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Save states, yay or nay?

Save states, yay or nay?  

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  1. 1. Do you use save states?

    • Yes
      78
    • No
      39


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these two posts don't acknowledge the spectrum of savestate use

People who use save states (apart from RNG abusing to save a turn, for example) are bad players.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/example

one of a number of things, or a part of something, taken to show the character of the whole

i detect a contradiction in the bold clauses. the entire point of keeping a midchapter savestate is to experiment from that point forward without going through the tedious process of starting from the chapter save every time. i'm sure there is not one chapter in which i didn't do this when playing FE6 0% v4.

obviously i had to come up with a long-term strategy because i intended to record each chapter in its entirety. the average player wouldn't have to do that, and there is no incentive for coming up with such a strategy (especially since playthroughs tend to be different), so there is no need to experiment on turn 3, determine the appropriate actions, and then play through the entire chapter again with the new observations in mind.

There are many senses of clearing a chapter. The first bolded part was in the casual sense of clearing a chapter, in which one merely needs save states to clear a chapter. The example of Florina is meant to represent the spectrum of bad players who need save states to clear a chapter. The bad player can keep on loading the same save state with the same good luck on turn 3 over and over again to get the desired result. Florina's attempting turn 3 over and over again to clear a chapter for the sake of clearing it (not just for LTCing) is not mere experimentation, but it's also an indicator of a lack of skill. Do you honestly think Florina "experiments" with different outcomes like we do when she's merely trying to beat a chapter? She desperately needs it to beat the chapter without taking weeks. She's unable to come up with good, RNG-proof strategies.

The second bolded part was about experimenting for LTC clears and other things. Experimenting to come up with a LTC clear is not so bad, for the player likely wants to test different outcomes (such as how the AI behaves). Coming up with such strategies can be very tedious, and there is no reason not to use them.

I'll reply to Irysa's post once I have the time.

Edited by Chiki

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Nicolas's main point is that this is a strategy game that you plan. But who plans out a normal, casual run in an RPG? Fire Emblem is like 75% RPG, 25% Strategy.

I mean, you're supposed to muscle through in an RPG. Casual, LTC, whatever.

Breaking units is like putting Ultima on Terra, Celes, Relm, and Strago and going nuts in Kefka's Tower in FFVI.

I mean the distinction between regular RPGs and SRPGs aren't that much. You just move around a map instead of a 3D world map/ dungeon. It may require less thinking sometimes because you don't have to find your next destination, the game does that for you in the passing of chapters.

.

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okay uh, yeah.

You do realise that the word "planning" doesn't mean you have to meticulously plan EVERYTHING right? Even bringing a pokemon with an SE move on a Gym leader is a form of planning. In fact I would say that the vast majority of players enjoy employing some level of planning into their gameplay in Fire Emblem and your proposition that "nobody should be planning, you're meant to just brute force an RPG" is probably even more inconsiderate than most people think Chiki is being in this thread (lol).

It's funny that you mention that, since FE11 is one of the newer games where save states don't help much, as the battle RNG is not connected to the pathfinding algorithm. Then again, through use of battle save and plain old resets, the player can achieve the same effect. This is why I don't understand save state criticism, since their only effect is to save time.

By the way: H5 is only hard because of the poorly designed C1-3 bosses (wtf @ Gazzack and Hyman).

You can savestate, then if it doesn't work, reload the savestate, use suspend, then reset the emulator and load the suspend. The RNG is updated. Then savestate again and repeat the process if your desired outcome doesn't happen.

Also, H5 can be trivialised (like any FE game), but to insist that it is only hard because of a couple of bosses is a little unfair. The fact is that most of the enemies hit a lot harder than in any other game prior, and have a lot of HP so ORKOing them is difficult too. Most of your units can't take more than 1 hit unless they're a general. Not to mention the first chapters need a lot of inaccurate javelin chip to connect repeatedly or else you get overwhelmed. Chapter 9 is pretty ridiculous as well.

Edited by Irysa

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come on, chiki, you know full well that i, much less anyone else, can infer every possible exception that you had thought of just from an example that isn't even specific enough to exclude bad players, since they most certainly RNG abuse to save a turn, even if they don't have a concept of saving turns.

Do you honestly think Florina "experiments" with different outcomes like we do when she's merely trying to beat a chapter? She desperately needs it to beat the chapter without taking weeks. She's unable to come up with good, RNG-proof strategies.

no, i don't, but what about say, horace or refa, who i know are very often lazy enough to not restart a chapter for a picture-perfect clear? to an outside observer, it would seem like both parties are doing the same thing. it doesn't seem like an implausible scenario at all for horace to have a savestate on turn 3, try out various solutions that inevitably fail, and hit the savestate button several times. (i'm definitely guilty of this one, and more specifically, i'm definitely guilty of shifting the RNG just so that a unit doesn't die,)

my point is that there's not a good way to tell apart florina stark and me when we're both reloading our turn 3 savestates without discerning our intent in the first place, and that's an awful metric by which to judge something because it's terribly subjective. like, if you were to look at my FE6 chapter 23 strategy where niime has to survive 6 enemies that 2HKO her, the only difference between that situation and a grave tactical error is that i'm aware that she needs to be there to 2-turn the chapter, and i wouldn't blame someone for thinking that i was a terrible player because i committed what seemed like a novice mistake. that's a really fine line.

and i probably experimented more with burning RNs trying to get niime to survive than any less experienced player does with pretty much anything else. there's a lua script that repeatedly executes enemy phases, shifting the RNG each iteration - i went through 100 iterations of failure and had to try a different solution that burned no RNs but required milady to take a 4-use killer lance (a 2-use killer lance didn't burn enough RNs mid-EP to work).

Edited by dondon151

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You can savestate, then if it doesn't work, reload the savestate, use suspend, then reset the emulator and load the suspend. The RNG is updated. Then savestate again and repeat the process if your desired outcome doesn't happen.

Also, H5 can be trivialised (like any FE game), but to insist that it is only hard because of a couple of bosses is a little unfair. The fact is that most of the enemies hit a lot harder than in any other game prior, and have a lot of HP so ORKOing them is difficult too. Most of your units can't take more than 1 hit unless they're a general. Not to mention the first chapters need a lot of inaccurate javelin chip to connect repeatedly or else you get overwhelmed. Chapter 9 is pretty ridiculous as well.

The thing is, the higher attack power of enemies in FE11 doesn't really result in deeper/more intricate/etc. plans. The main effect is that a casual player switches from "send Marcus to kill everything" to "have Jeigan (and then Zagaro) sit on a chokepoint." Once you go for LTC, I'm not sure that warping Shiida on top of the enemy castle is more complex than strategies in other games.

Back to the subject of save states: I didn't know that suspend/reset could be used to advance the RNG state. That changes my opinion of it in post-GBA a little bit, but an effective strategy should hopefully not need constant RNG manipulation, so the two battle saves in FE11 chapters makes the effect about even. On the other hand, I don't recall FE10 featuring battle saves in HM, so that's a different beast altogether.

On the topic of luck vs planning: In principle, accounting for luck is part of having a good plan. However, being an RPG-like game, FE makes this difficult because of your limited number of units. Since you only have around 10 deployed units, and often fewer good units in a fast run, you can't afford to account for all scenarios. The result is that assuming you always get the best RNG roll becomes an essential part of many LTC strategies...

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There are many senses of clearing a chapter. The first bolded part was in the casual sense of clearing a chapter, in which one merely needs save states to clear a chapter. The example of Florina is meant to represent the spectrum of bad players who need save states to clear a chapter. The bad player can keep on loading the same save state with the same good luck on turn 3 over and over again to get the desired result. Florina's attempting turn 3 over and over again to clear a chapter for the sake of clearing it (not just for LTCing) is not mere experimentation, but it's also an indicator of a lack of skill. Do you honestly think Florina "experiments" with different outcomes like we do when she's merely trying to beat a chapter? She desperately needs it to beat the chapter without taking weeks. She's unable to come up with good, RNG-proof strategies.

The second bolded part was about experimenting for LTC clears and other things. Experimenting to come up with a LTC clear is not so bad, for the player likely wants to test different outcomes (such as how the AI behaves). Coming up with such strategies can be very tedious, and there is no reason not to use them.

I'll reply to Irysa's post once I have the time.

cebb6V2.jpg

How is it different if a normal player and an LTC player both want to experiment? Are you saying normal runs are for plebeians who don't need to plan ahead? There's a difference between "I am using these because I am bad at the game" and "I am using these because I can't be bothered to redo the last 10 minutes because of one misclick".

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How is it different if a normal player and an LTC player both want to experiment?

you sort of answered your own question:

There's a difference between "I am using these because I am bad at the game" and "I am using these because I can't be bothered to redo the last 10 minutes because of one misclick".

Edited by dondon151

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you sort of answered your own question:

Surely it could be possible that a normal player is using savestates for mistakes or experimentation as opposed to an LTC player?

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The thing is, the higher attack power of enemies in FE11 doesn't really result in deeper/more intricate/etc. plans. The main effect is that a casual player switches from "send Marcus to kill everything" to "have Jeigan (and then Zagaro) sit on a chokepoint." Once you go for LTC, I'm not sure that warping Shiida on top of the enemy castle is more complex than strategies in other games.

Difficulty doesn't neccessarily have to equate to a deeper approach though. Playing Devil May Cry 4 on Hell or Hell mode doesn't really change how you play the game drastically, but it IS harder because you die in one hit from everything. What it does is constrict your options and restrict how much you can take risks, which is what H5 does too. Now that isn't to say I think H5 is actually all that hard after the first 3 chapters, but it certainly gave a pretty mediocre player like me more trouble than any other hard mode in the series up till then (assuming no warpskipping).

Although admittedly the comparison between an action game and a strategy one here is somewhat silly, I think the point remains. The mere fact the enemies can hit that hard and take that much punishment is offset by various factors (forged effective weaponry, general wolf/sedgar) but it does make you have to place units a bit more carefully, and resort to strategies that you wouldn't usually have to employ.

Edited by Irysa

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if you read my post closely, you'll see that i made no assumption that a normal player can't use savestates for experimentation. i try to be careful with my modifiers.

dammit i got ninja'd by irysa

Edited by dondon151

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come on, chiki, you know full well that i, much less anyone else, can infer every possible exception that you had thought of just from an example that isn't even specific enough to exclude bad players, since they most certainly RNG abuse to save a turn, even if they don't have a concept of saving turns.

And I didn't want you to infer every possible exception, either. I'm not sure where you got that idea. All I wanted you to know was that there was a spectrum, as you said, which was made clear with the definition. I acknowledged the spectrum itself without giving details on it.

these two posts don't acknowledge the spectrum of savestate use.

no, i don't, but what about say, horace or refa, who i know are very often lazy enough to not restart a chapter for a picture-perfect clear? to an outside observer, it would seem like both parties are doing the same thing. it doesn't seem like an implausible scenario at all for horace to have a savestate on turn 3, try out various solutions that inevitably fail, and hit the savestate button several times. (i'm definitely guilty of this one, and more specifically, i'm definitely guilty of shifting the RNG just so that a unit doesn't die,)

my point is that there's not a good way to tell apart florina stark and me when we're both reloading our turn 3 savestates without discerning our intent in the first place, and that's an awful metric by which to judge something because it's terribly subjective.

It's not really a problem if Horace and Florina have one or two of the same chapter clears, since that can come down to luck. You need a larger sample size. In other words, you need to have a holistic view (you need to consider the thing as a whole, and not just one or two identical chapter clears). Take all their Fire Emblem clears, and compare them to each other. You'll find that Horace's clears are generally far better than Florina's.

If you find that all their clears are identical, then honestly, I'd reconsider Horace's skill level compared to Florina's.

and i probably experimented more with burning RNs trying to get niime to survive than any less experienced player does with pretty much anything else. there's a lua script that repeatedly executes enemy phases, shifting the RNG each iteration - i went through 100 iterations of failure and had to try a different solution that burned no RNs but required milady to take a 4-use killer lance (a 2-use killer lance didn't burn enough RNs mid-EP to work).

You had a specific purpose in mind, other than merely clearing a chapter, so I don't see the issue.

What about the hypothetical of clearing a map in one sitting, but you hit savestates/map saves along the way anyway as a matter of "just in case" yet never need to use them? One may have a strategy planned out but utilises the features anyway for reasons I gave.

Does it get in the way of strategizing? No, so I don't see the problem. That's going by my definition not save state abuse.

I'm proposing that the skill required in order to respond to slight modifications of one's approach to a chapter, such as; "Oh x unit missed an attack, I'll have y unit clean up" or "Y unit crit so it can do something else this turn", is not really a significant point towards a player being better because everyone does this normally anyway. Those slight modifications are typically pretty simple to work around, unless a large amount of events conspire against the player. I'll concede, there is a difference in applied skill via observation, but I don't believe that basic adjustments like that are beyond the capability of any remotely decent player.

Thus, saying that someone who does not always demonstrate that ability to themselves isn't as good a player doesn't make sense, for they probably do it a lot anyway.

That's absolutely not true in many cases. For example, it took me a year to come up with a much less RNG-prone clear of Chapters 26 and 27 of FE9 (instead of critting with Marcia, I used Adept Soren instead). Admittedly, I took a 11 month long break in between.

If the first player is abusing their way through every chapter, then it is very possible that they may end up actually spending more time and effort trying to rig everything or undoing every small mistake than one who has a clear strategy in mind. In that case, how can the first player be determined as better because he exerted more effort?

It's a thought experiment: we can merely stipulate that they're not.

As for the second example, titles such as "best player" are not very quantifable on the whole since there are actually quite a lot of things to measure it by.

This is actually my argument.

How is it different if a normal player and an LTC player both want to experiment? Are you saying normal runs are for plebeians who don't need to plan ahead? There's a difference between "I am using these because I am bad at the game" and "I am using these because I can't be bothered to redo the last 10 minutes because of one misclick".

I don't even need to respond to this post since you kinda embarrassed yourself.

Edited by Chiki

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Does it get in the way of strategizing? No, so I don't see the problem. That's going by my definition not save state abuse.

Alright so, if the reasoning is "it gets in the way of strategising", can we be more specific on what that entails? We accept that rigging gets in the way, but convenience does not.

Yet how is saving on turn 3, reloading it later after something else has been taken into account and then completing the chapter not within the boundaries of convenience? If the first 2 turns were just "luck" then sure, but the hypothetical I'm proposing is closer to someone having the first two turns pretty clearly planned out, and then a general idea of what to do after that. The only difference is that one person decided to just reset the game, and one loaded a savestate, so as dondon said, it probably saves about as much time as the turbo function or something along those lines.

We're not assuming that the player who reset had any better initial strategy or thought put into the entire clear, just pretend that the same person is playing on emulator in one universe and the other is playing on console. Heck, what if I say he savestated at the start of turn 1 to not have to reset the game, and load the chapter? You would probably agree that this example is purely convenience, but what exactly makes the turn 3 savestate or map save not convenience?

That's absolutely not true in many cases. For example, it took me a year to come up with a much less RNG-prone clear of Chapters 26 and 27 of FE9 (instead of critting with Marcia, I used Adept Soren instead). Admittedly, I took a 11 month long break in between.

This is LTC, I was talking in the context of casual play. You can't deny that someone who is any halfway competant at playing an FE game on a standard difficultly level quite often adjusts to a miss or errant crit (unless like I said, the odds highly conspire against the player such as a 1% crit or a string of hits at low hitrate), which whilst it takes a bit of thought to apply that adjustment, it really can't indicate one player being "better" when they don't neccessarily apply that ability all of the time because of a save.

It's a thought experiment: we can merely stipulate that they're not.

The point is I'm stipulating that they did. In my example, the equally skilled players both beat the chapter, but the one who did not use savestates exerted less effort than the one who did. How can his exertion of effort be considered to show that he is a better player? What you can say, is that the person who did not savestate abuse put more effort into coming up with a good strategy, but that is also completely seperate from the effort of restarting the map to secure a clean clear, that kind of effort has nothing to do with one's strategy at all.

This is actually my argument.

I'm putting this particular statement

"but it'd be strange to say that a retired FE player is still the best player."

into question by presenting a reasonable scenario where the retired player can still be considered the better player than an active one. If we're in agreement on the status of establishing a title of "best" or "better" player within the context of a retired vs active player being difficult then I don't really know why you would bring that up to support your argument. The retired player is undoubtedly not exerting as much effort anymore as the active ones, yet they can still be considered better by some metrics.

Edited by Irysa

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Yet how is saving on turn 3, reloading it later after something else has been taken into account and then completing the chapter not within the boundaries of convenience?

The difference is that maybe a good player like Horace could have been able to see the consequences of such an action, but the quintessential bad player, Florina, would not have been able to. The difference is that Florina needs that save state because she is not good enough to see ahead whereas Horace is.

If it's merely AI testing, where you can't know for sure how the AI will move whether you're a good or a bad player, then save state use is permissible.

This is LTC, I was talking in the context of casual play. You can't deny that someone who is any halfway competant at playing an FE game on a standard difficultly level quite often adjusts to a miss or errant crit (unless like I said, the odds highly conspire against the player such as a 1% crit or a string of hits at low hitrate), which whilst it takes a bit of thought to apply that adjustment, it really can't indicate one player being "better" when they don't neccessarily apply that ability all of the time because of a save.

What makes you think casual play won't have complicated RNG-proof strategies too? You haven't been able to provide any reasoning for that assertion. For example, the best way to casually clear some maps (FE10, for example) is to kill Ike in 3-13. It is not trivial at all to decide to train a unit a lot and keep Ike weak for 3-13, and figure out a strategy to quickly beat 3-13. The safest way to clear Chapter 10 in FE9 is to avoid all the enemy units, which Florina would never be able to figure out on her own.

Think of it like playing Jenga. Often, removing a block won't have much of a consequence, but other times, it might just come crashing down. Siimilarly, one move might require your entire strategy to be different.

The point is I'm stipulating that they did.

Thought experiments don't work like this. You can't just "override" someone's thought experiment with your own, that's just nonsense. You have to give some response to it, because the possible truth of the thought experiment remains regardless of whether or not you stipulate something else. They're two very different thought experiments, and you have to judge each of them by their own merits. I'll reply to yours now:

In my example, the equally skilled players both beat the chapter, but the one who did not use savestates exerted less effort than the one who did. How can his exertion of effort be considered to show that he is a better player? What you can say, is that the person who did not savestate abuse put more effort into coming up with a good strategy, but that is also completely seperate from the effort of restarting the map to secure a clean clear, that kind of effort has nothing to do with one's strategy at all.

This is not a problem for my view at all. I can just admit that the player who save state abused is better: in general, however, people tend to use save states for the opposite reason, to save time and effort.

The retired player is undoubtedly not exerting as much effort anymore as the active ones, yet they can still be considered better by some metrics.

Yes, but we have to consider if, overall, the retired player is better or not. Even if the retired player pioneered all the strats it seems strange to say he's still the best player if he only plays casually.

Edited by Chiki

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This is not a problem for my view at all. I can just admit that the player who save state abused is better: in general, however, people tend to use save states for the opposite reason, to save time and effort.

scenario:

player A and player B, independently (or not, it makes no difference) make the same tactical error on turn 5 of a chapter run. Getting to this point took 15 minutes. This tactical error causes the death of a unit at a 95% success rate. additionally, both players' only savestate is at a position in which it's too late to affect the outcome but not too late to affect the rng (say there is a unit across the map that hasn't moved, so the rng can be changed with movement arrows; or maybe someone just battle saved in the wrong place in FE10)

player A, out of frustration and unwillingness to play through the first four turns again, repeatedly reloads the savestate until that 95% is failed. This takes 30 minutes to do so. Player A proceeds to complete the chapter without issue.

player B decides that it would take too long to wait for a 5% chance and instead elects to restart the chapter. For the sake of simplicity, we'll say that he played the beginning identically. When reaching the point at which the initial tactical error was made, he instead spends 5 minutes figuring out an alternate move, for a total of 20 minutes spent getting past the error.

under your view, an argument could be made that player A is the better player in this case, as he actually spent more time than player B, which is a notion I find pretty ridiculous

Edited by CT075

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scenario:

player A and player B, independently (or not, it makes no difference) make the same tactical error on turn 5 of a chapter run. Getting to this point took 15 minutes. This tactical error causes the death of a unit at a 95% success rate. additionally, both players' only savestate is at a position in which it's too late to affect the outcome but not too late to affect the rng (say there is a unit across the map that hasn't moved, so the rng can be changed with movement arrows; or maybe someone just battle saved in the wrong place in FE10)

player A, out of frustration and unwillingness to play through the first four turns again, repeatedly reloads the savestate until that 95% is failed. This takes 30 minutes to do so. Player A proceeds to complete the chapter without issue.

player B decides that it would take too long to wait for a 5% chance and instead elects to restart the chapter. For the sake of simplicity, we'll say that he played the beginning identically. When reaching the point at which the initial tactical error was made, he instead spends 5 minutes figuring out an alternate move, for a total of 20 minutes spent getting past the error.

under your view, an argument could be made that player A is the better player in this case, as he actually spent more time than player B, which is a notion I find pretty ridiculous

Uh.. I never said effort was the only metric. This should be obvious. In thought experiments, you assume all is equal apart from something you pick (we assumed that effort was the only difference in the previous thought experiment). Not so in this case: Player B uses up far more brain power than player A does.

Edited by Chiki

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The difference is that maybe a good player like Horace could have been able to see the consequences of such an action, but the quintessential bad player, Florina, would not have been able to. The difference is that Florina needs that save state because she is not good enough to see ahead whereas Horace is.

If it's merely AI testing, where you can't know for sure how the AI will move whether you're a good or a bad player, then save state use is permissible.

So for that matter, as long as someone is properly aware of what their actions entail, then it's fine to save time that way?

What makes you think casual play won't have complicated RNG-proof strategies too? You haven't been able to provide any reasoning for that assertion. For example, the best way to casually clear some maps (FE10, for example) is to kill Ike in 3-13. It is not trivial at all to decide to train a unit a lot and keep Ike weak for 3-13, and figure out a strategy to quickly beat 3-13. The safest way to clear Chapter 10 in FE9 is to avoid all the enemy units, which Florina would never be able to figure out on her own.

Think of it like playing Jenga. Often, removing a block won't have much of a consequence, but other times, it might just come crashing down. Siimilarly, one move might require your entire strategy to be different.

I don't think I stated or implied that casual strategies cannot be complex. I believe I just pointed out that your example that was a LTC run, and that typically, compensating for variance is something that any halfway decent player can do in regular play. Thus I don't think the implication of "you didn't restart and compensate for possible variance" is a fair way to judge that someone is worse as a player.

Thought experiments don't work like this. You can't just "override" someone's thought experiment with your own, that's just nonsense. You have to give some response to it, because the possible truth of the thought experiment remains regardless of whether or not you stipulate something else. They're two very different thought experiments, and you have to judge each of them by their own merits. I'll reply to yours now:

Actually I did respond to yours, albiet somewhat in a roundabout way. I said that if the non savestating player employed a better strategy that did not require them to utilise savestates, then even if they had exerted less effort than the savestater in raw energy, they would have put more effort into their strategy than the other player. By that, they could considered better via the metric of "better player at Fire Emblem". But, I don't think that the effort involved in restarting the chapter made them a better player, it was the strategy itself.

Of course this could go into an avenue of "good players don't need to exert much effort to come up with a decent strategy" but that is more to do with a matter of being used to mentally "joining the dots" so to speak, wheras the worse player is typically just not as capable of noticing the distinctions so more effort is required to advance along the path of logical conclusions.

This is not a problem for my view at all. I can just admit that the player who save state abused is better: in general, however, people tend to use save states for the opposite reason, to save time and effort.

Don't you feel that contradicts any of your position established beforehand? As far as I'm aware, LTC was not a consideration in the example, it was simply two players of equal skill level attempting a chapter. One player thought things through and executed their plan cleanly, wheras the other player rammed all their units up the map and rigged dodges and crits to succeed. How is the strategic player not objectively playing better here? I could even assume that the savestater player did not save any turns either if you want to claim LTC.

Note that the tactical consideration can be pretty much equal, Player 1 recognises all of the things he's doing and simply does it because he doesn't want to think about positioning as much as player 2. As I said before, the effort being exerted by Player 1 is entirely different to the strategic effort being exerted by Player 2, just as Player 2's exertion of effort to restart a map is a different form of effort from their strategic effort. If you purely consider raw effort to be the important factor, then that can mess things up quite a lot if a bad player strategically exerts themselves very heavlly to successfully clear a map, wheras the good player doesn't exert as much effort because they can recognise what to do due to being more adept at "joining the dots".

If you fundamentally believe that somehow still that player who is doing exactly what you said before you looked down upon, is "better" because they exerted more effort then I don't think I can pursue this discussion further because your line of thinking is clearly so disconnected with mine that this will never go anywhere.

Yes, but we have to consider if, overall, the retired player is better or not. Even if the retired player pioneered all the strats it seems strange to say he's still the best player if he only plays casually.

It has to be considered yes, but not because they do not play seriously anymore. It has to be considered because to award a title of "best player" all factors have to be taken into account. If one can support an argument that the inactive player is still, in fact, still the best player beacuse nobody else has topped his contributions, then it is not strange at all. What would be strange is to claim that the inactive player is by default not good anymore, simply due to the fact they do not play as much.

Edited by Irysa

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I'm also curious as to where you draw the line between convenience and abuse, Chiki. I don't think you've made it explicitly clear yet.

For instance, let's take Jack.

Jack is a player who makes reliably sound strategies that don't depend on luck. He has made all the right moves turn by turn and is now on turn 5. On turn 5, he fucks up and makes a grave tactical error by underestimating the range of a Wyvern Lord or something. This mistake gets a character killed. Rather than wasting like 20-30 mins repeating the same turns 1-4, he simply loads a save state for turn 5 and works around his mistake by altering his strategy. Even if the EP doesn't go his way, he'll work around it and only loads the save in the event that a character gets killed. In Jack's case, he is a pretty decent player who simply doesn't want to waste time repeating actions. Convenience or abuse?

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So for that matter, as long as someone is properly aware of what their actions entail, then it's fine to save time that way?

That's a good way of putting it, yes. I know what I'm doing when I LTC that Florina doesn't when she plays casually.

I don't think I stated or implied that casual strategies cannot be complex. I believe I just pointed out that your example that was a LTC run, and that typically, compensating for variance is something that any halfway decent player can do in regular play. Thus I don't think the implication of "you didn't restart and compensate for possible variance" is a fair way to judge that someone is worse as a player.

I guess I can take it that you're conceding the point. So you admit that your assertion, that it is trivial to just have some unit attack another, is pretty incomplete. There's potentially much more involved.

I said that if the non savestating player employed a better strategy that did not require them to utilise savestates, then even if they had exerted less effort than the savestater in raw energy, they would have put more effort into their strategy than the other player. By that, they could considered better via the metric of "better player at Fire Emblem". But, I don't think that the effort involved in restarting the chapter made them a better player, it was the strategy itself.

Of course this could go into an avenue of "good players don't need to exert much effort to come up with a decent strategy" but that is more to do with a matter of being used to mentally "joining the dots" so to speak, wheras the worse player is typically just not as capable of noticing the distinctions so more effort is required to advance along the path of logical conclusions.

I already stipulated that they're equally skilled. I take "skill" to mean "coming up with the same strategies." So they're employing the same strategy. (Don't change the thought experiment.) In other words, they can come up with the same RNG-proof strategy but one of them does it quicker via save state abuse, and the other does it more slowly without save state abusing.

Don't you feel that contradicts any of your position established beforehand?

Absolutely not. This is because in practice, save state abusers abuse because they are not so skilled at the game. They rarely exert more effort than console players.

I can just admit that, if practices were different, and save state abusers didn't try to compensate for their lack of skill in the game, then ok, save state abusing is not such a bad thing. I am not arguing that save state abuse is a necessary indicator of a lack of skill, but I am arguing that due to general save state usage, players like Florina are bad at the game.

As far as I'm aware, LTC was not a consideration in the example, it was simply two players of equal skill level attempting a chapter. One player thought things through and executed their plan cleanly, wheras the other player rammed all their units up the map and rigged dodges and crits to succeed. How is the strategic player not objectively playing better here?

They're supposed to come up with the same RNG-proof strategy, right? This is not what I had in mind.

Player 1 recognises all of the things he's doing and simply does it because he doesn't want to think about positioning as much as player 2. As I said before, the effort being exerted by Player 1 is entirely different to the strategic effort being exerted by Player 2, just as Player 2's exertion of effort to restart a map is a different form of effort from their strategic effort. If you purely consider raw effort to be the important factor, then that can mess things up quite a lot if a bad player strategically exerts themselves very heavlly to successfully clear a map, wheras the good player doesn't exert as much effort because they can recognise what to do due to being more adept at "joining the dots".

As said above, same strategic effort: one with save state abuse (much quicker) and the other without (much slower). What I'm talking about is actual effort.

Jack is a player who makes reliably sound strategies that don't depend on luck. He has made all the right moves turn by turn and is now on turn 5. On turn 5, he fucks up and makes a grave tactical error by underestimating the range of a Wyvern Lord or something. This mistake gets a character killed. Rather than wasting like 20-30 mins repeating the same turns 1-4, he simply loads a save state for turn 5 and works around his mistake by altering his strategy. Even if the EP doesn't go his way, he'll work around it and only loads the save in the event that a character gets killed. In Jack's case, he is a pretty decent player who simply doesn't want to waste time repeating actions. Convenience or abuse?

Definitely abuse. He made a mistake; it wasn't something he foresaw.

Edited by Chiki

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That's a good way of putting it, yes. I know what I'm doing when I LTC that Florina doesn't when she plays casually.

Alright, I don't have any qualms with this part anymore then.

I guess I can take it that you're conceding the point. So you admit that your assertion, that it is trivial to just have some unit attack another, is pretty incomplete. There's potentially much more involved.

I am kind of conceding it, but, again, I don't believe I exactly said what you think I said. I was arguing specifically for the case that restarting a map to demonstrate your ability to compensate for small variances such as occaisonal misses was superfluous, as such a task is trivial to any decent player. If there are actually other factors to take into account, eg, the player may not recognise why the AI moved a certain way on a certain turn because they didn't move in exactly the same way, it ends up changing the strategy drastically. So you could say it is definitely getting in the way of strategy there.

But this once again falls into the spectrum of "if you know what you're doing it's fine" so I think I don't really have any more to disagree with you on this. Just to clarify though, in this example, I may know a unit has to be on a certain tile by turn 5, but I didn't know that an enemy would move into a position on turn 4 that meant I needed an extra square to reach said tile in time. So, I reload a savestate prior to moving the unit in question and shove them with somebody else to get them into range, get to the particular tile, then finish the map. Since stuff is being considered, you'd view this as fine and just convenience right?

I already stipulated that they're equally skilled. I take "skill" to mean "coming up with the same strategies." So they're employing the same strategy. (Don't change the thought experiment.) In other words, they can come up with the same RNG-proof strategy but one of them does it quicker via save state abuse, and the other does it more slowly without save state abusing.

I don't think the statement "equally skilled" neccessarilly equates to "came up with the same strategy", considering it is pretty possible for bad players to come up with the similar strats to a good one (ie, my clear of FE11 H5 Chapter 1 was apparently pretty good TC but that was the first time I ever played the game) but if that's what we're going by then okay.

Absolutely not. This is because in practice, save state abusers abuse because they are not so skilled at the game. They rarely exert more effort than console players.

I can just admit that, if practices were different, and save state abusers didn't try to compensate for their lack of skill in the game, then ok, save state abusing is not such a bad thing. I am not arguing that save state abuse is a necessary indicator of a lack of skill, but I am arguing that due to general save state usage, players like Florina are bad at the game.

Well, in that case, I have ask, exactly what kind of effort are you trying to objectify here? All kinds? In your response to cam you mentioned "brain power", but this is a little vague.

To revisit an earlier point, whilst it is true that things change when you reset the map; what if a player resets, then preforms the same moves but all of their prior actions result in the same outcome, thus allowing the same approach as last time? Assume the reason for the reset is that they had finished experimenting with the enemy AI, and decided to do a clean clear upon achieving their desired result. The player didn't have to exert any extra brain power because everything happened to work out the same way. But they definitely exerted more effort, through memorisation and moving units around (heck we could add a clause that the player recorded a video of their previous attempt and just copied it).

Comparatively a person who didn't decide to reset the map definitely exerted less effort, but the actual brain power involved? Memorisation, or copying actions definitely takes up some, but do you think that constitutes the person who restarted to be objectively better?

As said above, same strategic effort: one with save state abuse (much quicker) and the other without (much slower). What I'm talking about is actual effort.

So, if they came up with the same strategy but the savestater spent longer doing it, who's better? Because I would merely stipulate that the player who didn't use savestates probably considered the consequences of their actions and thought more than the player who savestated, so they probably put more strategic effort in.

Edited by Irysa

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When did she even say that she needed savestates to clear chapters?

I never have actually used a save state to clear a chapter. Well..maybe once when i was playing FE6 hella freaking days ago. I dont even remember. I tend to play FE on the actual consoles and that doesnt allow for save state abuse to clear chapters. Not that i need it anyway. Contrary to Chiki's claim, im actually not that terrible of an FE player to necessitate abuse of RNG or save states. If something goes wrong in a chapter, even if i am emulating, which is rare, i will just soft reset and try the chapter again.

#shrug

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I was arguing specifically for the case that restarting a map to demonstrate your ability to compensate for small variances such as occaisonal misses was superfluous, as such a task is trivial to any decent player.

Sure, I have no reason to deny this. But it's still true that oftentimes it's going to be a lot more complicated than that, and that's all I need to know to look down on save state abuse.

I don't think the statement "equally skilled" neccessarilly equates to "came up with the same strategy", considering it is pretty possible for bad players to come up with the similar strats to a good one (ie, my clear of FE11 H5 Chapter 1 was apparently pretty good TC but that was the first time I ever played the game) but if that's what we're going by then okay.

That's exactly why I told dondon that you need a holistic view--take all the strategies that a player has ever come up with, and compare them to another player's.

In your response to cam you mentioned "brain power", but this is a little vague

It's a little vague because people hardly know how the brain works. But imagine all the computations in the brain that go on when you try to come up with a strategy. More computations = more brain power used up.

For example, you can compare the computations that go on in my brain when I LTC FE9, and the computations that go on in Florina's brain when she plays casually. I assure you that my level of thought is a lot deeper than her's (more computations).

So, if they came up with the same strategy but the savestater spent longer doing it, who's better? Because I would merely stipulate that the player who didn't use savestates probably considered the consequences of their actions and thought more than the player who savestated, so they probably put more strategic effort in.

It really depends on the other metrics, as well. Surely save state abusing also makes it likely that you use less brain power, among other things.

Edited by Chiki

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I tend to abuse save states..I honestly suck at games anyway so I don't think I'd have completed some games without save states. I'm that Awakening player who plays only on casual and saves every turn haha.

I prefer to play games that are really easy and cause minimal frustration (so I hate when the save points in games are few and far between, because losing a huge chunk of progress in a game over tends to frustrate me a lot especially since my free time tends to be quite tight)..so save states help with that. I understand that might not be the way the creators intended for the games to be played, but they did allow me to at least somewhat experience games I otherwise wouldn't be able to complete probably.

Others would probably criticise the way I play but eh I don't mind, since I accept I'm a lousy gamer and I enjoy playing games the easy way/just curbstomping everything. I'd rather play games the way I enjoy rather than the way that makes me look skillful but that absolutely frustrates me haha..just as other people enjoy more challenge, I enjoy more leisure/relaxation in video games :p

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I'm not going to say I don't use save states from time to time (because I definitely have), but save states shouldn't be used by anyone. I understand that it's convenient, but Fire Emblem should be played the way it was made...without the save states. If you mess up, get a character killed, and really want to get him/her back then your option is to restart or continue without them. Even if you save state and never use it, technically you aren't playing the game by the same "invisible rule" (AKA the intended way) as everybody else should. If the developers made that an option in the game (in this case Awakening) then by all means go ahead, but you should have no reason to play a chapter (normal way or LTC) and use something you don't need to get through the game with. I know people have played through some of the games more than 5 times, but you ruin the experience of the game by using something as cheap as a save state.

I understand I sound like a hypocrite since I use them, but I'm getting out of the habit and it's just my honest opinion on the subject. As frustrating as FE6 HM is without my save states (currently on Chapter 13), I still find the game fun to play on my 3rd run of the whole game!

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I'm not going to say I don't use save states from time to time (because I definitely have), but save states shouldn't be used by anyone. I understand that it's convenient, but Fire Emblem should be played the way it was made...without the save states.

pokemon simulators shouldn't be used by anyone because pokemon should be played the way it was made... with tedious hours of breeding and EV training.

toilets shouldn't be used by anyone because people should shit the way they were made to... discreetly into a hole.

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