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Hisymak

Is it even fun to play Doom without saves?

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So, I saw people saying they play Doom wads (on UV, blind run...) without using mid-level saves. And I am wondering, whether it is even fun to play like this?
My main point is, that whenever I die in a level and I don't have a recent save from that level (due to either forgetting or deciding not to save), I have to restart the level and play the whole part again. And imagine it's a very long level which takes 30, 40, 50... minutes to finish, and I die near completion of level, I must spend all the time over again, and replay what I have played so far. Which, eh, is really NOT fun. Especially, if it's a very hard level where it's extremely likely to die often, this method of playing is even completely impossible.
The other point, besides replaying whole level from beginning not being fun, is, that I can't even afford that due to timely restrictions. I'm an adult who has a job and irl matters, so I have pretty much limited time per day to play Doom (like 30-60 minutes max) so I want to finish at least one level per day and move on. And sometimes I even struggle repeating some hard parts 10, 20... or more times so the play time even prolongs. I can't say I'm unskilled or bad player, I finished lot of megawads including hard ones like AV, BTSX E2 etc.

 

So my question is what actually most people find so fun on playing without saves?
I can fully understand it's one form of challenge - like, we have speedrunning challenges, pacifist run challenges and such, so this is another challenge people desire to beat, and feel satisfied and possibly achieving their runs appearing on top-lists. That of course requires dedication, training, and reserving enough time for execution.
What I'm actually pointing to, is casual play just for fun & relax, like I do. I'm constantly playing through new megawads (new ones or old ones I haven't played yet) and want to fluently go through them and enjoy the map aesthetics, music, and reasonable challenge. Playing without saves with the risk of dying and losing all level progress is a NO-go.

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Posted (edited)

So I've read and re-read this post a few times over and I'm not entirely sure what it is you're really asking here. I could be redundant and say, "fun is subjective" but you already seem to be aware of that fact and demonstrate as such at the beginning of the second paragraph and thus kind of answered your own question as to why some people wish to play that way. Same goes for the save-less casual play question as well: Because that's how some people enjoy it!

 

I guess to answer the question posed in the title of this thread: YES! (for some people, anyways.)

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It’s fun, I mean, people were playtesting in form of First-Demo-Attempts. There are events in which you try and play through a wad blind, and see how far you can go without dying. But, people won’t do that often if they want to actually finish stuff.

 

The only thing that is not fun is to force yourself playing with a way that you don’t enjoy. And think about how others enjoy the way that you don’t enjoy, some people want to spend time on video games, some people don’t. And the best way to deal with it is to ignore it completely.

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1 hour ago, Hisymak said:

My main point is, that whenever I die in a level and I don't have a recent save from that level (due to either forgetting or deciding not to save), I have to restart the level and play the whole part again. And imagine it's a very long level which takes 30, 40, 50... minutes to finish, and I die near completion of level, I must spend all the time over again, and replay what I have played so far. Which, eh, is really NOT fun. Especially, if it's a very hard level where it's extremely likely to die often, this method of playing is even completely impossible.

Your main point is a non-argument, because what is or isn't fun is subject to the eye of the beholder... You may not find it fun, but someone else does...

 

It's like you're asking if eating asparagus is any enjoyable while you yourself do not enjoy the taste...

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Subjective, and depends on both your skill and your mindset.

 

For example, when I pistol-started (saveless) Plutonia, I made sure I had free time and the process of figuring out the best strategy was tons of fun. When I play a harder set, I save a lot. Otherwise, how could I ever experience harder, grander sets?

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If it's a wad where I can one-shot maps >80% of the time, the extra time commitment won't be that big. On the high end of that, dying on 20% of maps in a full megawad would be 6 maps, but actually less because the 2nd attempt would often be faster and easier, so that isn't too much of a time sink for me. (Generally I start playing longer maps with saves after a couple deaths, which lowers the risk of runaway time spending.) 

 

Realistically, though, I play with saves more often than not these days anyway, for time and energy reasons. (No-saving is still more energy-intensive even when it doesn't add much time.) When I play Doom for around 30 minutes in a day, it's with lots of saves. On days when I play more, there's more room to play without saves.

 

The fun part of playing without saves is how tense and exciting it can be -- how much can be at stake with avoiding deaths, how intently you sometimes have to engage with minor nuances of a map and with planning and anticipation. It can be exhilarating. It sometimes can have moments of frustration -- but someone playing that way has decided that it's worth it for the good feelings. 

 

People who do that regularly also tend to not die overly often. Or at least their death rate is low enough to avoid it being a waste of time for them. There is a feedback loop involved where people who play without saves tend to get better at staying alive when doing so; said people also self-select from people who are more likely to think it's possible for them. For someone who wants to spend a lot of time with a set, a death rate might qualify as "low enough" even when it's high. Some people take a "less is more" approach with the number of wads they play and are willing to extend a megawad to twice or more of its length by playing saveless -- and prefer that way of doing it over replaying front-to-back afterwards.


It's not really a "challenge" thing for me? It's more like "I like these feelings." People sometimes assume challenge is the only reason you'd do that -- I'd say that's because for some people it's easier to assume a layer of artifice, a sort of "frame" applied to the same shared experience, than to realize people are approaching the game from very, very different emotional bases. Like if you see the color gold, you don't assume someone else sees blue. But very base level engagement with the game can be quite different from person to person.

 

I play mostly casually and just for fun and to relax. A lot of that is saveless. A lot is not. 

 

A bit of a digression on "challenge":

 

Spoiler

The concept of "challenge" is sometimes used very robotically to me. The way to use it that makes sense to me is doing something hard and stressful relative to what you can handle. So that varies from person to person. It's not like some styles of playing are uniformly "challenge" and others are "casual play." 

 

Here are some ways of playing that are not automatically "challenge": speedrunning (for an experienced runner, a lower-effort table fill -- or record beat -- can be easy and relaxing), saveless play (can be a map I'm not especially likely to die in), UV -fast or NM on a map that is still easy that way (I rarely play on those settings but have found it fun and relaxing on some maps). 

 

And here are some that are thought of as "casual play" but can have more of the ring of "challenge": some maps are hard enough that UV is a stressful, demanding experience for just about everyone even with plenty of saves (saving through Abandon the first time, a wad I loved, was a lot more grueling than FDA-ing nearly all maps I'd usually FDA); playing an especially absurd map for the first time on HNTR or HMP, with saves, can still be that, so lower difficulties are not automatically "casual play"; silly, arbitrary challenges like playing map01 of Doom 2 with strafing and mouse-turn only to move :P (not hard but that sort of experimental play is definitely "challenge" to me). 

 

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I'm coming at this from a musician's standpoint, I guess.

I'm a UV pistol start player and I typically only save on the blind run. Furthermore, I only save if it is CLEARLY going to be a big fight moment. Don't scum during fights either. I look at this run purely as practice. I'm taking the time to learn the encounters and spawns, the level progression, infighting strategies, etc. You're just learning the basic structure of the level, like a song, and breaking down it's individual sections into practicable chunks. Then, when I come back and play the wad again, I look at it as a performance or a culmination of what I've learned, like a song. There's something incredibly satisfying about being able to complete something in one go with minimal mistakes after really perfecting it. My brain handles being able to play a Doom level without saving and playing a song without mistakes with the same reward. 

For some people, it's just about creating extra challenge in a game where they feel they've conquered them all. For some, it's about the mastery and exacting of a craft that makes people feel real growth and progression in their skillsets. I get what you're saying, for sure. I will frequently walk away from a wad after a bitter defeat of 40+ minutes. It's not an easy thing to jump right back into after being so demoralized. Once I started doing it though, I found that the reward for completing difficult levels without saves was a pretty great and real one for me. 

In summary, save if you want. Or don't. There are valid reasons for both! :D

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Yeah it feels like OP is asking for reasons why people find playing saveless fun.

 

To that I am not quite sure. I tried doing that in the past but I don't find playing saveless fun so I don't play it that way.

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I have to admit I have very similar opinions to Hisymak in that I don't get what is appealing about playing saveless. Every time I've been playing with saves and have had so much fun I forget to save and end up at the beginning of the map when I die, I lose almost all my motivation to continue playing, and when I eventually do get through the level it feels like a slog because I've already played it.

 

Still, this thread has been really interesting, and as a result I might try doing a few saveless runs in the future. The idea that it feels more tense does sound particularly engaging, but the added difficulty that comes with it could be a double edged sword - I'm not that great at doom to begin with, so certain fights could end up becoming intolerable.

 

11 minutes ago, Dragonfly said:

This thread's OP sounds more like a discussion point than a "defend why u like savelss lol" thread.

I also completely agree here, it seems more like they're asking for other points of view rather than just mindless slander

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It's about as fun as playing Doom with saves. (hypothetical) Infuriating gameplay, retarded gimmicks and garbage visuals aren't going to be salvaged by ability to go back in time for 10 seconds.

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I don't know, but for me: No, it's not "fun". Why do I still do it then? Because it gives me a bigger happiness boost after beating a map. Just the feeling that I've just overcame a hard challenge.

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You can have fun however you want.

I used to try and hybridize saves/saveless (basically saves with self-imposed rules):
If I die, start from the beginning and only until I reach the point of death will I allow myself to save. Repeat process.

For me, I found this method a bit more gratifying as I "re-earn" my position, prove to myself that I didn't get there by fluke.

Of course, this whole self-imposed rule system can go out the window for longer maps, and I tend to habitually quicksave now as I am getting older.

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Hmm, sometimes I found myself playing Doom (mega)wads without saving, just to find out how far I'd get into the levels, and would only save after I'd made some notable progress, depending on the map set. In fact I'd term this as casual playing, as opposed to challenge of any kind, a bit of time-killer even. And yes, it can be fun. Replaying the same level from the start several times to figure out the best way to beat it can be fun, but of course it requires more time than doing it with saves in one run.

 

But I do remember the lack of manual saves in Dark Forces being frustrating sometimes, at least back when I played that.

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8 minutes ago, kwc said:

You can have fun however you want.

I used to try and hybridize saves/saveless (basically saves with self-imposed rules):
If I die, start from the beginning and only until I reach the point of death will I allow myself to save. Repeat process.

For me, I found this method a bit more gratifying as I "re-earn" my position, prove to myself that I didn't get there by fluke.

Of course, this whole self-imposed rule system can go out the window for longer maps, and I tend to habitually quicksave now as I am getting older.


Honestly, a self-imposed ruleset is a great way to go. It helps rationalize some things in your playing.

e.g. I will idclip to get out of a pit on a map I've played multiple times because in my mind, I KNOW I shouldn't have fallen in there and I normally never would. I will probably die, have no save to fall back on, and don't really feel like starting over, so I will idclip out and not feel bad about it. Or, if you like bump your mouse and accidentally rocket yourself. I'll /resurrect or whatever. I will also idclip to save time in maps that require you to make long traversals across the map to areas you may have opened. I won't do this if enemies spawn or there are pain floors somewhere along the path I have to take, of course. 

it all comes down to whatever catalyzes your best Doom self and gives you the best feeling when you've completed a level, whatever that may be. 

Unless you're speedrunning or competing in some way. Then don't cheat >:(

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If you don't have any time: No.

 

If you have a lot of time on your hands and are looking for a challenge: Yes.

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You guys know what I do

 

I love to make videos and play as many maps as possible

 

But I have extremely limited time and don't like to repeat fights so I save to give myself more time to play more maps

 

 I actually have quick save bonding to my F key. 

 

But despite saving if I can beat an entire map without dying while blind it's a good feeling

 

Either way it's funny these types of conversations keep happening.  Have fun and play how you like everybody is different and has different time constraints etc

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What’s so fun about playing saveless?

 

It’s the similar satisfaction you get in taking down a boss from full to zero health, without saving or being granted a ‘checkpoint’ in the middle of the fight.

 

Of course, levels are often much longer than a boss. And Doom user levels can often be much longer than that. Going purely “saveless” can be a bit daunting when it’s a long map that springs a deathtrap near its end…and then you find out there’s another deathtrap near the end..!

 

I walk between “saveless” and “minimum saves” these days. Before that I used to pull a quicksave every other room.

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Posted (edited)

There was a time when I loved to play difficult levels without saving but that is now over. Now I regularly use saves.

 

Unless you are in a special mood and have a lot of free time, playing without save adds no fun, except in some cases (ironman challenge where you stop the game as soon as you die).

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Posted (edited)

Some play to unwind, some play for challenge. The greater the challenge, the better the satisfaction after beating it. 

I can see the merit in both but for me, unwinding with some consequence-free demon blasting is the way to go. I get my satisfaction from making maps. 

Let's say I spend 20 hours playing through a megawad, and I spend 20 hours making a little map. If one person plays it, and says it was cool, I'll get way more dopamine, it doesn't even compare. Everybody's tastes and stuff is individual. 

Now, I don't mean to flex, all I wanna say is that there is no wrong way to enjoy doom. I think playing save-less is mainly about the dopamine rush you get in the end. You also get it a little by little with every gibbed imp, and every two-shot cyber. I can't imagine spending the same 20 hours trying to beat s speed run. I'd go nuts

Edited by HrnekBezucha

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11 minutes ago, Clippy said:

You guys know what I do

 

I love to make videos and play as many maps as possible

 

But I have extremely limited time and don't like to repeat fights so I save to give myself more time to play more maps

 

 I actually have quick save bonding to my F key. 

 

But despite saving if I can beat an entire map without dying while blind it's a good feeling

 

Either way it's funny these types of conversations keep happening.  Have fun and play how you like everybody is different and has different time constraints etc

I genuinely consider switching to dsda-doom only because it lets me rewind time a bit. 

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I'll reiterate what I said in another thread some months ago: I rarely find playing saveless fun, especially when a map takes 30+ minutes to beat as it is and/or leans towards the harder side when it comes to combat. By using saves, I'm saving time and shreds of my sanity.

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I hate the ability to save whenever, wherever. It turns tests of skill into brainless "run at the wall until you go through it" tests of patience. 

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Maybe I don't like reloading my progress a hundred times to get through a map, and prefer them short enough so that dying at the end wouldn't even matter. It's a part of why I love the original Plutonia, after all.

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Posted (edited)

I like to challenge myself by limiting it to 20 saves per room per map with Russian Overkill. Your skill probably isn't as high as mine, but I'm sure you can find a good way to challenge yourself in whatever way is most fun to you.

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People wouldn't play without saves if they didn't find it fun. I myself am firmly in the camp of "don't care at all and will savescum", but it's easy to understand why people play without saves, beating a map in one go is fulfilling!

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Posted (edited)

Saveless runs can be stressful sometimes, but I find savescumming worse. For me it feels like I'm cheating (for me, I'm not judging) and even if I try to create some rules I don't have enough discipline to keep them for too long. I would prefer a system similar to arcade games: With checkpoints, lives and continues. That would create a good balance of challenge, reward and punishment that would satisfy my brain for much longer. I also really like the idea from WRATH, turning saves into items. That way saving becames a bigger part of the game experience and I find that more engaging.

Edited by Noiser

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56 minutes ago, HrnekBezucha said:

I genuinely consider switching to dsda-doom only because it lets me rewind time a bit. 

 

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

 

@Graf Zahl 👀

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