- If a player saves too often, and they make a bad choice, it's save scumming, and it ruins the meaning of playing bad choices out.
- If a player does not save enough, and they hit a fail state, they have to replay large sections of the game. Which is repetitive, and allows them to make far better choices, ruining the challenge of choice-based gameplay.
- If an autosave is bad, the player has to load an old save, forcing replay, or if the autosave is good, it allows the player to skirt around bad choices.
- If choices are bad, the player could get themselves backed into a corner without realizing it. In Halo, regenerating health means that, as long as you aren't dead, you can succeed. Whereas bad choices, with meaningful, lasting consequences, by their very nature, can leave you stuck without the game entering a fail state. A recent save will likely exist after the bad choices have been made, and the player would be forced to repeatedly play out a botched character, attempting to find some angle where they can wiggle out of what might simply be a bad spot.
- The only saves that would be worthwhile are frequent saves that you keep around, like manually saving constantly in Skyrim. Which would be completely terrible. If the challenge of an RPG is choice, attempting to backtrack your choices to the exact choice that you would like to change, and then remaking all of your choices with the knowledge of perfect foresight would completely ruin the experience.
- Preparing for a journey in Morrowind is fun, but failing to properly prepare for a journey is not. It isn't fun to reload a save from back when I was in town just to buy a few more health potions and play the same section of gameplay all over again. Remaking all the right choices and correcting all the wrong choices. Knowing what's around every corner so that the main challenge of the game becomes a cakewalk.
Roguelikes fix this broken dynamic between saving a game and consequences for choices by ditching the save, rather than the other way around. A roguelike understands that saves in the middle of a gameplay loop don't work in an RPG any more than they do in Halo, but the only way to keep the constant choice and consequence that the best RPG's have while disallowing saves that spoil the challenge and perpetrate bad experiences is to ditch the save altogether.
Instead, many Roguelikes shorten a run at the game to under an hour. Allowing a player to play and replay the game so that they may improve at the main challenge, while still giving their choices time to have meaning. Roguelikes also procedurally generate the world, so that the player isn't able to learn the exact placement and outcome of any particular choice. A player is expected to get better at operating in the world under the guise of uncertainty, not to memorize every detail and run on autopilot.
The same is true in shooters. The challenge of Halo is based on the actions of moving and shooting, so the enemies move and shoot somewhat differently each time you play a level. The enemies follow common patterns of behavior, but they behave a little differently each time. This is important for most types of games. Whatever the challenge is needs to vary, even when you replay the same section back to back, otherwise an area stops being a challenge the moment you die once and respawn. It's so common I have a term for it: Challenge Variance. In Halo, you're expected to get good at shooting moving enemies, so their movement is dynamic. You aren't expected to get good at navigating the terrain, so they level design is allowed to remain between attempts. In Darkest Dungeon, you're expected to get good at deciding whether or not to enter the next room of a dungeon, so the game randomly generates encounters in those rooms. It would be too easy to make decisions if the same room had the same three spiders on every run. These changes in the world are more overt than elites in Halo running a different direction between respawns, so we call it procedural generation and say it's foundational to the genre.
Recentness of a save. Quantity of saves. Precision of saves.