MMORPG.com has a list of the Top 5 MMO Immersion Breakers:
5. Running Everywhere
4. Mount Riding Indoors
3. Children (or lack thereof)
2. Underwear as Armor
1. Oversized Weapons
There are plenty of others: fast travel, instancing, invisible walls, timers/gates. etc. Looking at this list, I am assuming that 5,4, and possibly 3 will be present in SWTOR. I for one am glad that #5 is present. Can you imagine the frustration level if you had to walk everywhere? Most gamers would not be happy about dedicating most of their precious gaming time to traveling.
This article got me thinking. I’ve never equated immersion with plausibility. Immersion for me has always been how involved I become with my character and what I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve never evaluated my immersion experience based on whether or not something was possible in the real world, but rather, how quickly time passes as I’m playing.
Would you give a game a poor review at Amazon or Steam simply because it wasn’t realistic:
“3 out of 5. This game was a lot of fun to play and had plenty of stuff to do. I played for over 100 hours before I finished it and still didn’t accomplish everything. I’m only going to give it 3 stars though. It takes me 2 seconds to fast travel from town to town? Seriously? C’mon. There’s no way that really happens! And, my ultimate weapon was as big as a pickup truck!!! There’s no way I could even lift that thing, let alone fire it! Poor marks for realism here!”
- Mike D. Pittsburgh, Penn.
I agree with the author that these five things aren’t realistic, but I don’t agree that they are an “immersion breaker.” They have become acceptable in the MMO world. In MMOs, toons run, trees attack, the world is flat, and you can fast travel in two seconds without breaking a heel.