Why Aren't There More Horror MMOs? - Garrett Fuller at MMORPG.com

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  • YanocchiYanocchi Member UncommonPosts: 608
    Horror fans could be easily appeased by adding somewhat isolated horror modules to existing MMO worlds. Imagine LV-426 crawling with scary aliens or a Dead Space style derelict spaceship like Ishimura somewhere in the world of Star Citizen. A good MMO should provide some probability of ending up in a secluded horror place once in a while. :)

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  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthMember RarePosts: 4,034
    It would probably take an MMO with a LOT of instancing, and heavily reliant on PvE content... which means a big budget. MMOs are rarely scary. Even TSW only manages "creepy" at times. I suspect it might get a little better now that there aren't a gazillion players running around everywhere like headless chickens to break your immersion, but... I still doubt it.

    Something like @Yanocchi mentioned might work though. Like SWTOR has a few areas like that (the Rakghoul outbreak flashpoints and the abandoned Czerka spaceship that you go to for the HK parts, which used to be a research facility. It felt very Sci-fi horror a la Alien.

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  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 7,578
    Not my cup of tea, I rather family rated games. Also not a fan of swearing and horror content has that in droves. IMO horror has a smaller circle of fans then says something PG13. So the larger the audience the more money there is.



  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshMember RarePosts: 6,281
    edited April 19
    Not that this is always true, but a big part of horror has to do with the feeling of being isolated. There is no escape. It is claustrophobic. Even in cheesy horror like zombie stuff, the people are placed in a situation where the world is closing in on them. The fundamentals of horror don't mesh well with the fundamentals of MMORPGs.

    Also, gothic and horror are way different ideas. It's a conflation that moves the goalposts a bit too much. You should probably just ask why there aren't more gothic or dark MMORPGs instead of asking about horror which tends to actually have the goal of eliciting a visceral emotional response. I doubt it would be very easy to produce actual horror while undeadguy69 is standing next to you and there are no consequences.
    Post edited by BeansnBread on
  • PC_FerretPC_Ferret Laurel, MDMember UncommonPosts: 47
    I think "Horror MMO" is an oxymoron. Horror is best experienced ALONE, as in almost all Lovecraftian horror stories. I don't really consider the vampire/werewolf/zombie stuff to be horror anymore, it's been done to death.
  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLMember RarePosts: 2,107

    Nyctelios said:



    Sovrath said:


    I don't think it can be done well because horror relies upon a certain level of immersion/engagement from the player. Add a few wise asses in a party or have some guys shooting the shit about "whatever" and the tone will quickly become diluted.




    Maybe a heavy story driven mmo or a heavy moderated sandbox political experience that is what WODo would be?








    Nyctelios said:



    You forgot to mention Requiem: Momento Mori, my biggest disappointment. The game itself started development as a "psychological horror MMO" following the success of Silent Hill franchise.

    I would gladly enjoy a mmorpg set on pure mind bending horror. But that's me: The guy who draws listening to Silent Hill soundtracks and drone metal.

    So, I think it would be the most niche game ever.






    Do you like the Deftones? 




    I sure do like. When Girls Telephone Boys is quite heavy. But I do like their soft songs too.


    Their eponymous album is one of my favorites.  I'll never forget Chino proclaiming "This is what happens when you spill paint in the garage!" before launching into WGTB in concert a couple years ago.  I thought Incubus would be the star of the concert, but in retrospect Deftones completely stole the show (much respect to both).  They were epic then as they were at a more intimate club venue just after SNW released.  I am continually impressed by that band; always making left-hand turns with each successive album, and there's just... something 'more' about them.  Their softer stuff is also quite nice; check out Crosses if you haven't already for a neat side-project of Moreno's.

    I am curious what other bands/albums would you consider emblematic or listenable examples of "drone metal"?

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  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,005
    I think World of Darkness would have / could work similar to what Matrix Online did. Having special appearances by key characters played by Devs / GMs to help unfold story plots or random engagements. Vampire theme games are still very popular as are Werewolves. In my opinion, the Underworld movies have a good tri faction recipe for creating unique content.

  • DAS1337DAS1337 Member UncommonPosts: 2,569
    I think it's because it's difficult to create the level of immersive experience needed to really deliver a legit horror setting, in a MMO.
  • AeanderAeander Walker, LAMember RarePosts: 1,389
    Because horror depends on solitude and powerlessness. In other words, horror MMO is a contradiction.
  • postlarvalpostlarval Member EpicPosts: 1,414
    Give me a good horror MMO and I'll delete every other MMO I have installed.

    TSW had a few moments where it was immersive enough to give it a horror vibe. Once I've spent more time in the beta for SWL I'll have a better sense of how it's going to play out.

    *crosses fingers*
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  • NycteliosNyctelios Novo Hamburgo - RS - BrazilMember EpicPosts: 2,151




    Nyctelios said:





    Sovrath said:



    I don't think it can be done well because horror relies upon a certain level of immersion/engagement from the player. Add a few wise asses in a party or have some guys shooting the shit about "whatever" and the tone will quickly become diluted.






    Maybe a heavy story driven mmo or a heavy moderated sandbox political experience that is what WODo would be?











    Nyctelios said:




    You forgot to mention Requiem: Momento Mori, my biggest disappointment. The game itself started development as a "psychological horror MMO" following the success of Silent Hill franchise.

    I would gladly enjoy a mmorpg set on pure mind bending horror. But that's me: The guy who draws listening to Silent Hill soundtracks and drone metal.

    So, I think it would be the most niche game ever.








    Do you like the Deftones? 






    I sure do like. When Girls Telephone Boys is quite heavy. But I do like their soft songs too.




    Their eponymous album is one of my favorites.  I'll never forget Chino proclaiming "This is what happens when you spill paint in the garage!" before launching into WGTB in concert a couple years ago.  I thought Incubus would be the star of the concert, but in retrospect Deftones completely stole the show (much respect to both).  They were epic then as they were at a more intimate club venue just after SNW released.  I am continually impressed by that band; always making left-hand turns with each successive album, and there's just... something 'more' about them.  Their softer stuff is also quite nice; check out Crosses if you haven't already for a neat side-project of Moreno's.

    I am curious what other bands/albums would you consider emblematic or listenable examples of "drone metal"?


    They are such impressive thing to watch live. Never could, tho, because of my location (besides live DVD's).

    "listenable" is quite relative. I could not talk about drone without mentioning Nadja and Sunn O))) . But drone by itself is "not listenable", since it's a niche genre for people seeking that said experience. But if you have in mind that "drone" refers to Deftone, well, it is not. If you know what drone is about I recommend those two bands, and this as a plus to anyone who enjoys dark and horror songs.


    Now about the topic: Some horrors are about isolation. Not all. Lovecraftian horros is quite the opposite: It is about you facing mind bending horrors. Facing, not looking away.

    And about SucKmyDICKpussyCRUSHER_4k... Well, you could just make an option like LoTRo to not show floating names. Or use what other games has and "remove other players from the map" if you want to experience a dungeon or a place without interference.


    In the matter, it's not an MMO, but Path of Exile true plot, and sorry for the spoiler, is pure lovecraftian horror theme. The sole reason for skills and magic is nightmares and dreams trapped in shards of a entity made of pure gore that feeds on it - quite resembling Azathoth if you ask me. 

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  • Itchen1000Itchen1000 Member UncommonPosts: 3
    edited April 20
    the most horror i want from a MMO is me charging into A necromancer's / Warlock's lair. . . unless you know I am a necro/warlock.... I'll need to ..."adjust" the revenue of their lair
    Post edited by Itchen1000 on
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKMember LegendaryPosts: 16,258
    It just doesnt work when you are running alongside players with names like Buttmunxch and XxXPwndyerfaceXxX

    Also global chat is a huge immersion killer

    I think for most players - the real horror is the cash shop prices
  • PhaenPhaen QueenslandMember UncommonPosts: 38
    "Revival" was going to be a lovecraftian horror mmo, but is in hiatus due to funding
  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Algo Star SystemMember RarePosts: 1,844
    edited April 20
    Horror typically isolates people. The feeling of being alone is apart of the genre. Large group horror isn't easy to pull off but can be great when it's done right. MMORPGs haven't even properly figured out how to steer away from the "everyone is special" narrative. The Secret World didn't pull this off either, as the best parts of the game could easily be ruined by other players instead of all of them experiencing the "horror" collectively.







    Post edited by FlyByKnight on
  • TorgenTorgen MoenchengladbachMember UncommonPosts: 158


    Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, still has a strong following and would make for a great MMO if done correctly. TSW had a great theme and I played it for years in spite of the feel of the combat. Vampyr, an RPG is suppose to come out in 2017, so we will see.




    OMG, I comletely forgot about Masquerade Bloodlines. It was my favorite game when I was a teenager but I only played through it once and can hardly remember anything. I barely ever play SP games, but that game caught my attention and is still so deep in my memory. Also played the first game but can barely remember that. 

    You said, it has still a strong following. Are there mods or anything that give you new stories to play through. 

    I gonna check out Vampyr now. Is there any connection to Masquerade? 
  • AnthurAnthur StolbergMember UncommonPosts: 828
    Imo the best horror games are single player games. There are quite a lot of single player horror games which scare me to death and where I think twice before I play those alone on a long, cold and dark winter night. I know, I am a pussy. ;)

    But I never got a feeling of horror in any MMO I every played. And I played a lot.
  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXMember UncommonPosts: 1,539
    I scrolled down to post, and saw an add for Immortal Nights on this very forum page.  I never heard of it, so I don't know a thing about it.

    Why no Horror MMOs?  Hard to buy the rights to the IPs.  Difficult if not impossible to maintain horror for any length of time.

    @Sovrath mentioned above that it would be easier to create horror in a single player game rather than an MMO.  I worked on a test game.  The idea is that we send players to enclosed spaces, Factories, Hospitals, High Schools, Shopping Malls, Apartments, Universities, Warehouses, Prisons, and Offices.  The group goes from room to room looking for their target.  The idea was that the target must spawn out side of view.  We have every players look at direction and field of view, so we can calculate an unseen region and spawn a target there and begin an attack.  What do players do?  They form a box, the player on the North Look South.  The South looks North.  Same with the Player on the West and East.  So their Field of View for most of the time is the entirety of the room.

    We tried distracting sound and falling objects to get their attention.  We had the most luck with this 30%.  They would choose one player to look at the sound another to look away, while the other two looked left and right.  30% of the time this left us with a unseen space in the center of the four or behind the one or more viewers that looked the wrong way.

    We were just spawning the target out of thin air.  So after testing we were always asked, where did the target come from, where was it hiding.  If we said no where, we just sprung it on you.  Then they felt cheated and not grateful for the freight.  If we said it came out of the shadows, they would feel vindicated.   But would still ask for options to reduce the shadow or see into them better.  When we said no, then they would attack any and all shadow regions.

    Personally I have always believed that the supper natural is not frightening, Reality is what we fear the most.  Birds of Prey, Reptiles, and Big Cats are instinctive fears of humans.  They are also the combined inspiration for Dragons.  But also real people, be they terrorist or ordinary people with bad intentions.  Remember homicidal maniacs, they look just like everyone else. 

    I don't feel an  Acre field dotted with 50 werewolves would be frightening to anyone. How did I come up with 50?  Well an Acre is 208,71 ft x 208,71 ft  = 43.560 ft^2.  Most one bedroom apartments are ~770 ft^2 (rounded up to 800 ft^2).   So  an Acre / 800 ft^2 = 43.560 ft^2 / 800 ft^2 = 54,45 (BTW my favorite math and number) (~50  again rounded).

    I reasoned that the appropriate density would be one target(I feel that the horror mob should be called a target) per town.  I lived in a small town before, it had one stop light. It was approximately 5,5 mi^2 (4 mi^2 land + 1,5 mi^2 water) and had a population of 3.700.  I feel these are good data points for a single target density.

    I would love to hear more ideas people have for horror scenarios.  Not IP definitions, but for instance imagine you are at home and the power goes out from dusk till dawn (8 or 10 hours).  You have to find a flash light or candle and matches, in the dark.  You then find your small pet dead.  Someone is in your house, and has killed your pet, and you were unaware.  I would make the house a 2 story, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, with walk in attack storage space and full basement around 3.000 ft^2.  relatively large space for either a one on one or say 5 on one family.

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  • AmatheAmathe Miami, FLMember RarePosts: 2,846
    Many mmos have horror themed zones and encounters, even though the whole game isn't horror.

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  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 5,332
    edited April 20


    Torgen said:








    Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, still has a strong following and would make for a great MMO if done correctly. TSW had a great theme and I played it for years in spite of the feel of the combat. Vampyr, an RPG is suppose to come out in 2017, so we will see.








    OMG, I comletely forgot about Masquerade Bloodlines. It was my favorite game when I was a teenager but I only played through it once and can hardly remember anything. I barely ever play SP games, but that game caught my attention and is still so deep in my memory. Also played the first game but can barely remember that. 

    You said, it has still a strong following. Are there mods or anything that give you new stories to play through. 

    I gonna check out Vampyr now. Is there any connection to Masquerade? 




    Yes, lots of mods which update the game and some which even add new quest lines and vampire clans.  A Google will take you to the devoted fan sites and list available mods.  Enjoy. 
    Vampyr has no connection that I'm aware of.
    Post edited by Octagon7711 on

    "Change is the only constant."

  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 5,332
    There are some VR horror games that had some people screaming.  I think a Horror VR MMO could probably do the trick.  

    "Change is the only constant."

  • AlverantAlverant Wheaton, ILMember RarePosts: 882
    A key part of horror is the feeling of helplessness. Gamers don't usually go for that, especially MMO gamers. MMO gamers would plan a 50-player raid against Cthulu if they could.
  • Binny45Binny45 St John''s, NFMember UncommonPosts: 502
    It would be great to have a horror theme similar to a vein like Castlevania. Only this time it would be locations all over the world with various horror creatures from local lore and mythology.

    image

  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,579

    Konfess said:

    I scrolled down to post, and saw an add for Immortal Nights on this very forum page.  I never heard of it, so I don't know a thing about it.

    Why no Horror MMOs?  Hard to buy the rights to the IPs.  Difficult if not impossible to maintain horror for any length of time.


    Hmm, think an IP like Star wars or Lord of the ring would be rather harder to get then Hellraiser or Terror on Elm street... Even Lovecraft should not be that hard to get and it is one of the few IPs that actually would work and have enough popularity to keep a MMO. A Steven King MMO could be another possibility but it would be harder to not get cheesy.

    And I don't think keeping it up is that hard either as long as you forget the whole demi god thing players turn into in fantasy games. But I think even a Lovecraft game would work better as a regular multiplayer game or CORPG, having thousands of players going around and investigating things could easily get silly.

    A multiplayer FPS-RPG about friday the 13th could be fun. But having a horror MMO with loads of zones like Crystal lake seriously easily turns into slapstick.
  • dswag22dswag22 Member CommonPosts: 19
    IMO i think its because horror stories require a much heavier narrative then other stories
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