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Too bad EVE online is the only MMORPG sandbox that has grown since release. Every single other sandbox, be it Mortal Online or Darkfall, had their population steadily decline
Originally posted by Xepo I love your graphs. I love your premise. Eve has always seemed like an interesting game, but I am one of those gamers where when I am adventuring in the world created for me I really do not want to be ganked repeatedly in an open pvp world. I work a full time job so it is not always doable to find friends to play with to protect me. In the long run I am one of the massive amount of people playing MMOs that just shy away from a game like Eve for little reason than the lack of time to put in the effort to stay safe. A quick in and find something that entertains me for a couple hours (even if it lacks all the elements I really want) works for my lifestyle.
I also don't have a lot of time to game, yet I'm able to easily avoid getting ganked in EVE. New Eden is a large place; there are some "dark alleys" that you'll want to avoid, for sure, but the mechanics of Concord provide vast stretches of "safe" space for you to play in. I've played for over 6 years and have never been "ganked" in high security space, which is way less than the number of times I've been ganked in the other MMORPGs that I've played.
Look me up in game if you're interested in giving EVE another try. I'll help you get started with ISK, equipment, and advice.
They can adjust a game all day, but they can't help the issue between the keyboard and the chair.Played: UO, DAoC, AC, WoW, EVE, TR, WAR, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, GW2, TSW, ESO, Elite:DPlay EVE for free for 21 days
Originally posted by mindw0rk Too bad EVE online is the only MMORPG sandbox that has grown since release. Every single other sandbox, be it Mortal Online or Darkfall, had their population steadily decline
This may be due to the final product more than the potential of the sandbox, or sandbox-ish, design.
The only difference i see with eve and the rest of the games on that list ( well Eq1 i guess) all the games with a high initial spike and then a rapid downtrend...they ALL hyped the living crap out of their games prior to launch.
All were groundbreaking/innovative/ "fixing whats wrong with..." whatever. Everyone believes marketing people in the gaming community and then they realize its just another game and many leave...right into the arms of another prelaunch marketing man.
Eve didnt start hyping untill the game was well developed, EQ...well i dont remember that game being hyped like games today, it was just like "this is EQ...play? (y/n)" and people who were interested played and stayed.
Also another point i see, is that EQ and EVE both have some serious progression (*gasp* GRIND!!!). I have a feeling that games that max you out in 3-5 weeks dont build player attachment or pride for what they did, and its easy to just walk away. Games that take some serious effort to max out...well i have the feeling that a higher percentage will be retained. Games with a real goal. Lets be honest here, no one would play EVE if you could max out your character in a month, people play because it takes like 12 years to max out all roles. Theres always something for you to improve and it keeps the pvp interesting. Maxed character pvp in mmorpgs is so boring and predictible.
I think hype is the overwhelming cause of those graphs.
But with sandboxes, hard to tell, most want to play those, but then leave when its not remotely polished or finished, and then the indy devs who make them struggle with a 5 man team to fix a game that needs a 200 man team to fix, and forever flounder to rebound (and usually just run out of money and die)
Originally posted by Crunchy222 [...] and then the indy devs who make them struggle with a 5 man team to fix a game that needs a 200 man team to fix, and forever flounder to rebound (and usually just run out of money and die)
And those are the ones lucky enough to make it to release. I've run into several Indie devs along the ways. Great plans, even some exceptionally nice pre-alpha demos. ... and that's the last we hear of them.
Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security. I don't Forum PVP. If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident. When I don't understand, I ask. Such is not intended as criticism.
Originally posted by jimdandy26 /snip
See, the problem here with your assertion is that it has to be a grind. The term grind itself generally means the content is unfun. You do not like leveling, therefore refer to it as a grind, but a large number of people DO enjoy leveling, as a game designer it makes perfect sense to aim at those players. Just because you do not like a game does not make it bad. Just because there are elements of a game that you do not personally enjoy do not make them bad. It means you do not want them/enjoy them. Considering that it is rather apparent by now that the playerbase prefers themepark to sandbox why would you not incorperate as many themepark elements as you could get away with? As a player do you really want to see "your" game get shut down within a year or two because its not profitable, assuming that they get it launched at all?
@Corehaven I do truly wonder where the idea comes from that sandboxes keep players playing. In all of the data I have seen I have yet to see any truth to that statement. Just like the oft repeated "rpers are more faithful to their game". The metrics available simply do not show it. In general I am against the idea that "player generated content" is the future. While some truly amazing things do come from it, the vast majority is garbage, as has been shown by the internet at large. Everywhere you turn, from Youtube, to Deviantart, to Reddit, easily 90% of the content produced is simply terrible, and while there are filters and the like that help curb some of it, a ton still slips through. I will agree that community, players themselves, are content, and that generally speaking sandboxes focus more on player interaction than themeparks do, but its still not a requirement for a sandbox.
Because the typical themepark design has been profitable? Other than Rift what other game has been able to successfully copy the mold (WoW)? They haven't. From the moment WoW broke sales records other companies started their bid for riches and 5+ years later found out there is only one WoW. The only reason there have been so many WoW-like themeparks games is because everyone thought they would have the next WoW 5+ years ago, not because it was a superior design.
Let me start off by saying that I don't think a "pure" sandbox game will ever be that popular and I'm not sure many think that either. I think an MMO that has a lot of sandbox features while offering a fun framework will be very popular though. Developers making open ended content will get a lot more playability than something pre made to run over, and over, and over. I'm not saying to take away those things but make half premade content and the other half tools for creation. The reason player retention could be a lot higher is that the more you do with your avatar(s) the more dedicated you are to them. Having a character with property, a garden, a house (with crafted items inside) all made by your character holds more weight than just a gear score.
It should be pretty obvious that a system that allows players to make or generate their own content is going to last longer than content that is designed by developers, devs# < player#. You said a lot of it may be garbage but you're missing the point which is being able to make it at all, no matter how horrible it may be. This of course is tied with how well developed the creation system is to begin with. In the next year or two we will find out just how poplular sandbox-ish games can be. You brought up matrics but if you mean the history of sandbox games you can go ahead and throw that right out the window. The MMO landscape, playerbase and genre as a whole is very different now.
Originally posted by XAPGames Originally posted by Crunchy222 [...] and then the indy devs who make them struggle with a 5 man team to fix a game that needs a 200 man team to fix, and forever flounder to rebound (and usually just run out of money and die)
I wish they'd develop everything with stick figures and only THEN start pumping mony on graphics.
have you seen minecraft graphics ?
it proves one thing...graphics matter only for first week(s). your brain naturally simplifies information to process it faster anyway. you dont even notice the graphics mid-combat in a game you played for a few years, even in the shiniest flashiest asian mmo.
This is primarily why some people have a misconception that sandboxes are unpopular; simply because there hasn't really been a good one released since EVE.
EQNext may be the first attempt at a sandbox by a major developer in years (assuming it actually IS a sandbox and not just marketing BS from Smedley) so I reckon that will be the time to finally see how a proper sandbox is received by the modern MMO audience.
In the meantime I'm glad to see a lot of games are starting to adopt more (if minor) sandboxy elements.
That's because even the crappiest of ideas can look good on paper. Implementation and execution are a very different story.
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
Originally posted by jimdandy26 Originally posted by Loktofeit Originally posted by Corehaven I always thought that if a dev really wanted to retain players they'd simply make an end game with extreme sand box elements. What else do players typically do anyways? They run the same dungeons over and over, grind for gear, and pvp since that is typically some of the only options and even those wear thin for some (like me) very quickly. More is needed. Much more. All I'm saying is they should have their theme park until you reach max level. Then the sandbox should open up. Big time. If that happened most would probably claim, " The real game opens up at max level" and that's fine. I figure that's a winning formula. Hey if devs want to create a sandbox entirely that's fine with me. But in my mind, if you are going to have a themepark build a sandbox on top of it. A big one. With tons of things to do. The better your end game sand box the longer your players will stick around. Period.
Good for revenue, but why on earth would a player want that? If I want sandbox content, I'm going to play a game that has it from the start, especially if I am paying from the start. Why would you want to grind (note: grind is a bad thing) through game play you don't want just to get to the part you do want? Now, before you write that off as lazy, instant gratification or any of the other cute phrases that get tossed around here as the noses turn up in collective proud self-righteousness, really think about that.
That is some truly unique thinking, and I guess if your goal was to make Kitchen Sink Online, that would be a decent philosophy to build it with.
Originally posted by Crunchy222 The only difference i see with eve and the rest of the games on that list ( well Eq1 i guess) all the games with a high initial spike and then a rapid downtrend...they ALL hyped the living crap out of their games prior to launch. All were groundbreaking/innovative/ "fixing whats wrong with..." whatever. Everyone believes marketing people in the gaming community and then they realize its just another game and many leave...right into the arms of another prelaunch marketing man. .... I think hype is the overwhelming cause of those graphs.
Agreed. Selling the pre-order and getting as many in on Day One is a definite goal for many companies, or at least certain departments/boards within the company. It's an unwinnable war. The group that drives that isn't responsible for the fallout afterwards because they've left and moved on to sell the next game for someone else, with the big numbers from the previous game padding out their CV. Rift, AION, SWTOR... Look at the marketing teams for any MMO where there was the massive spike at release. The hype, sell, move to next game release.
Since you make wow an exception from your chart. Maybe you should make Eve an exception from your chart too.
Show me a chart of the other sandbox game, I dont' think it look good too.
And you know what about the Eve clone, or propetuus or whatever it's name is? It is not successful too.
People been saying how popular DayZ is, and if some mmorpg use that model it'll be popular. I'm still waiting for WarZ to be successful.
And you know what? There isn't much sandbox game on the market. Why isn't the few sandbox game on the market more popular? Why dont' Eve have more subscriber? It is weird it being the only few sandbox game on the market and really the population isn't that great.
Now I don't care about themepark game or sandbox game. All I can say is nothing is proven until it is proven. I with sandbox game the best. And hope WarZ will turn out great. And Archage online will dominate like other people say it will. But that is remain to be seen.
Where do these charts even come from?
They look very much like directly ripped out of mmodata.net / mmogchart.com
EvE is a space simulator on top of being a sandbox. Because of that its filling a niche which can easily account for the growth along with improvements to the game. It has no competition. There's only one solid place to turn for a good space sim/sandbox. Where as people wanting a landbased sandbox has quite a few choices
Because of that you can't really compare it to any existing or dead sandbox games. Specially not sword/sorcery fantasy games
having said that, I do think sandbox games has the biggest potential to grow its playerbases simply because you don't run out of "rides"
i dont see how this is possibly correct soe hasnt released eq1s subscriber #s in years as far as i know and could you choose colors a bit better its very hard to differentiate some of them i as well detest the sandbox term
typical sandbox stuff is nice as long as its inside a nice theme park as well houses, and player cities are all nice but who cares if the world is uninteresting, the story bland
I expect to see the "Ideal Sandbox" model repeated in future mmorpgs. f2p already caters for the cheap and casual. The other side of the market is clearly under-served.
RE: UO, also due to advent of 3D mmorpgs that must have had a bearing on that sandbox (as well as being a crash-test mmorpg) re ffa-pvp subsuming other parts of the game, as far as I know.
Also of relevance to the discussion: A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step
Big Things Come in Small Packages The second critical issue with theme park MMOs is that it's very difficult to entertain a crowd of theme park enthusiasts who have completed all the theme park content... and theme park enthusiasts can blast through content in no time. If new content isn't ready when players have finished the old content, they'll flee to another MMO (many will go back to World of Warcraft). The result is the "spike & crash" pattern we've seen with every major fantasy theme park MMO released in the past five years. Companies are then in the position where they no longer have enough customers to cover the cost of the enormous infrastructure they've built up for the launch. This is why many MMOs don't have long-term success. Lisa's challenge to figure out how to make the game on a lean budget led me to the realization that the last thing we want is a huge spike of players followed by a rapid decline. What we want instead is a slow, steady growth of players— the same kind of growth that EVE Online has experienced almost every year since its launch. Since Goblinworks won't have to pay off a huge theme park mortgage, our focus will instead be on making our virtual world as engaging as possible and sustaining that virtual world as the population grows over years of time. But a sandbox needs a critical mass of players to interact with each other, or they may as well be playing a solo game. One part of the design that helps determine the amount of interaction is the density of the world—how big is it and how many characters are in that space?
Big Things Come in Small Packages
& I Heard It through the Grapevine
We believe that GuildWars 2 is the second-to-last AAA fantasy theme park MMO in development; the last we know about is Elder Scrolls Online from Zenimax. Since its pretty hard to hide a full-blown theme park MMO team, we're pretty confident that there's nothing queued up behind these two titles. (We know that Blizzard is working on a new MMO codenamed Titan, but we don't think its a fantasy game—although we could of course be wrong!) Since World of Warcraft was released in 2004, it has been the target against which most MMOs measured themselves. It takes a couple years to build a AAA theme park MMO, but these eight years have nevertheless seen many attempts to knock WoW off its throne: EverQuest II, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Aion, Final Fantasy XIV, Rift, Tera, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Each of these games succeeded in certain ways, but none were able to take a significant number of players away from World of Warcraft. As the age of the fantasy theme park MMO comes to a close, we can look back and see a number of really important lessons from these games, as well as from sandbox MMOs like EVE Online and Darkfall. One of those lessons is the importance of establishing and maintaining community standards early.
We believe that GuildWars 2 is the second-to-last AAA fantasy theme park MMO in development; the last we know about is Elder Scrolls Online from Zenimax. Since its pretty hard to hide a full-blown theme park MMO team, we're pretty confident that there's nothing queued up behind these two titles. (We know that Blizzard is working on a new MMO codenamed Titan, but we don't think its a fantasy game—although we could of course be wrong!)
Originally posted by Quizzical It's not a theme park versus sandbox thing. It's a "heavily hyped game that didn't live up to the hype" versus "game that did live up to the hype, largely because it didn't have much when it launched" thing.
Yup. ATITD, Puzzle Pirates, Wizard 101, EVE Online, DOFUS... all games that had a similar pattern.
Originally posted by Starpower EvE is a space simulator on top of being a sandbox. Because of that its filling a niche which can easily account for the growth along with improvements to the game. It has no competition. There's only one solid place to turn for a good space sim/sandbox. Where as people wanting a landbased sandbox has quite a few choices Because of that you can't really compare it to any existing or dead sandbox games. Specially not sword/sorcery fantasy games having said that, I do think sandbox games has the biggest potential to grow its playerbases simply because you don't run out of "rides"
Good points.. I wouldn't even say only sandbox is the answer, but the dynamic world.. Sandboxes are normally ever changing, evolving based on players actions and reactions.. The same can take place with a themepark game as well.. IF the devs would use their brains.. Today's themeparks are just too small and too linear (restrictive) to be dynamic.. There just aren't enough choices for the players to make.. I've always said that themepark worlds need to be designed like a spider web, with limited breadcrumb quest and more dynamic events or similar.. Personally, I think 70% of the devs in the industry today need to find a new career.. They may be good computer geeks what know how to program, BUT lack the needed skills to make a living game..
Originally posted by Starpower EvE is a space simulator on top of being a sandbox.
Honestly, while Eve uses 'space' graphics, it's about as far from being a space simulator as you can get. Everything from scale to the fluidic-space physics is, from a simulation point-of-view, a bad joke. Even the much-vaunted combat physics are laughable, if you look at how combat would have to work in real space at those kinds of velocities (ZFT weapons only, for starters).
Not, mind you, that it matters to whether the game is good, bad, or indifferent, but I cringe every time someone calls Eve a space simulator.
One thing that never seems to get mentioned about Eve in these sorts of discussions is that it is the only major MMO that not only doesn't frown on anti-social behavior, but encourages it to the point of discouraging anything else.
Just today I saw someone running a Plex scam (trying to sell something as a Plex, for $250K, when it wasn't a Plex they were selling). In most games if you were reported for anything similar you'd be lucky if you didn't get a perma-ban, but in Eve cons are a sacrament. Whether one considers that a good or bad thing, it is fairly unique and much of the playerbase has built up around it.
In short, I'm not sure it's the 'sandbox' elements (what of them there actually are, if you take a good hard look) that matter nearly as much as the game outright encouraging and rewarding one for being the biggest arse one can possibly be.
Originally posted by Myria Originally posted by Starpower EvE is a space simulator on top of being a sandbox.
My point still stand. Your feelings towards the game in general is irrelevant to that point
Originally posted by Loktofeit Originally posted by Quizzical It's not a theme park versus sandbox thing. It's a "heavily hyped game that didn't live up to the hype" versus "game that did live up to the hype, largely because it didn't have much when it launched" thing.
Dunno, do you see eve as a single-purpose game?
Just from looking from the outside, i see players who like gathering and other menial things, players who like manipulating money systems, players who like chaotic pvp, players who like organized pvp, players who like politics...
So what is the audience?
I always saw the point where you just throw away everything else besides the "engame activity" in the other bunch of games as a mayor turnoff in general for the players, since you have to like the "engame activity".
with UO, Electronic Arts/Origins is what destroyed them after they got rid of Richard Garriet they went away from his grand design and added things like the Trammel and Felucia thing, they also added in other races things he never wanted to have.
So you see people cloning the servers and not adding in things like the races but keeping true to what it was in the beginning. They may add their own mechanics but still keeping it with the trend of we won't be allowing you to have a pvp free world, if you can't handle it then this isn't the game for you or just stay near town and craft.
Really I don't think Ultima Online lost people from the game, Electronic Arts just lost the subscribers and those people went to private servers where none of the BS was at.
I have heard rumors he is trying to get it back, we'll see what happens there.
Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies are the two best examples of how games should be, they offered numorous things to do that not everyone was likely to get board quickly. The only thing that failed both of these games was the company.
Imagine my dissapointment that this is just a same old same old discussion and not a thread about a new Slasher horror Flick.
Theme Park Trap : A Ride into Terror!!!