Okay, I’m coming in here. What is “Immersion” and what destroys it?
Let’s take film (and I’ve used this picture before, I know) and w’ll take “Taken”. In the film Liam Neeson says, “I have a special set of skills and I’m coming after you.” So far, so good, I’m “immersed”. It turns out that his “special set of skills” lead him to re-kidnap a sick girl and drive her away in the back seat of a car while someone fires an AK47 on full automatic from less than ten metres away. Where is now my “immersion”?
It is gone. He has no skills that would allow him to survive that, so the only reason he has done so is because the script reads, “60 rounds of automatic fire are fired at him from close range, but they all miss!” I have lost my disbelief and immersion is permanently broken.
So - Immersion is the supension of disbelief.
Now, Generation Zero. In Sweden in 1980 there was not only a very strong hunting community, but also a very large territorial army, all of whom (I seem to remember from in-service discussions at the time) were allowed to keep their weapons at home. There has been enough time for an alarm to go out, and for all sorts of people to have made fast arrangements to go here, congregate there, hide over yonder, so weapons, ammo, ammo boxes in cars are perfectly believable. I think it would make more sense if medkits were nearly always found in the kitchen or bathroom, because that’s where I keep mine. Furthermore, every base has an infirmary, and in that infirmary I would expect to find stocks of medkits, and cupboards full of adrenalin. But no problem.
Where then is the problem?
It has come because the community has demanded things in this game that they already havee in other games, and these havee beeen included without reference to Immersion. By what means does a machine, standing alone in the middle of a field, suddenly upgrade itself, repairing all its damage and increasing its armour and firepower, with no outside intervention?
Well, the only explanation is that the script says, “Spawn instant Boss.” This is just a bolt-on, and Immersion is broken because it is arbitrary. But it is also unnecessary! With a little more thought, you could have the enemy, being aware of you, creating a special machine (specially armed so you can have your drops) in a factory somewhere, that then hunts you across the world. More believable, and frankly scarier. Rivals are persistent, so if they are connected with the machine/net, they should have an idea where you are. We know that Von Ulmar knows you are out there, and what could be more immersive than that he has taken steps to deal with you? The Rivals become something not to farm, but an actual threat, which may catch up with you before you aree ready, or while you are dealing with something else.
I’ve said in the past that the community splits into two - one the one hand those I call the Immersives and the others I call the Doom-Mongers (although we could call them the Shoot-Em-Ups).
My fear is that so far, the Shoot-em-ups have been given almost everything they asked for, and what they have been given breaks the disbelief. Ammo drops as you use rather than as they use; Bosses; Create The Base; Defend The Base, Waves; and more.
So what did the Immersives want? After the story reaches its conclusion, communication with outside agencies and missions to fulfill, and the start of a guerilla war between us and Von Ulmer. We might even need a base, but be damned sure, if Von Ulmar knows where it is it will be besieged and destroyed, so you better not be seen going in or out.
We want things embedded into the world, not arbitrarily bolted on. I kill rivals because they are an offence to the world - an offence to my sense of disbelief. They could have been embedded in the world, but they aren’t. They’re arbitrary, and without a backstory, disbelief is destroyed.
But so far every change takes the game further from the launch concept and further towards arbitrary “Action” and it breaks my heart. I know Tene doesn’t care, but then he’s a Shoot-em-up, bless him, and awfully prolific! But Tene doesn’t care if a Rival is embedded properly into the world or not. It makes no difference to him - it is to the Immersives that it makes a difference, and a huge one. He doesn’t see how (I get that), but it doesn’t make us wrong.
So if I’m a Dev, what do I want?
- Missions, however tenuous (destroy that radio station, destroy that machine, investigate this factory)
- Evidence that Von Ulmer is trying to kill me (or is he???)
- Occasional random firefights that have nothing to do with me (possibly a house under siege that you can help the inhabitants, but who at the end of the battle refuse to come out and tell you to go away!)
- Machines collecting materials and going about their machiny business all on their own
- All further additions firmly embedded into the story.
- Medkits in kitchens and bathrooms, not on machines (reason to go into houses)
- Rocket Dogs drop rockets (just a personal beef).
- That the initial concept is front and centre, and never gets overshadowed by short-term “action devices”…
What we don’t need is the Shoot-em-ups telling us that we are wrong and have no view worth listening to, on the apparent grounds that if there are ammo boxes in cars, then Rivals as they are now make equal sense - they don’t, even if they can’t see why not…
@Avalanche_Pontus and others please read!