The *UPDATED* Immersion Project rules. (Jan. ’09)

In case you did not know, the Immersion Project was a silly title for a set of rules I made for myself to follow while playing MMO’s. Essentially, I want them to force me to slow down a bit.

I have re-done them a few times to allow for newer games, different games, or for games I have been revisiting.

I want to tighten them up even further, and make them simpler. I would like to make them into a set of 5 or 10 rules  that I could memorize. Maybe I could even come up with a nice acronym. Something like S.N.O.B. or R.O.L.E.P.L.A.Y.?

The Most Important Rule is: If it isn’t fun, don’t do it anymore.

The Second Most Important Rule: You can switch from role-play to “normal-play” anytime. Again, as long as it is fun. In other words, a /tell comes in from a friend, you can answer. Those people already think you are weird enough.

Anyway, here they are, until next update.


1) Only certain forms of travel allowed. No instant travel to homes or home areas.

2) Only realistic forms of chat, such as /say channel, /shout channel and letters. (Unless the game explains it, like a sci-fi game. The idea here is to use “old school” forms of communication. )

3) Only allow a recall a limited amount of times per month. I will only allow one recall to one place once a week. (Recall meaning instant travel to guild house/house/home point.)

4) Use “role-play” speech. Not thus and thou’s, but try to avoid “this reality (Hang on, my cell phone is ringing) ”  speech and references. Try to stay in character.

5) Realistic trade: your character has to make a living. Trade is the most common, in a “real life” setting. So, with a little adventuring, I will be a trader.

6 ) A “home base.” I have to nominate (my home will be the place in some games, or a certain inn in others) a place that will act as my true home. I can only check my mail there, and have to go there or an inn to log out.

7) Only use a physical, blank map that needs to be filled out by me, in real life. Use landmarks and the lay of the land to get around. This has proven to be MUCH more difficult than I thought. But FUN! (Some games need to put out BLANK MAPS officially!) If the game explains maps, try and use it minimally to encourage landmark usage and actual (gasp) memorizing of the landscape.

8 ) MODs: Mods are basic programs that can be installed into a game’s base folder, that will add things to your HUD or interface. Basically, they are user made “helpers” that will show information such as percentage of health and other numbers that might not be allowed by a fantasy setting. Even a science fiction based MMO might not show some of the information that some mods do. So I am not going to allow mods for the gathering of more information than is normally available. MOD’s CAN be used to minimize information, such as DrokUI, which can take away shortcut boxes and mob percentages. So, a mod can be used to minimize but not to give extra information.

9) Weather: If the MMO has a good weather system, or at least a good ENOUGH weather system as well as a good day/night cycle (if the game world has day/night) then there must be realistic limits put on how long a character can adventure without rest. Even heroic characters need rest.
For example, my little Raki ranger in Vanguard is not a hero. He stumbles through fights and barely escapes alive. I will allow him one and a half day’s adventuring MAX before he needs to rest. And to rest he would need to find a campfire, a house, or some other shelter and either physically lay down or at least restrict his movement for at least another cycle of day or night. (Of course, the timing will be tweaked.)
If the weather becomes poor, but is not that bad, my character can adventure like normal, but would need to cut his adventuring time down by half a day. If the weather becomes SEVERE, he (or she!) would need to find shelter or a campfire. He would need to rest there until the weather passes. I am still working on penalties if he cannot find shelter.

10) Food: Some MMO’s (like EQ2) will already tell you when your character is hungry and thirsty. I will have to check in most of my current MMO’s but there will be a set amount of time for my character to go before he needs to rest and eat. Possibly after half a day of adventuring would he need to rest and eat a meal.


Here are some rules that I used to have, but took away after some experimenting.

Stop leveling at a certain level. For me, it will be level 30. This allows me to not only learn my skills at that level, but to represent the real life possibility of always having someone bigger and badder than you. Also, it’s part of who my character is. (I still like this one, and loved staying at 30 for several months.)

Perma-death. If my character dies, he’s done. I am considering an amount of time that he would have to be “dead” for (say 2 months) before another character would have to perform a ceremony to “rez” him. Otherwise, he’s just gone.  (This one STILL bothers me. I still have characters that are perma. In fact, I am making a new one in WoW. I love this mechanic and think it can be done perfectly by someone in the future, but needs to have a game built around the idea. )

Hey, I didn’t notice, but that’s 10 rules! Hmmmm…acronymssssss….

Now, to tighten them up.


Author: Beau Hindman

I write for a living, which means that I sit around in my PJs all day. I love it.

2 thoughts on “The *UPDATED* Immersion Project rules. (Jan. ’09)”

  1. I like the list; especially the “stop leveling” idea. The mid 20’s to 30’s also seem like a great place to slow down and immerse thyself.. At least for me.

    Seems leveling starts to slow down anyway (at least in LOTOR and Warhammer). And at that level you typically have a mount and good weapons, armor, and skills and abilities. Yet, as you stated, there are areas that are very dangerous. And, losing the I got a level up feeling, leave time to craft, fish. Also, I like to go back to lower areas and explore and help out others. I find lending my blade to others battles makes a great personal RP experience.
    (plus begin able to two shot any creature make you feel like a bad arse). RARRR

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