Just imagine if you will. You are roleplaying a Sith Warrior. You’re about to strike that killing blow to some self-righteous Jedi with your pure command of the Dark Side. Your comrades are there to bask in your glory if only you can just get that final blow in……….hold on AFK. Phone’s ringing.
“No Mom, can I take the trash out later??”
There goes your immersion.
Immersion is a hot topic in MMORPGs. I’ve talked about it a fair bit on other blogs, with fellow gamers, and given it a fair bit of thought. When choosing a game, the level of immersion is definitely a quality I look for, especially in an MMO. As their classification suggests, MMOs hail from the RPG games of old. So it’s only natural that there’s some elements of roleplaying and immersion to be found in most. The trick for developers is just how much immersion can be found.
And immersion is not entirely on the shoulders of the developers. In fact a good part of immersion comes with the online communities you’ll participate with. If you find yourself surrounded by several Luke Pwnwalkers and Darth Noobers, then maybe your immersion level won’t be too high. If you find yourself within a community that values character, storytelling, and loyalty to the “lore” the game is built on, then maybe you’ll get that immersion you’re looking for.
Not too long ago, the great SW:TOR radio and podcast, Mos Eisley Radio, posted up an article entitled “Keeping the RP in MMORPG”. In the article they talk about several of the points I mention here but also talk about the growing fact that RPers are a growing crowd in the SWTOR community.
What draws RP gamers like me to SW:TOR? Are we just starved for a world like the Star Wars Universe? Are we attracted to voice acting, music, and the in-game cinematics? Or are we all just 10 year old little boys still running around in Star Wars pyjamas wishing we were Jedi? Maybe a little bit of everything.
If you are one of the several gamers interested in the RP aspect of SW:TOR, you should look no further than the podcast: Beyond the Grind. A great podcast where the topic is pure RP and they offer tips and some lore behind each of the playable classes.
Also, be sure to stop by the SW:TOR RP forums. There you’ll find great resources, fan fiction, and articles aimed towards immersion and RP.