There are literally dozens of games like Talisman Online, Runes of Magic and Allods Online. I think it’s safe to say that MMO gamers are tired of WoW clones. Oh, and we’re also tired of generic 3D fantasy MMORPGs that are all the exact same thing. Make sure to put cute MMORPGs and anime MMORPGs on that list too – as I’m super tired of playing cutey anime inspired games like Seal Online, Luna Online and Grand Fantasia. It’s not that these games are bad, it’s just that I’m getting a bit tired of them, because there are so many of them out there. By so many, I mean easily 40+. The sad thing is that there’s no end to it either. Outspark already announced Luvinia Online, gPotato announced Iris Online, GamesCampus announced Legend of Edda and Aeria Games is launching Kitsu Saga into closed beta by the end September. There are way too many anime inspired MMORPGs out! We need something else!
Know what the free to play MMO market needs more of? Open-ended sandbox MMORPGs like Second Life and Planet Calypso. Unfortunately, these two titles are really the only ones of their kind at the moment. Too many games try to be linear and “standard’. Heck look at Soul Master and Lunia – both games are incredibly linear. I mean linear in the literal sense too – in order to progress to the next stage or area in the game, you NEED to finish the previous one. There’s no exploration or anything, the game holds your hand and tells you where to go and what to do from start to finish. At least it has PvP, as without it there would be no point to even playing. The cooperative aspects though are pretty fun. I actually really liked Lunia Online only because it felt like an old arcade brawler MMORPG – much like Dungeon Fighter Online actually, except with better graphics.
Second Life is fun because everything in the MMO is player made. Player made content drives the game forward, as every day new buildings are created, NPCs scripted and more. The game’s developers gave players the tools they need to design the game world. One problem with Second Life though is that since everything is player made, it must all be streamed through the internet, which makes loading times in the game ridiculously long at times. Planet Calypso on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem. It’s a reall open ended sci-fi MMORPG with a real world economy. Like Eternal Lands and War of Angels, the game uses a skill system rather than a generic leveling system. I actually like skill based systems, as they let players develop their own characters they way they want. Too many mainstream MMOs force archetypes and skill trees onto players with little actual variety. Heck, even Dungeons and Dragons Online from Turbine and Metin 2 from GameForge does it! At least in EverQuest 2, the game has so many classes and talents that there’s at least some variety.
Anyway – What do you guys think about sandbox MMOs like Second Life or Planet Calypso?