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Seeking a Sandbox

DellacoDellaco Toney, ALPosts: 2Member

Hello! I know there are tons of threads like this, but I've been searching for a really enjoyable sandbox game for a while now and I just don't want to give up without posting exactly what I'm looking for and seeing what recommendations surface. Thank you in advance for reading this!

 

Things I Would Like to See in a Sandbox Game:

1. Decent Graphics. This might seem a bit shallow but if I'm going to spend hundreds of hours staring at a virtual environment, it never hurts to have some level of visual appeal. I understand that sandbox games tend to be low-budget, so I'm not looking for anything particularly stunning or cutting-edge; I just want to get as close to "good" as I can. For my personal tastes, anime or cell-shading styles are fine since they age well. For games that take a more realistic 3D approach (think Morrowind/Oblivion), I have found that dated graphics become more tolerable if the game has a lot of clutter to distract from the often unrealistically flat ground, so I will prefer a game that has more trees/walls/bushes/other environmental objects to a game that has fewer of these. I prefer 3D environments.

2. Players Can Affect The World. Whether it comes in the form of finding rare abilities that you can teach to other players, building structures such as houses or towns throughout the landscape, or affecting the behaviors of monsters and NPCs with your actions, I like games that are perpetually changing based on what the players do.

3. Open-world Content. Quests have their place and can be helpful for tutorials, but I would prefer for game developers to put a bunch of cool toys in the hands of the players and then let us make our own fun. Tell me what the rules are, show me how to manipulate my character or interact with the world, and then just set me loose and let me do whatever I want to do. Big plus for games that have a lot of exploration and interesting non-combat pastimes. I also don't mind games that lack a global/map chat or that have basic or limited navigation features.

4. Horizontal Progression. Maybe this is just a pipe dream of mine, but I really don't care for the leveling system. I don't like gear grinding or feeling that I'm always working toward a stat increase. For those of you who have played Shadow of the Colossus, you have an example of my ideal system: you already have all or most of what you need to do anything you like in the game and there is no real vertical progression, but the actual gameplay is so enjoyable that you don't even miss that carrot on a stick most themepark MMOs have you chase. I would much rather have a game where developers put their effort into expanding the world I can explore, the customization options characters have, and the things I can do in the game than to have me constantly repeat all the least enjoyable activities (kill X of this, find X of that, cast this spell X times X number of times until it hits the next level) just to see some numbers go up. If you get better at the game, it's because you've found a great new way to rework your character using what is already at your disposal or because your actual skill as a player has increased through practice. It may be that there aren't many or any games out there that follow such a system, but if there are, I would love to know about them.

5. Fun, Interesting Gameplay. There have been some (in my own humble opinion) improvements to the combat systems of MMOs lately. When it first released, Tera's combat system was fairly innovative among MMOs; I am most particularly fond of Mount & Blade's control system, which takes advantage of varying mouse movements to give players great versatility in how they attack (for example, you can block toward different angles, swing a sword in multiple directions, and plunge or move back while attacking in similar games). If there are any sandbox games around now that have implemented a fluid or unique combat system, or that have some innovative systems in place for non-combat activities such as crafting, it would be a huge plus in my book. I also like having lots of ways in which to interact with the world beyond pure questing combat.

Lastly, my thoughts on PVP, since I know this will likely have a large impact on what games people recommend: nice to have, but not necessary. I'm not actually a great PVPer but I do play with people who are, so it would be nice to find a sandbox game that I can confidently recommend to them should I enjoy it myself. I do not mind getting trounced into the dirt over and over again so long as the game has a hard cap system, preferably with a lower limit (so that players do not infinitely become better at the game such as in EVE online). Soft cap systems, while interesting and appealing in theory, are often not at all fun for new players when actually implemented since newbies have almost no chance of ever catching up to veteran players and being able to have a fight based on skill rather than numbers. In other words, it's perfectly fine if I enter a game expecting to be ganked over and over - so long as I do actually stand a chance of hitting the stat plateau and soon being able to say that I am winning or losing based on my playstyle, skill, character build, etc.

I have tried EVE Online but I don't like it because the gameplay is just not interesting enough to keep my attention; for me at least, it feels too impersonal and many activities involve more waiting than doing. Also, as mentioned before, I am not a fan of games that have both open-world PVP and a soft-cap system. (It's a shame, because EVE otherwise looks like a pretty great game - it just isn't the sandbox for me.) I am planning to try Darkfall Online when it re-releases.

 

Thank you so much for reading and I apologize for the wall of text. Any recommendations or helpful comments you can give would be appreciated!

Comments

  • RimmersmanRimmersman MonacoPosts: 885Member

    You are in luck, read this and then download in preperation for tomorrows second western beta.

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/12/18/first-impressions-from-the-age-of-wushu-beta/

    Then have a look at this section of this site, many of us have posted some great vids and info about the game.

    http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/749/view/forums/forum/1250/General-Discussion.html

    image
  • DellacoDellaco Toney, ALPosts: 2Member
    Thank you very much, that's one I hadn't heard about. I'll definitely give the beta a try tomorrow!
  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon

    Salem is decent.  All about world manipulation.

     Wurm maybe..never tried it personally but its name keeps popping up when peeps talk about sandboxes.

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

  • lantesh1lantesh1 Somewhere, PAPosts: 31Member

    Wushu is interesting, but unfortunately has a long way to go. The community is not fantastic at the moment, and the cash shop/F2P model they have going on right now is less than desirable (rental items and the ability to buy considerably faster power progression). I personally have given up on it until I see the community and the shop turn around into something acceptable for the market its entering, rather than the cafe model which it still seems to be heavily tooled for (basically lots of features encouraging you to buy gold and play for extended periods of time/every day).

    Sadly, not much else that I can see as far as sandboxes at the moment. Archeage is still a long way off, and who knows what the payment model will be for that. At this rate we might need to wait it out until EQNext but with SoE behind it, I'm not terribly enthusiastic there either...

  • cronius77cronius77 Fairfax, VAPosts: 1,353Member Uncommon
    xyson is also free to play and has a lot of what the op is asking for , its a crafters paradise and not alot of pvp going on though it is full loot pvp outside of your tribal grounds. You can terraform the land and create whatever you like pretty much . Its not the best sandbox but its better than wurm imo and graphics are much better than wurm.
  • JakdstripperJakdstripper logan lake, BCPosts: 2,127Member Uncommon

    that game does not exists quite yet.

    DF is the best pvp game with some sandbox features.

    Wurm, and Xsyon are you next best bet for crafting/building/teraforming mmos. sadly they seriously lack in graphics and combat.

     

     

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,572Member Uncommon

    Toysrus has them on sale for $59.99

    Seriously Archeage.

     

  • fernetekfernetek North Adams, MAPosts: 61Member
    Minecraft for the next good 2-3 years.
  • BigMangoBigMango BrightonPosts: 1,821Member

    Mortal Online has everything you are talking about here.

    MO is what you are talking about and there's no other mmorpg like this. The game was too broken to be really playable until the latest patches, but now it finally works. Try it out, it's free to play (with skills limited to 60/100). If you like it you can sub later.

    For a new player I recommend choosing Tindrem as your starting city (it's the only place with the tutorial) and then move south to Meduli.

     

     

  • KaminaxiusKaminaxius AdibijaPosts: 101Member

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

    More simple and crafting/economy focused sandbox? Age of Wushu or EVE

  • DarkOmegaDarkOmega Comox, BCPosts: 28Member
    Only true sandbox MMO's I've seen are Eve Online and Perpettuum.
  • svandysvandy mount holly, NJPosts: 229Member Uncommon

    You already said you don't like EVE so I wont mention it again, and that rules out Perpetuum as well.

    Age of Wushu: Just started playing it myself and once you get past the craptastic UI and translations there is a fantasic game under it. It's the first game to really nail all of those Sandbox spots for me (almost all anyway). The XP Cultivation system, which at it's core is a time-based leveling system, allows you to literally do anything you want and not feel like you are being left behind by your friends. The run of the mill quests are there and somewhat bland (talk to this guy, kill 3 snakes, pick up that medicine 2 feet from me), but it's the special events that make it worth while. Everything you do right down to wether or not you sit on your horse while talking to people effects every single NPCs feelings towards you (represented by a bar over their avatar) and depending on how they feel about you they could offer you special quests which reward new skills (lateral progression) or even join you in combat. Plus you can kidnap people. Sadly, no housing as of yet. Definitely give this game an honest try and dont let the bad localization scare you off, it will likely improve before the official launch.

    Salem: This was also mentioned and I cant say enough good things about this game, it's so amazing in it's simplicity. The controls are a bit sketchy (read: horrible) but the game sucks you in for reasons I can't explain. Get together with a couple friends and endure the often hilarious struggles of a little pilgrim in this virtual world, totally worth it. Word to the wise: the game has permadeath and full looting, so it's best not to buy anything from the cash shop until you can protect it (I made that mistake). From what I hear one of the servers (Jamestown?) has a pretty intense political scene while the other two (Roanoke and something else) are more free-for-all. Im out near a swamp with some friends on Roanoke and our neigbors don't bother us much, but somone did just devastate my supply of nails :(

    Many people are suggesting Darkfall, and while I haven't played it, it might be a good option too. Though given the type of crowd the game is drawing, if you want a friendly and helpful community I'd stay away from that. Even EVE players tend to be less abusive in forums, and that is saying something.

    Please visit my youtube channel for some H1Z1/DayZ casual roleplay videos!


  • KaminaxiusKaminaxius AdibijaPosts: 101Member
    Originally posted by svandy

    Many people are suggesting Darkfall, and while I haven't played it, it might be a good option too. Though given the type of crowd the game is drawing, if you want a friendly and helpful community I'd stay away from that. Even EVE players tend to be less abusive in forums, and that is saying something.

    Darkfall has the most dedicated community i've ever seen (The game getting greenlit on steam after the first 24 hours being the fastest game to ever get greenlit says something about the dedication of the community and how much they want the game to succeed) and while i agree that there are some very vocal people especially on the forums who seem hardcore and elitist this does not represent the entire community. There are hundreds of clans/guilds who are relaxed and friendly just like in any game.

  • BigMangoBigMango BrightonPosts: 1,821Member
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

     

    Darkfall is not a sandbox. The DF devs also said 2 weeks ago in the mmorpg.com interview that they are only interested in pvp and don't plan to add any sandbox content in the future. It's a contest pvp game with basic crafting and basic pve.

    If DF is a sandbox then Lineage 2 which is a much more complete game with almost the same features, and other games, are sanboxes too.

  • KaminaxiusKaminaxius AdibijaPosts: 101Member
    Originally posted by BigMango
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

     

    Darkfall is not a sandbox. The DF devs also said 2 weeks ago in the mmorpg.com interview that they are only interested in pvp and don't plan to add any sandbox content in the future. It's a contest pvp game with basic crafting and basic pve.

    If DF is a sandbox then Lineage 2 which is a much more complete game with almost the same features, and other games, are sanboxes too.

    This is not true look, perhaps you should listen to the interview again.

    Darkfall:UW is definatetly a Sandbox. With the pvp and political aspects in focus.

    Lets look at some of the definitions for a sandbox and if Darkfall:Unholy Wars forfills any of them.

    Does it have an Open world with no instancing?. > Yes

    Complex crafting > Somewhat true for Darkfall aswell although it's not AS complex as other crafting systems we've seen but the new system for Unholy Wars definatetly looks interesting

    Does it have Player created content? > Yup

    Player created homes and player controlled territories. >  Yup, player controlled territories and the political system in Darkfall is huge

    No classes. > There are no classes but only specializations which are switchable any moment.

    Is it Skill based? > Definatetly, probably the most skill bases MMORPG to date

    In addition some people feel like the following would also define a sandbox game:

    Does it have Full Loot PvP? > Yes

    Does it have PvP anywhere? > Yes except for the ''safe zones'' in the starter area ment for players to get introduced to the game before getting thrown out in the scary world.

  • Jeff_PermadeathJeff_Permadeath Rialto, CAPosts: 8Member
    Originally posted by BigMango
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

     

    Darkfall is not a sandbox. The DF devs also said 2 weeks ago in the mmorpg.com interview that they are only interested in pvp and don't plan to add any sandbox content in the future. It's a contest pvp game with basic crafting and basic pve.

    If DF is a sandbox then Lineage 2 which is a much more complete game with almost the same features, and other games, are sanboxes too.

    Follow these steps

    1. Look up sandbox

    2. Re-read your post

    3. Edit your post

    4. Thank me

  • BigMangoBigMango BrightonPosts: 1,821Member
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius
    Originally posted by BigMango
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

     

    Darkfall is not a sandbox. The DF devs also said 2 weeks ago in the mmorpg.com interview that they are only interested in pvp and don't plan to add any sandbox content in the future. It's a contest pvp game with basic crafting and basic pve.

    If DF is a sandbox then Lineage 2 which is a much more complete game with almost the same features, and other games, are sanboxes too.

    This is not true look, perhaps you should listen to the interview again.

    Darkfall:UW is definatetly a Sandbox. With the pvp and political aspects in focus.

    Lets look at some of the definitions for a sandbox and if Darkfall:Unholy Wars forfills any of them.

    Does it have an Open world with no instancing?. > Yes

    Complex crafting > Somewhat true for Darkfall aswell although it's not AS complex as other crafting systems we've seen but the new system for Unholy Wars definatetly looks interesting

    Does it have Player created content? > Yup

    Player created homes and player controlled territories. >  Yup, player controlled territories and the political system in Darkfall is huge

    No classes. > There are no classes but only specializations which are switchable any moment.

    Is it Skill based? > Definatetly, probably the most skill bases MMORPG to date

    In addition some people feel like the following would also define a sandbox game:

    Does it have Full Loot PvP? > Yes

    Does it have PvP anywhere? > Yes except for the ''safe zones'' in the starter area ment for players to get introduced to the game before getting thrown out in the scary world.

     

    Er, no , you should watch the interview again as there was a specific question about this. If you do so you will hear Tasos answer himself DF is not a sandbox and never will be because they have absolutely no plans to add sandbox features in the future.

    But if you think you know better than the developpers who don't know what game they are making, then fine for you. In this case I recommend you check out Lineage 2, which is a much more complete game with 90% of the features you listed + much more.

    Anyway, it's fortunate DF is not a sanbox otherwise it would be a very crappy game. Fortunately it's not, so we can call it a good pvp game.

  • DeddpoolDeddpool alta loma, CAPosts: 192Member Uncommon
    I tried to plant a tree in DF...I couldn't...NOT A SANDBOX!! :X

    image

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by Deddpool
    I tried to plant a tree in DF...I couldn't...NOT A SANDBOX!! :X

    lol.

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

  • Jeff_PermadeathJeff_Permadeath Rialto, CAPosts: 8Member
    Try Salem ... if you dont care about cosmetic (which you shouldnt if you like sandboxes) it could be too "hardcore" esp. if you think darkfall is harsh
  • AvsRock21AvsRock21 Denver, COPosts: 256Member
    Originally posted by Kaminaxius

    PvP and territory control / politics focused sandbox? Darkfall:Unholy Wars

    More simple and crafting/economy focused sandbox? Age of Wushu or EVE

    The politics, territory control, and PvP are all far more complex and meaningful in EVE than in Darkfall....lol

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