The Immersion Rules are more than just a set of role-play guide-lines, they are a training regime.
I have come to believe that a human being can be trained to do almost anything, and to get used to almost anything, with time. Look at what a surgeon does, or a serial killer. Look at all the mind-numbing jobs that exist and all the beautiful art that is made using the sun or moon (something we see every day) as inspiration.
Married people, or people in long relationships know this. You have to find ways to keep things a bit fresh, or you will surely never last beyond 10 years. You put yourself into small habits like kissing goodnight every night or buying each other small presents once in a while in order to keep things happy and surprising.
It's a process, though. All of life and relationships (yes, even those flings that single people have) can become simplyboring.
I decided to take a stand and attempted to recognize my own ability to grow bored of gaming when I came up with the Immersion Rules. It started for Vanguard, but looking back I wish I could have thought of this years ago. I find myself wishing that I could start over with so many of these incredible games that exist now. So many of them have so many layers now, thanks to patch after patch and year after year. When I look at SWG, for example, I see a game with a million choices (despite having some taken away years ago.) I am constantly tempted to re-sub to EQ2 to poke around with my level 46 Necro.
And then there is WoW.
I had such fun with WoW, so many moments with my family and friends, that I am always thinking of re-subbing to that game. The hard part is that every time I do, I end up chatting with old friends and guild-mates more than playing the game. And the game does not pull on my imagination like it did years ago. I remember the first time I flew on a flight path...needless to say it was magical!
Many gamers are feeling this now, this feeling of "been there, done that." But even though there are more games that they have not tried out there than ever before, the old ways of burning to the end of the game or reading up on the classes before you roll a class will never allow them to react to new games like they would have years ago. The over-abundance of information is out there, and they will use it.
If there is one thing that cannot be stopped by an MMORPG, it's a players ability to grow bored.
It's not a matter of innovation. There are more innovative games going on right now than ever. It is a matter of players growing used to the systems and moving on to the next game.
Too much of a good thing, I suppose.
I feel it, too, even though I play in a slow-as-snails style. But, I only feel it with the games that I have already played, and in those games that I played before the Immersion Project came along. There is something about that ever-tweaked set of rules that has helped me to truly play my games more organically, and to learn to use the game and it's citizens for information before using a tell-all website.
But any amount of applying the rules to pre-Rules games doesn't help me. I still grow tired of EQ2 within a day or so, and bored of WoW within hours.
I have been there and done that with many, many games. I just wish I had known back then to stop playing them so damn much. No game has endless content or charm, and I exhausted plenty of both in many games.
Having said all this, I want to be clear that I do not think that these games suck because I am no longer thrilled by them. That's ridiculous. That's like saying that Moby Dick sucks because I have read it a few times.
This is just a wish. A wish that says, like many things in life, I could go back and re-do some of my gaming.
Oh well. I need to go log into Fallen Earth. And then maybe I will give EQ2 ONE MORE TRY. :)