Why do Sandboxes create small worlds?

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  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORMember UncommonPosts: 5,614


    Originally posted by Axehilt
    I don't think CCP would or should do this with EVE.  Players despise change. Realistically this is an idea for a new economy-focused virtual world type game.  It's just easier to suggest it as a change to EVE since EVE is precisely the type of game which would benefit from that type of feature (whereas follower-missions in SWTOR and WOW aren't really hooked into the core game loop, and so they're inevitably a lot flatter than they'd otherwise be...and of course they're abstract, while these automated miner/transport bots I'm talking about would exist at actual locations in the game world.)Value is created by scarcity.  Time is one way of creating scarcity.  Being forced to do something manually is one way of having time create scarcity.  And finally, being forced to do something boring manually is only one way to do that.So there are really a ton of possibilities for how to create the scarcity that drives value, and only one (possibly the worst one) involves being forced to manually do something boring. If automated miners were the only way to mine and they mined 5% as fast as a player, you can quickly see how with the right settings this system increases the value of ore (even though everyone is mining.)

    That would definitely work. And I agree, I do not want to engage in a boring activity. Hard to define boring except we can agree that sometimes being forced to do basically nothing can be boring.

    Also something to consider is the overall game aesthetic you are going for. So lets create scarcity without mandatory downtime. We can make a drop rate very low. This might make a particular dungeon become popular and ran by many players to get a rare item. Side effect would be a surplus of all other common items in that dungeon.
    We could create scarcity by increasing difficulty. But that would create exclusivity that may or may not be wanted.
    With time based scarcity, you can control the flow of said item entering the game space while also including players who have the time but not the skill to be an effective participant.
    So now we come to the term boring again. For me at least, my boredom wildly varies on my mood. Sometimes, the same activity can be boring or stimulating at different scales of my own emotional status.
    I guess in the end all I can really get behind is that forced uptime or downtime, or forced anything is not great game design. Given the opportunity to choose between activities which could fit whatever mood i am in seems to be the best (for me at least)

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDMember RarePosts: 2,617
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    Originally posted by Loktofeit Strangely enough, for the first five or six months that's exactly how it was for my son and I. I think it was because we play - and gain rewards/progression - not just in the current zone but in any previous zone that we enjoyed. There was one day that we cycled through the same four events over and over for about an hour or so. That could obviously get repetitive after a while, but we usually like to end play sessions on a high note rather than play til we're bored.

    Right, but you still took breaks on your own terms.  So while every second you wanted to be engaged was engaging, you probably still idled in town just messing around, from time to time when the mood struck.

    That's what I was trying to get at with the other poster.

    Good point. Yeah, that pretty much describes how we played. :)

     

    Since the OP hasn't returned at all, and since the question was so patently ridiculous, I get the feeling we all just got 'hooked'.

     

    Nah, I have typed 3 replies that have been lost to BSOD and two browser crashes.  

     

    I wasn't really thinking about EVE as its more space sim.  And I was talking about MMORPG's(forget this is an all inclusive site now).  I was thinking more along the lines of UO, Shadowbane, Mortal Online, Archeage and etc. where you're player base either can fill the entire world with houses or small enough that a whole world/server can be dominated by one group.   That's how I define small basically.   Those seem like things that are basic requisite for those type of MMORPGs.

     

     

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHMember UncommonPosts: 3,090
    Originally posted by sunandshadow
    Sandboxes that are too big for their population feel desolate and dead, something I've encountered in at least 3 games so far.  What sandboxes actually should be is auto-expanding, starting small and getting bigger only as needed.

    Asheron's Call had one of the largest worlds in online gaming, something akin to 15km X 15km and yet it had one of the lowest population bases in the genre and at no time did it ever feel like it was desolate or dead.

     

    When you force your players to group or endgame is comprised of grouping then such a feeling may exist but when soloing is just as rewarding as grouping the game feels better when you have areas to play without others around and yet it wasn't uncommon for groups to be formed for XP reasons.

     

    When you restrict endgame to a few zones and dungeons and when your entire player base sits in a Capitol City waiting on queues then it may feel vibrant and alive but I assure you that the 15million WoW players have no impact on the rest of the worlds feeling of desolation.  Almost any zone in WoW feels just as desolate as any other zone in any other game.  The trick for developers is to create spaces and worlds that feel alive not with the amount of players in them but the flora, fauna and content in them.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

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  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDMember RarePosts: 2,617
    Originally posted by azzamasin
    Originally posted by sunandshadow
    Sandboxes that are too big for their population feel desolate and dead, something I've encountered in at least 3 games so far.  What sandboxes actually should be is auto-expanding, starting small and getting bigger only as needed.

    Asheron's Call had one of the largest worlds in online gaming, something akin to 15km X 15km and yet it had one of the lowest population bases in the genre and at no time did it ever feel like it was desolate or dead.

     

    When you force your players to group or endgame is comprised of grouping then such a feeling may exist but when soloing is just as rewarding as grouping the game feels better when you have areas to play without others around and yet it wasn't uncommon for groups to be formed for XP reasons.

     

    When you restrict endgame to a few zones and dungeons and when your entire player base sits in a Capitol City waiting on queues then it may feel vibrant and alive but I assure you that the 15million WoW players have no impact on the rest of the worlds feeling of desolation.  Almost any zone in WoW feels just as desolate as any other zone in any other game.  The trick for developers is to create spaces and worlds that feel alive not with the amount of players in them but the flora, fauna and content in them.

     

    Most themepark worlds are designed to be throw aways on purpose or not... its just how they are.   Developers prize streamlined quest hub experience over real world design.  Quest hubs with vast vertical progression levels always will mature and leave old zones and dungeons empty.   In a game like World of Warcraft its a shame the beautiful world they design goes mostly unoccupied.  

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Originally posted by Foomerang That would definitely work. And I agree, I do not want to engage in a boring activity. Hard to define boring except we can agree that sometimes being forced to do basically nothing can be boring. Also something to consider is the overall game aesthetic you are going for. So lets create scarcity without mandatory downtime. We can make a drop rate very low. This might make a particular dungeon become popular and ran by many players to get a rare item. Side effect would be a surplus of all other common items in that dungeon.
    We could create scarcity by increasing difficulty. But that would create exclusivity that may or may not be wanted.
    With time based scarcity, you can control the flow of said item entering the game space while also including players who have the time but not the skill to be an effective participant.
    So now we come to the term boring again. For me at least, my boredom wildly varies on my mood. Sometimes, the same activity can be boring or stimulating at different scales of my own emotional status.
    I guess in the end all I can really get behind is that forced uptime or downtime, or forced anything is not great game design. Given the opportunity to choose between activities which could fit whatever mood i am in seems to be the best (for me at least)

    Definitely a big fan of things which are scarce because they're challenging to farm.

    And yeah, in the end it's really just about letting players choose what kind of fun they have inside your game.  If you don't, players are just going to make the same choice outside your game. (ie choosing not to play your game.)

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

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