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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 3:18PM pcgneurotic said

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Can't wait to hear your ideas on in-game death!

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 3:31PM Dblade said

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12. No metagaming advertisements for a cash shop?
13. No cash shop items that make no sense in the context of the game?

It's hard to keep immersion when you have nag screens telling you to buy or you see people walking around in a fantasy MMO using a chainsaw or dressed up like a french maid.

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 6:24PM Brianna Royce said

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@Dblade But what if you're playing French Maids With Chainsaws Online?!?
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Posted: Dec 1st 2010 3:38PM Dartanis said

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Ah how I miss voyages of vanguard. I used alot of your playstyle while venturing Telon with the Oracles.

Playing LOTRO now, I think Ill give it a shot in there.

Some other ideas:
- Refuse a quest if it goes against my toons beliefs
- Log out in a sleep location (not in a field or on a street)
- If you trade or sell alot, create a Name for your brand, maybe even use a decidated sell location in an empty stall or house
- Having likes and dislikes that affect what I am willing to kill ingame (no critter killing for my loremaster)

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 3:47PM Beau Hindman said

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@Dartanis Good ideas...yeh I usually tried to log out in my "house" (either real house or nominated house area or inn) so that created some interesting times.

I thought about playing pacifist in some games, or only killing certain things...more interesting takes on it. It'd be hard to do, I imagine, but some games would be easier than others.

Thanks for the comments!

Beau
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Posted: Dec 1st 2010 11:54PM Space Cobra said

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@Beau Hindman

http://wow.joystiq.com/2008/01/08/15-minutes-of-fame-noor-the-pacifist/

You MUST remember this guy, right? Your sister site even did an interview.
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Posted: Dec 1st 2010 5:44PM Darkdust said

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I'm pondering this, but what about game worlds which have core mechanics / settings that go against this? For example, science fiction games (EVE) with extensive mapping and navigation tools.

I suppose you could stop training, as EVE is skill-based rather than level-based, but at some point you can easily run out of easy-to-choose skills anyway.

On the other hand, some rules here already feature in EVE. Realistic trade? Check. No instant travel / recall? Check. Realistic chat? Check.

And obviously, your Golden Rule ("if it's not fun, stop doing it") applies to ALL games.

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 6:04PM Birk said

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@Darkdust

Yeah I think EVE has most of the trappings that Beau has up there, accomodating for the setting.

1. No instant travel: Well, aside from warping everywhere, there is no "recall", and you really do get to know the solar system inside out.

2. Realistic forms of chat: They actually cover this in fluff somewhere. But basically, radio communication.

3. Limited Recall: See 1.

4. Stop leveling: Being that the content you experience is not gated by level, the point sort of becomes moot. Stopping your skills doesnt really help immersion, as any "PVE" you'll be involved in will just be a variation of what it was at an earlier level.

5. Roleplay speak: Kind of null, given the modern setting. I suppose you could avoid talking about pop culture. However, roleplaying a Minmatar and talking like a rastafarian is a quick way to get on someone's ignore list.

6. Perma-death: -Quite- sufficient death penalties!

7. Realistic Trade: Literally the best.

8. Physical, Blank map: Well, here's something you might want to improv. You COULD map out the whole galaxy yourself...but again, given the modern setting it wouldnt make much sense given the context. Even in the old days of seafaring, you didnt sail a big, expensive ship without a map.

9. Obey the weather: No weather in space. However, it would be cool if they implemented hazards...like collidable asteroid fields, gas pockets, stuff like that.

10. Obey the stomach: On board your ship, naturally.

11. If it isn't fun?: Very dependent on if you can control your nerdrage.

-Birk
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Posted: Dec 1st 2010 6:46PM Brianna Royce said

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I find I have to walk a thin line between immersion and drudgery. It's one thing for me to occasionally stop in an inn and buy a meal and "sleep" there overnight. It's another thing when I spend 90% of my precious game time traveling by foot in a game that implemented quick travel for a reason.

I guess the way I look at it is this: Immersion is how connected I feel to the story the game and I are creating. Would I read an adventure book that was mostly descriptions of someone eating, peeing, sleeping, and traveling? Probably not (unless the author were LE Modesitt, hehe). A good author is going to skip over some of the mundane things. Not all of them, but most of them. That's how I treat immersion -- I skip over some of the mundane things. Not all of them, but some of them. Do I really truly need to walk everywhere when I could ride? No... but a couple of times a week I take the scenic route anyway.

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 7:48PM Beau Hindman said

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Yeh the general idea started when I recognized the need for slowing down, but I recognized it in myself. It's a completely personal set of rules.

So, I avoided the flying mounts and stuff, even though they fit into the game, simply because *I* needed to. I always maintained that each individual player should come up without their own standards of play.

EVE does feature a lot of these rules, but so do many games. I'm really going only after FTP games (in my following columns) and after games that I really enjoyed. So EVE was out. :)

Beau

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 8:15PM Graill440 said

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All of these points have been discussed together and seperately at one time or another. The article is a great read. Off a 90 degree tangent from what Hman normaly posts about.

With everything on the Hman wishlist, what any one MMO, currently out, has any combination of at least three? None that i know of. Hman and his wishlist is causing the majority of MMO users to cringe right now in disbelief, as the majority have been raised to play MMO's only one way. While i give laudatory comments to everything he posted many many more will not, not because they "dont like it" but because they have never tried it, as hard as some of the listed things are to do.

We live in a world today where children are brought up thinking they have the right to instant gratification, they have the right to a cellphone, they have a right to internet, they have the right to this or that, etc, and those children grow up and teach their children and so on. Their are no values anymore, no morals, no discipline, not for the masses anyway and those few households that do teach the "oldways", sacrifice, honor, determination, humble pride, being helpful, are few and very far between.

Many would say to me move into the present, be like us, and out of the "darkages", i counter by stating todays current society is moving us back into the "darkages", very quickly.

The media picks up on this and researchers bank on this behaviour and MMO's are created to capitalize on the current mindset of the largest demographic, the "ideservethisandiwantitnowcrowd".

The wishlist that Beau posted is a pipe dream, many of us prefer it but its something we will never see, its called choice, and thats a sad thing.

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 8:20PM YogiFYG said

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Great read, Beau. I have done this myself a few times with Guild Wars. I scroll in the camera to first person view and turn off the UI. It still functions I just can't see it. I can only make adjustments to skills/UI when I am in a town and logging off. This way it forces me to 'learn' my skills. If I forget what button is to my healing spell, I die. It forces me to train by trail and error giving me a feeling more along the lines of someone actually learning to become an adventurer. Plus, the landscapes in GW are so breathtaking from the first person perspective.

Look forward to the next segment.

Posted: Dec 1st 2010 10:46PM Daedalus1969 said

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Great article. Really makes me stop and think about my gaming endeavors in WOW and LOTRO and how I have always wanted to be more in touch with the world in game and not just some hack-n-slash hero type.
Thanks for the ideas, gives me a lot to consider before I log back in.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 12:09AM x0fx3 said

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Thank you for this article. I feel less like a freak now. :)
I do some of the same type of things in mmos I play.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 12:09AM Space Cobra said

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I also find myself doing some of the things mentioned in the article, but not to an extreme.

I do log out in Inns or towns, generally speaking, when RL allows. I do hold grudges against certain NPC races or critters, if I had a bad time with them in a previous encounter. My heroes in CoH tend to stop and break up purse-snatchers and muggings, when I am generally soloing and not running to timed missions.

I actually prefer the insta-travel, but for a few reasons, one it lets me travel to places I may never have been before, even places of higher level than I can survive in. From there, I explore very carefully. Even with insta-transport, I still explore areas in-between I may have missed. I know I probably rank high on the Bartle test for Exploration.

Leveling is not a problem to me, because I am always curious what gems I may find that I have missed, even in lower-level areas. In fact, leveling can be the opposite of my earlier example: instead of "exploring carefully" places of higher level than my character, I can comfortably go around with little danger to me. That Boss spider cave that gave me trouble at lower levels? Now I can walk through the cave without "bravely running all the way through", looking at any things that might be interesting that I may have initially missed based on monsters attacking you.

The mapping thing is pretty old-school/hard-core, if I dare say so. Sheesh, I remember all those old Wizardy and Bard's Tale adventures that I and my friends would be drawing maps on graph paper with. It's be hard to give up the convienence of auto-mapping, but I suppose I could do it in underground dungeons, hidden massive lairs, and even towns.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 3:38AM tedrock said

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little sad when i downloaded warhammer and jumped on their to see if i could try playing with these rules... and then i discovered as a trail member on warhammer i can't send mail... well there goes that.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 9:07AM Beau Hindman said

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@tedrock Oh wow, I didn't know that. (I'm playing the trial too.) Well, it doesn't ALL have to be covered...you can skip that rule. :)

Really, though, the entire project was designed just to make me play differently, so if I obeyed every rule perfectly, it would be the same as just playing the game normally and forcing myself to grind after gear or something.

Beau
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Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 1:26PM tedrock said

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@Beau Hindman well i might still try it but the no chat except local was one of the top rules i liked. i'll wait until you write your articles on the F2P games to see which ones I should try.
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Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 12:46PM Jeromai said

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Nice article. Personally I wouldn't be able to implement most of the 'rules' or guidelines here without needing to put a hole in something (like the monitor) or someone (whoever is closest when my frustration boils over). :)

The only rule that sounds vaguely intriguing is the blank map option - I used to like mapping - but too many games have left me used to hitting 'm' and staring at the radar to get my bearings... I got lost in Wurm the other day and really didn't like it after the first 1-2 in-game days of wandering in repeated circles seeing the same scenery. New scenery on the other hand would be ok.

Still the article made me think all the same about what 'immersion' means to me. Simulation of reality is less important to me. I'd lean more towards independence from other players (for peace and quiet when desired) and a game that envelops me in the lore of the world - preferably through storytelling that shows, not tells.

It would help support the character background running through my mind, not invalidate it. And what wouldn't hurt is a close-in camera angle that helps support the illusion of me being the character looking about, be it first or third person.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2010 3:29PM Morreion said

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Great article, Beau!

I always thought it was a shame to put instant travel rifts in Vanguard. It was truly an explorer's world. I remember having a low-level Varanjar Druid who journeyed to Tursh to meet up with friends. That was an epic horse ride. That alone made me feel very immersed in the world.

Glad to see others have their own immersion rules. I often do a few of those rules myself.
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