note: I'm aware there's another thread about this, but as it's more of a joke thread poking fun at people that are basically asking for vanilla back, I'd appreciated it if the mods could keep it separate.
I am one of the people who complains about the lack of immersion in wow during the past few expansions, but seeing there is a joke thread on this topic, I worry about the kinds of things people think the people who want more immersion are asking for. I felt like making a more serious list. These things probably aren't easy to implement, but I feel that they would have a positive impact on the current game. The game has come a long way since 2004, but that doesn't mean all changes were positive. The game is in a much better state now than it was during vanilla, but why is it that I had more fun playing then than I do now? Immersion.
1. Removal of cross-realm tools so that each server is a world of its own allowing for server community to be built and manners/actions having consequences. Aggressive server merging based on faction balance and server population to account for the reduced player pool size and allowing for servers to be more populated and feel more alive. Blocking character creation for factions on servers with a population ratio higher than 2:1. Free migrations to all servers with a faction imbalance higher than 3:1 (to the lower populated faction). Rated bgs and arena can remain cross-server as it's more of a global competitive thing.
2. A more manual and modular lfg tool that could be in the form of a bulletin board in each major city and quest hub allowing for a more "lore friendly immersive" way of finding people to quest with or complete group content of all sorts rather than just entering a queue and being automatically grouped with a bunch of random people. Functionality similar to the tool that's currently hidden away in the social window under the raid tab that no one uses. Of course people would once again have to manually travel to the instance location and if needed use the summoning stones.
3. Remove LFR. normal/heroic/mythic is all that's needed. If people want to see the raids they have to at least put some kind of effort into it.
4. Battleground queues are more flexible so simply moving to the instance portals and queuing at the battlemasters there is sufficient. This gives people the feeling that they're actually fighting over a geographical location in the world which is what battlegrounds are supposed to be. Expand on the outposts around each battleground entrance to give people more to do to support the fight while waiting to join rather than sit around afk in Orgrimmar or whatever watching Youtube videos till the queue pops. A tabard for each faction that scales the level of the player down to the level of the zone that each battleground is located in and toggling pvp on, allowing for more interesting interactions between the factions for all levels. Quests/hand-ins to increase rep with the battleground related factions. Return of battleground gear becoming available with rep at each faction quartermaster as it was in vanilla, maybe with gear models fitting the theme of each battleground. Orcish/elvish theme for Warsong Gulch, tundra/furs for Alterac Valley, etc.
*4.1. Old Alterac Valley, none of this reinforcement point count nonsense. Good old hand ins, summons, gathering resources and handing in for upgrades/actual npc reinforcements etc. Allow people to leave without receiving a deserter debuff considering how these fights tend to last for hours in comparison to the other bgs.
5. An engineering harpoon/net launcher type item with a range of 100 or so yards that dismounts pvp enabled targets. This brings me to... Engineering parachutes for all! Engineering is one of the weakest professions as far as moneymaking goes, so this gives them something useful to sell people. Everyone gets to keep their flying mounts and pvpers are able to pvp outside. Everyone wins.
6. More direct flight paths.
7. Day/Night cycle.
Immersion does not have to equal inconvenience. The only real "convenience" that is really harming immersion is the current lfg/lfr/bg queue which hurts more than just that. It hurts community by allowing people to be assholes to each other and deliberately under-perform in a group environment without repercussion. Bots run rampant, people afk whenever they want, people are rude, all because of the safety net that is anonymity thanks to cross-realm random grouping tools. I might as well be playing with npcs. I will gladly trade 1-5 minute dungeon queues for longer waits if it means that people will start behaving like human beings to each other. If you limit dungeons and battlegrounds to the servers they are based on, as well as any real-id/battletag friends, you'll start seeing familiar faces, and maybe start being friendly and make bonds with other people.
People forget that the MM in MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer. The game is currently not much different than League of Legends or Call of Duty once you put aside leveling and gear. What happened to virtual worlds? Faction conflict? Community?