Perfect Ten: The bloodiest MMOs of all time

    
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I am not nor ever have been that much of a fan of gore and blood in video games. Oh, I thought Doom was delightfully scandalous back in the day (in a very low-rez fashion) and have made allowances for storytelling moments where an element of ultra-violence is needed. But from Mortal Kombat to today, I don’t find much interest or delight in games getting violently murder-happy.

Despite dealing with constant combat, MMOs generally are not bloody affairs. It’s kind of a “PG-13” industry where combat doesn’t leave so much as a scratch on your target and where death literally fades away to nothing. Yet every once in a while we do get MMOs that embrace the bloodletting and don’t shy away from shocking with a fountain of gore every now and then.

Today we’ll be listing 10 of the bloodiest MMOs of all time as either a public service to feed your barbaric nature or to help you avoid a mess on your carpet.

Requiem: Memento Mori

Pretty much anybody knows about Requiem (if they know anything about this MMO at all, that is) is that it’s an insanely gory game. And that’s the beginning, middle, and end of common knowledge on this title. I suppose there are stranger hooks to create for your game, but offering players a splatterfest horror online RPG seems like it might attract certain people — and push away all the rest.

Age of Conan

Funcom’s first entry into the Conanverse didn’t shy away from using the adult themes that were present in the books, including slavery, nudity, and oh yes, savage brutality. For some players, this was a big selling point, that an MMO wasn’t treating them with kids gloves but rather immersing them in a very savage world.

Secret World Legends

Blood magic aside, Secret World Legends’ combat isn’t the bloody part of the game. Rather, Funcom put a lot of gore into certain areas of this horror title. You might go for days without seeing much blood and then get impalements, vampire blood stacks, corpse mounds, and ritualistic slayings. Plus a cute lady who rips out hearts and eats them for fun.

Vindictus

Do you like blood sprays with your combat? If so, then welcome to Vindictus! This darker entry in the Mabinogi franchise delivered more visceral — and eviscerating — combat for players who weren’t satisfied with trading slaps and magical balls of light with foes.

Elder Scrolls Online

As with SWL, Elder Scrolls Online isn’t an overtly gory game, but rather a game that gets bloody when the story or scene calls for it. I know my eyebrows just about shot up off of my face the first time I saw an NPC go all serial killer on a foe with the requisite amount of blood, and there have been more than a few gruesome moments tucked away in this otherwise gorgeous world.

Mortal Online

If you were going to make a case that adult elements such as nudity and blood would boost the appeal and sales of your MMO, you probably shouldn’t use Mortal Online as your prime example. While the PvP title has both of these in spades, the mature rating hasn’t proven to be the crowd-gathering appeal that its developers had hoped.

Hellgate: London

With devs attempting to bring a Diablo-like experience to a demon-filled post-apocalyptic future, it’s no surprise that Hellgate was grim, grimy, and gory right from the start. To be honest, the darker atmosphere was part of the appeal of the game for some, especially since it was offset with gallows humor and weird NPC quirks.

Warframe

The action may go by blindingly fast in this popular online shooter/slasher, but trust us, the blood is there. As some sort of space ninja, the player is constantly slicing and shooting through waves of enemies — and those foes do not want to part with their lives willingly.

Path of Exile

And since we’re in the quasi-MMORPG section of this list, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the darker-than-Diablo Path of Exile. True, the characters may not be as large as your typical over-the-shoulder MMO, but that’s only because you wouldn’t be able to stomach the all of the ways that guts are spilled and appendages separated up close and personal.

Dark Eden

Really, it’s very hard to make a family-friendly vampire MMO unless you’re Hotel Transylvania Online or something. So don’t bat an eye — and eye a bat — when you see that this long-running MMO features plenty of the red stuff and more disturbing body horror than any Hellraiser film.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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IronSalamander8 .

Hellgate: London was gory? It’s been so long I can’t remember!

Doom was so good. With or without gore, I love that style of game so much. I despise the Mortal Kombat games, always preferred other fighting games over the series. The newer games take the gory bits to such a ludicrous level that I just don’t find appealing at all, and this is from me, a guy who loves me some death metal, and for obvious reasons it can get pretty gory.

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Akagi

I’ve played over thousand hours of ESO and it’s hardly gory at all.

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Feyd Darkholme

I grew up on horror movies in the ’70s and ’80s so fake gore doesn’t bother me in the slightest… Real gore on the other hand, but I wonder if people know the difference between escapism and reality anymore?

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Fenrir Wolf

This got me thinking.

It may seem odd that I have such a… how would I describe it? Distaste or phobia, but neither would be fair descriptors. I think I’d describe it better as a lamentation? Then, why I lament the ubiquity of certain inclinations of the genre.

I feel in part it’s because I’m very old, I’m likely more old than I appear with my ability to be hip to the lingo, the jive, and able to keep up with the latest technological and social fads, but I still have more years to me than I’d care to admit. Passed the decade baton a few times. I’m a bona fide greymuzzle now.

Can’t help being that furry, sometimes.

I suppose I can’t avoid the realisation of how so many online titles focus on the negative traits of humanity; greed, competition, aggression, violence, et cetera.

I’m not the kind of biddy who’d be offended by their presence, that’s not my contention. I’m all about diversity, but that’s the key, do you see? Where is the diversity if this stands as such an undeniably omnipresent factor?

If these traits truly are as present in the vast majority of online games as I’ve perceived, then where are the games which explore the depth of other human traits? Why is there such an overpowering, cloying focus on these negative factors?

To take a little detour, as is my wont, I’m reminded of Moffat’s era of Doctor Who and how it had a strange fancy for kindness, it was a word often said, brought up, and explored in detail. What is a kindness? Why should it matter? Why is it important for one to be ‘always courageous, never cowardly, and always, always kind?’

I remember that with Capaldi, Moffat tried to enact a sociopath Doctor as that’s what he believed the public wanted. That lasted for about… oh, two episodes? From there, the character experienced a mid-life crisis, and came out the other side of it looking even more kind than before.

This is a hang up for me with many MMOs. They’re social, certainly, they’ve got that down pat; they’re friendly, there’s no quarrel to be had there; and the player’s character is usually some basic representation of good, to be sure.

As controversial of an idea as it is, though? Good and bad are largely subjective notions; this is because what’s good for one human tribe from their own, selfish perspective could be just as bad for another. This is why we’ve tried to conceive a ‘greater good,’ though that’s never really panned out.

Kindness, though? Kindness isn’t quite nearly so subjective. A kindness is indeed very measurable. The difference between an act of goodness and an act of kindness is the perspective of it. Goodness can come from morality, personal understanding, and what’s best for the community. Kindness, however, derives from an understanding of the person you’re being kind to. It implies some degree of necessary comprehension, regardless of how dissimilar to you and yours the recipient might be.

I don’t see much kindness in MMOs.

To be kind, you have to be selfless and giving. That’s contradictory to the edicts of almost every MMO out there. You have to offer something of yourself, at a cost to yourself, to aid another.

Yes, there are those who will grind to offer services to others (I’ve done this), and if they ask no price (or even if their price isn’t unreasonable), that can be considered a kindness. What else, though?

I feel that so long as it isn’t an exercise in egomania, a roleplay can also be so. It could offer cheer, inspiration, and good spirits to those who might direly need it. If the right story is told, weaved just so, it might help someone have the strength and confidence they need to do what they must do. That’s the power of acting, in my opinion. Inspiration.

If you can show someone a character they could relate to being able to be do what they need to do, it can give them the strength to follow through. I feel that very few people understand representation and why it’s so important. This is why. I feel everyone deserves to have those role models.

Fictional, yes. But still powerful.

However, both of these factors are still contrary to the nature of the majority of MMOs and their players as opposed to their presence being encouraged. How many MMOs encourage theatrical displays of thespianic virtue, or the selfless sharing of that which one has worked for?

I think this is why I have a complicated relationship with MMOs and why, for the most part, I rarely play them as their creator would have intended. I have fun in spite of the MMO, not thanks to it.

There are certain examples I can think of which buck the trend. I can think of the odd title that encourages players to have some confidence in their cleverness through encouragement, just as there’s at least one or two that allow players to feel like they’re allowed to contribute with whatever skills and talents they have.

These are outliers rather than the norm.

I think that this is why I’m a casual as I believe the purpose of a fantastic, fictional world where many can interact should serve the purpose of inspiration and escapism, it should be a kind place that allows players to build their confidence and become stronger within a world that’s not so terrible.

I haven’t really seen many MMOs try that, though. It doesn’t need to be halcyon or corny (though it can if it wants to be), but I feel that the genre is very exclusionary in many ways. And, as I said, encourages negative traits.

It has us fetishise those negative traits, even, teaches us to lust after them with oh so shiny rewards. Trinkets with numbers for days. So we celebrate these traits because we’re conditioned to, trained to. We never ask whether it’s a good thing that they’re so ubiquitous.

We act — and this is the important part — as though somehow these traits are a niche, the underdog, rather than the ubiquitous, homogeneous, omnipresent theme they are. It’s fascinating, and maybe even a little bit disturbing. It feels as though despite the ubiquity, players have trained themselves into thinking they’re an underclass.

Which is, let’s be fair, as contrary to reality as any delusional perspective could be. These traits are by far the most catered for, beyond any and all others.

I mean, I guess… where’s the love?

This is the reason I don’t like raids, as they encourage drama, they reward those who’re best at being manipulative and conniving. It feels like grooming for sociopathy. It’s like a game of werewolf with the filthiest and most aggressive liars, but worse. Is that really all that healthy? Where’s the kindness in that scenario?

As such, it sometimes feels like just celebrating and revelling in the ubiquity of unhealthy behaviours. I like the concept of MMOs (and I bloody loved Free Realms), though I feel like the execution for the majority isn’t for me.

I understand this is going to result in group bias. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s easier to shoot someone down, deconstruct, or even character assassinate than to try to understand. Easier, lazier, and by far more comfortable. That’s where the hierarchy of bigotry arises from, after all. Still, who knows? Someone might get curious and ruminate a little.

I just wish we could have more MMOs that concentrate more on that kindness, enjoying the company of others in a way that isn’t toxic and competitive. It’s why I liked mining in Ultima Online, roleplaying in Champions Online, puzzle-solving in Uru, and jumping puzzles in Guild Wars 2. I embraced those collaborative factors.

It’s a way to be around people without focusing on the negative.

Maybe it’s just my anxiety talking??? That could be true. I can’t enjoy it, though. There are some I did and do enjoy, but those are the unusual few.

It’s nice to be around people without it being toxic as a necessary given.

I’d like more of that.

And honestly, I wouldn’t mind if such an MMO were cheerful, corny, and looked like a Saturday morning cartoon. That would be positively rebellious and delinquent in the current climate.

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Maggie May

I’ve been in Guids like that, I mean the good kind … where kindness has been shown to me,even in raiding. Hard to find but they’re there.

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Bruno Brito

Forget both Dark Eden and Requiem. Requiem was a great game at it’s Bloodymare inception, but the years of mismanagement and overall neglect just made it a completely gutted game.

Dark Eden is almost a FFA PvP with dickwads ganking you outside the city limits. It’s also plagued by botters and hackers. AND it’s just overall a bad game.

It says a lot when me, the Vampire fan intern avoid both games like the plague.

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sophiskiai

Warframe really plunged into the blood theme with one of their recent ‘frames, Garuda:

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Sorenthaz

Vindictus is the type of MMO that’s amazingly fun but it every time I’ve played it it feels like it gets choked by Nexon’s monetization.

Unfortunately I didn’t really ever get to try Age of Conan. At the time of its release it was competing between WoW, LotRO, and the brief time I put into WAR for me and I don’t believe my computer would’ve been able to comfortably run it – not to mention at the time I wasn’t really comfortable playing a game like that. Then of course there were other MMOs that came later that I decided to go with, and it didn’t help that AoC had a lot of issues at launch as well as a lot of drama.

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johnwillo

AoC’s still around, if a little dated.

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squid

I didn’t play PoE much, but I distinctly remember getting an item that increased the amount of gore when you hit a mob.

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Dagget Burmese

Age of Conan really is tops that I have seen, as they put a focus on fatalities, from burning enemies, to electrocuting them, to various body parts impaled and dismembered; and the blood splatter on the screen

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Vunak23

Herald of Xolti has a fatality where they rip the heart out of their victim and eat it. So im gonna have to go with AoC as well.

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Legend Of Vinny T

I don’t remember the name of this specific Path of Exile map now. I do distinctly remember seeing the piles of corpses 100 high surrounded by a reservoir of blood and thinking that it was GGG’s way of telling Blizzard that the visuals for the torture chambers of Archbishop Lazarus under Tristram Cathedral in Diablo 3 weren’t nearly gory enough.

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Bryan Correll

You might be thinking of the Feeding Trough, where the canals of Oriath have been converted into a system for funneling a steady stream of corpses to feed Kitava, the cannibal god. Good times.