Whilst doing some shado-pan dailies on my monk the other day I realised I did not feel very immersed in the gameplay. I made the effort to start reading the quest text and instead of listening to music, turn on the in-game sound. This, as silly as it may sound, actually made me feel far more immersed in the gameplay as a whole. I think immersion is still a part of the game but Blizzard may have directed us away from that immersion in certain ways.
Below are some immersion makers as well as immersion breakers which I have come up with through research and personal experience:
- Reading Quest Text
- Playing the in-game sound instead of other music - this allows for good in-game atmosphere
- Playing the game with friends
- Questing that holds your hand to the point where it becomes brainless (Questhelper)
- Lack of group questing - Isle of Thunder is an exception
- No encouragement to speak to other players (most of the endgame can be seen through LFD/LFR which requires no communication) - HC scenarios are a start however
- Dead realms. Results in a lack of server community, thus a loss of in-game immersion
So you may have noticed that I listed next to nothing other than HC scenarios and Isle of Thunder questing as recent content to encourage in-game socialising. It, as far as I can see, really does come down to the player to immerse themselves in the game.
Unfortunately it seems there is a lack of encouragement on Blizzards part to socialise with other players. In my opinion this is a huge factor in immersing oneself in the game. I think Blizzard may have dug themselves a hole with the LFR/LFD systems. Unfortunately the convenience of such features are now taken for granted by most players and I can see why - why would you ask a random person on your server to run a dungeon instead of the other one on a different realm?
Is it completely down to the player to immerse themselves in WoW now? Or can Blizzard implement more features that aid in-game immersion, or encouragement of it for that matter, as a whole?