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Chikout

Terrain and the immersion question.

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Posted (edited)

I can let immersion wash over me, it's a deliberate lifestyle.  I choose to enjoy things.

If I want to see where immersion breaks when it comes to terrain, a portable forge or an impromptu skeletal throne is not where it breaks.

I grew up in a boreal forest in northern Canada: non-paved gravel roads, constant danger of bears, nearest neighbours miles away.  Actual non-civilization, or at least as close as it gets.  You don't see a perfectly defined 20 foot diameter copse of densely packed trees in the middle of an open field, with a couple glacial erratics nearby, and a guard tower, and a straight section of fence that was designed neither to keep something in nor to keep something out, and maybe a 20 foot diameter pond and a "hill" with a maximum elevation change of 10-15 feet.  All of them with radically different ground cover/foliage, none of which matches the open field they are scattered around.

I can look at that frankly ridiculous table, and say "ah, it's a fine day to hammer some war, let the dice rolling begin".  Add a golden forge, and I do not suddenly shift to "alas, this otherwise perfect depiction of a reasonable battlefield has been sullied and I am now too sad to hammer".

Edited by amysrevenge
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22 minutes ago, amysrevenge said:

I can let immersion wash over me, it's a deliberate lifestyle.  I choose to enjoy things.

If I want to see where immersion breaks when it comes to terrain, a portable forge or an impromptu skeletal throne is not where it breaks.

I grew up in a boreal forest in northern Canada: non-paved gravel roads, constant danger of bears, nearest neighbours miles away.  Actual non-civilization, or at least as close as it gets.  You don't see a perfectly defined 20 foot diameter copse of densely packed trees in the middle of an open field, with a couple glacial erratics nearby, and a guard tower, and a straight section of fence that was designed neither to keep something in nor to keep something out, and maybe a 20 foot diameter pond and a "hill" with a maximum elevation change of 10-15 feet.  All of them with radically different ground cover/foliage, none of which matches the open field they are scattered around.

I can look at that frankly ridiculous table, and say "ah, it's a fine day to hammer some war, let the dice rolling begin".  Add a golden forge, and I do not suddenly shift to "alas, this otherwise perfect depiction of a reasonable battlefield has been sullied and I am now too sad to hammer".

Those are some really good points! I think it’s because I discovered the hobby when it was still mostly handmade terrain in white dwarf, with thematic tables that looked really cool and coherent. I’m striving for that feel again, but it’s more of an ideal than a requirement. I think I’d be less disturbed by a well painted forge that matches the table color than a green forest on a barren desert mat. But once you start gaming your imagination does a lot of the job. I can admit that my distaste for some of the new terrain is very much just from looking at official pics versus actually playing 😅

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I heard the forge described as a pizza oven today, so now it’s awesome. It does indeed make perfect sense to have piping hot pizza on hand whilst fighting daemons, so my head canon is soothed.

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On 3/29/2019 at 7:13 AM, Fairbanks said:

A) The accuracy of medival weapons has been greatly exaggerated. Bows worked because they were used en masse and blanketed the sky/area with death.

B) I never imagine each model as an individual model, but as several hundred dudes that were the same dude.

A) This isn't historical in any sense. Nothing personal, but every time I see a reference to historical war, real world cannons, scale issues, etc. it drives me bonkers.🙂

B) Everyone is free to imagine their game their way, of course, but GW long ago stated (WD article, I believe) that the game is 1:1.

 

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On 3/29/2019 at 7:55 AM, Dead Scribe said:

Actions are what their rulebooks show.  Their rulebooks show that the designers care little for their setting or immersion as it pertains to the game rules and mechanics.  Thats not saying they don't care about their setting, thats saying that as far as their rules go, their actions are for the past four years or so that there is no correlation between the setting and immersion and the rules that the design team produces.  

Hmm. Interesting how two people can look at the exact same thing and draw completely opposite conclusions.

I see realm rules that directly create immersion, for instance, even at the expense of good rules.

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On 3/29/2019 at 10:57 AM, Dead Scribe said:

The moment they begin adding immersive rules over gamey rules, I will certainly change my stance.  Right now they have never done so, so I can only go by what they currently and in the lifetime of AOS have done.  

Maybe it would help the discussion to all agree on what "immersion" means, because when I read the AoS rules (basic + the rest), I see rule after rule after rule that clearly have immersion as their starting point. 

Tbh, I'm really scratching my head over your view (not damning it or calling you wrong for having it, just super really extra having difficulty understanding where it's coming from).

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There would need to be a thread on "what do you think immersion means" to really delve into that.  As I said in another post, immersion seems to mean different things to different people, which is probably where the argument comes from with a lot of players when this topic comes up.  

I don't care about immersion.  Its not something that I really rate as anything important to me.  I play games for games sake and mechanics are what make games to me.  I'm going off of what I read a lot about immersion from other posters complaining about lack of immersion - that being immersion to them seems to be it plays out like a battle should play out and it plays out reflecting what the books or a movie would play out like.  

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Immersion is hard to define and is going to be different for each person, like how two people can be in the same room and one be cold and another warm, it’s meaningless for either to say the other is wrong. You can argue what makes the room warm or cool but it still doesn’t change how people feel.

Once you’ve bought into a setting, to me maintaining immersion is about how the setting is built and how well it’s maintained on it’s own terms (it’s certainly nothing to do with simulation of real life). As long as something fits the setting’s own logic then it’s all good with me, which is why dragons and magical elves make sense just fine, but if something makes you ask too many questions to explain it’s place in that actual setting, and the only answers lie in the real world, then it’s yanking you straight out of that place and squarely back in reality.

An example I can think of is the film I, Robot. You’ve accepted the premise that it’s the future and that there are robots, and are happy with the world the film makers have built. Then Will Smith spends 3 minutes explaining why his new trainers are so awesome. Perfectly reasonable in real life but in the film it’s a jarring piece of product placement that would make Alan Partridge blush. There is no logical reason for that to be in the film, other than Will Smith valued a big bag of money more than his artistic integrity. It’s a little reminder that, to the film makers, you as the viewer are just a rube.

I get the whole ‘they brought it with them’ argument with these terrain pieces, but none of them look particularly mobile, so taken at face value the only way to explain them is either the two armies waited for each other to build their buffing terrain pieces in plain sight before starting their fight, or they just magically sprouted out of the ground. Neither are particularly satisfying to me, and are not enough to cover the true reason, that GW just wanted to winkle another thirty quid out of people.

And Dead Scribe I have to ask, if immersion is a meaningless topic to you, why are you discussing this at all? Surely it can’t be just to delight in telling people something they care about is so totally beneath you? That would be very strange.

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22 hours ago, Balloon Dwarf said:

Also, with regards to the skull altar, in the battle tome it does talk about one rising from the ground after a particularly heinous sacrifice. I'll try and find the passage later and post a picture.

That would be an awesome narrative behind it. But it would further my cement my opinion that some of the terrain is not that well executed. Come on, if that 👆is the reason for that altar being there... it should be shown in the model and rules. Imagine it modelled like it's rising form the ground in a explosion of gore, while a stormcast head rolls down the steps as it rises. Ruleswise it could pop up on the location of the first hero that is killed. Cool mechanic right? Bumrushing a hero forward, do I kill it or not? Your opponent doing the same but as far from the centre as possible to call it up where it benefits their opponent less. 
To me that's an interesting game mechanic with a cool model to match! 

18 hours ago, Tzaangor Management said:

The same is true for all of the terrain pieces in my opinion. Why wouldn't a Beast of Chaos army enlist it's Ghorgons or hosts of Gors to carry a huge magical rock with them given the benefits that it provides and that they have the manpower to do so? Why wouldn't an FEC army get 20 undead ghouls (that don't get tired) to carry a throne with them? and why wouldn't a magical sea that makes sharks swim through the air also call a ghostly shipwreck to the battlefield?

I'm a bit spoiled on the Beast of Chaos one, as I read the Gotrek novel last summer where an Beastmen army carried an absolute massive menhir with them. 
But why wouldn't the FEC army that carried the throne put it down? The bonus has a limited range, just carry it closer a bit. Again I just feel the concept been a bit rushed. If that's how the throne get's there: then design it as a palanquin, carrying a hero straight to battle, dropping it on the ground after X wounds because that means the carrying ghouls are killed. There could be so much more done there. 
Fully with you on the Idoneth shipwrecks. They fit the lore, as a model and rules. 

 

28 minutes ago, Luke82 said:

I get the whole ‘they brought it with them’ argument with these terrain pieces, but none of them look particularly mobile, so taken at face value the only way to explain them is either the two armies waited for each other to build their buffing terrain pieces in plain sight before starting their fight, or they just magically sprouted out of the ground. Neither are particularly satisfying to me, and are not enough to cover the true reason, that GW just wanted to winkle another thirty quid out of people.

 

I'm with @Luke82 on this one.

And GW has shown they can execute cool terrain but now that they are forcing it on factions that they don't have the same level of inspiration for, it shows in the models and rules to me. Great Faction terrain helps sell a faction. Otherwise it's feels just like a cheap moneygrab to me. But note the paragraph is all my personal opinion.  

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Dead Scribe said:

 

There would need to be a thread on "what do you think immersion means" to really delve into that.  As I said in another post, immersion seems to mean different things to different people, which is probably where the argument comes from with a lot of players when this topic comes up.  

 

Wrong. Again it‘s a scientific field of study, there are clear definitions which you chose to ignore. 

 

Edited by JackStreicher
Struggling with the spoiler tag on a mobile device

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1 hour ago, Kramer said:

That would be an awesome narrative behind it. But it would further my cement my opinion that some of the terrain is not that well executed. Come on, if that 👆is the reason for that altar being there... it should be shown in the model and rules. Imagine it modelled like it's rising form the ground in a explosion of gore, while a stormcast head rolls down the steps as it rises. Ruleswise it could pop up on the location of the first hero that is killed. Cool mechanic right? Bumrushing a hero forward, do I kill it or not? Your opponent doing the same but as far from the centre as possible to call it up where it benefits their opponent less. 
To me that's an interesting game mechanic with a cool model to match! 

I'm a bit spoiled on the Beast of Chaos one, as I read the Gotrek novel last summer where an Beastmen army carried an absolute massive menhir with them. 
But why wouldn't the FEC army that carried the throne put it down? The bonus has a limited range, just carry it closer a bit. Again I just feel the concept been a bit rushed. If that's how the throne get's there: then design it as a palanquin, carrying a hero straight to battle, dropping it on the ground after X wounds because that means the carrying ghouls are killed. There could be so much more done there. 
Fully with you on the Idoneth shipwrecks. They fit the lore, as a model and rules. 

Genuinely love the idea of the Khorne Altar rising from the ground where the first Khorne hero dies!

The point I was making about armies bringing their terrain, or it magically appearing on the battlefield, was that it was harder to find reasons for armies not to bring these items, if you are already accepting a number of other things about the game world. The points of view had drifted into a line of reasoning about Roman cobblers, which seemed to require creating a false equivalency between our world and the Mortal Realms and bringing mental baggage with us from one to the other. 

I do agree though that the rules for each terrain piece could have been slightly more interesting, rather than a lot of the army brings X and drops it in their deployment zone to get buffs. I can also appreciate the argument that it feels like a cash grab to some and I actually get the impression that this is what many actually have a problem with.

Ultimately we all have things that cause us to no longer suspend out disbelief in whatever form of art, game, culture, etc.  that we are partaking in and these are all very personal to us. Having already bought into so much with Age of Sigmar, the terrain doesn't feel like it should break immersion to me and a lot of the arguments in this thread felt like they were dancing around the actual problem, but that is of course biased by my own imagination and internal logic.

 

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48 minutes ago, Tzaangor Management said:

Genuinely love the idea of the Khorne Altar rising from the ground where the first Khorne hero dies!

The point I was making about armies bringing their terrain, or it magically appearing on the battlefield, was that it was harder to find reasons for armies not to bring these items, if you are already accepting a number of other things about the game world. The points of view had drifted into a line of reasoning about Roman cobblers, which seemed to require creating a false equivalency between our world and the Mortal Realms and bringing mental baggage with us from one to the other. 

I do agree though that the rules for each terrain piece could have been slightly more interesting, rather than a lot of the army brings X and drops it in their deployment zone to get buffs. I can also appreciate the argument that it feels like a cash grab to some and I actually get the impression that this is what many actually have a problem with.

Ultimately we all have things that cause us to no longer suspend out disbelief in whatever form of art, game, culture, etc.  that we are partaking in and these are all very personal to us. Having already bought into so much with Age of Sigmar, the terrain doesn't feel like it should break immersion to me and a lot of the arguments in this thread felt like they were dancing around the actual problem, but that is of course biased by my own imagination and internal logic.

 

Absolutely. Seem like a good summarisation to me. But it is interesting though to hear where the lines lie for other people. 

Or simple thing you could otherwise miss, like the altar rising from the ground. You better know i'm converting it as rising from a pool of blood if I ever get into Khorne.

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And Dead Scribe I have to ask, if immersion is a meaningless topic to you, why are you discussing this at all? Surely it can’t be just to delight in telling people something they care about is so totally beneath you? That would be very strange.

Because I'd hate to see rules start to be injected into the system that damage the mechanics I like purely because of "immersion".

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2 hours ago, JackStreicher said:

Well I must have missed something where there is a scientific definition for immersion as it relates to tabletop wargames.  Where are these scientific definitions so that I can be better informed?  And how do we apply them so that everyone across the internet is talking about the same thing when they are complaining about immersion being broken in GW games?

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Well I must have missed something where there is a scientific definition for immersion as it relates to tabletop wargames.  Where are these scientific definitions so that I can be better informed?  And how do we apply them so that everyone across the internet is talking about the same thing when they are complaining about immersion being broken in GW games?

I posted  links which are about GAMES. Is TT Wargaming not a Game? Aren‘t there significant overlaps?

 

IMMERSION SPLIT INTO CATEGORIES 

if you want a more general answer look for „ludology“.

🤦🏼‍♂️

Read at least one of the sources and you‘ll see that your entire post is -again- pointless. I am done with this. If you keep in ignoring facts and knowledge the way Trump does, then feel free to do so. I‘m done talking to a wall.

(can anybody tell me how I can add s.o. To the block list on a mobile device?)

 

Edited by JackStreicher

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5 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

Because I'd hate to see rules start to be injected into the system that damage the mechanics I like purely because of "immersion".

Fair enough.

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Only badly-painted or modeled terrain would displease me on the table. I kind of prefer there to be a lot of stuff on the field, even though it makes it hard for me to carpet the whole place with my woods as a Sylvaneth player, but it has to look halfway decent, whatever it is. So long as it provides some tactical interest on the board and doesn't look like someone poured pepto bismol on it, I'm a happy wargamer.

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19 minutes ago, JackStreicher said:

I posted  links which are about GAMES. Is TT Wargaming not a Game? Aren‘t there significant overlaps?

 

IMMERSION SPLIT INTO CATEGORIES 

if you want a more general answer look for „ludology“.

🤦🏼‍♂️

Read at least one of the sources and you‘ll see that your entire post is -again- pointless. I am done with this. If you keep in ignoring facts and knowledge the way Trump does, then feel free to do so. I‘m done talking to a wall.

(can anybody tell me how I can add s.o. To the block list on a mobile device?)

 

Cool.  I missed your link before.  I'll check it out.  Though I don't know how that makes my post pointless since there are still people everywhere arguing over what immersion means to them, from it playing out like a movie or a book, to it having semblance of reality, to it feels like a game setting, to other things.  

Considering that I am not arguing about immersion or how my version of immersion is the right one I'm not quite sure where your outright hostility and rude language is stemming from.  

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Now having reviewed the link it appears you google searched "what is immersion".  Which doesn't really prove what immersion is, it just gives examples of what immersion means to some people.  But obviously if a person feels immersion is how the game plays in relation to what would happen in real life (ie if they take cover behind a wall they'd expect a cover save, if a castle fell from the sky on top of them and the enemy they'd expect both them and the enemy to be hurt), or people that feel immersion is just how the game makes them feel (ie its a heavy metal setting so everyone has guitars and heavy metal music is playing so to them that is immersive) or immersion is the game plays out like a movie would play out so they have rules that reflect cinematic moments, that is immersion to them.

That goes against whatever google says immersion may be, because as I said earlier, *it seems to me* that immersion is a personal thing that means different things to different people.  That would mean its an emotional thing, and trying to state that an emotional thing should always be this one thing as defined by a scientific study will probably largely fail to convince the people who feel immersion is something different to change their stance.  

Much like politics, as you pointed out in your post, cannot be changed by trying to quote scientific studies at people, because political involvement is also largely driven by emotional needs and bends.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Dead Scribe said:

That goes against whatever google says immersion may be, because as I said earlier, *it seems to me* that immersion is a personal thing that means different things to different people.  That would mean its an emotional thing, and trying to state that an emotional thing should always be this one thing as defined by a scientific study will probably largely fail to convince the people who feel immersion is something different to change their stance.  

Much like politics, as you pointed out in your post, cannot be changed by trying to quote scientific studies at people, because political involvement is also largely driven by emotional needs and bends.

🤦🏼‍♂️

We talk again once you read all important studies to ludology, immersion, flow thoroughly...

there always has to be some ground work before you can make a study on a specific kind of immersion. You are basically saying: Oh they did not say it was totally and always the same, let‘s forget the whole study (and secondary sources associated with it).

Overall the studies I posted and many more print a clear picture of state immersion or more specifically the sub-categories since they have quite significant overlaps and equalities.

Edited by JackStreicher

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+++ Mod Hat On +++

@Dead Scribe & @JackStreicher - Stop. Go have a cup of tea/water/milk or whatever and think about what you are typing. This forum has a policy of being nice to everybody and both of you are stepping over the line.

 

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Posted (edited)

I am saying that the study doesn't matter in this regard because so many people are not matching up to that study that it cannot be used to measure the question "what is immersion" because many do not subscribe to those theories.

It doesn't solve that there are many people that have different ideas of what immersion is, which is all my posts have been saying.  

When someone says "the game doesn't feel immersive to me" and someone else chimes in that they are wrong, the game is fine and immersive, that is nothing more than two conflicting ideologies of what the term means to that person.

It may indeed be immersive to one player.  It may also 100% accurately be totally not immersive to the other, regardless of scientific study, simply because that person doesn't subscribe to whatever study took place that they were not a part of, and they still feel the rules don't match their ideology of what immersive means to them.

EDIT: after i see a mod has chimed in.  I'm not trying to step over any line or being rude to anyone.  Feel free to either PM me and let me know what I said that was over the line so I can correct, or please manually correct anything that I said that was against forum rules.

Edited by Dead Scribe

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Terrain is fine - its a game-y concept but it adds another level of depth to a table, especially when considering how to deploy your given piece against what your opponent may deploy and the scenario. There has to be a line when designing rules between totally reflects the fluff and making it playable. Yeah it would be mega l33t if the Khorne altar showed up where the first hero died. Until you don't lose a hero until turn 4 or your opponent intentionally bubble wraps your hero so you don't get your altar. Now you have a model that is part of your allegiance that you never got to use. Yeah it doesn't make sense that the army doesn't carry the herdstone or charnel throne a bit further on to the battle field. But what sucks more is your opponent getting to deploy his terrain piece first and using it as a blocking element to force you to deploy your own piece in a way that it will never affect the battle field. The line between 'this makes sense with my view of the logic of the world' and 'this needs to make sense to play the game' is obviously blurry but I think GW has landed on the correct side with AoS faction specific terrain.   

Don't want to spend the money on it? Convert it - unless you only play at a GW you're fine to put something on the table that is the general shape and scale of the official model. This is an already expensive hobby so the idea that one additional $35 box is a stopping you from realizing the army of your dreams is actually just you complaining about the cost of the hobby. Alternatively - don't like the way the terrain piece looks? Convert it - same as above. This is still a hobby and assuming visuals are important to you I can't see you'd have an issue making your own skull altar. Arguments regarding the cost/visual appeal of the GW model are basically invalid save for the small subset of people who's only hobby venue is GW stores. 

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I scratch built my beastmen herdstone to look like something they decided was magical on the day and chucked some runes on it in blood, saves my brain hurting ha ha. Also two of my three Nurgle trees are scratch built. 

After all this moaning I went and bought the Khorne altar anyway, a curse on you GW and your never fail extortion tactics!

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On 4/1/2019 at 2:31 PM, Dead Scribe said:

I am saying that the study doesn't matter in this regard because so many people are not matching up to that study that it cannot be used to measure the question "what is immersion" because many do not subscribe to those theories.

It doesn't solve that there are many people that have different ideas of what immersion is, which is all my posts have been saying.  

Earlier in the topic, you wrote:

"I have seen polls and have been in enough conversations on a global scale where I am comfortable saying a lot of us because the overwhelming majority of people that don't care about immersion are usually the overwhelming result of the polls and online discussions. "

 

Immersion clearly had a single meaning for you and that overwhelming majority of people who expressed that they don’t care for it in mysterious polls all over the Internet (mysterious because we still haven’t seen any proof of their existence).

Yet, after your claim has been disproven by a poll on this forum, immersion suddenly ceases to mean anything, because everybody defines it differently.

Strange. 

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