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Lack of immersion in GW2 (BWE)

impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
I'm a long time follower and fan of GW2. What grabbed me most were not the impressive visuals or the interesting twists to the Themepark MMO paradigm, but more the clear and well reasoned vision of ANet.
 
To kick it off, I want to say I am a little worried, mainly because of two things:
1: The BWE's give me the feeling that Anet isn't far from releasing this game, something I think that it is far from ready for, judging on the current BWE build.
 
2. The lack of critical vision by the current beta testers and GW fans, hoping for a release not to long from now. A lot of people seem not to care for any depth of the GW2 experience, but just come fore casual fun after a hard days work.
 
The thing is, GW2's content is amazingly rich and detailed for a beta. I think GW2 already has the content it promised and I loved to play through the content in both BWEs. So the content is most certainly not the problem, it is more the way the content is currently presented and the rulesets/mechanisms applied to it that IMHO needs a lot of tuning to give GW2's content value and depth.
 
Personally, I find that the way the content is presented in GW2 is breaking immersion with the GW2 universe. I'll list the most important things that cause this:
 
Edit: on bottom to clearify my nitpicking
 
1. To much done through the interface without any real world interaction:
Such as using teleportation via the map. It breaks immersion because it isn't using the GW2 universe to apply these mechanisms. The same goes for the learning of skills, the rewards etc. All of this is done directly and instantly through the interface, without any connection to the real game. 
 
I'm going to use the hated WoW (count me in) as a positive example here:  Teleportation stones, skill trainers etc. The are things in the WoW universe that are used to apply a certain mechanic.
 
Interfaces should be a representation of the gameworld mechanics and situations, right now a lot of features only exist through the interface, breaking immersion.
 
Also those shiny medals screaming in my face....
 
2.  To much use of map signs that stand in the way of incentive to explore.
Undiscovered waypoints, skillpoints and hearts are on the map, which spoils all the excitement of exploring. All undiscovered stuff should be marked with undiscovered places of interest, it makes exploring more varied and holds players of from ignoring a lot of content. Let landmarks and visual elements in the world direct players to the seemingly more interesting undiscovered points of interest. It makes character progression by acquiring skill points much more interesting when you have to SEARCH for skill points.
 
Edit: To clarify, I do like the marks of "undiscovered points of interest". What I do not like is that skillpoints are directly showed on the map. I want the skillpoints to be among the points of undiscovered interest.
 
 
3.  Complete lack of phasing of the content in certain areas:
This has nothing to do with handholding. This has more to do with logical and interesting placement of events along ways that players could be (lured into) taking. DE were presented as things that would randomly happen as you stumble by, right now this is not really the case.
By exploring my MAIN GOAL should NOT be finding DEs, but finding  interesting places that contain DEs or finding DEs in the process. This in part closely related to 1 and 2.
 
 
4.  Progression seems off and inconsistent with the premises of GW2's PvE:
I'd like to point out that I completely disagree with the people saying that level progression in GW2 is fine. I really think it shouldn't be necessary for player to visit multiple starting zones. We are talking about the starting areas here, which are important to creating a connection to the atmosphere in the game and to your character. To me it seems really immersion breaking that after being done in my starter zone, that I directly teleport to another starting area with the same 'starter area phasing' of DEs and hearts in a completely unrelated and different atmosphere. Things need to build up and content needs to be presented in a slowly build up atmosphere to be immersive. Right now the constant jumping between areas makes it feel like super mario galaxy 2. In which an interface is used to play bits of entertaining content that has no coherent consistency. This is bad for an open world fantasy MMO.
 
Imho, when you truly explore every corner of the a certain map and doing all content that comes your way should always ROUGHLY be high enough to get to next area. This mean that when encountering less DEs for some reason, you should be a few levels lower, whereas where you would have done every single event in every single stage you should be a few levels higher. This is very important to get a realistic and pleasing experience of progression which leads to more immersion in to GW2s universe.
            It should not be necessary to redo certain events, or run circles in a map because you might have missed certain events. This would make the game about DE hunting in stead of true exploring.
 
Right now, my character is a hub that I use to get to DEs  It should be the other way around! As my journey progresses, I should stumble upon adventures (DEs). My journey should NOT have DEs as its purpose, it makes no logical sense and makes the whole idea behind random events obsolete. I feel no immersion in the world or attachement to my character because everything is directly aquired through an interface instead of the game world. Exploration is spoiled completely by this same excessive use of interface.  
 
Edit: To sum up my sentiments, i'd like to quite a post in this thread:
 

 

 
Originally posted by fenistil

 

GW2 when I play it it feel very much like a game. Very nice game, but it remind me every couple seconds that it is a game. Thus not very immersive. 
 
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Comments

  • TwoThreeFourTwoThreeFour Virginia, VAPosts: 2,131Member

    In before "You don't have to look at the blablabla markers, they are optional". 

  • XssivXssiv Haskell, NJPosts: 359Member

    When a company admittedly makes an MMO targeting an audience that doesn't like MMO's, something's gotta give. 

     

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by TwoThreeFour

    In before "You don't have to look at the blablabla markers, they are optional". 

    Yep they will come. Optiinal they say. Screaming in your face, but optional to look at. Better close your eyes,

  • Chrome1980Chrome1980 LondonPosts: 511Member

    Yes map feels cluttered at times but since they are making this MMO for non MMO players too, they have to make it easier for them. I have no problem with that. It is a business after all and they are aiming to reach as many customers as possible.

  • MeowheadMeowhead New Carlisle, INPosts: 3,716Member

    Oddly, I've found the game more immersive than other games like Rifts and WoW.

    Skill trainers have always been silly to me.  Honestly, those skill trainers should be saving the world, not the heroes.  They know EVERYTHING. :(  Also, the whole concept of handing over a ltitle cash and instantly knowing a skill... weird.

    Yeah, I wouldn't mind a game that had a fully developed, detailed skill learning system that involves actual tasks (Okay!  To learn my lbocking technique, I'm going to have you wax my car...), but I honestly can barely see the difference between a silly skill trainer and a silly UI skill upgrade.  They're both so far on the video-game side of simulation you can't even SEE the simulation from there.

    ... and I found that once I started finding/spawning events on my own, and rather than looking at the map, watching where people point, that the game is a lot more immersive.

    Yeah, there's a lot of hand holding, but look how many people can't even figure out how to level at a suitable rate in a zone.  Sadly, they might end up adding MORE hand holding just because its not people's natural inclination to explore and communicate with random NPCS, even though that can kick off actual stuff in the game.

    One of my proudest moments in the game was real early in BWE2 where this kid said 'Hey!  Do you know about Destiny's Edge?', and I was like 'Why... why YES I DO LITTLE KID' and clicked on him.  ... and suddenly he was 'Hey, follow me to this cave and it's quiz time!'

    Wow.  I was like 'Hey, I talk to NPCs and listen to them and get rewarded!'.  I started clicking on random people, listening to what they said, and it really made my whole experience a lot better.

    I also hung around after events to see what sort of things people did.  I found 4-5 stage events in the early starting zones that the first time around I assumed were finished after one part.

    It was a sort of incredibly satisfying 'Hey, these people actually are affected by my actions and go forth and do things because of me' moment, and really added to my own immersion.

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by Chrome1980

    Yes map feels cluttered at times but since they are making this MMO for non MMO players too, they have to make it easier for them. I have no problem with that. It is a business after all and they are aiming to reach as many customers as possible.

    But thereby ruining the premise of the 'RPG' in a 'MMORPG'

  • IkedaIkeda Largo, FLPosts: 2,204Member Uncommon
    You prolly didn't notice, since it wasn't on the map, that only a small percentage of the PoIs and the like are actually marked by the scouts.

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  • Chrome1980Chrome1980 LondonPosts: 511Member
    Originally posted by impiro
    Originally posted by Chrome1980

    Yes map feels cluttered at times but since they are making this MMO for non MMO players too, they have to make it easier for them. I have no problem with that. It is a business after all and they are aiming to reach as many customers as possible.

    But thereby ruining the premise of the 'RPG' in a 'MMORPG'

    Or they can end up alienating a large player base and big chunk of their profit along with it.. You know that they plan to release GW2 for console too?

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by Ikeda
    You prolly didn't notice, since it wasn't on the map, that only a small percentage of the PoIs and the like are actually marked by the scouts.

    I have no problem with points of interest, as logn as they are not specified. My problem is that the main points of progression such as way points and skill points, are always on the map, discovered or not. That  beats the purpose of exploring the world to find those things.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Meowhead

    Oddly, I've found the game more immersive than other games like Rifts and WoW.

    Skill trainers have always been silly to me.  Honestly, those skill trainers should be saving the world, not the heroes.  They know EVERYTHING. :(  Also, the whole concept of handing over a ltitle cash and instantly knowing a skill... weird.

    Yeah, I wouldn't mind a game that had a fully developed, detailed skill learning system that involves actual tasks (Okay!  To learn my lbocking technique, I'm going to have you wax my car...), but I honestly can barely see the difference between a silly skill trainer and a silly UI skill upgrade.  They're both so far on the video-game side of simulation you can't even SEE the simulation from there.

    ... and I found that once I started finding/spawning events on my own, and rather than looking at the map, watching where people point, that the game is a lot more immersive.

    Yeah, there's a lot of hand holding, but look how many people can't even figure out how to level at a suitable rate in a zone.  Sadly, they might end up adding MORE hand holding just because its not people's natural inclination to explore and communicate with random NPCS, even though that can kick off actual stuff in the game.

    One of my proudest moments in the game was real early in BWE2 where this kid said 'Hey!  Do you know about Destiny's Edge?', and I was like 'Why... why YES I DO LITTLE KID' and clicked on him.  ... and suddenly he was 'Hey, follow me to this cave and it's quiz time!'

    Wow.  I was like 'Hey, I talk to NPCs and listen to them and get rewarded!'.  I started clicking on random people, listening to what they said, and it really made my whole experience a lot better.

    I also hung around after events to see what sort of things people did.  I found 4-5 stage events in the early starting zones that the first time around I assumed were finished after one part.

    It was a sort of incredibly satisfying 'Hey, these people actually are affected by my actions and go forth and do things because of me' moment, and really added to my own immersion.

    I'm with you on this one.  But my immersion factors come from sound and character feedback.  

    OP, remember everyone has different immersion factors.  What you don't like about the map, I personally love.  I love having all those unfilled areas as unmarked points of interest and I'm an explorer.  I like directing my exploration while it seems you prefer the "getting lost" type of exploration, which is fine.  So...just turn off the map stuff.   ;D

    image
  • EzhaeEzhae LondonPosts: 737Member

    You do not need to visit other races starting areas to level. It's a misconception and silly rumour spread around for no reason. As long as you do events, discover all point sof interest, waypoints and do skill challenges, do hearts and several events plus generlaly play the game you will be fine level wise. People just rush forward too much and more often than not run off before the event even chains to next part missing out on karma, xp and gold. Also, revive those NPcs, gather some resources, do the daily achievements, participate in events - you will outlevel a zone in no time. 

     

    I got to 37 level, without doing WvWvW (moslty because my server got matched with new servers and we kept the map 100% locked thorughout whole BWE), without doing Kessex, Queensdale and Ashfrod Plains, cleared the Norn Zones, Diessa and Ganderran Fields plus did  Catacombs on story + 1 of the routes in explorer mode. 

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by Chrome1980
     

     You know that they plan to release GW2 for console too?

    Oh god, please let them reconsider.

  • Zeus.CMZeus.CM ZagrebPosts: 1,788Member

    Maybe its just my fanboism at effect here but: You won't find more immersive world in any thempark mmo than in Gw2. My opinion!

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by elocke
    Originally posted by Meowhead
     

    I'm with you on this one.  But my immersion factors come from sound and character feedback.  

    OP, remember everyone has different immersion factors.  What you don't like about the map, I personally love.  I love having all those unfilled areas as unmarked points of interest and I'm an explorer.  I like directing my exploration while it seems you prefer the "getting lost" type of exploration, which is fine.  So...just turn off the map stuff.   ;D

    No no you misunderstand i think. I love the undiscovered points of interest. I hate the fact that waypoints and skillpoints are always on the map. At least skillpoints should just be undiscovered points of interest.

  • Chrome1980Chrome1980 LondonPosts: 511Member
    Originally posted by thedarkess

    Maybe its just my fanboism at effect here but: You won't find more immersive world in any thempark mmo than in Gw2. My opinion!

    Yeah fanboism in effect because Vanguard is very immersive world. GW2 is immersive no doubt but it is way too chaotic and sometimes you feel like an action hero with no time for breaks and enjoying the vistas.

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by Chrome1980
    Originally posted by thedarkess

    Maybe its just my fanboism at effect here but: You won't find more immersive world in any thempark mmo than in Gw2. My opinion!

    Yeah fanboism in effect because Vanguard is very immersive world. GW2 is immersive no doubt but it is way too chaotic and sometimes you feel like an action hero with no time for breaks and enjoying the vistas.

    Yep, that lack of break was what i tried to translate with Lack of phasing. Its a little bit to much at times, making it seem silly and redundant.

  • KawotaKawota NovocheboksarskPosts: 16Member

    I dunno, I was just fulfilling my duty as a human noble. Noblesse oblige and so on, so travelling and looking for DE's was perfectly justified. Then again, I just like playing proactive characters, those who don't need to be dragged into a mess to start doing something.

  • DakeruDakeru Posts: 1,649Member Uncommon

    Immersion to me is when you identify yourself with the protagonist and start caring about the other characters around.

    To be honest the npcs from the personal story are so boring it's not even funny. However I like the livelyness in towns - the way npcs interact with each other.

     

    Human male: Ran into an Asura.. called me a Bookah!.. I think she was hitting on me.

    (made me laugh so bad)

     

    Human Guard: So what will you do now that your Golem has run away?

    Asura: It's just a malfunction.. it will come back.

    Human: You think so?

    Asura: Sure.. it has only been... 2 weeks..

    Human: I wish I had your faith my friend.

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  • ZhauricZhauric Houston, TXPosts: 293Member

    Have to agree with some of the others in the idea that I have never found a themepark game that felt more immersive and alive. The map and waypoints do little to bother me. I hardly use the waypoints for one and things being marked on a map are no big deal either. I want to go somewhere I run there, simple as that.

    Immersion is more than those things anyway (imo). It is the world around the character. I hear laughter, npc's talking, and even a tour guide giving thoughts as she takes you around a district. Not to mention running around in one district and a npc comes running to a Seraph about her child missing and they head off into her house. Things are actually happening around me that have nothing to do with me. NPC's are moving around and interacting and I can even greet them.

    Another point of immersion is the guards that actually assist you in a fight or when they fight other npc's they actually freaking assist themselves! Watching two guards fighting wolves and after one is slain the other revives him? Sorry, the immersion in this one is definitely a top grade for me and something that I found severly lacking in other mmo's as of late.

  • ConnmacartConnmacart OsloPosts: 681Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by impiro
    Originally posted by Chrome1980
    Originally posted by thedarkess

    Maybe its just my fanboism at effect here but: You won't find more immersive world in any thempark mmo than in Gw2. My opinion!

    Yeah fanboism in effect because Vanguard is very immersive world. GW2 is immersive no doubt but it is way too chaotic and sometimes you feel like an action hero with no time for breaks and enjoying the vistas.

    Yep, that lack of break was what i tried to translate with Lack of phasing. Its a little bit to much at times, making it seem silly and redundant.

    That chaotic nature makes it all the more immersive in my opinion. It is what makes the world feel alive and a living world is an immersive world. A world should never be structured, because there is nothing less immersive than when you know what is where.

    GW2 to me is what a gameworld should feel like. That the map has markers means nothing to me. What map doesn't have markers on them in real life. Or do you believe that they do not have any cartographers. As for teleporting it is part of the lore so it can never be out of place.

  • MeowheadMeowhead New Carlisle, INPosts: 3,716Member
    Originally posted by impiro

    No no you misunderstand i think. I love the undiscovered points of interest. I hate the fact that waypoints and skillpoints are always on the map. At least skillpoints should just be undiscovered points of interest.

    I think they don't want to do that because that means a whole ton of people would go running towards the wiki, because honestly, without all your skillpoints, you're actually literally a gimped character.  not temporarily gimped, you're actually a worse character without skill points.

    They did hide other stuff.  There's a lot of exploration things they DIDN'T mark on the map.  Both points of scenic interest (Like finding the treehouse some kids had, or discovering ruins in a cave) and actual hidden treasure and achievements.

    Actually, if you look at your achievements list, there's a whole list of achievements for finding/completing hidden areas in GW2.

    So they do hide stuff, and even stuff that gives you rewards, just nothing that actually gimps your character and makes them worse.  (I mean, you can get some nice armor in hidden areas, but nothing as serious as missing 20+ skillpoints)

    They also have hidden DEs that aren't marked in any way until you start them.

    There's hidden stuff!  Lots of it.  I missed SO MANY of the hidden areas (A look at the achievements made me realize that) that I honestly felt a ltitle embarassed about my failure as an explorer. :/

     

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member

    Lack of immersion my buttocks. I can't get my head out of Tyria once again. Sigh... here's to hoping the next BWE comes along sooner than this one did.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • NaqajNaqaj Frankfurt am MainPosts: 1,673Member
    Originally posted by Meowhead

    Oddly, I've found the game more immersive than other games like Rifts and WoW.

    [...]

    Agreed. Immersion doesn't come from a [lack of] UI. It comes from the game world, and in that regard GW2 surpasses any of the other MMOs currently out there. The only thing you need to do (and many players need to learn) is to stop, stand still, and look around you.

  • impiroimpiro onbekendPosts: 204Member
    Originally posted by Connmacart
    Originally posted by impiro
    Originally posted by Chrome1980
    Originally posted by thedarkess

    Maybe its just my fanboism at effect here but: You won't find more immersive world in any thempark mmo than in Gw2. My opinion!

    Yeah fanboism in effect because Vanguard is very immersive world. GW2 is immersive no doubt but it is way too chaotic and sometimes you feel like an action hero with no time for breaks and enjoying the vistas.

    Yep, that lack of break was what i tried to translate with Lack of phasing. Its a little bit to much at times, making it seem silly and redundant.

    That chaotic nature makes it all the more immersive in my opinion. It is what makes the world feel alive and a living world is an immersive world. A world should never be structured, because there is nothing less immersive than when you know what is where.

     

    Random nature yes, chaotic to an extent. But it seems at bit too much that after every turn you take invasions take place, heroic events happen etc. Thats what i'm getting

  • seridanseridan ThessalonikiPosts: 1,202Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by impiro

    1. To much done through the interface without any real world interaction:
    So going to a skill trainer and pressing "train me" is immersive in any way? The skill system in GW2 is way more immersive (how you learn new weapon skills) than in other MMOs. The only "addition" they could make is add a skill trainer from which to buy your utility skills if you so desire. But they already exist, they are the skill challenge npcs that help you "progress" your character in a way better way than just talking to them..... Also moving to npcs to train would be utterly pointless gameplay-wise. It will only force players to run to the trainer every time they want to learn a new skill. When "immersion" gets in the way of fun then it should go. Training skills "on the go" is a way to promote this. Same with teleporters. See it this way: when you use a waypoint it's like "pressing fast-forward" on a remote control. It's a way to  jump through a boring walk that should be avoided because it is again a limiting "fun factor". Why walk all the time across just for the shake of walking?

     
    2.  To much use of map signs that stand in the way of incentive to explore.
    The amount of rage that would cause would be tremendus. At least Skill Challenges shouldn't be visible in unexplored maps, even those that are not in the current beta (that was certainly lame). But the map signs work both ways. They actually provide an incentive for people to explore, people who usually don't explore will be "forced" to explore in the game. So in the end the signs aren't a bad thing, in fact they help promote exploring instead of limiting it.
     
     
    3.  Complete lack of phasing of the content in certain areas:
    I remember lots of times walking randomly and some DE began, I don't see your point?
     
     
    4.  Progression seems off and inconsistent with the premises of GW2's PvE:
    When I finished exploring a map I always had enough experience to go to the next, or at least being very close. The key point here is not play for Hearts but try going back and participating in Dynamic Events. When you see a new event on your event monitor that just began nearby, even if it's near a heart you already did, you can go and participate, that's the whole point of the DE system, you don't do them just to fill hearts. Also since you get skill points by actually playing the game, instead of getting them only by leveling, it is obvious that you will have to visit starter areas for the skills. Why shouldn't you explore the main cities of the other races anyway? Why is that breaking immersion? And while exploring the city of another race you hear the main npc talking about a ghost threat outside the Black Citadel. Why is it  breaking immersion if hearing about a ghost invasion tickles a player to go check it out? There are clues all over the game by npcs who sent you to events and promote the story, listening to them is important to keep the game immersive.

     

    Block the trolls, don't answer them, so we can remove the garbage from these forums

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