Spawning as a game mechanic used to be a much bigger deal, such as in the original EverQuest. This is because some mobs would have spawn times of an hour or six hours in addition to having place-holder spawns. This helps to partly explain why there were many superstitions regarding spawning in EQ in a way that there aren't in a game like WoW where spawning is faster and less painful. One prevalent superstition was the existence of an "anti-spawn" radius.
In EverQuest, many players were under the impression that the respawn mechanic for monsters/NPCs took into account players' positions. So when people were fighting things in dungeons, they'd often leave whatever room they were in for a bit because they felt that the room wouldn't respawn while they were there. [EQ, M, 24]
It was widely believed that the game designers had implemented an 'anti-camp radius' around major spawns, such that the mobs would not spawn if people were within the radius. Of course, no one knew exactly what the extent of this radius was, so more risk-averse people would camp further and further from the spawn point in order to avoid the radius. The developers at Verant found this so funny (there was no anti-camp radius) that they added as a comment during some loading screens 'Checking anti-camp radius' just to mess with these players. [Eve Online, M, 31]
Other superstitions involved cleaning up after yourself.
In Everquest it was a belief that you needed to loot all the corpses of everything in order for more mobs to spawn. This of course is untrue. The mobs spawn on a fairly precise timer and have nothing to do with crowding around the spawn area. [CoH, F, 37]
And of course, some people developed ritual dances for spawning. As you're reading these, please note the uncanny resemblance of this to Skinner's pigeons.
My favorite rituals would probably be the various 'spawn dances' in EQ. People were very superstitious about what caused mobs (NPCs) to respawn (moreso in the early days, but it did continue), and would concoct rituals--spawn dances--to encourage spawns. They varied wildly - some people had special gear sets they used, others had sets and sequences of movements and animations (via animated emotes, spellcasting, terrain), ways to move or not move (must stay sitting, still, as much as possible; or must move continually/every X seconds), etc. [WoW, M, 23]
Some players would sit and stand rapidly while strafing back and forth. Others would crouch and run in circles or figure-eight patterns. Jumping seemed also to be a common theme. Seeing a full group of six characters dancing in this manner shortly before a mob was to spawn was very funny. I think that it sometimes was done as a joke, but I knew some players who swore by its success. [EQ, M, 28]
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