So right now I’m playing both WoW and SWTOR. This is interesting, in that if I have the “dunwannas” for one of them, I can easily play the other. Also, I am approximately a peon of no consequence in SWTOR, so I don’t have two raiding schedules to keep up with. I do have two RP schedules to sort out, but so far that’s been OK.
What I’m learning, though, is what it is that makes an MMO “work” for me.
Turns out, I need two things. I need immersion, and I need community.
Immersion, for me, is the ability to “get lost” in a world, for it to kind of swallow you up so you become really involved in the world itself – regardless of quests really, though quests help. Community is both RP and OOC – both are important.
The reason I have learned this is because both games are feeling somewhat stilted on both counts right now.
In Star Wars, the community is squeaky and new, but also already established. I’m playing almost entirely with people I know already, but our characters are unfamiliar (to us and to each other) and there’s a good deal of “figuring things out”. The world itself is also giving me trouble, as it’s hard for me to get “lost” on Coruscant, since it’s essentially a technology warren instead of an outdoor “new world” like location. On top of that, people are generally quiet in channels – something that is also plaguing our WoW community right now. And I’ve had trouble, in general, with immersion in WoW since the world got rearranged for Cataclysm. It was easier once I was leveling a new character, but I still miss being totally sucked into the game the way I was in Wrath (and, to some extent, BC and Vanilla).
Neither of these have easy answers. I can’t change the game, and I can’t force my community to go back to what it was at an earlier date. I’m hoping, though, that with some emphasis on rebuilding RP and our OOC communication, I can at least re-engage with what we do have right now.
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