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Can an MMO cater to both "sandbox" and "themepark" crowds?

TarkaTarka LancashirePosts: 1,662Member

Its probably been asked before, but its a question that hangs in my mind nonetheless.  Can a game be designed to cater for those who enjoy a full quest system (individual quests and quest chains including role specific quests) whilst at the same time provide the services required so that those who wish to can enjoy a less "linear" experience?

I realise that this largely depends on what one considers to be the definition of the terms "themepark" and "sandbox".  Nevertheless, I'm interested to see what (if any) responses this thread would prompt from people.  Whatever your opinion on the matter, please provide justification for your argument :)

Comments

  • LynxJSALynxJSA Sarasota, FLPosts: 2,601Member

    Yes. Every good themepark has some dandbox elements and the few good sanbox games also have some themepark elements.

     

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  • Gabby-airGabby-air surrey, BCPosts: 3,440Member Uncommon

    I believe fallen earth is already doing a great job at this.

  • TarkaTarka LancashirePosts: 1,662Member
    Originally posted by Gabby-air


    I believe fallen earth is already doing a great job at this.



     

    Do you have examples?

  • TheHatterTheHatter None, ARPosts: 2,547Member
    Originally posted by Tarka

    Originally posted by Gabby-air


    I believe fallen earth is already doing a great job at this.



     

    Do you have examples?

     

    He just listed one?

    Fallen Earth. It's pretty much described in your OP.

    :-|

  • TarkaTarka LancashirePosts: 1,662Member
    Originally posted by TheHatter

    Originally posted by Tarka

    Originally posted by Gabby-air


    I believe fallen earth is already doing a great job at this.



     

    Do you have examples?

     

    He just listed one?

    Fallen Earth. It's pretty much described in your OP.

    :-|



     

    My question was focused more on specific elements within the MMO that are examples of how the game is catering to both types of player.

  • laglotuslaglotus LietoPosts: 43Member

    I think so yes. Personally I don't mind if a game would have linear quest lines or raiding in end game as long as the game would also have, open world, good crafting system that would actually be part of the games economy, non-instanced dungeons, non-instanced housing, some form of open world pvp.

  • johnmatthaisjohnmatthais Florence, SCPosts: 2,663Member

     I have high hopes that maybe Craft of Gods can do this. ;)

    http://www.craftofgods.eu/index.php?lang=en

    Just read through the game guides and you might see what I mean. There's more I WANT to say but can't. Stupid NDA.

  • GundricGundric Memphis, TNPosts: 341Member Uncommon

    I'd say anything is possible with enough time, money and talent. 

  • EricDanieEricDanie Rio de JaneiroPosts: 2,238Member

     I think the elements are different extremes for a fun experience, while the themepark guides your experience on rails, set rules and etc, the sandbox just gives you the tools for you to set your own experience, there is no "end-game" in that way.

    That's just theorical though, you can't really make exclusively one or the other, like you never have a fully one-side extremist government. In MMOs it's about taking the rewards out of one side or making them not so appealing.

    So yes, a MMO can have (and usually has) enough elements of each side to cater to both crowds, to a certain extent of their tastes, but no, no MMO will be able to fully cater to both crowds or completely alienate one of the crowds.

     

  • Gabby-airGabby-air surrey, BCPosts: 3,440Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tarka




    My question was focused more on specific elements within the MMO that are examples of how the game is catering to both types of player.

     

    Well there's lvl and quests for themepark whereas a open class system and vast world fro sandbox. Really too many features to list, i would suggest reading up on it yourself to get a better feeling.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,716Member Uncommon

    From a viewpoint of pre-MMORPG gaming, themepark MMORPGs are a mix of sandbox and themepark elements.  Prior to MMORPGs, the breadth of activities in games was quite small.  Themeparks took the large breadth of activities of the first sandbox games and packaged them in easily-understood ways.  The result were hybrids between virtual worlds and games.  EQ and WOW were very popular as a result.

    From our current point of view I think it's still possible to distill the formula down even further.

    Even taking existing games which are largely sandbox like EVE, and making them a little more accessible might help.  To this day I'm unsure if I dislike EVE as a result of it being a hollow shell of a game (a loose framework with little in the way of gameplay) or simply because it hasn't told me how to enjoy it.  Certainly part of my anti-EVE griping is how my actions have so little weight towards advancing my position in the galaxy (due to the advancement system not being hooked up to my actions.)

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  • TarkaTarka LancashirePosts: 1,662Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt


    From a viewpoint of pre-MMORPG gaming, themepark MMORPGs are a mix of sandbox and themepark elements.  Prior to MMORPGs, the breadth of activities in games was quite small.  Themeparks took the large breadth of activities of the first sandbox games and packaged them in easily-understood ways.  The result were hybrids between virtual worlds and games.  EQ and WOW were very popular as a result.
    From our current point of view I think it's still possible to distill the formula down even further.
    Even taking existing games which are largely sandbox like EVE, and making them a little more accessible might help.  To this day I'm unsure if I dislike EVE as a result of it being a hollow shell of a game (a loose framework with little in the way of gameplay) or simply because it hasn't told me how to enjoy it.  Certainly part of my anti-EVE griping is how my actions have so little weight towards advancing my position in the galaxy (due to the advancement system not being hooked up to my actions.)



     

    I can certainly appreciate your points about Eve.  Because unless your of a PVP mindset the game does feel rather hollow from a gameplay point of view.  A "sandbox" game like EVE is certainly a good contender for being built upon to incorporate many of the elements traditionally found in more "themepark" MMO's.  That's not to say that I expect or even want EVE to change tomorrow.  Its does what it does, and accomplishes that goal well.  Its just that that goal is not to cater for both types of MMO.

  • FikusOfAhaziFikusOfAhazi St. Louis, MOPosts: 1,835Member

    A virtual world can have both.

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