The comment by bhagpuss in my recent post about railroading in MMOs made me want to play a sandbox MMO again:
“I do find it ironic that Classic WoW is now considered to have such a freewheeling, open attitude to questing and to be so non-directive and non-linear in its gameplay. […]”
Of course, in my opinion, the gameplay has to be compared with where WoW is standing now, because even the “good old” Classic WoW loses against any sandbox MMO when it comes to being non-directive. My post was directed at the non-sandbox MMOs that I’m currently playing. But, as I said, his comment got me thinking and apart from wanting more freedom in my “themepark MMOs” (who wants to be shoved into any attraction a themepark has to offer… imagine being forced to enter “It’s a Small World” in Disneyland…), this made me realize that what I probably need is a sandbox MMO to even things out!
I am not sure – does Trove count? Because I do want to play it more often again, I just find the feeling of having to catch up with everyone and everything again and having to level my character up a bit tedious. And this shouldn’t be part of a sandbox game. But other than that, this game does give you the freedom to go where you want and to build in and expand your cornerstone and your guild world.
Anyway, as the title already says, I opted to take a look at Project Gorgon again. I backed it on Kickstarter in 2015. It has arrived on Steam at some point (with a “very positive” rating) and development is ongoing. Slow, but ongoing. Or I think it is slow, at least, as it is still in Early Access. The graphics are nothing spectacular and I thought they were outdated even back in 2015. But they do their job! The interface is nice and clean, though.
I decided to create a new character and get the starter experience again. Also, my older character had a lot of invalid armor items and I did not feel like figuring out where and how to get new stuff. There are no character levels. Instead, each skill can be levelled up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything but the tutorial island and a very small part of the first zone, Serbule. So, we’ll see where my adventure will lead me this time. So far, I haven’t left the tutorial island… I like the sword skill, so I am probably going to keep it. My secondary skill may become psychology again (can’t help it…) just as the very first character I played.
Project Gorgon has no quest givers with a quest icon over their heads, by the way. You can talk to NPCs and then sometimes they give you a quest. Sometimes they also only mention something which gives you a hint on what you can do, but there is no mentioning of how to do that. You can also open your Quest Log (which comes with a notepad to write down hints for solving some quests) and look at “Stuff to Do” which gives you a list with optional hints for the various areas. It is nice if you’re lost and don’t know what to do or if you want to make sure not to miss anything. I am mainly looking at it on this tutorial island, because I want to leave it, but I don’t want to forget anything important. You can also easily unlock and level several skills here.
But I also read that you can return to the tutorial island later. So depending on how impatient I get, I may hop off soon…
We will see how long this urge for a sandboxy MMO will last until I long to get back to the guided tours!