Skybox pleasures 2.0

For some reason I love skyboxes in MMORPGs. Having something inspiring or beautiful as the backdrop for my exploration of the virtual world makes a difference (Wikipedia definition of skybox).

Brooding skies over Draenor

Brooding skies over Draenor

Despite the stylised graphics I still love the skies in World of Warcraft, they animate very well, particularly the brooding dark clouds they often have in the skies.

Night sky over Nagrand

Night sky over Nagrand

Sci Fi MMORPGs can take this topic in more varied directions perhaps than a swords & sorcery-style fantasy – Star Wars the Old Republic has some amazing skyboxes as well.

Space battles!

Spaceship battles!

An animated spaceship battle high above you adds to the drama of this pre-Revan expansion flashpoint.


Cityscapes like Nar Shaddaa

The cityscape planets are also pretty unusual for an MMORPG and offer a very different but striking skyboxes. This screenshot can’t depict the amount of skycar, speeder and starship traffic that is moving in and around the district you adventure in. Complex traffic patterns with brightly light skyscrapers that tower above and descend to unseen depths below you.


For richness of colour palette and tones to make an oil painting jealous I turn to Final Fantasy 14. I have too many beautiful screenshots to choose from with this game in particular.


Final Fantasy has some of he most varied and well animated weather graphics I’ve seen yet. The stormy skies in some zones can be particularly moody.

Do you have a favourite skybox from a particular zone/MMO?

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2 Responses to Skybox pleasures 2.0

  1. bhagpuss says:

    I love them too. I take a ton of screenshots looking up or out to the horizon. When I was playing WildStar recently I spent quite a while watching the very odd clouds there. They look almost organic.

  2. annaQuasi says:

    It was night in East Shroud, waiting on duty finder, when I looked up at the sky. I was captivated by movement of celestial bodies; that slow progression gives appearance of twinkling stars. I sat on some crates for a long time, completely forgetting about the duty queue.

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