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Challenge: How hard would it be to turn any modern day AAA themepark MMO into a Sandpark MMO?

MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon

Challenge for the community's imagination:


What minimum steps would you take to convert any modern day AAA themepark MMO into a Sandpark MMO?


For list of some AAA themepark MMO consider the following:













  • PhelcherPhelcher Boston, MAPosts: 1,053Member
    U cannot turn a themepark into a sandbox, because the definition itsef resides on the server structure and net code designed before the game was deloped.

    Sandbox games have open worlds, themepark usually have zones.. but you get the idea.

    "No they are not charity. That is where the whales come in. (I play for free. Whales pays.) Devs get a business. That is how it works."


  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Well I thought I was clear on Sandpark not Sandbox. Whatever that means to you.


  • bishbosh2bishbosh2 SydneyPosts: 66Member

    honestly it is really easy to get a hybrid sort of thing going.


    1. instead of armor, weapon etc drops, mats are dropped to create items

    2. add item decay for armor, weapons etc

    3. move raid bosses/mobs into open world.

    4. ????????????????

    5. proft


  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member
    What a waste of time and effort.  It cannot happen, stop it.  
  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ScaryMonk
    What a waste of time and effort.  It cannot happen, stop it.  

    you always say that about everything.


  • CastillleCastillle KhobarPosts: 2,703Member Uncommon

    Very hard.  

    The amount of tweaking across all levels will be huge along with majority of the content.  If its just a sandpark area expansion thoguh then...itll probably be 2 expansions worth of work. 

    ''/\/\'' Posted using Iphone bunni
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  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIPosts: 618Member Uncommon
    My brain over loads just thinking about this.
  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member

    Impossible. Sandbox is a superset of ThemePark. Meaning you can have a ThemePark in a sandbox by just adding level bracketed zones, quest hubs and single player story lines.

    However to turn a ThemePark into a sandbox you would have to redesign the game completely. ThemePark MMOs are designed in a very ordered fashion so you would have to break up that order and redesign the world. Just not feasible.

  • greenreengreenreen Punchoo, AKPosts: 2,101Member Uncommon

    I'm falling in line with the "it's easier to go the reverse route" ideology.

    I'll try though.

    So, in my themepark I have quests and places to get those quests. No one can change anything in the world because they have paths I want them to travel so they can't touch the layout of it.

    First, I make characters have alignment to give them different quest paths. Then from the quest paths I add ways to use alignment in crafting and shaping the world. The quests are altered slightly to offer different lines of progress. This means that someone can cut down the amount of quests they have to do because I made some of them an alternative alignment than they wouldn't want to improve their other skills. 

    The crafting would be tied into alignment so that everyone didn't have the same skills at the end of the day. I would put the alignment into what you could do to the land. Ok, I guess I need to nail those down. Light and Dark, easiest dichotomies in the history of mankind and easily recognized.

    Light and Dark fight each other in PVP. Light aligned characters can make land mass grow. Dark characters can make land mass dissolve. Both types of characters are essential for building and sculpting in large areas. Light characters can repair property they find abandoned and once repaired remove it for their own use. Dark characters can dissolve property they find abandoned and can use the parts to construct a similar item but one that could have missing parts. Since dark characters don't get the complete item they have a chance to spawn a dark minion for short term that will scavenge for them to try to find the missing parts. This minion will also fight with them if they choose that instead for it to perform. Light characters only get a minion that will protect them while traveling with their newly scavenged item. It won't attack, only help the player with buffs or healing during battle. Any player carrying a scavenged item has a chance to lose parts of it if they enter combat during the movement of the item (creatures attack objects carried not just players). 

    That should get the ball rolling for the game. That at least gives it  a theme.





  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Eve has zones and is a sandbox
    EQ is an open world and is a themepark
    Wow has mostly open world and is a themepark.

    Anyway depends on the game how easy to change to "sandpark"

    An example would be the proposed 4th continent (by Sony) for ps2. Which they talked about player outfits building their own bases by gathering resources, I think that would move ps2 into being a sandpark.

    Something user themeparky like swtor though, I guess it would be impossible.
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,913Member Uncommon

    Since the OP specified sandpark not sandbox...


    Nerf boss drop gear.

    Eliminate quest reward gear.

    Buff crafted gear.

    Add item decay.

    Nerf level based stat progression.

    Buff skill progression.

    Nerf fast travel.

    Nerf automatic grouping tools.

    Buff guild system.

    Nerf auction house so it will not sell items over "common" quality and AH fees are very expensive.

    Add a marketplace location to the world.

    Add player run shops / stands


    I think that would get you close enough that the themeparkers would start complaining.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,913Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by bishbosh2

    3. move raid bosses/mobs into open world.



    Or at least add bosses to open world.  The more freedom of choice the better.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on
  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    I believe it would actually be possible to transform those themeparks into hybrids - it wouldn't even be too costly cause you can keep a lot of stuff: world, characters, animations, graphics, art, etc. can all stay as they are.

    The question, however, is why a studio/publisher would want to do that. They risk losing their existing players that prefer themeparks (arguably a large majority) and also risk that the sandbox crowd won't come cause for them there's not enough sandbox in this hybrid approach.

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member
    Its easier to create a whole new game than to do a conversion.

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

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