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Why are there no sandbox MMO's - Why do they Fail?

2

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  • eddieg50eddieg50 Tolland, CTPosts: 1,613Member Uncommon
    I was playing Ryzom for a while , perfectly good sand box but no one plays it, People just do not like sand box games
  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,975Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sephros
    I think dayz shows that the sandbox and hardcore crowd arent as small as everyone thinks. 1.1 mil unique id's. Thats one per account bought. Before the graphic glitch situation that lasted far to long, they were having 200k players per 24 hour.period. Those are great numbers, and that was for an alpha mod for petes sake. There is a demand, hopfully the standalone dayz product will crush those numbers, and all the other devs will do headspins. They have already noticed the want for a product like that. Now they are behind the eight ball.

    The sandbox only fans are a small group but there is a lot of people like me who just want a good game. I dont care if a game is a sandbox or not, I just want a good game.

    But all larger investors have only put their money into Wow copies the last 8 years so the choices is rather limited. We can choose between Eve, which is a good game but somewhat limited in the type of players it attracts or a few badly done indie games.

    If ESO really would have been a sandbox it could have made a big difference, Bethesda have already proven that millions like their singleplayer sandboxes.

    But as I said, I only want a good game and Eve really isnt my type of game so currently I only play singleplayer sandboxes.

  • SephrosSephros Somewhere, CAPosts: 396Member Uncommon
    And im sure a lot of those wow clones would have loved to see dayz numbers. They will start to come.around. Once more people like rocket show some nads and just do it. Obviously bohemia interactive has seen the light, they are funding stand alone dayz.

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  • KhayotixKhayotix Somewhere, FLPosts: 220Member Uncommon

    The problem with why "Sandbox" MMO's fail is Quality. Compared to a game that has a huge budget like most "AAA" MMO's they just cannot compete in quality and polish for the most part, graphics are sub par or worse, animations, the whole nine yards. This however is changing as we speak, with games like Archeage, Everquest Next, Black Desert Online, DayZ(although not entirely an MMO) and quite a few others.

     

    The tides are turning to create more AAA quality Sandboxes, and more emergent gameplay mechanics giving us as players more and more freedom.

     

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  • Sora2810Sora2810 New Columbia, PAPosts: 567Member
    Originally posted by Geschaefer

    Ye, i have played eve.

    My problem wiht eve (and ive heard this from a lot of former eve players) is that I dont like playing as a ship.

    Its that simple. Eve is good, I just woule prefer developing a character and fighting creatures / missions / other players.

    Im just not into flying my character ship while mining and trying to not get blown up.

    I will always enjoy MMO's with sandbox elements. I'm shocked no one has come in and toted example 'a' is not a true sandbox. 

    Look up repopulation OP.

    Here's my take; Developers are finding it hard to create an MMO without the finicial backing of a publisher. Publishers use math and statistics to predict the succes of a game, based on whats popular. Sandboxes are not meant to amass trillions of users. In fact, most of them max out at 200k, which, as far as sandboxes goes, is the equivilent of 2 million themepark players.

    Niches are the greatest communities in gaming existance. They love a game before it comes out, support and help provide valuable feedback, understand work-arounds for imperfections/bugs. So long as dev's keep their niche happy: they know they will always come back. Unfortunately, other developers turn a blind eye towards this and believe gaining new players is the end all/be all solution. Which is why WoW turned a bit more. . . <insert synonym for casual here> .

    Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
    Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Originally posted by Geschaefer

    Ye, i have played eve.

    My problem wiht eve (and ive heard this from a lot of former eve players) is that I dont like playing as a ship.

    Its that simple. Eve is good, I just woule prefer developing a character and fighting creatures / missions / other players.

    Im just not into flying my character ship while mining and trying to not get blown up.

    That's fine and all, but the fact you don't like "being a ship" doesn't make it not a sandbox and it doesn't mean it has "failed". Making the title/original OP somewhat incorrect.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    Kinda like how the music industry doesn't have a lot of 'jazz' right now.

    It just isn't popular thus not many people make that kind of music.

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

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
    Themeparks are holding investors back from supporting sandbox games. Themeparks has a quantifiable number of potential subscribers in the millions.

     

    Sandboxes have quantifiable numbers in hundreds of thousands so the funding will reflect it and so will the quality

     

     

    To catch an investors eye you have to be able to sell your idea. WoW sounds better than EvE.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Kinda like how the music industry doesn't have a lot of 'jazz' right now.

    It just isn't popular thus not many people make that kind of music.

    I've been saying that for years.

    Though there are quite a few people playing jazz. Buying it? not so much.

    Niche community.

     

     

  • BjelarBjelar RullumpPosts: 384Member
    Originally posted by Kenze

    its "cool" to seem to be  hardcore and be seen wanting a sandbox but very, very few want to actualy play a sandbox mmo.

     

    Exactly. People don't want to play what they say they want to play.

  • tuppe99tuppe99 Dublin, INPosts: 276Member Uncommon

    And even the people here, that are clamoring for a sandbox do not really want to play one ;)

     

    There are quite a few sandboxes (there is a thread somewhere that lists them all), but very few people on these forums are playing them. Here, we are all waiting for the "ultimate" sandbox and we won't touch anything else in the meantime. 

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
    Originally posted by tuppe99

    And even the people here, that are clamoring for a sandbox do not really want to play one ;)

     

    There are quite a few sandboxes (there is a thread somewhere that lists them all), but very few people on these forums are playing them. Here, we are all waiting for the "ultimate" sandbox and we won't touch anything else in the meantime. 

    Correction. People don't want to play shitty sandbox games. There's a difference. You need to get out of your black and white world

     

    Take FFA full loot PvP out of the equation and what do you have left on the list?

    When you have done that then filter out F2P cash shop as well

    Then take out the ones with gamebreaking bugs, corrupt moderators, and last but not least perma death

     

    That's the heart of the matter. There is no lack of sandbox games. Just good quality ones actually worth the space on the hard drive

    You could say the devs behind sandbox games are their own worst enemies. Not only do they decide to make a niche game, they also include niche mechanics to make their playerbase even smaller. Then factor in a small budget and an obsolete game engine and It's no wonder why they fail

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member

    Most devs never have done any sandbox.   It is possible some of lead designers don't really know or are not interested how to make one. 

     

    Make a shit low cost sandbox that will remake dozens of small mistakes of first sandboxes is easy.

    Make sandobx that will be reall though out and will not be dumbed-down, streamlined and filled with big amount of hand-holding themepark ideas is mind-blowing to design. I think.

     

    Concept wise to make themepark is simpler.  With big budgets hundreas of devs will be working on it and it will be huge complex enterprise, but concept wise most themeparks are simple as hell.

    Design content that players will do in a way someone designed  vs making whole lot of complex systems in a way that will be interesing and fun to use and it will be hard or impossible to abuse.

     

    It might be hard to even assembly a good team to make very well made sandbox.  Most experienced themepark devs won't have any experience in sandbox.  Most sandbox developers never created succesful product.  At least in western market.

    Since there were only 2 succesful sandboxes and 1 that was succesful for relatively short time.

     

     

  • BrenelaelBrenelael Warren, MEPosts: 3,996Member

    The #1 reason why most Sandbox MMOs don't do so well is that Devs seem to be stuck with the idea that Sandbox has to equal FFA PvP w/Full Loot. The first major developer to create a PvE oriented Sandbox MMO will most probably have an instant success on their hands. The problem is because most Sandbox MMOs don't do so well they aren't willing to take the risk so it's a Catch 22 situation. A well made PvE Sandbox MMO would appeal to the mainstream MMO market but because all of these FFA PvP w/Full Loot Sandbox MMOs keep struggling to survive in their niche markets no investers are willing to dump a boat load of cash into anything with a "Sandbox" label on it. "Sandbox" = Failure in their eyes.

     

    Bren

    while(horse==dead)
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    beat();
    }

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JimmyYO
    Originally posted by Kenze

    its "cool" to seem to be  hardcore and be seen wanting a sandbox but very, very few want to actualy play a sandbox mmo.

    We wouldn't know there aren't any good ones for non Sci Fi fans.

    That kind of harkens back to the core differences between fantasy and sci-fi. In general, fantasy is predominantly what would be fantastic (see what I did there?) to have happen but has little chance of happening, while sci-fi is predominantly what would be less than ideal to have happen, could possibly happen. As a result, fantasy lends itself better to scripted narrative and guided heroic experiences. Likewise, sci-fi lends itself more to dystopian settings with struggle, choice and consequence as key components.

    Fantasy also has a lot more expectations and preconceptions bogging it down than sci-fi does. There are too many norms (and i use that erm with contempt) that will be perceived as being violated by new takes on the existing theme. For example, if Asheron's Call came out today, the creatures would probably be seen as 'just a renamed x' or 'just a reskinned y' rather than just accepted as their own species within their own alternate universe. An even stronger example is how fantasy outside of high fantasy often gets rejected as either 'childish' or 'anime' rather than accepted as its own creative take.

    This isn't to say sandbox doesn't work in a fantasy virtual world, as Ultima Online has proven it can be successful to varying degrees in both PVP and PVE incarnations. It's just that sandbox has a lot more freedom in sci-fi, post-apoc, historical and about every other setting than fantasy. Getting most MMO gamers to show interest in a non-fantasy MMO, though, is also a major hurdle.

     

    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

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bjelar
    Originally posted by Kenze

    its "cool" to seem to be  hardcore and be seen wanting a sandbox but very, very few want to actualy play a sandbox mmo.

    Exactly. People don't want to play what they say they want to play.

    A lot of gamers seem to put together their ideal game based on what they want to be able to do, often forgetting that if they can do it so can others. The reality of the second side of that coin is a gamebreaker for them.

    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

  • Calhoun619Calhoun619 Lynnwood, WAPosts: 126Member

    You know what I truly dont get, why this topic pops up 3 times a day, everyday.

    Either go play Eve or wait for ArcheAge but for the love of god stop talking about this topic.

  • ezduzitezduzit oxnard, CAPosts: 112Member
    Originally posted by Geschaefer

    I truly dont get it.

    Is it that they arent lucative for the big gaming developers?

    Are they too difficult to run?

    What is it?

    Those of us who have played true sandbox seem to never keep our mouths shut on these forums about he we all want a viable sandbox MMO. - but no ones willing to invest / develope one.

    I inderstand that sandbox MMO's have shut down in the past - but at the same time so have themeparks.

    I was a player of Pre NGE SWG - had my game destroyed by its makers - and have been waiting patiently for years for a new game to pick up the sandbox torch. 

    Does anyone have any true insight as to why there arent any viable sandbox's and why theres no real sandbox prospects on the horizon? 

    They don't fail. Their just not as popular. Older sandbox mmo's were wrecked by their own companies experimenting in trying to make them look like WoW. But I think the real reason sandbox mmo's are not a hit is because players prefer a game that acts like a government handout vs do it yourself. Since WoW, playes are at custom of being told where to go, what to buy, who and when to fight, and how much fabricated fun can you have at a time. 

  • teakboisteakbois Parlin, NJPosts: 2,154Member

    What is worth mentioning is that SWG was a buggy, horrible mess with zero semblence of any kind of balance.  It severely lacked content as well.  

     

    However, it held around 300k subs before (probably) Lucas Arts NGE'd it.  The only other games to do that, in the region SWG was released in, are WoW and EQ1.  Thats it.  No other game had over 300k subs after year 2.  A third one got there later on, and that is EvE.

     

    So there are 4 sustained MMORPGs above 300k users in the NA/EU region in the history of the genre.  2 of them are sandboxes, and one was a spectacular mess.

     

    However, since the days of SWG and EvE (both released around same time I believe), there hasnt been a success.  For one, the things are too damn hard to code.  And then there is the PvP divide.  Probably 75% of people who want a sandbox absolutely despise the notion of open PvP being forced upon them, yet almost all the sandboxes developed since have had this. The open PvP makes sense for a sandbox, but its just not what the average person wants.  SWG handled the balance pretty well.

  • BjelarBjelar RullumpPosts: 384Member
    Originally posted by Starpower
    Originally posted by tuppe99

    And even the people here, that are clamoring for a sandbox do not really want to play one ;)

     

    There are quite a few sandboxes (there is a thread somewhere that lists them all), but very few people on these forums are playing them. Here, we are all waiting for the "ultimate" sandbox and we won't touch anything else in the meantime. 

    Correction. People don't want to play shitty sandbox games. There's a difference. You need to get out of your black and white world

     

    Everything is "shitty". The only thing which isn't, is the impossible dream that one day my perfect prince will come and take me away from the kind of games I actually enjoy playing.

    There is plenty of failed sandboxes out there which would be fantastic if only people would play them.

    There will always be excuses for why you are not playing the kind of game you claim you want to play. Most frequently it is the "too low population" excuse which I just used. Or have you tried the "I just don't want to pay for a game with no proper content" excuse? That's the best one, I think.

  • Carl132pCarl132p Columbus, INPosts: 535Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bunnyhopper
    EVE.

    is only fun if that fits your very specific tastes going so far as to slow down combat even more than a normal mmo already does. Finished your sentence for you. Eve is great if you like it but it doesn't satisfy for people that want a more traditional style of combat.

  • darkszgzdarkszgz ZaragozaPosts: 13Member

    Try Salem... the best sandbox ever...

     

  • TdogSkalTdogSkal Livonia, MIPosts: 1,244Member

    EvE is the close we have to a sandbox and even that is not a true sandbox as they have tons of limitations put in place by the developers on the player bases which is not what a sandbox is.

    EvE is a hybrd Sandbox, not a true Sandbox. 

    If EvE was a true Sandbox as some of you claim, then how come I cannot equip a mining ship with weapons and ambush gankers?

    If EvE was a true sandbox as some of you claim, then how come I cannot build stations anywhere?

    EvE is the close we have to a Sandbox game but it is still a hybrd not a true Sandbox.

    The reason we do not have any true sandbox games (minecraft maybe the only true sandbox) is because people do not want true sandboxes, gamers in general need someone to guide them through the game.  Not hand holding but a guide from Start to Finish.

    Mario Bros

    Zelda

    Sonic

    PAC Man

    Mrs PAC Man

    Some of the best games ever created are NOT sandbox games.

    Sooner or Later

  • Skooma2Skooma2 Glenview, ILPosts: 694Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Geschaefer

    I truly dont get it.

    Is it that they arent lucative for the big gaming developers?

    Are they too difficult to run?

    What is it?

    The problem with sandbox games, at least from a theoretical viewpoint, is that they are only sandboxes for people who were there from the beginning.  Come into the game a few months after launch and it is no longer a sandbox; it is a theme park created by the people who got there before you.

    Hedonismbot: Your latest performance was as delectable as dipping my bottom over and over into a bath of the silkiest oils and creams.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,666Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by TdogSkal

    EvE is the close we have to a sandbox and even that is not a true sandbox as they have tons of limitations put in place by the developers on the player bases which is not what a sandbox is.

    EvE is a hybrd Sandbox, not a true Sandbox. 

    If EvE was a true Sandbox as some of you claim, then how come I cannot equip a mining ship with weapons and ambush gankers?

    If EvE was a true sandbox as some of you claim, then how come I cannot build stations anywhere?

    EvE is the close we have to a Sandbox game but it is still a hybrd not a true Sandbox.

    On the off chance that you're serious and not being intentionally obtuse, a 'true sandbox' by your definition cannot exist because there will be some game rules or world physics that will eventually violate your 'freedom'. To help you out, think of 'sandbox and 'themepark' as having an invisible 'themed' or 'focused' at the end of it. It will help you out tremendously in these discussions. If you're still of the mind that one must first create the universe to build a cake from scratch, then *shrug* there's nothing we can do to help you there.

     

     

     

    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

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