Mad World is 2023’s First Major MMO Release

Mad World is 2023's First Major MMO Release

Mad World is one of the very few grimdark MMOs ever created. The only other grimdark MMOs I recall were Reign of Darkness, Requiem, and maybe The Secret World due to its horror inspiration.
Grimdark games, for reference, are often characterized by disturbing, violent, or bleak subject matters with a dystopian setting.
The game utilizes somewhat of a top-down isometric perspective, much like Lost Ark, is set in a large world, features a classless weapon system, no holy trinity, and will provide players with an action combat system.
Mad World entered development almost a decade ago, with an original release date scheduled for 2018. Yeah, the game suffered 5 years of delays. Hopefully they learned something from that. After 5 years of delays, the devs confirmed it will be releasing last month – in April, 2023.

Let’s start this off with the good: Mad World is a classless MMO. What this means is that they encourage players to fill a variety of roles without a focus on a single class archetype.
How they do this is by converting the traditional class system into a weapon system. Instead of selecting a class when beginning the game, you instead choose a weapon, and acquire additional weapons throughout your journey.
Each weapon fills a different role: Some provide ranged damage, others allow for magic, including holy – a support magic instead of DPS, some are more beneficial for absorbing or shielding others from damage.
While there are no classes, there are systems in place that will allow for you to more personally craft your character in a way that better suits you. The Potential and Mastery systems prove permanent alterations to your character in a way that Talent trees typically do.
Incremental increases in damage, in HP, defensive statistics. Weapon magnifiers. And while I can’t speak to the maximum number of points you can invest into these systems, based off of the images I’ve seen I’d wager a guess you won’t find 2 people with identical builds.

And while the combat is fully action-oriented, as you’re all well aware, combat isn’t everything. It’s an integral part of the game, but hardly the only part of the game worth investing time into. Life skills are just as important, as they provide players an outlet away from the arduous grind.
Mad World features a gathering system, allowing you to acquire items via logging, mining, herbalism. There are a plethora of uses for some of those materials, such as cooking or crafting. There’s a functional Auction House in the form of the Black Market.

Content takes a variety of forms. You’ll progress with the game out in the world, where the devs confirm not everything is as it seems.
“The neighbor you said hi to yesterday may sneak their hands into your bags. And the comrade you will battle side by side tomorrow may push you into a trap. Do not expect to find yourself safe wherever you go. There are no laws to protect you in Mad World.”
I’m assuming we might just see some dickhole NPCs – not that there will be actual reasoning behind remaining suspicious of the friends we make along the way.
Mad World is going to have full multiplayer dungeons where you’ll farm materials and equipment. They state “everything is free to take,” which could potentially mean drops are a “first come, first served” kinda logic. Or that drops are individual as opposed to group loot, which I prefer over the latter.
There are going to be large field bosses that require a large number of players to engage. Honestly the field boss looks pretty sick and hella messed up.
I didn’t see any mention of Raids on their website, but they did list something referred to as the “Abyssal Sky,” a group-boss that requires a minimum of 24 players to engage, with a maximum of 48 players. They call this an “Ancient Boss,” which might be the equivalent of a raid boss, given the minimum and maximum requirements.


Gameplay and content is important to not only the success but our overall enjoyment of a game. But no MMO – no game would be complete without a gripping story. Something like Final Fantasy XIV (after Heavensward,) Star Wars The Old Republic, or Guild Wars 2.
Mad World goes on to explain that it “is drowned in utterly deep and impenetrable despair.” … Because I want to spend my spare time feeling depressed. K. Cool.
“Yet you will find a story unfold within despair – a story in search of the smallest hope, of faded deliverance. But never forget that Mad World does not allow anybody to be a hero. Not even you.” .. Foreboding.
Let me break down how Asian MMOs handle stories real quick:
Chinese MMOs have more text than hours worth of gameplay. So much story, so much lore, that could very easily be summarized into a few simple sentences. It’s a convoluted mess, and mostly not worth your time reading through.
Japanese MMOs feel like JRPGs – where there is a cast of characters, the story is entirely solo, and it actually feels well thought out. Like there’s purpose.
Korean MMOs pretend they have story. They have NPCs pop up on occasion, do something cool, the scene abruptly ends and you’re left wondering what the fuck just happened.
This is a Korean MMO so I don’t have high expectations.

There is a functional mount system in-game, but it differs quite significantly from what we’re used to. You have to obtain mount eggs, hatch the egg, and then raise it from a baby. Eventually, it will grow into an adult and you’ll be able to ride it. This actually reminds me a little bit of how ArcheAge handled mounts. God I hated that.
There are different rarities for pets, with the highest grade eggs being available for purchase through the cash shop, providing players the fastest, most beneficial mounts for a price.

Speaking of the cash shop, this wouldn’t be a free to play MMO without one. Right? There are a lot of options present to aid players in their journey through the game, giving paying players a definitive advantage over free players.
And it wouldn’t be 2023 if there wasn’t a special season pass present to try and milk players for even more. And I’m not even against season passes in games. As long as they’re not providing anything pay to win, I could care less.

There’s a functional Guild system – or, Tribe system as it’s called in Mad World present in-game. Allowing you to group up with a bunch of strangers, bitch about how much you hate WoW, how the MMO genre is dead. You know, sharing common hobbies and interests.

Mad World is also the worlds first fully cross-platform MMORPG. And I’m not saying it’s a mobile game ported to PC. On the contrary, this is a PC game that was ported to every other platform. Mad World was built for PC, with a PC client, and then exported from PC on to HTML5 compatible browsers.
Meaning you can play Mad World on PS4, PS5, Xbox, Mobile, tablets, PC. Any device that has native HTLM5 support. Or, alternatively, you can play it on the platform it was originally built for, via its own client: PC.
I can honestly say that I’ve never played an MMO built like this, so I’m genuinely curious to see what they do with it.

Mad World is 2023’s first major MMO release. Something new, that isn’t a mobile game ported to PC, or a small indie project that looks like it was built in RPG Maker.

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