Impact of Save Scumming Techniques

My apologies if this has previously been discussed.

Given that there is now at least one “multiplayer” feature to Siralim (i.e., Daily Realms), it seems that something might need to be done about the impact that save scumming techniques can have on gameplay balance. After a little bit of testing (don’t judge), there are at least four instances where I think abuse is possible:

  1. Bynine’s Shop- By purchasing Random Major Sigils, closing the app without saving, and then reloading and purchasing again, it is possible to quickly rotate through a large number of major sigils until you find a particular legendary ability you are looking for. Purchasing 3-4 at a time (a fairly modest outlay of Exalted Emblems) make this process go fairly quickly. This technique also works to get lesser nether orbs of a desired color from Bynine’s shop.

  2. Gambling Dwarves- The four gambling dwarves make obtaining resources (except for power) fairly simple–you can bet the maximum amount, save if you are successful and close the app if you are not. The bet limit helps, but the resource gains that are possible through save scumming are substantial, especially early and mid-game.

  3. Power Spells- After completing a power spell ritual, it is possible to save the game before collecting the reward, and then closing the app afterwards if the rewards are unsatisfactory. This allows endless repetition of a single power spell to gain rare rewards. Interestingly, this doesn’t seem to work with Daily power spells.

  4. Major Sigils- Farming legendary materials from major sigils is an important mid to late-game element. Using save scumming, once a desired major sigil is acquired (see Issue 1 above), it is possible to portal into a realm and use the major sigil, fight the battle, and then close the app if the legendary material doesn’t drop. This technique essentially guarantees being able to get the legendary material of any given major sigil without the need to have multiple copies of the same sigil or invest Royalty Points in the “Major Sigil Rewards” character perk.

Because these techniques can have a substantial impact on game balance, the question is what (if anything) should be done about them. One option that Zack might could consider would be implementing more aggressive auto-saving. For example, the game could auto-save after each of the four above player actions (purchase from Bynine, gamble with a dwarf, collect a power spell reward, or use a sigil).

On the other hand, Siralim is (for the most part, and for now) a single-player game, and it might be left to individuals to decide which techniques are “cheating” and which are “clever exploits.” Many of these save scumming techniques might be viewed as legitimate strategies that still require substantial player effort and investment (this is certainly the case for locating specific major sigils in Bynine’s shop). Rather than foreclose these practices entirely through the use of auto-saving, it might be possible to limit their usefulness or abrogate them all together through gameplay tweaks.

For example, perhaps after winning a major sigil battle, players could have the option of declining the battle rewards and instead “trapping” the defeated creatures back into the sigil, so that they can be fought again for potentially different rewards? And for Bynine’s shop, perhaps an option could be added (at a much higher Exalted Emblem cost) to purchase a random major sigil that is guaranteed not to be one that the player already owns?

My personal opinion is that something along the above lines would be the best way to address save scumming Bynine’s shop and major sigil battles. However, for the gambling dwarves and power spell rewards, I think that there needs to be auto-saving to prevent these practices altogether, as they have too drastic of an effect on gameplay balance and are otherwise hard to mitigate.

I would be interested to hear others’ thoughts on this issue.

Saving more often does not really help since you can back up your save and restore an earlier version. You could however make it “expensive” to do so. For example not knowing for some time if you have to reload (determine power spells at the time of casting)

You could also use fixed random seeds for specific actions (always generate the same series of outcomes for power spells)

Realms are generally safe from save scumming since you loose the realm when loading an old save. Personally I would like the gambling dwarves in the tavern to be restricted similar to daily realms (each dwarf only usable once a day)

As for Bynine, fixed seeds for each random item (orbs, sigils) would prevent save scumming on that front.

Legendary crafting materials are already dropping extremly frequent (I had a 100% droprate from realm level 10 onwards with 5 points in the corresponding perk) so I do not think anyone would bother with save scumming them.

As for getting new major sigils, there already is a legitimate way to get those.

What do you mean by “you can back up your save and restore an earlier version”? Is this something that is only possible on a rooted device?

As for your other suggestions, I really like your ideas to (1) determine power spell rewards at the time of casting, (2) restrict the tavern dwarves to one once a day (or maybe to one “win” a day?), and (3) use fixed seeds for Bynine’s shop.

I also agree with you that, at a 10+ realm level, legendary material drops are already pretty much a given, but save scumming major sigil battles in the early-mid game still impacts gameplay balance, as even a few legendary enchants can make a huge difference early in the game.

With regards to getting new major sigils, there are indeed already ways to get those, but save scumming Bynine’s shop still makes it easier to get specific major sigils. However, if Zack implemented fixed seeds in Bynine’s shop it would alleviate this problem.

Yes, rooted/jailbroken mobiles, PC and Mac have access to saves (which I consider a good thing because I can play on my phone while on the move and on my tablet at home)

I think the impact of save scumming on overall progression even without any of the proposedchanges is not that big. If someone figured out how to edit the game’s memory or the saves, that would be a problem.

You guys have pretty much already touched on it, but basically, if someone wants to cheat, they’re going to do it one way or another. They can either waste their time “save scumming” (which honestly is so tedious, boring, and time-consuming that I’m not entirely sure it’s worthwhile) or they can use a memory editor to do the same thing and then some. If someone wants to do that, I’d imagine it’s adding some form of enjoyment to the game for them, which is fine since it’s a single player game.