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Stirring the soup that is gaming confusion or frustration.

To cover the minor details and aspects of games which lead to a developer's ultimate goal. That being entertainment of their target audience. Simply put my thoughts and opinions on a page.

Author: Jumdor

Horror in an MMORPG?

Posted by Jumdor Thursday April 21 2011 at 12:52AM
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  I wanted to kick this off with a subject that is very close to this gamer's thoughts. Well one aspect of it anyway. Simply put *with scary voice* HORROR!

  Where horror actually fits into the massive online gaming world. When something puts horror in the definition for a game a few things come to mind.

The definition of horror:  an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror. (First definition provided by dictionary.com)

When I think of a horror game it pops into my head an idea of something that makes me get nervous about walking into a dark room. Something that would make someone not want to play it in the dark. A game that almost makes you not want to play it alone.

  Thus I bring in my first reference and in no way is this an attempt to knock these games for what they are which is playable and enjoyable for some. Requiem: Bloodymare is my first topic. Here is a game that defines itself under the title of horror. This game however should be defined more by the term gore or grotesque and again I am not talking about because of graphics or gameplay. I am talking about the very aspect they title it under. To ignite true fear in the player it fails for the simple reason it responds as any other MMOs would. 

  When first jumping into a game that is defined by the title of horror there is a sense that you will be stricken with fear or dread. To have your senses mutilated by an onset feeling of stillness and creeping evil crawling up your spine. More or less a fear of the unknown. Requiem does not provide this. Unless you count fear of having to run back to a spot you just died. While truly I am not harping on this game. I played it for quite a while, but the whole time not worrying for my character in the slightest. Although Requiem is interesting in it's style. If given the chance and looking for something out there and different I say give it a whirl. It might be just your thing.

  Onto the other game worth mention here with it's attempt at horror Dead Frontier. While a very fun game for me in just the playing sense it does fall short on providing a true sense of "horror" or fear. However it can get your nerves up when caught in a tight spot with multiple zombies headed your way. The game is a growing gem in it's style though. I have yet to see another game trip back to a Playstation One look and fun factor and pull it off. If you get a chance and like zombies give it a try. It is free after all.

  To drive the point home. Horror is a very set in stone term used to define a game like with film when someone goes to a horror movie they expect to become fearful. Now a person can jade themselves by watching and seeing too many things that are defined by this word. They become uneffected by the quick switching of a scene to a frightening face or shadowed eyes.

  I am not above recognizing being jaded to certain levels of horror, but I do recognize when something if I was not ready for it would have jarred my sense of personal security. Shock is not the only way to get into the psyche and provide a sense of fear. Setting up the surroundings with the right sounds or lack there of on it's own can drive some people to not play something. While helplessness and the proper use of lightning are probably two of the most effective tools.

  Well to end this I feel that MMOs are probably not the best place for a horror based game. Mainly because with so many people it is hard to provide a sense of fear. You would have to remove everything but group effort and cooperation while isolating a certain number at a time. I'm not saying it is impossible, but very difficult to pull off in the massive sense.

  I hope this wasn't too disappointing as it was my first time to blog anything. I am thankful for the ability to be able to type this, and for MMORPG.com for providing a place for it too be typed. That may sound like sucking up, but I am thankful. I hope any spelling or grammer errors aren't too "horrorible" =P

Ambre writes:

I played Requiem for a bit, and while it was a decent game, I didn't really feel like I was playing an horror game. It just looked like Dark Fantasy to me, and it looked good (I liked the atmosphere). They could have pushed it a bit farther certainly : not more gore, I'm not fan of that, but more exploration of dark places, caves, sewers, castles... The game felt a bit too much on rails to me with many open world quests in the outside, until you got short of them and you just had to grind mobs.

 

Good luck for your blog Jumdor ! Just reading the long and excellent answer you made to my last blog post today, I've no doubt you'll manage to find some pretty interesting stuff to write about :)

Thu Apr 21 2011 5:05AM Report
evilhoe writes:

i have also been checking out requiem and have to say im not impressed at all. i felt more fear in DOOM or QUAKE then you see in most games now. Lineage2 has some scary monsters and area's with alot more game then i seen in Requiem so far also. the best part of Requiem is the logen screens. if you looking for a really fun RPG check out DuskVsDawn.com

Sun Apr 24 2011 1:42AM Report
jukinru writes:

To me horror is not the corpse or the scare factor in a given scene, but a peeling of the mind like an onion to reveal the darkest parts that hide with in us all.

A good exmple of true horror for me is the short story "1922" by Stephen King. The book it is in is called "Full dark, No stars."

When I reached the ending and read the last page I actually laughed out loud. It was so screwed up that laughing was the only response I had for a bit. It left such a messed up feeling inside for quite awhile. I wasn't scared in the slightest but the feeling of horror was there.

Wed Apr 27 2011 12:49PM Report
zhombie writes:

A good horror game has elements of both visual/vicsceral (gore/body horror) and the psychological. Single player crpg's accomplished this by making the player feel alone against the environment combined with atmosphere. The demands of an MMO run counter to this. Chat features alone could ruin a good moment.

The best we can hope for is dark fantasy, like Requiem, until some can make a game that stretches current bounds of online gaming. Atmosphere is easy enough to accomplish, but a truly open world and penalty free player death would lessen the effect. GW1 has mechanics that could work for certain genres of horror and I'm curious what The Secret World brings to the table.

Wed Apr 27 2011 5:21PM Report
jukinru writes:

As far as mmos and horror go I think it can be done, but I'm not sure about an entire mmo based on it. A quest comes to mind when I think about an npc I came across in AoC in the brief time I played.

This npc was sitting at camp and after talkng to him I learned he had been poisoned by someone. He says that he is dying and there isn't anything to do about it. So he says that he has 2 requests before he dies.

1. To go find the rest of the meal that he was eating that was poisoned. He is in fact still hungry and doesn't want to die with an empty stomach.

2. Go find and kill the cook and bring back her head.

After getting these things he thanks you and gives you a reward and tells you to leave, that he wants to eat his last meal while looking into the eyes of the one who killed him.

There were some really good and messed up stuff in AoC.

Wed Apr 27 2011 5:22PM Report
KenFisher writes:

I've never played a horror-crossover but the concept sounds fun.

 

A creepy zombie MMO would kick butt.

 

Brrrrraaaaaaaains!

Thu Apr 28 2011 8:00AM Report
Arzacane writes:

As far as the group part goes, maybe have some missions slowly dwindle down your group. As you progress through the mission, some of your group members get pulled away to another area where they have to solo through part of the mission until you reach towards the end where all memebers finally meet up to finish off the final boss guy or use items they picked up to solve a final puzzle or the likes.

If Devs put some thought into it, I'm sure they could think up some nicely creepy MMOs. Gore and scarey monsters work for a short time and they can be fun, but a true horror isn't just blood and guts, but also need good suspence and suprises.

Thu Apr 28 2011 8:40AM Report
Stickgoncraz writes:

If you truly want 1 of the most horror/fearfulcreepy/freaky games ever....

It contains alot of blood, but thats when you get killed, you see it on the surrounding, or this room where theres pigs hanging from the ceiling etc. . Its got a great storyline, and amazing graphics, and gameplay, its FPS, your main item is a lantern to see light, because your sanity will drain if you are spotted, in the dark too long, etc. Its for the PC. You gotta buy it and etc. It does have monsters, its setting is in a castle, you get no weapons, a few puzzled, and alot of heart rate :P And it, althouth they have a demo on the site, definately has suspense. The youtube users that do walkthroughs w/ commentary, literally scream, and whimper as they play.

The game is called -""""Amnesia : The Dark Descent"""-, by Frictiongames.

 

They also got another game, Pneunomia or something. You are in a castle, and you just drank potion that cleared your memory of everything, but your name (I think). You have to survive doing quests in a VERY creepy enviornment. And yes, there are monsters, that look insanely creepy (When up Close) and the game will have you cowering. There are youtube videos where people pause the game immediately, just because they have nowhere to hide from the creatures (You cannot kill them). It's survival horror / fear game. VERY interesting.

Thu Aug 04 2011 1:06PM Report
Stickgoncraz writes:

When I said FPS, I meant its just First Person, you gain no REAL weapons.

Thu Aug 04 2011 1:08PM Report
Jumdor writes:

Yeah I agree Stickgoncraz Amnesia is very awesome. Penumbra was their first game and it had a followup not long after. They are just as scary although a few of the enemies as far as I know you could actually attack and kill. 

So you might could call that one a technical FPS. =P

Tue Aug 09 2011 5:53PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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