You know, we all play lot's of games. No secret there. I, on the other hand, play EVERYTHING. If I have room to download it, I will try it, buy it and spend money on it. We all have our Home Games (tm), those games that have always had a grip on our imaginations, no matter how far we stray from them.
One of mine is Vanguard.
The epic feel of the world, the huge land-mass...all add up to a very Immersive game. There's that word again: Immersion. To be honest, I am getting sick of saying it, but it's a very good word to describe what I like to feel while I play my games. To define it (for me) a little better, Immersion is when I feel connected to my characters, not as much a feeling of actually being in a fantasy world. That connection comes from playing a character like I would if I were that character, not playing a character as though they are something more than me. I like my characters to be "Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances."
The F2P games have their own type of Immersion. Mabinogi, with it's bustling, youthful community, feels kind of like what the game and game lore are going for: youthful, vibrant, and kids going out on an adventure. With it's INCREDIBLE skill-based system, Mabinogi is all about choices, and that feels like real life to me.
DOMO, even in it's extremely cartoony way, feels very Immersive because of it's great long quests and it's occasional cut-scenes. The lore is strong in this one.
I could name game after game, but it's safe to say that some games need a little bit more help to feel Immersive than others. Vanguard is one of those games that needs almost no help, if you forgive it's occasional strange bugs, stiff NPC's, and small population. If you give it a chance, it feels like you ARE a lone adventurer, in real danger. Granted, in no MMO (no, not even Darkfall or other PvP-centric games) is there any real danger, being that none of our characters really die instead of endlessly re-spawning. But VG's landscapes, music and lighting really help to make you feel threatened. It's the type of stuff that makes you feel as though you are going through what your character is.
Many of the F2P games don't have that same feeling, and instead go for a more chaotic, fast-paced feeling. In many of them, you cannot ignore teleporting or other forms of "easy travel." You just have to use them, being that the game might not give you a choice. That's fine, being that those type of games trade off much of that more realistic type of Immersion for a different kind. They aren't pretending to be a VG type game (although many are coming close) and VG isn't pretending to be like them.
So, instead of paying 15 dollars for a mount or a pink bow in my hair (don't ask) I am paying 15 dollars for access to a more realistic world. A fair exchange, if you ask me.
That's not saying that I wouldn't LOVE to be able to buy a mount or a pink bow in VG, as well.