Lil Diddle 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 think bag space should be heavily limited to make gathering worth it for those who decide to specialize in it.
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 think there are better ways to reward ppl that specialize in resource gathering, like making the collect more efficient or giving higher drop rates. That would benefit everyone!!
Like, what are they doing there?
Same with town NPCs, just standing in same spot.
Also although i dislike the game, New World has done a really nice job with echoes.
Like if your mining, sound bounces around. You can hear other cut wood and fighting in the area etc.
Music and sound is very important for immersion aswell.
Daily Quests...if i could go back in time and ..do something bad to the person that invented them..
Getting killed over and over by zerg guilds, locking you from content is a huge problem i can see with AoCs current mechanics.
To make a virtual world feels right the most important things are for me:
- no delay
- a good story/lore that is representive everywhere
- nice movement (for example those games where you can't really jump or dodge free don't fell right. if a giant swort makes it way to my face i defently would jump to my side to dodge.)
Less important but still helpfull:
- good questmaking
unlike other player i don't think it's a bad thing to get always the same quest targets. its okay for me to kill monsters in an endless loop.
What i don't like in the most games is the meaningless of it. For example in game XY a NPC say you have to kill 100 goblin, because they will attack the town soon. Then you have to walk 5 miles to find them, and then they are just standing around, doing goblin stuff. it would be nice if you fail a quest like this or you need to much time there will be really some goblins sometimes attacking the town.
I think gw2 has a realy good system there because quest pop up and everyone can help. and if a quest fails there really could be an outpost destroyed, just for example. it don't have to be the same system but something like that could be nice.
- no click and craft
in most games you can craft your own gear and weapons, and even in some games the gear is much better than raid loot. thats a nice start but in my opinion to boring.
More custom crafting would be really nice. For example instead of giving uns some recepies for legendary swords with a well defined list of ingredience give us undefined blueprints with slots.
There could be a recource slot for the blade, one slot for the inner metal, and one for the shaft.
According to which material you choose for which slot the weapon could get higher attack, durability or other stats. Even effects could be possible, for example you find a magic stone in a raid and you use it to craft your sword, the swort could have a fire effect.
it could be possible to give the weapon some ornaments as well with using monster loot for a better look. Something like that could make the crafting much more interesting, and really good blacksmiths more relevant.
Skillbased Minigames could be possible as well to improve you are a really good crafter.. In combat you have to dodge in the right moment or activate the right skill if needed. But crafting was always just... clicking.
After thinking about other MMOS there are some more ideas i want to share:
- shared or no shared or no shared loot
both doesn't feels right.
1. if you go killing some enemeis with friends and every single killed monster have loot for everyone. even bosses. Oh, a legendary mutated zombieboss? why the fuck he carrays legendary loot for 10 people around??
2.if you go killing some enemeis with friends and every single killed monster have loot for just one person. Even bosses. Oh, a legendary elder Dragon that stole gold from citys and villages from all over the country for more that 1k years? Why the fuck he just drop one dragon horn for crafting. FOR ONLY ONE PERSON IN A 40 PPL RAID??
I played both kind of games and i liked but i as well hated both. Something between could be nice. a system that check how many ppl helped to kill a monster and generates loot for 50% of them.
- no massive monster spawns on always the same location
if enemies have legs, they could move. i don't understand why monster are always on the same location in MMORPG. i really think its possibe a cave lion gets hungry and walk around in a lager territory to hunt than just a cave..... it could be really interesing to see random spawns of small groups of monsters far from their regular habitat and to organize and hunt them before they make their way to my home city randomly. It could make leveling more interesting as well if you have to seach for new regions if a monster spawn disappear.
It brought me right back to real world thinking of our property during hunting season. Ughhh!
Text based quests only....
You will click accept, do whats necessary and complete it without knowing what it's good for lore-wise. Quests are supposed to be a huge part of the story in a game. Star Wars The Old Republic did a fantastic job on this where you can feel that you play a part of the story.
Lack of content.
When you get to the point that you have finished everything in the game. There's no more stuff to do other than leveling up new characters or continue to grind something you don't need.
Countless hours, days, months of grinding with no meaning. This get boring really fast even if there is a decent reward.
To open raid instance ahn'qiraj in Vanilla WoW you had to gather big amounts of different materials which gave the grinding a meaning. This is the only time in any game I have ever felt that the grinding gave us something more.
Would be awesome if you had to do the same for example before a siege.
I've played "New World Preview" for a few days as a caster.... It was horrible!!!! Actions that lock the character in a position you can't move away from, even to cancel the spell. When you manage to cancel a casting spell you still get the cooldown. Shooting at an enemy but its mobility is so high that it dodges the spells. To small hitboxes. Collision with other players will prevent you from hitting mobs with spells if they step in front of you (tank or melee). Timed spells that use global cooldown!?!
Developers that gives players false information about what they will have in the game, but won't reveal if it is planned at release or as an idea in the future. Age of Conan is a good example.. The worst mmo at launch that I have ever played. The developers hyped up the game so much that everyone's expectations were super high. If I remember correctly they even said they were the "WoW killer". At launch the game was still "pre alpha with lack of content, quests, graphics, tons of bugs and horrible combat system.
To be a "WoW killer" you actually have to play WoW occasionally to know what they have done right and wrong. No one has surpassed WoW since it came out in 2004... 2004!!! Do proper research if you want to be a game like it, because the majority of the WoW players are fed up with the game and want to move on. Its just that no one else seems to be able to make a better game even tho WoW has become a "single player MMO".
Low pop servers that still idles around.... MERGE THEM! It's supposed to be MMO game not just Online game.
Don't put Russia in EU servers. You will lose 80% of the rest of the EU players. Russians cheats in everything they touch, from elections to Olympic Games to Internet. They are toxic and don't understand English.
This will be a big deal for most EU players. Give them their own Russian servers.
If my group managed to kill that named monster that was destroying a town I'd think it was for a reason, it was causing some sort of damage or trouble that should stop happening after I or anyone else got done with it.
If I or someone else spend our time helping this farmer to, for example, get rid of a ferocious wolf that was harassing her sheep I don't want to see that when we get there the wolf is already dead and I have to wait for a re-spawn to kill it again.
Or when we get asked to clear a basement from pests. But by the time we make it back to the NPC we see them asking someone else to do the exact same task that we supposedly just got done with to completion.
Basically if people are doing stuff in the world I want to see the mark left in the world form people's actions and not just a bunch of people waiting for a re-spawn to complete a quest.
When it feels like nothing I do makes any difference.
Big "hero" goes on a grand "quest" to slay 100 worgs. But when you kill the last of them, and turn around... and 90 have already respawned. That just hurts man.
Also, mobs that just wander around in their little circles, doing nothing until you attack them. Shouldn't they be foraging, or hunting, or setting ambushes, or something? Nope. Just waiting around to die.
Yeah, immersion is a big deal for me, personally. It doesn't look like, from what we've seen so far, that AoC will overcome my particular pet peeves. But I'm holding out hope the rest of the game will keep me so engaged that I'll be willing to overlook them.
such as invisible walls, combat mechanics which either feel unnaturally/out of caracter or natural ones that got removed becaus they where to op, seemingly random passiv/activ abillitys and skill from mobs and Bosses etc.
My point is that once a game sets some kind of standart for realism and mechanics, they should only be broken if there is a clear and intuitive (for players not only developers) reason.
If there is a good balance in sound levels between ambiance, theme music, dialogue, and most importantly sound effects, then the game stays immersive or even deepens immersion.
The things that break me the most are stylistically inconsistent audio cues that sound like they belong in another genre, or just generally don't fit in with the rest of the soundscape.
Another big thing is overused environment elements like trees/shrubs/rocks/roads repeating in a noticeable way. These things make it hard to forget that you're playing a game.
All in all, immersion is pretty important to me, even if a lot of the time I'm trying to out-game the game and don't actively engage in the immersive aspects.
“Evil rules, and good men must needs be outlaws—or corpses—if they’re to stay good. So” - Elminster, Sage of Shadowdale
There are three main things that I noticed in my experience of immersion:
These games are the games that I feel let me down:
1. Immersion via responsive gameplay in the UX/UI
I played the first Xenoblade Chronicles (not MMO but it's RPG), which had a huge world to explore, and Shulk has this massive energy blade that I thought I would be able to swing around (check it out: monado). But when I actually played the game and got into combat, all actions had 6 - 20 second cooldowns and I was locked to a fixed radius around the enemy I was fighting. This meant I spent much of every combat phase with all my skills on cooldown, circling an enemy waiting for my abilities to recharge. It was clunkier and more shallow than turn-based combat, and more restricted than tab targetting. I grew to hate all encounters and just rushed to reach the end of the story. When I heard they released Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - I was not interested, the first game was an effort. Thankfully they added Shulk to Smash Bros and you can actually swing his sword there.
2. Flow of tension and release / Pacing
I picked this up from designing levels in SuperMario Maker - I tried publishing a few levels and I had a friend who would test them before upload. After a few levels he told me, "Your levels feel more like a series of hurdles - it's just challenge after challenge with nothing fun." He pointed out how my 1UPs and other goodies were always in little corners put in precarious and dangerous places - they just weren't worth the effort. When I dug into the topic more, I learned about the pacing of good Mario levels and the importance of rest areas: introduce a new mechanic in a completely safe context, take it away for a while, re-introduce it but this time with some challenge, take it away again and provide a small reward that can help with the final challenge, have a section that is the calm before the storm, final challenge climax, and then a cathartic release of tension at the end when they reach the flag pole.
After that I started noticing the pacing in other games I played: In Maplestory, the openworld path to the boss Zakum was: Town in the middle of icefields --> traverse a number of ice fields --> small rest area with a general merchant --> climb an alpine mountain --> small ledge to rest at the top --> enter a mine overrun with undead --> climb down/fall down a mine shaft harrased by flying abominations --> traverse rooms of magma filled with cerberus --> large pre-boss chamber that is mostly empty and has 1 npc. This entire journey is something I still remember and builds up so much anticipation for the boss and the stark contrast of the pre-boss chamber to the rooms immediately before is really foreboding and the entire crew is now emotionally invested in the objective - and scared of dying. (Of course, people started complaining it was a trek so they added a VIP taxi to cut the journey in half ... and today there's just a boss queue that drops you straight into the pre-boss chamber)
I've only shared examples about world design, but I find this also applies to combat flow, quest flow, pretty much everything, like New World's: "Please kill 20 ______, and open 5 chests" <-- repeat 210 times for each area.
3. Balance of complexity and minimalism
I played in the Beta stress test of Revelation Online's global release. As a beginner, I started off the game in a beautiful flowy white gown and my beginner spell hurled a ball of light with heavy visual effects and much gusto in my toon's voice. One of the first characters I meet gives me a series of ~5 quests chained together and there's a cut scene at the end of the fifth quest where another character sacrifices his life to protect this NPC, so the NPC spends 2 minutes sobbing, her tears sparkling in the sunset. The problem was: I'm a fresh beginner, but I don't look like it. My spells don't look like it either. I've barely reached level 4, and this NPC I just met is having an emotional breakdown but I honestly can't relate to her and am not invested in the drama that just occurred. The problem here was not that the quality of the clothes, or the spells or the cutscene were particularly sub-par, but that it was waaaay too much for someone who has just entered the world and would have worked better once I'd grown stronger and gotten to know the people in the village more - this level of detail was inappropriate at the beginning of the game.
I continued playing for a while and eventually the villagers send me off on a boat to the big city and wave goodbye from the shoreline. It's a cute scene, but again - I literally barely know these NPCs. When I hit the main city, it is flat, the buildings are arranged in a circle and they're all one-storey with three straight paths leading out of the city center. The lack of character in the city is a huge turn-off, especially when I've just come from Total Drama island. It speaks of empty promises and blandness in the future of the game. Shortly thereafter, I lost interest - quests grew bland. NPCs had no character.
This should have been the other way around, when I'm new to the game I'm a noob, I should look like a noob, sound like a noob, act like a noob, be treated like a stranger - everything should have been minimal. Then as I progressed deeper, that's where I would be able to discover the detail, the cutscenes, the story unfolding as I tugged at it. Instead, I was waltzed through a story I was barely prepared to take in, and then dumped on the main continent where everything was stripped back and with less momentum to move forward. From this, I learned that it's minimal and simplistic design that entices the curious to explore nuanced complexity of their own will.
EDIT: The non-interactible suggestion is a BIG ONE!! Objects pretending to be chairs, but I can't sit on them. Bookshelves in a library but I can't browse them. Draw bridge over a moat that can't be raised/lowered.
I will give two examples of games that immersed me but in different ways.
1. The Last of Us - It was linear, not open world, contrary to how a lot of games are. Yet, it is one of the most invested, immersed stories I have ever played in my entire life. This is where MMOs suffer, in my opinion, is not being immersed in the main story quests. FFXIV did a decent job compared to others, but, the lack of connection to any of the characters is tough. Voice acting/animation isn't even necessary - Divinity Original Sin did great and it was text only.
2. The Witcher 3 - This is more adaptable to an MMO play style. It is one of the only games I ever played in an open world setting/side quests where the side quests were sometimes more entertaining than the MSQ. I think MMOs throw a crap ton of side quests in there because they need an experience gaining system, which I can understand. However, I think there needs to be a quality of quantity type situation. Make them diverse, unique, with their own true stories to be told. Not "go here, collect this, kill this, THANKS!"
MMORPGs like to forget the RPG part and focus on the MMO part. It doesn't have to be 100% realistic to be immersive, especially in a fantasy setting.
2) Town guards that can kill epic level characters in a couple hits.
3) Static items that cannot be interacted with - barrels, crates, bags, and torches. Loose items like cups, plates, and candles. Items displayed on humanoid monsters that are curiously not there after you kill them. This list could go on ad-naseum, but you get the gist.
4) NPC pathing where they walk a certain route and then suddenly "teleport" back to their starting point to walk it again.
5) NPC's that repeat the same meaningless phrase over and over again for no reason, "Nice day for fishing ain't it? heh heh."
6) Forced story plots, where you cannot proceed in the game unless you complete the requested task. Allow us to say no, and/or fail the quest, and have that failure impact future events.
7) Quest items that work for the duration of the quest and then mysteriously stop working, or disappear, as soon as the quest is completed.
8) Impassable terrain with no reason to be impassable other than they neglected to put a movement mesh for the location. Sorry, cannot walk through that puddle, will have to walk around it.
Note: from what I have seen of movement in AoC this does not seem to be an issue, but since the question was what broke immersion for me, this is one of them.
9) Solid terrain features, or creatures, that can be walked through as if they were spirits. (Unless of course they really are spirits).
10) Flimsy objects that block attacks as if they were stone walls. I am behind this curtain, you can't touch me now.
11) Items that have negligible weight, or can be "stacked", to take up less inventory space. "I can stack fifty pieces of iron ore in my pack and still have room for my spare set of armor, weapons, and food!"
11a) Corollary to 11 - storing items at some location and still having instant access to them wherever you are in the world.
12) Infinite arrows, crossbow bolts, sling stones, throwing daggers, darts, etc.
13) The proverbial "horse pocket" where the character selects their mount from their inventory and it appears like a genie next to them. I can understand having an inventory item to represent the mount, but at least have it walk/fly/slither in from off-screen when summoned.
Note: This issue was already addressed in an earlier conversation. Once again adding it to complete my list of immersion breakers
- Skippable (long text)/non-voice acted quests/npc interactions.
- Players jumping around NPCs while they are telling me something.
- 'Teleporting' without animations.
- Excessive use of instancing.
- Stupid out of place cash shop customization items. (Being in a panda suit while we're dungeon crawling...I don't mind it in town though)
- Game plot holes which are stupidly obvious
- Bad character animations (THIS NEEDS TO BE GOOD...not just the effects...the actual movement of the character)
- Terrible Sound effects
- Very limited gear customization and repetition
- Silly layout of game resources/monsters across the world
Is immersion important to me? Yes! Immersion is a very important part of the RPG experience as a whole, and i would say its importance escalates in an MMO setting. Why do i feel like immersion is important though? Because i want to feel like i'm a part of the game, a part of the world and its community. Gaming, for many, is a form of escapism, some it's a way to relax or just have a good time. Basically, when u're immersed in the game, u connect to the game on an entirely different level which makes u appreciate the entire experience so much more.
TL;DR: Lacking mob variations and glitching into terrain or objects. Also, immersion shouldn't be prioritized over the "fun" of the game.
Some of the biggest things that broke my immersion and annoyed me were when games simply reskinned mobs as the primary source of "variation" and glitchy movement/getting stuck on things. I have a fairly high "suspension of disbelief" because I know I'd rather enjoy the thing and not be super nit-picky, but the thing I have a hard time overlooking is laziness. When the only things I see are re-skinned version of wolves and zombies I start to get bored with any encounter. This leads me to start looking at the rest of the world in more detail and being harsher. The other thing that bothers me is when I'm running around, not trying to do anything crazy, and I get caught on something (like a rock) and end up dead. That's not fun and just makes me angry and want to quit for a bit (main examples from ARK, got stuck on so many things and lost so many pets)
Overall, I love being immersed in a game, but it still needs to be fun. There are some things that are mindless tasks, and I think that's totally okay. It's when tasks start to become chores or mandatory when it becomes a problem.
One thing I will say I really like about a "certain games" recent test was that they had bits of their lore scattered around in forms of books, pamphlets, or papers you could find and record. I thought it was a neat way to have players explore more of the environment without forcing the story down their throat. Don't get me wrong, I love story, but I also sometimes just need to beat up bad guys without a 30 minute cut-scene talking about crystals and friendship.
Final note, I don't have a problem with this as it's probably hard to work around, but I'm not a fan of seeing a bunch of loot bags on the ground when people drop their items. It just makes the ground look cluttered and bad when there are a ton of people dropping their junk. I'm also not against having a little glow or something for loot, but it shouldn't be obnoxious enough that it could be interpreted as beacon for the moon.
So speaking of immersion, there's a couple things that have always kept me immersed in games.
1 being the ability to interact with the environments, like movable objects, picking up items, exploding mechanics, foot prints in the sand or snow or wagon carts leaving tracks, Blood dripping from wounds, being able to throw objects, climbing trees and ladders or parkour over rocks and edges, hiding in bushes , crawling and sneaking , the overall ability to be the player character that has no limits when it comes to environment. also the way the living world also reacts with the environment such as weather changes, night a day cycles, mobs being more aggressive at night, and weather events like tornadoes or hurricanes, snow storms and torrential rains. the more you can get an environment to live and breathe the more immersive it will feel.
2 being artificial intelligence, the way mobs and NPC's react to you as a player and also in the living world. Mobs that talk to you as you walk past, or yell at you when they are about to attack. mobs running away when scared or hurt, or becoming more agressive the longer the fight continues. the variety and types of mobs that are running around. these are especially important in Boss encounters. Bosses yelling and screaming, doing random mechanics, enraging and becoming more powerful. The more Ai you can add to an npc or mob the better for immersion.
3 the UI of the game, the more streamlined the ui is the less a player feels its too complicated to understand, I HATE ADDONS AND MODS but being able to map keys and movement. movable minimaps, quest trackers etc. this goes hand in hand with the viewable world screen. the more you can see or do with regards to UI and screen is more immersive for me.
a couple other things , Clipping is annoying, games are notorious for clipping, capes and cloaks hanging through a mount, weapons poking though a cloak, mounts head or tails going through a wall or wings flapping inside a tree.
Gear like cloaks and capes feel soo much more real when blowing in the wind or flapping when running or jumping. Gear and player Physics matter, same for npcs. mouths moving when talking,
Voice Overs, 1000% fan of Voice overs, makes npc's feel more alive and real.
PHYSICS PHYSICS PHYSICS = IMMERSION
ENVIRONMENT = IMMERSION
AI = IMMERSION
BIG SHOUT OUT AND THANKS TO STEVEN AND ALL THE INCREDIBLE PEOPLE AT INTREPID STUDIOS FOR MAKING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE GAME AND KEEPING THE MMORPG GENRE ALIVE FOR US ALL !!!
CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY ASHES OF CREATION !!!
One thing I noticed (and someone else pointed out) are people are going to disagree on things that matter to them. For example a lot of people are stating they need voice overs, cut scenes for immersion. For me I HATE those. They actually break immersion for me, I mean I'm standing there with 5 other people and all of a sudden they all disappear? Plus I just don't like it, but it wouldn't be a game breaker for, just give me a way to cycle through the chit chat or choose to read it instead.
I would like to see a night/day difference in mobs out and about and city activity.
Questing as the main source of xp is a bugger of mine. I like getting xp for going out and testing my boundaries exploring and discovering new areas or new mobs.
Combat based more on skill than gear or at least try to avoid meta builds being the end all with no other options being viable.
Mob awareness. I'm 20 feet away slaughtering their best bud and...nothing? I'd like a challenge to separating mobs.
Dungeons-making us have to run all. The. Way. Back. Or unable to use a port to exit.
Idle NPC's (already touched on by others).
Bank access across all my characters please!
Crafting: Having to craft 23 gloves to level up is...not fun. Grinding crafting is a big turn off. Also not being able to level crafting to where the gear you craft is relevant. I don't mind it being on par with dropped gear, but maybe make us choose: i.e. crafted is going to add X stat and Y effect only but dropped gear will add A stat and B effect. Just no randomness on crafting, so annoying gathering everything then crafting 115 of them going for a certain setup and getting...absolute poop. Crafting ingredients being a raid drop only is fine IF it is not so rare it gets priced out of the average crafter's reach.
-Realism does not equal inmersion.
-No voice chat.
-Vast world to explore.
#1 - VOIP or in game voice chat is an absolute annoyance. Don't allow players to completely deconstruct immersion because they don't care about the dogs barking and baby crying in the background.
#2 - Holiday Events / Real World Politics or anything else that just seems ridiculous in a fantasy setting. I don't mind Holiday Events if it's part of the "LORE" of the game, but lets keep real world religious holidays out of our games please. That also goes for virtue signaling nonsense as well. I'm sure we can manage to create our own political landscape in the game without the help of certain fanatics incorporating their own real world desires into this fantasy realm.
#3 - Encumbrance isn't necessary but having it in just creates a new strategy for players and also helps to emphasize on team play. This doesn't mean people still can't be lone wolves, but try being a lone wolf in the real world and see if you can build a house faster than a group of people. Some might complain about the inconvenience but guess what, it's called realism and immersion for a reason.
#4 - Stealth should not equal invisibility. The only game I've played where stealth was actually done adequately would be Planetside 2. You aren't invisible, but more like translucent to where you are invisible for the most part if you are still, but if you move, your silhouette shimmers making you slightly more visible. Stealth should require no movement or extremely slow movement. None of this WoW nonsense where you are invisible and move normally.
#5 - Last but not least would be lazy boss mechanics. Some of us don't mind the occasional tank and spank fights, but please, I beg you. Don't just make a boss with 1,000,000,000,000 health that just sits there soaking up damage. I'd rather fight a deadly boss with 10,000 health.
Part of what has kept me playing games like eve, or ac1 was the fact that there really was no specific level cap (Yeah, there was a lvl 80 cap for ac1 initially, but it took over a year to reach and only a hand-full of us reached it). They quickly upped it to 128, too...
It doesn't break your content, but should expand a character's capabilities beyond that of the ordinary player. Say skills are hard-locked at 50, but by growing beyond that, you can now have more skills/options or open paths that you previously couldn't because of a lack of skill points, for example.
I HATE It when expansions add different leveling systems like renoun or honor, or something like that, or raise the cap and redo entire portions of content with catch-up mechanics or a new exp curve.
The one thing that kills a game for me is the end of a character's growth cycle. I'm all for alts, and do employ them religiously, but character progression is a very important factor for me in any given game. I played WoW twice in full. Once when it first came out, then hit cap (couple months, if memory serves) and quit within a few weeks. Then went back to play again with my son, got to cap in 3 weeks or less with a main and 2 alts and quit again, all within the span of a month.
This is actually very close to my heart. I like options, flexibility and reward for persistence and dedication to a character's growth. Character advancement is what makes games popular going back to D&D days. Even many FPS games incorporate a leveling/advancement system to feed that hunger players have.
* Cut scenes swapping back and forth from text dialogue to voice acting. FFXIV is a big offender of this for me. Moments I'm following along in the story and in dungeons during combat make me feel a lot more immersed when they are voice acted. Having to read cool and important dialogue, especially during battle takes me out and feels less exciting. Being able to hear as well as see how the characters are acting and reacting in the story and in battle makes me feel like I am apart of their world. GW2 does a good job of this in their story and minor interactions like league of legends has between characters before/during/after fights is another good example of helping immersion.
* No/Little Town NPC background chatter. I am always taken out of the world and my immersion is broken when towns feel empty with lack of dynamic NPCs. GW2 does a decent job of making cities feel alive with their NPCs having random conversations between each other with silly conversational lines that friends and I still quote to this day despite not playing anymore.
* No combat dialogue. This might just be me but I always felt apart of the action when my characters would shout the names of the skills I am using or some variation of dialogue to accompany the skill being used. I used to play Dragon Nest and still quote skill voice lines with friends even though we havent played in years. Example: Shouting "Showtime" which was a buff, "Alfredo!" and "Yoohoo Genie~" which were lines shouted by classes when they used their respective summon skills.
* Lack of an abundance of monsters and fauna in the world makes the open world feel dead to me.
Meus primeiros MMORPGs foram Ragnarok e RF Online, os quais eu ainda considero os melhores MMOs que joguei até hoje. RF Online foi minha primeira experiência com PvP de facção. Também tive uma breve experiência com Priston Tale.
Vou usar características principalmente do Ragnarok e do RF Online como parâmetro.
O que esses MMORPGs antigos tinham e que deixou de existir?
▪ MERCADO DE RUA.
Nesse ponto o RF Online fica de fora. No Ragnarok e no Priston Tale o mercado era "vivo". Não existia leilão automatizado, eram os próprios players que comercializavam seus loots entre si. Muita gente aprendeu a fazer negociação com esses MMOs, pois você de fato tinha que saber ser um bom comerciante. Tinha gente que fazia "fortuna" só revendendo itens comercializando diretamente com outros players. Hoje em dia ainda é possível fazer fortuna comercializando por meio do leilão, mas perdeu-se a IMERSÃO que existia no mercado de rua.
▪ OPEN WORLD DESAFIADOR e TRINDADE.
Nesses quesitos vou usar o Ragnarok e o RF Online. Em ambos MMORPGs não existia dungeon, apenas Open World. Muita gente vai falar que isso era ruim porque não havia conteúdo PvE, só grind e "blablabla". Porém, isso para mim é o que caracteriza um MMORPG. Para mim, não existe MMORPG instanciado. O conceito de "conteúdo instanciado" é OPOSTO ao conceito de MMO, na medida em que o conteúdo instanciado impede a "interação de forma massiva" e "aberta". Em suma, para mim o open world é e tem que ser muito mais importante do que o conteúdo instanciado, e também tem que ser DESAFIADOR. E o que isso tem a ver com trindade? Trindade significa o multiplayer entre tanker, healer e dps. Um PvE que não exige trindade não pode ser considerado "desafiador". A título de exemplo vou usar o GW2. O open world do GW2 é tão fácil, mas tão fácil, que é possível matar um world boss usando apenas auto ataque e sem nenhum healer ou tanker por perto. No Ragnarok e no RF Online por exemplo, você precisava de grupos gigantescos com diversos tankers e healers/suportes para UPAR em mapa level alto, para FARMAR em mapa level alto e claro, matar boss. No RF Online todos os mapas de level 40+ exigiam trindade. No Ragnarok 50% ou mais dos mapas do jogo exigem trindade, ou no mínimo dupla com um "healer". Quer dizer, havia uma constante interatividade, de forma massiva, entre players em função do "up", ou do farm. No Ragnarok, desde os primeiros leveis os players precisavam criar grupo, pois os consumíveis eram CAROS (em especial pot de hp) e os loots dos monstros não pagavam as poções (exemplo: gastava 5 pots por monstro e o loot dele só pagava 1 pot), de modo que era melhor custo-benefício ter um healer no seu grupo. A força dos monstros "obrigava"/incentivava os players a formar grupo. Hoje em dia o open world é recheado de trash mobs e o inventário do player sobra poção de hp, não havendo necessidade de ter alguém fazendo a função de healer.
O que é imersão? Imersão é "se sentir na pele do personagem", interpretando o personagem, é se sentir vivenciando aquela experiência como se estivesse dentro do jogo. É o PRINCIPAL elemento de um ROLEPLAY game. Não existe RPG sem imersão. Pode ser MMO, mas não será RPG. Já mencionei que o mercado de rua trazia imersão, agora vou dar outros exemplos. A própria trindade no open world traz imersão. Essa coisa de explorar um mundo aberto é característica primordial de um RPG, desde a época do RPG de mesa. Players escolhiam suas funções pensando no benefício coletivo do grupo, cada um com um "role" (é daí que vem a sigla RPG). Hoje em dia o open world não exige mais trindade, os players upam sozinhos, fazendo suas quests do lvl 1 ao level máximo (linearidade). No caso do GW2, não precisa de trindade sequer em dungeons e world bosses, o único lugar que exige trindade é a raid. Mas sim, existe muita "interação massiva" entre players, só que é como se fosse uma "falsa" interação, pois os players estão ali juntos fazendo o mesmo conteúdo, mas não estão interagindo de verdade (é apenas uma zerg descontrolada), diferente de antigamente, onde a falta de comunicação wipava um grupo gigantesco facilmente. Até mesmo nas dungeons não há interação, pois você joga com players que encontrou AUTOMATICAMENTE no LFG, muitas vezes sem trocar uma palavra sequer com esse player.
Obs: Alguns exemplos de coisas que tiraram a imersão:
a) Leilão - Tirou o mercado de rua;
b) LFG - Tirou a formação manual de grupos;
c) Conteúdo instanciado (dungeon/raid/etc) - Tirou o foco do multiplayer massivo, ou seja, do open world;
d) Teleporte - Acabou com a sensação de "sair em uma jornada" da cidade até o local a ser explorado;
e) Craft sem restrição de classe - Todas as classes podem exercer qualquer profissão/craft.
É uma coisa que tem em poucos MMORPGs. O MMORPG que mais me marcou nesse quesito foi o RF Online. Sistema político está relacionado com a "hierarquia de poder" dos players. Existe um líder da facção e existe uma certa subordinação dos players com esse líder. No RF Online por exemplo existia o Arconde, que é o líder da raça. Além do Arconde existia o "conselho", que era como os seus Ministros. Havia ELEIÇÃO direta para escolha do Arconde e seu Conselho (exatamente como na democracia). Podiam votar todos os players de level 30+ (salvo engano). Isso era uma coisa que motivava muito os players, pois era como o objetivo máximo do jogo. Engraçado também era que o sistema era tão fiel que rolava inclusive "perseguição", corrupção, suborno e tudo que vocês possam imaginar. Ouvi dizer que o Aika também tem um sistema parecido.
▪GRIND / GRIND EM GRUPO / PVP DE FACÇÃO.
Muita gente critica o grind, mas eu gosto bastante disso e vou explicar o porquê. De fato, "grindar sozinho" é chato, mas vocês alguma vez já tiveram que grindar em grupo? No Ragnarok e no RF Online era tudo através de grind, mas ao mesmo tempo tudo exigia GRUPO (pois os monstros eram fortes). Além disso, no caso específico do RF Online, havia PvP de facção, isso significa que a qualquer momento seu grupo poderia ser "gankado" por outro grupo no meio do up/farm (acontecia muito). Isso também trazia IMERSÃO, pois você sentia sensação de aflição, sabendo que a qualquer momento poderia ser atacado pelos players inimigos. Além dos monstros fortes, você tinha que se preocupar com a facção inimiga. O grind ainda existe em alguns MMORPGs como no Black Desert, onde acontece exatamente isso que falei de "sentir aflição" enquanto grinda, apesar de que os pets tiram um pouco dessa sensação, já que avisam quando tem algum PK por perto. O problema do BD em relação a isso, ao meu ver, é que o grind é "solo", ou seja, não exige grupo organizado, muito menos trindade, pois os monstros são FRACOS. Ele acertou no grind e no PK, mas faltou trindade e desafio. Como já falei, sem desafio = sem necessidade de trindade e se não tem necessidade de trindade, não tem a mesma imersão.
▪ FOCO EM GUILD.
Guild antigamente era tudo. Ter uma boa guild era vantajoso, pois como tudo exigia bastante interação grupal/massiva, uma guild organizada facilitava bastante a realização desses conteúdos difíceis. Manter a comunicação com outros players era uma forma importante de trocar informações e de obter ajuda, principalmente se você era novato no jogo. Hoje em dia você faz praticamente tudo sozinho e a guild se torna só um "bate-papo". No GW2 por exemplo a guild não serve para literalmente nada além de bate-papo.
Outras coisinhas que me faziam sentir bastante IMERSÃO, era por exemplo o sistema de craft do Ragnarok. Não era todo mundo que podia exercer qualquer profissão. As profissões estavam diretamente relacionadas com a classe que você joga. Só ferreiro pode forjar e refinar armas, só alquimista pode criar poções, só arqueiro pode fabricar flechas de certos elementos, só o sábio podia criar conversores elementais e etc. Quer dizer, desde a criação do personagem havia uma definição do "role", você já sabia qual seria sua função naquela "sociedade virtual", assim como quando você cria sua ficha no RPG de mesa. Tinha guild por exemplo que "contratava" ferreiros "pure forger" e alquimistas "pure potter". Outra coisa que tinha no Rag era Casamento, Divórcio e Adoção. Você podia literalmente constituir uma família dentro do jogo.
▪ ADMINISTRAÇÃO DE RECURSOS/CONSUMÍVEIS.
Tanto no RF Online quanto no Ragnarok você precisava saber administrar bem seus consumíveis. O que quero dizer é que poções eram uma coisa cara e que não poderia ser desperdiçada de qualquer forma. Os monstros eram fortes, então muitas vezes você gastava inúmeras poções pra matar um único monstro e acabava que o loot do monstro não conseguia "pagar" as pots que você gastou. Isso contribuía também para a formação de grupos e para a trindade, pois acabava sendo maior custo-benefício ter um healer com você para economizar dinheiro com poção. Vale dizer também que a regeneração automática de HP era super lenta, de modo que se vc não tivesse poção, teria que esperar vários minutos pra regenerar a vida. Hoje em dia você mata dezenas de monstros sem gastar 1 poção sequer e nem de longe você cogita a opção de duplar com um healer, pois você progride mais rápido jogando sozinho.
Depois desse textão acho que deu pra deixar mais claro meu ponto de vista e o motivo do meu saudosismo e o de outras pessoas.
Acredito que esses pontos são responsáveis pela nossa nostalgia e também pela decadência do gênero MMORPG:
• Automatização - Está acabando com a imersão que havia na "formação manual" de grupos, no comércio de rua, etc. Não precisa sequer ler as quests, pois o path find te leva ao local e, ao chegar no local, o seu objetivo estará brilhando/piscando. O próximo passo é habilitarem o autoplay dos mobiles nos MMORPGs de desktop. Isso não só prejudica a interação entre players, como também entre o player e o próprio jogo.
• "Instanciamento" - Tirou o foco do open world e do multiplayer massivo. Jogou o end game para as dungeons e raids, isolando os players em pequenos grupos dentro de mapas fechados (virou co-op). De quebra, prejudica também o PvP de facção e o pk, a medida que tira os players dos "mapas abertos" e os coloca em "mapas fechados". Perceba que a tendência dos MMORPGs com end game voltado para instância é ter um open world morto (hello Tera). Para mim, conteúdo instanciado nem deveria existir em MMORPG
• Open world sem desafio e sem trindade - Os monstros do open world são "trash mob", por isso os players conseguem fazer tudo sozinhos, sem precisar de um healer por perto, ou interagir com outros players. Também não precisa se preocupar em administrar os consumíveis, pois você sequer gasta recurso upando.
• Linearidade - Basta seguir as quests do level 1 ao level máximo. Não precisa, por exemplo, estudar os monstros para saber quais dão mais exp, ou procurar mapas com melhor custo benefício em termos de exp e loot. Sim, eu acho que o grind é bem melhor do que o sistema de quests.
• Perda da identidade - É a perca de imersão e das características principais do gênero, resultado da comunhão de todos os outros pontos.
Fórmula do sucesso = Sandbox + trindade + desafio + full open world
Being able to travel everywhere instantly
Cluttered/overly helpful UI - the game is holding your hand in everything. You never have to compile information on your own.
Sense that you can't fail. No hard decisions you have to make - especially when it comes to forging your character. I miss making irrevocable decisions in MMORPGs - some you will be proud of, others you will come to regret down the road. Project Gorgon does this well (you can permanently do things to your character that alter your playstyle/RP).
General lack of danger. Too much predictability.
Spots that have 7,000 people farming doing the same exact thing (spread out progression paths more/provide more options for gaining exp).
Global Chat - Detracts from meaning of encountering/interacting with players in your current area. I feel global chat should take place on discord/3rd party apps. Oldschool MMOs didn't have global chat.
Cosmetics that totally do not belong in a fantasy/war context (crap like bikinis, tuxedos, etc)
That said, I would argue games lack immersion not due to the inclusion of features which "break immersion". But rather lacking features which give you the sense in the first place. I would forgive a game for ridiculous things you may consider "immersion-breaking" as long as it excels in giving you the sense via other means.
Traveling a long time to get to a great farming spot. Maybe with a raid party. You feel "entrenched" in the spot... the stakes are high if you die or your crew gets wiped. You're under pressure to perform and stay with your team. Encountering other people in these locations is interesting and not all too common.
Rappelz Dungeon - I remember farming in the relics of arid moonlight. Parties would form randomly at the dungeon entrance. There was no way you were successfully farming the spot without a diversified group of 5+ people. It could be challenging to reach the dungeon, you had to be on your toes running there. After farming there for a bit you began to recognize the usual suspects - there wouldn't be any more than 3-4 parties of ~8 farming the dungeon at one time.
Maplestory - Deep in sleepywood dungeon. Traveling to Sleepywood as a noob was a challenge in and of itself. It was a great farming spot though and you could only get things in this town you could not get anywhere else. While the first few levels of the "dungeon" were quite populated, due to the significant challenge/monster level of the floors below, people got more scarce the deeper you went. Also, due to such a level disparity in the same dungeon, low and high level players would become intermingled (I thought this was cool).
Never know what's going to happen/sense of adventure
Darkfall - On darkfall release there was a big ass dragon that randomly patrolled a HUGE area of the world (not sure specifics, encompassed like 1/10 of the world or something). And this was not an area off to the side, it was a highly trafficked route between two cities. As a noob encountering this thing I remember having to shelter under a tree for like 5 minutes while I was blasted by fireballs... That was an immersive experience for me. It leaves you with the impression of "well if I found that here, what the hell else is out there?"
Darkfall again - You always had to be on edge in this game. It was open world pvp with nil downsides to murdering people. You could be farming in the middle of no where and all the sudden you hear fireballs landing near you or arrows whirling past your face (that didn't come from the mobs). You could also sneak up on people/flank them in this game which I thought was fun - being both predator AND prey. I worry aoc will not have this with penalties of pk too hardcore.
Features that inevitably cause you to be always experimenting/exploring. The worst is feeling as though you have already discovered everything there is to find in a game. There are no more mysteries to be uncovered. Mechanics which add random combinations/"6-sigma" rarities help to keep players chasing after lucrative combinations they have never seen before.
Path of exile mapping/ARPG random modifiers. The mapping system in POE allows players to be continually "exploring" by continuously encountering mechanic combinations they have not seen before. The combination of loot that is droppable/viable also keeps you chasing after new goals.
Project Gorgon Crafting. The crafting in the indie mmo Project Gorgon did something really neat. Upon character creation, the effects of a character's consumable crafting combinations are randomized and unknown. There are 1000's of randomized possibilities of what your crafting combinations could possibly due. For example, one player may brew bourbon with peach, mint, banana, and mushroom flakes and wind up with "x effect", whereas another player will get "y effect". This makes it so you cannot look up a wiki to see what your crafting combinations will do! You need to discover it yourself. This is a highly immersive system IMO - albeit obviously has potential to result in severe imbalances.
That all being said, video games and MMORPG's especially can directly benefit by game-ifying systems and sacrificing immersion for fun and/or convenience. Things such as quick looting have become a staple because holding Y for 3 seconds every time I want to pick up the thing a mob dropped is absolutely grating, as proven by Bless Unleashed. Even RDR2 got on my nerves after big shootouts because of how obnoxiously long it took to loot. Pacing is incredibly important and players will generally accept the dissonance created by convenience if it means keeping the pacing of the primary gameplay loop steady.
Immersion is going to mean different things to different players, as this thread has definitely shown. The sound people are important to listen to, I wholeheartedly agree with those guys. The RP people want to lean on walls, sit on benches and toggle walk. The raiders and pvp-ers want smooth combat.
Also, since inventory management has become it's own subject here, I personally favor resource stacks over limited inventory, but that also depends on how many resources are actually required during the processing phase and are ultimately to be used in crafting. If I can only haul one log at a time, but it makes a bunch of planks that make several bows, I can live with it. But if it takes 5 ores to smelt one ingot and 5 ingots to smelt a dagger, let me carry stacks of ore. You are expecting me to use stacks of ore.
Thanks for reading
Doing quest quest quest, then dungeon dungeon dungeon, following a fixed gear progression, will never be comparable with: 1) choosing how and where to level up; 2) choose how to farm; and 3) choose how to build your own build.