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.

The Stream Team: Making a Mystic in Black Desert Online

It has been a long, long while since Massively OP’s MJ made a new character in Black Desert Online, and a new class was just launched today. She’s curious to see how the Mystic plays, so she’s diving in with a brand-new character. (Don’t worry, she already completed character creation!) Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for this first look at the new Mystic class.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

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EVE: Valkyrie gets a new map and spectator mode for the holidays

Happy holidays, EVE: Valkyrie fans! Enjoy a shiny box of… wait, why are you hyperventilating? This isn’t a shutdown notice. (Which, you know, was a logical thing to expect based on recent events. You might have good reason to be jumpy.) Stop. Take a deep breath. There’s an update. There is an actual patch. See, there’s even a video down below covering the features. The biggest addition is the new moon refinery map that’s letting you blow things up in the midst of a mining operation on a moon. Not Earth’s moon, just a moon.

Do you need to sit down for a little while? Here, we can cover this in text. Have some hot chocolate. The update also adds in a new spectator mode so you can watch other players shooting at stuff without being in the match. Yes, other players. You can even set up custom matches with those other players specifically, if you want. Are you doing better? Can you watch the video now? It’s just past the break.

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Shroud of the Avatar creates the quintessential cozy inn, changes up free trial offerings

When travelers wander in to Shroud of the Avatar’s Release 49 later this week, they’ll find that one watering hole looks much improved than before. The team has been busy remodeling the Soltown inn to make it “cozier and more pleasant” for visitors.

Release 49 has a lot more than just a better-looking rumpus room; players will experience improved framerate, revamped wetlands, the new Elysium Mines, more ore nodes, UI polish, and winter recipes.

The team also notes that it is improving and experimenting with the free trial system (the next of which starts on December 20th). Free players will be marked as visitors, be moved over to the Path of Courage, have a level 50 skill cap, and restrict trade with others.

“Making these changes will allow us to leave the free trial up almost continually therefore maximizing the ability for players to try the game before they buy,” Portalarium said. “We feel firmly that giving players this no obligation opportunity is great for the health of the game and a fair business practice that we wish to pursue.”

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Crytek sues Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium, alleging copyright infringement

Update: We’ve updated with CIG’s official statement to us below.

Crytek is suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen.

In documents filed with the California Central District Court yesterday, Crytek alleges that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets – specifically, Squadron 42.

“Crytek has not been compensated for Defendants’ unlicensed use of Crytek technology in the Squadron 42 game, and has been substantially harmed by being deprived of that compensation, which would ordinarily include a substantial up-front payment as well as a substantial royalty on game sales,” plaintiffs argue.

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Black Desert’s Mystic is fully playable today, just watch out for the yeti

Did ya roll your Mystic last week to get all your free loot in the MMO we just named most underrated of 2017? If not, then you should boot up Black Desert today as you can actually play her, not just play character customization. The game’s seeing the benefit of the client optimization Pearl Abyss has been talking up too.

“With the release of the long-awaited Mystic, please enjoy leveling this dazzling class while stacking up on cool rewards. Meanwhile, the abominable Yeti, Piku, has been sighted near Alejandro Farm. When the blizzard hits, that’s when you know Piku has appeared. Make sure to have a special Frosted Matchlock to take this monster down. In addition, a notable announcement we want to make is that our game client has tremendously reduced in size where its 27 GB now!”

Don’t forget that Kakao is running specific level-up events right now to make catching up with the new toon a bit easier and more rewarding. Massively OP will be streaming some Mystic gameplay tonight, so check back on OPTV at 8 p.m. EST this evening!

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Perfect Ten: 20 upcoming MMOs to watch in 2018

It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).

This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!

As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Sea of ThievesThe Crew 2Monster Hunter WorldDayZRed Dead Redemption 2Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.

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Trion deals with DDOS attacks while ArcheAge dives into its Maelstrom update

Trion Worlds is reporting “intermittent” attacks on its Dallas hub over the last day that are causing connectivity issues for some of its online games, such as ArcheAge and Trove. The team is working with the local ISP providers to counter the attack and stabilize the servers for play.

“Please keep in mind that DDoS attacks are all too common and, for the most part, they don’t impact gameplay,” Trion said. “Our network engineers have setup substantial protections that allows us to mitigate the vast majority of these types of attacks. Without these efforts, taken by all game companies, any game under an attack such as this would simply be offline.”

It’s especially important for this to be resolved for ArcheAge, as today is the official launch of the game’s Maelstrom update. This patch contains a new raid organizational system, a non-RNG gear upgrade system, cross-server arenas, title collections, a redesigned folio, limited-time events, and the introduction of the Bloodsalt Bay naval combat arena.

Get the full scoop on Maelstrom with Massively OP’s interview on the update and its offerings!

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Black Desert’s Pearl Abyss on feedback, cadence, and avoiding ‘aggressive’ business models

Pearl Abyss’ Dae Il Kim sat for an interview with InvenGlobal earlier this fall that’s just gone live, and while it might be a bit old, it’s packed with juicy quotes of note to Black Desert players.

For starters, Kim says the game’s UI is due for revision, and those reivisions were inspired by – wait for it – the mobile and console versions. That includes the minimap, mind you. And feedback from players? Yeah, he reads it, unfiltered and raw, to ensure that his team gets the “specific emotion” from player complaints.

But Kim does reject Inven’s assertion that the game’s update pace has slowed down, which is certainly the case in the West, where PA’s western publisher has reduced updates from weekly to biweekly.

“The [number] of updates is the same as it was before,” he counters. “I pushed myself to make a system which makes the updating progress much faster and easier.”

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Anarchy Online and Age of Conan host an arrested development sale

Just because an MMORPG’s development has been put into suspended animation doesn’t mean that profit still can’t be made! To wit, check out Funcom’s can-do spirit, which doesn’t take “maintenance mode” for an answer when it comes to holiday sales.

For whatever reason, the studio is holding a sale on Funcom Points for both Anarchy Online and Age of Conan. These titles, you might recall, joined the original Secret World earlier this year in having their active development canceled while nominally keeping the servers running.

Anyway, both games are throwing in bonus points when you buy certain tiers of bundles. Additionally, Anarchy Online has a luxury armor set that it would like to sell you as part of a multi-month membership package.

Source: Twitter

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Interview: ArcheAge’s 4.0 Maelstrom launches December 13 with changes to lunagems, raid finder, and more

Batten down the hatches because a big storm hits tomorrow! ArcheAge’s Maelstrom, with its cross-server navel arena, launches on December 13th. We got to see some of the 4.0 expansion and learn more about it during our demo and interview at PAX West this last fall. And on the cusp of launch, I sat down again with Trion Associate Producer Seraphina “Celestrata” Brennan, Executive Producer Merv Lee Kwai, and Community Manager Joe “Muzzy” Brogno to chat more about the upcoming changes. What I learned is that the changes have changes! Lunagems, the raid finder bulletin board, streetlights, and some of the arenas updates have been updated. And one change — the addition of the new turtle ship — will actually not be happening.

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Secret World Legends patches in winter event, barbershop, and plastic surgeon

Even with Tokyo completely reinstated into Secret World Legends, this reboot is still finding more content to add back in after starting over from its The Secret World roots. Will today’s patch, which adds back in the cosmetic barbershop and plastic surgeon, be the last of the “old vanguard” before it’s all new? Probably not; there are plenty of Halloween quests that are waiting for a return.

In addition to the cosmetic tools, Update 2.1.5 starts this year’s winter event, starring all sorts of special critters to attack, world raids, Christmas cosmetics, seasonal achievements, a new winter lockbox, and a free pet to players who log in by January 2nd.

The patch also adds the option to change your name (for a price), fixes several issues, and tosses in new animations for when players unlock emotes and titles.

Source: Patch notes

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CCP honors fallen EVE Online developer with fundraiser ship skin

As if CCP Games isn’t struggling enough right now, the studio announced today that it’s lost one of its own: an EVE Online developer and graphics programmer known to the community as CCP Blaze. If you’ve ever warped anywhere or switched on the tactical overlay, you’ve seen his handiwork.

“CCP Blaze, one of our Senior Software Engineers with our Audio & Graphics team, passed away suddenly at the age of just 35, while on vacation in London celebrating his recent engagement. He is survived by his fiancée and one year old daughter here in Reykjavík, and leaves behind an amazing legacy at CCP from his 8 years at our headquarters working on EVE Online.”

The company says it held an internal fundraiser for Blaze’s family over the past few weeks since learning the news, and as of today, it’s also releasing a special fundraising item for the community: a brand-new “Blaze” squadron SKIN set that will be sold for one week only as a one-off for the Armageddon (100 PLEX) and for a five-hull bundle (495 PLEX). Blaze has been written permanently into the lore for the ship skin.

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Santa goes missing in RuneScape, panic ensues

People: This is not, I repeat, not a drill. Kris Kringle is missing in RuneScape, and Christmas might have to be canceled entirely. Or this could be an opportunity for a new and exciting quest, because that’s just how our brains are wired.

RuneScape sent out a press release announcing that Santa has gone missing this season in the new quest, “The G-Nome Project.” Jolly Saint Nick was apparently trying to turn a clockwork Gnome into a real boy (Pinocchio-Christmas fanfic writers are going nuts right about now) when he vanished. Now players have to find him, save Christmas, and plunder the depths of Santa’s bag for the best loot.

Whether or not Santa is found, all players will enjoy a 50% XP boost and icy cosmetic effect through January 8th. There is also a daily advent calendar that offers free gifts for anyone who logs in to claim them.

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