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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » List of Sandbox MMORPGs [Updated: December 18, 2012]

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291 posts found
  Phaserlight

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/18/04
Posts: 725

Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. -Lao Tzu

9/24/12 1:36:52 PM#181
Originally posted by Larsa

Forgot to say that Vendetta Online is out too. I played the game a bit and couldn't find enough sandbox RPG elements. It's certainly not a linear themepark that directs you from quest hub/zone to quest hub/zone and it offers open-ended gameplay.

In a way it's a nifty game for people wanting space flight and space combat with some trading along the way - and players can even provide player-made content for developer approval, but that doesn't make it a sandbox. There's little in the way of character development, crafting is limited to a few items and the game is generally rather combat-heavy. I think of it as an online version of an old game, Elite II from 1993.

Well, thanks for at least considering it.  I think it's cool that you've taken it upon yourself to maintain this list, and I certainly appreciate you taking the time to check out my game of choice.  "Sandbox" can be a pretty nebulous term, I guess, and if VO had to fall into one category or the other I'd say it's about here:

S |---o------| T

The single biggest sandbox element in VO, for me, is of course the Player Contribution Corps.  Otherwise I agree it doesn't fit easily into other MMORPG schemas.  The twitch combat is one of its most prominent features.

If all goes well I will be getting a large project published in a couple months through the PCC which has been in the works for years, literally, so stay tuned :-) (P.S.-edit I already have 70 missions in production, spanning three 'webs'; part of my soul is in that game)

Cheers,

"To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
Authored 110 missions in Vendetta Online
Check it out on Steam

  User Deleted
9/24/12 3:16:50 PM#182
Originally posted by Larsa

 


Originally posted by lordfirefox

 

LOVE is most definately a sandbox MMORPG. http://www.quelsolaar.com/



 

I had a look at their website - and while it might be a sandbox and might qualify as MMO I can't see how it is a RPG. There seems to be zero character development and progression.

The developer calls it a cooperative online first person adventure game.

You work with other players to put together a settlement, and as you find new tools and build new tokens, you gain access to new weapons and tech that players can use. There is progression, it just isn't in the form of the traditional leveling system.

But hey, it's your thread, do what you want with it.

  Calhoun619

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 128

9/24/12 3:25:32 PM#183

Someone mentioned Asheron's Call on page 1.

Please explain how its not on this list. Its one of the first if not the first sandbox MMORPG.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

 
OP  9/24/12 8:02:23 PM#184
Originally posted by Calhoun619

Someone mentioned Asheron's Call on page 1.

Please explain how its not on this list. Its one of the first if not the first sandbox MMORPG.

Asheron's Call is not on the list because the game doesn't meet the requirements as stated in the original post.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2347

9/24/12 9:55:59 PM#185

How about adding Neocron? They are still running and in fact added a new server called Titan (EU). Trials are back up and working again.

Is it a sandbox?

Necron has from your list...

  • An open world, not a collection of small maps (The maps are joined together but by way of brief loading zones, the huge wasteland area is divide into many square zones similar to Vanguard. "Dungeons" aren't as..seamless though.)
  • A non-instanced game world, no private instances for story mode or private dungeons (zones are okay if technically needed) (No instances at all. Anywhere you go, others can too.)
  • Gameplay features other than combat activities, for example: fishing, harvesting, prospecting, crafting, diplomacy, music, trading (Hacking minigame, trading, player races, social subskills like implanting, repairing, recycling, research. and construct)
  • Character progression or development outside of combat (see above examples)
  • Open-ended gameplay, no "game starts at level 50" game design
  • Player-driven in-game economy, not a loot-driven economy, no bind-on-equip or bind-on acquire items (Crafted items are the primary means of having good weapons. Only a handful of items are Boss drops. Without seeking other players for crafting or other needs you don't get very far.)
  • Character development that can be customised via skills and/or customisations of class roles, not a class system where every level 50 warrior has the exact same skills and attributes (You select a class to play but it only determines what things you can excel the most at. Even from the very begining your choice of what you put your skill points into defines what you can do. Each class has 2-4 combat options and can choose from 6 non-combat skills)
  • Non-linear character development where characters are not limited to developer-defined roles, for example: free skill trees or multi-classing of characters (You spend skill points you get from leveling. All choices are up to the player, even if some are not very good ones, fortunately it isn't permanent.)
  • Persistent game world. A game where the world (or parts of the world) reset to a known state in regular intervals is not persistent (Mobs respawn. The Outpost your clan captured stays under your ownership until someone else takes it.)
  • Player's ability to change aspects of the game world, either by being able to modify the physical game world or by being able to take ownership of structures in the game world (Can capture Outposts, place expensive destroyable turrets for defense, and alter the permissions of the GR (warp station) thus altering access to hunting areas or zonewide buffs.)
  • Some form of customizable player housing/building (Everyone starts with an apt that can be decorated as well as buy any number of additional apts. They can be furnished with many different objects including cabinets for storage, bank station, neoterminal, etc... Also can own drivable/ flyable vehicles, some of which have weapons.Vehicles can be constructed but the stats are always the same.)

 

Neocron

First release: September 9 2002

Link to Website: http://ng.neocron.com/

Payment Model: Free to play(old accounts), free client

Cash Shop: No

Setting: Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk

Game environment: 3D

Client OS: Windows (future expansion to web browser)

 

 

 

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

"blocked nariusseldon since forever"

  User Deleted
9/24/12 10:39:24 PM#186
Originally posted by mmoguy43

How about adding Neocron? They are still running and in fact added a new server called Titan (EU). Trials are back up and working again.

 

 

A new server? When did this happen?

I may have to go dig up whatever my account was for this game.

  User Deleted
9/24/12 10:47:21 PM#187
Somebody update this list!!!! 
  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

 
OP  9/26/12 4:15:43 PM#188
Originally posted by mmoguy43

How about adding Neocron? They are still running and in fact added a new server called Titan (EU). Trials are back up and working again.

Is it a sandbox?

Necron has from your list...

  • An open world, not a collection of small maps (The maps are joined together but by way of brief loading zones, the huge wasteland area is divide into many square zones similar to Vanguard. "Dungeons" aren't as..seamless though.)
  • A non-instanced game world, no private instances for story mode or private dungeons (zones are okay if technically needed) (No instances at all. Anywhere you go, others can too.)
  • Gameplay features other than combat activities, for example: fishing, harvesting, prospecting, crafting, diplomacy, music, trading (Hacking minigame, trading, player races, social subskills like implanting, repairing, recycling, research. and construct)
  • Character progression or development outside of combat (see above examples)
  • Open-ended gameplay, no "game starts at level 50" game design
  • Player-driven in-game economy, not a loot-driven economy, no bind-on-equip or bind-on acquire items (Crafted items are the primary means of having good weapons. Only a handful of items are Boss drops. Without seeking other players for crafting or other needs you don't get very far.)
  • Character development that can be customised via skills and/or customisations of class roles, not a class system where every level 50 warrior has the exact same skills and attributes (You select a class to play but it only determines what things you can excel the most at. Even from the very begining your choice of what you put your skill points into defines what you can do. Each class has 2-4 combat options and can choose from 6 non-combat skills)
  • Non-linear character development where characters are not limited to developer-defined roles, for example: free skill trees or multi-classing of characters (You spend skill points you get from leveling. All choices are up to the player, even if some are not very good ones, fortunately it isn't permanent.)
  • Persistent game world. A game where the world (or parts of the world) reset to a known state in regular intervals is not persistent (Mobs respawn. The Outpost your clan captured stays under your ownership until someone else takes it.)
  • Player's ability to change aspects of the game world, either by being able to modify the physical game world or by being able to take ownership of structures in the game world (Can capture Outposts, place expensive destroyable turrets for defense, and alter the permissions of the GR (warp station) thus altering access to hunting areas or zonewide buffs.)
  • Some form of customizable player housing/building (Everyone starts with an apt that can be decorated as well as buy any number of additional apts. They can be furnished with many different objects including cabinets for storage, bank station, neoterminal, etc... Also can own drivable/ flyable vehicles, some of which have weapons.Vehicles can be constructed but the stats are always the same.)

 

Neocron

First release: September 9 2002

Link to Website: http://ng.neocron.com/

Payment Model: Free to play(old accounts), free client

Cash Shop: No

Setting: Sci-Fi, Cyberpunk

Game environment: 3D

Client OS: Windows (future expansion to web browser)

 

Thanks for the suggestion, mmoguy, very interesting, much appreciated. 

I'm glad Neocron is back, and it looks like we have two real free-to-play games now: Neocron and Haven & Hearth. Both games have no sub, no cash-shop and no client fee. Can't get "free-er" than that.

I have a look into the game, I think it comes close but I'll wait for opinions from other people and will have a good look at the game and its features myself.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  lordfirefox

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/12
Posts: 3

9/27/12 4:14:33 AM#189
Originally posted by Wolfenpride
Originally posted by Larsa

 


Originally posted by lordfirefox

 

LOVE is most definately a sandbox MMORPG. http://www.quelsolaar.com/



 

I had a look at their website - and while it might be a sandbox and might qualify as MMO I can't see how it is a RPG. There seems to be zero character development and progression.

The developer calls it a cooperative online first person adventure game.

You work with other players to put together a settlement, and as you find new tools and build new tokens, you gain access to new weapons and tech that players can use. There is progression, it just isn't in the form of the traditional leveling system.

But hey, it's your thread, do what you want with it.

It's the same with Minecraft. You aquire better tools as you progress.  Progression and character development don't always need to have "stats" attached to them. Stats are for min-max'ers not "role players".

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1280

10/06/12 2:31:23 PM#190
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by Larsa
  • A non-instanced game world (zones can be fine)
I believe you meant "Seamless"

Zones and Instances are not necessarily the same thing.

Instances require zones. Zones do not have to be instances.

The two terms get mixed up a lot.

Although, now with phasing technology, the line is blurred a bit as a common/shared zone can contain instanced areas within it. Pretty trippy stuff.

  Tamanous

Elite Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 1804

10/06/12 3:02:34 PM#191
Originally posted by Larsa
Originally posted by Calhoun619

Someone mentioned Asheron's Call on page 1.

Please explain how its not on this list. Its one of the first if not the first sandbox MMORPG.

Asheron's Call is not on the list because the game doesn't meet the requirements as stated in the original post.

It actually meets most of the points listed (nearly all but 1 or 2 points so starting out that a sandbox game is hard to define then defining it to a point seems rather silly). AC should be at least a honorary mention because of it's heavy influence on the genre. What limited it as a pure sandbox was the tech is was developed on. It's greatest failing wasn't the game itself as most who played it could at least respect what sort of game was attempted. It's greatest failing was Turbine making a sequel that was  an EQ clone. The IP should have been kept alive and moved toward true sandbox elements.

 

I'll say it over and over again until someone at Turbine clues in: Asheron's Call should be re-launched with new tech and more solid sandbox elements. 12+ years of lore and a fanbase should not be thrown away.

 

 

You stay sassy!

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

 
OP  10/06/12 4:04:45 PM#192
Originally posted by TangentPoint
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by Larsa
  • A non-instanced game world (zones can be fine)
I believe you meant "Seamless"

Zones and Instances are not necessarily the same thing.

Instances require zones. Zones do not have to be instances.

The two terms get mixed up a lot.

Although, now with phasing technology, the line is blurred a bit as a common/shared zone can contain instanced areas within it. Pretty trippy stuff.

Maybe I should clarify this in the original post.

What I mean is rather easy: In a sandbox MMORPG, when one player does anything that changes the game world, the game world for all players has changed.

This is not the case when the game uses instancing or phasing: in those games, when one player changes the world he only does so in his private instance or phase, the world is still unchanged for all the other players.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

 
OP  10/10/12 12:20:46 PM#193

Time for an update.

  • Asheron's Call has been suggested a few times now. It's an old-school MMORPG from the pre-WoW era. As such it's different from the linear themeparks of the last years. However, being different doesn't make it a sandbox. The game is quest-driven, it's combat-centric, loot-driven and has little in the way of players being able to change the world. Most items are accumulated through drops (though crafters can modify those to an extent if I understand right). Feel free to correct me (I didn't play it), but I can't see how it can make a list of sandbox MMORPGs.
  • I didn't have a chance yet to look more into Neocron. It might be that what I said about Asheron's Call is valid for Neocron too. I'll have a look at it, can't promise when.

Updated the original post. Glitch is on the list now.

  • Glitch has - seemingly stealthy, without any great fanfare - gone to open beta (or even to release?). No developer post, no press release, no marketing noise, but it has gone open to the public. One can make an account and play the game. And since it's playable by the general public it qualifies for the list. I was in-game for a few hours, It's quite a unique experience. 
 

 

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

10/10/12 12:40:08 PM#194

Thanks for the heads up on Glitch! Going to check that out this weekend.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/10/12 12:53:59 PM#195

Asheron's Call 
  • An open world, not a collection of small maps. Check
  • A non-instanced game world, no private instances for story mode or private dungeons (zones are okay if technically needed). Check
  • Gameplay features other than combat activities, for example: fishing, harvesting, prospecting, crafting, diplomacy, music, trading. Check (crafting, allegiance system)
  • Character progression or development outside of combat (see above examples). Check (crafting, allegiance system)
  • Open-ended gameplay, no "game starts at level 50" game design Check
  • Player-driven in-game economy, not a loot-driven economy, no bind-on-equip or bind-on acquire items. Partly Check (the system is partly based on loot and partly based on craftable items needed to create a particular item, however it is not entirely player driven)
  • Character development that can be customised via skills and/or customisations of class roles, not a class system where every level 50 warrior has the exact same skills and attributes Check
  • Non-linear character development where characters are not limited to developer-defined roles, for example: free skill trees or multi-classing of characters Check
  • In-depth crafting system. A crafting system is considered in-depth if the majority of items in the game is player-made and when crafted items can be at least as good as dropped items Partly Check (again the items are made from craftable components but you often needed a quest to get the final item)
  • In-depth resource system. A resource system is considered in-depth if items can be made from raw resources that influence the resulting item (either it's stats or it's appearance is okay) Check
  • Persistent game world. A game where the world (or parts of the world) reset to a known state in regular intervals is not persistent. Check
  • Player's ability to change aspects of the game world, either by being able to modify the physical game world or by being able to take ownership of structures in the game world. Check
  • Some form of customizable player housing/building Check

 

So Asheron's call should definetely be on this list. It was one of the best sandbox MMO's of that time.

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/10/12 12:59:05 PM#196
Originally posted by Larsa

Time for an update.

  • Asheron's Call has been suggested a few times now. It's an old-school MMORPG from the pre-WoW era. As such it's different from the linear themeparks of the last years. However, being different doesn't make it a sandbox. The game is quest-driven, it's combat-centric, loot-driven and has little in the way of players being able to change the world. Most items are accumulated through drops (though crafters can modify those to an extent if I understand right). Feel free to correct me (I didn't play it), but I can't see how it can make a list of sandbox MMORPGs.
 

 

See my post above. The game is not quest driven, you cannot get much exp from quests and only some items and services are received from quests.

It is partly loot driven but there is also craftable components which can be put together to produce powerful items. So it is definetely not what I would call loot driven, specially not on the PvP server where you can drop those which you got from loot where as some craftable items are not droppable.

Combat centric? Well, aren't most MMO's combat centric? I don't see how it is any more combat centric on most of the games on your list. Beside, what has that got to do with sandbox?

Players can create houses, mansions and castles which can be put in the world which is completely non instanced and massive. The game play is non-linear and anyone can go anywhere and with proper buffs a low skilled character can kill a much higher skilled character.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

 
OP  10/10/12 5:20:02 PM#197
Originally posted by Yamota
...

See my post above. The game is not quest driven, you cannot get much exp from quests and only some items and services are received from quests.

It is partly loot driven but there is also craftable components which can be put together to produce powerful items. So it is definetely not what I would call loot driven, specially not on the PvP server where you can drop those which you got from loot where as some craftable items are not droppable.

Combat centric? Well, aren't most MMO's combat centric? I don't see how it is any more combat centric on most of the games on your list. Beside, what has that got to do with sandbox?

Players can create houses, mansions and castles which can be put in the world which is completely non instanced and massive. The game play is non-linear and anyone can go anywhere and with proper buffs a low skilled character can kill a much higher skilled character.

Please, Yamota.

Quests? Here is the list of quests in Asheron's Call, all quests I checked reward the player with items: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Quests. It's a long, long list.

Loot driven? Completely so. All things enter the game world through either loot drops or quest rewards. All resources used for crafting come from either quest rewards or loot drops that are salvaged by players. There is no such thing as mining, harvesting, fishing, farming, woodcutting in Asheron's Call. Fine, you don't call that loot driven, thus we disagree on that.

Just as an example, here is the list of Upper Body armour: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Upper_Body_Armor. Most of it are quest rewards and items purchased from NPCs. Few are crafted and the ones that are crafted need loot drops as material. I reckon that won't be different for other item categories.

Concerning player housing, according to http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Housing players don't create houses, they buy houses for in-game curreny, writs and trophies. Writs and trophies are quest rewards and loot-drops respectively.

From what I can see Asheron's call is about as sandbox as LotRO or GW2, thus not at all. It's an old-school themepark. And how exactly change players the game world in Asheron's Call? I couldn't find anything about that on the Asheron's Call wiki here: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Home

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6643

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

10/10/12 5:32:48 PM#198
Originally posted by Larsa
Originally posted by Yamota
...

See my post above. The game is not quest driven, you cannot get much exp from quests and only some items and services are received from quests.

It is partly loot driven but there is also craftable components which can be put together to produce powerful items. So it is definetely not what I would call loot driven, specially not on the PvP server where you can drop those which you got from loot where as some craftable items are not droppable.

Combat centric? Well, aren't most MMO's combat centric? I don't see how it is any more combat centric on most of the games on your list. Beside, what has that got to do with sandbox?

Players can create houses, mansions and castles which can be put in the world which is completely non instanced and massive. The game play is non-linear and anyone can go anywhere and with proper buffs a low skilled character can kill a much higher skilled character.

Please, Yamota.

Quests? Here is the list of quests in Asheron's Call, all quests I checked reward the player with items: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Quests. It's a long, long list.

Loot driven? Completely so. All things enter the game world through either loot drops or quest rewards. All resources used for crafting come from either quest rewards or loot drops that are salvaged by players. There is no such thing as mining, harvesting, fishing, farming, woodcutting in Asheron's Call. Fine, you don't call that loot driven, thus we disagree on that.

Just as an example, here is the list of Upper Body armour: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Upper_Body_Armor. Most of it are quest rewards and items purchased from NPCs. Few are crafted and the ones that are crafted need loot drops as material. I reckon that won't be different for other item categories.

Concerning player housing, according to http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Housing players don't create houses, they buy houses for in-game curreny, writs and trophies. Writs and trophies are quest rewards and loot-drops respectively.

From what I can see Asheron's call is about as sandbox as LotRO or GW2, thus not at all. It's an old-school themepark. And how exactly change players the game world in Asheron's Call? I couldn't find anything about that on the Asheron's Call wiki here: http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Home

You have no idea what you are talking about, and considering you havent even played the game that is not surprising, but fine it is your list. But I played Asheron's Call for 3-4 years and it is the best sandbox experience I have ever had.

It is completely not linear, contrary to GW 2 and other which you try to equate AC too, it is purely skill based and the level number is just a measurement of the amount of exp you have. A low exp player can go to anywhere in the world and if he got the skills for it, he can thrive.

Just because you can't harvest and craft the way you see it does not make it a ThemePark, you have no clue what you are talking about. Also quests, who the hell says quests goes against sandbox concepts, that is your construct. And you get very little exp from the quests so just because there are lots of them does not mean they drive your progression, they do not.

That you even have the gall to classify it as a "ThemePark" when the therm was not even invented and based on reading on some wiki sites just shows your ignorance. Asheron's Call has given me the most non-linear and open ended game play of any MMO to date beside UO, and I have played a lot of them. So you dont have the qualifications to label this as not sandbox as your definition of it seems to be narrow and deluded. Non quest based, non combat based is NOT what defines a sandbox, they have nothing to do with it, like this thread.

  sirphobos

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 610

10/10/12 5:39:41 PM#199

I think of Everquest and Asheron's Call as "old school themeparks" in that they are less linear and give the player a lot more freedom than their modern counterparts like WoW, SWTOR, etc, but they are still themeparks if you ask me.

Of course, these are just words that gamers have made up and have no official dictionary definition (at least how we're using them).

  Talemire

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/06
Posts: 758

Jesus is Lord.

10/10/12 5:44:25 PM#200
Nice post, ty.

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MMORPGs are great to look forward to after a hard day of work, but heaven is the ultimate reward for those who live Christ-like.

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