Recently I’ve been playing the rather excellent — and unique — Outer Wilds. It’s basically a pile of mysteries stuffed into a tiny, hand-crafted solar system that blows up and resets every 20 minutes on a loop. The focus is on exploring and uncovering a whole string of related mysteries, which is an experience that I know I can only have one time before it is truly spoiled forever.
That’s made me think about how difficult it is to pull off true mysteries in MMORPGs, what with all of the rampant data mining, spoilers, advance testing, and the like. The internet is a ravenous beast for info, and if you’re trying to keep something actually mysterious until players discover or solve it on the live servers, it requires a lot of planning and perfect execution.
What do you think? Is it possible in this day and age for MMOs to pull off mysteries and secrets? How can they do this? And do any examples come to mind?