Jump-scares and mirrors for Halloween

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.

Exploring an abandoned, spooky mansion. What could go wrong?

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).

Mirror check, ambush, check?

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.

Where there are spiderwebs…

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.

Even the baby spiders can surprise you…

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?

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7 Responses to Jump-scares and mirrors for Halloween

  1. Shintar says:

    That’s a good point about the lack of mirrors in most MMOs; I never thought about that before. Maybe mirrored surfaces are hard to make or take up a lot of PC processing power? Strange for sure…

    • Telwyn says:

      I’m sure they are processor-intensive. Mirrors in a dungeon or raid would probably cause lower-spec computers to melt down if a fight was going on nearby (with the spell graphics and all). It’s weird though as they are everyday objects.

    • DDOCentral says:

      Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) makes liberal use of reflective mirrors in quite a few dungeons. In the most recent update, Update 37, mirrors even figure into the plot of the five quest story line!

      • Telwyn says:

        Indeed. In the original inspiration for this article I was going to feature a screenshot from the Bringing the Light quest that I just ran again – one where a mirror features in a plot moment. Unfortunately in this version of the article that was omitted…

  2. It’s not just MMOs. I’ve noticed functioning mirrors are quite rare in most games these days. Which is weird because I remember them being fairly common like fifteen years ago.

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