Game Design, MMOs

Treasury of the Ancients

Last night I took Dravven to an instance called Treasury of the Ancients. You access it through doors set into the desert floor near the Pyramid of the Ancients in Khopshef. This brings you into a very dark and atmospheric hallway lined with black granite columns and rows of statues in oxidised copper or blue stone. This was one of the best and most atmospheric small encounters that I’ve ever experienced in an MMORPG.

You walk down this long hallway, between the rows of statues, looking around yourself for mobs. The entire place is silent as the grave, aside from a large female figure dancing slowly at the far end of the hallway. Failing anything else to do, you walk towards her. As you pass the statues, you seem to see flickers of movement out of the corner of your eye. Did that one move back there, or was it your imagination? Very creepy and tense.

As you get close to the dancing goddess at the far end, the earth shakes and your way back is blocked by two stone figures. As you go back down the hallway, you hear a grating of stone, and in ones and twos the statues come to life and slowly approach you. The first time it happened I actually squeaked, it surprised me so much.

Extremely well done, terrific atmosphere…I loved it.

Edit: here’s a video that doesn’t really capture the creepiness of it, but gives you an idea of how it looks.

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