a crutch is something that helps you.
i don't see how losing SEVERAL HOURS OF PROGRESS instead of 5-40 minutes is a crutch?
What? 5-40 minutes is the autosave. Your own example was, what, 45 minutes?
The crutch thing came from you acting as if it should somehow work even better than that when it's not really meant to do so.
i don't think you quite get it.
if manual save was the only way to go in mass effect, i would manual save frequently and never lose hours of progress or whatever you were saying. it has autosave, though, and so i expect autosave to save whenever an important event occurs, which it does not.
you seem to assume if there was no autosave i would just flat out NOT SAVE, thereby losing hours of progress.
so i don't really think you know what you're talking about.
The only thing I don't get is why the existence of autosaves would make you save less frequently to begin with. The autosaves do trigger at important events, maybe not everything you might consider important but there you go. It also triggers when you enter the Normandy, when you make landfall and when you enter certain rooms.
What it doesn't do is save every time there's the slightest chance for Shepard to trip over his own shoelaces.
Could they have added some more triggers though? Sure, probably. There's one planet in particular that's tied to the main plot and while easy at that point in the game could still use another autosave just in case.
The manual save is there for a reason though so again, I really don't understand why
you would slack off with the saves. I'm genuinely curious because for me it's second nature to save often in any game that allows manual saves, whether it has autosaves or not.