In this series we’re going to focus on the little things. The small insignificant features of an MMO that get pushed aside, not important enough to focus on. This is our first instalment of our weekly release and the topic I have chosen is one of my biggest small things. You see them throughout every city/town, even along the side of some roads, you see NPCs doing it all the time. Why can’t we?
Throughout the years I have played a lot of MMOs, been there for the closed beta, the launch, even been there for the death of a few. But one thing I see discussed a lot within the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) community that I’ve never seen be such a hot topic for other MMOs, is immersion. Immersion within the ESO community is by far one of the biggest concerns for the players when it comes to the game.
What I am talking about is chairs, and being able to sit them. Or rather, not being able to sit in them. To most people, this is a thought that never really crosses their minds, but to a Role-Player, or someone who wants to lose themselves within the game, this feature is often lacking. Star Wars: The Old Republic is a major offender for not being able to sit in chairs and/or benches. The game has such beautiful worlds for you to explore, the developers even put in the extra time to put chairs in cantinas, even built parks on Coruscant lined with benches for you to enjoy. But not one of them are we able to sit in.
Not being able to sit in a chair/bench is an immersion breaker for me, and I’m sure I am not alone. When I’m thrown into a game that entices me to lose myself in the world, seeing all the gorgeous scenery, yet not being able to do something as simple as sit in a chair, breaks my immersion and makes me realize that I am in a game.
I realize MMORPG is an acronym that developers are trying to get away from, introducing new ones like Persistent Online Shooters (POS) or just calling their game an MMO. But no matter which way you look at it, every game is an RPGs game, you are playing the role of a specific person. Every game is designed to keep you immersed and playing. Graphic quality is increasing to make the game worlds look more realistic and yet something as simple and realistic as sitting in a chair is overlooked.
Bethesda the parent company to Zenimax Online Studios (who as we know are the developers behind Elder Scrolls Online) created Skyrim, one of the most detailed and immersive RPGs I have played. Bethesda took every step they could to keep the world as immersive as possible and this includes the ability to sit in chairs and benches. But Bethesda isn’t the company designing Elder Scrolls Online, so are we going to be faced with another MMO that is beautiful in scenery, great character animations, but when I’m tired and just want a place to relax and talk with friends I have to sit on the ground next an empty chair?
This is my plea to Zenimax, please do not forget about the little things, they do matter.