We’re at that time of year when everything is spooky and scary, well in MMO-land at least. The nights are quickly drawing in. The Halloween events have already started this week, as I found out logging into Everquest 2 to take some screenshots. That meant an immediate detour to find the latest quest for the 2017 edition of this event. Although I have no special connection to Halloween in general the quests in EQ2 are always good fun.
Playing through this year’s Broken Mirrors quest, started me thinking about mirrors in MMORPGs and their relative rarity. Reflective surfaces are often limited to just bodies of water – EQ2 has mirrors however (and so does DDO).
A mirror featured rather heavily in a previous year’s quest also. They’re quite spooky in-game as I’m not used to seeing my character’s reflection that clearly (a water reflection isn’t that detailed in a game). It being a game and Halloween content, there’s the expectation when you see a mirror that it will presage something bad – a monster appearing behind you or the like. Yes, mirrors in games are great “jump scare” mechanisms.
Jump scares bother me, they affect me badly and I’m not great at steeling myself against them even if I know when one is coming. It’s a very good reason why I never watch horror/thriller type movies by choice. So I’m not a great fan of them in games either. EQ2’s Halloween quests have used them in the past a little too effectively. Another game that seems to like them, although their not Halloween themed per se is Dungeons & Dragons Online.
In several of the dungeons I’ve run on my new Orien-server homed Artificer there are spiders. Spiders in this game are so too realistic (well other than being enormous), oh and they have a tendency to ambush you. They appear out of the ground nearby (always play DDO with the sound on!), they drop from above or they jump at your face from around a corner. Honestly if there are spiders involved in a dungeon, who needs Halloween?