View Poll Results: Do you like the Far Cry 3 save system?

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  • Yes, it´s good. Why people are complaining?

    12 27.91%
  • No, it definitely could be better.

    22 51.16%
  • No, total dealbreaker.

    7 16.28%
  • Doesn´t matter. I´m hardcore and I´ll play the game even with no savegame at all.

    2 4.65%
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Open World Game, do whatever you want whenever you want, but you can only try once

    Far Cry 3 – It´s an Open World Game, do whatever you want whenever you want, but you can try only once

    I received Far Cry 3 as a Christmas Gift. I was very anxious to play it. But soon the save game system threw a bucket of cold water over my expectation of having plenty of fun. Now I´ll have to play the game much more seriously. I´ll probably continue the game in the easier difficulty setting, since I´ll have to be repeating many parts of the game anyway, and my free time is short. So it´s better not to die.

    When I load a game, I don’t want to lose progress. I want to continue from where and when I left, and I want to be able to leave the game anytime I want without losing too much progress.

    DISCLAIMER
    : This post is going to be about the save game system in Far Cry 3, which I consider bad, and how it negatively affects the gameplay. ***If you think that this system is good, please do not try to defend the “indefensable” here. [Note 1]*** Just go ahead and create a thread called "The Wonderful Far Cry 3 save game system” and convince people that it couldn´t be better.
    [Note 1] *** I admit I was arrogant here. People can like the current system, even more if it fits their way to play a game. I´ll take back those words. But I still would like to see a thread about its positive characteristics. ***

    PATCHES
    : On top of that, the 4 patches released so far (4 patches in 1 month), seems to corrupt or not accept the previous version save games. It didn’t´ happened to me, since I started playing very recently. But lots of people are complaining and having to restart from scratch. Well, if I lose 10 hours of gameplay due to a patch, I would be very angry. Those 10 hours of gameplay represents about 1 week of gameplay for me. I would be very disappointed with the lack of respect upon player’s gameplay time. I don´t have much free time, so before updating ask me first if I accept to lose my save game before patching, even if a "no" means no multiplayer. At least I´ll get the time to finish the story.

    Other Articles


    There are plenty of articles in the Internet very well elaborated and with brilliant insights about the negative aspects of this save game system. Here are some:

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/12/04/what-i-loathe-about-far-cry-3/

    http://kotaku.com/5965573/before-you...3-the-best-way
    http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/farcry3/reviews.html
    http://www.screencuisine.net/screenc...likes-edition/
    http://egamer.co.za/2012/12/gaming-l...ate-far-cry-3/

    Ubisoft did it again


    Far Cry 2 was quite impressive. Great graphics and Physiscs engine, excellent action, weapons, and so on. But also lots of driving around, even using the bus stations. But the worse of it definitely was the “outpost respawning” problem. If you don´t know what it is, just Google it. A great game hindered by a big flaw.

    In my opinion, because of it, 3 years later Far Cry 2 could be found in the bargain bin of digital download sites with deep discounts. According to some developer manager or something like that, the root problem was in the way the game handled the memory, and it could not be patched. The map is divided in grids that were loaded into the memory. Each time you left a grid, the new one was loaded into memory. But just when you get back to the first one, the grid was reloaded into memory and the outposts were reset.

    Sure, it´s a shooter, but not because of that I´d find it fun to shoot the same guys over and over again in the same place and to repair my vehicle every time. I have better things to do with my time.

    At least the save game system worked great on the PC.

    How it works


    First of all I would like to explain how the Far Cry 3 save game system works. It is confusing and it´s not explained well in the provided ingame documentation. Lots of people on the forums are explaining it wrong. I don´t blame them, because it´s quite unique from what I have ever seen. So here we go:

    NOTE:
    If you found anything wrong in this explanation, just advise and I´ll correct it.

    Game slots:

    Every time you start a new game it asks you what slot you want to use. There are 3 available slots. Each one will hold the saves from a different campaign. You cannot use more than 1 slot in 1 gameplay.

    Autosaves and saves:

    Each game slot actually have 2 slots. One is used to store the game automatic savings in checkpoint, and the other one is used for your manual savings. As you can deduce from that, each time you save, you overwrite your previous save.

    Saving Autosaves

    Autosaves are saved after specific actions or when you enter mission areas (story or side missions). As far as I could observe, it´s after you craft something, buy/sell at shops, enter/complete missions and so on. A symbol will appear in the upper right side of the screen.

    Loading Autosaves
    An autosave is loaded when you die in a mission. If you die during a mission, it will load the last checkpoint and you´ll continue the mission from there, losing the progress you made from that checkpoint up to the moment you died. In this regard, it´s much like the save system in games like Call of Duty or Crysis 2 and I don´t see much of a problem, ONLY IF the checkpoints are well placed.

    If you want to force reload a checkpoint save, you must quit to the main menu, go in Story, Load Game, and select the autosave slot.

    Saving Manual Saves

    First of all, you CAN quick save. Just press F9 when you´re not in a mission. If within a mission, you get a message that you can´t save there. Also, you can save accessing the main menu and choosing SAVE. There’s no difference. Everytime you save, you overwrite your previous save. The game even warns you about that, what I don´t understand why, since you have no other save slot.

    Loading Manual Saves

    You can load a manually saved game using quick load (F11) or quitting to the main menu and accessing the game slot, as described before.
    The point with this one is: you can quick save (F9) when and where you want; but you cannot load where you want. When you hit F11, you just appear in the nearest safe house / radio tower with same amount of progress as when you saved.

    After you die

    When you die during a mission, it reloads you in your previous checkpoint that was saved during the mission. During missions (story and side missions) and approaching outposts, the checkpoints seem reasonably well placed, as far as I observed. So, if you die, it´s not that great deal, but you´ll have start the combat from scratch.

    When you die wandering around the island, you just respawn at the nearest safe house or radio tower. You don´t lose what you did so far (crafted items, items, and so on) and keeps the same amount of ammo from the moment you died. But if you were doing something, you´ll have to go over there again and continue.

    Why?

    So my question is: Why? Why this poor design decision?

    PCs and consoles can hold many save game slots, and of course you can save and load an open world game in the same location, as with Far Cry 2 and many other games. Have this game a problem with loading exactly in the location where you saved? Will you spawn inside an animal running around? I don´t imagine why this decision was taken in the first place, considering that all the technical aspects seems to be there.

    Of course it was a decision by the developers. This system was no accident. They considered it the most adequate for the game. But I still don´t understand why, because if you let the players decide would be so much better.

    Open world, but restricted options


    Do you know ONE of the reasons why people love Valve´s games? It´s because they give you absolute freedom on how to play. Want to save many times in different slots? Check. Quick save, quick load? Check. Want to try new approaches and if you fail, just reload the game? Check. Want to use cheats? Check! You can even use cheats in the Coop mode of Portal 2!

    I personally like the Civilization series as well, since in the IV and V iterations you can do whatever you want in single player using a “world builder” or “online editor”. The game is yours, and you´re free to play it the way you want.

    I´ve never heard someone complain about “excess of options”. If you don´t want to use a feature, like a quick save, just don´t use it, but let others do the way they want.

    What we are losing


    Players are losing many things with this save system:

    1)
    Can´t record a moment in the story.
    You have just 1 slot. Want to save in the middle of the story to replay from there, or revive a special part, or show it to someone else? Forget it.

    **2)
    You play cautiously.
    In the trailers they show you all those cool ways to kill your enemies. But I think I´ll prefer to snipe them from far away, because if you die, you´ll have to repeat all your progress from the last checkpoint or simple get back to the action from the nearest safe house. Not very funny. Also, if you´re driving around or hunting and get killed, you´re out of luck, because you´ll respawn at the nearest safe house.

    **3)
    You don´t try new approaches.
    I like to have a stealth approach, but usually you have to try some times until you get the right strategy to not get caught. Well, how to do that, if I cannot load after a failed approach? I won´t repeat large chunks of gameplay to do that. Maybe I´ll just run and shoot, or just let me get killed, so I´ll respawn at the lat checkpoint.

    4)
    Cannot repeat after a bad victory
    If you succeed in a mission, but got it very badly and want to repeat the combat to get a better result (hey, this is fun), forget it. Usually the game saves after the mission is successfully completed, overwriting your saved game, so you lose your previous saved game and cannot try again.

    **5) Experimentation
    If you want to experiment with the game options and try out a new syringe, try something crazy with the glider or just jump over a cliff to see what happens, without compromise, it´s not possible. You can´t quick save, try it out and get if it get wrong, and just quick load; you can do that, but if you die or just regret what you die, you´ll load at the nearest safe house.

    **6)
    Relics and lost letters sometimes requires some platformingI just added this one. I was seeking relics, and to reach some of them you have to make some platforming. Some not so easy jumps in narrow rocks at a cliff, for example, to get 2 relics north of the 1st outpost you take, in a very high cliff with a lake at the bottom. Usually a like to quick save before trying those stunts, because falling would mean certain death. Well, I quick saved, got a jump wrong and smashed in a rock. Then, respawned in a safe house. I had to to all the driving and walking back to this remote location.

    7
    ) Anything that I could not think of?

    NOTE: *** I see now that points 2, 3 and 5 are basically different instances about the same issue. I added a 6th point that can be included here. ***

    Conclusion


    It´s indeed a gorgeous open world begging to be explored. I´ve played a portion of the story, and so far the game is very fun, the history is interesting and the world is fantastic. Usually you can start the side missions very near from the safe houses and the goal for the missions is never very far away. The fast travels works fine, and the checkpoint saving during missions worked fine (as I experienced so far).

    But the “sandbox” concept is really not there (sandbox game is like a real sandbox, a place where you´re free to experiment and try new things without major consequences and anxiety for getting it wrong). The main tool to allow this “sandbox” gameplay is flawed. A strong save game system is not only a feature that demonstrates respect for the player’s gameplay time, but it’s a gameplay feature as well.

    The way you play is strongly affected by this. Unless you are a super hardcore gamer, most players don´t like to repeat the same chunks of gameplay over and over again, or repeat menial tasks like crafting, scavenging and driving around.

    And if you die, you don´t want to get punished for that; you want another chance to get better. Losing a lot of progress and having to redo boring tasks after you die is a punishment that refrain players for taking profitable risks. I don´t want to hear this story of “if you die you´ll have consequences and this will lead to a more interesting gameplay”. I already have this in real life, in games I want to have fun.

    Well, this is it. I doubt that they will make such a huge change on the game, though.
    Last edited by anmattos; 01-04-2013 at 12:17 AM.
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  2. #2
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    TL;DR but for FC2:

    That theory of the game not being able to be patched is TOTALLY incorrect. Just if the AI entities would have been stored in global mapsdata and only have their physics/AI update functions called when standing inside a valid, loaded worldsector would have fixed it, then only adding some script magic for respawning them in time would have been needed.
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  3. #3
    It's a console port no matter how they dress it - I imagine the PC graphical options are merely a testbed for Crysis 3.

    Consoles need levels due to memory restrictions and optical disc loading times. Indeed this is a Far Cry from the first 2 games where one was pretty much free to do what they liked any time. Alas This time around it's more like the minigames of poker, albeit you can exit those.

    I tried the hardcore approach playing on top difficulty from the start. Imagine my frustration to learn that since 1.4 patch was forced on me, all my playtime had been reduced back to default difficulty... one more nanny is moderating my game

    I'm afraid I care more for my enjoyement in a game than I care for it's save system - it's the least of the things wrong.

    The multiplayer just lacks the ability to have a good frag.
    i5-2500k | 16gb pc-12800 | 2 x 128gb ssd | 2 x hd 7970 | 2560x1440p | win 7 ultimate
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  4. #4
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    It's not optimal, sure. But it's also not a dealbreaker.

    I can see the reasoning behind it, but it's one of those things that just kinda goes by QC because this or that developer really felt strongly about it. Not being able to save while on a mission is indeed a strange idea, but given how most of the story missions have one or more set-pieces involved in its execution, it's not illogical to think the developers want you to experience the whole thing instead of breaking pace by quick-saving and then doing it again.

    I've died A LOT during the last stages of the "DUDE! SUB BASE!" mission from the Monkey Business pack, it got me frustrated at first, but then I realized some things:

    1. I was trying to kill everyone in a mission which was clearly designed for me to run;
    2. There were multiple ways to escape, I was never forced to go against extremely tough opponenets;
    3. I could produce hypos at any time, I was just stubborn about using them.
    4. The game rewards the player with nearly half a minute of invulnerability if he's given some attention to exploration, there's no way you can't get through a stage because of gunplay mechanics.

    So, in the end, while the game doesn't let you load up a quick save and try again, there's a reason for that. It wants you to adapt to the situation instead of dropping the mission and quitting after the first mistake. By letting people quick save/load as you want. It would be too much of a temptation to quick load after getting seen during a stealthy approach. Give it a minute's thought and realize how this ruins the whole experience, you're supposed to change tactics and deal with the situation: not give up and try again. That should be a last case scenario, which is what you get when you die! When you die, the game behaves exactly like the quick save/load feature you want - it puts you right where you left off. But first it gives you the 'incentive' to try sorting things by dealing with them, instead of running away from the fight.

    This shows that the implementation of the save system could very well have been deliberate, which in my opinion, doesn't detract from the game's experience. Actually, it kinda enhances it.
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  5. #5
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    Save System does suck and wish you could save when ever you like. FarCry 2 had a safe house save system too BUT, on PC you could still just quick save were ever you want, so safe houses were not needed.....it was good!

    Obviously Farcry 3 does not allow that and it does affect my enjoyment, but I can live with it just! However, I do lose missions due to this system?

    If I take an enemy camp and unlock an assassination and hunting mission then die trying to complete it, when I reload in the camp again that mission is now gone......its a one try only mission......which is VERY sucky! I like messing about, I feel I cant do this and have to be really serious about everything I do
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  6. #6
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    For me, the system does quite suck, that is IF I let it over to the autosaving, which is just a completelly incompetent thing to do while PC gaming, just because it is too risky. In about 80 hours of gameplay, I have now lost some progress once. Since then I have just manually saved every now and then, especially after crafting something etc. Personally I could then just jump of any cliff and have everything exactly as it were, like I saved it 5 seconds ago? I don't quite see how much of a "loss of time" you guys experience and how frequent when loading saves...
    Stop using these fudging run of the mill arguments:
    - This is a console port because my pc is too crappy to run it
    - The story is bad because yolo
    - The devs are tards because they are not locked into a cabin 24/7 with a pc to fix all my problems ASAP
    - The game is rascist because you kill black guys

    Please, stop using the arguments of the horde and pretend it's your oppinion; Look at yourself and speak what you truly think
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  7. #7
    I like how in AC that you could replay missions.. I like to restart and perfect how i took an outpost undetected but i couldn't. Or i like how if i could replay those all the scripted scenes in game so i dont have to youtube but i couldn't. Perhaps these features could be enhanced.
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  8. #8
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    1) Can´t record a moment in the story.
    You have just 1 slot. Want to save in the middle of the story to replay from there, or revive a special part, or show it to someone else? Forget it.

    ---Yeah I have to admit this part kind of sucks. I remember when I lined up a sniper shot to go through 1 man's chest, into another guy's head, and then into an animal cage. Sad I didn't have fraps at the time.

    2) You play cautiously.
    In the trailers they show you all those cool ways to kill your enemies. But I think I´ll prefer to snipe them from far away, because if you die, you´ll have to repeat all your progress from the last checkpoint or simple get back to the action from the nearest safe house. Not very funny. Also, if you´re driving around or hunting and get killed, you´re out of luck, because you´ll respawn at the nearest safe house.

    ---You prefer to play it safe to feel like you're progressing. I prefer to try out new things at the risk of having to redo the entire camp. The save-game system does not force you to play cautiously, you are just a cautious person.

    3) You don´t try new approaches.
    I like to have a stealth approach, but usually you have to try some times until you get the right strategy to not get caught. Well, how to do that, if I cannot load after a failed approach? I won´t repeat large chunks of gameplay to do that. Maybe I´ll just run and shoot, or just let me get killed, so I´ll respawn at the lat checkpoint.

    ---This point seems like your second point more or less so please read my prior response again. Additionally, I'll have you know that for a Wanted! mission I first scoped everything out and died trying to execute it via stealth sniping, then as my friend tried suggesting I do it again but slightly different, I instructed him to hold that thought, commandeered a jeep, drove it straight into the building the target was in, blowing up a transformer and the jeep, jumped out of the jeep and rolled to the bottom of the stairs, walked up the stairs and gutted my target before jumping off the ledge and running into the woods. It took about 3 seconds and induced about 5 solid minutes of laughter/hysteria for me, my friend, and my girlfriend.
    Either grow a pair and play dangerous or just accept your safe, but systematic way of progressing through content LOL.

    4) Cannot repeat after a bad victory
    If you succeed in a mission, but got it very badly and want to repeat the combat to get a better result (hey, this is fun), forget it. Usually the game saves after the mission is successfully completed, overwriting your saved game, so you lose your previous saved game and cannot try again.

    ---This is the most valid point. Jeeze I hate alerting the LAST member of a camp RIGHT I kill him and losing 1k exp for it.

    5) Experimentation
    If you want to experiment with the game options and try out a new syringe, try something crazy with the glider or just jump over a cliff to see what happens, without compromise, it´s not possible. You can´t quick save, try it out and get if it get wrong, and just quick load; you can do that, but if you die or just regret what you die, you´ll load at the nearest safe house.

    ---Go read #2 and #3 responses again. Why are you making me read this same single point three times?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by taur11 View Post
    I imagine the PC graphical options are merely a testbed for Crysis 3.

    .
    *Facepalm*, Far Cry 2 and 3 was made and published by Ubisoft, Far Cry was made by Crytek and published by Ubisoft, Crysis 1, 2 and 3 were and are made by Crytek and published by EA. Furthermore the actual engine behind the last two Far Cry games are different from the CryEngine.

    So here is the games that were made with CryEngine, (Crytek)

    Crysis, Crysis 2 and Crysis 3, along with the first game that used it, the original Far Cry.

    Now Far Cry 2 uses the Dunia Engine and Far Cry 3 uses Dunia 2.

    So yeah, it wasn't a test bed for the Graphics on Crysis 3. Oh yeah, usually when game devs make a cross platform game they start off with the weakest systems. It's far more simple to start with a Console than a PC.... Just saying.
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  10. #10
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    I agree completely with the OP. For me, the save system IS a deal-breaker. Why on Earth would I want to repeat twenty minutes of duck walking and rock throwing because I've been seen?

    Loved Far Cry 2 (except for having to fight through check points I cleared literally sixty seconds ago because I made a wrong turn) but Ubisoft is actually getting worse on its save system (especially bizarre on a game that otherwise bombards the player with hints and prompts) and console ports. Honestly, this feels like a very talented group of programmers built a great world, then handed it over to a freshman year game design class that broke up into groups and never again spoke as they each designed a bit of game play. From now on I'll just skip Ubisoft games until at least they hit the bargain bin. Maybe by that time modders will have made them playable.
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