Great definition of a Sandbox MMORPG:
“Sandbox is a style game where the objectives are not predefined by the developer, you are given a world with some minimal predefined rulesets and you make your own game in it. Like a childs sandbox, which is just a box of sand, the actual game comes from the childs imagination and doesn’t have a set objective such as Ludo for instance.”
Not every MMO abides by that definition below but some do to a degree. So I’ve listed them here.
Here is a list of Sandbox MMORPGs I’ve come across:
RealmLords is an Indie MMO that calls itself a ‘Half Sandbox’
Earthrise – Science Fiction MMORPG cast in the future. Warcry posted an interview with the CEO. From what I understand, their parent company is the same one that owns Warcry which I think is very cool
W.E.L.L. Online – Science Fiction MMORPG. There is also an unofficial international forum for it. [Update: appears canceled, not updated since 2008]
Link Realms – Fantasy MMORPG that will allow players to create their own “realm”. Features skill-based development, building houses, etc
Citadel of Sorcery is a sandbox type of hybrid I’ve just heard about
Mortal Online will be a full PVP MMO with no Levels and a dynamic world controlled by players
Fallen Earth will be a partial sandbox featuring a Classless system, exciting futuristic setting, and responsive combat
Infinity will be a full blown, space MMO
I think all 3 will use an open skill system. I find it interesting there are a lot of folks out there willing to take a chance on skill-based development.
There are also many other Sandboxes and games “close” to Sandbox. Here’s the List (add more if I’m missing some):
Saga of Ryzom – Skill-based MMORPG
Starport – Space, 2d MMO. Has full collision detection, aim/dodge, takeover planets, quests, no grinding for skills, etc. Very fun game!
DEICIDE Online – skill-based mmorpg (no Classes) and no Levels
Darkfall Online – was in development for a long time before finally releasing for online purchase. Features skill-based development, dodge, strafe, aim, full collision, own land, and total freedom. It’s pretty fun mmorpg from the bits I played where your player skill can contribute to winning encounters in PVP/PVE
Asheron’s Call 1 – realtime dodging and aim, skill-point system, etc
EVE Online – Time Based character advancement (similar to use based skill system) , deep crafting, politics, player owned world, salvaging, tough penalties for death, PVP, PVE. Very, very fun and looks great!
Ultima Online – This is Daddy, one of the first. The first Sandbox I know of. The Classic UO was skill-based, not heavily itemized (at least Classic UO, pre-Age of Shadows expansion), etc
Wurm Online – Open Sandbox, Skill-based RPG developed in Java. Very original work
Second Life – Pure Sandbox MMO
Jumpgate Evolution also looks pretty sweet. Not sure if it will be a Sandbox at all but at least it should be Classless…
Runescape is also a sandboxy MMORPG with skill-based gameplay instead of Classes
Global Agenda and SOE’s The Agency will probably try something new
FPS MMORPG List:
I’ve always been a fan of RTS since the early Starcraft days and probably a little before that due to the Total Annihilation stuff made by Chris Taylor. Anyway below is a list of Persistent Online RTS games. Will also add a partial multiplayer RTS list below it. I stress partial because there are so many its too much to track them all.
Persistent Online RTS List:
Saga by Sega