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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 8:09AM Wgraves said

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Bubbled gatecamps.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 9:54AM (Unverified) said

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Asheron's Call used to scare me all the time. I was afraid that if I got killed by those PK's I'd loose my stuff to them. All of a sudden, when something "real" is at stake, guilds become important. I wish we could go back to hardcorepvp.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 10:50AM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely! A few months ago in EQ2 I went on my first run through Unrest. Towards the end, your screen goes all static and eventually a really cheesy skull comes up (covering the whole screen, obscuring menu bars and everything). It really did confuse/scare the hell out of me, simply because that was the first time I've ever been playing an MMO and something like that interrupted gameplay. Very cool.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 11:16AM Anatidae said

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Nope.

I can say my toon was wary in UO of being ganked, until I joined the gankers.

Oh, the huge dino in WoW was a good WTF moment. Not scared, but it was surprising the first time that thing gets you.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 11:22AM Jeromai said

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Taken aback by a sudden mob respawn, yes. An actual scare, no. It's hard for me to fully immerse with camera zoomed out to see one's avatar and as much of the surroundings as possible for situational awareness. Takes an FPS like FEAR and tricks from the horror/suspense movie playbook to make me jump.

Story and mechanic-wise though, I like the Dread effect from LOTRO. The screen turns darker and takes on a sinister atmosphere and your health bar plummets to a new lower max level. It's like a music cue in a movie that says this part of the dungeon or shadowy statue is -nasty-. Got slightly repetitive with wraiths or zombies that breathed shadow on you temporarily, though.

I'm not sure MMOs should be out to scare people lore-wise. Seems there are much better single-player experiences that would have you alone and isolated - that's part of the horror trope, ain't it? MMOs seem to be about growing more powerful, with friends and comrades at one's side. Rather than experiencing some kind of scary sequence of events or story.

The adrenaline surge and heart quickening of being stalked by real people in a PvP situation is another kind of fear. One that can be achieved in an MMO if it was desired.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 11:32AM moopcow said

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Unrest from EQ2 like Josh said, but theres more. Once you beat Unrest you get a house item called Garanel's Skull. If you put that in your house every once in a while when walking around it a skeleton will pop up on your screen and do a little dance. Apparently it makes my decorator jump every time.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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First time I went to Outlands in WoW, I heard a weird noise. I thought it was nothing, until I turned to see a 100ft walking Fel Guard =P. Ran back to that outpost asap ^_^.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2008 1:43PM (Unverified) said

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That skeleton made me jump in my chair also. I had no idea anything like it existed, and I went into someone's house to buy something... Suddenly that thing got up in my face and started jiggling around. I wasn't really scared, but it totally startled me.

It freaked me out because I had never seen anything like that in an MMO before. I felt obligated to tell my guild what an idiot I was after I realized what happened.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2008 12:40PM (Unverified) said

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Everquest.

Vellious was new.

There was a huge high level aggressive turtle roaming one of the zones. I(necro) was totally paranoid it was going to eat me unawares. My husband and I were sitting on a little ice shelf in the water, resting up. All of a sudden, I'm attacked, taking damage - I freak and ran my character around the ice hills screaming aloud "THE TURTLE, THE TURTLE!!!" to my husband.

It took me a few seconds to realize it was just a direwolf. But ya know, paranoia can get the best if you sometimes. ;)

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 3:08PM (Unverified) said

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The first time I heard the sound of a Fel Reaver "sneaking" up on me (more likely just a respawn). Had my headphones on and the volume up a bit. The noise with the ground-shake made me jump out of my skin. The noise still gives me a bit of a chill.

So, anyone else scared of giant robots now?

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 3:20PM (Unverified) said

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Dark Age of Camelot was my first MMO and I can vividly remember walking south from my Home Town through Myrkwood Forest. I had been invited by some RL friends to join them. They suggested I just "walk down the road" to them.

As you leave the zone North of it you instantly descend into darkness, with trees starting to choke out all light.

Worse, the levels of the mobs increases dramatically and soon you catch glimpses of high level ghosts, spiders and Haunted, shambling trees.

I remember feeling so alone and my heart racing and I have never matched that feeling in another MMO.

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 7:52PM (Unverified) said

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Everquest...

-Running through Kithicor Woods at night

-Emerald Jungle, the whole zone. Dark and full of underbrush, raptors, and undead gorillas (which incidentally see through invisibility)

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 8:03PM (Unverified) said

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WoW

Western & Eastern Plaguelands

It's pretty hard to get scared by WoWs cartoony monsters but entering a brown dirty zone heaving with the undead, surrounded by vicious mutated wildlife coupled with eery music and twisted lore about the undead ravaging of all humanity.

It was a gritty, depressing, dangerous and violent place.
You could'nt help but watch where you stepped and checked behind you instinctivly for those fast respawns or an opposing faction sneeking up on you!

Posted: Aug 17th 2008 11:20PM (Unverified) said

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Old EverQuest... various high level places, but always Kithicor at night. Willies every time. Never knew what the heck was going to jump out at you.

WoW... nothing is scary in WoW. It's just varying levels of cheese or annoyingly overscripted.

LoTRO.... getting lost in the Old Forest for the first time. Yes, I could have used my map to go home. But trying to find my way through there actually made me nervous and twitchy in a way I had not been since I quit EQ in 2001.

Posted: Aug 20th 2008 8:09PM (Unverified) said

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The suspense of waiting to see if the PKs were going to risk opening the box containing my house key, or if they'd decide it was probably just a trapped box full of kindling and deathrobes and leave it behind.

That was in UO, back when losing a house key essentially meant losing the house, everything in the house, plus likely losing a place to put a house, too.

The fear really came from the suspense of the situation, plus how upset my darling friend and housemate would be (and at me).

That made it a real-world consequence: my friend would not have been roleplaying disappointment, but would have actually been really disappointed, IRL, and I'd have been really, IRL, ashamed of myself for having been so stupid as to forget to bank the key prior to running out of town.

Kithicor at night was impressively creepy. 'Not on the same scale as UO's original, frighteningly bad design, but still among the best there's been.


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