BUT When I am a player I do not mind being "railroaded" a little bit. If I trust my GM (and I wouldn't be playing with them if I didn't) then I am ok with taking a more passive approach to the narrative. I do not enjoy having authority over ANYTHING that is not my character. This comes from the fact that as a player I am all about the immersion. I want to climb inside the head of someone else and play around, it breaks the believability of the fiction (or the verisimilitude whatever term you want to use) much more than playing a magic user, alien or green-skinned elf, for me to be able to affect the world rather than my character. I have nothing against players having narrative control in my games, but my personal taste when playing, is to have a little as possible myself. I like being told a good story, and as along as I get to make some choices and have fun, than that's all I need.
This is a really interesting issue. I can totally understand this, but it's more of a big gray area for me than absolute preferences.
Having a very powerful character can effectively provide more narrative control than many story stick mechanics. Just setting aside magic for now, if you have a lot of influence or money, you end up hand-waving a lot of stuff that would be a serious logistical issue for average people in just about any setting. This is a huge fundamental difference in the type of story that can be told and the type of problems that are interesting.
I think that's why, even as characters gain great power, there remains a trope of the adventuring party on the road. Because this presents a very controlled scope for details and conflict. Even if the intrigue is interesting, it can be less than engaging to hear,
"Okay, you hop in your helicopter and safely arrive at your desired destination."
"Well, in what fashion did I do it?"
Unless there are motherfuckers stealing, sabotaging, or shooting at your chopper (a pretty narrow range), there is basically no conflict available here. Being powerful can turn what would have otherwise been a tense and textured account of chopper acquisition into the equivalent of strolling down a path. Trying to force conflict there is like being accosted by ninjas between the bar and the equipment shop, and then again between the equipment shop and the temple.
This is also why a lot of people, whether intentionally or not, steer away from modern games. Because the logistics of modern life are inflexible. It's no surprise and is acceptably interesting when magic rises to meet magic. The same magic principle applies to sci-fi for the most part.
Anyway, the point is that immersion often hinges on the scope. If the events are suitably intimate, even without much described detail, they feel more real. And, while narrative control might cause interference for some people, I think there are just as many interfering factors in that sense of intimacy. Sometimes, depending on the genre of game and the people with whom you're playing, you may not be able to reach the level of intimacy where it matters whether or not you have a story stick system. To me, this is still fun.
To go deeper, anything magical other than different flavored fireballs is directly authoring the rules of the world. Instead of something massive, I'll go with something pretty traditional: town portal. The point of these is to skip the conflict available between dungeon and town. Sure, you could solve the occasional puzzle with it. The point is, you're effectively saying, "I have this method of getting what I want out of the fiction, and what I want is to skip this area or possibility." I don't care how fancy it is in the imagined mythos, it's a pretty clear method for putting cones and detour signs in the fiction, not simply changing your character. I can't acknowledge a difference in immersion between such a spell and some sort of fate chip spent to keep the party safe en route to the town.
That's not to say that I prefer that sort of blatant narrative control. But it appears frequently even in "traditional" games with some really crappy window dressing. Even with good window dressing, it is what it is.
And when games do include some more blatant narrative control, I, personally, tend to divorce my actions as the player of my character and my actions as narrator. When we played Houses of the Blooded, I found myself preferring to use compels and state facts that were just interesting to me and had nothing to do with my character. I'd control my character as well, but I didn't combine the two efforts more frequently than I combined either of the efforts with or against other players.
A mechanic like Circles in Burning Wheel is, practically, a narrative tool. However, it simply abstracts actual actions that the characters take using distinct abilities and connections they have. The Circles ability assumes that intrigue is interesting, but networking is boring. I generally agree. This is where the gray area is grayest. It's a skill that quantifies things about the character and his actions in the fiction, as well as a way to invent characters. To me, despite the narrative aspect, this mechanic actually affords you the opportunity to ensure immersion by controlling the level of intimacy.