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View Full Version : Dark. Creepy. Scary. Bloody.



Draccus
09-16-2010, 07:41 AM
Let me start off by lavishing praise on the DDO quest designers. Most of the quests you've released in the last year have been exquisite. I honestly feel DDO has the best quest designers in the industry -- yes, better than Bioware's. One would assume that a game this old would start to have repetitive, tired, worn, boring quests but Turbine continues to amaze me. Partycrashers, Claw of Vulkoor, IQ, Genesis Point, In the Deep -- all great examples of how you guys continue to find news and interesting ways to challenge and entertain us.

Now, with that over, I'd like to make a content suggestion. Let's see what you can do to make your quests darker, creepier, and more scary. I'm not talking about turning DDO into a horror game but I'd like to see some quests that make me feel more like I'm in a thriller than a sit-com.

I think Shavarath is a closer to what I'm imagining. Shav and the associated quests are dark and dingy inside. But they're more of a post-apocalyptic industrial/steampunk theme than scary. Don't get me wrong, I love 'em, and would like to see that theme continued.

Two things that contribute, in my opinion, to a creepy quest are lighting and sound. The background music, ambient sounds, and use of (or lack of) light and shadows can easily change a quest from peppy to nasty. Of course, you know this, as you guys do this for a living and I just play it.

The best example of a creepy quest I can remember is from an old, obscure FPS series called Thief. That game was full of areas that were so creepy I actually hesitated before I went in. Most of it was subtle...a dark library with spooky music and barely audible background sounds...and did I just see something move? Great stuff.

Dragonage had a couple areas that were spooky. The approach to Paragon of Her Kind (the dwarf quest) had a deranged woman chanting a poem that echoed through the halls at certain points. Great stuff!

In DDO, Shadow Crypt is a good example of a quest that's got some spooky and creepy aspects. It's sufficiently dark and the narrator does a great job.

But most DDO quests are very brightly lit, have few ambient sounds, and have rather generic music. Of course, that's intended in some of the quests (Partycrashers certainly should look and sound like a party inside!).

Let's see the darker side of DDO!

dunklezhan
09-16-2010, 07:52 AM
All in favour providing they can steer away from yet more tunnels and corridors. More open areas please! Even if its canyons and such which only have the illusion of 'open ness' by virtue of being able to see the sky.

Also, can we please remove some glass walls? Endless source of frustration that places like Sorrowdusk Isle I can't just jump off a cliff to my doom/float down on my FF boots because of an invisible wall. Really freedom-limiting and irritating. I can understand why that particular one is there from a technical point of view: you're actually in a different instance. Some other ones like the cliffs in Korthos really do make me fume. It feels like a 'safety' feature to prevent accidental death, except that are other areas in the game where you can quite happily fall to your splattery doom...

I have digressed from topic. Sorry.

Yes - moar creap pl0x, if you can do it without resorting to recycling tunnel and corridor models. And I'm fairly sure creepy can be done without 'dark'. See if you can get Sam Raimi to guest design an instance I bet you any money you like he plays DnD.

dranreb
09-16-2010, 07:52 AM
Go to the Devil's Battlefield in Amrath. The explorer area and quests all scare me.

Grimmsie
09-16-2010, 08:20 AM
/signed!

Very good example with the Thief game, it sure is old but it has a huge fanbase and there are fan missions being made still up to this day, just because the game has such a great atmosphere and people try to make the creepy feel last longer. The FPS there was actually translated as First Person Sneaker as you basically should sneak throughout the missions in order to complete them.

Agreed that the creepiness has to be rather subtle with an occasional 'heart attack' moment :D like a sudden sound or a shadow moving. Dark rooms with little light and distant screams being heard, caves filled with deformed corpses, foggy meadows at night, with only a few will-o-wisps flickering and... wait...did that grass just move :D? And a hideous, disfigured, foul boss at the end of the quest. Some monster that looks like a bodak or a choker. Something that will bring terror to your mind and freeze your heart for a moment :P. Well I bet there are people who know better how to create such an environment, with more imagination, just listen to the ideas of the players and bring us a new tasty adventure pack ^^.

aldan
09-16-2010, 08:40 AM
I would love the see some dank, dark, scary tombs, crypts, dungeons, etc.

the only issue is that it would be a 1 time deal, you run it once then the illusion is over, then its zerg time.

I do like the idea though. Sounds like you must have been an old pen & paper player. You can really make it scary then because your mind is much more creative and fills in the gaps.

Fomori
09-16-2010, 08:55 AM
Maybe they are waiting until they do stuff with the realms of Dolurrh (A place of hopelessness, eternal despair, and consuming apathy) or Mabar.



I would love the see some dank, dark, scary tombs, crypts, dungeons, etc.
Carl: "You ain’t thinking of getting rid of the dank, are you, Moe?"
Moe: "Ehh, maybe I am."
Carl: "Oh, but Moe: the dank. The dank!"

Draccus
09-16-2010, 11:00 AM
Go to the Devil's Battlefield in Amrath. The explorer area and quests all scare me.


I think Shavarath is a closer to what I'm imagining. Shav and the associated quests are dark and dingy inside.

That's what I'm referring to.

Calebro
09-16-2010, 11:24 AM
I think my favorite game sequence of all time was from Vampire: Bloodlines inside the haunted hotel.

brian14
01-07-2011, 08:21 AM
I suppose different people are scared by different things. I can think of two quests where I was genuinely afraid -- although only first time around in each of them.

One was Misery's Peak. I had barely started DDO, and this was my first experience with narrow ledges and dizzying heights in-game. Add the incessant clicking of ice spiders, always after you but invisible until they pounce... and every jump becomes a heart-stopping experience. I may have actually screamed once when I fell off a ledge.

The other was the sunken ruins at the beginning of Sleeping Dust. I am a diver in RL, and this place is every diver's nightmare -- being trapped in a submerged maze all at crazy angles, and you can't tell which way is up. The only thing missing was steady sound of breathing. First time it gave me the creeps.


the only issue is that it would be a 1 time deal, you run it once then the illusion is over, then its zerg time.
That's unavoidable, I think.

slimkj
01-07-2011, 08:32 AM
DDO: Ravenloft? :D

k1ngp1n
01-07-2011, 08:36 AM
Sometimes I just really miss the feeling of standing in the presence of pure evil. Necro quests sometimes get it right, but not many like those quests.

amethystdragon
01-07-2011, 08:39 AM
I remember the first time I was freaked out by DDO. I don't remember the quest, but it was the first time I saw a giant spider jump out of nowhere. I actually jumped out of my chair. I think it has something to do with my aversion to spiders.

I do like the idea of more quests that have a mysterious feel about them. The feeling of what is going on, is something about to jump out at me.

FlyingTurtle
01-07-2011, 08:39 AM
I was bitterly disappointed by Church and the Cult. I knew it was the first Vampire quest, so I was expecting major creep factor, but was greeted by some kind of Disneyland ride (yay fire! yay ice sparklies! Little mephits! Look, skellies, how cute!).

Baldur's Gate had some nice over-the-top vampires with great digs. Weak as kittens they were, but they made their presence felt.

k1ngp1n
01-07-2011, 08:40 AM
I do like the idea of more quests that have a mysterious feel about them.

We always get quest objectives that are clear about who and what you are trying to kill. It would be nice to see this objective sometime: 'Survive.'

:eek:

Draccus
01-07-2011, 08:45 AM
Wow...necro thread...scary! :)

Before playing DDO, I spent a lot of time designing NWN and NWN2 adventures. I'm not a programmer, by any means, but I had a knack for making areas with atmosphere.

There are two things I found that dramatically changed the atmosphere of an area: Light and Sound.

A few subtle changes to those two aspects can turn and area from nondescript to downright terrifying.

As good as Turbine is at adding unique challenges to quests, I think they are a bit weak when it comes to light and sound. The vast majority of DDO dungeons are too bright. Some are so bright that it hurts my eyes. Sure, some dungeons should be bright (like Partycrashers, I mentioned above) but most should be darker...way darker.

Turbine's also a bit slack when it comes to ambient sounds. When I was designing NWN areas, I spent more time on sounds than any other part of the design. Water drips, frog croaks, ship creaks, torch flickers, pebbles falling, wind howling, wolves baying, and thousands of others sounds give a dungeon LIFE.

brian14
01-07-2011, 08:58 AM
Turbine's also a bit slack when it comes to ambient sounds. When I was designing NWN areas, I spent more time on sounds than any other part of the design. Water drips, frog croaks, ship creaks, torch flickers, pebbles falling, wind howling, wolves baying, and thousands of others sounds give a dungeon LIFE.
Seconded.

Oddly, I think one place which has one of the best ambient sounds is Cerulean Hills. But it is "pastoral" rather than "creepy".

Talon_Moonshadow
01-07-2011, 09:21 AM
Wow...necro thread...scary! :)

Before playing DDO, I spent a lot of time designing NWN and NWN2 adventures. I'm not a programmer, by any means, but I had a knack for making areas with atmosphere.

There are two things I found that dramatically changed the atmosphere of an area: Light and Sound.

A few subtle changes to those two aspects can turn and area from nondescript to downright terrifying.

As good as Turbine is at adding unique challenges to quests, I think they are a bit weak when it comes to light and sound. The vast majority of DDO dungeons are too bright. Some are so bright that it hurts my eyes. Sure, some dungeons should be bright (like Partycrashers, I mentioned above) but most should be darker...way darker.

Turbine's also a bit slack when it comes to ambient sounds. When I was designing NWN areas, I spent more time on sounds than any other part of the design. Water drips, frog croaks, ship creaks, torch flickers, pebbles falling, wind howling, wolves baying, and thousands of others sounds give a dungeon LIFE.

About the brightness: I wish I could fugure out a way to turn down some effects brightness. (which hurts my eyes) Air ellies, weapon effects, fire ellies, lava...stuff like that. But keep the dimmer stuff bright.

On the more "darker" side of things...

I loved Ravenloft. But I really don't think DDO needs more undead right now. Or more Flesh Golems....etc.

Necropolis is not that bad really. From a Ravenloft lovers point of view.
But it seems incompatible with regular DDDO players' playstyle.

There really are few ways to make us slow down and enjoy the environment we are in.


I would love to see more "rainbow" style darkness in dungeons. Actually I think all dungeons should be like that. But I understand why the went for the style they did.

I would love to see more sound effects added. With a focus on creepy sounds.
Be even better if they had a source we could track down and find. (fight?)

Dungeons really need more than one path to completion.
For scaryness, add ways to get seperated and lost.

More Invisible stalkers...find a way to code one that True Seeing would not see and that cannot show up in your target window. Even better if it focuses agro on one person and is relentless. :D
(give them assassination ability)(maybe not the ones that cannot be targeted or true seen).......(maybe.)

My first major computer gaming experience was Doom, and Doom II.
Loved the lighting, the sounds...the music!
Loved opening a door...where everything had just been super quiet, and greeted with a charging Horde of roaring demons!
(probably scarred my one year old daughter for life! As she was sitting on my lap, and had been delegated the duty of pulling the firing trigger on the joystick, as I navigated with the keyboard......her eyes got so wide! And she was pulling that trigger as fast as her little finger could go...as I ran backwards! Yelling Fire! Fire! Fire! lol)



(I would give anything to go through a portal and all of a sudden the original Doom music started playing!)

Trillea
01-07-2011, 09:32 AM
DDO: Ravenloft? :D

If there EVER was a DDO 2 this would be my vote, unless there was DDO: Darksun in the running as well.

DinoBaggio
01-07-2011, 09:34 AM
I think my favorite game sequence of all time was from Vampire: Bloodlines inside the haunted hotel.

When you go down a corridor, find a dead end, then turn around and see the madman...what a game.

Worth the necro just to recommend this game to, well, anyone.

Gorbadoc
01-07-2011, 09:38 AM
DDO: Ravenloft? :D

If there EVER was a DDO 2 this would be my vote, unless there was DDO: Darksun in the running as well.

Yes and yes! +1 each, for awesomeness and conciseness.

Edit: Also, consider incorporating rules from Ghostwalk. (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9573.phtml) In that campaign setting, "dead" people can choose to manifest themselves as ghosts. The ghost of an adventurer can drag his own corpse to a temple to be raised, or he can keep on adventuring as a ghost. This makes death less of a risk compared to other PnP settings, but death is already a non-issue in DDO. It would be nice to have some game lore actually explaining the unimportance of death.

Gulnar13
01-07-2011, 09:43 AM
What about DDO: Planescape?
TBH, eberron is kinda meh... only the warforged are the saving grace, imho.

Eladiun
01-07-2011, 09:57 AM
/Agreed

But there is a fine line with dark between moody and hard to see or dull, for examples see some of the Necro quests.

TeyaBrosna
01-07-2011, 10:18 AM
I agree, I'd love to see some of the Necro quests especially become a little creepier. Someone pointed out earlier in this thread that they thought Misery's Peak was creepy, with all the jumps and the ambient noises including the spiders - which were definitely an issue. What I'd like to hear in the ambient noises are more clues about the monsters in that particular environment or quest. Granted, some monsters won't make noise, either by virtue of their design or by virtue of being too intelligent to give themselves away (creepy in its own right). However, zombies? Surely they can moan creepily enough for darkened, narrow passageways and are dim enough to actually do so. Snatches of overheard conversation by the humanoid enemies in the corridor just ahead? Not clear enough for words to be understood, but juuuust loud enough to add to the general creepiness of the area.

I *do* get creeped out by some of these quests, but I agree with the OP - they can be creepier, just to add to the general ambiance of the quest. I'd love to see flickering torches occasionally, especially in conjunction with those phase spiders...now that'd be fantastic. Although as another poster pointed out, the devs would have to be careful not to make the environment *so* dark that we can't enjoy the detail. There are definitely parts of Tomb of the Shadow Crypt that I had a hard time seeing because they were so dark. So...I guess what I'm saying is that I agree that the environments can be made viscerally darker without being physically darker.

Ralmeth
01-07-2011, 10:24 AM
Excellent idea. I always thought the undead quests should be like this instead of having endless hordes of mobs with too many hit points.

Cauthey
01-07-2011, 10:26 AM
DDO: Ravenloft? :D

*dirties pants*

EatSmart
01-07-2011, 10:42 AM
So if some party members are immune to fear would they get a cuddly sit-com version of the environment? :)

I think the sleeping spell inn [Delirium] is the best dungeon environment for creepiness that turbine have come up with so far. Its lost some of its edge now that it's been around so long that everyone knows it intimately.

I agree, the atmospheric dungeons are a pleasure to play through, and more would be awesome.

kartos
01-07-2011, 10:53 AM
maybe add a quest where you fall asleep and wake up in a dark room with no light at all (so you don't see anything even your team mates) with parts of the rooms floor covered in acid that can hurt you,random fire bursts coming from nowhere and everyone in a while you hear sounds like in the movies when ghosts are talking to you but you don't understand what they say with the occasional kill here and there(you hear the ghosts saying kill in a fading sound) also the ground is very slippery and it feels rather soft.
you only objective is to get out but with the place being 100% dark and with the random fire bursts and the acid on the floor also there are no shrines and the group needs to find a way to reach each other... the only clue to the way out is a sound of boom increasing when you get near the exit.
when you reach the exit you move to another place to find a beating heart the has fire in it so you realize you have been swollen alive by a dragon and you need to find a soft spot in it's chest to cut open and get away but the anti bodies of the dragon start to attack you and you also realize that the ghosts were of other adventurers that have been eaten by the dragon and that they are asking you to kill it (by attacking it's heart but that will cause more anti bodies to attack you and the heart is hard to damage) if you don't attack the heart within a minute and a half from finding it the ghosts will attack too.

now that' what I'll call a creepy quest the first part is scary if done right and the second part is just epic in my opinion

Alavatar
01-07-2011, 12:49 PM
If there EVER was a DDO 2 this would be my vote, unless there was DDO: Darksun in the running as well.


What about DDO: Planescape?
TBH, eberron is kinda meh... only the warforged are the saving grace, imho.

DDO: Darksun or DDO: Plancescape would be my votes! Hell yeah!

I think Planescape would be the better option, though. Traveling the planes offers significantly more opportunity for creative diversity than a single world and the Guild Housing could be the same as DDO: Eberron except with Astral Plane ships. :D

Sneakee
01-07-2011, 12:54 PM
DDO: LAS VEGAS for the win!!! :D

That's probably the scariest place in the world (off the strip that is)!!! hehehe

TheKaige
01-07-2011, 11:33 PM
Would love if they got darker in DDO; maybe it's my love for old D&D, but I've always thought that Dungeons and Dragons should be dark. Would prefer if they worked on making the current in-game quests darker and spookier though than that they release new ones.

As far as the spookiest quests in game, I'd have to go with Rainbow in the Dark, Shadow Crypt (Particularly the first time you do the torch puzzle and the DM makes the line about the fountains laughing at you; I was ready for the room to fill with wraiths if I messed up the puzzle again), and Caverns of Korommar (though to be fair I had never seen Flesh Renders before, which are probably the creepiest monster model, and I never looked through the force field to see that the released evil was a beholder, so I was always guessing at what it was).

DDO:Planescape would be awesome. And in all honesty, you could easily convert Stormreach to Sigil, and pretty much do nothing to actually change the way the game is set up, and you'd have a much cooler setting.

Lastly, if they want to make the game creepier, they'd could do alot by changing the monster models; biggest offender imo is Pit Fiends (though admittedly, I don't have Shavarath, and have only fought Attareikos) Probably b/c 3.5 pit fiends look cuddly compared to old Planescape Pit Fiends:

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM35_gallery/MM35_PG57.jpg

http://dungeonsmaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/diterlizzi-pit-fiend.jpg

Fishcatch22
01-07-2011, 11:47 PM
Maybe they are waiting until they do stuff with the realms of Dolurrh (A place of hopelessness, eternal despair, and consuming apathy) or Mabar.



Carl: "You ain’t thinking of getting rid of the dank, are you, Moe?"
Moe: "Ehh, maybe I am."
Carl: "Oh, but Moe: the dank. The dank!"+1 for the obscure Simpsons quote.

kamimitsu
01-07-2011, 11:58 PM
It's already covered, but I'm with the "Ravenloft or Dark Sun" folks.

RJBsComputer
01-08-2011, 12:33 AM
Sound like some great ideas. I for one would love to see some quests that were not so much slash and dash. Shroud part 3 is a good example. Gives us some stuff the the checker/backgammon/chess crowd can have fun solving. I remember the good old days before graphics where everythings was text base. You don't remember the fallen branch back on the the path you can use to push the release button on the other side of the gate, then you ain't going no were.

Gorbadoc
01-08-2011, 01:41 AM
I want to be careful what I wish for with respect to Ravenloft and Darksun. Both find appeal in the unforgiving nature of the setting. DDO, meanwhile, can't help but be forgiving; player characters can always return from the dead, while slain NPCs return from the dead whenever you repeat a quest.

I'd love to see Ravenloft or Darksun elements in DDO, but the devs need to be clever about it, so the threat of death feels real without preventing a player from retrying a quest.

twix
01-08-2011, 02:06 AM
Nice necro! I love this idea. Shaverath impressed me quite a bit when i first walked through the explorer area and the little town. Quite morbid in some spots. I'm really big into Dark Fantasy. I thought Dragon Age did that concept very well and would love some more seriously creepy or scary areas in ddo.I know it would be a little harder to lay the ground work as this a teen rated game but it would be pretty damn cool if it was accomplished.

Templarion
01-08-2011, 02:17 AM
I think my favorite game sequence of all time was from Vampire: Bloodlines inside the haunted hotel.

That's one of the best horror scenes in any games I have ever experienced and I have played a lot of games.

Also some indie games like Amnesia are very good examples of horror.

However, I don't think any MMO would ever be able to fully use horror material. The grinding this game requires really is the biggest horror there is and no visual effects can overcome it.