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Old 02-19-2020   #15

I have a few things to say about this:

I don’t care about continues honestly. They are nice to have for no-save mode but I would be fine if the game just didn’t have them at all. Sure, it makes no-save mode riskier to play, but most of the time I play no-save is either to test some addon or if I wanted to screw around in devmode for whatever reason. Any other time I play with a save file out of convenience (and I can revisit levels on a save file if I beat the game once with the only “bad” thing being my lives and emeralds carrying ove, so there’s that to consider). I understand that the devs put a lot of work into making continues: the source code, the sprite art, the point tallying, etc. I also understand the arguments as to why to keep it for no-save playthroughs. I just personally don’t see the point given how I play.

It causes players to need to play more content. This provides practice at the game and increases player skill. This increases the likelihood that they can complete the hazard that caused them to lose the next time they get there.
I’m sorry if you didn’t mean this with your wording but “forcing player to replay more of previous levels after death =/= extra worthwhile content”. If I wanted to get better at playing just ERZ1, then I would grind it in record attack. If I wanted to beat the game, I would want to get past ERZ1 once and move on from it. Sure, most acts in the same zone share similar gimmicks to where they teach and test players on how to use them and get better, but in the few cases where that doesn’t apply and the player loses all their lives on one level and have to replay all the parts they beat (or even mastered) then saving per act would make a lot more sense. Most bosses don’t use the gimmicks of previous levels to test you. If a player can get through two acts without searching around for many more lives (or just misses them), and then struggles on a boss and game overs, they might feel ticked off that their progress went back so far if it only saved per zone. There’s also the one exception with BCZ where act 1 is a race encouraging you to go as fast as possible, making every thok count, and then act2 is a boss where thokking is dangerous and not recommended that technically breaks the “thematic zone” philosophy, but it is the last few tests before the final boss so you could argue it doesn’t matter either way.

It provides more gameplay variety. When a player can continue to attempt the same hazard infinite times, this rapidly causes fatigue for the hazard as they just bang their head against the wall until they succeed at it. Losing forces the player to play some different content for a while.
Me attempting the same zone over and over instead of the same act over and over is the same action of me banging my head against the wall. Except now, I have a thicker wall to mine through! (This is not just assuming the player is using brain-dead strategies like rushing through everything. Even if you take your time and learn at your own pace this affect can still happen if you just don't know what to do).

How on earth does that provide more “variety?” Rather, more [I}meaningful[/I] variety. People don’t like having their time wasted, even if they actively want to get better at video games. Restarting a whole zone instead of just an act makes the player feel like they’ve been in the same location for way longer than they want to. Even if the individual acts are different in layout they share so much of similar identity and gimmicks that it might as well be an extension of the first act (or at least perceived as such when considering time investment). Having saves be per act introduces less fatigue. And when people start getting that feeling of wanting to move on, they either rush things and revert their skills instead of improve, or they put the game down to take a break.

Replaying a whole zone again after death does not always provide the player practice at getting better at the game. It may for some, but each person is different. I’d rather there be an option to set where and when the game saves (per zone or per act) then to be stuck with a single option that I personally do not jive with.

It provides a measure of tension because failure is an actual option. The entire point of a lives system in any game that isn't accepting quarters to continue is to create this tension.
Lives can create that tension on their own because you don’t respawn at a checkpoint. Restarting a zone after a game over is less so of a “this is bad” type of tension and more so a “this is annoying” type of tension. I get that the more progress saved will eliminate some of the worth involved in lives, and I don't want them removed, but we aren't arguing whether the game should save per checkpoint or something even further.
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