Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Immersion starts with a passion for pointless pixels

So Blizzard is selling pets for real life gold, what's the big fuss about it? It's just pixels after all, right? Some bloggers and commenters find it hard to understand why people in the WoW community react so strongly, calling the criticism "nerdrage".

I won't go into a deep analysis about the pet shop, since Elnia already did it. But as I said in a comment to BoK:s post: something snapped inside me when I heard about it. My little pink pounding gnomish fangirl heart shattered.

I've been thinking about this the whole weekend. What exactly is it that makes me get so emotional over this - and over other things as well in the game? Where does it come from, the crazy joy, the burning anger, the happiness, the sadness, the laughter, the giggles, the disappointments, the cries, the constant excitement over something that doesn't have any impact whatsoever on reality? Is it really advisable to experience WoW as an emotional rollercoaster? Wouldn't it be better to see the game from a relaxed position in the far distance, shrugging at every boss kill, upgrade, buff or nerf, not making a big deal of it. After all, what does it matter? It's just pixels, right? Pointless pixels. Or is it?

The pointless pixels argument
The more I think about it, the less do I believe in the "pointless pixels" argument. I would even go so far that I would argue against using too often, especially not ingame.

You see, every time I utter "pointless pixels" to myself, it resembles me of something I do when I find myself at a cinema, where it turns out that the movie I went to was more violent and scary than I had thought. Since realistic violence makes me nauseous I will start an inner monologue, talking to myself. I picture how the movie was made and I imagine how the actors are surrounded by technicians and all sorts of equipment at the recording spot. I remind myself that what I'm seeing on the screen never has happened in real life. This is a defense mechanism and although it works pretty well, it also breaks the experience and idea about going to a cinema in the first place. You could ask: what exactly am I paying for if I break the immersion deliberately?

To really enjoy WoW, as well as to enjoy a movie, you have to play along and accept the fantasy world you enter as "real" and "important". Not 24/7, because most of us have a real life to care about too, which takes precedence. But as long as we're actually in the game we need to care, if not about everything, at least about something. We need to be passionate. We must to put a value to those "pointless pixels". It doesn't matter really if we're crazy about pet collecting, alt leveling or high-end raiding, as long as we have something that grabs our attention completely. The moment we start thinking about it as "pointless pixels", it is like turning on the lights in the middle of a theatre performance. The magic will be gone and so will the illusion be. It's a clear signal to the audience: it's time to go home and do something else.

Breaking the immersion
And to me this is also the main objection against the RMT pet shop. You could argue that the pet is useless or awesome - but that depends entirely on what part of the game you're focusing on. One thing is clear to me though: it breaks the immersion. When we can get items by giving out our credit card numbers on an out-of-game website, we get a distinct reminder of that we aren't any real heroes, fighting to save a world from evil forces (which also occasionally results in loot rewards). In reality we are morons who pay real life money for pointless pretty pixels.

In order to enjoy WoW as much as possible and get full entertainment for my monthly fees, I choose not to think of the game as "pointless". But Blizzard's recent actions really don't help. They're turning on the lights in the salon. They're shutting down the holo deck, letting us clearly see that the world we were engaged in, in fact was just an empty room with flat walls.

There will be a day in the future when I don't play WoW anymore. There will be a day when I think about the game as a bunch of pointless pixels, and I will be equally passionate about something else in my life, which may be just as incomprehensible in the eyes of others. Aikido, mountain climbing, origami, whatever. Go picture.

But as long as I play it I want to be immersed. So I will keep raging. I will continue hating and loving and caring about things that the developers come up with, even if some players will consider it an overreaction. I will get annoyed when I make mistakes, cursing and grinding my teeth, and I will get overly enthusiastic, crying with joy over all sorts of progress - my own as well as my guild's. Because this is the whole point of playing the game in the first place! It's a rollercoaster, for God's sake!

WoW is nothing but an escape, relying on our passion for pointless pixels. And I don't want it shattered until I'm ready for it.


Tesh said...

Then don't let them shatter it.

Your perception of immersion is yours alone. You *can* choose not to care about those things that break your immersion (a highly subjective and personal thing, by the way). That's how people ignore that these things are genocide simulations. It's how you ignore the low poly rabbits, or the clipping distance. It's how you believe any of the lore. You choose to believe.

That notion of choosing your response is what I keep getting at when I write about these overreactions. We've got to stop letting the way other people play dictate whether or not we're having fun.

It's the core of the hardcore/casual split, guild drama and all sorts of other nonsense. Just play the game and have fun with the parts you enjoy. When *playing the game* stops being fun, take a few wistful screenshots and move on before you get bitter. Or find something else in the game that *is* fun, like some of the items on your list of "things to do before I die".

There's a curious dichotomy between the notion of paying for these games to be continually changing, yet deriding changes that come down the pipe. Change is part and parcel of these "live" MMO games.

(And pining for the "good old days" is a good way to start sympathizing with those who want "classic" servers, or to roll back to a patch that favored their class. It's understandable to want things the way we were comfortable with them. MMOs don't afford that luxury.)

Tesh said...

...which is to say, I'm not unsympathetic to the concerns. I don't like the pet store myself.

It's just that most people who have formed long-term relationships with WoW (or any MMO, really) tend to get defensive when their digital Cheers changes things. That's natural, but the longer you play, the more likely is is that *something* has changed in a way you don't like.

If anything, it might be a good call to check out why you're still playing a game that you hate so much. (And if there are good things keeping you there, choose to focus on those.)

Eaten by a Grue said...

Tesh, she can't change her perception. She feels how she feels.

I also think it breaks immersion, but it probably would not bother me unless there was a store in-game that took real world money, which I don't think is how this is implemented, though I am not sure.

It's been done before with the special pets for buying the Collector's Edition, so to me, it's not really new.

What breaks immersion more for me are the ever-present adolescent idiots talking about Megan Fox, tossing around homophobic insults, typing in leet/internet speak, and so forth.

krizzlybear said...

What really bothers me about the game is the recent lack of flavour to support the lore.

Raid-wise, we had an amazing concept in Ulduar: the lost ruins of northrend, a siege, a battle with an old god. In ToC, all we have is a bloody coliseum and arbitrarily selected raid bosses without ANY lore importance outside of anubarak. Hugest failure of flavour and mechanics I've ever witnessed, thus I passed on this patch.

With pets, I understand paying extra money for a pet can have value to the person who purchased it. I have a CE frost wyrm pet, and I love it to bits because of the FLAVOUR of it. But when I see ludicrous things like space marines and diablo characters, it really sticks out like a sore thumb.

The success of a game's design can be measured on its ability to marry game mechanics with the lore-flavour of the story that it's trying to represent. Lately, it has been nothing but flops in that department for Blizzard; microtransactions may lead to further instances of bad design, 'instance' pun notwithstanding.

Elnia said...

Tesh. Normally I agree with what you say but I don't here. The way it comes across to me is that you are asking players to either be deliberately ignorant or engage in acts of willful blindness. That's a distorted view of both imagination and fantasy activity.

Psychologists have a term for forcing an interpretation on events that's in conflict with observation. It's cognitive dissonance. Pretending that the new pets just don't exist isn't a victory in some mental power struggle. It's just error.

Kromus said...

Lore should be picked up on again 3.3 and above, Krizzlybear. At least I hope so.

I agree with the immersion thing to a degree, we should be doing WoW stuff to get WoW stuff.

I guess some people could argue that you can't buy gold but can buy pets is silly

but everytime I pay for my subscription *every month it cancels itself forcing me to manually re-subscribe* I don't go "Oh I'm paying money to then look at the back of a character, and also get told what to do in raids to just wipe anyway, and then all my gear then be useless in a few weeks time".

See? How easy was it to make raiding look pointless. And I don't even agree with that point of view, but even I, happymchappy can do that. Just think Larisa, You're wasting 3-9 hours not including preperation of your life when you could be with your family. Pointless pixels or flesh and bone.

" "
And yes, I've over played the Pixels quote

Although its likely you'll argue its not the same thing, but you're arguing that vanity pets and the current pets aren't the same thing.

Its a endless cycle of personal preference, but it sure is making good blog materal.

Love Kromus, don't take this too harsh, but I'm sure you won't care, given both yours and Elnia's previous posts nothing will change your mind.

Also Larisa didn't you previously play a game that got consumed by microtransactions? I may be remembering the wrong person.

Klepsacovic said...

Larisa, your posts are stupid. They're just a bunch of letters. Mere letters. Who would be so dumb as to think letters are anything special? And pardon the ad-hominem attack, but let's consider the source. What are you? A giant bag of water with some molecules mixed in. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen with some trace elements mixed in. Who cares? Let's face it, is any of this even 'real'? It's all just a mess of photons ramming into my eyes which I pretend have some sort of meaning.

Kromus said...

I'd like to add I don't own the Blizzard pets cos' I don't use pets thus it would be a pointless investment, except my demon arsenal.

Fitz said...

Although it was not krizzlebear's point, bringing up the Halo murloc is a good thing to see here. These two pets are not the first "microtransaction" Blizzard has done...the racket for watching Blizzcon on DirecTV to get a pet was even more of a microtransaction. Nobody complained about it then but in substance it is pretty much the same thing. You pay some money, you get a pet. You pay a bit more, you get Blizzcon TV coverage. Maybe this is not such a huge deal after all, despite my concurring views to you and Elnia in my post last week.

And yes, nothing matters is such a good counterargument. Har har.

Elleiras said...

My first (and still most honest) response is the one I shared with Twitter after reading this post earlier today: "I don't understand complaining about loss of immersion in a game that contains Barrens Chat."

To elaborate: The entire game requires a willing suspension of disbelief. In order to immerse myself in the fantasy of the game, I have to overlook the fact that half of the raptors in the Arathi Highlands have no eyes; that my spells somewhere hit harder if I wear one hat and faster if I wear another; and that no matter how many times I slay Anub'arak in Trial of the Crusader, he's still there the very next week.

Obviously, we have to draw the line somewhere ... but drawing it at vanity pets (that some players sincerely enjoy!) seems arbitrary and more than a little ridiculous to me.

Tesh said...

Elnia, I'm not asking you to will them away, I'm asking you to assess whether or not *someone else's pet* really affects how you play the game. If it does, might I suggest that even in the World of Warcraft, there are more important things to be concerned with?

I've never been sympathetic to the arguments against microtransactions when they hinge on how someone else plays the game. If you're having fun playing the game, what possible business is it of yours how someone else is enjoying it, or how they financed it?

As for the classist argument, as We Fly Spitfires (Gordon) noted last article, the game is already classist. It's just that the coin of the realm is time rather than money, and there's no price list anywhere to look at. I'd even suggest that caring about how someone else got something is itself rather judgmental. If your sense of fun depends on someone else's achievements, you're always going to be disappointed in one way or another.

It's a game. If you're not having fun playing, the problem may not be completely Blizzard's fault. It may not even be a fault at all, just the natural progression of someone who has outgrown something.

Elnia said...

Tesh. I'm still not sure I follow you. I respect your insight so I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing here.

It seems to me self-evident that the way other people play the game changes the way I play the game. No man is an island and all that. If one doesn't want to be touched by other people why would one play in a MMO?

Klepsacovic said...

@Tesh and Elnia: It sounds as if you may be talking about different ways of other players affecting us. Direct effects would be how we treat each other (acceptance/rejection for groups, raids, guilds, etc) and what we do to each other (PvP). Indirect effects would be perceptions: if lots of people have something it may reduce the value I give to it because now it is common. The second type is debatable of whether the other player is truly doing anything or if it's purely in your own mind.

Tesh said...

Yes, I suppose it does come back to why you play these things. If you're playing specifically for the social interaction, and your definition of fun is firmly rooted in comparing yourself to others, there is a lot to be said *against* things like easy mode raiding, buying power and selling stuff this way. (Again noting that this isn't a sudden change in policy out of left field for Blizzard.)

I'm actually of a mind that anything you can get in the game should be purchasable via time *or* money, since players place different priorities on each. It's funny to me how often players balk at in-game stuff being sold for money, and demand the ability to get it in-game, but don't apply the argument in the other direction. If someone wants to spend real money on some bit of puffery, if anything, it's *they* who will be treated as second class citizens. Puzzle Pirates even has a pejorative term for it: "Credit Card Captains". Thing is, those CC Captains are still *playing the game*, interacting with others.

Sure, their finery came via different means, but in my book, the play and interaction with other people is more about the strength of character, and less about how well they preen. Raiding is less about acquiring stuff to show off with, and far, far more about playing a fun game with friends.

Playing Puzzle Pirates has opened my eyes in this regard. When you're playing with others, you most often are just looking at a puzzle, doing your duty, following chat and chiming in on occasion. You almost never look at the other players' avatars or pets, since that would mean you're lazing about, not helping. It's all about the play and the interaction.

Tesh said...

That's what I'm getting at. If you spend the bulk of your time *playing* with others, these bits of frippery for sale should have absolutely no effect on what you're doing. If you spend more time comparing yourself to others via digital collections or appearance, then yes, alternate means of acquiring said comparison tools are indeed running contrary to the point of playing, since it's no longer a truly level playing field.

In every bit of design I do, I try to foster play, not comparison. That's my mindset as a player and as a designer. Comparing digital egos really doesn't do much for me, perhaps because I know just how easy it is to game some of these things, and just how much soulless grind they represent. I have deep respect for someone who treats others well, plays smartly, and maybe even shows some cool screenshots of the scenery. They can be a mere level 1 naked Gnome and still be high on my list of "People to Play With" if their strength of character is good.

That's because I see the gear and pet rewards in the game that already exist as an exorbitant set of trophies that indicate less about personal and interpersonal skill, and more about giving in to time sinks. That's just modern MMO design, but a key reason why I just can't see a good reason for being worked up about pets. They don't tell me anything about the player other than that they sent money on the game. In a sub game, that's everyone anyway, and honestly, how others spend their money really doesn't matter to the way I *play* the game.

Now, if there were some sort of "awesome social player" exclusive pet that were suddenly sold to the highest bidders, that would be bad. The pet would have no more meaning at that point.

I understand that logic. I sympathize with it. It's a terrible bait and switch. I simply note that the existing pets, gear, titles and achievements as they exist in WoW tell me little about the person for what I want out of *playing* with them. (Or if I want to play with them at all.) That's what I mean about letting the pets affect what you're doing when you *play* the game. In my mind, *playing* is not an ego contest. It's doing things in-game with friends. Pets are completely irrelevant to that, and honestly, I think that getting caught up in the peer pressure and posturing is something that *anyone* should try to get away from rather than immerse themselves in.

It's the whole "judge me by my actions, not by my appearance" bit. Someone can be dressed up in the finest cash shop finery with the most amazingly exclusive pets, but if they are jerks, no amount of money can fix that.

Value the intangibles, in other words. Pets are just... static, regardless of how they come to be.

Elnia said...


Why not offer the option to hide the pets of other players. If pets have no impact on the game it should be an obvious thing to do, quite easy to program. If your goal is to get people away from comparisons then give them the tools to stop the comparison themselves.

Yet I don't think Blizzard would ever do that because it would dramatically limit sales. What would be the point of buying a pet if no one ever saw it but the purchaser. The whole purpose of the pet is to invite comparison.

Tesh said...

On that I disagree. It's just anecdotal evidence, but I know of people (like Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires) who just bought the pets for fun. Because they wanted them. Competition has nothing to do with their purchases. Why impute ulterior motives when none exist? That's looking for a problem, and ultimately, shifting the blame for a decision you're making; to care about the silly things in the first place.

That said, yes, they should have pet filters. Again looking at Puzzle Pirates, you can set your ships or homes to not allow pets. Overland and common areas are free for all zones, but if you want peace and quiet, it's right there.

Now you've got me wondering if there's an addon that could "visually mute" pets. Heck, there should be one that makes everyone else "naked" on your client. You'd never have to see those garish epics ever again.

Bottom line, not everyone is in it for the competition. Why take offense when none is intended? Why compete with someone who is oblivious? Winning is pointless, since they don't even know there's a race. Your goals are your own; compete against *yourself*.

Leah said...

You know, the whole argument of people thinking of them selves being superior, just becasue they bought an extremely common pet doesn't wash for me. Because those pets are so common. they are possibly about as common as white tickbird hatchlings or better yet - vendor pets you can buy in various starting zones.

A common, easily acquirable item status symbol doesn't make.

Furthermore, immersion. I guess it all comes down to how you play the game and how you see your fiction.

I'm an in game pet collector. I'm going to run lots and lots of pugs on pretty much every character, becasue I want that puppy (I adore dogs in general and pugs are my third favorite dog breed). I bought leaping hatching for my hunter becasue the coloration matches my pet raptor so I can amuse myself by giggling how Barney (my raptor) brought along his little brother for an adventure. I bought panda and KT, becasue I loved the animations, becasue having a kung fu panda reminded me of both a cartoon as well as the quest chain I did way back in barrens once (and never again) KT is simply hillarious in his evilness.

I actually appreciate these pets more then those basic starting area pets I bought for one reason only - to get a skunk pet. Because they are fun and to me, they fit right into WoW universe with its ninja turtles and "Big Lebowski" references, gear dedicated to various WoW bloggers, npcs with names resembling famous musicians and million other Easter eggs.

To me immersion means chipping away at a puzzle that is a difficult raid boss, wiping but inching closer and closer until the boss finally dies and the cheer goes up in vent and the lightheaded feeling you get seeing that achievement pop up on your screen. its playing battlegrounds with my husband and getting caught up in that little tag of war of capture the flag. Its hitting the level on an alt where you can start flying and seeing the landscape from a whole different perspective and appreciating anew just how much work went into creating all that art.

Even Role playing to me is a challenge of creating a story that as a certain logic and flow behind it, creating a character that doesn't have jarring contradictions, designing my own piece of the puzzle and trying to figure out what the overall picture will end up like.
its not just pixels to me. what I do in a game matters. but its alwasy in a back of my mind, that its a game, that I'm safe and i can experiment and dare without having to worry about irreversible real life consequences. I can actually jump off a cliff in a motorcycle just to see what happens and if I'm smashed into smithereens, I just click a button and get my body back.

To me, WoW is "Lola rennt" set in a strange universe of medieval steampunk. Where you can say "Stop!" rewind and redo until you get it right.

Maybe this is why to me, and people like me - pet store is a welcome addition, while zombie event was something worthy quitting a game over.

Carra said...

I've had a huge immersion breaking moment two days ago.

I was playing Dragon Age and was talking to a quest giver. After exchanging a few sentences the following option came up: "DLC: I'll help you, good sir (Visit the Bioware website)".

So you're playing a hero in a game and you're talking to someone. Then suddenly the whole image is shattered. You're not a hero, you're playing a game and we want your money.

It ruined the moment for me.

Dw-redux said...

Or to put it another way. If it is all just pixels anyway, why the fekk are you playing?
If you stop caring bout the game, why play it?
So to the people who claim its just pixels anyways: either you are full of it, or you aren't playing anymore. In either case: s t f u :)

Bell said...

You've been seeming intensely disillusioned about much of the game lately; are you sure you're not getting close to being done with playing? Brewfest, titles, instances, preparation for Cataclysm, micro transactions and pets...you're very unhappy and antagonistic towards much of the changes occurring in the game.

You also seem relatively easy to jar out of your personal immersion, especially if the actions of another person which in no way really affect you (other than being in your visual field) are so strong as to damage your play time. Do you do this with the murloc costume, or the space marine murloc, the mini Tyrael or Diablo? Does the Zhevra mount cause this reaction? They're all in-game rewards for transactions outside the game; heck, the penguin is one, too, albeit a "free" one (you're still paying for the game). Does it break your immersion every time you mark off the $15 in your checkbook?

I am asking this because I am curious, though I know the questions seem antagonistic. If there's a line drawn somewhere, It'd be interesting to see where it is.

Larísa said...

Wow, what a discussion this post caused! Actually I had no intention to focus too much on the pet thing. Lots has already been said about that and I don’t think it’s worth prolonging that discussion much more. This was more an attempt to explore two opposite approaches to the game – to engage deeply into it, or to shrug, since it’s after all “just pixels”. And I tried to explain why I choose to be passionate, even though it may seem a bit silly, because if we’re not passionate, the game loses its meaning. But this seems to have passed some of the readers, it ended up looking like another pet argument post, which I regret.

@Tesh: a lot of thinkworthy thoughts there, thanks! Actually I DO filter away a lot of things in game, and somehow I manage. Like the gold selling spam, I hardly notice it at all nowadays, it doesn’t affect me, I filter it away. I can’t explain by reason why I feel different about the pet shop. Maybe it’s just a lack of habit. Maybe I’ll eventually take it for granted and stop thinking about it.
I’m definitely not opposed to change in the game. On the contrary. I if anyone have embraced a lot of the things that have changed since vanilla (when I didn’t even play). I think hardmodes/normal modes and achievements is a great way to give good content for all sorts of players. I don’t think that epics should be reserved for a 1 percent elite. I think it’s a good thing that we can change races and servers and factions. I’m far from conservative. And I definitely understand the need for changes to a switching audience. It’s just this thing that bugs me a bit.
But I still love WoW deeply! The way it is now, and I have great hopes for the future as well.

@Eaten by a Grue: actually I didn’t think quite the same way with the collectors edition – as a matter of fact I have one myself , which might seem a bit hypocritical. But for some reason it wasn’t as open and blunt as this thing is.

@Krizzlybear: Yeah. I too am a bit weary of the possible continuation of the pet store.

@Kromus: For me the re-subscription is automatical, they just bill my credit card every 6 months unless I do something about it. So I don’t have to consider the pixels at that point at least.

I’m not sure what game you’re referring to. The only game I’ve played before wow was Civilization and Lemmings, but both of them were only on my own pc, not online.

@Klepsacovic: hm… yeah. Molecules. Combined with ape-subroutines maybe? Actually I’m not quite as goblinistic in my mindset, I think humans are more than that. But that’s another discussion I’m afraid.

@Fitz: Well, I think the very direct offer to buy a pet as it is, is a development in the game, a step in a certain direction. It’s a deal, I’m not sure how big (apart from my emo reaction). But as I said, I don’t want to prolong the pet discussion, this was about something else.

Larísa said...

@Elleiras: Yeah, it may be arbitrary. I think that it differs a lot between different persons what ruins the illusion. To me the buy-items-out-of-game-for-real-money-offer is very un-immersive. But I’m aware that many others think differently.

@Leah: I think we’re pretty much on the same line when it comes to what is immersive in the game. I enjoy the same thing as you do. The only difference is that I’ve changed my mind about the zombie event – I whined about it when it happened, now afterwards I think it was brilliant and got undeserved criticism. While I’m not as enthusiastic about pet stores. But apart from that I think we’re pretty much alike.

@Carra: ouch. That’s MUCH worse.

@Dw-redux: oh, about what I tried to said in a TLDR-form. Thanks!

@Bell: no, I think you’re misunderstanding me. I’m as enthusiastic about the game as ever. I don’t think I’ve been negative about instances. I think it’s a little sad that the world is empty, but I look forward to Cataclysm. I saw some problems with the Brewfest. But on the whole I think I embrace the changes and that I’ve showed it clearly in many posts. I’m the biggest Blizzard fanboy there is out there, I’m honestly maybe a bit too pink colored in my enthusiastic rants about how I want them to show the world another time what an awesome game they can make. I regularly attack people who’re just complaining, for instance about the lack of difficulty in the game. I think you’ve got it wrong there to be honest Bell.

But yeah, I do notice a decline in enthusiasm for the game around me. In the guild, on the server, in the blogosphere. It’s easy to get affected by it and join the gloom and doom choir. I take your comment as a warning. I have no intention whatsoever to join it. If I don’t enjoy the game anymore I will stop playing and quit blogging about it. Period. But that’s far from the case, I assure you!!!! Hm. I guess it's about time I write an overly postive post about how much I adore WoW. Just to be clear.

lonomonkey said...

Someone above me talked about how since ToC immersion has more or less gone to hell. I can't agree more.

I mean that since achievments got into this game it seems everything is about getting pets, mounts, in game movie references and all sort of nonsense that have nothing to do with Azeroth. I want the Lich King to terrorize me and make my virtual life hell until I can get my hands on him and twist his neck. Going around the world collecting pets doesn't make me feel like I'm about to habe an epic fight.

As for ToC.. I'll keep quiet so I don't write a novel here.

Kromus said...

I want attunement back.

it was a pain in the arse I loved. It made you feel like not anybody could beat stuff up, you had to prove yourself worthy to Mr.Instanceman, it rocked.

And probs wrong person then Larisa.

Klepsacovic said...

@Larisa: Of course you think people are more than that; that's because you actually think rather than clinging to superiority. But as you said, that's a different topic. I only wanted to point out that all things can be reduced to meaningless pieces.

Bristal said...

I completely agree. The only way RMT's won't ruin the immersion is if they enhance the immersion.

RMT's should be limited to things that make the game experience more realistic. Individualizing toons so they are more...individual. Individualizing mounts, individualizing enchantment graphics. Unique voices and dances or any of a zillion possibilities.

Seeing the effect of a RMT should make the world seem more interesting to everyone ELSE.

And everything available via RMT should ONLY be available via RMT.

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