Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog
Before we are done with solo play when questing, there’s another feature that makes it more suitable for playing alone and that is the increased effect of immersion, especially with regards to the narrative of the storylines embedded in the quests.
Ironyca: Do you sometimes enjoy playing alone?
Kaeleeyth: ah yes loads.
Kaeleeyth: It brings out a challenge you see, something that makes me feel special.
Ironyca: can you elaborate on that please? :)
Kaeleeyth: It gives me sense of heroic empathy, it puts me to the position in which I, myself am the only hero and that I’m in the position of choice.
Kaeleeyth: well, you truly feel you are the chooser in the situation, you choose to help or not, doing so enhances the story, you also feel like you’re chosen.
Ironyca: Do you mean when you level or?
Kaeleeyth: Any quest, since Cataclysm doing things makes a real difference to lore, especially with phasing.
Kaeleeyth brings up several components of narrative involvement, in particular the construction of his personal narrative based on his interaction with the designed narrative. Being alone while leveling supports the situation of the quests, some of which will approach the player as someone perfectly suited to carry out this dramatic mission, reflecting what Kaeleeyth said about feeling chosen. When questing with someone this effect is weakened, especially when one can witness the quest-giver give the same speech of admiration of the same heroic deeds to the next player in line. Being the main player-character is easier when no one else is there to contest that position.
Lani wrote an article called The Narrative of the Player Character: Introduction at Flavor Text, which goes in depth with the intersection of us, the players, and the narrative in WoW mainly driven forth by the quests:
Quests are, by nature, player-centric, even with the occasional addition of an NPC guide or ally. Because of this, in many ways, a player is the main character of the World of Warcraft story. This arrangement is fantastic in terms of immersion, however, there are ways in which this approach breaks down, as well.
The first inconsistency is the fact that every player is completing the same quests. There are differences based on faction separation, low-level starting zones, and (once upon a time) class-specific quests as well, but for the most part, you are capable of completing every quest available to your faction. At high levels, many quest hubs are neutral and identical for both Horde and Alliance players. In other words, we are all the main characters.
I get the impression that immersion is this fragile and flimsy state of mind, it quickly evaporates when something or someone is distracting. Single player games can streamline the playing experience and create this whole world where everything revolves around you. In multiplayer games, especially MMO’s, having someone running up to you in the middle of a quest doing a chicken emote begging for a duel, has probably happened to everyone.
Other players/player-characters are mostly distraction if you’re trying to focus on your character and the narrative when questing.