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Immersion and how to achive this level of Zen in PoE


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There are enough threads where players actively discussing level of immersion in this game, few recently active ones to take in account are about walk toggle and darker dungeons. Now, I enjoy Pillars alot, I sincerely think it's the best classic-modern-fantasy RPG I've seen in YEARS, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot even grasp how one can get immersed in a game like this. First of all it's Isometric, than there are lots of text, so that means game relies heavily on ones imagination rather than showing acts as the player can experience them firsthand. It's more like reading interactive book or play some advanced animated beautiful table-top game.

 

During gameplay (combat mostly), closest feeling I get is like watching clockwork up close while interacting with it. Numbers here and there, pile of different parameters, how you should adjust gears in place, so mechanism would keep working - positioning character models in the right places, giving them right tools to penetrate required type of protection, arm spells that work best for current setup and etc which includes levelling, equipment and many other things. Levelling, just like combat, is basically math, you should adjust numbers so you get best possible results giving you maximum effectiveness, plus levelling different classes should be considered the way to complement each other in best possible way. One who gets highest results out of this has strongest party. You normally don't do this as you feel like, or builds can fall apart and not be as effective.

 

It may sound wild, but with certain mods I can get immersed in Skyrim, I don't think I need to eloborate how and why, but in Pillars, not a chance, it has completely different structure. I can enjoy story and gameplay with its schematic number wars with many other things, and that's great, because every cRPG was like that and should stay that way.

 

Now, can anyone enlighten me about what am I missing and how my perspectives are flawed? I'd really appreciate someone explaining me how watching models move from point A to point B with floating numbers can get immersive in detail...

 

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Well all immersion is subjective so opinions may vary, but here are mine:

 

A first person view does not immerse me in my character, I never see the individual so it is not so close to me as an isometric view or even better a third person view. I am divorced from the character, whereas if I see and control them all the time I am continually affirmed in my connection with the character.

 

Using text and illustrations can stretch and stoke the imagination far more easily than an hour long cutscene, and it is far cheaper and brutally effective, if done correctly. Some parts of Torment or Betrayal at krondor were utterly evocative and emotional, and merely crafted by fine prose.

 

However I am in agreement with you about Poe, it fails to immerse me, in fact the game was a slog to get through rather than a pleasure I looked back upon with fondness and a regret that it had ended.

 

Why is this? I think there are two reasons for me personally: One is the dissonance between the narrative, setting, art design and the gameplay. For instance the games asks questions about how knowledge of souls would affect a society, it has an art style that is as beautiful as its inspiration and benefits from the verisimilitude it cleaves to, it has a well considered setting where civilisations are more well thought out and more organic than what we see in many other games. Then we have the gameplay which is the standard fare of grinding combat, collecting pointless tat in an unexplained infinite stash, selling this and collecting more quests to farm, the stats which are balanced but are utterly illogical and unintuitive, the drab itemisation and a quest that never really resolves exactly why i'm bothering with it, I have no motivation. I get the feeling that the devs couldn't be bothered to create a system that fit with their art style, setting and prose, they just handwaved it away.

 

*SPOILERS FOR CHAPTER 2 AND THE ENDGAME BEGIN HERE, PLEASE SKIP IF NOT DESIROUS OF VIEWING*

 

The second reason for me is the lack of a creative spark: How chapter 2 is resolved for instance, the exact same problem as the NWN2 trial raises its head again and I am rendered into an observer rather than a player, all the work i've done is cast away and this is irksome in the extreme, expecially when faced for a second time. In fact what is even more frustrating is that the trial in NWN2 was a better experience, with much coming into play and so much participation allowed. Then we have the method by which we defeat the demigod whom we are facing for vague reasons, what options are we given? Are they as varied as what we recieved in Fallout when dealing with the Master, are they as varied as the choices one can exercise when facing Kerghan the Terrible in the Void? No you have a bossfight. After New Vegas and Alpha Protocol I expected more than just another combat in a long line of them, how come developers are not thinking beyond this tiresome bossfight addiction?

 

*SPOILERS END*

 

Sorry to unload such negative waves but this is truthful criticism, and I would not back a Poe 2 based on my experience in the first game, there were just too many issues and too much handwaved away. The game was a tiresome slog for me, and needed to make up its mind whether it was going to try and grab my attention through a massive amount of detail and reactivity like say an Ultima or Deus Ex or whether it was going to focus on core aspects and make them enthralling like a Diablo, BG2 or Grim Dawn, the trying both and failing to achieve them did not satisfy me as I was neither enjoying the gameplay or becoming immersed in the setting.

 

All this said I did recognise in my recent playthrough of the second part of the White March that the team were aware of the game weak spots and trying to rectify them, but I still will have to wait and see for a Poe 2 whether it is Kickstarted or not.

 

Edit: The soundtrack must be mentioned of course as a positive as well, fantastic work by Mr Bell.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Immersion is anathema to your appreciation and understanding of culture and/or entertainment. It is choking your imagination and its yearning to engage with metaphor, symbolism and thus the narrative and ultimately what the game is about. You are not an elf. You are a human being possessing a personal and unique imagination and psychology, rich in stripe and hue through which you experience and try to make sense of this weird but generally under-appreciated thing called life. Other humans are trying to share ideas and experience with you in forms and ways familiar and exotic, beautiful and abstract. Immersion, or the demand for simulated reality slams the door on poetry and silences your very soul. You are not an elf. Skyrim with mods is bad. Skyrim without mods is bad.

 

Pillars of Eternity is good. One of its central themes is the empirical vs the transcendental and you and the champions of 'immersion' are the disciples of empiricism. Stop doing that. You need Magran.

It also has things to say about reason and faith and the value of collective culture its symbols and how we try to give meaning to our existence and not fall into a void of despair when the absurdity of life stares us down mocking our hopes and fears. It's cool to think about. I think it's more edifying and fun than thinking about persuading myself that I'm immersed. I mean I am immersed, right up to my pseudo intellectual eyeballs because I think the game is trying to say things to me about mind/body dualism, memory personal and cultural, divine authority, mortality and badass gods that died and re-made themselves as a massive golem. You are not an elf. Skyrim is bad. Artifice and inauthenticity is bad. 'Immersion' can go to hell.

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I will just say that my way to be immersed in a game like Pillars is by being surrounded by things i feel believable. That's why i can't favor game mechanics over believability. But all this is just a mean. Immersion is more about Roleplay to me. I quite understand what you say about immersion in Skyrim with some mods. I'm the same. I somehow managed to feel that i really climbed to this cliff to watch the sunset... But it's not the same kind of immersion to me.

 

In Pillars, i use the notes to actually write the diary of my characters. It can get pretty long after 100H hours in my playthrough. According to who my character is, i write how he/she perceived things, what he/she thinks about matters in Defiance Bay, what his/her fears are, how things that happen influenced their behavior, values, beliefs, fears, etc... It helps me thinking the way he/she thinks and actually feel what they feel. And because of the writting, my imagination can go wild more easily. I could not do this with a non isometric RPG. I would have a hard time to let my imagination go wild if everything is just "showed", actually "because" everything is just showed. And thus, i would have difficulties roleplaying a character that is not me.

 

Finally, the true immersion, to me, is about becoming my character. I need to be able to believe in everything that is showed in the game. But i believe, too, that showing too much, actually tie the imagination, and hence, the immersion in a roleplaying sense of the word. In Skyrim, i may feel that i climbed the hill, but the point of a Roleplaying Game is definitely not about you feeling that, it's all about you becoming the one who actually feel he/she climbed the hill.

Edited by Abel
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I sincerely think it's the best classic-modern-fantasy RPG I've seen in YEARS, but no matter how hard I try, I cannot even grasp how one can get immersed in a game like this. First of all it's Isometric, than there are lots of text, so that means game relies heavily on ones imagination rather than showing acts as the player can experience them firsthand.

 

Interesting post Stoner. 

 

​I'm quoting the above sentences in particular because I think they (almost inadvertently, it feels) capture an important theme.  Any game with combat is, at some level, math.  Some genres expose those machinations more than others.  CRPGs with their roots in pen and paper D&D tend towards this exposure, but machinery aside, I think imagination is a critical factor in whether a game is immersive.  Your second sentence above frames imagination in opposition to the immersion the first sentence desires, but to me they are almost synonymous.

 

I have found immersion in first player games, third player iso-view games like PoE or BG, or even purely text based games.  One of my fondest computer gaming memories is finishing Colossal Cave back in the late 70's on a PDP-11, in the pre-internet-hint days.  It was purely text; there were no graphics at all.  The entire experience was played out in the player's imagination, but I was no less immersed in it, any more than a book is less immersive than a movie.  In fact, almost the reverse.  Sometimes I have the hardest time with immersion in first person view games, because they trigger an "uncanny valley" effect and almost attempt an end-run around my imagination.  It's rare to find one that augments its polygons with enough language.

 ​

PoE occupies a hybrid niche for me, but it's a combination that works.  It's got richly beautiful level design and artwork, augmented by textual descriptions to help your imagination fill in background and detail that's not easily conveyed using pixels alone.

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"immersion" is silly, unrealistic, and not something i look for on any level in any game. i get the feeling it's a generational thing somehow. 

 

i've NEVER been "immersed" in a game in over 25+  years of playing them. i'm always 100% aware i'm engaging with AI routines and 0s and 1s. my reality is too real to let a game EVER immerse me.

 

i'd much rather have a game that gives me the information i need (say, a HUD) instead of some bull**** in-world "immersive" alternative. anyone ever play Grim Fandango? or that awful Alone in the Dark reboot? remember how you had to look in your coat in both games to see your inventory? that's "immersive" sure, but more time-consuming and demanding of the developers' efforts than just an inventory button and separate screen. **** "immersion".

 

i play PoE with the container/NPC highlights on at all times. why? cause i want to know where **** is, i don't care about the fact that containers don't glow blue in real life.

 

the best games are the ones that are fun to play and/or tell a great story. what exactly are you "immersion" people looking for? are you hoping to become unaware of your own surroundings? is this why VR is becoming a thing again?

Edited by deveroth
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In my experience, there are two kind of people that don't bother with photgraphy/creative filming/... in films, don't see the point in Roleplay, find fantasies are bul****, don't bother to grasp details of characters behavior/feelings in books/series/situations and say that it's not a problem anyway, because it's not their stuff.

 

First, there are the people who genuinely really don't care. Their feet are well grounded, and while it's ok to be like this, they won't grasp situations all that well either. They're not the empathic kind. But, most of them have others ways to do things, and their pratical attitude is often a sign of great intelligence. A logical intelligence, not an empathic one. Very useful in everyday life. These ones will think that the emo people who can be touched by the lighting work in the climax scene of a drama they see at the cinema are just weirdos, but won't be bothered by it.

 

And then, there is the people who can't graps these things. They learned to no care much, but at the same time, they would want, too, to understand what is beyond the matrix. What these emo people fan of immersion really see when they look at this painting. But since they can't, they will just state without any further thought that all this is bull****, and that it's a limitation of their own liberty since everything should be designed to be logical, grounded. It's the frustrated sort of people who will yell that they despise something just because they can't understand it. by the way, they surely have other ways to appreciate the same things as the firsts. It's just that some words have started to fluster them in the long run.

 

Just my thoughts.

Edited by Abel
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Immersion is a term that's been bandied about so much and has such a different meaning to everyone that it practically has no meaning at all.  Basically it's become a buzzword for "I don't like this game mechanic and want it changed to suit me".

 

You note that PoE is like an interactive book and this contributes to your inability to be 'immersed'. For myself, I find it so easy to be 'immersed' in books/text that I get to the point that I don't even hear anything around me. I'm totally involved in that world about which I'm reading. And like Nonek, I find any game with FP view doesn't do it for me at all (in fact, I loathe that perspective so much that I actively avoid games that don't offer an alternative).

 

Skyrim? Great game. I love it. But I'm far less 'immersed' in something like that than I am in a game like BG, PoE, or even IWD. And make no mistake that you're dealing with numbers and math in Skyrim as well.

 

Anyway, no one can tell you what you're missing or how your perspective is flawed, because it isn't. This just isn't the type of game that 'immerses' you.

Edited by Ink Blot
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In my experience, there are two kind of people that don't bother with photgraphy/creative filming/... in films, don't see the point in Roleplay, find fantasies are bul****, don't bother to grasp details of characters behavior/feelings in books/series/situations and say that it's not a problem anyway, because it's not their stuff.

 

First, there are the people who genuinely really don't care. Their feet are well grounded, and while it's ok to be like this, they won't grasp situations all that well either. They're not the empathic kind. But, most of them have others ways to do things, and their pratical attitude is often a sign of great intelligence. A logical intelligence, not an empathic one. Very useful in everyday life. These ones will think that the emo people who can be touched by the lighting work in the climax scene of a drama they see at the cinema are just weirdos, but won't be bothered by it.

 

And then, there is the people who can't graps these things. They learned to no care much, but at the same time, they would want, too, to understand what is beyond the matrix. What these emo people fan of immersion really see when they look at this painting. But since they can't, they will just state without any further thought that all this is bull****, and that it's a limitation of their own liberty since everything should be designed to be logical, grounded. It's the frustrated sort of people who will yell that they despise something just because they can't understand it. by the way, they surely have other ways to appreciate the same things as the firsts. It's just that some words have started to fluster them in the long run.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

did you have a stroke before typing this? no idea what you're trying to say. i think you just said i have great intelligence?

Edited by deveroth
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First of all it's Isometric, than there are lots of text, so that means game relies heavily on ones imagination rather than showing acts as the player can experience them firsthand. It's more like reading interactive book or play some advanced animated beautiful table-top game.

 

You've never been immersed in a good book? That's actually kind of sad.

 

For me, using my imagination, guided by some great writing, can be one of the most immersive, interesting ways to experience a game like this.

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"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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When people mention immersion in games, I always think of a interview a guy called Paul Barnett did on warhammer online.  Shame that game wasnt particularly successful, but the interview still holds true.  He said something along the lines of:

 

"We're not aiming for immersion.  Immersion is where your playing a game, your house is burning down around you and you dont realise, your wife has left you and the dog has died from starvation.  We want to create a hobby experience."

 

Or something along those lines... it was a long time ago now, but I agree with him, and the word immersion is thrown around too much.  I like to think about the world, I like in depth worlds that are believable and make sense.  Yes, I like to "roleplay" that I am my character or I'm in that world and might occasionally lose track of time (I suppose that could be classed as immersion to some extent).  But like Deveroth says, I have never become truly immersed in a game that I am unaware of my surroundings, and I guess that 99% of gamers that throw that word around all the time haven't either.

 

What makes a game world feel alive to me?  I think audio and text can contribute here more than if its first person or not.  In towns, the noise of people talking, and going about their day to day lives, in the woods, leaves rustling and birds chirping.  Things like that, as well as the overall feel that the music gives.   Text descriptions can help if its well written, and it helps that in games like PoE the artwork is beautiful.  All these things add to the atmosphere of a game.  I remember thinking skyrim lacked atmosphere, and I put some of down to audio in towns, not to mention the fetch quests and not so good writing.  Visual stuff can help...  I mean Witcher 3 has  fantastic atmosphere, and that's largely due to peasants and NPCs having daily routines etc, but I cant say ive seen this done in a top down 2d RPG as well as it was in W3.  Maybe the animations are much more difficult.

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game relies heavily on ones imagination

 

There's your answer there.

 

Immersion has nothing necessary to do with everything 'looking' just right. Otherwise books wouldn't be immersive at all, and a photograph would be more immersive than paintings. Games aren't less immersive because they're isometric or have text, it depends on how the different elements are used to what quality. 

 

For POE I think its strongest aspects are the consistency in its lore and language use, so that you can pick up different clues about a region or a creature from its name or get used to identifying people's backgrounds. Weakest parts are, I think, enforcing Dyrwood's frontier feel and its particular regional specifities (which really never happens) - Twin Elms is a lot more 'immersive' in this sense.

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When people mention immersion in games, I always think of a interview a guy called Paul Barnett did on warhammer online.  Shame that game wasnt particularly successful, but the interview still holds true.  He said something along the lines of:

 

"We're not aiming for immersion.  Immersion is where your playing a game, your house is burning down around you and you dont realise, your wife has left you and the dog has died from starvation.  We want to create a hobby experience."

Immersion has nothing necessary to do with everything 'looking' just right.

By reading the comments, it looks like everyone has his own definition for 'immersion'.

 

We might need a new word then.

How would you call the state of consciousness you are submerging into, getting carried be the flow of congruent and believable experiences. A state when your mental presence is both far away.. and inside your inner I at the same time; when your inner world is being decorated with your own imagination? A state of focus, control and curiosity, coupled with temporal forgetness of what is outside. A state, which lasts till you loot a MacBook Pro from a Scaen Priest. Or stumble upon anything what feels wrong, out of place of context you were submerged into.

Edited by MaxQuest
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Well, that's some very interesting posts in here. Looks like it's truly matter of perspective, ones beliefs and noone really can't say objectively - what immersion is. Looks like here are also people who don't get immersed at all and can't even grasp the concept itself, and that's fine, though I don't think threads like this would pick any interest of these types of perception...

 

Anyway, I love reading but I never had immersed in book (or photos/paintings), and it doesn't mean I don't have imagination (otherwise I wouldn't read at all), but that's probably about my own definition of "immersion". Here's basically the same thing as with cRPGs, I very much enjoy good story, feel for characters, appreciate good art, but that's not immersion for me.

 

Skyrim was bad example, but simpliest at the moment from the top of my head, now to elaborate: let's say we have some hardcore climate and survival mods, first person view (we can see our lower body and etc.) you're going through frozen tundra at night, wind blows violently, vision gets obscured by snow in your face, sounds are also contribute to that, you're in full fur armor but still freezing, your speed lowers, you know you can just die here if stay for too long, if anything jumps at you, you have very low chance to survive encounter, and then you see a dim light in distance, a warm light of tavern, it's like you naturally feel relief. Another moment as you go into pitch black cave with torch in your hand, carefully waking around cause any trap can kill you outright and vision very limited, dreadful noises, and suddenly something jumps at you with a shriek. You may flinch on pure reflex. And etc...

 

On argument about numbers in any game, I agree, but in PoE those are mostly basics, and there are other types of games, where you don't really see or care for that, feels more intuitive, so you simply can ignore them. TES is good example here, because most weapons and armor are basically skins, and only difference is light/medium/heavy armor or two-handed/one-handed weapon, anything else are mostly cosmetics. In most cRPGs you really care about numbers on each piece of equipment.

 

Nothing like this can happen in book or isomtric RPG, and that's immersion for me, that's why I don't clearly understand why ppl are asking for things like walk toggle or darker dungeons in PoE, like what difference it would really make? People who can be context immersed without visual part wouldn't care about that, right? And those who rely on visual part + sound, like me, see PoE mostly as schematic, so that's what I generally don't understand and needed clarifying for...

 

"We're not aiming for immersion.  Immersion is where your playing a game, your house is burning down around you and you dont realise, your wife has left you and the dog has died from starvation.  We want to create a hobby experience."

 

That's very crude word play here by Paul... he purpously replaces "MMO-addiction" with "Immersion", those are two VERY different conceptions, and pretty dishonest way to advertise his MMORPG =/

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I see what you're saying. It's not necessarily exclusive. I would say MaxQuest's definition applies very well to the kinds of immersion offered by books. And if we continue to use his description, my point is that 'realistic' visuals are not necessarily more immersive than stylised ones, audio and video are not necessarily more immersive than text, voice acting is not necessarily more immersive than silent text, so on and so forth. 

 

Obviously if you're the type to respond best to a kind of visual presence, then something like Skyrim, or better yet VR headsets, would work best. I'm personally the type that can be more moved by an author's description of someone's sadness or tears than a well acted cry-out in a film, because the former gives me the kind of situating information the latter cannot (and vice versa), and being able to feel immersed doesn't require my own body and perception to align exactly. I'm sure I would love a full on VR experience, but feeling immersed in a fantasy world, its story, its characters, I don't think would always benefit from feeling the chainmail hang off my knees or smelling the decomposing corpses nearby. 

 

This is probably linked to the fact that I can get on board with any well written charracter as the protagonist, whereas some RPG players insist on creating their own characters, and usually creating them pretty close to who (they think they) are in real life.

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"We're not aiming for immersion.  Immersion is where your playing a game, your house is burning down around you and you dont realise, your wife has left you and the dog has died from starvation.  We want to create a hobby experience."

 

That's very crude word play here by Paul... he purpously replaces "MMO-addiction" with "Immersion", those are two VERY different conceptions, and pretty dishonest way to advertise his MMORPG =/

 I whole heartedly agree with this point. When I read Lord of the Rings for the first time, I was absolutely engrossed and immersed in the story. I could hardly put it down. But, I didn't forget to pay my bills, attend to my wife, or go to work. The immersion was a completely positive experience, and aside from perhaps going to bed too late a few times, there was nothing negative that came out of it. It's similar for me with Pillars, IE games, or just about any other game that I really get into.

 

That said, I stay away from MMOs these days because they don't have pause buttons. You aren't only immersed in those games... you're often stuck or trapped. If you've got a large group going to raid some super difficult boss encounter, and the main healer drops out, the rest of the group is going to suffer and resent that player. Three years of playing Everquest in the early 2000s taught me some hard lessons about MMOs. But, I think immersed is an unfortunate word to describe that experience. Being unable to put away the crack pipe is a bad thing. Being immersed by an experience that captures your imagination is a good thing.

 

I think casual vs. hardcore would have been a better way to characterize.

Edited by Marceror

"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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What is immersion, really? I understand it to be enjoying something so much that you just forget about the outside world. This can happen with ANY activity, though I found it a lot easier when I was a kid (perhaps this is why people remember old games so nostalgically, yes?) Now, as an adult, I generally get knocked out of my "enjoyment/immersion" of a book or game when I think the plot is cheesy or unrealistic. It really doesn't have anything to do with whether the game is first person or third person or whatever. 

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This is a game, not a simulator. So, there is a distinct layer of abstraction. Most of the time, failing at immersing oneself into the game founds in a lack of imagination. Alas, this is so much more meat on the bone as, for example, a pen a paper-rpg where one has to pretend a green dice on a battlemat is a an orc while some black lines and tokens represent massive walls and barrels. 
 

It's more like reading interactive book or play some advanced animated beautiful table-top game.

 

 

Congrats, this is what CRPGS where all about back in the day. If your fantasy is so crippled you have problems immersing into the game because "text" and "isometric", maybe play some oh-so-immersive "RPGs" like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. I heard, they have romance, too.

Also notice, immersion is the most overrated thing ever in gaming. And Skyrim is a bland piece of **** when it comes to gaming.

Edited by Eisenheinrich
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[...]

 

Nothing like this can happen in book or isomtric RPG, and that's immersion for me, that's why I don't clearly understand why ppl are asking for things like walk toggle or darker dungeons in PoE, like what difference it would really make? People who can be context immersed without visual part wouldn't care about that, right? And those who rely on visual part + sound, like me, see PoE mostly as schematic, so that's what I generally don't understand and needed clarifying for...

 

 I think that most people care for both "context" and sensory input. PoE creates it's atmosphere through text enhanced by visuals and audio, or maybe the other way around. I.E. I've been always fan of portraits in cRPG's, despite the fact they don't add anything to the text and are hardly deal-breakers as far as visuals go.

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I figure imersion just means you care about the story, characters and setting. Like I can't get myself to say, sacrifice Eder to the Skaen blood pool, whereas I have no qualms about running over civilians in GTA or raining fire down on a township in Skyrim. Think it comes down to Pillars feeling like a world with actual story and characters while Skyrim/GTA are just a sandbox to explore.

Edited by falchen
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"Immersion" in the way mentioned by Stoner means, that a game shouldn't feel like a game anymore but a virtual reality where you can do everything as in real life, but instead of being a mere mortal you can be a knight, a neanderthal, a member of a special forces unit or everything else a developer comes up with. To me, this is not a game anymore but a simulation. 

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This is a game, not a simulator. So, there is a distinct layer of abstraction. Most of the time, failing at immersing oneself into the game founds in a lack of imagination. Alas, this is so much more meat on the bone as, for example, a pen a paper-rpg where one has to pretend a green dice on a battlemat is a an orc while some black lines and tokens represent massive walls and barrels. 

 

It's more like reading interactive book or play some advanced animated beautiful table-top game.

 

 

Congrats, this is what CRPGS where all about back in the day. If your fantasy is so crippled you have problems immersing into the game because "text" and "isometric", maybe play some oh-so-immersive "RPGs" like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. I heard, they have romance, too.

Also notice, immersion is the most overrated thing ever in gaming. And Skyrim is a bland piece of **** when it comes to gaming.

I've never said cRPGs were something else or I crave for these types of games being immersive, on the contrary, I enjoy them the way they are. What I was asking is how others find immersion in cRPGs. And I don't really get the reference to Mass Effect or Dragon Age here, which are, well... interactive pop-corn blockbuster movies rather than games. Skyrim is bland, yes, in truth it's just a bare bones raw program code of a game, but beauty is that you can shape it almost in whatever way you desire, unlike many-many other "games". But let's not derail, since it's not Skyrim discussion topic, that was just an example to clarify my points.

 

"Immersion" in the way mentioned by Stoner means, that a game shouldn't feel like a game anymore but a virtual reality where you can do everything as in real life, but instead of being a mere mortal you can be a knight, a neanderthal, a member of a special forces unit or everything else a developer comes up with. To me, this is not a game anymore but a simulation. 

"VR" is just another type of game, why do you try to separate it from the rest? Why you think it's a less of a game than anything? Racing or Flight Sims are pretty much games too, and rather popular for the exact reason stated above. And you're probably nailed it, yes, that's how I see immersion mostly, at least it can be accuartely classified, but I still haven't yet found any other accurately classified description of this term in context of pen & parer or cRPG...

 

I figure imersion just means you care about the story, characters and setting. Like I can't get myself to say, sacrifice Eder to the Skaen blood pool, whereas I have no qualms about running over civilians in GTA or raining fire down on a township in Skyrim. Think it comes down to Pillars feeling like a world with actual story and characters while Skyrim/GTA are just a sandbox to explore.

Curious, I care about story and characters more than ever, but I'd do exactly the opposite... Role Playing is experiment, to observe reactions, how certain NPC would go about my answer or action, what will happen if Eder gets dropped in a pool and etc. In more 'lively" circumstancces it's harder to view things as experiment and morally more difficult to do things like this, virtual guilt there is... uhm, stronger?

Edited by Stoner
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I hear ya OP. With mods I find myself getting immersed as well but at the same time I'm able to immerse myself into PoE.

I think the 2 games I've been able to really get "full retard" immersed was a heavily modded Morrowind and FONV.

Tbh I don't sweat the details, if I can roleplay then I'm happy :)

 

Some people find the best immersion when ya can see the plant life and the random wild life and bugs and whatnot and some find the best immersion of being swept away by a tale and just riding out the story.

 

Edit-how I immerse myself in PoE is with imagination. I view myself as the character and I imagine the banter going on between me and them, their reactions to my choices and/or ribbing of some major **** ups. I'm controlling them from top down view but I'm roleplaying and imagining myself as the one I created. Hard to explain.

Edited by redneckdevil
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