I’ve been looking at some of the content surrounding the upcoming Grounded Hot and Hazy Update, and it looks really great. The update adds two major new areas in a way on top of a bunch of stats upgrades and things that make the MMO more like an MMO. In this article, I want to explore one of the new biomes, the only one that’s brand new, the sandbox desert. It’s a place that’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a sandbox in the garden that’s more like a desert to your tiny character as they try to traverse it, and it’s filled with dangers.
The sandbox desert adds loads of new mechanics to the game. First, there’s the sizzle effect. This is basically your character getting cooked by the sun. If you stay out too long, you’ll max out the sizzle meter and begin to cook to death rather quickly. You need to run between patches of shade and water to get the meter to go down so that you can keep on moving. There are treasures to find in the sand, so you’ll need to balance going out and digging with remaining in the shade and staying alive.
That’s not all though. While you’re digging for treasure, you’ll also be facing off against new enemies. Your presence disturbs them, and you need to deal with them if you want to claim that treasure. The new stat system allows you to equip armour that can be more effective against these enemies as well as the sizzle effect, all of which will help you while you explore. The ultimate goal is to collect all the items you need and then get out of the sandbox, but that’s not always a possibility. Instead, you need to balance your time in the sandbox with time elsewhere to ensure you don’t get too bogged down in the Antlion boss and cooking yourself. Having such a hazardous environment in the game is going to be incredible, and I can’t wait to explore it myself and find out just how fast I can get cooked alive by the sun.