Tuesday, 1 April 2014

For the Sake of Immersion

It dawned to me the other day that a thought experiment is in order. Ever since Blizzard said they are not sure if there will be flying in the next expansion most of us "affected" have a strong opinions about it. I myself strongly oppose no-flying decision in the next expansion. In recent the argument most often used in defence of no-flying is a point of immersion.

Damn Roleplayers... it is their fault we cannot have nice things. It feels so good to blame everything on Roleplayers, after all who else would readily sacrifice the useful in the game for the sake of more immersion. But, for now I stay my hand. I decided instead of trying to find a scapegoat and blaming it for everything bad that has happened, to roll with the idea of immersion. So here we are. Standing on the precipice of casuallity and plunging ourself into jaws of immersion.

I understand those few of them who curse flying because it breaks their immersion. After all, we all agree that the content of the game should be experienced instead of avoided. In that manner I agree, flying has to go. There is nothing worse for immersion than seeing an orc riding a phoenix. It devastates me to this day I must say. But, that is far from enough. We want really immersive game out of our World of Warcraft. So here are couple of other changes that would help in this direction.

All those queue based dungeon finders and raid finders will have to go. They are abolishers of immersion and serve only to incite laziness in players. We cannot have that. You want to run a dungeon, raid or battleground? Well, better get to that place on your own. If you play the Arena, the Arena Master will tell you where will you fight your next match.

No shouting in channels either. There will be no channels. I mean, we are aiming for true immersive experience here after all. We want to feel what real Warcraft is like, not some sissy version where people spam the channels until they find a group. No channels, you only catch what people say at maximum distance of 4 yards. If they yell, then 16 yards.

Anything else was not intended for your ears in first place. That should make the whole world feel more immersive. Just imagine people actually stopping and talking with each other, at the same place, not just every person in their own corner. Yes, we will need player collision, no more runing like ghosts through each other, it is disruptive to our immersion. And no, there is no guild chat either. You have something to tell your guild, and your guild only? Invite them on some more remote location, where your privacy can be guaranteed.

Now that we are done with communication, let us take another look at that user interface. A map? Oh no, that will not do, I mean, the watch has to go away with the map, and compass too. No crutches allowed. You can draw your own maps with the pencils and parchments you buy from vendors. And paper is to be one of more... exotic goods. Not every grunt can buy a book after all. We need to tighten the economy, to show reason why we end up fighting so many wars for that lumber in Ashenvale.

We need to remove hearthstones and summoning stones as well. I mean, there really is no reason for a summoning stone to just magically appear in front of every dungeon and raid. And it takes away from the experience of reaching the dungeon on your own merit. Not only that, it actually takes away form the immersion. I mean you want to really prepare for dungeon, your sword sharp, your bow at ready, you arrows.. Oh, we need to reintroduce ammunition, quivers and pouches back to the game. I mean, we cannot have Hunters suffer from the lack of immersion. I mean, hunter that does not draw an arrow from his quiver is like an empty bucket of water waiting for the water that never comes.

We need weight limitation as well. Only one backpack allowed. In this backpack only what could normally fit in goes in. And there is maximum of 50 kilogrammes you can carry. Well, let us put this in other terms. An individual can carry at maximum what is the third of his weight. So, since I presume Orcs weight somewhere about 150 kilogrammes because of all their bulk, they can carry 50 kg. Humans, with an average weight of 90 kg, would be able to carry maximum of 30 kg. Those numbers are actually average. You can check the numbers in now-unofficial Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game. Here is the link.

Some of you might have a few concerns about inequity at this point, but I promise, rules are the same for all. All of the races have the same limitations. If one is taller and heavier than the other, well you can blame Mother Earth. Ah yes, your reach will depend on your size, and the weapon you are using. While we are at the topic of taller, better. Let us for the sake of immersion say that taller races move faster than the smaller ones. Not because they are taller, at least not directly because of it, but because they make longer steps. Running is to be limited, not something you can do all day long. You can run 20000 steps in one go, after that you need a rest, long rest before you can go and run again.

Now, you are asking yourself, why 20000 steps? Well, if we take from where the term mile came form we find out that one mile is 1000 steps. Because our characters are all fit, warriors, soldiers and all that, they should be able to run for 20 "miles". They do get exhausted though, they are not robots after all, and we do want that immersion. They have mounts so that makes it easier. Regular mounts right now move at 60%, and 100% of player's speed. Which can stay as it is even in our pursuit for immersion. What changes is, that only one mount can be "summoned".

You can have only one mount at your side. When you dismount the mount stays at your side, it does not magically disappear because that would destroy immersion. You can ride your mount only for a few hours each day. After that, the mount needs rest. What mount needs as well is food, shelter, and grooming. While we are at that, this is what the characters need too. At least six hours of sleep, and offline time does not count. We need to eat at least 3-5 times a day in order to maintain our stamina. If we fail to do so we start losing our strength, stamina. I mean, we do want this to be immersive after all.

Now weapons and armours. It is ridiculous to allow tailors fixing plate and mail armour. This is why we have blacksmiths after all. Armour can be repaired only at appropriate crafter. Tailor will work with cloth, leatherworker with leather and some types of mail, and blacksmith with plate and certain types of mail armour. Because of the usage of armour, the armour can be repaired only a certain number of times beyond it becomes beyond repair and simply deteriorates or is destroyed in combat causing your death in process.

Couple of rules regarding weapons and armour. Armour is by default something that is worn only on the field of battle. There are ceremonial armours and weapons of course, but we will leave those aside. This means, if you wear your armour inside the city or town, you will draw attention of the guards. When you arrive in the city, first thing you will be required to do while you stay there is to hand your weapons to your innkeeper or your landlord. None but city watch is allowed to bear arms inside the city walls. Same applies for any town.

You do not equip your armour by yourself. You can, but it will not be efficient. You need help, a friend at hand is a good thing to have when you decide to venture out into the wilds. If you die, you are dead. You know, it is for the sake of immersion after all. Your friends can collect your body and bury you at some location of your liking, or they can leave you for the vultures. Their choice, you cannot do anything about it in any case. Because you are dead, and the primary goal is immersion. You can always reroll, but I am afraid this would break the immersion as well.

I think this is enough of immersion for now. I believe I covered most of the essentials that will ensure true immersive experience that we really expect of World of Warcraft. All those quality of life changes were forced on us. And we can wait for nothing but to embrace the new immersive experience I just suggested.

I find it ridiculous that at one side people tout about immersion and how we are skipping content with flying, and yet most of the same people take advantage of all the quality of life improvements that were introduced in game over time without even thinking on it. No-flying is just another gating of content for which the playerbase has demonstrated a strong dislike to put it mildly. Gating of content is not a solution for anything. It just gives birth to another set of problems.

If you do not like flying, go and use ground mounts, but just because the minority thinks flying is destroying their immersion, the majority should not be punished. And then the excuses of those immersionists: "But I use it because I can, and would love not to be able to use it." You do not prohibit a steak to fat man just because it is bad for his heart and he is unable to control himself. And you do not prohibit the steak to all those around him just because the fat man should not eat the steak.

In short: Leave my steak alone!


  1. i actually see the point of not allowing flying, to me it's a mechanic of avoidig content, but the worst point is that you're avoiding contact. contact with other players is what really creates community and connection and with the avoidance of flying many encounters you might have had won't happen

    Oh, and I know you're being sarcastic there but honestly, I like some of those suggestions

    1. I think it comes down to qustion of value at the end in my case. I am certain that had I not been forced to spend so much gold on learning how to fly, I would not oppose as vehemently as I do to the changes regarding flying.

      I agree, flying allows you to circumvent a lot of potential dangers that you would otherwise have to deal with. Ideal solution would be if they made flying more hazardous. Flying should be risk/reward appropriate. We live in the world ridden with all kinds of magical flying monsters. Let us be shown why it is not good to be always flying.

      I disagree on the point of contact though. You use flying mount for travel from point A to point B. To save time basicly. I believe that if you would meet other people, you would do so while doing a certain quest. Not on your way to that same quest. Even if we do not fly, you would not stop for some passer-by that goes in the opposite direction.


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