sandbox

Sandboxes are a type of MMO that emphasize player freedom and expression. They frequently include mechanics for building, crafting, trading, character customization and development, roleplaying, destruction, and significant interaction with the world and other players. A sandbox that is dominated by an open-PvP or free-for-all ruleset is sometimes pejoratively called a gankbox. Contrast with the themepark.

Yes, even MapleStory 2 is prepping a battle royale mode

With beta and launch on the horizon, MapleStory 2 is pulling out all of the stops to get noticed and generate the largest audience it can. That means that the sandbox sequel to the 2-D MMORPG is not above working in a shameless battle royale mode into the game if it gets more eyeballs on the product.

The survival PvP mode is to be called Mush King Championship. It will host up to 50 people who will duke it out until there is only one remaining. The battle royale mode was announced during a Korean dev video, which you can watch below.

The first wave of beta invites for the May 9th CBT went out earlier this week.

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Wild West Online crosses the launch frontier on May 10

Saddle up, pard’ners, ’cause it’s about to be a bumpy ride.

Wild West Online announced today that it is officially launching on May 10th. Yes, as in two weeks from now. On that day, the game will simultaneously leave early access and release on Steam. It’s a pretty big step for a game that has not been in open development and testing for very long.

The studio said that when it arrives on Steam, Wild West Online’s launch build will add faction global conflict, big PvP world events, many more PvE missions, and a bunch of side activities. These include mining, farming, hunting, cooking, and (most importantly) brewing that alochol. The west can’t be very wild if everyone’s sober, after all.

Check out the Steam date announcement after the break!

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Leaderboard: Does the Daybreak fiasco affect whether you play its MMOs?

Over the last couple of days, we’ve been covering the Daybreak scandal – specifically, how concerns over the impact of government sanctions on Daybreak’s parent companies would affect the games, which spiraled into Daybreak publicly denying that it was ever owned by the company it said repeatedly bought it in 2015 and scrubbing its website and wikipedia of references to Columbus Nova’s acquisition. We’ve all watched on, eyes wide, dutifully recording gaslighting in progress.

But then I have that luxury: I don’t play any Daybreak games and haven’t played any of them seriously since SOE shuttered the best MMORPG ever made. So I can look at the whole situation as the dumpster fire it is, and not as the doom of my favorite MMO, since it already killed that.

Many of you are not in my position. You play DCUO, EverQuest II, PlanetSide 2, even EverQuest. You might even be playing H1Z1, although that’s less likely if you’re reading Massively OP. Or maybe the Standing Stone games Daybreak publishes, LOTRO and DDO, are your thing, and you’re not convinced by yesterday’s vague Twitch sidenote that everything’s probably fine. You are watching on in horror, wondering what will happen to your MMO homes if Daybreak implodes. You might even be pretty sure the games will be OK but aren’t so sure you want to put your own money into the mess.

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Black Desert opens up the Imperial Auction House for all your rare curio purchases

Odds are good that your veteran characters in Black Desert have a lot of silver at this point. But once you’ve spent it on all the things you need, what can you buy? The things you don’t need, obviously. Rare curiosities that no one can find. In short, the wares for sale at the Imperial Auction House, a new feature added with the game’s most recent patch that lets you pick up all sorts of fun stuff. Of course, you’ll have to outbid everyone else to get those curios…

If you’re not really into that sort of bidding war, just hop on and see the list of other changes that have arrived with the patch. Or start in on the Spring Coronet event, with a peach blossom crown to welcome this year’s spring weather. In the real world, obviously; we imagine that spring in the desert parts of the game map will look much like it always does.

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EVE Online Executive Producer Andie ‘CCP Seagull’ Nordgren is leaving CCP Games [Updated]

It’s always tough when a development studio loses one of its top people, but today’s news is sure to sting more than usual for both EVE Online players and the developers at CCP Games. We’ve just confirmed that Andie “CCP Seagull” Nordgren will be stepping down from her position as Executive Producer on EVE Online and leaving the company in about two months. Nordgren joined CCP in 2010 as a Technical Producer on the Core Technology Group before eventually spearheading the development direction of EVE as its Senior Producer and finally taking on a broader Executive Producer role in 2014.

Nordgren has been well liked by players for her clear vision of the future for EVE and open approach to development, and her interviews at events never fail to get us excited about what’s coming next for EVE. Most recently she has overseen the development of the Citadel, Lifeblood, and upcoming Into The Abyss expansions. CCP Games CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, who has reportedly been getting more directly involved in EVE‘s development recently, will be helping to transition Nordgren’s roles until a replacement is selected.

We first heard this news as a rumour from a tip and reached out to CCP Games for comment, and it supplied us with the following confirming statement.

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The Daily Grind: Would you appreciate the option to swap your MMO class?

I’m no stranger to the allure of alts in MMO, but there are some games where the content is so massive that I don’t have the time nor energy to level up a new character even if I truly wish to be playing a different class at endgame. As such, I really wish that there was an option — free or paid — to swap out a class for another one of equal level in my games (a feature that FFXIV does quite well).

I put this out on Twitter and got a lot of positive responses to it, with Bree chipping in, “This was one of the major perks of Star Wars Galaxies’ NGE, eventually — the ability to just pay in-game cash to switch combat classes and keep your levels/etc. It’s always slightly jarring to me that so few other MMORPGs have this feature.”

Trion Worlds’ Nicholas McDowell rebutted my wish by saying, “I understand the desire to switch, but that starts getting tricky to do in a way that doesn’t lead to an unsatisfactory experience. Instant level boost is probably the best way to do this in any RPG.”

What do you think? Would you appreciate the option to swap your MMO class, especially if you don’t want to lose your other achievements and progression?

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RIFT gets ready for patch day while ArcheAge re-enables transfers and name changes

A couple of small notices swung our way from Trion Worlds’ MMORPGs. Tomorrow, RIFT is going to be updating the game, and with the changes (including the opening of the Greenscale raid on RIFT Prime), the studio is adding a few new store options and a raid gear merchant.

“Yep, we’re setting [the raid gear merchant] up in advance of Greenscale’s Blight, because you all deserve to plan ahead,” Trion said. “The current expert armor vendor will level up to become the ascended quartermaster — selling dungeon, expert, and raid armor. Raid armor will be available in exchange for Primal Marks of Ascension.”

Meanwhile, over at ArcheAge the team has delayed the normal weekly maintenance to cram in a hotfix that was designed to fix a bug and re-enable transfer and name change services.

Source: RIFT, ArcheAge

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 166: Russia breaks the internet

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dive into the Russia gaming crisis, tackle a trio of significant MMO patches, and celebrate the coming of a cute-looking title. Plus there’s always those challenging community podcast questions to keep them occupied!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Legends of Aria works toward June open beta

Hope you haven’t booked that summer vacation just yet, because Legends of Aria would like to interest in a fantasy holiday. The studio announced this week that it is a patch or two away from open beta, which it hopes to start in June.

The wider testing base is necessary, Citadel Studios said, in order to “start addressing the issues we can only find with lots of people.” So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be in and enjoying this Ultima Online spiritual successor before too long, assuming that you are interested.

Following June’s open beta, Legends of Aria will go into an early access soft launch through its own client. Citadel is still holding back on its plans for going live on Steam and rolling out a marketing campaign as it evaluates how the next few months progress. However, the studio said that in all likelihood these events will happen this autumn.

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Project Gorgon explains why its appeal isn’t merely nostalgia-related

Project Gorgon, the scrappy indie MMO that recently went into Steam early access, hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit to talk about the game yesterday. Gorgon is a somewhat popular subject on MMO boards, and the AMA garnered a lot of questions and responses.

The devs said that they had not posted a roadmap for the fantasy MMO because “we don’t really work that way,” but they did tease major projects including “several new areas, a new animation system, horse mounts, playable fae race, a new dungeon, and (starting soon) player housing.”

There was also an explanation of how Gorgon veers off from the mainstream MMO design and appeals to players looking for that classic MMO feel: “Project Gorgon was designed around the idea of letting you explore deep game systems. The game’s complexity opens up like an onion — and it’s not pointless complexity, because that’s dumb. There’s real complexity that models interesting things, to let you create interesting custom combat builds, or solve problems in interesting ways. You have to learn how to play, but doing so is really rewarding.”

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Impressions of Project Gorgon from an Asheron’s Call player

It’s finally time for me talk about Project Gorgon as a released product. As you might have guessed, I was avoiding the game prior to launch. I’ve spoken out against early access a lot and have realized that, at this point in my gaming/career, playing games I’m passionate too early can be a threat to both work and play. I wanted a relationship with PG, but I didn’t want to rush into anything pre-release. I wanted it as complete as possible.

MJ’s streamed it a bunch of times, including the day before launch. Eliot’s comments from his pre-release CMA feel spot on still post-release. However, as the resident old-man Asheron’s Call fan with a review copy, I think I can add a few comments about how Project Gorgon compares to AC1&2, plus how developer Eric Heimburg’s infused PG in AC-esque ways.

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H1Z1 is finally coming to PlayStation 4

Did you think slipping player numbers were going to do in the battle royale grand-daddy? Nope. Free-to-play must have been a big boost, as Daybreak announced today that it’s porting H1Z1 to PS4. Open beta is set to begin on May 22nd, with both signups and a preorder bundle ($29.99) available presumably as soon as the landing page starts working.

H1Z1 on PS4 is designed specifically for the console and focuses exclusively on the core elements that make battle royale exciting,” Daybreak’s PR says. “The game features a new weapon progression system, fully reworked UI, and new weapons and gear.” The company is touting a “tailor-made” control scheme for PS4, a “grab-and-go” equipment system, and new progression mechanics.

And lest you forget that this is the game Star Wars Galaxies fans can come home to,

“The crafting system has also been removed from the game.”

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Durango: Wild Lands set to launch on Android next month

Amid all of the spring MMO releases that are cropping up, be careful not to overlook what could be one of the hottest of them all. Nexon is preparing to launch Durango: Wild Lands next month, and it could well prove to be one of the strongest mobile MMOs yet.

Durango: Wild Lands is a dinosaur-themed sandbox that is parts ARK and Monster Hunter. It plops players down onto an island covered with prehistoric beasts and challenges them to survive and thrive in both cooperation and competition with other players.

While the launch is confirmed for Android devices, there has been no word yet as to a release date for the iOS version. It launched in Korea back in January, and you can read up on it from our E3 hands-on of last year.

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