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Sandbox MMORPGs Upcoming

January 25th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

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

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FPS MMORPG List:

Welkin4591

Neocron 2

Endless Ages

Huxley

WWII Online

10six

The Agency

Planetside

MMORTS List

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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:

SpaceCiv

Celetania

Beyond Protocol

Saga by Sega

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Categories: MMO, RPG Tags: , ,
  1. Uwi
    August 21st, 2009 at 06:58 | #1

    You list numerous games, while in fact the only true sandbox is “second life”, but I wouldn’t consider it as a “game”. So I don’t know if it should even be in the list.
    While I agree most of them contain sandbox elements, I believe a lot of them seriously don’t qualify to be even called “sandboxie”.
    it looks to me as you just summed up a list of mmog that have “skill based advancement”. Which can hardly be the only prerequisite to be a sandbox mmo.
    I’m a bit surprised to not see SWG in the list…
    I would also include more keywords in the definition, as it is too much open to interpretation. (a bit controversal considering we’re talking about the defenition of a sandbox MMORPG) like:
    – freedom
    – choice
    – customization
    – change

    Just my thoughts on the subject 😉

  2. ricky
    September 29th, 2009 at 12:15 | #2

    No I wouldn’t consider Second Life since it doesn’t really have a video game vibe going for it. In MMORPG space the two most popular sandboxes I know of is EVE Online and perhaps Darkfall. Since in those you have open character development and the players have the ability to affect the game world directly via building cities/space stations, etc.

    So these are widely considered ‘sandbox mmorpgs’. Of course, everyone has their own ideas of what a sandbox mmorpg is. However I basically just stick to the basics.

    SWG- that’s no longer considered a sandbox mmorpg. So it does not belong on the list. It hasn’t been a sandbox for many years now.

  3. Woopo
    October 3rd, 2009 at 00:58 | #3

    @ricky

    You should consider adding SWGEmu then :)

    It’s the sandbox version (precu) of SWG.

  4. January 12th, 2010 at 09:35 | #4

    You forgot Mortal Online, Sandbox from sueden on bet right now

  5. January 12th, 2010 at 14:30 | #5

    You forgot Mortal Online From Starvault ,Medieval fantasy skill based sandbox (old schooooool^^)on beta right now 😉 : http://www.mortalonline.com/

  6. ricky
    January 20th, 2010 at 06:16 | #6

    Thanks, Getting mortal online added now. Forgot to add that one

  7. February 2nd, 2010 at 07:37 | #7
  8. ricky
    February 4th, 2010 at 00:13 | #8

    Just tried accessing their web page but it’s not pulling up atm. I’ll give it a go again in a bit

  9. sagethor
    February 10th, 2010 at 21:56 | #9

    Well… I have played quite a number of games. The definition of Sandbox is very iffy, and pretty much depends on you. How much control must a player have? Again, that’s your opinion.

    In my view, I have tried playing Haven and Hearth. It’s okay though… it seems just empty.

    My personal favorite, which I have been playing for over a year… is the MMORPG… Golemizer.

    It has many unique concepts, such as player cities, player-made quests. So yeah. Check it out. There’s so much good stuff… and I play everyday. It’s completely free, no download. My favorite thing to do is ride in Blimps.

  10. February 13th, 2010 at 08:05 | #10

    Havenandhearth is far from empty, the world is just enormous, there are many cities, but you might not want to go there because you could get killed.
    There are no safespots and that might be the reason why it appears empty; everybody is hiding…

  11. Obraik
    April 4th, 2010 at 06:39 | #11

    @ricky
    Why is SWG not considered a Sandbox anymore? While you no longer have complete freedom over the professions your character is (ie. you can’t mix and match them anymore to make your own profession) there is still sandbox elements to the game. Some examples:
    -Each server starts as a bare slate. Players choose where they want to place there houses, where they want to build their cities, how they want their cities laid out, etc.
    -When you build a house, you only get the house. It’s up to the player to decorate the house the way they want it. Once you get inside a house, it’s unlikely to be the same as one you were in previously.
    -PvP is open world, there are no restrictions on where you can PvP
    -Professions are not dictated by race or faction. Races aren’t dictated by faction
    -Players can build their own quests and their own “world aspect” features.
    -There’s no walls on the maps. You are free to roam to whatever the part of the map you want by going any direction you want.

    I could continue – I haven’t even started on crafting or the player economy 😉

  12. ricky
    April 11th, 2010 at 18:48 | #12

    Hi Obraik checkout my article on Open Character progression here: http://www.cyberkreations.com/kreationsedge/?p=10. SWG now uses a Linear progression model which kills it from being eligible as a sandbox mmorpg for most people.

    For instance, EVE doesn’t have a linear progression model. Thus, a veteran and a newbie can both do Level 1 missions together if they prefer. Granted, the vet could gain money much faster at a Level 4 mission. Additionally, in EVE both vets and players can basically do PVE content anywhere together in the world and both earn Skill points. There is no ‘gated’ content which will disqualify a new player from enjoying the same content as a veteran to be brief

  13. Brandon
    May 4th, 2010 at 11:02 | #13

    No, the definition of sandbox does not change based on the person. For some reason people think that their reality is the true reality. The sky doesn’t turn orange because you will it to. The definition of the word apple doesn’t change just because you are blind. It is the same, no matter who you are.

    There are only a few MMO’s that can be considered a true sandbox. Ultima Online, Darkfall, Mortal Online, Shadowbane, and EVE. Five games in a thirteen year span. That’s pretty sad. You can progress in any facet of the game that you choose and become successful in the world doing it. Most other games just force you to fight to succeed.

  14. Kukks
    May 22nd, 2010 at 06:16 | #14

    @Brandon
    You’re forgetting Wurm Online, which is probably the truest form of a sandbox game(I’ve played most of the games you mentioned above and well, nothing of their mechanics dynamic abilities can compare to wurm’s).

  15. David
    June 17th, 2010 at 18:54 | #15

    Great list! I like the info, but I’d love to see a few more factoids about what makes each game sandboxy so we can quickly find games that are for us. IE Aim based combat, no level based progression, etc.

    Sorry you have to put up with all the “HURRR, IT’S ONLY SANDBOX GAME IF IT IS A 3D PHYSICS BASED CHILDREN’S TOY IN A PARK WITH SIMULATED CATSHIT”

  16. Mikajlo
    July 18th, 2010 at 14:14 | #16

    You’ve missed some important titles like: Black Prophecy, Dawntide, Xsyon, Aerrevan, Perpetuum online… all under development though.

  17. Pascal
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:06 | #17

    Hey, Infinity is closed…

  18. ricky
    September 6th, 2010 at 12:12 | #18

    @Pascal

    Weird, I just visited the main page and it’s still up unless you saw something on their forums. Would be a shame if that’s the case because it looked like it had nice potential.

  19. Nerzana
    October 4th, 2010 at 20:55 | #19

    Well that was kinda a long list of games i didnt know half of them but what i do know is that second life isnt a game at all its a chat open world (well some what open) eve online is the diffention of a good sandbox and yes i know it has the skill stuff but its realism ( well other then the space theme) is very very very big for a sandbox game. Umm. It is also very big very intense on the controlable land and so on. One of the best thing i like about it is the pve and that is because its not like 50 guys outside of a city just sitting there waiting to be attacked and then come out of no were in 10 seconds, no its like ok were are they? Oh ok scanned a few down. Killed 3 battle ships and a cruiser. OH SHIT RENFOURCEMENTS!!!!!Then you run away ( or fight) and find some more. ALl and all its a very intense game and i recomend it to everyone. Just BECAREFUL ABOUT YOUR TIME THIS GAME IS VERY TIME CONSUMING CAUSE ANYBODY CAN ATTACK ANYTIME.

  20. Icarius
    March 23rd, 2011 at 02:32 | #20

    Thank you, very useful information. :-)

  21. Chaos
    June 11th, 2011 at 17:50 | #21

    your also forgetting world of darkness online still under development by the people that gave us eve online

  22. Bhrandon
    June 24th, 2011 at 13:30 | #22

    Wurm Online is by far the most “sandbox” of all the MMOs available. I highly suggest it for anyone looking for a true Sandbox MMO.

  23. larkin
    July 2nd, 2011 at 17:17 | #23

    minecraft,and a little runescape,if someone has experience playing minecraft and other similar sandbox games please reply to me with some other similar games to minecraft at this adress olt_vio@Yahoo.com,ty antiipated

  24. larkin
    July 2nd, 2011 at 17:21 | #24

    i don’t really understand what you guis percept of the word”sandbox”game it means you have a character you build and the limit is only your imagination,take minecraft for example the choice is yours you mine you build you craft you advance in technology,the game of my dreams is that of course in witch you can build(with a character ex.minecraft)from the stone age to keep mining and use various crafts and other things to advance in technology(let’s say you advance from using wood pickaxe,hammer etc.to using iron and after steel,than other derived)please if you know such game P.M. on my upper e-mail

  25. Evan
    July 13th, 2011 at 20:20 | #25

    Sorry, but SWG is, for most people, the best example of a sandbox MMO. The fact that your character progresses linearly now, as opposed to the old skill based mix-and-match system, is almost irrelevant. To be considered a sandbox MMO, it’s far more important to have player housing, crafting and the general ability to take up game space with buildings and take territories.

  26. Greenstalker
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:33 | #26

    Evan :Sorry, but SWG is, for most people, the best example of a sandbox MMO. The fact that your character progresses linearly now, as opposed to the old skill based mix-and-match system, is almost irrelevant. To be considered a sandbox MMO, it’s far more important to have player housing, crafting and the general ability to take up game space with buildings and take territories.

    Sorry but it lost most of its features which makes it a sandbox. First they removed decay from items wihch killed crafter characters economy. Second player housing is not important if there is noone playing the game anymore. Territories was in WAR too and noone call that one sandbox either. Basicly when they droped 30+ classes to measly 9classes they destroyed games variety function (you can’t be a crafter and a combat character at the same time anymore so your backstory of your character being a armorsmith before joining to imperials as a stormtrooper went to recycle bin) which defines most important aspect of sandbox games.

    Not being able choose what you can do in the game and stuck to your classes choices is what prevents SWG as a sandbox game. Pre-NGE SWG can be still counted as a sandbox game since you were free to do what you want.

  27. Frank
    August 21st, 2011 at 22:25 | #27

    Found another one, http://www.originsofmalu.com

    Looks really cool!

  28. Vonogard
    August 31st, 2011 at 03:22 | #28

    Obraik :
    @ricky
    Why is SWG not considered a Sandbox anymore? While you no longer have complete freedom over the professions your character is (ie. you can’t mix and match them anymore to make your own profession) there is still sandbox elements to the game. Some examples:
    -Each server starts as a bare slate. Players choose where they want to place there houses, where they want to build their cities, how they want their cities laid out, etc.
    -When you build a house, you only get the house. It’s up to the player to decorate the house the way they want it. Once you get inside a house, it’s unlikely to be the same as one you were in previously.
    -PvP is open world, there are no restrictions on where you can PvP
    -Professions are not dictated by race or faction. Races aren’t dictated by faction
    -Players can build their own quests and their own “world aspect” features.
    -There’s no walls on the maps. You are free to roam to whatever the part of the map you want by going any direction you want.
    I could continue – I haven’t even started on crafting or the player economy

    Agreed.

  29. Quantum Flux
    November 25th, 2011 at 23:57 | #29

    @Brandon

    Just pounds of irony here…. You say that there are absolute definitions, then you give a list which is really just your opinion of games that fit *your* definition.

    Case in point, immediately you are contradicted by someone who points out that Wurm is the only *real* sandbox.

    So no, there really isnt an absolute definition and you labor under the same “delusions” (that your version of reality is the absolute one) as they people you’re criticizing but don’t even realize it.

  1. February 23rd, 2010 at 05:03 | #1
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