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Define 'Sandbox'...

2

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  • brezelbrezel You must enter the city you live in!Posts: 202Member
    Originally posted by Zayne3145


    'Sandbox' ... what exactly does it mean?



     

    Sandbox: a wide, shallow playground construction to hold sand often made of wood or plastic.

    in the virtual world we want play in a box without restrictions filled with enough interesting toys who let us allow to be individual. i additon we want a challeging and stable sandbox!

  • beaverzbeaverz SuresnesPosts: 660Member

    o so you played darkfall already? nice

    Anyway sandbox is a game with no defined environment, and everytime a company makes one people whine that life ingame is unfair and alll the hardcore players control everything.

    I'm not a no life that sits in front of his computer all day long, I'm an intern that sits in front of his computer all day long.

  • TrissaTrissa BarcelonaPosts: 251Member

    I have to agree with the article.

    All games i have played (no one of the "official" sandboxes around) have some of the sandbox elements you all are talking here, of course in different degrees in each one.

    I see here different ideas about what a sandbox is, thats fun because really this go with the article idea, each one put the stress in their preferences, but as far as i see there is not a unique model.

    Freedom seems to be the word more used, but i don't think it is just coming from the game itself.

    As some one said before, there is a lot of people confusing content in the sense off quantity of options with real freedom and in the other side i can't imagine any MMORPG without some "no sandbox theoretic elements" like grinding, leveling (general level, class level, skill level, doesn't matter), ... Think off it and you will see its true.

    Your imagination, your ability to use the game just as a tool, have a lot to do with freedom. I know the major part of you are going to disagree absolutely with me but i don't care. What i felt it's what i felt, i cannot negate it doesn't matter other opinions. The game where i felt more free, where i felt players were really affecting the game play day after day is Lineage II and it was by far.

    You know, 18 classes with no personalization, a never ending grinding to try to catch a cap level really unavailable to reach for the majority, just few really hard core players can do it or of course botters. You see its against all the theories commonly accepted. but ... I was really free there.

    I'm not going to backup what i said, the most important part are feelings. Really after have been playing other games i have more or less a clear view about the reasons. I don't have the time to go with them and at the end as i always say there aren't good or bad games (just they need to have some degree of technical quality) its a question of tastes.

    I hate stereotypes and classifications, sure you have noticed it

    Have a nice day

     

  • tvalentinetvalentine San Clemente, CAPosts: 4,216Member
    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by tvalentine

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     

    Originally posted by emperorwings

    2) skill based. And there should be ALOT of skillm


    I don't see any reason that it has to be skill based and therefore strongly disagree with your opinion.

     

     



     

    hard ot have freedom when you are stuck with one class. In a sandbox you should have the freedom to change your role, from healer to tank, or healer to dps, or both healer and dps, or healer and tank. A game with levels and classes cant give you that freedom.

    BS, in a skill system you are not free. You still only get skills that the devs coded you to have.  In all these games you are limited to what the devs allow you to do.  So don't try to copout and say skill systems are free over class systems and therefore sandbox.  Realize they are just different approachs with dev created limits on them.

     

    So given that, rather than saying forced skill systems are free, why not try to define what it is like about skill systems.  For example, you understand the skills are limited to what the devs give you, but there is an emotion inside you that makes you say YES, this limit feels free.



     

    you obviously have no clue what a skill system is. I suggest you play UO, or read up on SWG Pre-CU

    ___________________________________________________________________________________


     

    Sure it can. You just need to be able to switch classes. FFXI and Istaria currenlty offer this.

    In Istaria when you've swiched classes you even get to keep some stats from your previous class.

    Venge Sunsoar

     

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    from the very limited info i have on FFXI off the top of my head, i remember there was a class that could summon a pet ..... could you be a healer and have that same pet? Skill systems give you ultimate freedom, although i will agree FFXI does have a nice system, and is the closest thing to a class based sandbox game ive seen. I cant comment on istaria since i havent played it.

    image

    Playing: EVE Online
    Favorite MMOs: WoW, SWG Pre-cu, Lineage 2, UO, EQ, EVE online
    Looking forward to: Archeage, Kingdom Under Fire 2
    KUF2's Official Website - http://www.kufii.com/ENG/ -

  • Larry2298Larry2298 AmsterdamPosts: 865Member

    IMO, sandbox is actually the Mob Generator uses to deploy mobs on maps.

     

  • AbrahmmAbrahmm ., DEPosts: 2,448Member
    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by tvalentine

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     

    Originally posted by emperorwings

    2) skill based. And there should be ALOT of skillm


    I don't see any reason that it has to be skill based and therefore strongly disagree with your opinion.

     

     



     

    hard ot have freedom when you are stuck with one class. In a sandbox you should have the freedom to change your role, from healer to tank, or healer to dps, or both healer and dps, or healer and tank. A game with levels and classes cant give you that freedom.

    BS, in a skill system you are not free. You still only get skills that the devs coded you to have.  In all these games you are limited to what the devs allow you to do.  So don't try to copout and say skill systems are free over class systems and therefore sandbox.  Realize they are just different approachs with dev created limits on them.

     

    So given that, rather than saying forced skill systems are free, why not try to define what it is like about skill systems.  For example, you understand the skills are limited to what the devs give you, but there is an emotion inside you that makes you say YES, this limit feels free.

     

    What the hell are you talking about? How does having strictly defined classes and levels where the developer has laid out EXACTLY what abilities, and what you will be able to do at EXACTLY what time in the game. That is as linear as it gets.

    Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about.

     

    My list for a sandbox is:

    1) Skill based system with no classes and no levels

    2) Deep complex crafting with a 100% player driven economy

    3) Player housing/cities/structures

    4) Social hubs

    5) Seemless open world.

    Tried: LotR, CoH, AoC, WAR, Jumpgate Classic
    Played: SWG, Guild Wars, WoW
    Playing: Eve Online, Counter-strike
    Loved: Star Wars Galaxies
    Waiting for: Earthrise, Guild Wars 2, anything sandbox.

  • PorfatPorfat Conway Springs, KSPosts: 364Member
    Originally posted by Abrahmm

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by tvalentine

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     

    Originally posted by emperorwings

    2) skill based. And there should be ALOT of skillm


    I don't see any reason that it has to be skill based and therefore strongly disagree with your opinion.

     

     



     

    hard ot have freedom when you are stuck with one class. In a sandbox you should have the freedom to change your role, from healer to tank, or healer to dps, or both healer and dps, or healer and tank. A game with levels and classes cant give you that freedom.

    BS, in a skill system you are not free. You still only get skills that the devs coded you to have.  In all these games you are limited to what the devs allow you to do.  So don't try to copout and say skill systems are free over class systems and therefore sandbox.  Realize they are just different approachs with dev created limits on them.

     

    So given that, rather than saying forced skill systems are free, why not try to define what it is like about skill systems.  For example, you understand the skills are limited to what the devs give you, but there is an emotion inside you that makes you say YES, this limit feels free.

     

    What the hell are you talking about? How does having strictly defined classes and levels where the developer has laid out EXACTLY what abilities, and what you will be able to do at EXACTLY what time in the game. That is as linear as it gets.

    Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about.

     

    My list for a sandbox is:

    1) Skill based system with no classes and no levels

    2) Deep complex crafting with a 100% player driven economy

    3) Player housing/cities/structures

    4) Social hubs

    5) Seemless open world.



     

    "Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about."

    The pencil and paper game Dungeons and Dragons had classes.  You could multi class to a limited extent but your character was still bound by class.    That game had more freedom and choice that any MMORPG in existence.   You were only limited by your imagination and what the gamemaster would let you get away with.  This freedom is the essence of what a sandbox game is.   Skill based or levels or someother mechanic doesn't matter.    

    The closer an MMORPG can get to the freedom that a pen and paper game has the more sandbox it will be.   But don't listen to me its just been proven that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

  • AlindaleAlindale bono, ARPosts: 134Member
    Originally posted by Porfat

    Originally posted by Abrahmm

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by tvalentine

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     

    Originally posted by emperorwings

    2) skill based. And there should be ALOT of skillm


    I don't see any reason that it has to be skill based and therefore strongly disagree with your opinion.

     

     



     

    hard ot have freedom when you are stuck with one class. In a sandbox you should have the freedom to change your role, from healer to tank, or healer to dps, or both healer and dps, or healer and tank. A game with levels and classes cant give you that freedom.

    BS, in a skill system you are not free. You still only get skills that the devs coded you to have.  In all these games you are limited to what the devs allow you to do.  So don't try to copout and say skill systems are free over class systems and therefore sandbox.  Realize they are just different approachs with dev created limits on them.

     

    So given that, rather than saying forced skill systems are free, why not try to define what it is like about skill systems.  For example, you understand the skills are limited to what the devs give you, but there is an emotion inside you that makes you say YES, this limit feels free.

     

    What the hell are you talking about? How does having strictly defined classes and levels where the developer has laid out EXACTLY what abilities, and what you will be able to do at EXACTLY what time in the game. That is as linear as it gets.

    Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about.

     

    My list for a sandbox is:

    1) Skill based system with no classes and no levels

    2) Deep complex crafting with a 100% player driven economy

    3) Player housing/cities/structures

    4) Social hubs

    5) Seemless open world.



     

    "Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about."

    The pencil and paper game Dungeons and Dragons had classes.  You could multi class to a limited extent but your character was still bound by class.    That game had more freedom and choice that any MMORPG in existence.   You were only limited by your imagination and what the gamemaster would let you get away with.  This freedom is the essence of what a sandbox game is.   Skill based or levels or someother mechanic doesn't matter.    

    The closer an MMORPG can get to the freedom that a pen and paper game has the more sandbox it will be.   But don't listen to me its just been proven that I have no idea what I'm talking about.



     

    PnP D&D also had one feature that helped truly make your characters unique and that was DM Discretion.  Used to hate hearing those words, but when creating characters and the DM alter them, it meant the DM was tired of cookie cutter characters and wanted both you, and your fellow players to try something different so the DM could try different things also.  More classes with wide ranges of skills that can be mixed and match is as close to those dreaded words as possible and allows for a true sandbox play style.  When classes are limited you get the fotm toons and demands for combat upgrades and revamps.

    Sandboxes to me are games where the potential of your character is as large as the worlds you play on.  Bigger the better for me.

  • FreddyNoNoseFreddyNoNose LosAngeles, CAPosts: 1,558Member
    Originally posted by Abrahmm

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen

    Originally posted by tvalentine

    Originally posted by wjrasmussen


     

    Originally posted by emperorwings

    2) skill based. And there should be ALOT of skillm


    I don't see any reason that it has to be skill based and therefore strongly disagree with your opinion.

     

     



     

    hard ot have freedom when you are stuck with one class. In a sandbox you should have the freedom to change your role, from healer to tank, or healer to dps, or both healer and dps, or healer and tank. A game with levels and classes cant give you that freedom.

    BS, in a skill system you are not free. You still only get skills that the devs coded you to have.  In all these games you are limited to what the devs allow you to do.  So don't try to copout and say skill systems are free over class systems and therefore sandbox.  Realize they are just different approachs with dev created limits on them.

     

    So given that, rather than saying forced skill systems are free, why not try to define what it is like about skill systems.  For example, you understand the skills are limited to what the devs give you, but there is an emotion inside you that makes you say YES, this limit feels free.

     

    What the hell are you talking about? How does having strictly defined classes and levels where the developer has laid out EXACTLY what abilities, and what you will be able to do at EXACTLY what time in the game. That is as linear as it gets.

    Having an incredibly large amount of CHOICES in what skills you have, and what your character does, and the ability to change it, is the very definition of a sandbox. You can't even compare a class system to a skill system when it comes to freedom and choice, and if you try to, you prove you have no idea what you are talking about.

     

    My list for a sandbox is:

    1) Skill based system with no classes and no levels

    2) Deep complex crafting with a 100% player driven economy

    3) Player housing/cities/structures

    4) Social hubs

    5) Seemless open world.



     

    So what skill based game can you pick skills that the devs didn't put into the game? We are limited by what the devs allow. 

    Also, am I free to pick skills?  By free, I want on the moment I start playing to have all the skills in the game each at the maximum level. 

  • TatumTatum houston, TXPosts: 1,153Member

    The thing is, a good, extensive skill system gives you MUCH more freedom to build a character for what ever play style you want.  It doesn't have to be a good build or even a "viable" build, just some thing that you enjoy.  With class based systems you're always restricted to a small amount of builds with very little room for customization.

  • busbydanielbusbydaniel MarsPosts: 38Member

    I think the majority in the MMORPG community would agree that there are two main core types of MMORPG's out there. One is 'Sandbox' the other is 'Theme Park'. These terms are based on how you progress your character and everything else is just content added on and makes little or no relevance to the term of the MMORPG. Its all about character progression and how your character exists in that world.

    Theme Park

    This is your WOW and AOC MMORPG's and these give you a linear character progression form of play. Basically you have only one direction when progressing your character and that is pretty much it. If you want to do something else or be something else there is little or no room to divert from the path the MMORPG dictates. This is where the term 'Theme Park' comes in. Think of the game and the quests in the game as a ride at a theme park, once you get on there are twists and turns and elements of excitiment some better than others. The problem with this is if you leave the theme park and then come back a week later, pretty much nothing has changed, the rides are all the same, the people are all the same. This is also known as 'static' content.

    Sandbox

    This is your SWG and UO MMORPG's (though I see these as very primitive sandbox's now) and these give your character a more realistic and open method of progression. Basically, your character isnt locked down by any in game mechanics and the world changes around you based on player events. For example, if I logged into a sandbox game and went to a tree in the middle of field and then logged out and came back a week later that tree could be gone and a player city could be there instead (this is just an example of how the world can change in an MMORPG). In 'Theme Park' MMORPG's this just doesnt happen. The game is basically open to shape and change as the player see's fit based on the 'sandbox' created by the developers. This is known as 'dynamic' content.

    This is my understanding of the terms 'Sandbox' and 'Theme Park' I'm sure many other players have their own ideas but I think this is pretty much the universal understanding.

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,211Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Blodpls


    I don't agree with the article at all.
    Although all mmorpgs exhibit some sandbox like qualities there is large enough difference to enable some to be labled sandbox and others not to be.
    I'll use wow as example of a game that has extremely limited sandbox features. 



     

    Fist WoW has a lot more to do than people give it credit for and UO had a lot less than it gets credit for. Second even if your sandbox is one foot wide and sixteen feet long it's still a sandbox and it still has as much sand in it as if it were four feet by four feet. You may feel it deserves a different label but that doesn't make it less of a sandbox.

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • ScalebaneScalebane La Junta, COPosts: 2,225Member

    Sandbox eh?  well you see there is this square shaped structure placed in the ground and made of wood, or plastic, then like they fill it up with sand and you can like dig and use buckets in it and stuff. =P

     

    Honestly though i'm not sure what sandbox is, seems everyone here has a different opinion of it.  seems to me it would be a game you can do anything and everything you can imagine, but i doubt an mmo could ever let you do that...

    image

    "The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
    - Lewis Thomas

  • nightscarnightscar Nowhere, NYPosts: 31Member

    A sandbox to me is like minecraft, and wurm.

    you are dropped into a world with a few tools and are told hear ya go, have fun..

    allot of these new games coming out saying they are sandboxs, I dont see how they are true sandboxes.. they might have some sandbox aspecs to them..

    but they are not pure sandboxes.

    I still wait for the day when we get a true, pure AAA sandbox mmo.

    I thought archage was going to be like that, but after watching a recent video.. I saw the author doing quests...?!

    to me this isnt a sandbox, its a hybrid between theampark and sandbox.

    People out there really looking.. and I mean REALLY looking for a pure true sandbox game..

    try Wurm Online

    thats about as pure as your going to get.

    Teraforming, building, fighting, animal breeding, eating, drinking, everything but going to the bathroom is in this game.

    you are put into the game with a set of tools and skills that start at 1.. and can be maxed at 100, which would litterally take yrs to do.

    you want to build a house? cut a tree down, cut the fallen tree into logs, cut those logs into planks.. dontfortget the nails :D

    and take and nail each plank onto a wall that requires 20 planks.

    now that to me is a pure sandbox lol :D

    P.S. sorry I do not mean to be fanboyish toward Wurm, but after playing for so long.. that is how I see a sandbox should be.

    These new games coming out, Archage, EQnext, Pathfinder, they all scream sandbox.. but until they reach this kind of level.. they are still just hybrids..

    My 2 cents

     

  • CyclopsSlayerCyclopsSlayer Minneapolis, MNPosts: 532Member

    Simplest definition I can think of;

     

    Sandbox - Player Created content more so then following paths set out by the Devs. Devs provide the tools, but the player chooses how or even if to use them.

     

    Themepark - You buy a ticket and sit back for a Dev created, Dev controlled ride. Your only choice is to ride the Ferris Wheel or the Rollercoaster first.

     

    edit: Not MY definitions, but really, where do you think the terms for Sandbox/Themepark MMO came from?

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    Basically, a game without hand holding or linear paths. The game doesn't tell you what to do, it presents multiple options at all times and you choose your own direction.

  • aleosaleos na, INPosts: 1,863Member Uncommon

    A free roaming immersive world that is now aware of the 21st century and offers more paths to choose from than just leveling up.

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    Sandbox - a type of game that 90% of gamers say they want to play, and 10% of gamers play.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,275Member Uncommon
    Freedom with player driven systems.
  • mastersam21mastersam21 Long Beach, CAPosts: 43Member Uncommon
    Flexibility of creation.

    image

  • hraethhraeth Hillsboro, ORPosts: 34Member

    A precise definition for sandbox is difficult for the same reason that a precise definition for warm, or light is difficult: it is a point on a continuum where sandbox is one side of the continuum and theme park is on the other.  That being said let's take a look at one of the more "perfect" sandboxes (though not an MMO) and that would be Minecraft.

     

    1.  I can change the world!  Whether it's chopping down trees, planting crops, or creating vast new underground complexes I can make changes to the world that are (more or less... damn you creepers!) permenant.  My actions make a difference in the world and I am the one that decides what kind of difference it is.

     

    2.  Off the rails.  The world isn't spoon fed to me.  I have to figure it out.  In stark opposition to the theme park which tells you where to go to such an extent that some of them even just put a dot on your minimap telling you exactly where to go a "pure sandbox" (if it even had a quest) would require you to figure out where to go and in what way you can complete the quest.  Another "on rails" feature of theme parks is leading you from quest hub to quest hub.  There is rarely a question of where to go next.  In a sandbox the question isn't where do the quests lead but which way do I want to explore.

     

    3.  Exploration.  Due to the "off the rails" nature of a sandbox game exploration and adventure (rather than following the quests to the next hub ad nauseum) are the name of the game.  Often due to lack of developer "on rails" content these games require more community involvement to be entertaining.  On the bright side the type of peole who are in to sandboxes tend to want that kind of community involvement so it works out well.

     

    Honestly there is a lot more to a sandbox as well but it's all flavors of "off the rails" gaming.  The more off those rails you are the more "sand-boxy" the game.  The more player actions have lasting and relevant effects on the world the more sand-boxy it is.  All that being said there is no perfect sandbox.  There are always limitations of some kind but the closer we can get to a world that is fully interactive in which we can change everything, do anything, and be anyone we want the close we are to that "perfect sandbox".

  • StonesDKStonesDK SomewherePosts: 1,805Member
  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    A low box filled with sand for children to play in.
  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member
    Originally posted by Starpower

    Sure were a lot of posts before someone noticed......

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • darkkblackdarkkblack Lowell, NCPosts: 38Member
    Originally posted by Zayne3145

    'Sandbox' seems the be the buzzword of the moment, but what exactly does it mean?

    I'm sure it means different things to different people, but newcomers to the genre and those who don't have the time to keep up with current conventions might be confused by the concept. To combat this, I thought it might be a good idea if everyone posts the 5 main points that they personally feel constitutes sandbox gameplay.

    Get listing!

    To me sandbox is just the same kind of chocolate bar just in a different wrapper. World of warcraft is considered a sandbox mmorpg and Rift is basically an identical game with different player skins and geography.  I am constantly looking for something different and more challenging.

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