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.

Black Desert revamps and shortens Savage Rift, implements offline leveling

Black Desert players are being treated to a big update this week featuring the revamp of Savage Rift that basically makes the PvE co-op content more accessible and interesting – though it also nerfs the rewards for playing through it.

“The most noteworthy change to the Savage Rift content is that the number of monster spawns has been reduced by around 40% which as a result makes each runthrough last about 20 minutes,” Kakao explains. “Cooldown times for siege weapons such as the Hwacha amd Lynch Cannon have been reduced by 50% so that adventurers can shoot these powerful weapons more often. As a result, the reward structure has been reworked as well. Although the rewards per playthrough have been reduced, the rewards vs playing time have actually increased, making it more interesting for adventurers to engage enemies in the Savage Rift.”

Don’t care about co-op play? How about offline leveling? Today’s update also allows players to nab a Book of Training and beat up a scarecrow to accrue combat and skill experience while AFK.

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A judge has mostly denied Star Citizen studio’s motion to dismiss the Crytek copyright lawsuit

MMO-watchers will recall that just before the turn of the new year, Crytek filed to sue Cloud Imperium, the company behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen. Crytek alleged that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. As recompense for this supposed breach, Crytek demanded a significant sum, including direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.

CIG, for its part, has denied the accusations, calling it a “meritless” lawsuit; it’s pointed to the licensing agreement that limits liability and damages from contract breaches, as well as asserted that it’s not using Crytek’s engine (any more) and that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” do not constitute a new game.

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MapleStory 2 is getting really close to launch, you guys

With its second closed beta run and done, MapleStory 2 is turning its sights to something bigger. Something grander. Something… launch-ier.

Nexon said that it’s going to announce the launch date for this 3-D sequel to the hit MapleStory on August 21st. “Not only will we reveal the official release date, but our team will also discuss the future content schedule of the game,” the developer said.

In the meantime, players can start reserving their names and even create their first character so that they can hit the ground running when MapleStory 2 launches. You’ll need to buy a founder’s pack to access this perk, however. It’s probably a good thing that Nexon has made these packs available for purchase again!

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Jagex gets into games publishing while RuneScape crosses $1 billion earned

Jagex isn’t content to be “just the RuneScape studio” these days. The company announced today that it is preparing to move into the publishing space with Jagex Partners, a “third-party publishing initiative for live games.”

Jagex Partners is hoping to attract all sorts of live games and will support them with a whole suite of tools and services that Jagex has used to keep RuneScape up and running over all these years. This new publishing arm has attracted former talent from NCsoft, EA, Trion Worlds, and CCP. We’ll be hearing more about this initiative next week at Gamescom.

“Jagex Partners is so much more than a go-to-market publishing experience,” said SVP Publishing John Burns in a press release. “It’s the entire toolkit to launch and run a game in live operations, backed by years of experience.”

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 182: Follow the Torchlight

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.

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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Leaderboard: Must MMORPGs revolve around grouping to be MMORPGs?

It would be easy to dismiss Saga of Lucimia’s pervasive “group-based or go home” ideas as mere rhetoric, but the reality is, there exists a small segment of the veteran MMORPG population that genuinely believes an MMO is not an MMO if it doesn’t focus exclusively or near-exclusively on grouping, and there are going to be games that cater to those folks.

I wanted to bring up that recent tweet because it seems like an extremist, maybe even revisionist position to take for a game in our market, and I don’t just mean in 2018 when plenty of non-MMOs have called themselves MMOs and even more MMOs have shunned the term. I mean in terms of the historical games being used as a touchstone for these ideas. Yes, some early MMORPGs like EverQuest emphasized group content; while you could level up on some classes and in some cases alone, for the most part, you needed to group up to get things done, whether you were taking down a dragon or just trying to squeeze out a few more bubbles of level in the midgame.

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Star Citizen highlights community rover events, the group system, and atmospheric worlds

Cloud Imperium’s Sandi Gardiner and Chris Roberts are both back in the latest instalment of Star Citizen’s Around the Verse. You’ve probably noticed the shift this summer that ATV is taking; the team is now spending the first chunk of the video showing off just what the community is up, thereby demonstrating what’s actually doable in the game right now and causing would-be players to visualize themselves inside it. This episode does the same, highlighting three player events: the “cyclone challenge” in which people drive rovers over starships, the “rover fun” race, and even a rover cruise. Lotta driving of cars in Star Citizen, in other words.

On the development front, CIG says it’s working on the group system, specifically the chat channel system and the entire suite of notifications and permissions that will govern how players control their communication and friends. The devs further show off ongoing efforts to improve aiming and turret input as well as breathable world environments.

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EVE Online delays its August release a week, citing the need for ‘additional testing’

If you were hoping to hop into EVE Online with its August release tomorrow, then I’m sorry to tell you that the patch has been delayed a solid week, and you’ll have to go on participating in the ongoing player war instead.

“Due to the need for additional testing, the deployment of the August release has been pushed back by one week from August 14th, to August 21st,” CCP says. “This means that both the August release and the “Secrets of the Abyss” event will now launch on the same day, next Tuesday.”

The studio promises more info on Friday alongside revamped patch notes (the old updates notes have been temporarily deleted). This particular update was slated to redesign half a dozen iconic shop models and revamp the newbie experience with the new Agency UI.

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Project Gorgon’s casino features games with ‘strategic elements’

Project Gorgon is an MMO that packs itself full of activities, all of which it does in its own special way. You can clearly see this in the way that the devs talk about the game’s upcoming Red Wing Casino, which will add even more ways to waste invest your time playing.

Instead of being a standard video game casino with a slot machine and blackjack, Project Gorgon’s casino is going to feature minigames with more strategy. One example that the devs teased on Twitter was a jewel matching minigame.

“I want every game in the Red Wing Casino to have at least some strategic element,” the lead developer said. “So there’s no slot machines. To clarify, the casino is not just a match-3 game. The Red Wing Casino is a place that you’ll be able to visit in-game. It’s geared toward players with skills in the 40s (both combat and crafting skills), although anyone can visit and spend some cash.”

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Black Desert’s remastered edition looks and sounds amazing

Black Desert fans have a good reason to be excited — after all, when was the last time that the MMO you played got a massive visual and audio overhaul? This past weekend, players got a chance to see (and hear) what Black Desert is going to look like when the Remastered edition arrives on August 22nd.

Pearl Abyss wrote a summary of the Remastered showcase, discussing the (even more) realistic graphics on their way — ooh, cloth simulation! Volumetric clouds! — that will be sure to make your jaw fall on the floor.

As for the audio, Black Desert is remastering more than 220 music tracks with the help of three orchestras. “The atmosphere and world of Black Desert were expressed with soundtracks that felt heavy and mellow,” the team said. “It was to the point that some of our adventurers told us that the NPCs in Black Desert all seem depressed. So we decided to transform the black and white music in Black Desert to full-color.”

There was a lot more discussed at the showcase, including changes to the story and leveling experience, the Male Ranger class, the ability to snipe while hunting, and the addition of the region of Ordilita.

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World of Warcraft quietly disables the group finder auto-accept on the eve of Battle for Azeroth

Happy Battle for Azeroth Day, everyone! Starting tonight, World of Warcraft’s newest expansion will release globally and players will evacuate the Broken Isles en masse for fresh content.

And while this should be a time of celebration, Blizzard isn’t making everyone happy. The studio quietly disabled the ability for the group finder to auto-accept players, a feature that was heavily used for world quests and world bosses in Legion. This move has broken several popular add-ons and led to frustration over the removal of a user friendly feature.

Blizzard said that it did this to promote more of social hobnobbing: “The challenge with mods like World Quest Group Finder is that by automating this process for quests that were designed for single players, that’s not actually a social experience — there’s no actual interaction going on. Oftentimes, in fact, it’s just leeching — players can be on their mount, flying in midair, and that quest autocompletes for them.”

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The Daily Grind: Do you have an MMO backlog, and if so, what’s on it?

If you follow the mainstream gaming media meta at all, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of sites, spurred on by Polygon, have been mulling over the concept of the backlog – you know, that pile (or digital list) of games you bought and haven’t finished or even tried. Did we even have backlogs before online platforms like Steam? Because I don’t really remember having one back then – I just played what I had. But then again, I’m also primarily an MMORPG gamer. So I don’t fret tooooooo much about the non-MMOs I bought cheap for a rainy day. Occasionally I’ll blast through my non-MMO list and do a sort of 15-minute speed-dating game with some untrieds, but mostly, I’m content with just having some novelty waiting for me when I need it.

My MMO and online game backlog, though, eats at me. I bought Project Gorgon this summer, for example, and haven’t tried it. Staxel and No Man’s Sky too. These kinds of games have a time limit, and yet they require a certain presence of mind and concentration to dig into properly that I haven’t had this season.

Do you have an MMO backlog, and if so, what’s on it?

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The MOP Up: Worlds Adrift makes room for PvE servers (August 12, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Old School RuneScapeWorlds Adrift, Destiny 2Starfall OnlineSurvived ByHyper UniverseElswordPirate101War of RightsRagnarok OnlinePerfect World MobileOrbusVRSMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!

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