Multiplayer vs. Immersion

Posted on Fri 02 March 2012 • Tagged with Video Games

When I am craving content and narration I’m a very impatient man. I don’t have time for battles in video games that don’t serve to strenghten the plot and I don’t want to wait for an event to start or for a slot on a server to be available in an MMO. There’s something that’s bugging me when I’m in Multi Player sessions:
I feel slowed down. More so than necessary.

That’s not to say that I won’t enjoy playing a game with friends every once in a while - I do. But the more heavy on story a game is the less I’m going to enjoy playing it with friends. I’ll give you an example.

I bought Borderlands on STEAM when it was discounted from 35€ to 7,5€. I did so to play together with Ron and Manuel. Aside from the fact that that was maybe even half a year ago and I still have yet to play with the latter, I’ve completed the story once with Ron, as well as two of four DLC packs. Now did I enjoy the time? Yes and no.

Yes, because it was nice having backup in tense situations, having someone to talk to while fighting through all those hordes of enemies and sharing some of the best moments of Borderlands is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

No, because I have a hard time waiting for my friend to finish shopping. Or re-equipping or changing his style of play - which he does far more often than I do. I’m pretty much a constant gameplay wise. I’ll choose a style that fits what I want my character to be and stick with it for the game. I particularly hate the discussions that come up when changing areas.

Are you finished yet?
Why not?
Because I’m not sure which weapon to take.

Aside from me losing my patience from time to time, it was a good time. I’m also rather sure that I have my own weaknesses that I’m not aware of right now.

The bigger thing that is happening in my brain is an internal argument wether I do really enjoy this. I’m very much a Single Player person who’s sole argument for playing a game often is the story and not the gameplay. However, for such a story to have an emotional effect on you, you need to live, or at least feel the story. You have to be immersed in the fictional world presented to you. That immersion is lost when you’re on Teamspeak, Skype, Mumble (name your poison) due to the fact that the other person is generally not willing to roleplay. To cut a long story short: Someone yelling “LOL” into your ear during cutscenes may very well screw up the experience for you, depending on your own playstyle and your bullshit tollerance.

And finally: Stop messing with my targets while I’m aiming. I hate it when its weak points move due to you shooting with a rapid firing weapon.