sandvox

Sandvox games are sandboxes built with voxel technology.

Global Chat: The best of both worlds

If you have ever played more than one MMORPG, the thought has probably crossed your mind that you would love to see your favorite features from all of them put together. It hurts when one game has great housing and another has some of the best group content that you have experienced. Why can’t you just create the best of both worlds?

Zeriah spent some time wishing for exactly this as she drew up a list of features from both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV that she’d love to see merged together.

“If I could take a bit from each game and combine it into one, I think I’d be in heaven,” she said. “FFXIV has some of the most amazing outfits I have ever seen in a game and while it has transmog system but I feel it would be made truly amazing by the addition of the armor journal WoW has brought in.”

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With 17M registered players, Trion’s voxelbox Trove launches in Japan

Trion Worlds is in an expansionist mood of late. Earlier this week, we learned Atlas Reactor was porting to Steam in China. Today, the MMO studio announced it has launched Trove in Japan as a free-to-play title on the PlayStation 4.

“Trion Worlds is proud to announce that Trove, its hit voxel MMO game, has released in Japan. Published in the country by DMM Games, Trove is available now on PlayStation 4 digitally and at retail stores. […] Prior to releasing in Japan, Trove launched in China in late 2017 to great success, with the expansion into the region pushing it past the 17 million player mark, with that number poised only to grow as the game releases to Japanese audiences.”

Over on our shores, Trove players are anticipating the summer launch of the Geode expansion and its battle royale mode.

“The Japanese version of Trove will be updated on the same schedule as other regions, so players in Japan can expect regular updates and exciting content at launch and beyond,” Trion says.

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Even Trove is getting a battle royale mode – it’s called Bomber Royale

Trion’s voxelbox Trove is getting its very own battle royale mode, after a fashion. It’s called Bomber Royale, and its plain aim is to revivify the game’s wilted PvP, complete with destructible terrain and the now-classic playfield shrink as the match wears on.

Trove Bomber Royale brings a new spin on the game’s competitive combat, allowing for throwdowns of up to 20 people in an exciting and chaotic new twist on battle royale gameplay, whipping bombs at each other, collecting power-ups, and wrecking the terrain until only one Trovian is left standing! In Trove Bomber Royale, the gameplay is fast and frenetic, where players are placed onto one of three different maps together, and must throw bombs at each other in order to be the sole survivor of the skirmish. There are several different bomb types at your disposal, including bouncing bombs, sticky bombs, and more. Players can also utilize a variety of moves and power-ups, including a grappling hook to zip away from (or towards) danger and healing-based items.”

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Global Chat: Giving Project Gorgon a try

With Project Gorgon now out on Steam early access, many first-time visitors to this strange game are feeling out the world and its systems. So what are they discovering?

Tales of the Aggronaut said that he was “hooked” when he put in a good weekend: “Part of the charm of this game is that it plops you into the game with no real warning or advisement about what you should be doing.”

“There’s never any doubting the sheer personality evident in every aspect of the game,” recommended Inventory Full. “The enthusiasm and good nature of the tiny development team sweeps all cynicism away.”

Project Gorgon not your cup of tea? Join us after the break for blog essays on Second Life, RIFT Prime, Shroud of the Avatar, and even Dungeons & Dragons!

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One Shots: At least we have pie

What’s the last thing you’ve ever done in an MMORPG before it was shut down? If you have ever found yourself in this unfortunate position, chances are that you went on a whirlwind tour of the game and took as many screenshots and videos as possible.

Today, we’ll begin with one of the last things that Amorey ever saw in the belated Landmark: pies. Well, there are worse ways to go out!

“During my last few hours in Landmark before the final sunset, I visited my friends, and then I built a small ship ready to sail into the west with everything I needed for the last journey,” Amorey writes. “Oh how I miss this game.”

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Massively Overthinking: Is battle royale a fad?

This week in Massively Overthinking, I want to talk about something out on the fringes of our genre: battle royale games. We’ve been watching BR take off, first with H1Z1, then the explosion of PUBG last summer and fall, and now Fortnite has taken the crown, becoming even more popular and raking in even more money, at least on console and potentially overall. And yet less than a year ago, we were embracing Fortnite as a PvE building game – see how blazingly fast Epic pivoted to catch this trend? I remember when PUBG started to plateau in the west even as it continued it climb in China, and I wondered then whether anything could ever dethrone it – and I have to say, I didn’t think it would be Fortnite.

So let’s talk about battle royale. Is it bleeding an online subgenre – MMOs, shooters, MOBAs, or survival sandboxes, or is it just something everyone’s tacked on top of existing gameplay? How will mobile keep up? And most importantly, is it a fad that’s destined to eventually fade away, or is it here to stay?

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One Shots: First steps into a wider world

Every MMORPG player knows that there is something incredible and magical in the feeling that you get when you take your very first steps into a new game. It’s the fresh scent of the unknown mixed with potential, excitement, and energy.

Reader François knows this all too well as he documents an early moment from Final Fantasy XIV: “The trees of the Shroud meet the sky as Kan-E-Senna watches a young adventurer depart for the other nations of Eorzea. A familiar sight for anyone who started in Gridania.”

Small pet peeve, but when your city has a name like “Gridania” and your street patterns are all twisty-turny, you’re going to make my eye twitch. Elves need to buy better urban planners, IMO.

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Trove launches in Japan this spring, offers freebies through Twitch Prime promo

Trion announced today that Trove is launching in Japan on PS4 this spring, with closed beta coming “soon.” You’ll recall it launched in China last year.

“Trion Worlds is focused on bringing our games to people all over the world, and expanding into Japan marks some exciting things for the future,” Trion CEO Scott Hartsman teased. “Trove is playable in over eight languages, with more being added very soon. We are fully aware of Trove’s global appeal, and we’ll only continue to grow and build the experience for even more audiences.”

Meanwhile, the cutesy voxelbox is one of Twitch’s darling this month; if you’re a Twitch Prime subber, you can pick up a bunch of new goodies, including a couple of mounts. Course, you’ll have to link up your Twitch and Trion accounts to get ’em.

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City of Titans drafts volunteer to build metro landmarks

Considering that it’s City of Titans and not Prairies of Titans or Lonely Country Road of Titans, it’s safe to assume that this indie MMO has quite a few buildings to construct for superheroes to visit or (more likely) fly by in a flash. While most of the metro area will utilize standard and reusable models, the team did draft a volunteer to create unique landmarks that will help give the city an identity.

“Enter our current Mogul and Landmark Titan, Nathan Purkiss, a 3-D modeler with a passion for architecture,” the team posted on Kickstarter. “We were thrilled to see his application and immediately made buildings his sole priority and domain. That was some months ago, and he’s been making excellent progress.”

Some of Purkiss’ work was shown as game models, including the Central Library, the Pharos Fire Station, the Vander Vere Museum of Technology, the Holt House, and the Thunderbolt Dive Bar. Each of these structures isn’t just a pretty facade but contains lore and history, such as a repurposed abandoned theater that is now used for private parties and shady dealings.

Source: Kickstarter

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Radiant Worlds is rescued but SkySaga’s fate remains uncertain

Things looked very bleak for SkySaga and its parent company Radiant Worlds last August when the upcoming multiplayer game shut down production following Smilegate’s decision to pull out as publisher and leave Radiant without funds to finish the game. However, hope for the studio blossomed following a statement today by UK media developer and publisher Rebellion, in which it was announced that the company had acquired Radiant Worlds for an undisclosed sum.

The publisher said that Radiant Worlds will now become a sister studio called Rebellion Warwick and “will immediately transition on to current projects including the 1930s co-op adventure Strange Brigade.”

Unfortunately, this acquisition did not include SkySaga, so don’t put too much stock in a resurrection. “As much as we loved working on SkySaga, the game belongs to Smilegate, so any future development plans would be from them, not us,” Radiant tweeted.

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Working As Intended: The MMOs we lost in 2017

It’s true that we lost a lot of MMOs in 2016 — bigger and more important ones than in 2014 and 2015. 2017, however, has been a different sort of beast. The list is long, and while it’s painful for those whose games are gone, the genre didn’t lose many major MMOs this past year. And that startles me.

Marvel Heroes was surely the most dramatic of all the sunsets, given that it shut down early without notice. Earlier in the year, we saw Daybreak put an end to Landmark after less than a year of live operation, while Turbine let the Asheron’s Call franchise go, Firefall formally closed, Club Penguin’s sunset broke the internet, and NCsoft called it quits with Master X Master. A number of other MMOs simply halted development – Perpetuum, Sword Coast Legends, and SkySaga being the most prominent of those. And on a more positive note, there were a few sunsetted MMOs that were revivified, including Otherland, Uncharted Waters Online, and RaiderZ.

Farewell, old friends.

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The best Massively OP streams of 2017

As captain of our Stream Team, Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie and Larry Everett were joined by Andrew Ross this year to play zillions of games live, some old and some new, providing our community with an interactive look at some of the games in (and around) our genre. I’ve picked out my 10 favorites from the year, from sunsets and interviews to early access MMO sneak-peeks and even a group stream for the launch of one of the year’s biggest MMO expansions. Let’s dig in!

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