If the game has a lot of complexity, and especially if there’s a focus on “builds” and character optimization, I think some kind of damage number display is essential. If I’m trying to decide between two items with “15% cooldown reduction” and “+17% elemental damage”, it’s practically meaningless unless I can actually see a difference in damage.
Dark Souls really frustrated me for this reason. So much of the complexity (defensive gear stats, damage types, elements, weapon empowerment) feels somewhat arbitrary and pointless because the game doesn’t do a great job of surfacing that complexity. Unless I have the wiki and a calculator open in another tab, I might as well be looking at the Voynich Manuscript. I ultimately just end up picking whichever weapon “feels” good, dump souls into it, and ignore all the elemental stuff.
On the other hand, I never once wished for damage numbers while playing through Zelda BotW. Each weapon has a single damage number. There’s a little bit of opaque complexity with armor/food buffs, but there’s only 3 levels of damage boost, so you can get a feel for it pretty easy (Tier 1, 2, 3 = 20%, 30%, 50% if anyone’s wondering). Also, the enemy health bars give you sufficient info without the need for precise numbers.
I agree with @Glorgu about Metro, Assassin’s Creed, etc. There’s certain types of games where I really want to just put myself into the world. In the past few AC games, I’ve started turning off 90% of the UI (shoutout to Ubisoft for great UI customization options). The AC games are generally really good about using color, audio, and animation cues for enemies and collectibles so it’s mostly playable without the minimap and overlays. I really wish there was a way in AC Origins to disable the RPG stuff, because it’s kinda impossible to play the game without knowing enemy levels.
It also helps that most “immersion”-focused games tend to have 1-hit kills. You don’t need damage numbers when a single headshot or backstab will kill your enemies.