These days I see the word "immersion" being used as if it's something that has to be prevalent for a MMO to be successful. I consider this to be incredibly wrong. For me and the people I have met on MMOs, immersion was never really the driving force to keep us playing. The essential element that truly caught me in this genre is its social aspect. Most MMOs have their own "societies" that enable you to play in an environment that is consistent and has its own culture. That living and breathing society and your role in that is where the RPG elements can truly shine. The immersion as in the world, story,… are rarely of any importance for a MMO. Immersive elements are what stimulates people to play games like Skyrim and Witcher. However MMOs rest on that social aspect, communal practices, grouped content, voice chats, general chats, global chats,…
Immersive gameplay is generally what leads to slow pace and unnecessary boring chores. Those are crucial for that kind of gameplay. Sadly, it is the same players that cry out for immersive game play while detesting dailies and chore like activities which are at the core of said genres. To be truly immersed in an environment one needs to be part of that environment with his whole being. That said, games like BDO and ArcheAge capture that really well. They successfully create immersive worlds where the player can truly feel a part of the world with all his being.
Though I generally respect said players for their choice in a pretty overwhelmingly shitty world (sorry for that). I still feel persistent on living and breathing in the real world while still being able to have a place to enjoy in a more innocent and secluded social environment which I had been able to find once in this genre. I also hope one day to find such an environment again, because I have this feeling that digital societies have a better chance at succeeding these days as a community than real societies where profit is the new core of the society.
I don't want to bring these thoughts on a gaming subreddit, but I think MMOs are that genre that truly touch this very topic. The people who find themselves playing these games are the same people who want to find a place where they can temporarily hide from the trajectory their respective communities have chosen to venture towards.
I think the word "temporarily" is what defines the difference between people looking to play MMOs that are chore induced and MMOs that are society induced.
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