Alright, I am very happy to present this piece, featuring Brucha. Brucha plays on the Crickhollow server, and is the author of the “Total Immersion” forum threads on the Crickhollow forum. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend you do so. The most recent one can be found here. Now, on to the interview!

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Brucha: I am glad we were able to finally get together.

Me: The pleasure is mine. I’ve been following your story for quite some time.

Brucha: I am glad to hear that. I never know if people are still following the story since i do not receive much feedback on the forum. I am just glad people find it interesting to read.

Me: Alright Brucha, tell me briefly a little bit about your total immersion project.

Brucha: Well, it started with returning to LOTRO last year. I had not played since 2008, and had started with a toon named Ingion. I had read somewhere online about a player in another MMORPG using total immersion rules and applied them to playing Ingion. I also began a story for that toon at first, but tragedy struck when I accidentally erased Ingion and decided to start fresh with a new toon. The stories I wrote for Ingion were generally light-hearted and I wanted to do something a bit more serious. So, I came up with the idea of a dwarf travelling to Moria as the basis for the story. I was not sure if anyone would even be interested in such a lengthy story when I started. To be honest I still am unsure. As far as playing total immersion, it simply is a way to play the game with more realism to make the game more fun overall.

Me: OK, you mentioned some total immersion rules. What are a few examples?

Brucha: Well, the first immersion rules I found online were really basic and I ended up adding a lot to them. The most important rule was sticking to the in-game cycles of night and day, therefore, always resting during night cycles and only travelling/adventuring during the day. The second important rule was to walk everywhere, since you would not running around constantly otherwise. All the immersion rules in general were designed to add realism in my gameplay. Oh, and always staying in character and role-paying at all times.

Me: Is LOTRO the only game you’ve tried this with, or have you tried it with others as well?

Brucha: Actually LOTRO is the only MMORPG that I ever played. I stayed away from them for a long time, but being a huge Tolkien fan brought me to playing it several years ago. I guess I am a MMORPG noob.

Me: Wow, that’s surprising. I don’t know a whole lot of hardcore RPers who have only played 1 MMO.

Brucha: Well, I have played plenty of pen and paper RPGs, but none online except for some old text-based muds long ago.

Me: So, how is your total immersion generally received by people in-game?

Brucha: In game I don’t get much response, just like the forum. I am not sure why. A few players that have ended up having their stories told on the forum have sought me out in the game. And a few have also sent me gifts in the game – but other than that it seems most players don’t interact with me much.

Me: Do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing?

Brucha: Neither really, from feedback I have received it seems that most don’t want to bother me. But I actually look forward to RPing opportunities in the game. Meeting with new characters in-game just has to be RPed out.

Me: What do you see as your biggest challenge with this whole project?

Brucha: Ha, ha, surviving Moria. I made the number 1 big rule that Nuri could not be defeated in Moria. If that happens, he dies and the story ends. I kind of like to hope that at the end I can take him back to Ered Luin, buy a house and retire him.

Me: Ouch, that’s pretty unforgiving. Once Nuri either retires or dies, do you have plans to start over with a new character?

Brucha: Actually I would like to return to the story of Ingion after this. I went ahead and created Ingion as a new toon just to save the name.

Me: And if people would like to get in touch with you, or RP with you, what’s the best way to do so?

Brucha: Just come up to me in-game, but be ready to RP, because I never react to non-RP interactions usually. There are a lot of good RPers on Crickhollow, and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of them during the story so far.

Me: Do have anything else you’d like to add before we finish?

Brucha: Just to thank all the people that have been following the story and certainly to those that have given me the on-going encouragement to see this to the very end. And for you to give me this chance to bring the story to more people that may never get the chance.

Me: The pleasure is all mine, Brucha. It was great talking to you!

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