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"Massive" sandbox crowd is a myth

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  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    Except that people aren't agreeing that "the player has little or no manipulation of the world" in the examples you cite. I happen to think there is ALOT of room for player manipulation in Skyrim...hence it's on the "sandbox" side of the spectrum from my perspective.

    Also note that "the game" is not neccesarly limited to "the world", it can also be "the narrative", or "the player" or "the players experience of the game." Theoriticaly you could have a "sandbox" game without any world what-so-ever. Mad Libs would be an example of that type of game.....there is no "world".....just a loose story structure that the players dramaticaly alter by filling in the blanks, resulting in a narrative that is largely (but not solely)  the creation of the player.

     

     

    Except that you're wrong.  In Skyrim, the game has one pre-programmed ending.  The only way not to get to that ending is not to play the game.  You will end the civil war.  You will kill Alduin.  You will become arch-mage.  You will become head of the thieves guild.  You will become head of the Companions.  You cannot play through those campaigns and come to a different conclusion.  You have no real input on the future of your character except to walk away.

    Odd then that is nothing remotely resembling how I concluded Skyrim. I DID end the civil war, by choosing to actively support the NORDS... I could have opted for the Empire or to remain neutral instead but I didn't.  I did NOT kill Alduin...he and his dragons are still plagueing the lands. I did not become "arch-mage", my character being superstiteous generaly wants as little to do with magic as is possible....hence I didn't pursue anything remotely "mage-like". I did NOT join the Thieves Guild...in fact I actualy killed quite a few of thier members instead, as my character does not like Thieves. I did NOT join the Companions, as my character didn't feel like wasting his time with a bunch of Mercenaries when there was the Empire to wrest Skyrims independance from and  alot of snooty Thalmor to hew in twain. I did take time out to help some of the common folk of Skyrim out with their problems with bandits and various other threats.

    At this point, I'm sure that you are going to tell me that I was "playing the game all wrong". To which I will respond that at no point in time did I find that the Developers fail to accomodate, support or provide for my style of play or the choices I made with my character. So unless you actualy represent Skyrims Developers in some sort of official fashion, I will maintain that you are the one who fails to understand the games design intent and features.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
    Originally posted by Cephus404
     

    Odd then that is nothing remotely resembling how I concluded Skyrim. I DID end the civil war, by choosing to actively support the NORDS... I could have opted for the Empire or to remain neutral instead but I didn't.  I did NOT kill Alduin...he and his dragons are still plagueing the lands. I did not become "arch-mage", my character being superstiteous generaly wants as little to do with magic as is possible....hence I didn't pursue anything remotely "mage-like". I did NOT join the Thieves Guild...in fact I actualy killed quite a few of thier members instead, as my character does not like Thieves. I did NOT join the Companions, as my character didn't feel like wasting his time with a bunch of Mercenaries when there was the Empire to wrest Skyrims independance from and  alot of snooty Thalmor to hew in twain. I did take time out to help some of the common folk of Skyrim out with their problems with bandits and various other threats.

    At this point, I'm sure that you are going to tell me that I was "playing the game all wrong". To which I will respond that at no point in time did I find that the Developers fail to accomodate, support or provide for my style of play or the choices I made with my character. So unless you actualy represent Skyrims Developers in some sort of official fashion, I will maintain that you are the one who fails to understand the games design intent and features.

    No you're not playing the game wrong - to each his own, certainly ...if you do not mind people looking you funny.

    In BG1, my character never cared about the life outside the walls and lived a peaceful life in Candlekeep as a monk.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • NormikeNormike san francisco, CAPosts: 436Member

    Casual + Sandbox. These two are often mutually exclusive in multiplayer gaming. But I think the only way to make a hugely popular sandbox game is to also make it casual-friendly. Casual players should be able to jump in and have fun instantly for 10 or 15 minutes, even if they only play 15 mins once a month.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,425Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Normike

    Casual + Sandbox. These two are often mutually exclusive in multiplayer gaming. But I think the only way to make a hugely popular sandbox game is to also make it casual-friendly. Casual players should be able to jump in and have fun instantly for 10 or 15 minutes, even if they only play 15 mins once a month.

    Well, I agree with that, but I also think you can have that mixed into a much deeper sort of game too. With lots of freedom, and no single hook that forces game play, there's no reason not to have plenty of options and choices.

    Once upon a time....

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by stevebmbsqd
     

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You really don't get it do you? The game isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest, you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. You can manipulate the world in ways like no other game on the market today. Clueless.......

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You reallyl don't get it do you? WOW isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest (and do LFD, mob grind, or many other possible ways to play), you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. Clueless .....

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by Dewm
    Originally posted by lizardbones   Originally posted by PyrateLV Originally posted by Hedeon the answer will come with archeage I guess, even though am sure my game time in it will go something along the lines of move as soon, and as far, away from quests as possible...build my little farm in the country side when possible....farm burned down by strangers.....*shrug and log off*.  but certainly will be among their first day customers, in the EU. archeage will certainly show if a sandbox game, have a bigger audience than the OP seem to believe, no real reason to discuss it until then. there just isnt any newer sandboxes, of high quality and variaty of things to do, at this point, atleast for what I know, and it need to be of high quality to reach that 250k, or what other mark you d set as a prove of success.  
    I wouldnt count ArcheAge as the sandbox game to break the mold as its got a few things going against it.   1- The Asian art style (it doesnt sell well in America) 2- NCSoft (they tend to meddle in the games they publish)
    The sandbox features are tied to the FFA PvP as well. At least the sandbox features I would be interested in. It's only a sandbox on the third, PvP continent. There are a lot of people who'd like to be a farmer in game, and a lot of people who want to be a marauder in game, but not nearly as many want to be both.  
     

     

     I don't know how you WOULDN'T count it as a sandbox.

    FFA PVP

    HUGE crafting list, including houses and boats and other mounts...

    Housing anyone?

    Large open world not guided by a deadset questline..

    Planting gardens trees and orchards (sp?)

    Builing castles and seiging them..

     

    ....I mean really.. if this isn't a sandbox, then there is no such thing as a sandbox.

     




    I wasn't saying it wasn't a sandbox. It is a sandbox. The thing is, those features, the housing and farming, are all tied to the third continent. You can't build a house on the first or second continents. Guess where the FFA PvP is and guess where one of the game features is tearing down another player's house? You guessed it. The Third Continent.

    This doesn't make it not a sandbox, but it does limit the appeal somewhat.

    Now again, this could all change. I don't think it will though. The FFA PvP thing seems to be stuck in some developer's heads as the only way to bring a sandbox to the MMORPG market.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • KoruaKorua Bremerton, WAPosts: 14Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by stevebmbsqd
     

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You really don't get it do you? The game isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest, you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. You can manipulate the world in ways like no other game on the market today. Clueless.......

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You reallyl don't get it do you? WOW isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest (and do LFD, mob grind, or many other possible ways to play), you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. Clueless .....

     

    Clicking a button and waiting around for a confirmation box to pop up on your screen is not a sandbox.  It's a Lobby. 

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member

    Developers of sandbox games just need to kick the identification of FFAPvP being neccesary for one.

    It's the first thing people think, and it's not what makes one. A sandbox is - simply - a game with a lack of concrete direction. You log in, ask yourself "what do I want to do?", and then go about it. They usually have a wide range of features that allow you to do way more than just "level up, gear up, raid". Without any idea of what the game is capable of, people will just scream "this game is boring". Initiative is what makes a true sandbox player, and it's what divides the rest of us up into different camps of necessary hand-holding.

    EVE Online, MO, Darkfall, Wakfu, etc are all great sandbox games, but will always be niche because you don't have a choice in whether to PvP or not. If someone wants you dead, they can attempt it as just about any time. The genre needs to drop the silly FFAPvP shit, because it attracts tards and sociopaths.

    Though, I will say that Face of Mankind was FFAPvP and worked, but namely because of the faction politics at hand, and giving them each a 'sphere' of play to govern. The problem is that new players generally didn't know how all that worked, assumed it was just a persistant deathmatch, and ganked anyone and anything without thinking. Then when they got notice and teamed up on, the game became "unfair". Lack of understanding what a game is about is really the biggest downfall for sandbox games and the new players that try them out. God forbid anyone do their research first...

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    Odd then that is nothing remotely resembling how I concluded Skyrim. I DID end the civil war, by choosing to actively support the NORDS... I could have opted for the Empire or to remain neutral instead but I didn't.  I did NOT kill Alduin...he and his dragons are still plagueing the lands. I did not become "arch-mage", my character being superstiteous generaly wants as little to do with magic as is possible....hence I didn't pursue anything remotely "mage-like". I did NOT join the Thieves Guild...in fact I actualy killed quite a few of thier members instead, as my character does not like Thieves. I did NOT join the Companions, as my character didn't feel like wasting his time with a bunch of Mercenaries when there was the Empire to wrest Skyrims independance from and  alot of snooty Thalmor to hew in twain. I did take time out to help some of the common folk of Skyrim out with their problems with bandits and various other threats.

    At this point, I'm sure that you are going to tell me that I was "playing the game all wrong". To which I will respond that at no point in time did I find that the Developers fail to accomodate, support or provide for my style of play or the choices I made with my character. So unless you actualy represent Skyrims Developers in some sort of official fashion, I will maintain that you are the one who fails to understand the games design intent and features.

    It has nothing to do with playing the game wrong, you didn't play the game.  There are specific questlines that you play through.  You cannot play through the Alduin questline without killing Alduin.  The only way to avoid doing it is not to play it at all.  You simply cannot play the questline and come to any other conclusion than is pre-programmed.  By the same token, you cannot play the civil war questline and not end the war.  There were two options, you could support the Imperials or the Nords, but both bring you to the same ultimate conclusion.  The war ends.  No other way around it.

    The only way around those conclusions is not to play those questlines at all, exactly as I said.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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    Hope: None

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,657Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    Originally posted by Dewm

    Originally posted by lizardbones  
    The sandbox features are tied to the FFA PvP as well. At least the sandbox features I would be interested in. It's only a sandbox on the third, PvP continent. There are a lot of people who'd like to be a farmer in game, and a lot of people who want to be a marauder in game, but not nearly as many want to be both.  
     

     I don't know how you WOULDN'T count it as a sandbox.

    • FFA PVP
    • HUGE crafting list, including houses and boats and other mounts...
    • Housing anyone?
    • Large open world not guided by a deadset questline..
    • Planting gardens trees and orchards (sp?)
    • Builing castles and seiging them..

    ....I mean really.. if this isn't a sandbox, then there is no such thing as a sandbox.

    I wasn't saying it wasn't a sandbox. It is a sandbox. The thing is, those features, the housing and farming, are all tied to the third continent. You can't build a house on the first or second continents. Guess where the FFA PvP is and guess where one of the game features is tearing down another player's house? You guessed it. The Third Continent.

    This doesn't make it not a sandbox, but it does limit the appeal somewhat.

    Now again, this could all change. I don't think it will though. The FFA PvP thing seems to be stuck in some developer's heads as the only way to bring a sandbox to the MMORPG market.

    Although it was a duct-tape solution at the time, I think the next great sandbox will look and function a lot like the two-facet shards of Ultima Online. 

    I'm a UO fan and an avid PVPer. I barely ever set foot in Trammel. However, if we take an unbiased and objective look back at UO from UO:R to present day, UO's Trammel facet is an excellent example of a functioning, feature-rich and engaging sandbox-style virtual world in a predominantly PvE-only (there is consensual PVP) environment. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • NormikeNormike san francisco, CAPosts: 436Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by stevebmbsqd
     

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You really don't get it do you? The game isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest, you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. You can manipulate the world in ways like no other game on the market today. Clueless.......

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You reallyl don't get it do you? WOW isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest (and do LFD, mob grind, or many other possible ways to play), you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. Clueless .....

    No one has done it yet for the sandbox in almost 15 (?) years. I've played Eve Online off and on, didn't try SWG, but neither one seemed casual friendly. A good example of casual friendly is having a level 12 character in GW2 (takes an hour or two), and get level boosted to 80 for pvp. Play a couple quick matches and log off. No significant time investment required.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,425Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Normike
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by stevebmbsqd
     

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You really don't get it do you? The game isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest, you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. You can manipulate the world in ways like no other game on the market today. Clueless.......

    Could you possibly be more close minded? You reallyl don't get it do you? WOW isn't just the quest. By not doing the quest (and do LFD, mob grind, or many other possible ways to play), you are still playing the game. That is why it is a sandbox. Clueless .....

    No one has done it yet for the sandbox in almost 15 (?) years. I've played Eve Online off and on, didn't try SWG, but neither one seemed casual friendly. A good example of casual friendly is having a level 12 character in GW2 (takes an hour or two), and get level boosted to 80 for pvp. Play a couple quick matches and log off. No significant time investment required.

    I agree with what you are looking for, but I have to wonder why even have these power gaps with levels if you're not going to use them.

    1. Give big bonuses in power with level increases
    2. Scale them to neutral when used
    3. Allow new special attacks and powers, but also scaled to neutral
    • Problem! When new players join battle and throw the scale out of whack.
    Why don't we just gain on that same level as the scale in the first place? Then you don't have the problem of changing the scaling when new players join a battle or enter an area.
    (Of course, this isn't a problem with instanced zones, only in an open world.)

    Once upon a time....

  • JC-SmithJC-Smith Chiang MaiPosts: 412Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    I'm a UO fan and an avid PVPer. I barely ever set foot in Trammel. However, if we take an unbiased and objective look back at UO from UO:R to present day, UO's Trammel facet is an excellent example of a functioning, feature-rich and engaging sandbox-style virtual world in a predominantly PvE-only (there is consensual PVP) environment. 

    I think it could work too. And might benefit other sandbox titles, by exposing new players to the style who may then try other games.

  • pierthpierth San Antonio, TXPosts: 1,503Member


    Originally posted by JC-Smith
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    I'm a UO fan and an avid PVPer. I barely ever set foot in Trammel. However, if we take an unbiased and objective look back at UO from UO:R to present day, UO's Trammel facet is an excellent example of a functioning, feature-rich and engaging sandbox-style virtual world in a predominantly PvE-only (there is consensual PVP) environment. 
    I think it could work too. And might benefit other sandbox titles, by exposing new players to the style who may then try other games.

    I've only played themeparks but I gravitate toward themeparks that have non-combat options for progression that aren't just "tacked on." I would absolutely try out a sandbox MMORPG that gave me the guarantee that I would not have to engage in PvP unless I desired. I enjoy PvP but have only in rare occurrences found any enjoyment in PvP in MMORPGs as it is usually skewed by RPG mechanics.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

    Odd then that is nothing remotely resembling how I concluded Skyrim. I DID end the civil war, by choosing to actively support the NORDS... I could have opted for the Empire or to remain neutral instead but I didn't.  I did NOT kill Alduin...he and his dragons are still plagueing the lands. I did not become "arch-mage", my character being superstiteous generaly wants as little to do with magic as is possible....hence I didn't pursue anything remotely "mage-like". I did NOT join the Thieves Guild...in fact I actualy killed quite a few of thier members instead, as my character does not like Thieves. I did NOT join the Companions, as my character didn't feel like wasting his time with a bunch of Mercenaries when there was the Empire to wrest Skyrims independance from and  alot of snooty Thalmor to hew in twain. I did take time out to help some of the common folk of Skyrim out with their problems with bandits and various other threats.

    At this point, I'm sure that you are going to tell me that I was "playing the game all wrong". To which I will respond that at no point in time did I find that the Developers fail to accomodate, support or provide for my style of play or the choices I made with my character. So unless you actualy represent Skyrims Developers in some sort of official fashion, I will maintain that you are the one who fails to understand the games design intent and features.

    It has nothing to do with playing the game wrong, you didn't play the game.  There are specific questlines that you play through.  You cannot play through the Alduin questline without killing Alduin.  The only way to avoid doing it is not to play it at all.  You simply cannot play the questline and come to any other conclusion than is pre-programmed.  By the same token, you cannot play the civil war questline and not end the war.  There were two options, you could support the Imperials or the Nords, but both bring you to the same ultimate conclusion.  The war ends.  No other way around it.

    The only way around those conclusions is not to play those questlines at all, exactly as I said.

    Exactly how could you do otherwise in a game that isn't HUMAN MODERATED?  It's kinda the definition of a COMPUTER game. In a COMPUTER game, ANY computer game (or really any other application) the CODE must be able to account for the users actions or the application generates an unhandled exception and crashes. If that's your definition of sandbox then it's a nihlistic arguement since it precludes the possibility of ANY computer game (unless I suppose, we develop sentient AI's) from being a sandbox. That's complete non-sense.

    I can assure you that I very much did play the game....for hours upon hours...and the way I played it was fully supported by the design. I was free to interact with the game environment in the way I chose and the choices I made had a permanent lasting effect on the game environment. If that's not "sandbox" then nothing IS.

    The idea that it's not "sandbox" because if you play the story lines to conclusion you'll reach one of a number of conclusions for that particulary story-line that is "pre-programmed" is absurd.... News Flash....it's a COMPUTER PROGRAM braniac.... unless you've developed a self-programming AI, anything you do within it WILL BE pre-programmed.

    Heck, even in a litteral sandbox with a real human being, all the conclusions to your play are "pre-programmed", you've got a FINITE number of grains of sand and a FINITE number of ways you can combine those grains according to the laws of physics..... that means that there are also a FINITE number of permutations you get from playing with the sand....it's just that  FINITE number is so large, the human brain can't comprehend it....so it appears INFINITE but it's really not.

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