I enjoyed the ride and while I only hit one PR, I came close on an 8+ minute segment I only missed it by 12 seconds on. OK, 12 seconds is actually quite a lot, but the effort didn’t feel anywhere near a PR effort. It was interesting how perceived effort possibly felt easier when I couldn’t see the numbers.
There was some chat about whether we should be forced to use “Camera 3” in this mode - I absolutely don’t support that. I rode in Camera 1, as I always do.
Although I play a lot of first-person shooter games, I always have a weapon or hands to place me in the world. With Zwift’s “first person” view there’s nothing. It’s not like riding in the real world to me, as IRL I can always see my handlebars in the periphery, or look down and see my wheel etc.
I don’t think a handlebar/hands view will do the trick, but it’s worth trying.
Regarding turning off nameplates, honestly I still like to know who’s around me. In real life we recognise people easily; but in Zwift that’s not the case. Although I’ve seen some people’s avatars many times, I don’t recognise them. It’s only when the nameplate pops up that I know who’s alongside or in front of me. I’d miss that connection if it went away entirely, although I do agree the nameplates detract from the overall effect. Race numbers might help up to a point, but remembering who has which number if they change from race to race would be a trick.
Similarly with knowing how far people are behind; I think that even without turning round in the real world, you know when there’s someone behind you, especially if it’s a group of riders. Wheels, breathing, shouts between them etc. Perhaps the sounds of Zwift could be improved to help with this if nameplates went away. I know some people don’t really listen to the game sounds. I usually have Spotify running too, but that’s because Zwift sounds don’t mean anything. They don’t enhance the experience a great deal, they’re all over the place in terms of volume and some are very repetitive.
On the other hand, when I’m playing an FPS (Overwatch is my main one), sound is essential and I never play with music getting in the way.