Dev Discussion #22 - Immersion



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    VelletyVellety Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Blitzaga86 wrote: »
    Rakesto wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Inventory limitations... Or at least constantly having to packmule back and forth. I think immersion is really important, but you can make it too immersive and it just becomes tedium.

    I can relate to this so so much. I love immersion but there has to be a convenience balance

    Yup being a pack mule is a pain. Look ashes is high fantasy please don't limit us to realistic carrying weight. We can throw magic at stuff and warp. I think we can make a space pocket to hold a decent amount of inventory

    This, this and this. Please for the love of god do not implement a "realistic" weight system where you're encumbered 90% of the time while carrying loot after gathering, mining etc. Its just annoying.
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    I don't think "immersion" and "mmorpg" go along. Just read the comments above, one reads:

    - I shouldn't be able to carry 200 logs in my backpack, that breaks my immersion
    while another reads
    - I shouldn't be limited to how much I can carry, that's too much

    I think that the word "immersion" translates to "how much do you want this MMO to be played like a single player game" . "Grind", "boring quests", "unrealistic terrain" mentioned in the comments above are just some examples of stuff that is part of the definition of an MMORPG, while might not happen in games like "Skyrim". The problem is that there is always an audience of people that want to play their single player game while joining an MMO.

    I understand "immersion" as the game keeping me actually interested in the lore of an mmo while not interfering with the game itself. The only MMORPG that ever managed to keep me interested in the lore is Guild Wars 2.

    Why? It's simple:

    - Cutscenes with fully voiced acting. Producing questlines that consist of 1000s of words is just a waste of time for the production team, even WoW started to include some voice acting and cutscenes into their game as simply noone cares about what do the kill/talk/fetch quests read. We are not playing a MUD afterall.
    - Fully voiced acting during quests with significant characters, not forcing the player to read some text while playing the game or blocking the UI while an npc talks, GW2 does that very well, ESO sucks at it
    - "Living World" being new content every X months with fully voiced acting and cutscenes explaining the story and making changes to the world + adding incentives to play the content
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    Generally, bugs break the immersion.

    Lots of them are related to interactions between your character and the environment.
    Holes you can't escape.
    Some areas with low détails next to rich textures.
    Quests you can't finish.

    After some extensions, quests popping all at once so you can't get what was the original story.

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    WithywindleWithywindle Member
    edited September 2020
    I have tried a few MMOs but rarely stayed precisely because it didn't take more than a few hours to start to see the seams and I'm taken out of the game.

    - Huge level spaces with no context for its hugeness and otherwise feeling very empty, even with 10 of the same mob lounging around until they see you. When you're running and nothing happens except you're trying to avoid the same old fights on your way back to an NPC, it takes me out. From the AoC footage we've seen, the outdoors is not boring looking at all, but I'm afraid for the dungeons. The dwarven fortress looks so cool but it might just have tons of mobs and not much else? Game's not done yet, so we'll see lol.

    - Inventory limitations with no in-game explanation and expansions locked behind a pay wall.

    - Anything locked behind a pay wall that should logically be in-game progression.

    - Ads. It doesn't matter if it's pop ups or a small button glowing like the SUN in the corner of the screen - it's annoying. If the game is good and there's a shop button, gamers will check it out.

    - Everyone and their mother on endgame/purchased flying mounts filling the screen. This game is already confirmed NOT to have that, lol

    - Objects like chairs, benches, tables, beds looking interactive but are not. Such a tiny thing but adds fun, even if not a roleplayer. AoC will have interactive stuff so yay!

    - Realizing some systems, such as housing or collectibles, are devoid of actual meaning for gameplay. Like... hidden teddy bears across a map is fine. It's less fine when every teddy looks the same or it's just a number 4 out of 50 bears on a stat sheet, or something. Let me look at them, let them be themed or have costumes. Collectibles are best when acquiring all means a rewards - not an achievement or steam card, but a tiny stat boost or a little XP per bear. Housing. From what I've seen, housing is frequently a sign of endgame status and money, and not a place to USE or hang out in (no interactive furniture, for example). AoC appears to want to make housing meaningful, so thank goodness for that.

    - Crafting system that is SO grindy and has no... interaction to it... Um. Like. Look at the crafting in Dragon Quest XI. That little forge should not be so fun but is! A little minigame, meaningful crafting, and plenty of materials in the world to gather to keep trying if you fail a craft.

    Hmm... those are all ones that come to mind, and several are already being discussed. I'm so glad for that!
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    ThinkThink Member, Intrepid Pack
    For me, there are many games that allow you to break through the level design in non-gamebreaking ways. For example, chaining abilities to get onto a box and then to a roof of a tall building. I like the freedom to do simple things like that. When I'm able to find an area that's completely flat and kind of "out of the map", but in a really cool background setting, I always bring friends and we will sit there for hours/days and duel each other. It's places like those that I love--where the actual game world is kind of "broken" and the player world becomes the main form of immersion. It makes you think you've actually found something cool that others haven't seen or maybe won't be able to go without your directions. It gives that amazing feeling of "I was the first to find this." or, "This place is really special."

    To get this clear, though: I'm not asking for there to be places where you can phase out of the map.
    I think it would be awesome if the world designers could incorporate Easter eggs for places like this; maybe even going so far as adding a lever/door mechanism to places that's extremely hard to find. After all, if this game lasts, someone is bound to find it eventually and it will be the coolest thing in the world.
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    SentSent Member
    edited September 2020
    For me, immersion comes through music and SFX.
    Can't wait to listen to McReary's work.
    In the last livestream (2020-08-28) the thumping of the bear mount moving was spot on.

    Everything that breaks the illusion is immersion breaking.
    I'll turn off in-game voice chat immediately (but I'd like to see if my party is using it) I cannot stand a female/male PC speaking in a male/female voice.

    Cluttered interface or any pop-up window that occludes the "real" world is bad.
    I like the collapsible chat window from pre-alpha.

    Tank archetype name is immersion breaking.
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    RagtimeRagtime Member
    edited September 2020
    cozminsky wrote: »
    I understand "immersion" as the game keeping me actually interested in the lore of an mmo while not interfering with the game itself. The only MMORPG that ever managed to keep me interested in the lore is Guild Wars 2.

    Immersion starts at max level for me. I'm willing to put up with a bunch of "collect x amount of bear flanks" quests to get there. After max level, it comes down to whether I could see myself living the day-to-day life (with all of its attendant requirements by the game) if I was in the character's shoes.

    Example: Daily and weekly quests are an instant "no". I shouldn't have foreknowledge that I'm going to have to help the butcher collect meat, it should come up as prompted by an event or something.
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    For me its basically it is when Effort+Time>Fun+Rewards.

    I want to constantly have a sense of progression, from early to end game.
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    chaoko954chaoko954 Member, Alpha One
    For me a really nice Immersion factor is having 3D audio.
    There is nothing else like hearing rushing water behind you and you turn to go explore it.
    Visually, it looks like Ashes is gonna deliver perfectly.
    I hope the audio holds up as well.

    Otherwise, just always having something to do, a goal is what keeps me immersed in the world and invested in my time spent in the game world.
    Once I run out of goals, or it becomes too much of a pain to make a goal for myself, that is when I lose focus / immersion / "buy in" to what I am playing.
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    Too much hud really breaks my immersion, for example, I tried playing BDO multiple times, and the hud just has too many things. I can barely pay attention to the wolrd with the chat so big, abilities in the center of the screen, lots of text, even ads for the cash shop. idk maybe its just BDO but I REALLY hate it. :(
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    One thing at the top of my mind is repairing. It gets pretty boring to pay gold 'n repair. New World did a good thing there in which you salvage parts and use these parts to repair. To further improve make it so that we salvage parts and have to take them to the anvil!
    "Magic is not a tool, little one. It is a river that unites us in its current."

    I heard a bird ♫
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    ItsFayneItsFayne Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Immersion breaking monsters like dinosaurs, etc.
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    T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2020
    I'm pretty relaxed when it comes to immersion in MMOs because I know tech is limited in what it can do and that you can't be "real life" because it is a game and a game needs to be fun
    For me it's that no matter what you do the same monster and the same problems exist in the world even after you "fixed" them. This is why Ashes is so exciting; that the world will change depending on your actions.

    The more emotes the better; especially passive ones; these add so much to play.
    Those small details like a cat that crawls up on a bed to sleep, or animals and flora acting, behaving in ways that you can relate to seeing that charm you.

    Being able to interact with furniture is huge, to sit, lay down, etc.
    Formerly T-Elf

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    When the best items are from loot and not crafters. This makes crating seem more like a side hobby and not a profession and craft.

    Totally agree with this. Ive always thought that the highest tier gear should be available from both formats but possibly differ in secondary stats, or some other variation that I'm not smart enough to think of in 30 seconds
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    rayleghraylegh Member
    edited September 2020
    The immersion is THE PILLAR for a good mmo experience. Imo what breaks the immersion is:

    - Not being able to accomplish/do things that by the lore of the class or race you should be able to: For example, Mages who can make large amounts of ice thanks to their spells but cannot freeze water to walk. Rogues without acrobatic skills, etc.

    - Doing the same things as the others or being/feeling the same as the other players all the time (not only as a class but in the story). For example being the hero/savior of the story.

    - Fast travel.

    - Not being able to get lost.

    - Zones looking similar or boring, without any kind of surprising environments or (natural) structures, rare mountains, waterfalls, caves, etc.

    Other things to look at:

    - The type of combat and how it feels. For example being cooldown based and "bar looking" dependant.

    - The quests being so basic.

    - The number of different things to do.
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    Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    100% this @MapleFox , I swear if I see a sailor moon type toon out in the wild killing stuff I'm done.
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    RalizekRalizek Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2020
    The scenic views when you stop and look around or an NPC you become attached to in a quest line dying. All the little things you have to do to carve out a place in the world actually feeling important. Not being able to solo or zerg things, actually hanging out with friends in-game just having drinks talking, or doing something pointless but everyone's just having fun.

    What kills it is too much UI, getting stuck, not being able to interact with furniture, Teleporting/flying everywhere, instant gratification, auto anything. If you're so busy you want to set auto this or that and walk away from the game, just don't play or play when you can. Auto systems turn games into nothing more than interactive movies. Setting auto and being able to hit the max or even just get some levels without putting in the work is bs. If you want something on auto just go watch a movie.
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    **Thanks Jakuta for the layout design idea. Stole it from your post!** Sorry for the long post.

    #1 Mob Level Matching - This has drained my joy of leveling in games

    One thing I really enjoyed about playing older games is that the developers weren't afraid to put a random level 15 [Possibly elite] mob in a level 5-10 area. You look at it, try to fight it once to see what its power was and then realized that you now have an NPC rival that you must come back and get your revenge on.

    That mob made you realize that he is the boss of this area, its his territory and the other NPC's give him his space, you should have respected that. That time of risk vs reward being in that area was great.

    Going from zone to zone and being like "Oh crap, this just got a lot harder" instead of fighting the same level of mobs. You lose your sense of power gain/progression when things level match you. It makes the zones less memorable because the mobs might be graphically cool but the difficulty of the mob itself is lost meaning the exploration/experience of the world is lost

    #2 Flying mounts - This ruined PvP opportunities, which is something I greatly enjoy

    Getting rid of the worlds topography from meaning anything takes me away from so much. in a Large 2-d map, you lose social interactions because of its size. Adding a 3rd dimension makes it even larger and less social and less need to group up. I felt like flying mounts really ruined the immersion of dangerous worlds, dangerous mobs, dangerous pvp, beautiful world and running through/around beautiful cities or accidentally running into a friend you leveled with 2 weeks ago and see they are struggling so you stop and help out.

    #3 Group finders - 50/50 on this impacting my play.

    Group finder has a great benefit in allow you to experience content faster and more efficiently for most places. However you lose the need to actually talk with people and meet people to make friends (or find out they are enemies). A one and done experience because group finder removes the necessity to have them. You could get them again next time or different people. Didn't matter. Those players just became "warm bodies" for your intent to complete a task. A "lite" group finder might not be bad, but i don't like it removing social aspects of games.

    #4 Lack of importance or NPC power creep - Slightly negative experience

    In some games, you are part of grand and magical/epic quests. You complete them and you get your minute of fame, but then all of a sudden you are forgotten as a character. I just banished an ancient god that was 10 minutes away from enslaving all the minds on the planet. I get my quest reward, some fireworks. Then 1 month later new content comes out and some [Insert new important character story] dude talks down to me like I'm an ant and I let him. I didn't see this almighty powerful person who thinks i'm worthless in that fight with me. If he is so much more important/powerful than me, why didn't he go solo this ancient God?

    #5 Re-use of tile sets or repeated content across zones/levels - Greatly impacted experience to the point of not wanting to pay/continue to pay

    Recently Played New World Beta. I appreciated their concept that each "Mob type" contained specific architecture to them and when you saw it, you knew that around the corner was x-mob. That was cool. However, when I went from Zone 1, to Zone 2, to Zone 3, to Zone 4 and I saw that same exact temple. Not just the architecture styling, but the exact temple, with the exact stair case in the same spot. Chest in the same spot, mobs in the same spots, Same actual mob but 5-10 levels higher with the same exact mechanics with the same graphical/coloring schemes that made them actually no different except their hit point or damage numbers.

    At that point i'm not longer really exploring a world. I just feel like I've been tricked in taking 4-lefts and expected to see new and better things. Conceptually giving NPC's 'homes' is cool - but copy and paste was not enjoyable

    #6 Mob responsiveness - Slightly negative

    This is a bit multi-faceted. When going through hostile mobs, their likelihood to attack you. Some games the "aggro" is awkward. You can walk next to a mob and it doesn't aggro you until you are past it, and not on your way to it. Or if you are in a pack, you might aggro the farthest mob and then the closer mobs don't aggro you until they are hit with a "community aggro" algorithm.

    Sometimes low mobs get overly aggressive. In life, animals don't like to attack things that could threaten their likelihood of survival, but some games mob's just don't care. "Red = Dead". Having some respect of power of level difference or gear difference is nice as it gives you the feeling that NPC's respect your strength.
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    As a DnD player first, being immersed in the world has always been one of the most important things for me in a game. Here are some immersive features that get the most 'bang-for-your-buck' in my opinion.

    Player Movement
    You could have the most immersive world, but if my character moves in completely inhuman ways, I'm not sure how immersed I could get. It's the same reason people call it 'RP-Walking' in WoW... Most of the gameplay involves dash dancing, spinning 180 degrees almost instantly, and instantlychanging momentum after landing a running jump.

    I totally understand the need for responsive character movements, but I think there is some kind of happy medium between Black Desert and WoW for character movement. (This also creates a vast amount of depth in combat. Another reason to maybe consider it...)

    Horizon Time
    Basically boils down to having decent access to sweeping landscapes. Climbing towers, galloping through vast cropfields, and switch-backing up a mountain to gaze upon the whole region at the peak.

    Finding a stunning view is as much reward as I need for exploration in many cases.

    City Structure
    From what I understand, the expectation for your procedural city generation will allow them to exist on hillsides, and up in the mountains. This is VERY important to establish the tone of every city you discover.

    Color Filters
    This one is a bit smaller but it is something I've come to be a huge fan of in Black Desert Online. You're actually able to change the color palette of the whole world by scrolling through various presets (Oldstyle, Cyan, and Vibrant are just some of them).

    Depending on how I am feeling, I can decide the tone to my gameplay, and this gives yet another axis of customization to get fully engrained in the world.

    'A Pleasure as Always'
    - Senaesul [Gray Sentinels]
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    Kyra_RoseKyra_Rose Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NPC standing in the same place, doing the same things all the time. Which is basically standard in most MMOs. Why can't they be found in different places. Nights they might be sleeping so you can either wake him up to turn in a quest but then they will be grumpy ofc or wait until morning for example.

    But NPCs standing in front of a bookshelf 24/7 just doesn't feel right.
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    Kololodolo wrote: »
    But I think the biggest immersion breaker of all is the inability to interact with the world around you. From an inability to lean on walls, flip coins, play tavern games, animate oneself drinking, or appearing out of breath from running

    This. But also more than this! It's chopping the trees, mining the ore, seeing the grass move around you as you walk or crouch through it, setting the grass on fire if you try to set it on fire and that fire subsequently spreading further. Wind blowing in the trees, natural weather occurrences (rain, sun, wind, storms, snow) and interacting with the environment in other ways, for example contributing towards building a bridge over a canyon so everyone can access a new unexplored area and that bridge later being destroyed by an event to be rebuilt again by new players
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    An immersion breaking thing for me are random events that happen that don't make sense. Since it's a fantasy world I'm generally open for everything but when you're out in a forest slaying bears I don't expect the sky to suddenly turn black with meteors raining from the sky while the forest starts to burn unless there is some indication why its happening. Maybe someone just started fighting the mad wizard that rules over the forest in his tower or somehow demons/monsters were summoned by the action of other players/npcs. That would actually be pretty cool then.
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    RabbitRabbit Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    This one may not be popular, but I hate when Alt characters are treated separately by account mechanics.
    For example: If I join a Guild, I want it to affect my whole account. Otherwise, it becomes a matter of: Oh, my Guild wants to do something so I need to log on my Guild character.

    As a side benefit, it makes it easier to keep toxic people out of your Guild because they can't just come back with a new toon once you've banned them.
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    What breaks immersion for me is a lot of good points from the other players that as put forth.

    To add a few: not having the choice of a play loop within the world. For exemple if you’re a naturist/shaman and you don’t have any quest design on the way you want to play.
    You have design clothing for a specific play loop ie: winter theme trapping and survival from the harsh elements but do not allow the player to do so in a meaningful manner.

    Side quest should not be 2 dimensional and unrelated to your character or journey. If you decided to take some specific themed quest and then you are giving one that is completely unrelated and realistic. For exemple a player that never created a potion during his lifetime now is ask to make some for no reason. It should be curated to what you’re doing.

    The last one is gear grind, if at any point in the game it is all you have left to do to feel like you’re advancing it’s not good.
    Also the disparity between gear stats should not be so high that you feel that to be competitive somewhat in a pvp world that you have to put in 200 hours to get access to a fairly high stats one where you ll get some survivability.

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    ExemplarExemplar Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This might seem odd and small, but for me it's nameplates. Some font styles just seem so out of place in a fantasy world, especially when it's the font you see over every mob or npc. I think giving players a choice of different styles in the default ui makes it much easier for that player to immerse themselves.
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    Immersion is very important in mmos imo. Any kind of repetitiveness is a big turn off (same monsters, attack patterns of bosses/mobs, areas/cities, quests etc.). Freedom of choosing what to do/not to do (including avoiding lore completely for example) without getting too "behind" others in money/items while doing so is a big PLUS for me .
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    MapleFoxMapleFox Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Kind of random aside, but I have also never seen an MMORPG handle different fictional languages well. I like the idea of having languages in game, but I don't like how any game has handled it thus far.
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    ShaylaruShaylaru Member
    edited September 2020
    Hi everyone at Intrepid!
    Immersion is an extremely important aspect of an MMORPG - It's immersion that makes the player in love with the world around him and it's what makes time fly by while exploring this world. The world of Verra looks like an amazing place filled with history that will 100% captivate peoples minds. I would like to see a variety of monsters, crafting reagents, recipes and blueprints to keep the player engaged and interested in the world
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    NPCs that are very basic. I really wish more MMOs would give NPCs more to do than just stand around. It is a difficult problem but I feel like if I'm doing a quest for an NPC in town I should feel like that character is a real person.

    It would be amazing to have NPCs that aren't grid locked to one location. Even better if they could be as flexible as the Node system with NPCs reacting differently based on surroundings.
    Gamer Tags: Erock Darktide Asheron's Call & Erodge Vanilla WoW
    I'm a Senior Software Dev. Love Video Games.
    MMO preferences: PvP, PvE, Questing, Crafting (ALL)
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    Balrog21Balrog21 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've said these in a few places in the forums, but I will repeat them here again since this is the right place to do it.
    First, Immersion is a big deal for me. As Steven stated I want a game to make me go into no life mode. I want it to be so immersive I dont want to log out.

    1. Walking into a city/town and seeing the Npc's just sitting there still as a rock not moving. Have them pathing around their shop, dust off an item of theirs, path back, look off into the distance, dust off their own clothes. Something besides just standing their doing absolutely nothing.

    2. Fighting my way down to the boss and he/she/it is just sitting there, again doing nothing. As I said before its like they're a mannequin and I have to run up put a quarter in their slot to start the fun. It's not like they dont hear 16+ people killing their henchman in the next room. This can also be said for regular mobs as well. Make them do something!

    3. Resounding @MapleFox 's first comment, real world items in a fantasy world. As in seeing a toon in a Sailor Moon outfit out in the wild killing mobs is a DEF immersion breaker for me, or any silly stuff like that, a surfer dude in the knee length shorts, bare chested and its out killing mobs, or a friggin chopper ripping down the streets.

    4. Quests that have no meaning and are just there because it is needed to give the player something to do.

    5. Daily quests and new mobs just reskinned as a new mob.

    I hope Ashes doesn't have any of the above.
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