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

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117 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/04
Posts: 118

12/15/11 3:01:52 PM#61

horror is a genre with many ways to interpret it, as in any other genre it can be easily made into a m.m.o.with the rigt I.P. ,  obviously there is no night of the living dead m.m.o. or any mmo that would be based on an i.p. that everyone usually dies, unless they change it a bit,but the only thing that keeps horor from being a good m.m.o. genre is lack of imagination


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 2233

May the game be ever in your favor.

12/15/11 3:02:51 PM#62

You know what's freaking hilarious?

IGG (I GOT GAMES) actually is releasing an MMORPG called MoonLight Online and are comparing it to Twilight.

When I first saw it I felt a little something die inside me.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/06/09
Posts: 97

12/15/11 3:05:12 PM#63

About WoD: It depends, since White-Wolf made the Table top game vague enough so that people can play the game they want to it lends its self to either be a game about horror and moral choices, or angsty teenage crap.

The WoD Trailer for the MMO looked awesome, (very dark and mature) and most of the people that read what they had planned for the game were very intrigued. But alas the game will probably not be coming out till 2016 at this rate. If their was a developer that could pull off the true horror MMO it would be White-Wolf and CCP.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 17701

12/15/11 3:06:21 PM#64
Originally posted by Razeekster

You know what's freaking hilarious?

IGG (I GOT GAMES) actually is releasing an MMORPG called MoonLight Online and are comparing it to Twilight.

When I first saw it I felt a little something die inside me.

That is really great news. It means less emo kids in WodO and class 4 once they comes out...

If there were no game similar to twilight they would try to play wimp vampire in WoDO instead.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

12/15/11 3:14:41 PM#65
Originally posted by Loke666
Originally posted by NMStudio

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...

Once upon a time there was a pen and paper RPG made by Chaosium called "Call of Cthulhu".

It was very different from other RPGs in many ways. Players were playing investigators who fought cultists and foiled the plans of the evil old gods (In the city of Rlyah dead Cthulhu awaits dreaming), all based on Lovecrafts Mythos.

The players were not powerful and while you could fight the minions of the gods you had to outwit the main bad guys instead of fighting them because that would lead to either you going insane (which would be cool in a MMO, you seeing stuff that ain't there and so on) or die.

So there were times where the only way to survive really was to run away instead of pulling together a raid and kill the bad guy.

CoC were usually set in the 1920s new England and most players were scholars, teachers, dectectives and other rather regular people even if some soldiers and cops also appeared. In the game I fought cultists at the pyramids, found a frozen city with really old evil in antarctica, hunted a vampire killer, joined an evil cult and evil fought a dragon god in the djungle of Kambodja (that was set in the 60s though, and we wiped but it was a lot of fun).

No other RPG system have really been so full of horror, triumph and fear as that one and many old P&P players remember it in a way that would make the most rabid UO follower to blush, it is really the greatest RPG game ever made to any medium.

And I believe you could put it into a MMO, even though it would be a very different MMO compared to anything made so far.

Chaosiums original mechanics is leveless, you have a load of skills with a percentage chance, the higher you have the harder is it to increase in them. Combat is dangerous so strategy and wits are very important even if you just fight lowly cultists. The minions of the old gods are a lot worse but in most case possible to take down.

Sanity is however more important than hitpoints. And I could see a real cool sanity mechanics for a MMO where the game really turns creepy if you are low on it. :)


Ah, a fellow connoisseur of all things lurking upon thresholds. 

Call of Cthulhu is the only game I've played where the circumstances of one's demise, trumps one's successes in terms of the war stories to be told years later.  In fact, we learned from years and years of playing that despair is actually the best protection in that game.  The less attached you are to your own survival, the longer you'll last.  Pretty much the antithesis of nearly every other game ever made.

Putting a concept like that into a computer game is pretty much impossible.  Gamers want to roflstomp, not have their will to live cored out.

Remarkable game, CoC.



Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King
Must die unheard
      in dim Carcosa.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/11
Posts: 125

Currently playing:Allods Online,Trove (Beta),HOMM3

12/15/11 3:14:42 PM#66
True true, as much as i luv horror/thriller stuff, all games/movies cant scare me anymore. Our biggest fears now r supossed to be mindless zombies (dead island, l4d), little japanese childeren (FEAR, the ring) 'ghosts/demons'(paranormal activity) and uber gay vampires (thnx twilight) so what is horror anymore? Watch the old and the new ' nightmare on elmstreet'. See where we r goin? Its plain pathetic. Tho some sort of hybrid GTA/fallout with dead island elements would work for meh

When someone does something so utterly moronic that it kills your brain cells at the very thought of it.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

12/15/11 3:18:21 PM#67

I would love a horror (or is it an horror?) MMO if it was done right.  Of course, like Coyote said, the asshats would ruin it.  Even the names some people give themselves in MMOs drive me nuts!  Where's the immersion in a name like cutebunnies32 or ipwnu17?  Come up with a name that actually fits with the game you're playing for MMO's sake!


Anyway, the article was hilarious and spot on.  See y'all in GW2!

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 989

licensed to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations

12/15/11 4:08:03 PM#68

Agreed... 1000%!

The Ministry of MMO's just found a valid voice. 



Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 231

12/15/11 4:36:31 PM#69

Coyote, is absoutely right, a Horror MMO would never work, because of what TV, and Movies have done to the monsters of our nightmares and fears, even the lowely Boogie Man is nothing to cringe at anymore.

TV, Movies, and even books have diluted our fears and nightmares until they are nothing more then absent fears of our minds.


Even today, almost all MMOs cater to the easy format, and the quick buck of the companies that are trying hard to carve out an existance, gone are the days of an evolutionary mmo that will stay for a decade, let alone a century(maybe). There is no innovation, no imagination, no pride, no guts, no glory, that companies would want strive to for. Nope, its, all about getting that first 1 billion dollar MMO out there, and seeing who can get the richest first. They don't even care aboute the game community at all, most companies make half attempts to solve the problems that are found in games, but, in most cases, they either totally ignore them, and makeing the games quit the games out of frustration, or, makeing the games so easy, so, that gamers are running to the 'Next Big MMO' all the time, just for that small glimmer of hope that the game will be the one to keep gamers around for a longer duration.




Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/11
Posts: 1126

What is "real"? How do you define "real"?

12/15/11 4:53:47 PM#70

An MMO that would scare the hell out of me would be based on Orwell's 1984.  Now THAT's scary!

You want me to pay to play a game I already paid for???

Be afraid.....The dragons are HERE!

  User Deleted
12/15/11 4:57:18 PM#71

it doesn't have to be a hero-oriented MMO; I am tired of the same "save the world from the bad guys" crap.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/09
Posts: 175

12/15/11 5:06:55 PM#72

Originally posted by Ubermeh

Originally posted by Ozmodan

Completely disagree, your reasoning is flawed.  Just look at WOD, been selling games for a long time.  The secret world will be a success too.

First time you really messed up Coyote.

WOD was a leading contirbutor to the emo angsty horror genre.

Secret world maybe a success but not because it is scaring the shit out of anyone.


One Word: Toreador.

 Interview with a Vampire wasn't emo enough for ya, we had to suffer through 9 years of writing and countless clan books inspired by that Anne Rice humbug. There were enough D-bags larping all over the Mall of America with that Masqurade. WoD was about as scary as Leslie Neilson playing Dracula.

Suspense and tension are needed in horror\terror. Without the ability to control the pace and environment (which single player games can do versus an MMO) you can get that. Even in small 5 man environments you can. But the moment you are about to work up to a point of intense suspense and terror some D-bag will be spamming "wtb 50 holy water for 30 gp. PST with offers" every 3 minutes or immersion breaking moments of "Need 2 Vamp hunters and a Witch Doctor to run Vlad's Crypt. 400+ Gear Score only please."

[Mod Edit]




Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/05
Posts: 107

12/15/11 6:24:16 PM#73

Great article, Coyote! I agree totally with your summation of the MMO community at large.

But I do agree that some or all of your points can be mitigated by an iron-fisted developer, willing to enforce certain things and take some freedoms away from the players. Horror, in particular, needs to make the player feel just a little bit like they're not in control, to be successful. The problem is that that will never happen because that will mean only appealing to the horror fans with their horror product *gasp*

And unfortunately that will just never satisfy their management. Most MMO's start out trying to appeal to their respective core fans, and then diluting it in order to capture a broader market. 


Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/09
Posts: 372

12/15/11 7:03:29 PM#74

I just want to say that your articles are probably my favorites on this site.  No offense to the other writters of course.  But yeah, always enjoyable reads.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/06
Posts: 49

12/15/11 7:12:20 PM#75

I don't find any horror game to be even remotely scary if I have a human ally.

And if you're throwing that idea into an mmo where you see human players everywhere?  Yep, not gonna scare me a tiny bit.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/07
Posts: 215

12/15/11 7:13:20 PM#76
So I was just thinking of a scene myself that would be terrifying... I'm arachniphobic so it would apply to me, but probably apply to many. In the game you have realistic responses such as pain. When attacked or hit in a specific area, you suffer as you would in real life. If something bites you, hits you, shoots you or whatever you would be penalized as you would if it really happened to a person, including poisons! So considering a very well detailed, graphic intensive game. You enter a cave, upon exploring it you find yourself falling into a pit. Looking around you see a mass amount of webs, indicating significant spider population. Turning your head you notice a massive amount of tarantulas *which would be baby spiders* Swarming to close in on you, now remember with the actual effects of being bitten you could be paralyzed and unable to move due to pain. There's too many spiders to fight and get out, then you turn around and see one or even a few massive spiders your size or larger that just discovered their next meal. Now you need to find a way out, do you have weapons probably not and if you did would they be useful? To me that would be terrifying in the game, along with many other similar situations. Being out numbered is a rather scary feeling, especially when you know that you're in danger and there's a good chance you won't survive.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/06/05
Posts: 134

12/15/11 7:27:42 PM#77

Its amazing how intensely people fixate on things they dont like.  It seems like most people like *disliking* things more than anything else.


I really cant stand the endless ranting against "emo horror" or whatever other moronic cliche "the l33t" need to use to validate their own importance as they denigrate something they claim to not even have any interest in.


How can a handful of titles *ruin a genre*?


To anyone that isnt an imbecile, the answer is they cant.  I read a ton of vampire, horror, etc fiction and none of it is the "urban fantasy" type stuff.


WoD, Secret World, etc are *urban fantasy*.  "Emo blah blah" that the idiots rant about (Twilight et al) is *also urban fantasy* but skewed towards a specific demographic.


NONE of that is horror.  There is PLENTY of *actual* horror fiction.  More than ever in more mediums than ever.  Last I checked Steven King and Peter Straub are pretty well off.  Only in the lunatic asylum that is geekdom/fandom/geek blogs is Twilight such a big world destroying "issue". Ironic that the people that hate it are more consumed with it than the people that LOVE IT.


IF a horror MMO cant work, it is because:


1) "horror" is not defineable.  NO ONE agrees on what is "scary" because its entirely objective.  And to make it worse, every idiot is 100% sure THEY are "right".  So if they slept through paranormal activity, thats because it "IS NOT SCARY!"  NO ability to accept that for SOME people THAT is scary and HOSTEL (for example) IS NOT.


2) there are 1000 different things that 1000 different groups find "scary", and NO concept is universal.  There is also a HUGE group of "genre fans" who need to pretend that they dont find ANYTHING scary (everyone knows this type... no matter what it is, they have to claim they were neither scared nor moved... Concentration Camp footage from WWII supposedly puts these empty vessels to sleep)  As a result of this... there is NO AUDIENCE


3) with a genre that breaks down to a niche within a niche within a niche all essentially unable to be satisfied, there is NOT a lot of economic opportunity


4) the very nature of horror is about isolation, risk and finality.  the very nature of an MMO is about progression, repetition and competition.  NOT impossible but VERY tough to make a persistent and massively multiplayer game that, by definition, cant have an "ending" and that allows every player to experience everything (otherwise they come to these forums and rant and rave that everything is "unfair") and have the "game" still work as a game


IF a horror MMO is impossible (and I STILL think it is... NO reason why a Silent Hill MMO couldnt work... it would be bad ass), it would be for THESE reasons.  Not because Twilight is popular.  How idiotic.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/10
Posts: 51

12/15/11 8:20:48 PM#78

Originally posted by mlambert890

How can a handful of titles *ruin a genre*?


1) "horror" is not defineable.  NO ONE agrees on what is "scary" because its entirely objective. 


When a genre that is defined by classics becomes a trend that is defined by massively and temporary interest, the whole market for the genre becomes saturated and then put asside for a decade which is irritating to the fans of the classical genre...

also, you must have meant SUBJECTIVE instead of OBJECTIVE.

  User Deleted
12/15/11 9:03:23 PM#79

"They're (vampires) 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."

great line


Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/04
Posts: 12

12/15/11 9:14:30 PM#80

well i totally agree with Coyote and in fact, you can pull all arguements through to all games (whether MMO or have a multiplayer part to it).


funny thing is, i found 1 game (actually 2, the sequel is not bad either) that can stand out and really make things as tough as it gets.


Demon's Souls (if you never heard of it, look it up)



It's not really horror or even an MMO at all, but that is probably the best and closest shot to a very scary, unforgiving game as can be. You can see other players run ghostlike figures... they scared the crap out of me. Dark Souls looks even better, is also totally scary and hard but still, nothing beats the original.

If they could give this in a bit more MMO feel, i think that Demon's Souls might be the only one sticking out and making it. (although it is a console game too btw...wish there was a pc version...)


rest my case.

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