Yes, you read that right. After 12 years in development, numerous rewrites and engine changes, the sandbox MMO Dark and Light will be releasing later this year. While I'm not sure what exactly the developers have been doing the past decade or so, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that all of it has been devoted to graphics given that Dark and Light looks quite fantastic.
How fantastic? Well, take a look at the relatively recent teaser video and you'll have your answer. The actual graphical fidelity might not be the highest given that some of the rocks are quite blurry, but the art direction is definitely spot on! But enough rambling from me - here's the video:
Now for the big question: "What exactly do you do in Dark and Light, and more importantly, how do you do it?". While I would love to give you a straight answer, the unfortunate reality is that nobody currently knows. What I can tell you, however, is that Dark and Light will feature an action-based FPS combat system with a heavy focus on dodging and precision aiming, as well as your standard cooldown management present in many other MMOs. Rather than going into battle alone, you'll also have the ability to tame many of the creatures that roam the land (which hopefully means Dragons, because why would you settle for anything else!?) and use them as both mounts and combat partners!
When it comes to the actual gameplay you will mostly be roaming a massive sandbox world, helping a variety of factions along the way, and naturally, solving a whole bunch of story quests in order to progress the main plotline. In order to do this you'll be able to assume the role of a skilled craftsman, a bloodthirsty warrior, a care-free traveler, or pretty much anything in between. According to the developers each of these playstyles and their mixtures will be equally supported, so feel free to choose whatever gameplay style you prefer.
I'll be the first one to admit that all of this sounds rather phenomenal, but its important to note that this is all based on incomplete, pre-release information, so take it with a grain of salt. I certainly hope all of it ends up being true and that Dark and Light is the first of many 'new age' MMOs, but even so I would still advise you to restrain your excitement until we're closer to release.
If you're itching for some more information, or a couple of tiny screenshots, head over to the official website, though don't expect to find much in terms of lore or gameplay - the developers are keeping it all under wraps for now.