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General: Why a Horror MMO Won't Work



  • mlambert890mlambert890 NY, NYPosts: 135Member

    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.

  • chbautistchbautist Montreal, QCPosts: 50Member

    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.

  • ThanesThanes St. Augustine, FLPosts: 182Member

    "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

  • SpileSpile AntwerpenPosts: 12Member Uncommon

    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.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,251Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by idgarad

    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 error. 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]



    Excuse me?  I can't disagree with what you wrote more.  Pretty sad you can't make your point without a mod editing it.

    If CCP can ever get WOD published it will be a hugh success.  The secret world will also be a success, because it is not another theme park like SWTOR.

  • ThanesThanes St. Augustine, FLPosts: 182Member

    ^above: while I hope TSW is good too, there is no indication that it is anything other than a thempark also.  On a sidenote to this sidenote: one of its locations is an actual themepark.

  • AzariaAzaria Murfreesboro, TNPosts: 318Member

    How can he know there hasn't been an attempt at a real horror mmorpg. Gore maybe but not horror, I don't see any Ravenloft games being produced and World Of Darkness has been abandoned by CCP, by abandoned I mean they will never make it.  So were still at Zero then. But ask yourself this, are there any scary single player rpgs? Then you say well you cant make an mmo like a rpg, well that didn't stop Bioware did it? Seriously have someone actually produce a horror mmorpgs of any sort, and get back to me. But one things for certain, it wont be a themepark or a typical one, probably an iffy Sandbox at best, it couldnt be done in a traditional way. I could explain why but I dont have 3 pages.

  • KingPinoyKingPinoy Concord, CAPosts: 55Member

    Why would a horror mmo have to have such generalized monsters. Its not like new ones cant be created. I mean you could have possessed people, serial killers, etc.

    EDIT: Im not taking any sides its just i feel like automatically saying horror mmos wont work is to closed-minded.

  • NordenNorden somewhere inPosts: 46Member

    Great read!

    Listen to what the man says: Its not the genre, its the people. A new mmorpg, be it a horror or HobbitsAndElves will be treated in the very same way by too many people. we want something new - but not too new. Many players are burnt out on themeparks and dont realise it, instead asking for the impossible - a fix that still thrills... So hop on the treadmill and see if the newest still can mesmerize you - it wont, btw.


  • XoshuaXoshua St. Catharines, ONPosts: 127Member

    If we could get that browser based zombie mmorpg, "urbandead" 3d it would take off.  I haven't played it in a year because busy life, but it was fun.  You choose a "class," such as military (start with m16), nurse/doc (med kit) and you have a certain amount of energy to do tasks.  Anyways, I like the thread. :)

    Time to fix this genre.

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,187Member Uncommon

    I don't think it's unreasonable to make a horror MMO, you just have to focus on what scares people.  You make the character design very intricate and difficult. Let people spend hours upon hours creating there character. Only give them one character slot. Let them play till level 30 and then introduce permadeath. When a person has invested a few weeks or more into a character, and the prospect of having to reroll is on the line, they'll jump if a bug sneezes.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member

    Of course a horror MMO could work. You won't be frightened by it possible not even immersed but it could definitely work. You may ask "Then what's the point?". The point would be to make an entertaining game. Lets face it not much scares you these days. That shouldn't stop people from making such a game


    A zombie survival sandbox game, where you create your own community, with its own defenses and an AI that randomly throws mobs at the settlement you have to defend against, not to mention gather provisions from the world around you sounds pretty awesome to me. The asshats mentioned are part of any MMO and that doesn't stop those MMOs from being successful.


    Buuuut if you want to go to the extremes, then you could always have preset dialogue options from drop down menus to use and buddy codes to open up chat between certain individuals, just like games like Wizard101 if you are afraid of Chuck Norris jokes to ruin your personal roleplay and immersion.


    You are right about one thing Mr Coyote..The Walking Dead has indeed turned into an emo fest rather than a zombie apocalypse tv show

  • TheIllusiveTheIllusive HelmondPosts: 196Member

    this has by far been the worst column post I have seen on this site.

    The problem is that the OP is thinking within the box, within the lines of themepark MMO's.. Ofcourse a themepark styled MMO would NOT work by a longshot in this modern MMO age. Howver, that does not mean that a Horror/Adventure MMO is doomed to fail from the start.

    A horror themed MMO is in fact a great idea with great potential, if it would be in the hands of a capable producer/developer who is willing and capable to innovate. Look at Amnesia, one of the scariest games ever created. Now Imagine that game but an open dark world in which you cannot fight, only run and hide. A world like this has to be well designed, contain a limit on players and be non instanced to work... but the potential is there.



  • SilverbranchSilverbranch Warren, MIPosts: 192Member

    Heh-heh.  Likely more true than not.

    A Horror MMO couldn't be built around the typical shoot-the-duck-at-the-carnival dynamic most mmo's use, with players running around mashing the SHOOT-EM key frantically.  At anything that moves while staring glassy-eyed and drooling lipped wonder at a DPS meter, brain cells slowly collapsing by the dozens then winking out.

    A horror based mmo would work for the right segment of the gaming community if it was based more on mystery, puzzle solving, tracking of clues and uncovering of things, intermixed with combat.  "The Name of the Rose" kind of stuff.

    Any rate, good read and probably accurate (in general) of the Human Condition nowadays.


    Wherever you go, there you are.

  • Chivalry1978Chivalry1978 Vandergrift, PAPosts: 184Member

    While I enjoyed reading this and I have to agree on many aspects of it, you are wrong about it would not work. Bit ago a game came out called requim bloodymare, it was a god aweful attempt to make a horror inspired fantasy mmorpg. However it had some unique aspects to the game that made it worth noting. One we all know that horror occures at night when was the last time you saw micheal Myers kill at night or Freddy go on a killing spree at noon. Or vampires and werewolves attack in broad daylight. It just doesnt happen. Requiem had monsters everywhere you went but at certain times you would enter night time and Special monsters would apear, they had better loot drops and were rather nasty to take out on your own...The same mechanic could be applied to another game with a far better story line.

    Now story line. You will need one that is relevant and known. Only one I see being able to do this is is something in the Hp lovecraft mythos, or possibly a vampire hunter d based game...though I lean more to the cthulhu mythos as it provides a wide array of places to investigate battle and quest in.

    When night comes things would come lurking out of the dark and the only sanctuary would be day light. Plus Im sure we could get some good voice acting by Dean Stockwell, For those that dont know Dean stockwell is one of the only actors to do two cthulhu based movies, and would be kinda a treat to the fans.

    But the principle of a horror mmo could be done but you would have do it right....

    Zombie survival mmo would not work as there would be no such things as boss raids,

    vampire mmo could work but you would have to expand to other things that go bump in the night

    A space base horror mmo could work as sci-fi can come up with alot of nasty creatures

    serial killer mmo would not work as you cant kill the slasher over and over and over they always come back and it would be to much like the movies...


    so yes there is a possibility for a horror mmo to work, however with out some developement done correctly with some fans assisting I dont think it could survive.


  • mogilny89mogilny89 plainsboro, NJPosts: 22Member

    Any MMO will work as long as its done well.  Another run back and forth across the map, "guildie", grind till your hand hurts doing things other people are too intelligent to do, so you can have "gear" which gives you a complete advantage so you can prove your innate "skill" this has been done before 100 times and failed as many, game will not succeed no, regardless of meaningless theme.

    I can see they are trying here, but they are trying all the wrong things, the corporate way.  They are trying to give you what they want to give you based on their own inventory, as opposed to giving you something that is unique, that you, yourself would like to play.  Some games are going to fail, but anyone that doesn't try soemthing new from here out, will not even stand a chance.  Slapping a  new theme on the same old crap serves no purpose other than wasting everyone's time and money. 

    The idea that "fans" are going to make a game is stupid.  All you get is the same crowd demanding the same tired time sink theme, that I want to be a boss in the game because I cant succeed by myself so here what you have to give me or me and my ilk will troll the game to death formula which has ruined every game out there.  What they need is someone who actually has some vision and knowledge of what can be done, before this whole industry is part of the past which seems where we are going anyway.  Games 30 years ago had more creativity, now its all about recurring revenue, or, not suprisingly, the lack of.  Everyone has the right to make a living, but you should stick with something you have talent and knowledge of, not something you think is going to make up for all the bad past decisions you made. 

    The day all the little game boutiques became corporate buyouts is the day the industry went from being enjoyable to being a complete ripoff.  Not unlike so many other industries in the US.

  • LhynnSaintLhynnSaint CordobaPosts: 119Member

    With permanent death and cutting player interaction to its bare minimum a good horror mmo would be possible. Oh, and another thing, it needs to be unfair or truly difficult.

    Kinda like "realms of the mad god" i guess, but horror instead of just adventure, an enfasis on surviving, not on killing.

  • notfunnynotfunny HunedoaraPosts: 1Member

    Originally posted by nuttob

    There is Requiem already out there, and I think that's about as close as your going to get for a horror MMO.


    what? Requiem? that's just  a fail game, nothing in it, NOTHING that can be considered horror, in fact Requiem= Lineage 2  with  grinding sesions anoyong from the blood poping from them when they dye.

  • travamarstravamars Dallas, TXPosts: 417Member Common

    Any mmo would work if it was done right.

    Total fail of an article. But i guess the little kids might like it.

  • AphaxeAphaxe Holly, MIPosts: 2Member

    If a horror MMO is going to succeed, you have to control the ambience. One of the things you can do is control the chatting system. Make the chatting system relative to your location and not for the total area. Have it to where people within a specific radius is capable of hearing you, and not the entire server or faction. Also, the game needs to take a page from Guild Wars and make it zoned instanced. When you enter a safe area, you can meet up with additional players and plan out your next incursion back into the city. You can also set it up so that in these instanced areas, it's possible to meet up with additional players, but in a randomized variable so that you're never meeting up with the same people outside of your party. Or make it so that you can group with multiple people or even guild mates and only they are the ones that can come into your area outside of a city zone.

    Also, you need to keep the grouping small. If you are doing a party, no more than 5 people total in the group. And make it to where you can hire NPC. Having a leveling system won't help as no matter what level you are, the areas just need to be horrific period. So randomizing the spawns would help add to the ambience. If you are going to use some sort of leveling system, you need to make it on a "use basis". Meaning, the more you use a shotgun, the more experienced you become in it. The more you have to repair weaponry, the higher skill you become, and the more likely you can affect the overall product you are working with. Ammunition does need to be finite, same with healing supplies, etc. But if you are using an instanced system like Guild Wars, this is easily controllable.

    To truly be able to keep with the "WOW" (and not meaning World of WarcrafT) factor, you need to keep the size of the game relatively manageable. If you can interchange between city and country settings, then you have a chance of keeping things more random. The biggest hurdle you have to get over will be "How do you keep players playing?" The game would have to expand. Add more cities, newer monsters, or even more powerful monsters. Also, don't just limit yourself to a single area, but add to it by adding larger cities. So say the game starts off in New York, if you add cities through monthly or periodical updates like WoW, you add cities close to New York. Example: Add New Jersey or Albany or Buffalo and add small cities from there. With each city, you increase the difficulty. Instead of running around against mindless zombies, maybe the based zombie is more like the de-evolved humans from I AM LEGEND. You make it so that each city has a completely different monster group.

    You also need to take into account what humans would have done to combat the infestation. Say North Korea has decided that with this infestation, it's now time to attack the United States so they have occupied the West Coast, and destroyed cities with Nuclear weaponry, but inadvertently caused the monsters to mutate into strong creatures.

    So the idea from a Horror MMO is possible, and would be awesome if done right, but it would have to be an ever changing game. You don't NEED permadeath to add to the ambience, but it would help if you did have a server or two that were permadeath like Diablo 2's Hardcore play style.

  • RomanjisanRomanjisan Washington, DCPosts: 53Member

    I think I've found my new favorite mmorpg columnist!  Shine on, you crazy diamond, Coyote Sharptongue.  I bow unto your witty repartee, o Liege Lord.  I shall kill ten rats faster than I've ever done nao!  ^_^


  • kazmokazmo NY, NYPosts: 715Member

    Who said the Secret World was supposed to be "scary" like survival horror? I don't think that was ever implied?

    It's horror themed, and I'm sure there will no doubt be some very spooky moments throughout the game, but by no means is the whole game supposed to be like Silent Hill in 1999....

    Flawed article, imo.

  • doomknight88doomknight88 PortoPosts: 4Member

    Requiem is a horror MMO. not a horror like silent hill, but its considered a horror mmo

  • GolelornGolelorn Hiding From Social Media Peeping Toms, ALPosts: 1,099Member Uncommon

    But I like Vampre Diaries...


    Crap. I just admitted this in public.

  • TheSkimDotNetTheSkimDotNet Pittsburgh, INPosts: 274Member

    I still strongly believe a zombie survival game would work and I will rip off your scalp and eat your brains (after removing the skull of course) if you disagree with me. 

This discussion has been closed.