32 year old Bay Area *** dude, fyi.
So we definitely
have different tastes....
If anyone is looking for immersion on a level beyond that of what they've seen in every MMO for the last 10 years, then they probably shouldn't be playing MMO's, and should stick to console & single-player RPG-type games from reputable developers like Bioware and Blizzard.
I don't agree with this. Immersion seems to be a very polarizing topic. Those who want it, put a lot of stock in it. The rest who don't, think the first group is a bunch of loons.
But, when I think back to when I started playing FFXI (and really most of my 7 years there), Vana'diel really felt like a living, breathing world. This was a form of immersion that could only be achieved in an online world. Sure an offline game can get your "immersed" in a good story or environments, but it isn't the same sensation.
That being said, FFXI's feeling of immersion came at a price. For example, the way airships worked in that game. At any moment the Jeuno->Bastok airship is in a particular location for everyone. When I'm traveling through Rolanberry Fields and look up and see the airship, I know there are players really riding that airship. When I see it land in Bastok, those players are really landing at that moment.
Over the years as XI became more "user friendly", more and more shortcuts were added. These were good things, in my opinion, but came at a cost. When I started and the only way I knew to get to Selbina from San d'Oria was to run, I really felt far from home once I got there. The near east was a world away when I first made it to Whitegate, but after using the instant teleportation NPC a dozen times, it might of well of been the same zone.
Anyway, I'm rambling now. My point was, I find immersion an important aspect of an MMO, but I understand it is very difficult to pull off without making the game unplayable. Given the choice between a lot of immersion and less time doing repetitive tasks, I'll gladly give up some immersion. However, I still believe immersion is an important secondary goal to strive for. Edited, Oct 21st 2011 8:44am by Vawn43