and improvise (and am given the chance to do so), not hit reload all the time because they surrounded me completely in one second flat and I could not move nor clear a path quick enough cause I did not already have the right weapon out. Or they dropped a ceiling on my head that's going to hurt me no matter how fast I run when I hear it begin to move and it kills me because I took a bad hit in the last fight. That's the kind of scenario I am talking about, not the brutal but fair if your skills are up to task kind. If that's your idea of a good time, great. I am not making definitive, objective statements here. These are my subjective thoughts on what makes good design and what makes bad design. I am not wrong, and you are not wrong either. We all enjoy different things.

 

1 hour ago, Azure_Horror said:

A suffiently skilled player can survive in absolutley insane scenarios, even without prior warning. And what at first seems like a "lucky chance" often turns out to be a non-obvious application of some subtle skill.

 

Eh... yes and no. Depends on the player, depends on the scenario.

 

1 hour ago, Azure_Horror said:

And the same can be said about ambushes. With a right mindset, good reflexes, and some experience with doom combat, it is possible to save youself from some blatantly unfair ambushes, even if those ambushes catch you completely by surprise. I myself was pretty surprised, when I was able to blindly escape some of the Ozonia later maps' setpieces alive. (Of course, other Ozonia setpices absolutely destroyed me on my first try. In the end, you win some, you lose some.)

 

Of course. That's where sufficiently skilled player comes in. It's relative to the gameplay design of the map.

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I mean yeah, kind of a challenge, however what i don't recommend you to do is play plutonia uv blind

(i'm beating tnt and i literally need saves)

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I prefer playing without saving, because it adds excitement. Nowadays if I save the game at key moments, the fun drops, because it becomes routine. I want to feel in danger when playing DOOM, and overcome that danger. Most of the gameplay in DOOM is like this, if you're careful it's perfectly survivable. The exception comes when I'm facing platforming puzzles unlikely to survive, because those require a bit of luck. And I also save when I need to go away; I'm not going full ironman.

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I like to savescum hard maps on UV, but sometimes i just "how far can i get without saves?"

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It's anyone's right to have their own preference without being judged for it. Personally I prefer saveless unless the maps are too time-consuming, difficult or frustrating. When I was younger and I felt I had all the time in the world I almost always tried to beat the hard maps saveless but nowadays as a middle-aged man I pick my moments of when to save and when not to. I just don't have the same time to spend with games anymore. 

 

There's never any need for harsh words just because someone prefers saves or not.

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It...can be? If you're deliberately challenging yourself. The problem is 1) Every instruction manual featuring a game with saves always tells you to save and I think that includes the Ultimate Doom. and 2) People just don't have the time anymore to spend literally hours and hours on harder levels when most people are older and certainly busier than the "Nintendo Hard" (have the clowns who came up with the term ever played anything on the Master System? Or in arcades? It's so fucking misleading) sort of gaming philosophy have time for.

 

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22 hours ago, Murdoch said:

 

You're applying my perhaps not quite specific enough ramblings to more wide ranging scenarios than what I intended. I will endeavor to clarify. I find reloading due to dickish design is tedious. I have a short fuse, and little patience. I want to fail because I zigged when I should have zagged, not because I had no conceivable way of reacting to something unless I knew precisely what was coming. That's boring and kills the feeling of surprise and spontaneity. I like combat where I am forced to quickly assess a situation and improvise (and am given the chance to do so), not hit reload all the time because they surrounded me completely in one second flat and I could not move nor clear a path quick enough cause I did not already have the right weapon out. Or they dropped a ceiling on my head that's going to hurt me no matter how fast I run when I hear it begin to move and it kills me because I took a bad hit in the last fight. That's the kind of scenario I am talking about, not the brutal but fair if your skills are up to task kind. If that's your idea of a good time, great. I am not making definitive, objective statements here. These are my subjective thoughts on what makes good design and what makes bad design. I am not wrong, and you are not wrong either. We all enjoy different things.

 

 

Having played through a game called "Deathtrap Dungeon" I think I can completely get behind what you're saying.

 

Walking over a line and being teleported into a room full of imps that instantly claw your face off because you didn't have the BFG out while you were walking down the hall; walking down a narrow hall, walking over an invisible walk-line and having the walls open up with exploding monsters like the Serious-Sam Kamikazes but moving at the speed of Nightmare Pinkies within arms reach of you, explode you from max health and armor because you didn't move one-step at a time to trigger that walkover line and start running back; Seeing the Yellow key in a room at the end of the hall, walking towards it only to fall through a fake floor into an inescapable damaging pit... these aren't challenging. You WILL die to these when playing blind. This is bad design.

 

If a map throws an encounter at you that requires foreknowledge, it is bad design. These are the type of encounters where, it doesn't matter if you are better/skilled at Doom than all the well-regarded "Doom Gods" combined, you will die here not because you "Lack the skill" but because you didn't know you didn't know that trap was there.

 

Most Slaughter maps, the well-designed ones at least, don't do this.

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