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News & Features Discussion  » General: Why a Horror MMO Won't Work

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 15663

OP  12/14/11 1:23:30 PM#1

MMO fans have been clamoring for a horror-themed game for as long as the genre has existed. In today's Coyote's Howling, we take a look at why we don't believe that a Horror MMO won't work -- not now, not ever. Check it out and see if you agree. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Imagine fighting vampires, battling werewolves or surviving the zombie apocalypse! Logging in and becoming the next great slayer of demons, or maybe even the next great demon itself! Wouldn’t it be awesome? Wouldn’t a horror based video game that had thousands of players adding to the story be amazing?

No. No it wouldn’t.

Read more Coyote's Howling: Why a Horror MMO Won't Work.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/05
Posts: 50

12/15/11 8:11:48 AM#2

i would play a horror mmo.. especially if it were sandbox style

 (my little bar that i own in florida)


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/15/06
Posts: 190

12/15/11 8:13:17 AM#3

Ahhh, Coyote.  How true your words ring.  Testify, brother!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/11/03
Posts: 3037

12/15/11 8:17:11 AM#4

LOVED this.. great rant

except I don't agree with The Walking Dead comments, that series is damn good.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395


12/15/11 8:19:51 AM#5

not sure if serious or just paid troll.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/08
Posts: 1441

12/15/11 8:23:44 AM#6
Originally posted by AdamTM

not sure if serious or just paid troll.

clearly if the disagree with you they must have been either paid or trolling, nothing else makes any sense.


Apparently stating the truth in my sig is "trolling"
Sig typo fixed thanks to an observant stragen001.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/05/11
Posts: 97

Societies collapse will be blogged and twittered along until it's conclusion.

12/15/11 8:28:37 AM#7

Spot on! From now on anytime someone post about there not being any horror MMOs and that we need one, I will send them here for the truth.

The scary truth.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/28/07
Posts: 912

12/15/11 8:31:33 AM#8

It's possible to make one, but to make it good would require too much money and resources that it wouldn't be worth the risk. Much easier to take an established IP and run with it.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

12/15/11 8:33:38 AM#9

"They're now ruined forever, and any MMORPG based around them is going to be so chock full of Bellas and Cullens that the collector's edition is going to include a box of tampons and some glitter."

I don't care how much they are paying you, it ain't enough.  Thanks for the laugh and a little early morning catharsis.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/15/09
Posts: 1234

Tumbling down the rabbit hole?

12/15/11 8:39:54 AM#10

Secret World will be a main rival for games like GW2 and SWTOR's new audience / player base that may be considering leaving WoW, so it could work as a horror MMO. Zombie shooter MMO's? Would only work if zombies were a faciton and players could hunt the humanzzzz faction. Brainnnnzzz. Yumyum.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/03/11
Posts: 130

12/15/11 8:39:55 AM#11

I agree with all of it except the Walking Dead part. That show rocks.


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Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17423

12/15/11 8:41:52 AM#12

It is true that most monsters all have turned into Casper, the wimpy ghost and wusses in makeup, but there is still something you can't make cute (even if Southpark tried): Cthulu and the elder gods.

A Lovecraft MMO would be awesome, but that would be a MMO where you in some fights can't win and must retreat, not sure how the Wow kids would like that. A MMO based on the good old Chaosium game Call of Cthulu" with the original mechanics would be the perfect horror MMO.

Sunzu said: There are some battles that should not be fought...


Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/08
Posts: 1441

12/15/11 8:44:17 AM#13
Originally posted by Loke666

It is true that most monsters all have turned into Casper, the wimpy ghost and wusses in makeup

If all you look at is twighlight and other crap sure, stop watching garbage.

Apparently stating the truth in my sig is "trolling"
Sig typo fixed thanks to an observant stragen001.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/11
Posts: 63

12/15/11 8:47:05 AM#14

Originally posted by AdamTM

not sure if serious or just paid troll.


Really? *cough....nub....cough*

Now that thats out of the way. Hes right. We have been so saturated with this junk that it would never truely work. Sure you could take any of todays MMOs and change all mobs to zombies and what have you but will it be deeply frightening? No, no it wouldnt, it would be the same ole same ole with different skins.

I guess to make it really scary you could randomly toss in the screaming cat from youtube, have mobs that instead of causeing dmg just rickroll you, of course with the whole game soundtracked by vanilla ice playing an out of tune banjo.

The entire game would have to be cutscene after cutscene, with char models of cgi cineematic quality. In the end it would cost billions to make and the cost to the player would be insane. The box would cost 150 bucks and the sub would be 30-40 bucks a month just so they could hopefully make any profit in the first couple of years(if it lasts that long).

All Murlocs must die horrible, painful, bloody deaths!


Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

12/15/11 8:52:21 AM#15

For me a horror MMO needs a few things. 

1) Perma Death - This is one of the few MMO genre's I feel this is not only warranted but required. When you die you die, when you turn you turn. 

2) Personal Story - When creating a character different things you pick as answers to a variety of questions should create a story for you. Do you have a wife?  A) Yes = Your wife was shopping when the viral outbreak happened and is now stuck somewhere in town. You must go through different missions/quests etc. to figure out her location, then you have to get to her, then you have to escort her to safety. And this is after only 1 question. 

3) Non custom names. You get to pick a first and a last name from lists selected by the devs and etc. 

4) The ability to go with a group or solo - Now you could try and go at it solo and sneak by the mass of zombies at that mall to grab your wife and sneak out with minimal fighting or you could go in with a small army and clear out that Mall and fortify it to become a sort of base of operations for your little group for a short while until of course the next wave comes (You could have it so that with all the blood and carnage from clearing out a nest you attract a more vicious faster type of zombie horde to attack.) 


5) No teleporting fast travel - Vehicles and such would be fine, but gas shouldn't be infinite. 


6) Finite ammo and etc. - Guns need ammo, that golf club has a limited durrability, items should be made to have some value meaning they don't drop off of every mob you fight. Want med kits and such to keep someone from dying or turning then fight your way to the hospital and hope their are meds there or that they respawn soon. 

7) Large world - it needs to be big enough that players aren't all hudled around each other. If this can't work then instances or small server pops are needed maybe 1k  or so per server. 


8) Zombies and more - I like zombies, they make a good "rat" for a horror themed MMO but the rest needs to be a bit more. Lets say there is this creature that looks like a hairless rodent and it's oozing everywhere. You get bit and can't get a med pack, your group tried to figure out whats wrong with you when you suddenly explode and more of the creatures start pouring out of you. 


Keep in mind these are simply examples that I came up with in the past 60 seconds. I'm sure with actual time and effort things could be worked out to make it work considering I don't think I did to bad with my little 60 seconds. 


Novice Member

Joined: 12/15/11
Posts: 1

12/15/11 8:53:59 AM#16

Good article as always Coyote! True words!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/30/11
Posts: 255

Just say RF. :)

12/15/11 9:06:57 AM#17

Easy way to fix all this:-

Only allow the players to be humans. They get killed, they get killed for good.

AI is endless swarms of zombies, massive zombie-horde summoning whatevers and creepy mofos who'll climb up walls and then eat your brains.

Players are bastards who'll kill you and steal your stuff.

Why is this so hard?

Add me on Steam!

RawrfulCast - My YouTube Channel
Me and a Friend are Bad At Games :(


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Joined: 5/25/04
Posts: 104

12/15/11 9:09:23 AM#18

Ah call of Chtulu the game that will driver you insane and kill you (well your character) not nessaclery in that order.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/11
Posts: 63

12/15/11 9:09:34 AM#19

greyghost79 you have some great idea's.

I like the base idea, expanding on it, needing to have someone manning the defenses at all times, or getting over ran and actually loseing it and having to fight for it aggain or moving on.

All items in the game would have to be dynamic, to fortify a position, or better hope that door to your back holds up.

No respawns, unless of course you dont burn bodys and they regen eventually. Instanced citys or states or countrys. To me what makes scary is the hope you will survive untill the end and all thhe crap that keeps popping up to stop you from seeing that end.

I think with the perma death idea, there would have to be set "safe" zones to log out in or some sort of defense. As you cant be logged in 24/7 you couldnt just log out anywhere and hope that you arent surrounded by stuff that wants to kill you the second you log in blam perma death have to restart.

Skill based leveling, as everyone would know how to properly use everything as a weapon all the time. Plus if your human you wont get uber strong by lvling to 50 you would just better at using the weapons you have used alot.

Theres alot of idea that could work but being fesible is a different story.


All Murlocs must die horrible, painful, bloody deaths!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/28/11
Posts: 386

12/15/11 9:15:16 AM#20
Originally posted by Loke666

It is true that most monsters all have turned into Casper, the wimpy ghost and wusses in makeup, but there is still something you can't make cute (even if Southpark tried): Cthulu and the elder gods.

A Lovecraft MMO would be awesome, but that would be a MMO where you in some fights can't win and must retreat, not sure how the Wow kids would like that. A MMO based on the good old Chaosium game Call of Cthulu" with the original mechanics would be the perfect horror MMO.

Sunzu said: There are some battles that should not be fought...

I've lurked around these forums for a while and I've noticed several mentions, both by yourself and others, about a Lovecraft MMO.  You're comment about fights that you can't win is intriguing, and I'd guess that you've put a lot of thought into it.  Have you ever put all your thoughts into one place?  I'd be curious to see what you had in mind...

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