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Sandbox vs Themepark Discussion Thread

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  • dna_mordna_mor Richboro, PAPosts: 10Member

    I sorta like Sandbox. I'm a long-time UO subscriber, but I wish the skill gains were easier to get. I hate how people macro unattended to get the skills they want, but the slow gains in the game probably forces them to do it. 

    I never did this, but it is boring to legitimately build skills attended for hours on end and have little to show for it.... 

  • UsulDaNeriakUsulDaNeriak SindelfingenPosts: 640Member

    There are other systems than "skill by use", e.g. in EVE you have "skill over real time" which also has its pros and cons.

    But I agree, i never saw a game with skill by use, which was not heavily bot infested.

    played: Everquest I (6 years), EVE (3 years)
    months: EQII, Vanguard, Siedler Online, SWTOR, Guild Wars 2
    weeks: WoW, Shaiya, Darkfall, Florensia, Entropia, Aion, Lotro, Fallen Earth, Uncharted Waters
    days: DDO, RoM, FFXIV, STO, Atlantica, PotBS, Maestia, WAR, AoC, Gods&Heroes, Cultures, RIFT, Forsaken World, Allodds

  • prodigaL_sonprodigaL_son SCS, MIPosts: 21Member
    Originally posted by Kiljaedenas
    Originally posted by Xzen
    Originally posted by UsulDaNeriak

    Take EVE, but with avatars on a planet. A huge Continent as big as entire GW2 which is fully safe (no highsec-ganking). Now add even bigger wastelands (0.0) around this continent with PvP ffa, terraforming, city-building, ships and ship combat, farming, planting, breeding, taming and all that stuff. The devs may do these huge wasteland with a generator. I dont care how it looks initially. We will change the world anyways.

    Now add tons of dynamic events everywhere. Of course, the better events would be on the safe continent, where the devs can control the state of the environment. But adjust the loot&reward-system so the player-driven economy is not harmed. THIS is imho the main problem, if merging sandbox and themepark into a hybrid sandpark. I would even not care if you add a personal instanced story for the carebears on their safe continent. However i guess some epic quest-lines like in EQ1 or an Extended kind of EVE Cosmos Missions should work, too.

    In this game you could be fully safe, but no hand-holding, bcause its very complex, no instant gratification, because this would ruin the economy, and no easy mode, because life isnt easy. Its a complex world simulation.

    This game would have one important critical success factor of EVE: the PvE-guys are fully safe and can play their game, which means lots of paying customers and a happy provider. But some of them will try the wastelands. A lot will do, like they do in EVE finally. At last partially. And that means healthy PvP-population.

    My ideal game right there.

    You've got to be careful with that though. If the PvE guys are fully safe but can contribute to a player-run economy from the standard resource extraction and crafting system, that can very likely let the economy snowball out of control with product creation. Whether you like it or not, the fact that Empire Space is NOT fully safe in Eve actually helps keep the player run economy healthy and flowing, and helps keep too much uber pimped-out expensive crap from entering the game. Plus it helps you learn not to take stupid risks, and become a smarter player.  I personally would not want an Eve-like game that had a 100% safe PvE location unless the resource extraction + crafting availble there was extremely limited (i.e. you could only build up to tech 1 cruisers and related tech, and only tech 1 mining ships, plus you would not be able to get all the types of ore you would need to build them purely from the "safe" sites).

    Unfortunately, Empire space is completely safe now thanks to the horrible changes made by the CCCP recently.  Eve is going the route of every other MMO and you will see soon that it will fail.  What kept it going for so long is that it defied the typical market standards for MMOs by being a difficult, ruthless game where you were never safe, but you could make a sizeable impact on the space around you or the cyber marketplace (because its all player run).  With the release of Dust, CCCP is trying to make the game more accesible to carebears and it is going to create too large of a separation between highsec and null sec.  The market will spiral out of control as you suggested aand the game will meet its doom.

    EVE was the best example of how to do it.  No doubt about it.  But they too need to update their insurance polices, pay their taxes, drive their hybrids, etc etc.  I loved Eve, but when you start to themepark my MMO, I walk away... Sure, its a better option than what I'm currently playing, because contrary to the most recent hype machine GW2 is just like every other MMO i've ever played.

    SWG anyone?  Why can't that concept be recycled?  I mean, not with Star Wars because we all know Lucas is too proud to admit SWTOR sucked balls... but, why can't someone bring back the sandbox MMO?  Why wouldn't a big company see what kind of monotonous diarhea people are playing right now and offfer a different choice.  Sure, TSW is different, but lets face it, without good combat or physics you have nothing.  I see TSW as more of a game riddled with gimmicks rather than visionary.  There is no levelling, but there is... there is no class restriction, but there is no reason to have it because no one wants to fight!

    Star Wars Galaxies is still regarded as one of the best MMOs ever.  We just need one company to step up and have some sack to deliver the MMO community a new choice.  If I had the money, I would do it.  I know themeparks can make their money back even if they suck, but thats not the goal here.  The goal is to create a game with sustainability.  A game where the developers get back to what the MMO was supposed to be about.  A game that can give the players full control over the environment, the marketplace.  Why the heck not?!

    Rift, WoW, Terra, SWTOR, GW2 they are all the same game with different plusses and minuses.  Eve and SWG were completely unique and amazing... someone please step up and fix this.  I am soooo bored with MMOs right now and I have a feeling a lot of other people are too

  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member

    I want a themebox with some sandpark's in it.

    If you disagree with my fool proof logic, go drink and come back to the forums when you can think better!

  • dna_mordna_mor Richboro, PAPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by william0532

    I want a themebox with some sandpark's in it.

    If you disagree with my fool proof logic, go drink and come back to the forums when you can think better!

    Perhaps if you explained that better... ? 

    What parts would be sandbox? What would be themepark? 

  • dna_mordna_mor Richboro, PAPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by prodigaL_son
     

    SWG anyone?  Why can't that concept be recycled?  I mean, not with Star Wars because we all know Lucas is too proud to admit SWTOR sucked balls... but, why can't someone bring back the sandbox MMO?  Why wouldn't a big company see what kind of monotonous diarhea people are playing right now and offfer a different choice.  Sure, TSW is different, but lets face it, without good combat or physics you have nothing.  I see TSW as more of a game riddled with gimmicks rather than visionary.  There is no levelling, but there is... there is no class restriction, but there is no reason to have it because no one wants to fight!

    Star Wars Galaxies is still regarded as one of the best MMOs ever.  We just need one company to step up and have some sack to deliver the MMO community a new choice.  If I had the money, I would do it.  I know themeparks can make their money back even if they suck, but thats not the goal here.  The goal is to create a game with sustainability.  A game where the developers get back to what the MMO was supposed to be about.  A game that can give the players full control over the environment, the marketplace.  Why the heck not?!

     

     

    I can't say whether or not we're going for SWG-style, but I'm on a team that is attempting a classless, skill-based game with DC Universe Online game pad-style control. Check us out....

     

    Other than that, you're last comments about marketplace are invalidated by your earlier complaints of EVE Online's maketplace. 

  • Pumuckl71Pumuckl71 istanbulPosts: 121Member

    every sandbox game i know of has a story blueprint , and thats ok . what iam missing in sandbox games these days is diversity.....all narrowed down to hardcore crafting ...pvp ownage & loot ...territory masterhood. In most cases this doesnt create a vibrant  game envirement . Holding power must  come with disadvantages also ....not only through the community  but by the mere gamemechanics too.

    example:

    The real reason UO got trammel  was a good ammount of  ppl that couldnt have fun because of  total asshats who ploited the shit outta the game and low ass griefers. Dont get me wrong ...i hated trammel too ...but before that i saw things happening -boy oh boy-  and it was clear they gonna do somin bout it ....well thats  old stories none wants to hear that anymore.

     

     

  • william0532william0532 portland, ORPosts: 251Member
    Originally posted by dna_mor
    Originally posted by william0532

    I want a themebox with some sandpark's in it.

    If you disagree with my fool proof logic, go drink and come back to the forums when you can think better!

    Perhaps if you explained that better... ? 

    What parts would be sandbox? What would be themepark? 

    I was a bit hammered, and not sure what a themebox or a sandpark technically would be?

    As far as your question though,

    Sandbox-exploration(hidden quests, hidden dangers, things to discover that are not directly tied in to a themeparks breadcrumbed path they make you stay on). I like sandbox customization(I like seeing different looks, not like swtor, where everyone looks 100% the same), yet the players can really go crazy with "who they are in the game". I like when I'm done with a class/planet/area quest line theres other things to do, mini games, decorating your house. I like the leaps and bounds above a themepark game that a sandbox offers for socializing, they really have all the tools for community. I like mini games, I like just randomely discovering that some actions have odd consequences, or trigger other events. I like open world pvp. I like player driven economies, where you can actually create unique things(especially when it creates community by making crafters reliant on gatherers, as opposed to selling junk and what not to npc vendors, but instead selling them to crafters.

     

    Themepark-I like a main quest line(I think sandbox's should have them), I like class stories, and stories for certain areas/planets. I like warzones when I'm bored(or battlegrounds, or arena's whatever you call them)

     

    I really just want a complete game, where your not bored. I'm thinking with these clear cut divisions that developers and fans have created will only create games that are only half their potential. Bioware, when the created TOR used these divisions, and put everything considered sandbox on what they call a wall of crazy. Which tells you thier mind set right from the get go. Theres too much competition to launch a straight themepark or sandbox now, you need a good hybrid in my opinion. I liked TOR, but its f'ing boring, so I'll play GW2, and in six months, I'll play something else(probably repopulation or planetside 2). Until a game launches with alot of features from both, at six months they will eat crap and lose a majority of subs, like tor, and why not? Why not play something different for awhile.

    My friend still plays WoW, not because its great, but because he put 3 years into it before any competition came around, so he won't start over and be patient for a new mmo to build content over the course of a couple of years, simply because hes vested so much time into that one game. None of these new games offer a long term investment, just a quick race to endgame and move on to another new mmo.

  • cosycosy ColentinaPosts: 3,304Member
    Sandox :)   is the only way for a game to keep players using all the content

    BestSigEver :P
    image

  • TirxTirx Ft Myers, FLPosts: 6Member
    Sandbox is soo much more real.  Ac1 ..... Only problem was getting the sand out of my shorts everyday. 
  • Lethargic_SynapseLethargic_Synapse Kissimmee, FLPosts: 67Member
    I love the IDEA of a sandbox game.  The problem is pulling it off correctly.  They get so huge that managing everything becomes a large task.  With today's F2P trend becoming the norm, it seems less and less likely that a successful sandbox can even make it in the industry anymore.
  • TruthXHurtsTruthXHurts El Do, KSPosts: 1,555Member
    Originally posted by Lethargic_Synapse
    I love the IDEA of a sandbox game.  The problem is pulling it off correctly.  They get so huge that managing everything becomes a large task.  With today's F2P trend becoming the norm, it seems less and less likely that a successful sandbox can even make it in the industry anymore.

    I think a succesful indie sandbox game should start out small and well made. Then they should slowly grow and add features. Having this daunting list of features and high expectations are what kill most games. What if a developer made a game that evolved over time? A game that actually grew along with it's playerbase?

    "I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  • Lethargic_SynapseLethargic_Synapse Kissimmee, FLPosts: 67Member
    Originally posted by TruthXHurts
    Originally posted by Lethargic_Synapse
    I love the IDEA of a sandbox game.  The problem is pulling it off correctly.  They get so huge that managing everything becomes a large task.  With today's F2P trend becoming the norm, it seems less and less likely that a successful sandbox can even make it in the industry anymore.

    I think a succesful indie sandbox game should start out small and well made. Then they should slowly grow and add features. Having this daunting list of features and high expectations are what kill most games. What if a developer made a game that evolved over time? A game that actually grew along with it's playerbase?

    Great prospect, and if they made the game as addicting as games once were, it would keep those players around long enough for it to evolve.  I think devs need to stop trying to be all things to all people, and start small like you said.  Unfortunately everyone wants to be Blizzard, so I'm not sure how that'll work.

  • LahuzerLahuzer BorPosts: 666Member Uncommon
    Why did the mod Amana close the other thread "The time to bring back Sandboxes IS NOW!" and told us to go here? Here it´s sandboxes vs themepark. Rly not the same. But I do hope we get more AAA sandboxes. I threw in my themepark towel with GW2. I´m done with em. No more.
  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Lahuzer
    Why did the mod Amana close the other thread "The time to bring back Sandboxes IS NOW!" and told us to go here? Here it´s sandboxes vs themepark. Rly not the same. But I do hope we get more AAA sandboxes. I threw in my themepark towel with GW2. I´m done with em. No more.

    While I havent sifted through the 32 pages of this thread yet. Im confident that both threads are covering the same ground.

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • YalexyYalexy BerlinPosts: 1,053Member Uncommon

    My thoughts about this are not about the "vs" but about the "both".

    What we need is a good hybrid of both sandbox and themepark. Relying on either element of the two isn't really cutting it anymore these days.

    Some has really to wonder, that old games like SWG and EvE Online show how it has to be done. None of these two games have totally neglected the themepark-side. They both had the quest-content of a typical themepark and they made it so, that those only interested in the PvE and the questing actually never had to deal with the sandbox and the PvP.

    ArcheAge seems to be the MMO that will take the right approach, having themepark on the two starter-islands and PvP-sandbox on the third island which is FFA.
    Sure, you might get attacked by others aswell on the two starter-islands, but there'll be consequences for those, who attack you. The prison and outlaw-system will provide some good safety for those only interested in the PvE-themepark of ArcheAge.
    The best part of ArcheAge imho will be the labour-point-system, as all these PvE-themepark players will be integrated into the sandbox-part, offering their labour-points for profits :)

    So yeah, all of those die hard sandbox players, who think that FFA-PvP is all about... they're totally wrong and not getting the point, what makes a good and populated game.

    Look at EvE Online ffs. Without the thousands of carebears doing nothing else then running missions in high-sec, or crafting and trading EvE Online would not have lasted 9 years with a steadily growing poulation.
    Darkfall, Mortal Online or Earthrise made the mistake of not offering any PvE in safer areas, basically turning their games in nothing less then a big slaughterhouse, where players can't enjoy a few hours simply minding their business, doing a few quests without constantly being threatened etc.

    For those interested in PvP solely, there's tons of shooters allready and for those only interested in PVE and soloing through the content there's tons of RPGs allready. And then there's sandboxes like ATITD, where it's all about the community.
    A good MMO has to bring all those parts together.

  • maccarthur2004maccarthur2004 SPosts: 510Member

    Much have been talked here about the differences between sandboxes and themeparks. I would like to add some views that i have, in my experience with mmos, about especific aspects of each type:

     

    In General:

     - Sandboxes had primarily a proposal of creating a "setting" where the players can compete by ownership of land, castles, fortress, bases, resources, political domain or even fame. The main concern of these mmos is to provide a world that simulate and allow a "realistic" and almost free interaction between the players, in a way that the fun "content" of the game comes mainly from the players interactions themselves and their social and psychological consequences and ramifications. The main content of these mmos is "emergent" from the players interactions.

    -Themeparks, in the other hand, had a proposal of creating a "single-player games" like experience, where the players can enjoy a pre-set content in the company (not always obrigatory) of others players. These pre-set contents are the quests, missions and raids, provided by the developers in the form of no-human controled characters.

     

    PVP

    -Sandboxes, by try creating a "realistic" enviromnent of social interactions, use to have a pvp system with well less restrictions than the themeparks, because pvp is the main way to the players to compete for ownership, political domain or resources. The aliances and enmitys in-game are all controled by the players themselves, what demands a minimum of attention with the social skills and behavior by the players, because to have a good social network and the minimum of enemys is very important to the success in these games. PVP tends to be seem as the main form of fun and a essential  part of the games life and dinamic.

    - Themeparks use to have a very restrained pvp. Pvp is considered a mere option of distraction, like all the other "atractions" in the game. Almost didn't exists the need to fight by the control of resources with others players (they are provided in isolated enviroments by  NPCs) and didn't exists fights by ownerships ou political domais of land, castles, bases, etc. These mmos offers single-player like experiences with guaranteed and almost always easy rewards, what make the social interaction a mere option too, with few situations where the interaction is obrigatory, and still in these situations, the interaction is fleeting, with no need of creating a social network and no giving chance to the appearance of psychologicaly  meaningful rivalry/enmity. The aliances and enemitys are pre-defined and choosen in the start of the game. Social interactions and pvp out of the raids, arenas or BGs are regarded as time loss or slip stones in the way of the achievements provided by the pve content.

     

    Death

    -Sandboxes use to put penaltys in deaths aiming to create a minimum of "realistic" view on it: as a great bad that need to be avoided at all costs by the players.

    -Themeparks approach the death like the single-player games (moderns): a mere halt in the player action, being enough "restart" from the same savepoint with almost zero consequences.

     

    PVE

    - PVE in sandboxes use to be more shallow, poor and boring if compared with the themeparks. In these mmos, pve is considered a mere way to acquire resources or xp to improve the player, preparing him to the competion with others. Some regard pve as "work" in contraposition to the pvp as "fun". The boringness of the pve is seen like a extra punition to the death, because the player need to pve to recoup itens or xp.

     

    -PVE in themeparks are the main fun content and the reason of being of these mmos. Use to be funnier and richer than the sandboxes's (even so would be poor and boring if compared to the player competion in the sandboxes). To play a themepark mmo is mainly to fight with AI-controled NPCs, with or without the help of others players, like in single-player games.

     

    Time required.

     

    - Sandboxes usually requires most time than themeparks. Since the competion is with other players, more time logged means more resources collected, more social networks created, more itens owned, etc. So, casual players dont have much chance to reach the top, still more if the mmo to have a very long way to the cap. In consequence, sandboxes dont have much appeal to the majority of the playerbase worldwide, that have little time ou disposition to spend in a game.

    -Themeparks, in the other hand, dont have that direct competition with others players, so the little time logged represents little ou no  impediment to the player "enjoy" the majority of the pve content (the reason of being of these games). However, the top content use to require much time too. But in the final, the player that have 1000 hours of improvement will not be stopped by a player with 1500 hours and eventually will can enjoy the top content. In consequence, themepark mmos have more appeal to the majority of the playerbase in the world,

     

     

    Sorry by my bad grammar. English is not my main language.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

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  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon

    Theme park = MMO preference

    Sandbox = Online Seperate server preference.

     

    Issue with sandbox is it tends to reflect capitalism where the players on top always will be on top and the players below are practically unable to get up to the top. This can be through skills or through wealth and its just a horrible experience, particularly with open pvp leading to griefing of players, the person focusing on those who stand no chance which to me, is just pathetic. If you gank someone, gank someone who is your level with your potential at the very least.  Games like minecraft (I know, why that game) show a good example of how sandbox can work, providing the ability for servers to be made and created and the playing field given an easier time for players to catch up or simply move servers and find newer places to have a shot at the top.

     

    Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top.

  • maccarthur2004maccarthur2004 SPosts: 510Member

    In my humble opinion, a pure themepark mmo shouldn't even be considered a mmo.

     

     

    "What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)

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  • kadepsysonkadepsyson sun prairie, WIPosts: 1,937Member
    Originally posted by DLangley
     

    Since when is DLangley a novice member?  Did I miss somethin?  lol

    El Psy Congroo

  • MazzakMazzak Montreal, QCPosts: 1Member
    Sandbox all the way! I just wish more people would play sandbox games... Imagine if there were 2 teams of 100 people each fighting for the control of a city, risking all their loot and equipment. I guess that's what I was looking for in Darkfall. If there's a lot of people who play Darkfall : UW, I guess it's going to be epic!
  • pkpkpkpkpkpk amherst, MAPosts: 85Member
    These terms are nearly meaningless buzz words. The only definition I've seen of them is that a theme park uses levels and a sand box uses skills. The latter system has always been prone to macro users and so every game I've seen that uses it has been a disreputable playground for 'griefers', since the strongest people end up being those that have cheated. I haven't played a skill-based MMO and don't want to. Darkfall is a good example of the style: a monoculture of unethical players. For PvE a level-based game with forced grouping is clearly the best (FFXI, EQ, EQ2). For PvP level-based is still the best, but the rules should be much more complex. Magical gear should be extremely rare, levels should be limited and not difficult to gain, player accountability is the most important thing. Shadowbane has so far been the best that I've seen. Above all death should be meaningful. Cash or inventory loot or both at a minimum. GW2 and Warhammer and terrible PvP games because of the lack of meaningful deaths.
  • NeherunNeherun St. MichelPosts: 278Member
    Originally posted by Purutzil

    Theme park = MMO preference

    Sandbox = Online Seperate server preference.

     

    Issue with sandbox is it tends to reflect capitalism where the players on top always will be on top and the players below are practically unable to get up to the top. This can be through skills or through wealth and its just a horrible experience, particularly with open pvp leading to griefing of players, the person focusing on those who stand no chance which to me, is just pathetic. If you gank someone, gank someone who is your level with your potential at the very least.  Games like minecraft (I know, why that game) show a good example of how sandbox can work, providing the ability for servers to be made and created and the playing field given an easier time for players to catch up or simply move servers and find newer places to have a shot at the top.

     

    Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top.

     

    In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

     

    So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

     

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  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,539Member Uncommon

    Most 'sandbox' MMO's miss the tools to actually create new content with. Except maybe some promises of features that will be implemented some time in the future. There is mostly just sand. So in those cases I prefer a mix of themepark content in a sandbox.

    I don't even see EVE (yet) as a sandbox. You have freedom in character progression yes and to kill any player, but the world/galaxy can't be shaped in any way. So to me that game lacks the sandbox tools too imo. This is why PVE in EVE just needs those themeparky missions. I think its a good game, just not as sandbox. If you are not interested in PVP, you can even call it lacking. In a good sandbox MMO you wouldn't have that problem.

    Minecraft is a sandbox.  If I want to play a sandbox game, I play  a modded Minecraft multiplayer with some friends. I can't think of any sandbox MMO atm.

     

  • SinellaSinella BudapestPosts: 340Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Neherun

     In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

     

    So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

     

    In my eyes, what is truely pathetic is a player who can't imagine that other people play games for different reasons. I love sandbox games, but without FFA PvP....I don't play for competition. I'm simply not interested in it.  Why should I be ? When someone goes to fish in real life why should it be his main interest to catch a bigger fish than the other fisherman ? Why can't he just enjoy the fish he caught without comparison to the other guy ?

    People play MMOs to play with others. To play with...not only to compete with. You know, to help, to socialize, to share interesting moments, to make new friends...if you think competiton is the only reason to play MMOs your MMO experience must be very shallow.

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