Is it save scumming, if you intend to die?


I returned to the game a while ago to try out how the “very bad day” starts work in the new version. After a week of playing (many deaths at first, but now two seasons in), I realized I have a moral dilemma.

I generally don’t save scum, since, as people often argue, it takes away some excitement from the game. It’s a good thing scumming is possible for those who want it since a good game should cater to different kinds of audiences and play styles. I just prefer not to.

But, but… Not wanting to die makes me play exceptionally carefully to a level of paranoia. Creeping, planning, taking almost no risks, and going very, very slowly. Most of the time it’s fun, but occasionally I just get the urge to charge, use up all my resources and blow the shit out of everything.

So, when it’s time to stop gaming for the day, I save and then proceed to do something totally reckless and irrational like attacking impossible odds just for the heck of it. When I’m done (near death or otherwise), I Alt-F4. I do it even if I happen to win and get some really valuable drop - no exceptions. Next day I continue the story as if such a rampage never took place.

The problem is, that well… Like I realized an hour ago: it could technically be called save scumming. Now I am trying to make up my mind whether it’s ok or not.

By definition, I can’t gain any in-game value, since I won’t be saving my progress. Then again I am subjecting myself to a large number of very difficult encounters and in many cases I learn new stuff and develop better crisis management strategies. One could say I’m gaining such information without having to pay with the long grind to get to mid- or endgame each time.

Still not sure if this kind of behavior is acceptable for a wannabe hardcore gamer. What do you think? Should these “excursions” come at a higher cost?



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Personally, I think that’s an awesome way to play. You are getting all the benefits that permadeath provides - being careful, cautious, making very sure not to die (your life matters) - but you’re learning and having fun and doing that without cheapening the other experience, and as far as I care, that’s all that really matters.


Well, I’m probably the wrong person to ask, since I have absolutely no problem with save scumming and do it myself if I feel like it. I love to play it that way, that’s my way of having “fun”.
However, I once played a character that I deliberately did not save scum to try that out too (which technically I failed, I had to exit the game twice because of a bug) and, as you say, it made me play very cautiously. Even more than on my other playthroughs (where I’m already careful, since I don’t want to loose progress which does happen in these cases)…

Now, about my opinion on your method… I don’t see that as save scumming, as you don’t make the outcome dependent on the condition you’re in. However, there’s something else critical to keep in mind: Exploring the map or clearing an already discovered lab during your “rampage” run grants you knowledge.
Not in the sense you’ve mentioned by learning strategies, as you could also just create a test world, give yourself debug mutations and test stuff out (it’s fun too and I guess I spent more time in these “creative” worlds than in my actual games), without it being considered “save scumming”.
No, I mean knowledge that you can profit of directly, like knowing where differents structures are or if that one lab is worth to raid for CBMs or mutations…

That was the only thing that stopped me from doing these kind of things in the worlds I play “seriously”.

Conclusion: I don’t consider exiting the game without saving after deliberately endangering yourself with the intent to exit beforehand as an abuse of the game’s save system or save scumming. But I also see (small) drawbacks to that style of playing.

That actually is a good point. Deliberately scouting an area you plan on doing for real would be unsportsmanlike. I haven’t been really doing that, not on purpose anyway. And interestingly enough, if I happen in real playing upon some location I trashed during one of those sprees, it appears to be completely different and have different loots. Maybe I am just imagining things - I have a pretty bad memory. Or perhaps the game only generates the specifics of a location once you get pretty close to it.

Either way, as long as I avoid getting any specific information relevant to the campaign, I guess it’s not that horribly wrong to continue doing this.

Those debugged test worlds don’t sound like a bad idea. Hadn’t thought about that. Although, I usually want to try out some of the weapons and stuff I’ve gotten for my actual character rather than hand-picked über items. I was already thinking about asking whether there is a way to copy your character to a different world, but then again… This what I’m doing is probably almost equivalent to that as long as I rampage elsewhere I progress.



Firstly, it’s a single player game, so whether to save scum or not is really a matter of what YOU get the most enjoyment out of (possibly with the exception of bragging about accomplishing something while conveniently “forgetting” to mention that you did save scum to achieve it). Don’t think too much about what others think, but more about what you enjoy. A lot of people use “house rules” restricting their game play (I’m not restricting this to this particular game) to do or not do certain things (including bug exploits or overpowered mechanics) to end up with an enjoyable balance.

Like Valase, I save scum, and so might not be the right person to ask either, but I consider “what if” runs to try out tactics or figure out how some mechanic works, etc. to be perfectly OK, as that really is equivalent to generating a different character, grind it up to the same level, and do the stuff with that character (apart from the map knowledge gained), and thus really is just a way of cutting out grinding.

As far as I understand, locations are generated in detail only when your reality bubble touch them the first time, which means that visiting a location seen on the map but never visited before will be different in detail the next time. Thus, you’d minimize accidental map knowledge gains on your experimental runs by performing those in new territory (obviously, some part of the path to it will still be in your reality bubble, and thus remain the same.

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Indeed, that’s the case.
However, an Overmap that has at least one of its tiles uncovered (or loaded) will never change if it’s saved afterwards (in my experience). That means, if you find an interesting overmap tile, it will still be at the same place after exiting without saving.

And I admit, “discovered lab” might not be specific enough. I meant that if you literally went next to it before saving and then going on rampage, it will contain the same loot. If you just uncovered it on the overmap due to climbing a tower or similar, the loot in it and the layout of some rooms will change on every visit-and-exit-without-saving cycle.

I really like Challenging games not like dark souls but like Dungeon crawl Stone soup which I have completed already took me “only three years” cdda is one of my favorite games of all time Because you can play like you want If that mens to You to scumming no problem in that

I mean its totally up to you how you play. You shouldn’t need other people to justify your playstyle or if it is or not save scumming.

All i can say is that i agree with what Valase said, you’ll remember the information, but otherwise i feel like most of us have done something similar at one point or another.

Its a really good way to learn the game if you do it every time after you finish playing the game normally and save. Without taking such risks you will never realize what you can and can’t do with your current stats/items and most of the players that don’t save scum, when they started playing they probably played safe, which limits you from learning the game completely.

At some point once you are established, you might not have even done many risky things, but you’ll be able to survive for a long time as long as you don’t take any risks.

Not many players will actually put 20-50 hours in a world then just go off and die for no reason just to test it out, it feels like a real waste of time. At that point you might as well just make another world and spawn stuff in and start doing everything risky in the game until you figure out the limits of it.

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Yea. I kinda feel it’s necessary to practice a bit like this to become a good player. It’d be incredibly punishing to play for 50 hours just for a single learning experience. It’s good to know where the limits are and what’s truly dangerous.

I’ve now played my new Very Bad Day for like 20-30 hours and am starting to stabilize. Got my mobile base just built and next it’s time to start doing something a little more ambitious than just farming the outskirts of one little town.

The point is, I don’t think I could have survived this long without trying out those crazy things earlier during my CDDA career. That’s why I plan on continuing this practice. I just don’t have the time and mindset to pay for each bit of relevant game skill info with 20 hours of grinding. Still, I’ll be careful not to learn anything specific about each current campaign while on my mad assaults =)

Thank you all for your opinions. I know I don’t need the acceptance of others, but I still prefer to play games on a bit hardcore side and I know I’m doing something right when talking about my practices doesn’t raise a purist shitstorm =)

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If you were to take an ultra hard core stance you’d only play the game once (i.e. until your character died), never read anything, and never ask anything on the forum, because that would mean gaining meta info the character wouldn’t have. I think that would be silly, especially given that there are a lot of gotchas that has to do with learning the game controls rather than having the character act sensibly, but if someone wanted to do that, it is, again, their enjoyment.

When I first started playing, I choose not to save scum at all. I figured playing the game with one life was the best way to have fun. It was extremely difficult to learn anything, and very frustrating.

It was only after I got over it and started scumming on a character that I got anywhere at all. I began to understand basic steps to survival and lived more then 2 days, although asking questions here was another good step.

Nowadays, I choose not to save scum unless I made a dumb mistake, or feel something unfairly dumb and/or gamey killed me, which doesn’t happen often. If I do break down and start save scum, I typically delete the character the next day, though I usually learned something from the experiment.