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[Column] WildStar: Is a 'Sandpark' Even Possible?

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  • acidbloodacidblood melbournePosts: 265Member Uncommon

    You're never going to make everyone happy, and I don't see the sandbox crowd being won over by anything short of a 'pure' sandbox, but the move to more dynamic worlds with a themepark overlay is definitely a step in the right direction.

    A good analogy is Dark Souls (and Demons Souls), it's for all intents a singleplayer game, but has dynamic multiplayer if you want it. It is never going to please someone looking for a multiplayer game, but definitely adds to the experience for people who enjoy singleplayer games.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,225Member Uncommon

    The only two 'Sandparks' I know of closed: SWG and CoH.

    They were both good games.  They were both well supported by their communities and financially successful.  But they just weren't successful enough to save themselves from their publisher's axes, when push came to shove.

    Don't get me wrong.  I think it's great to have systems in place that encourage creativity and persistant goals.  But I don't think it's possible anymore, given the nature of the genre.

    We live in a time of the disposable MMO: where it isn't worth dumping a lot of time, dollars or energy into them.  Both sides of the producer and cosumer relationship feel this way, and they feed each other in a vicious cycle.  Cosumers rapidly consume everything as fast as possible before they leave.  Producers want to attract a bunch of bodies and dollars quickly before shutting it down.  Neither side has any reason to become any more engaged with the MMO any more than absolutely necessary.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    The only two 'Sandparks' I know of closed: SWG and CoH.

    They were both good games.  They were both well supported by their communities and financially successful.  But they just weren't successful enough to save themselves from their publisher's axes, when push came to shove.

    Don't get me wrong.  I think it's great to have systems in place that encourage creativity and persistant goals.  But I don't think it's possible anymore, given the nature of the genre.

    We live in a time of the disposable MMO: where it isn't worth dumping a lot of time, dollars or energy into them.  Both sides of the producer and cosumer relationship feel this way, and they feed each other in a vicious cycle.  Cosumers rapidly consume everything as fast as possible before they leave.  Producers want to attract a bunch of bodies and dollars quickly before shutting it down.  Neither side has any reason to become any more engaged with the MMO any more than absolutely necessary.

    COH was a themepark.  bloody hell it invented instanced PVP,  it basicly does the same thing as wow

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,225Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    The only two 'Sandparks' I know of closed: SWG and CoH.

    They were both good games.  They were both well supported by their communities and financially successful.  But they just weren't successful enough to save themselves from their publisher's axes, when push came to shove.

    Don't get me wrong.  I think it's great to have systems in place that encourage creativity and persistant goals.  But I don't think it's possible anymore, given the nature of the genre.

    We live in a time of the disposable MMO: where it isn't worth dumping a lot of time, dollars or energy into them.  Both sides of the producer and cosumer relationship feel this way, and they feed each other in a vicious cycle.  Cosumers rapidly consume everything as fast as possible before they leave.  Producers want to attract a bunch of bodies and dollars quickly before shutting it down.  Neither side has any reason to become any more engaged with the MMO any more than absolutely necessary.

    COH was a themepark.  bloody hell it invented instanced PVP,  it basicly does the same thing as wow

    It had enough sandbox elements to classify it as a hybrid.  It had player architecture.  It had the player-made mission system.  It had a bazaar and crafting.  It had chat bubbles (something that's getting harder to find), robust character generator and a ton of emotes.  Was it a sandbox?  No, but it had more sandbox elements than, say, DC Universe.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • jtcgsjtcgs New Port Richey, ILPosts: 1,777Member
    Originally posted by Beatnik59
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    The only two 'Sandparks' I know of closed: SWG and CoH.

    They were both good games.  They were both well supported by their communities and financially successful.  But they just weren't successful enough to save themselves from their publisher's axes, when push came to shove.

    Don't get me wrong.  I think it's great to have systems in place that encourage creativity and persistant goals.  But I don't think it's possible anymore, given the nature of the genre.

    We live in a time of the disposable MMO: where it isn't worth dumping a lot of time, dollars or energy into them.  Both sides of the producer and cosumer relationship feel this way, and they feed each other in a vicious cycle.  Cosumers rapidly consume everything as fast as possible before they leave.  Producers want to attract a bunch of bodies and dollars quickly before shutting it down.  Neither side has any reason to become any more engaged with the MMO any more than absolutely necessary.

    COH was a themepark.  bloody hell it invented instanced PVP,  it basicly does the same thing as wow

    It had enough sandbox elements to classify it as a hybrid.  It had player architecture.  It had the player-made mission system.  It had a bazaar and crafting.  It had chat bubbles (something that's getting harder to find), robust character generator and a ton of emotes.  Was it a sandbox?  No, but it had more sandbox elements than, say, DC Universe.

    Sandbox basically means an open world with no levels and storyline. CoH had split zones which is about as anti sandbox as can be...especailly when it splits areas based on level.

    Bazaars. crafting, chat bubbles, character generator, emotes....nothing to do with sandbox elements.

    Player made missions, possibly a sandbox element, but then we could also say "trees" are sandbox elements because it could be in a sandbox game. Sandbox games do not require it to be a sandbox game so saying its an element is...losely using the term.

    “I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  • pmilespmiles Federal Way, WAPosts: 383Member

    I think the issue here is the base framework is still the same old same old... be it a themepark or a sandbox, you're pulling from what already exists and slapping a new coat of paint on it.  Instead of just fixing what doesn't work (or what you perceive doesn't work) in an existing formula, why not create a new formula?  You can't tell me that mixing oranges with apples changes the fact that it's still fruit in the end... I think everyone on these forums will agree that nothing's really changed in the MMO world in the grand scheme of things... and that's really the underlying problem... the foundation itself needs to be tossed for something new.

    If a straight themepark is dull and a straight sandbox is dull then a hybrid between the two will either be twice as dull or half as dull.  You're not removing the dull from the equation, you're hiding it.

  • troublmakertroublmaker St. George''s, NFPosts: 337Member

    Theme-park Dad: Okay let's hold hands and we'll show you what to do.

    Sand-box Dad: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE AND COME UP WITH YOUR OWN DREAMS

    Website: http://www.thegameguru.me / YouTube:

  • moosecatlolmoosecatlol Boring, TXPosts: 1,171Member Uncommon
    Not even a doubt in my mind, if I was given pre-CU SWG it would be my life.
  • artemisentr4artemisentr4 fresno, CAPosts: 1,431Member Uncommon

    I think a sandbox with rides can work well. A sandbox world with the skills, crafting, building, economy, political conflict, non-combat features mini-games and so on can have rides mixed in for those that want them.

     

    A general story for a given area for players to use to enteract with the environment and NPCs can coexist with player conflict IMO. Including a changing world that can make it more or less difficult to complete the story in an area of the world.

    “How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”
    R.A.Salvatore

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 530Member Uncommon

    People define sandbox differently.  Getting consensus on that alone is an impossible task.  I think Carbine is smart in coming up with their own term.

     

    As with anything, the proof is in the pudding.  But they do have some great ideas and I'm hoping they can bring everything to fruition.

     

  • Jinxd_RinxJinxd_Rinx Birmingham, ALPosts: 1Member
    Originally posted by daydreamerxx
    Star Wars Galaxies became a Sandpark game. A large sandbox game filled with smaller themeparks and story arcs. 

    I miss Star Wars Galaxies  =(

    <(^_^)>

  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastPosts: 1,615Member Uncommon

     

    The two could come together quite well. I like scrpted events sure but the problem with it is that it stops. It seems what the Carbon looks like their going to do is to use some of those script like events or whatever and give us extra things to do on the side and continue to do once that thing we call endgame hit. Which is what Themeparks seem to miss out. If they pull it off it'll be cool. But then it gets boring doing the same scripts and on rail thing more than once maybe twice. I don't want to wait and then pay to get more. The carbine seems to have a good idea on about housing, stuff to do on the side, word changing etc sorted out.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvillePosts: 1,324Member Uncommon

    Biggest definition of Sandbox is "power to the players" Given tools to create what game they want to play, not being lead by the nose in a path the developers choose for them. If I can create my completly own class, and play the game any way i want, doing whatever I want, heck if I want to start a general store and sell pots and pans for two years andis able to do that.. then it is a sandbox. When I decide what to do and have the tools to do that. If I choose a predefinded class, then walk to where the devs want me at my level, then play their scenario there.. then it is a themepark.  Not that hard to define or misinterpret. But clearly very easy to use as a sales pitch without any intention to actually make it real.

    "This is not a game to be tossed aside lightly.
    It should be thrown with great force"

  • cylon8cylon8 lodi, NJPosts: 333Member Uncommon
    In a way free realms is a mold for for sandparks. You have a huge seamless world that functio.s as the sandbox world.where players socialize and explore. Littered throughout the world are instanced quests and mini games. Player housing and farming are instance however are open for the entire community to view. They even introdouced overworld. Combat.

    so say we all

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PittyH

    Ask 100 people what a sandbox is and get 100 different answers.

    A sandbox can most certainly have thempark elements like quests/dungeons even raids.

    The key to a sandbox is having degradable/destroyable items and a robust crafting system, this in turn creates a supply/demand ecconomy where player interaction is essential.

    The key to a sandbox is also having an open world area of the game where pvp can take place usually with a reason to be there i.e resources.

    And thus begins the endless cycle of territorial control and crafting supply and demand

     

    A sandbox has nothing to do with non instanced player housing or terrain deformation like i've read in some threads. Just look at EVE which has neither of these things.

    The ability to effect the game world comes primarily from player interactions, and the stories that arise from said interactions.

    Different points of view and yes, for many people, things like housing and world changing are essential in a sandbox.  No matter how hard you try, you will not make those people think otherwise.  Personally, I don't see PvP as integral to a sandbox game.  It's important to PvPers, but not to PvErs, who after all, outnumber you siginificantly in this genre.

    image
  • friskifriski SingaporePosts: 2Member
    Is it possible to make a true sandpark and please everyone at the same time?

    That is not possible.

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,050Member Uncommon

    Not only its posssible but also very easy to make.

    Actually I feel like we are in medieval times , where in Rome times they knew everything , than forgot it , and than it took them 1000 years to relearn all.

    We got sandbox, we got sandpark ... all those we had before.

    AO , SWG , EQ ....

     

    image

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vorthanion
    Originally posted by PittyH

    The key to a sandbox is also having an open world area of the game where pvp can take place usually with a reason to be there i.e resources.

    Different points of view and yes, for many people, things like housing and world changing are essential in a sandbox.  No matter how hard you try, you will not make those people think otherwise.  Personally, I don't see PvP as integral to a sandbox game.  It's important to PvPers, but not to PvErs, who after all, outnumber you siginificantly in this genre.

    /hats off to you sir, very much this ^

    WildStar sounds like a promise. I'm looking forward to play both the explorer and the settlers way.

    On the thread question, sandpark is possible of course. But I think the line is not between sandbox and themepark, it's much more between optional/no pvp and ffa pvp. I know I'd love to see a pve sandbox game, or even better, a sandbox with both a pvp and a pve servers, and let the players vote with their feet :)

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon

    So many misconceptions about sandboxes in this post it isnt even funny.

    Sandbox to me, is like real life. No limits except for what you dont want to do. Its like an alternate reality.

    Build, craft, fight, make your own story, explore a wide open world, sit around and chat, not be forced down a set path, take your time, social interaction, and so much more.

    The story bandwagon is getting old. It dries up after a month and you have to wait or buy new content. Why cant people make their own story? Be their own boss? Adventure out into the wild and make a claim to the wolderness? Older sandboxes it was more fun to show off you feats and accomplishments, not be like everyone else. Story only gets you so far, you realy need the tools to expand this and some room to make it happen.

    PvP is for open world and sandboxes are full loot pvp. What a bunch of garbage. Majority of the older sandboxes didnt even have pvp or had special mechanics to help protect hose not wanting to fight. A tale from the desert as an example had no pvp what so ever, while SWG had three tiers of combat which you could pick and switch back and forth. No forced pvp and no griefing. Sandbox is not about pvp nor is it full loot gankfest.

    Large open world? Why would anyone not want a beautiful mass of land to explore? Why cant you have this in a themepark game? Its beyond me why people want led down a maze of paths to rush you to the next mission.

    Crafting, is most vital for a sandbox game. Player based economy is a must. But majority of the newer games switched to loot based economy and crafting is just a joke now. A game with good crafting helps promote selling and buying, more crafters = competition and lower prices. A combatant can sell a rare item for millions but a crafter asking 500 for a potion is out of the question?

    Story and quests are only a themepark feature........wrong again. Majority of sandboxes have multiple quests lines, missions, and even story.I cant think of any sandbox games that dont have story and quests. Even eve being such a hardcore pvp and economiy game has story and quests lol.

    Instances........ wont even go into this one. Was the worse thing to come out of the genre.

    End Game- my arent you guys tired of the rush to max level just so you can "grind" out dailies, warzones, and raids over and over and over and over every single day for a token, a trinket, something the devs seem fit to give you for wasting your time? Id rather have no end game and beout playing not hold up waiting for an instance. End game is another horrible thing to come out of the industry, needs to go poof in a big way. You dont want to grind in a sandbox because its boring, but have no problem grinding out tokens for armor?

    Basicaly a sandbox has everything a themepark already has and more. What are you going to add to a sandbox that a sandbox hasnt had or allows to be done? So yeah hybrid/sandpark is kind of saying you have no clue what a sandbox is to begin with. Or you need your hand held while exploring a big map ;)

     

    Tell me a few features, legit ones, that a themepark has done that a sandbox hasnt.

  • skydiver12skydiver12 burgundPosts: 432Member

    One just needs a quick look at  <ITEMISASION> and <(item-based) progression> to realize you have two fundamental groups of players which can't be pleased at the same time.

     

    In your typical Themepark clone you get the "ENDGAME" Raid and instance grinds for progress, more shiny "the best in slot" items. Those players demand the exclusivity of the best items, they feel entitled to have superior gear. In those games everything else means nothing and outside of those instances and Raids (and 5 daily quests) you don't have any progress at all and nothing to do.

     

    Your "sandbox" people want progression too. But they don't want to grind forced fix group size instances and raids. They want to craft the best gear, trade (buy it off others) and go out and find that hidden lair with an open world boss which can drop a piece of shiny armor or do just a bit of everything.

     

     

    Maybe it's just me, but whenever i lately hear someone talk about "Sandpark" all i see is someone claiming "You can grind mobs too for leveling up, you don't need to do all the quests in our Endgame raid tiered themepark".

     

    A few public quests don't make your game Sandpark.

    Involving Raid exclusive drops for crafting items does not make your game Sandpark.

     

    Giving exclusive OR equal progression to players outside your gear treadmill instance/raid cluster does transform your Themepark to a Sandpark. 

     

     

    1. Golden rule, don't limit your player's progression by one exclusive way of obtaining said goal. 

    Example Themepark: Do instance X with daily limit for 5 marks, need 20 for boots. You want boots? - Go do this instance.

    Example Sandpark: Do instance X for marks, gather 100 "x ore" for 5 marks, Craft 20 Boots of X for your faction and get 5 marks, kill 200 <random monsters> for 5 marks. (you can just focus on crafting or do whatever you feel like to get those boots, sell the loot and dropped crafting parts and buy those boots or marks)

    And the most important part about it, don't do it in a "daily quest" shape or meta. It's not sandboxish if i need to do a checklist daily or miss out on progression!

     

    But as you see, if you give progression to everyone and not just the tiered Instance player base the later wont be happy about it. You can do a sandpark, but you can't get both playerbases and if you don't give up the exclusivity of progression you don't even have a sandpark.

     

     

     

     

     

  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Somewhere in nowherePosts: 2,316Member Uncommon

    I think regardless of what you make, be it a themepark, sandbox, sandpark, themebox, MMOFPS, MMORTS or a themeboxpark RTS / FPS hybrid MMO-thing, you'll never ever please everyone anyhow.

    As in your example of GW1, you'll always have groups of people that enjoy one thing in the game better than some other thing. Even if you make a game with only one thing you can actually do, you'll have people who complain about the way they have to do it here or there.

    The trick, imo, is to find a healthy balance so that the complainers keep complaining, but also keep playing and enjoying your game.

    Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  • tordurbartordurbar Alexandria, VAPosts: 429Member

    Although I would love to see it happen you can't have a game that pleases both sandbox and themepark players. Especially now, with haters more vocal than ever before, a single feature could be the rallying cry to critically savage such a game.

    Plus, design forces you into one camp or another. Perfect example, the initial videos of Wildstar had combat more like WOW whereas the recent combat videos show Guild Wars 2 type combat. Not everyone likes action combat (I am getting a little tired of it myself) so this design decision is going to please some and bother others.

    One thing I do like is that Carbine is TRYING to please both the themepark and sandbox crowd. Putting elements of both "genres" in the same game, for me, is a win win situation.

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I think you can meld the two, swg and ac would fall into that category, possibly daoc too though thats more themepark with a lot of sandbox elements
  • CrynswindCrynswind buenos airesPosts: 290Member

    Ah.... Wildstar, the first among many "open/choose the quest you want to grind" themeparks using the word Sandbox or Sandparks as a marketing gimmick.

     

     

    Next "Sandpark": TESO

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Yep it seems like "sandbox" is the latest marketing buzzword following the success of minecraft, terraria, skyrim etc..
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