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Is it possible to be immersed in an mmo nowadays?

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  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHPosts: 1,179Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Torik

    Originally posted by Meltdown

    *snip*

    I have to disagree with your interpretation of points 2 and 4.

    Time sinks can be both immersive and massive immersion breakers.  Any time sink that results in me wanting to alt-tab and read this site is goign to seriously break immersion.  Pretty much any involuntary, grindy time sink is going to kill immersion for me.   If the time sink is fun or challenging I will spend hours immersed in the game.  Make me spend tiem killing the same boring mobs over and over and I will start counting the specks of dust on the wall.

    The emotional reaction thing can backfire on you.  It the emotional response is aimed at the in-game universe than you gain immersion (eg that evil troll tricked me into killing the wrong person but I will get my revenge on him in the next zone).  However, if the emotions are directed at other players and/or the devs you lose immersion since you are now thinking about out-of-game stuff while playing.

    I agree about the emotional part, also people might just up and quit the game if the reaction is too strong. Shawn Wolley being the extreme example here...

    But I disagree on the timesink breaking immersion, maybe calling them a timesink causes a knee-jerk reaction to the idea. But the more time you spend away from the computer the less immersion you have, so keeping the player in front of the monitor is a must, whether the mechnic is a mindless grind or an epic quest either you time is passing as you are sitting in front of your computer.

    I was very immersed in UO until I was introduced to EZ Macro and the power hour came out, then it become just another game where you grinded out your skills to the max level. Another example for me is Rift (although there might be other reasons why immersion was broken for me there) but I hit max level within 2 weeks and it was so fast that I had no attachment to the character and just quit the game. If it had taken me longer would I have been more reluctant to ditch my achievement of a maximum level character? Probably, this refers more to the psychology of games though, and how we rationalize time spent and creates this attachment.

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • OnarixOnarix Oakville, ONPosts: 84Member

    Originally posted by Meltdown

    Originally posted by Torik


    Originally posted by Meltdown

    *snip*

    I have to disagree with your interpretation of points 2 and 4.

    Time sinks can be both immersive and massive immersion breakers.  Any time sink that results in me wanting to alt-tab and read this site is goign to seriously break immersion.  Pretty much any involuntary, grindy time sink is going to kill immersion for me.   If the time sink is fun or challenging I will spend hours immersed in the game.  Make me spend tiem killing the same boring mobs over and over and I will start counting the specks of dust on the wall.

    The emotional reaction thing can backfire on you.  It the emotional response is aimed at the in-game universe than you gain immersion (eg that evil troll tricked me into killing the wrong person but I will get my revenge on him in the next zone).  However, if the emotions are directed at other players and/or the devs you lose immersion since you are now thinking about out-of-game stuff while playing.

    I agree about the emotional part, also people might just up and quit the game if the reaction is too strong. Shawn Wolley being the extreme example here...

    But I disagree on the timesink breaking immersion, maybe calling them a timesink causes a knee-jerk reaction to the idea. But the more time you spend away from the computer the less immersion you have, so keeping the player in front of the monitor is a must, whether the mechnic is a mindless grind or an epic quest either you time is passing as you are sitting in front of your computer.

    I was very immersed in UO until I was introduced to EZ Macro and the power hour came out, then it become just another game where you grinded out your skills to the max level. Another example for me is Rift (although there might be other reasons why immersion was broken for me there) but I hit max level within 2 weeks and it was so fast that I had no attachment to the character and just quit the game. If it had taken me longer would I have been more reluctant to ditch my achievement of a maximum level character? Probably, this refers more to the psychology of games though, and how we rationalize time spent and creates this attachment.

    Yeah but MMO's seem like more of a job these days.

    Free to play means pay to win.

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,221Member
    Immersion is still possible in some of the amazing worlds in mmos eg far, strange lands or the depths of space ["Hey, who wants to hear a Chuck Norris joke?")... In fact story instances in some recent/upcoming mmos are just that to add immersion far from the maddening crowd! Immersion comes about when you concentrate on something (working out skills or story) and become oblivious to time. Obviously any RP/otherworld immersion depends on how successfully the world is built/interactions/story created and how well distractions can be avoided. Even a simple dungeon crawler can be immersive if a small group has a few laughs and tight corners etc but Story in themepark MMOs improving is good development IMO to frame the contained gameplay eg quests, dungeon runs etc... as long as grind is reduced (apathy) and cohesive in-game rules and behavior of other players adheres to the game idea (avoiding frustration).
  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Meltdown

    But I disagree on the timesink breaking immersion, maybe calling them a timesink causes a knee-jerk reaction to the idea. But the more time you spend away from the computer the less immersion you have, so keeping the player in front of the monitor is a must, whether the mechnic is a mindless grind or an epic quest either you time is passing as you are sitting in front of your computer.

    I was very immersed in UO until I was introduced to EZ Macro and the power hour came out, then it become just another game where you grinded out your skills to the max level. Another example for me is Rift (although there might be other reasons why immersion was broken for me there) but I hit max level within 2 weeks and it was so fast that I had no attachment to the character and just quit the game. If it had taken me longer would I have been more reluctant to ditch my achievement of a maximum level character? Probably, this refers more to the psychology of games though, and how we rationalize time spent and creates this attachment.

    I have always been good at multi-tasking so for me it is easy to do stuff in a game on auto-pilot while thinking about something else.  So I could be grinding out mobs in the game while thinking about an episode of a TV show I saw the day before.  I am immersed in the TV show but not the game.  The game will not immerse me unless I need to do some actual problem solving rather than just rote repetition. 

    While for soem people rote repetition might create immersion, for me it will quickly disconnect my mind from the gameworld.  This is similar to when I am doing my morning commute to work, I barely remember the trip but remember the other stuff I thought about during that time. 

  • MeltdownMeltdown Home, NHPosts: 1,179Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Torik

    Originally posted by Meltdown

    *snip*

    I have always been good at multi-tasking so for me it is easy to do stuff in a game on auto-pilot while thinking about something else.  So I could be grinding out mobs in the game while thinking about an episode of a TV show I saw the day before.  I am immersed in the TV show but not the game.  The game will not immerse me unless I need to do some actual problem solving rather than just rote repetition. 

    While for soem people rote repetition might create immersion, for me it will quickly disconnect my mind from the gameworld.  This is similar to when I am doing my morning commute to work, I barely remember the trip but remember the other stuff I thought about during that time. 

    So thinking about something other than the game breaks immersion for you, makes sense. Again I think I took too broad of a definition of "time-sink" meaning any action in-game that eats up time. Google define on timesink: "Something that consumes a great deal of time". What I should've said was not only does it have to take up time, but it also has to hold your attention. I would say that things that hold your attention for brief periods of time (a smartphone app game perhaps) will never be immersive because your time invested is so low. So just being interesting isn't enough, it has to hold interest for long periods of time. 

    "They essentially want to say 'Correlation proves Causation' when it's just not true." - Sovrath

  • LydarSynnLydarSynn Jonestown, ALPosts: 182Member Common

    I think the biggest thing that breaks immersion is that there is no sense of reality at all in any of these games. When MMOs were new and the game mechanics were not completely understood (i.e there was little concept of end game), it was easier to become immersed. Once you have played a half dozen of these games, you know what the game is all about. Sure, there are different graphics and mechanics but in the end, your character is simply an immortal fighter, mage, crafter or whatever. While most of these games are built on fantastic premises, there is no consistent reality other than one- you cannot die or even lose anything except some time that you played. The world is static and the player cannot affect it at all. The econmies of most games are also completely unrealistic.

    IMO immersion can only really come from playing in a world that is somewhat believeable. Believalbe means that there is some risk to the player of loss and not just from death. Also, the players have to be able to affect the world and change it for better or worse. That also means putting limitations on what one player or a small group can do.

    However as another poster put it, your mileage may vary as far as immersion and some may be able to forget all that I just mentioned and be really immersed in the current crop of MMOs.

  • SkuldinSkuldin Nixa, MOPosts: 79Member

    I think the biggest thing that breaks immersion is that there is no sense of reality at all in any of these games. When MMOs were new and the game mechanics were not completely understood (i.e there was little concept of end game), it was easier to become immersed. Once you have played a half dozen of these games, you know what the game is all about. Sure, there are different graphics and mechanics but in the end, your character is simply an immortal fighter, mage, crafter or whatever. While most of these games are built on fantastic premises, there is no consistent reality other than one- you cannot die or even lose anything except some time that you played. The world is static and the player cannot affect it at all. The econmies of most games are also completely unrealistic.

    IMO immersion can only really come from playing in a world that is somewhat believeable. Believalbe means that there is some risk to the player of loss and not just from death. Also, the players have to be able to affect the world and change it for better or worse. That also means putting limitations on what one player or a small group can do.

    However as another poster put it, your mileage may vary as far as immersion and some may be able to forget all that I just mentioned and be really immersed in the current crop of MMOs.

    ===================================================================================================

    This was the best post of this thread. Very well said.  The current MMO is not an RPG any longer.  There are no choices and no consequences and when you lose those you lose immersion and for me you start to back away from the genre. I'm not sure how many games are going to have to come out and have a smaller population than anticipated or flop completely before developers realize the only way to get a large group of gamers to keep playing their game is to change the formula back to choice and consequences.

    WoW is nothing more than a chat room with graphics. MMO it is, RPG it is not. It is difficult to be immersed in such a shallow game. This was purposeful however, as Blizzard made the MMORPG mainstream and "easy".  They turned a group based gaming culture and turned it into a single-player game with grouping side options. They made the game easy and arcady and in my humble opinion ruined the genre possibly forever.  Now devs see money instead of love. They develop all these new games and they have no soul. 

    In my opinion the next "big" mmo will be the one with the most character depth, it doesnt need gear grinds, it needs character development time-sinks and gear upgrades need to be fewer and farther between. 

    WoW will still have its 12-16 year old crowd and its soccer moms that want to collect fuzzy mini-pets and mounts, but the true gamers will flock back to a game meant to be difficult yet fun, exciting and dynamic.  Maybe I am obsessed but I dream everyday about helping to develop such a game. :)

     


    Thirty years of gaming experience...not sure if I should be proud of that
    www.mmoexaminer.blogspot.com

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  • AcmegamerAcmegamer Selah, WAPosts: 337Member

     Mechanics info doesn't jolt me out of the immersion, it is the players and the things they say and do in the game. I can filter out mechanics as a normal part of the gaming enviroment just fine. :)

     

  • VengerVenger York, PAPosts: 1,318Member

    Well you are playing what someone else thinks your character should be, playing through their story, everyone is funneled to the same end game.  There is very little customization, you are just another "insert character class/level" in a sea of many.

    I'd say no.

  • LordPsychodiLordPsychodi east northport, NYPosts: 101Member

    to be honest being immersed in something merely means how much one focuses in on be it a movie, a TV show, or game, and how much the presentation of the product holds you. Immersion is a nice buzzword and has a decent value to it in game design, you want people to be focused in, but focused in on what? What parts should hold people in? I think a lot of people discredit newer MMOs because they feel somehow streamlined experiences cut out on building realism. Realism, simulationism help to build immersion in games, but Number crunching builds, planning out strategies for raids, teamspeak all are tossed out as "threats" to immersion when honestly, that being broken shouldn't lessen it, simply because - There are so many games that don't do anything to try and build or hold immersion and they are still all fantastic.. It just feels like there needs to be a windmill (to tilt at) like casuals, raids, gearing up, AAA titles and catering to specifics groups.

  • AkaroniaAkaronia Nampa, IDPosts: 138Member

            I know a bit but I definately hear your concern.  When I try a new game out I look at everything including the graphics.  Storyline is very important to me as well as lore, however lately I have seen some of the games tending toward all gear and not so much lore.  I played one MMO for 3 years and loved it.  I even went back and did loremaster.  Tried to complete every raid but the sad thing is, is that no one else wanted to help do it because it was classed as old content even though a lot of the players had never even seen that content.  One thing that I have noticed that seems to solve this problem is making sure that there are good rewards for going back and doing this stuff.  You get people who are more willing to help you with that stuff when there is some kind of reward.  But then again maybe this is exactly what you are talking about.  People always want something out of everything they do.  Myself after playing this game and finding that sadly enough even though I was told that it was a game that never ended it did.  I even took a break for a while and tried another game I have totally become immersed in as you put it went back to the other game a month or so before the expansion was coming out and finished doing every quest in the game.  I did not care about the end reward I was enjoying the content until I got the expansion and within 3 weeks had the loremaster of the new expansion and there was nothing left but the gear grind.  I think it depends on each individual and how they feel when they play.  This is why it is so important to make sure everyone is included in an expansion not just the gear grinders and such.  No matter how you look at it that is burnout waiting to happen.  I totally believe that you can do both and infact one higlights the other.  When I get tired of doing one I go do the other.  Since that expansion came out I have left that game again and gone back to the game I tried while I took a break from the first one.  The sad thing is is it seems the newer games and expansions just don't seem to have the immersion capability due to lack of content.   I don't think it is the knowledge of graphics and such I believe it is a lack of creativity. 

           In my opinion I am very let down by lack of creativity in making things original or even just making everyone in the community happy not just one kind.  When I play the game I am playing now I am totally immersed.  All I was able to do in the other one was do the now levels on my characters and after that I was so busy trying to make sure that things got done due to lack of help from others in my community that all I got done was farming and organizing everything and pretty soon I could no longer immerse myself in that game.  Sadly unlike I was told it had an ending for me due to community, how that community acted, lack of friendly people who just wanted to say hey lets go try this or that instead it was all gear give me gear.

         So yes it is possible to get immersed but as I saw someone say in one post maybe it needs to be with more mature players.  I don't mean in age neccessarily I mean in action.  The lack thereof can be really hard on some people.  I am very happy with the game I am playing now and I am always immersed when I play it whether I spend the day just tradeskilling, questing, doing dungeons, etc....  It never matters I am always immersed.

         I really hated to leave the other game because I had really enjoyed it up to the point of the newest expansion.  I left a lot of friends behind who still play it because they only play on weekends.  Me I have a lot of free time on my hands and there was just nothing left for me to do especially with them only being on on the weekends.

         I wish they had remembered the high levels as well as the low ones for content is basically what it came down to.  Have to remember all of your public and not forget a certain kind and try and find new and inventive ways for everyone no matter their level or what in that game they enjoy so they do not grow weary of being immersed :D

         EQ2 is the best game that I have run across for keeping every kind of player happy IMO.  Total immersion no matter what it is you like to do there is something for you in this game.  I saw someone said it's tradeskilling is like WoW.  It is most definatetely not.  The only thing in EQ2's tradeskilling that is like WoW is the secondary skills due to the fact that they are a point leveling system and not an experience bar.

  • FutureMMOFutureMMO Chicago, ILPosts: 47Member

    I just read all the replies in this thread and I see so many great points. Everyone is ready for a new generation MMO.

    The reason why no one ever gets "immersed" anymore is because as some of you stated - it is all about the technical breakdown of the game. For example, an experienced MMO player will take a new MMO that just came out and focus ONLY on breaking it down in order to find the most efficient way to gain experience to level faster than anyone else, to get most currency or to get the most unique gear and then just focus on the % bonuses that the items give and this is pretty much where it ends.

    As I said, the people are READY for the next generation MMO. The concept has to change drasticly in order for players to get "immersed" again. The current MMO games are way to easy and repetitive.

    I think that games such Guild Wars 2 and Warhammer 40,000 The Dark Millenium will be great in the terms of graphics and possibly a story line. The question is... what are the new titles going to bring that is TRULY new and unique. Something powerful enough to make an advanced MMO player to actually care about the storyline and the way of playing the game instead of trying to breakdown the mechanics of it as usual.

    i7@4.2Ghz, 12GB@1600Mhz, GTx580 SLi, 1920x1080@120Hz, 7.1 Creative Gigaworks S750
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  • Matthew8684Matthew8684 Garfield, NJPosts: 3Member
    IMO immersion gets broken when there is no uncertainty. Uncertainty is lost when the games makes you follow a predetermined path as opposed to taking your own path to end game. When I move from quest hub to quest hub the game just seems like a list of pointless objectives u need to complete. Immersions is lost when I know I am going to be at one zone do some quest get some lvls and move to the next zone do some quest get some lvls and move on to the next zone and so on. Immersion is also improved by fostering a deeper connects to your avatar and his gears. This can be done by making the journey to max lvl longer and making gear rarer/harder to get but useful for longer period of time. When you replace your gear set every 10 lvls or multiple times within every expansion the gear appears pointless. There are many misc things which help immersions also. No instancing (reasons for instancing can be solved without the need for instancing), no loading, ability to do things or interact with the world that are fun but don't really have an effect on the game (ie getting in game drunk)
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