Each year the MMO market grows more and more competitive. One of the less talked about genres in online gaming are sandbox
MMORPGs. This type of MMO is very popular but tends to lack long term reliability. It’s a hard task trying to invent massive environments
and still have players feel like they are creating the world around them. With games being funded through kickstarter and others failing ever see the light of day, it may be difficult knowing what MMO games are really worth your time. There are so many people in these alterable landscapes, it’s hard to imagine how sandbox style developers ever achieve mass success.
The good news is that Sandbox MMORPGs are growing now. More developers are finding extremely innovative ways to allow freedom without holding back on the fantastic RPG adventures and ever popular PvP battles players have come to expect in MMO games. Sandbox creations like Salem: The Crafting MMO have already started making its mark in 2013. Other anticipated projects like Grimlands hit road blocks and suddenly become nothing more than failed titles. With such frequent change in the gaming industry, sifting through topics and gameplay for the right sandbox option can be a hell of a chore. MMO ATK is here to help though, bringing you ten of the best sandbox MMORPGs to being released in 2013.
[heading]10. Greed Monger[/heading]
Greed Monger has more than tripled its Kickstarter goal, priming it for a faster and more successful release. Available on PC, Mac, and Linux; this sandbox MMORPG seems like a better looking Wurm Online. This title begins as a blank canvas, with none of the traditional MMORPG factors likes NPCs, structures, or quests. Like many games on this list, Greed Monger is heavily based on crafted player housing and creation focused gameplay. There I also the sandbox style skill building system that includes a variety of options, ranging from alchemy and swordsmanship to glassblowing and lock picking. There will even be aspects of economics and politics for players to look forward too. With the much needed presence of PvP and PvE included in this game, Greed Monger is shaping up to be one of the better sandbox choices, and therefore worth keeping an eye on.
[heading]9. Darkfall Unholy Wars[/heading]
Developers of Darfall Unholy Wars state that this MMO will revolutionize the concept of epic combat. Players will journey through an expansive world facing off against rival empires created by the thousands of other dedicated players. This is a very fast paced game for a sandbox MMORPG, but the battles require it. Player can forge their paths as a Warrior, Skirmisher, Elementalist, or Primalist (healer); all while choosing from a number of races and clans. Your character?s destiny isn?t the only thing you can forge either. An intricately detailed crafting system grants players an opportunity to erect their own remarkable cities; along with the ability to create unique magical items, and even detail the esthetic properties of their weapons. There aren?t many sandbox MMORPGs that focus as intently on minor details as Darkfall Unholy Wars does, justifying it?s place on the list.
[heading]8. Black Desert[/heading]
Until recently there was little known about this sandbox MMORPG. After a recent trailer release though this title has certainly started gaining popularity. Black Desert aims to bring gamers a phenomenal new experience with open world combat. It also aims to provide alternative options to leveling other than the norm of killing beasts through quests. Brian Oh, Director of Business Development at the Pearl Abyss headquarters, elaborated on the game?s unique battle system. Oh promised that the game would have mounted combat along with a keen ability to attack while drifting or running. Black Desert plans to deliver a fresh experience when the game releases, unleashing a series of dungeons and intense 400 on 400 PvP scenarios. Add a one of a kind experience with castle sieges and you?ve got yourself a great sandbox MMORPG to look forward to over the next year.
[heading]7. The Repopulation[/heading]
The Repopulation made a splash recently at PAX East 2013 by showing a teaser of the game along with a 21-minute video of the game?s crafting system. This MMORPG is a Sci-fi sandbox hybrid that will bring together tons of player created content through a plethora of noncombat features. There is absolutely a PvP battle system involved, but the game shines through the freedom it presents its players elsewhere. Players will be able to create their own nations, which are basically extensions of guilds. Not only will players work toward common goals; they will also design and build custom structures to help populate their own unique cities. The Repopulation has really taken off since doubling its goal on Kickstarter, promising great battle experiences while implementing its own pet system. By allowing players to customize missions and a complex skill line, there are a variety of roles supporting this truly unique sandbox MMORPG for 2013 release.
[heading]6. Project: Theralon[/heading]
If you like to feel in control in your massive online worlds, Project: Theralon might be your game to watch out for in 2013. This highly anticipated sandbox MMORPG is built on the same CryEngine 3 that brought amazing visuals of games like Crysis and MechWarrior Online. The game is meant to feel like a living, breathing world. Like many games on this list, players have major control over the houses and strongholds they erect in their cities. What is different in these locations from other sandbox MMOs is a dragon landing pad, where players can hop on their giant reptilian monsters and take off flying through an stunning massive world. These aren?t just cut scenes either. Players will actually be flying and battling throughout the skies of a massive online environment. Currently there are no levels in Project: Theralon so you can jump into the browser based wonder and snatch up your own custom dragon without having to put in years of game grinding. Best of all this game is browser based, which is mind-boggling. You can even get the game through facebook, which could put an end to Zynga as we know it. That would just be another one of the many perks brought by such an accomplished sandbox MMORPG.
[heading]5. Pathfinder Online[/heading]
After finally raising a million dollars on Kickstarter, Pathfinder Online is finally getting ready for release, at some point or another. Based on the world made famous in the extended Dungeons and Dragons RPG, Pathfinder Online delivers a wonderful new sandbox experience. This game is technically a ?sandpark? adventure by implementing aspects of theme park inspired construction across an extremely massive world. Players will have control over their settlements while effecting the outcome of the kingdom they belong to. Randomly generated encounters keep the large environments from ever getting stale, while a well-scripted storyline delivers one of most successful tabletop RPG adaptations in a virtual world setting. There is immense control over the game?s economy too by providing players with an augmented trading system. Just imagine the possibilities of playing a game where you can trade items you find along with the many creations invented by players. Pathfinder Online is designed to keep players hooked for years. If you are looking to become heavily involved in an MMORPG with wonderful sandbox capabilities, you just found it.
Last week Steam announced a new system called Early Access. The goal of this system is to let players test unfinished games with developers and give feedback. We may not fully know how successful this idea will be, but providing early access to Starforge with the systems launch was clearly a move in the right direction. Starforge is a battle-oriented sci-fi MMORPG that mixes qualities of real time strategies, first person shooters, and builders. Inspired by games like Warcraft, Borderlands, and Minecraft; Starforge forces a player to make real time crafting decisions in the midst of action packed MMO warfare. Working with others to obtain resources so your team can construct bases and buy weapons will be the strategic difference maker in destroying an opponent?s base. You won’t find many sandbox MMORPGs willing to provide such nonstop action during the games creative processes. The game may not technically be released yet, but thanks to the brilliant minds over at Valve you can jump on the alpha through Steam and bask in the game?s wondrous sandbox mayhem immediately.
The developers who once brought you Lineage are at it again, this time delivering a sandpark (mentioned in Pathfinder description) RPG for the masses. Like Project: Theralon, this MMORPG is developed on CryEngine 3 and boasts a satisfying visual experience. ArcheAge focuses on extensive non-combat game options such as gathering resources and crafting domiciles. This game isn?t a casual experience either, which can be good or bad depending on what kind of games you like to play. So those of you who take weeks off between MMORPG sessions may want to watch out, because you could end up finding your unfed livestock lying dead on the ground when you return. Obtaining resources through the life of your crops and livestock means a lot in a game where players manage large plots of land across a zoneless world. Farm so you can build a ship. Set sail with your ship and find somewhere to build an underwater garden. Make sure you survive the naval battles on the way though. Sandbox MMO aside, it?s clear that ArcheAge still provides wonderful PvP and PvE experiences, both on foot and by sea. There aren?t many sandbox MMORPGs that provide quite nearly the same appeal as ArcheAge.
[heading]2. Dragons Prophet[/heading]
The developers of Runes of Magic are getting ready to add another title to their repertoire, bringing gamers a western style fantasy MMORPG. Somewhat like Skyrim, you play a character that has the ability to communicate with dragons, although your approach to them is far less brutal. In fact, players form soul bonds with their dragons, almost looking like a direct rip off of the movie Avatar. Even if it really were a rip off, you won?t see any dragon fans out there complaining about it. Your dragon is everything in this MMORPG. Not only are the creatures used for transportation throughout the massive environment, they provide battle support. Different types of dragon provide very different types of assistance. Players can even customize the way they train their dragon, making them even go out and collect fresh resources if safe enough. Best of all is that this game is user friendly, providing customization over character controls. Being a sandbox MMO, players will venture out and find a place to create residence while undergoing some intense dragon infested territory battles. You have dragons. You have an open world from reliable MMOG developers. What more could a fantasy gamer want out of an MMORPG this year?
Many have argued the game looks like a kiddy game, but that doesn?t make it any less awesome. Jump into one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs of 2013. This science fictions sandbox MMO brings players to the most legendary planet in the universe, Nexus. Players will choose from a list of exiles, essentially acting as the outlaw and refugee group of the planet. Other character choices include The Dominion, a powerful galactic empire that has claimed right to Nexus and all its resources. Developers at Carbine are aiming to deliver a social aspect of house crafting by allowing the creation of resource hubs near constructed residences. This integration of resource collection and transportation gives friends a real reason to visit your patch of land. Players have more of a reason to help each other thrive, because they will benefit from the prosperous outcome too.
The structural crafting system isn’t just a unique place for your character to live either. The more loot you have decorating your domicile, the more affects you will see in other areas of the game. A flashy abode will provide significant experience boosts across a slew of battle scenarios, each utilizing player controlled offensive and defensive, real time strategies. Raids will be a whole new experience in Wildstar; no two will be the same. Wildstar is growing increasingly popular with every new leaked detail. Custom paths hope to reward players for enjoying an MMORPG the way they like best. By promising to bring fans the ability to forge entire PvP battlefields along the way, Wildstar might just have enough sandbox innovation to become the ‘WoW Killer’ Carbine claimed it would be.