When it comes to living sandbox MMOs, there really isn't a bigger name than EVE Online
. Throughout its decade-long history, EVE
has produced some huge gaming headlines
, delivered record-breaking in-game thefts and heists, and played host to the complex political machinations of dozens of warring alliances. EVE
's sandbox design has even made it remarkably resistant to changes in the market, with subscription numbers remaining relatively stable in the face of new releases and the free to play phenomenon. It comes as no surprise then that the sandbox genre is seeing a triple-A revival, with games like Star Citizen
, EverQuest Next Landmark
, and Camelot Unchained
on the way.
With the sandbox genre due to explode back onto the fantasy scene, I've been left wondering how much of the core gameplay that makes EVE
tick could be easily adapted for an avatar-based game on land. Even features such as EVE Online
's trademark territorial warfare and player-run economy have roots in classic fantasy MMOs like Ultima Online
, so they should be easy to convert to modern fantasy equivalents. Last week I started this game design thought experiment
with a territorial warfare system and free-for-all PvP with harsh consequences for attackers, but there's a lot more to a good sandbox than smashing people's heads in.
In this week's EVE Evolved
, I delve into the hypothetical world of EVE Onland
again and tackle issues of realistic world scale, exploration, economics, and the evils of global banking.