Illusion of Immersion

LockeLocke Member, Braver of Worlds
The Demon floating on what appears to be a violet mist, moves through the city gates. The guard observes it, as dark wisps roll off like fog in the morning. With a small sigh, looks to the next traveler, keeping a keen eye for those infested with Corruption. The Demon disappears down the road heading towards City Hall. - Demonic Racial Skin from Leader of Men Kickstarter package.

Slowly the tavern door opens, with a hunched figure looming behind. The disjointed mass shuffles forward to the bar. It waves its rotting arm in the direction of the barkeep. Cheerfully the man turns toward it, and in a light voice says "Welcome traveler! What may I get thee this dark night?" The jaw of the thing looks like it will fall off as it opens. In a deep, gravelly voice it replies "A glass of your finest port please.". - Possible Creature Cosmetic Reward from a Monster Coin Event per Steven during the Livestream with Deltias Gaming in 2017.

The battle was hard fought. The beast was one the knight will always remember, yet not fully. It lasted so long, and was so trying. Every time he thinks about it, a new bit is remembered, and one subtly lost. The Corruption filled the vile creature with a power he had never before seen. It was only the Protectors Armor gifted to him by his liege that kept him alive. It will be a long ride back. Yet he knows that his noble, and tireless steed shall take him home safely. Leaving the forest canopy, the sun shines once again upon his silver armor. A stoic figure upon a giant stuffed bear, he grips the great read ribbon round its neck tightly. The knight then yells "Onward Stufferton! To home, and the glory that awaits us!". - Stuffertons Cosmetic Skin from the March to April 2018 per-order pack.

The Ren'Kai orc slowly took a step to the right in preparation to attack. The Kaelar standing perfectly still, with the exception of her eyes following his every movement. Sizing up his foe, he looks for a weakness, an opening for which to exploit. His eyes fall below her chest piece, to the exposed midriff. A curious dragon tattoo wraps around her. Mostly seen upon her bare flesh. Intricate, and captivating, but incomplete as the wings, and maybe more are hidden by the chest piece. It is then his concentration is broken, as she seized the moment while he is distracted. Flying at him with a berserkers fury, and confidence of a seasoned warrior. - Black Scale Imperator Cosmetic Skin from the January to February 2019 pre-order pack.

What is immersive? The easy answer is something that makes you feel part of a setting or world. The harder answer is what is considered immersive. Ask a thousand people, and get a thousand different answers. The examples above are completely immersive to many for what they envision Verra to be. While just as many, if not more would call them immersion breaking.

The reality is that we are looking at a world created by someone else, Intrepid Studios. If we are honest about this, so long as it is reflective of their vision, the world as they see it, then it is immersive. Yet, we are human, and prone to deception, often lying to ourselves the most. For we do not see it that way. We see what we want, and label anything we don't like as immersion breaking. None of us outside the staff of Intrepid have been to Verra. We only know what glimpses they have given us. Our imaginations then fill in the massive gaps, with things that fit our own biases.

If for example Intrepid stated unequivocally the pinnacle of technology was the grist mill, and nothing higher, than a traditional combustion engine car would rightly be said as immersion breaking. On the other hand, if they state that a shining knight can ride off to war on a giant stuffed bear, it is not immersion breaking to see someone do just that. Rather it breaks our vision of the world. We are only guests, not the arbiters of lore.

With that said, it does appear that Intrepid wishes this world to have a broad appeal. To offer a vision that can be widely embraced. There is no way that they can make everyone happy with every decision. It is often said when making a game, every time you make a choice, you lose a player. We all want this game to last for years, so they will inevitably have to make tens of thousands of decisions over the life of the game. How many people will they lose just trying to present their vision of Verra?

It should be easy to see why I used the above examples. So what is the solution? The solution obviously will be decided by Intrepid. Considering how they so engaged with the community, I believe we should not bicker about what we perceive immersion breaking, but instead focus on suggestions to accommodate all, and still be true to ourselves enough to not lose interest personally.

My suggestion would be a ignore/black list of cosmetics. A client side list that you can check, or uncheck to show a cosmetic. Let the proud knight sally forth on his Stufferton, while you see him on his horse. Let the minion of the dark float silently on his cushion of mist, while you pass the warlock on your way to the market. Let the ladies who prefer to wear more feminine, or provocative attire do so, as you see them in more historic armor.

I have played World of Warcraft for 15 years. I absolutely loathe technology in fantasy. The Engineering profession always ate at me. Yet, I never considered it immersion breaking, because that was part of the World created by Blizzard. I did not like it. It was counter to my taste in Fantasy, even High Fantasy, but it was not my world. I was a guest.

What suggestions do you have for all to enjoy, while respecting Intrepids vision of Verra?

Locke

Comments

  • First of all:
    Many didnt like Stufferton, and Steven learned from it.
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  • RavudhaRavudha Member
    Locke wrote: »
    What suggestions do you have for all to enjoy, while respecting Intrepids vision of Verra?

    Having a variety of things such that most players will find something they like and can mostly avoid things they don't.

  • Undead CanuckUndead Canuck Member, Braver of Worlds
    Damokles wrote: »
    First of all:
    Many didnt like Stufferton, and Steven learned from it.

    I liked Stufferton, I just totally forgot to get it. That being said, I hope they take a page from EQ2 and have mounts that you can change over to house items and back. I want my Freehold to have all my mounts grazing in the fields (except the Cursed Charger - that one would eat all the rest...).
  • LockeLocke Member, Braver of Worlds
    Damokles wrote: »
    First of all:
    Many didnt like Stufferton, and Steven learned from it.

    I fully agree that many did not like it. Just as I am sure you would agree that many did. Truth be told I am in the former group, but there are many things I favor that others loathe. I am curious what you mean by "Steven learned from it." if you don't mind.
    Ravudha wrote: »
    Locke wrote: »
    What suggestions do you have for all to enjoy, while respecting Intrepids vision of Verra?

    Having a variety of things such that most players will find something they like and can mostly avoid things they don't.

    That does seem the route they are taking from what I have seen. As for avoid things they don't, you mean choices for their own appearances correct?
    Damokles wrote: »
    First of all:
    Many didnt like Stufferton, and Steven learned from it.

    I liked Stufferton, I just totally forgot to get it. That being said, I hope they take a page from EQ2 and have mounts that you can change over to house items and back. I want my Freehold to have all my mounts grazing in the fields (except the Cursed Charger - that one would eat all the rest...).

    I never played EQ2, but that sounds very cool.

    Locke
  • RavudhaRavudha Member
    edited April 26
    Locke wrote: »
    As for avoid things they don't, you mean choices for their own appearances correct?

    I mean generally being able to avoid content you don't like by going somewhere else in the world. E.g. You might hate the look of certain types of monsters, but because you love fishing it's enough to want to keep playing and just avoid those monsters. Basically, keep players by giving them content they really like rather than trying to make sure there's nothing they dislike.

  • LockeLocke Member, Braver of Worlds
    Ravudha wrote: »
    Locke wrote: »
    As for avoid things they don't, you mean choices for their own appearances correct?

    I mean generally being able to avoid content you don't like by going somewhere else in the world. E.g. You might hate the look of certain types of monsters, but because you love fishing it's enough to want to keep playing and just avoid those monsters. Basically, keep players by giving them content they really like rather than trying to make sure there's nothing they dislike.

    Sokay, I see what you mean. Thank you for the clarification. Regardless if someone hates something, the idea that there is something else that they love enough to want to keep playing. With the world being diverse enough in nature that not much is really forced upon them.

    Locke
  • Funny you should mention this, I was wondering how they are going to incorporate music into this, will each node have a set background music? Forest their own? Towns, seaside?
    I say this because yes, during my wow years there was nothing better to sink me into the world than to hear the music kick in while in Ashenvale or teldrasil. Or fly into Stormwind.
    Just curious but that specific music helped tremendously with immersion for me.
  • LalliLalli Member, Braver of Worlds
    Balrog21 wrote: »
    Funny you should mention this, I was wondering how they are going to incorporate music into this, will each node have a set background music? Forest their own? Towns, seaside?
    I say this because yes, during my wow years there was nothing better to sink me into the world than to hear the music kick in while in Ashenvale or teldrasil. Or fly into Stormwind.
    Just curious but that specific music helped tremendously with immersion for me.

    I like the idea but there is going to be over 100 nodes so that will be a lot of music. I do think music plays a big part of an mmo.
  • @Lalli , well they are only a certain amount if node types correct? War, tech, etc?
  • LalliLalli Member, Braver of Worlds
    Balrog21 wrote: »
    @Lalli , well they are only a certain amount if node types correct? War, tech, etc?

    Yes, four: Divine, economic, military and scientific
  • I could see them having node type musical themes, along with racial musical themes.
  • @Ventharien I sure hope so!
  • LalliLalli Member, Braver of Worlds
    True,
    Ventharien wrote: »
    I could see them having node type musical themes, along with racial musical themes.

    That would be so cool to have different music for the different races. I could see them doing that.
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