Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

Shards Online – Backing the Sandbox



Though I was disappointed in the direction that ArcheAge is taking, I haven’t given up my search for a sandbox game. Just today, I got the email that said that Shards Online launched its Kick Starter campaign. This got me excited again, because the concepts of this game, expected to be free to play, are amazing!

I mean, lead designer of UO? Heck yeah, sign me up!

I backed their previous Kick Starter campaign, which was launched earlier this year. It didn’t quite come through due to a lot of reasons, including not enough publicity and a really high goal for a game folks hadn’t quite heard about yet. Despite this, the team has stayed true to their vision, worked at getting the word out, and have launched their campaign again.

I don’t know all the technical details of this game, but it sounds like a sandbox that I can get behind. The official website lists:

  • Both official and community-run servers
  • Skill-based character development (no restrictive levels or classes!)
  • Own your land, build a house
  • Tame animals and creatures
  • Learn to craft unique items as you explore
  • Employ NPCs to do day to day tasks
  • Visit worlds that span many genres
  • Obtain unique armors, weapons and rare artifacts
  • Play by your own rules! Many different rule-sets to choose from
  • Create your own unique rule-sets, stories and live content on your community-run server

I really want to see games like this succeed because I feel we need more modern sandbox games. I think this could be a foundation for something really awesome that we all build, so give it a look!



I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects!

10 thoughts on “Shards Online – Backing the Sandbox

  1. I’m going to have to sit on the fence for this one. I read about it on Massively earlier in the year and it sounded interesting, but I am just not convinced anymore that F2P is worth it for a launch title. I don’t mind a cash shop, but I think that the B2P model of GW2 and TSW are the best non-sub ways of making money in MMOs (best as in good for customer-dev relationship while still earning profit).

    I’ve never been interested in Minecraft (though I love Terraria) so the whole custom-ruleset shard thing doesn’t appeal to me as much as it does to others. The art style is not grabbing me either. I’ll have to wait and see just how it pans out.

    Come and drag me in when it is playable, everything seems better with a companion at your side. 🙂


    1. If it launches, you can be sure I’ll provide lots of news on it so you can make your choice then. I am wondering how F2P it will be, too. Especially if you’re hosting a shard.


      1. I guess the main thing I’m wary about, given the ArcheAge debacle, is how F2P will affect the quality of the community. There was one bit in the KS that mentioned having your house or guild hall attacked and being able to send minions to defend it while not logged in. That and F2P sounds like a terribad idea (and I don’t use terribad words like terribad lightly!).

        As I said, just have to wait and see. I hope it does get funded, because it looks like a cool idea, but yeah my reservations are rather large.


        1. I share many of your concerns regarding a F2P sandbox. However, I love the general concept of shards and interconnected worlds. The explorer in me has been craving that kind of thing (in fact, the fiction writer in me has been building that kind of thing). This kind of innovation is what sets this game apart and makes it deserving of backin it, I think.


        2. @Dahakha Keep in mind that can only happen if the person who runs the shard allows that kind of rule set on their shard. Should I run a shard, you know it will be as carebear as it can get. XD

          @Tharash I’d love to see if I could bring to life the Wayrift dimensions in a game like this. It’s part of the draw to me.


        3. I’d love to see Wayrift come to life like that!

          Having a time-space traveller as main figment, I have more than one world of my own I could try to recreate. And having some more of the Wayrift folks each build their own shard in an interconnected universe sounds fantastic.


        4. I guess we’ll have to wait and see the limitations of the game, but these are the kind of things I imagine when I first heard about Shards. 🙂


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