The Daily Grind: Do dinosaurs help or hurt your immersion in MMOs?

My kids, being of a younger age, tend to find dinosaurs pretty darn awesome. They went bananas the other day when they saw a dino mount in Neverwinter and screamed at me for not getting it (“cash shop ploy” does not mean much to them).

Not every MMORPG tosses in dinosaurs, but they get slipped into fantasy worlds more often than you would think. From World of Warcraft’s Un’goro Crater to Trove’s Jurassic biome, there seems to be this thought that dinosaurs can punch up a title and pander to that young, impressionable kid in all of us (and I won’t even get started on the whole ARK phenomenon).

It might be a frivolous topic, but do you think dinos help or hurt MMOs? Are they just too immersion-breaking and bizarre to toss into most fantasy worlds? Does their scale hamper their inclusion? What do you say?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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49 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Do dinosaurs help or hurt your immersion in MMOs?"

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smulb
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smulb

I FUCKING HATE DINOSAUCES! that’s why I never bought ARK. Might try Dark and Light since the comparison with Ark minus the dinosauces.

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Lord Zorvan

Dinosaurs can be bad for immersion, but elves and dragons are fine? ROFL

quark1020
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quark1020

I…have no strong feelings one way or the other.

To me, its not about whether or not a game has dinos, but what the game does with them. I love them in monster hunter. I love them in ARK. Didn’t much care for them in WoW, but I blame that more on my dislike of jungle biomes in WoW and its Troll zone/dungeons.

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Robert Mann

Depends on the world… but I’m really not a huge fan of them unless it’s themed into the world overall. So ARK, for example, having Dinos makes sense. Putting them in one small area in an MMO? Well, it isn’t the biggest flaw of MMOs by any means.

That all said, the trend to throw them everywhere does nothing for me. I’m actually more interested in new and creative ideas instead. You want that sense of wonder, give me something that is well designed and completely original.

As to the over the top stuff, I’ll avoid it thanks. At least for any game that isn’t 100% aimed at comedy.

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Sashaa

Souvenirs …

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Suikoden

I agree with NeoWolf, the context is important.

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NeoWolf

Depends on the context of their being present for me i’d say. As a thing I have zero objection to dinosaurs, but it all depends on why they are there to begin with so long as they contextually make sense, I have zero issues.

luxundae
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luxundae

I dunno… The Cataclysm beta was the high point for dinosaurs. I feel it’s been downhill since then. ;p

(see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcejITJRXw0 )

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starbuck1771

Neither I am neutral. Now they need to make an MMO based off Dino Crisis. :P

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nobleeinherjar

It depends. For instance, back when ARK was just survival with dinosaurs (with some strange, sci-fi goings-on in the background), I found the game to be very immersive. But when they started throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, that lack of coherence didn’t gel with me.

But when it comes to straight-up MMOs, immersion isn’t really something I focus on. Unless I’m RPing (and sometimes not even then), it’s hard to be immersed in whatever I’m doing when I’m also chatting with friends in my guild and such.

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Bryan Correll

It really depends on the game. WoW is clearly a game where anything goes, so dinos fit in as well as anything does. But if I turn a corner in SWL and run into a stegosaur, there better be a good reason for it.

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Ket Viliano

Look, this really depends on the dinosaurs in question.
Big reptilian dinos are fine, we all know that, right?

:P

It’s the purple singing dinosaurs that tee me off.

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FreecczLaw

I have to be honest. I have no real clue how animals which have actually existed can break my immersion from a game where usually flying dragons and magic etc exist.

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rafael12104

That dreaded immersion. Lol. I’ve heard it used in many ways and most of the time it is just a spin on something someone doesn’t like. “Your name breaks my immersion.” etc. etc. Lol.

Ok, ok, immersion can be an issue. But in a fantasy game, how can Dinos break someones immersion? Your in a dungeon, you turn the corner and there the enemy has a pet T-Rex ready to pounce. Would that be so unlikely? After all, you presumably are in a group that includes toons that wield magic, have command of elemental forces, heal with a wave and a special effect, and has at least one member that takes out giant monsters by hacking away with an ax or sword!

And by the by, many nasty mobs in fantasy games may not be Dinos, but they are certainly Dino inspired. Check out this Thrasher that might as well be a T-Rex

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Zen Dadaist

Depends on the setting/themes of the MMO. ARK? That’s kinda the whole point of it. Superhero MMO? Sure. Give it lazers too! Modern day horror game? Uh… no. No thanks.

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Malcolm Swoboda

TSW Congo may have it.

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A Dad Supreme

Dinos are fine in the setting they are supposed to be in or maybe even slightly out of it (certain Conan, ESO, Star Wars mounts etc), but I certainly would be un-immersed if I saw dino mounts running around in LOTRO or Warhammer Online.

Sometimes things look cool, but they just aren’t appropriate in certain game settings.

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Pandalulz

Wait, Warhammer Online you say:

comment image

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Ket Viliano

Powered armour suit man,
riding a dino,
riding a shark, … that is breathing fire?!?!

…Genius!

:P

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Schmidt.Capela

In WoW there is Epicus Maximus. He is an undead playing a guitar-axe, riding a devilsaur (WoW’s version of the T-Rex), who in turn is riding a rocket-propelled shark with a laser cannon.

You can actually fight him in the Brawler’s Guild.

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rafael12104

So, I have to ask because I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Is that a T-Rex riding a shark that spits fire? Man, I need to have my glasses cleaned.

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CthulhuDawg

LoTRO I can see but Warhammer Online? If that game had survived long enough one day we might have seen Lizardmen (Seraphon to those joining us via Age of Sigmar) make an appearance, definitely would have brought some dino mounts.

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Schmidt.Capela

Very much this. Dinosaurs are canon in the Warhammer universe. Heck, Warhammer even has as canon dinosaurs with laser cannons :-p

On the other hand, adding actual dinosaurs to ESO would be against lore, despite it having dinosaur-like Daedra and a playable race of lizard-men.

ceder
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ceder

How about this Ark mod augmented reality letting cell phones have ark dinos you can see in the world like pokemon go to cook your noodle:

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Melissa McDonald

holy cow. I wanna try that. #MyDinoCanEatYourPokemon

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Schmidt.Capela

What matters for immersion isn’t the presence or absence of dinosaurs, but how they are used and explained in the setting. Besides, given that they actually existed in our real world, in many kinds of scenario it’s easier to justify their presence than that of most mythical creatures.

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Utakata

This? :)

Dantos
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Dantos

For the most part, they’re just there for me, but it also depends on the setting. FF14 for instance, i don’t bat an eye, they’ve been in most final fantasy games in some form or another. Neverwinter? eh I dont know, they feel kinda out of place, at least with my limited familiarity with the forgotten realms.

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Schmidt.Capela

There is an island (a peninsula before the Sundering) where dinosaurs abound in Forgotten Realms. It’s Chult, across the Shining Sea from Calimshan.

Forgotten Realms is more or less a kitchen sink fantasy setting. Most things you could imagine exist somewhere in it. The part of the Forgotten Realms that is best known among players (Faerûn) corresponds to just Europe in our real world (literally, as Abeir Toril has its continents roughly in the same place as Earth’s continents)

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Pandalulz

I suppose if you’re making a fantasy MMO, they’re not that fantastic in the grand scheme of things, but neither are wolves and boars, so I don’t see a reason not to run with it. I liked how in WoW, Un’goro even had some crazy-ass lore about the Titans to explain why they were there.

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Tobasco da Gama

Dinosaurs are awesome, end of story.

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Melissa McDonald

millions of years ago, real dragons walked the earth. They strove and fought and died in eons undreamed of. Their like is no longer in this world, and is now the stuff of legends.

Damn right I like dinosaurs!

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David Goodman

I’m OK with dinos.

Unless they were anthropomorphic dinosaur women with short skirts showing off panies that looked like 12-year olds but are totes 700 years old guys so it’s not creepy.

That would be going a little too far.

Brb, gotta write some fanfiction.

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Oleg Chebeneev

I dont think I ever saw MMORPG where dinos somehow hurt it.
I actually was heavily into dinos myself when being a kid. And still am

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Tanek

Next to the ubiquitous giant spiders, dinosaurs in an MMO are downright realistic. So they are fine. :P

Siphaed
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Siphaed

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fires.

Raptor Mounts.

Win.

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MesaSage

Lotro has so many mobs that can be considered dino, I’ve never given it much thought. Drakes, Worms, Balrog, Fellbeasts… It always integrated into the environment. Between a drake and a forty foot giant, the drake is less immersion breaking for me.

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wratts

I like the idea, but do think the scale can be problematic. I really don’t like when you’re in a fight with a large mob like a dinosaur, and the clipping has you seeing the mob from inside, or the collision detection barely works.

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Jack Pipsam

Indifferent. Wasn’t much into dinosaurs as a kid honestly, so if I see them I am like whatever. Suppose that’s why I never was interested in Ark.

Only time it worked for me was in WoW.

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Un’Goro Crater. One of my favorite zones in WOW.

amadahy
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amadahy

And the Wil and Holly NPCs were a great reference for us old folks (this was before the remake movie).

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TheDonDude

I think there’s a place in my heart for dinosaurs, no matter how far away the MMO’s theme is.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

They don’t hurt at all. Dinosaurs are simply the scalies that never learned to launch magical spells from their mouths like their Dragon cousins.

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Hirku

Dinosaurs always help with everything. Always.

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CthulhuDawg

Came here to ostensibly say this. Space Elves? How about Space Elves equipped with Plasma Lances riding T-Rexs equipped with fricken lasers on their fricken heads!!!??? Yes please!

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Tobasco da Gama

Seriously, what’s not to love?

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CthulhuDawg

This dude wargames.

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Tobasco da Gama

Oddly enough, I’ve never once played Warhammer tabletop. I just occasionally fall down Lexicanum holes. XD

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CthulhuDawg

It’s easy to do so much lore, 40k just turned 30…crap made myself feel old.

wpDiscuz