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Sandbox vs Themepark Discussion Thread

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  • KameljonKameljon ReykjavPosts: 2Member

    After having played sandbox, is there any way to return to a themepark?  I dont think so.

    Cigarettes are a lot like hamsters, perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire.

  • SuraknarSuraknar Montreal, QCPosts: 824Member

    i typed this reply for this thread: http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/352767/Are-sand-box-and-theme-parks-mutually-exclusive.html

    But the Devs locked the thread in mean time (grrr)..

    original question was, posted by learis1

    "I've been reading in an attempt to understand the differences, pros and cons of theme park and sand box mmos.

     

    My question is: Are they mutually exclusive?

     

    Is it not possible to have a theme park mmo with such extensive resource/environment manipulation mechanics  that it could function as a sandbox? Likewise, couldn't a sandbox have optional yet engaging quests to follow if you'd like some direction and story to your exploration?

    Or is there something I'm missing/oversimplifying about the two that prevents them from being combined into a hybrid? Personally, I think combining the two is a key to solving some of the cons that inhabit them seperately. It's a daunting task though."

     

    I think Sandbox and Themepark designs are mutually exclusive, within consideration of the following definitions:

     

    A Themepark to me is basically geared towards taking the player to a guided experience through a park filled with Rides and Focusses on the Character's mechanical Progression which also serves as a reward system for visiting the rides.

     

    A Sandbox to me is basically geared towards taking the player to an unguided experience through a world filled with challenges and adventure opportunities and Focusses on the Character's Social Progression which constitutes also a reward depending on the level of interaction the player chooses to involve themselves in to, and within the context of their interest. (A crafter, a Merchant, a Combattant for Good, a Combattant for Evil, a Diplomat, a Story teller, a Shepherd etc.. all can be heroes within their own context and their achievements contributing to the Richness of the Society of the world)

     

    in that sense, the two are mutually exclusive, because the goal and context are different, and sometimes opposed. In a themepark your actions do not contribute to the world and may not affect the experience of other players (in any positive or negative way). In a Sandbox your actions do contribute to the world and may affect the experience of other players (in positive or negative ways).

    Elements and features such as Scripted Quests Scripted Storylines and a certain guided Direaction can exists in Both types, as well as extensive ressource/environment manipulation.

    often however, a Themepark game will choose not to have such elements because they quickly fall in to the "uneeded" or "low Priority" list of things to accomplish and by launch dropped all together.

    There would be no technical reason why WoW could not have some type of Housing, but the Devs chose to not implement such a thing because they felt it was not necessary within the context of the rides, or, it may have been seen as a counter intuitive endeavor. The aime in wow is to have the player travel from region to region as they Progress, having a House could have been seen as counter productive to that, since your "home" is considered to be your current Quest Hub part of your progression Hub.

    So in a Themepark the Adventure hubs are provided by the Game, in a Sandbox the Adventure hubs are provided by the Players as these explore populate and settle in the world create Communities in it and customize and personalise the area of settlement.

    So I think it is by now clear that while feature wise both could be seen as mutually inclusive, in reality both have very different core gameplay goals which are mutually exclusive.

    Albeit, some of their elements and features can be used for both types, however, just because a game has FFA PvP with full loot this does not define that game as a Sandbox game, or Just because a Game offers Quests with a Direction and Pre-Scripted Story this does not define that game as Themepark.

    In my observation and experience playing both types.

    - Duke Suraknar -
    Order of the Silver Star, OSS

    image
    ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member

    Instead of a sticky thread, I'm wondering if this topic should have its own forum...

     

    Re:questioning whether sandboxes and themeparks are mutually exclusive, I was just thinking about how I'd love to see a themepark that has a sandbox endgame.  I bet it'd be a lot more popular than instance grinding for gear.

     

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member
    Originally posted by Vhaln

    Instead of a sticky thread, I'm wondering if this topic should have its own forum...

     

    Re:questioning whether sandboxes and themeparks are mutually exclusive, I was just thinking about how I'd love to see a themepark that has a sandbox endgame.  I bet it'd be a lot more popular than instance grinding for gear.

     

    If you fundamentally change a game like that, I don't think the playerbase will like it.

    It'll feel like the  time spent to get to 'endgame' was a waste of time.

    I can kinda see it for niche games but I can't see a broad mainstream appeal.

    Imagine if you are playing BF3 single player and all of a sudden it changed to MineCraft. Would it work?

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Originally posted by Vhaln

    Instead of a sticky thread, I'm wondering if this topic should have its own forum...

    Re:questioning whether sandboxes and themeparks are mutually exclusive, I was just thinking about how I'd love to see a themepark that has a sandbox endgame.  I bet it'd be a lot more popular than instance grinding for gear.

    If you fundamentally change a game like that, I don't think the playerbase will like it.

    It'll feel like the  time spent to get to 'endgame' was a waste of time.

    I can kinda see it for niche games but I can't see a broad mainstream appeal.

    Imagine if you are playing BF3 single player and all of a sudden it changed to MineCraft. Would it work?

     

    To me, raids and instance grinding feel like a similarly fundamental shift in gameplay, in most MMOs I've played, and I think that shift does alienate a lot of the playerbase, too.  I'm not talking about such an extreme sandbox as Minecraft though, more like what UO or SWG used to be. 

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • exanimoexanimo macauPosts: 1,316Member


    Originally posted by Vhaln
    Originally posted by jpnz Originally posted by Vhaln Instead of a sticky thread, I'm wondering if this topic should have its own forum... Re:questioning whether sandboxes and themeparks are mutually exclusive, I was just thinking about how I'd love to see a themepark that has a sandbox endgame.  I bet it'd be a lot more popular than instance grinding for gear.
    If you fundamentally change a game like that, I don't think the playerbase will like it. It'll feel like the  time spent to get to 'endgame' was a waste of time. I can kinda see it for niche games but I can't see a broad mainstream appeal. Imagine if you are playing BF3 single player and all of a sudden it changed to MineCraft. Would it work?
     

    To me, raids and instance grinding feel like a similarly fundamental shift in gameplay, in most MMOs I've played, and I think that shift does alienate a lot of the playerbase, too.  I'm not talking about such an extreme sandbox as Minecraft though, more like what UO or SWG used to be. 


    its funny you mention bf3 , becose this fps online are becoming rpgs , you need to x to get weapon y and believe you can do more head shots with weapon z then the noob weapon you have when you start the game , this was when i stoped playing fps.

    walking in the dust and dieing in one shot from a sniper in a 100 meters away with end game rifle ... forget it .

  • DarkmothDarkmoth Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 174Member
    Originally posted by Irus
    Originally posted by wrightstuf

    SWTOR, imo, was a good example of a game that strayed too far towards themepark and it hurt them because of it. i think it started bleeding subs because people just got bored.

    Am I the only one whothinks SW:TOR (and other games) failed for a very simple reason: it simply wasn't a good game?

    I do not understand the train of thinking that being in a certain subgenre kills a game. I am really not buying that. SW:TOR failed because it didn't do anything well. It wasn't fun. It wasn't well designed.

    There were fun things about SWTOR. I thought the feeling of playing Empire was very well done, the constant feeling of suspicion, the random cruelties of the Sith, etc. Some of the storylines were amazing. Most of the people I know enjoyed the 1-50 ride, but the brick wall after 50 was a dealbreaker.

  • krem4opldkrem4opld PlovdivPosts: 12Member

    Gimme an example of a sandbox/themepark f2p

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 953Member Uncommon

    While I was writing my reply to "Why do so many people think that Sandbox MMORPGs are all FFA PvP? They're not. ", the thread was locked so I am adding my reply here.  I also agree with the above poster that instead of a single sticky in a general forum, the SB vs TP should have its own sub forum.  Well that is enuff of that.

     

    Getting back to the question of why do so many people associate Sandbox with FFA PvP?  Like a previous poster stated it is because of Ultima Online, and single player games like Grand Theft Auto.  You name a single player SB, and it will have some sort of game play that matches that of FFA PvP.

    I suspect the reason developers support it in a SB game is the clean slate effect of the destruction.  Just as in a real SB the first child builds to his hearts content.  When the second child comes along, he may find all available space is used and occupied by the first child.  So what does this second child do?  He kicks over every thing that the first child built and starts a new, a form of PvP.

    To the previous poster who wanted confirmation on SWG.  Yes, it used an NPC called a faction recruiter to activate the PvP flag on the PvE servers.  SOE took along time activating structural decay.  I know that homes had a maintenance cost.  But I don’t believe they implemented structure being removed from the world, and their contents being stored until years after launch.  Speeder Bike mounts didn’t have decay for some time, even though the game did have garages for their repair.

    The point is Developers are afraid of implementing a system of world renewal where developers are the cause.  A system where other players loot your gear, or destroy your village is ok with developers.  It takes the responsibility off their shoulders.

    Let me add to the original question, how would you handle a SB, without structural decay or PvP damage?  What would you do for the player, that comes into the game years later after all the good building spots are taken?

    My first thought for a world without decay would be to rely on natural disasters.  Fire, flood, earthquake, and such on a timely cycle.  If the structures are not maintained, then the are destroyed by nature.  New players can move in and make claims then build.  But this could be a slow process.  The player base may grow to resent it, protest, or leave.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • sacredshroomsacredshroom Arlington, WAPosts: 4Member

    to me a sandbox game doesn't need to be a game where the whole thing is built by players that doesn't even make sense. all I want is freedom to do whatever I want. If I want to go maked some stuff and make money I can do it, if I want to quest a little I can do it, if I wanna go kill shit I can do it. No linear gameplay. I guess you could say I like themepark games but I want to choose what ride I want to ride and when I want to ride it. one of the rides could be a sandbox..

  • lucasr90lucasr90 SPosts: 5Member

    I prefer sandbox over themeparks because I enjoy the fact that I can create my own objectives, be whatever I want, do whatever I want.

    I've been playing Haven & Hearth and I'm loving it, this game is unique!

    Graphics are not a big deal for me and personaly I love games with 2D (sprite) graphics and isometric perspective, it looks charming.

    The only problem I see in the game right now is that it lags A LOT! Hopefuly when this issue gets fixed I won't fell the need to play anything else.

    I was thinking of creating my own sandbox MMO, unfortunately, it looks nearly impossible to accomplish this on my own.

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    (Puts on gloves, puts a dip in, puts on tool belt)

    Welp, looks like I have some clarifying to do, again.

    Sandboxes are MMORPGs

    Themeparks are MMODCs (DC=dungeon crawlers)

  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by theJexster

    (Puts on gloves, puts a dip in, puts on tool belt)

    Welp, looks like I have some clarifying to do, again.

    Sandboxes are MMORPGs

    Themeparks are MMODCs (DC=dungeon crawlers)

    Many dungeon crawlers are also RPGs. Just because you have a pre-set adventure doesn't mean you don't role play. Even sandbox games have objectives like themeparks. You just don't NEED to do them is the difference. So yeah:

     

    Sandboxes are MMORPGs

    Themeparks are MMORPGs

  • Hadleyrand12Hadleyrand12 naples, FLPosts: 2Member

    I still to this day do not understand why one of the most prolific sandbox games did not receive more aclaim.

    I do understand how difficult it must have been to develop, and the simple nature of the game might have been ahead of its time in terms of hardware, but I have played many other MMOs since its release (almost all of them) and nothing seemed to come close.

     

    I am talking about SWG (preNGE).

    I in fact never got involved in the jedi grind, but it seemed to have everything a gamer who wanted to actually ROLEPLAY in a ONLINE community would have wanted.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but did it not have the most complex and immense leveling system in a game.

    I have yet to find a game with a crafting system as complete and fullfilling as SWG's crafting system. I still remember having to wait 9 months after the game release before I could get the elite carbine becuase the rare material for it never spawned.

    The housing system has yet to be matched, and the decoratioin mechanics was so amazing.

     

    The combat was actually rather bland and unbalanced, but regardless, I have yet to play a game that offered the same satasfaction as SWG in terms of reward for work put in.

     

    It seemed to offer many things no other game to date has been able to offer and seemed to have the largest room for improvement. Has there be a MMO since that had total game size as big as SWG?

     

    It really does seem like, a game that was just too difficult to develop, and it seems like games now, are just going for the easy money. Create a game, put a limit on how much a player can do by making them travel absurd distances or wait a day - week before they can do it again, forcing them to do nothing but stay subscribed with no real challenge.

     

    I would MUCH!!! rather have to follow this path to get a rare item; Hunt Kryats for a rare drop (Exceptional Kryat Dragon Pearl). Find a Weaponsmith who has the schematic for the Geo blaster I want, find the highest quality versions of 4 of 1000 different resource forms, craft the weapon and decide how I want the weapon to scale... High damage, low attack speed, moderate pool cost... medium damage, very fast attack speed, low resource (stamina) cost.

    Something that if you wanted, you could get in a day, but it would take work.

     

    Instead of how games are now. "OOOO the new best in slot item.... time to run this once instan, which takes 7 hours to get through,  to try and get it... ooo it didn't drop,,, wait a week repeat... oo it did drop... oo somebody else rolled higher.... wait another week repeat... ooo i won the roll yay I am now on the same level as somebody who got really lucky and I am better than somebody who isn't lucky"....

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Hadleyrand12
    I am talking about SWG (preNGE).I in fact never got involved in the jedi grind, but it seemed to have everything a gamer who wanted to actually ROLEPLAY in a ONLINE community would have wanted.
    What's the overlap, though, between gamers who wanted to actually roleplay in an online community, and fans of Star Wars - which, let's face it, is about as mindless and action-packed as space opera gets? It probably wasn't an ideal match of IP and game design.
  • RabiatorRabiator GrobizellPosts: 358Member
    Originally posted by Banquetto

     


    Originally posted by Hadleyrand12
    I am talking about SWG (preNGE).

     

    I in fact never got involved in the jedi grind, but it seemed to have everything a gamer who wanted to actually ROLEPLAY in a ONLINE community would have wanted.


    What's the overlap, though, between gamers who wanted to actually roleplay in an online community, and fans of Star Wars - which, let's face it, is about as mindless and action-packed as space opera gets? It probably wasn't an ideal match of IP and game design.

     

    Obviously enough that the original SWG was reasonably successful. Not as big as Everquest but decent.  SWG had its best time in 2003-2005. In the time after the NGE, subscriotions went down a lot, until the game closed last year. 

    The numbers are pretty persuasive. Check out these statistics: http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png

     

  • BanquettoBanquetto CityPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Rabiator
    Obviously enough that the original SWG was reasonably successful. Not as big as Everquest but decent.  SWG had its best time in 2003-2005. In the time after the NGE, subscriotions went down a lot, until the game closed last year. 
    Oh, indeed. But Hadleyrand12 was expressing surprise that it wasn't more successful. I'm not sure that it really could have been, I think it was fundamentally appealing to two groups that didn't really overlap that much.


    I'd actually be interested to know how many SW:G enthusiasts really consider themselves Star Wars fans. I don't, and I think the fact that SW:G didn't pursue the space opera made it more appealing to me.

  • RabiatorRabiator GrobizellPosts: 358Member
    Originally posted by Banquetto

    Oh, indeed. But Hadleyrand12 was expressing surprise that it wasn't more successful. I'm not sure that it really could have been, I think it was fundamentally appealing to two groups that didn't really overlap that much.


    I'd actually be interested to know how many SW:G enthusiasts really consider themselves Star Wars fans. I don't, and I think the fact that SW:G didn't pursue the space opera made it more appealing to me.

    Well, yes. Maybe I should have worded my post differently. I was commenting on the fact that a not dumbed down SWG did better than the simplified version post-NGE.

     

    Considering the absolute number of subscribers, I guess the people who really enjoy a sandbox are just not that many. Today, the most succesful sandbox is EVE Online, and with maybe 400k subscribers, it is not much bigger than SWG at its peak popularity.

     

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member

    where's the poll?

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I like sandboxes

    I also like themeparks that aren't raid / arena grinders
  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member

    There needs to be a poll to see if sandbox is more popular then themepark.

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,460Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jonoku

    There needs to be a poll to see if sandbox is more popular then themepark.

    The results woudl be skewed.

    Depending on the site that posted the poll you would see results one way or the other.

     

  • KiljaedenasKiljaedenas New Westminster, BCPosts: 468Member
    Originally posted by jpnz
    Originally posted by Brenelael
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
     

     But it does.  There are areas with towers of keeps you can control (Eastern plaguelands) and I'm told in Lich King expansion (I've never actually played this) there are more player controlled areas like this.

    In a PVP realm in Wow there is nothing stopping a guild or players from controlling one particular zone and fighting to keep it (south shore anyway - a major gankfest of just horde killing alliance). 

    No WoW cannot improve (I allready talked about building) those areas but they can keep them.

    The spying, invasions, defense, that can all be done in WoW.  It normally isn't but it can be.

    And if control territory is what sets them apart what apart all the so-called sandboxes that don't allow that - Istaria for one.

    Venge

    edit - since those can be done in WoW but the population chooses not to most of the time, does this mean that a major difference between sandbox and themepark is simply choice?

    edit - aside from what bladstrom and I allready decided.  :)

    The difference is in WoW the Developers decided which areas players can control. In EVE the players decide. Also In WoW the Developers chose the factions for the players. In EVE this is also left totally up to the players. In WoW the players controlled areas are on a timer... once the timer resets the areas are up for grabs again. In EVE a Corp can hold an area for years if they are strong enough. In WoW if you don't want to be a part of the area control system you can wander through without any concern. In EVE if you go into a another Corp's space you better have a damn good reason for being there.

     

    The territory control system in EVE is nothing like what is in WoW.

     

    Bren

    The underline text is not technically 100% true.

    Only 0.0 which CCP (the developers of EVE) decides can be player controlled.

    Technically your statement isn't correct either. Deep Nullsec is the only area of space that players can own by directly claiming Sovreignty...but players can "own" space without ever claiming Sovreignty. In fact, that's how players owned Nullsec before the Sovreignty system was even introduced. A player-owned-station (POS) can be set up to do pretty much anything you want in a base, from mining to mineral processing to ship construction to defense. If your corp sets up a good set of POS's in several systems and you have a good group of players both industrial and combat based to supply and defend them, and you could easily claim to "own" that space even though you may not have Sovreignty. This is how wormhole and lowsec space gets owned. The combined number of nullsec, lowsec and wormhole systems significantly outnumber the number of Hisec systems, so in fact players can own most of the Eve universe.

    Where's the any key?

  • MikuHatsumeMikuHatsume Jacksonville, FLPosts: 7Member

    guess I like both

    it depends on what you're doing with it ^^

    if you just hang out there, themeparks are boring, but if you can really start having fun there, it  great ^^

  • crazygeekcrazygeek new york, NYPosts: 7Member

    i like dungeon and raiding, so i like themepark more than sandboxes

    Like father, like son. buy vial of the sands

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