Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Why is every game now a Cookie-Cutter MMO and there are no AAA sandbox MMOs?

245

Comments

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ShakyMo
    Onomas what were these pre wow successful sandboxes
    1 uo
    2 eve
    .........?

    Swg and ac are hybrids
    Ao, coh and eq2 are themeparks
    EQ is an open world themepark
    Daoc is an open world themepark with leaning towards hybrid.

    No such thing as a hybrid in this industry.

    Sandbox does everything a themepark does anyways and much much more. How can a sandbox be a hybrid themepark when sandbox games does it all? Sandbox have story, quests, and anything else a themepark does. On top of that it gives choice, freedom, and its own content.

    And if you do wish to go with the hybrid theory, by definition its a mixture of different things to create something new. Basicaly if you have a style of game already doing that, how is adding something it already had to begin with a hybrid? Not possible.

    Simple fact a sandbox does it all, a themepark limits everything.

    And yes SWG was a sandbox before it was changed to be like WOW. And even then offered moer to the game than any of these new aged games that cant last more than a few months.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,290Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas

    All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

    All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

    With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

     

     Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

    The longevity argument is false.

    edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • OnomasOnomas Rock Hill, SCPosts: 1,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by Onomas

    All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

    All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

    With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

     

     Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

    The longevity argument is false.

    edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

    Pre-WOW only 12 people out of 100 had internet access. Of those people the majority was used for business  not games. Now in todays society 40+ people out of 100 has internet access and used more for recreation now. Its pretty simple to see why older games had less population, there were less people playing mmorpg's. In early 2000's only about 300 million were online, now we have over 2 billion.

    The fact those games lasted is proof enough. These games brought more to the table than any of your new aged cookie-cutters by far. 50-100k people back then would equal to about 500k paying players is better than 90% of the new games do today until they go F2P.

     

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    I think a sandbox can contain a theme park, but the opposite is an inferior design.

    -Themers are good with a smaller, directed course of activity that has defined boundaries and a finite course of play.

    -Sandbox players need at least a credible illusion of vast areas and undirected play.

    As one of these models is more restrictive than the other, if you put sandbox inside of a theme park, you get meta-walls that dilude the experience for the sandbox guy. The opposite would seem workable to me, as Themers are ok with having a narrative within a frame, and could simply test he waters of the open world as much (or as never) as they like.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,290Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Onomas
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Originally posted by Onomas

    All the major sandbox games were released pre-WOW. Since wow everyone has been trying to copy their sucess. Has nothing to do with which style is better when you dont have an equal amount of each style to compare. The game devs of today are following the money and have dumbed our games down.

    All the sandoxes of pre-wow were successful in terms of time, holding players, and game features. Any game that can last 5+ years, hold 50-500k people for a lengthy time, and able to add to their game over time is successful You do not need half the people in the world playing your game to be successful. 90% of the new aged games die within a few months to a year........ and these games are more successful than ones lasting 7-8-9 years?

    With a huge amount of sandboxes coming AA and AAA, indie to top companies, i  do hope to see changes and more companies dabble into sandbox feeling. Hopefuly this will stir competition in the industry and we can start seeing better games pumped out than the past 5 years.

     

     Most of the games released post wow have held onto 50-100k plus subscribers for several years.  I fully expect they will be around as long as games released pre-wow.

    The longevity argument is false.

    edit - I agree on the no such thing as hybrids, in theory.  In theory a sandbox should have everything a themepark does.  In practice a sandbox has very very little of anything, themepark or sand or tools to shape the sand.  And thats why they fail.

    Pre-WOW only 12 people out of 100 had internet access. Of those people the majority was used for business  not games. Now in todays society 40+ people out of 100 has internet access and used more for recreation now. Its pretty simple to see why older games had less population, there were less people playing mmorpg's. In early 2000's only about 300 million were online, now we have over 2 billion.

    The fact those games lasted is proof enough. These games brought more to the table than any of your new aged cookie-cutters by far. 50-100k people back then would equal to about 500k paying players is better than 90% of the new games do today until they go F2P.

     

     I didn't state the reasons as to why games these days will hold onto 50-100k, I stated that most have them have.  There are many reasons for why they have done so.

    Yes some games in the past have held onto 50-100k subscribers for a long time.  However it is equally true that many games post WoW have also held onto 50-100k+ subscribers for many years.  There is no reason to thing they will not last 10 years or more.  Therefore the argument that old games have longevity because they held onto subscribers while new games don't is false.  New games have held onto subscribers for years showing longevity, and in the future we will likely see them continue to hold onto them. 

    However only a few games in the past offer more than today's games.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • RoxtarrRoxtarr Freeland, MI, MIPosts: 1,122Member

    The OP needs to take a closer look at GW2.

    Nobody can agree on a definition of Sandbox, so until they can the term shouldn't be used.  Every game that claims to be a sandobx has a thousand people explaining why it isn't.  The reason there are no "sandbox" games because by the time a game has AAA features, purists don't call it a sandbox anymore.

    If in 1982 we played with the current mentality, we would have burned down all the pac man games since the red ghost was clearly OP. Instead we just got better at the game.
    image

  • Miner-2049erMiner-2049er PortsmouthPosts: 435Member

    Sandbox = More Freedom

    More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

    More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

    I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

    Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

    Also exploring died with Wiki.

     

     

  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    Roxtarr
    I would class gw2 as a half way point between full on themeparks like wow and swtor(e.g. glorified lobby games), and open world themeparks like daoc and vanilla EQ.

    It's certainly not a sandbox, and its dungeons being instances and the existence of spvp stop it being a true open world themepark. Full credit to it for moving in the right direction by getting people outside a bit more rather than sat in cities queueing to go instances though.
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Miner-2049er

    Sandbox = More Freedom

    More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

    More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

    I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

    Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

    Also exploring died with Wiki.

    Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

    I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

    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

  • Four0SixFour0Six Missoula, MTPosts: 1,181Member Uncommon

    OP:

    *Yells as loud as possible*

    WOW HAD 10 MILLION PLUS SUBS FOR HOW LONG? AT $15 A MONTH THAT IS $150 MILLION A MONTH.

    MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. THAT IS THE EVER LOVING REASON THAT ALL WE HAVE NOW IS WOW-CLONES.

    IF YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE WANTS SOMETHING OTHER, GO TO SCHOOL LEARN TO WRITE CODE AND MAKE IT. OR WAIT FOR WOW TO DIE.

    *storms out, slamming the door behind*

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Miner-2049er

    Sandbox = More Freedom

    More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

    More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

    I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

    Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

    Also exploring died with Wiki.

    Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

    I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

    What huge benefit? I have yet to see anything more interesting emerged from a player in the game context, than a well crafted STO story mission.

     

  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 662Member Uncommon

    Simple... No one wants to pay a sub anymore and Sandboxes are a bitch to monetize.

    Expect sandboxes from independent developers with the exception of EQNext which is "wait and see"

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Miner-2049er

    Sandbox = More Freedom

    More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

    More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

    I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

    Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

    Also exploring died with Wiki.

    Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

    I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

    What huge benefit? I have yet to see anything more interesting emerged from a player in the game context, than a well crafted STO story mission.

    Narius, I'd be happy to discuss that in a thread on the benefits of emergent gameplay. I've no interest in derailing this one. 

    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

  • Miner-2049erMiner-2049er PortsmouthPosts: 435Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Miner-2049er

    Sandbox = More Freedom

    More Freedom = More opportunity to Exploit

    More Exploiting = Poor Experience for the majority of players

    I could be wrong, but this has been my experience. I love the idea of a sandbox, but I fear that there are too many players who will do anything they can to be best.

    Win Game > Play World (unfortunately)

    Also exploring died with Wiki.

    Dealing with how players will use or abuse new systems is part of dealing with emergent gameplay. If devs are avoiding the huge benefit of the latter for fear of the chance of the former seems like a major loss for us gamers. 

    I want to see more of THIS from devs. 

    I agree that CCP are inspiring, but like WoW they had some advantage from the time they were conceived . The players mentioned in the article are trying to break the in game monopolies rather that exploit technical issues as a fast track to success.

    I think they've done wonders to hold onto their vision and become successful. I hope future developers see the value of such risk, but I understand why so few take the risk. I'm disappointed in myself I've just never been able to get into EVE, I wish CCP would do something essentially land based with the same mentality.

     

  • EmeraqEmeraq Medical Lake, WAPosts: 927Member Uncommon

    What is it about Sandbox that players feel is so vastly different than what they feel is the more" linear  or hand holding" MMORPG?

     

    A lot of players compare the sandbox open world mmo they are looking for to The Elder Scrolls and as such I'm currently trying my hand at Oblivion, Skyrim and (non TES) Two worlds two to see why. Aside from the classless,  build your own class via skill point system, and being able to go anywhere, (unless a specific key is required to unlock something, which generally requires completion of a quest), you still have your fetch and deliver quests, you still have your kill X of this quests, (will explain below), you still have your collect trophies from mobs type quests, you still have your quest hubs, and as far as I can tell you still have your 'forced' completion of quests to advance the main storyline. 

     

    Classless-Build your Own: 

    I enjoy the "more you use it the better you are at it" approach found in the TES titles to advance your skills, it doesn't really work that way in Two Worlds two, it's more of a point buy system but still a decent approach. So I'll give sandbox/open world the nod over basic classes... But you have to admit that they still incorporate regular levels (both Oblivion and Skryim do as does Two Worlds 2) and even if they didn't the fact that skills increase in point or percentage increments is still a form of leveling, so you can toss your no levels in open world/sandbox out the window because it will always exist in one form or another.

     

    Go Anywhere, any time you want:

    I've not finished any of these titles but I'm pretty sure that in all three games that I'm trying that I've run into areas I can't access without the appropriate key, or quest  driven/story advancement. (Skryim and Two Worlds Two for sure I've run into areas I can't access till later and I'm pretty sure I've found the same to be true in Oblivion)  Now maybe the limitations are few and far between, but it still disproves the notion that you can go anywhere at any time you want.

     

    Fetch and Deliver:

    I've had plenty of these in all three titles I've found, from finding a claw and bringing it back in Skryim, a book in Oblivion, Medications in Two Worlds 2, this is just a regular part of questing. (And really what types of quests aside from gather, deliver, or kill can you have in a game?)

     

    Kill X:

    Now this is generally more disguised by the developer in the quest objectives, but if you are sent anywhere by a quest giver, to exact revenge, etc. You generally have to elminate every enemy in the outpost, fort, cave, etc to complete the objective. And whether it be 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30, I've found there's a set number of enemies to be killed. They may not tell you how many in the quest log, but the fact remains that they are numbered. And if you don't complete it right away, the ones you have killed do not respawn, keeping it at that numbered quantity of required kills to complete the objective.... 

     

    Collect Trophies from Mobs:

    I've seen this to a lesser extent than the standard MMORPG but quest givers will require animal parts/trophies in both Skryim and Two Worlds two. I can't recall whether I've had any in Oblivion yet, but I think I have.... It's just standard quest fare, as mentioned above what can you really expect in quest innovation?

     

    Advancing the main story:

    I've found in all three titles that in order to advance the games story, and progress toward 'end game' if you will, that you still have to go here or there and talk to him or her, in order for the story to advance... 

     

    Granted in all of these things, you can do them on your own time schedule, but the fact remains they exist in a similar form in the themepark MMO's.

     

    So, I'll ask again, what makes a sandbox MMO THAT much different from a themepark MMO?

     

     

     

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,633Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Emeraq

    What is it about Sandbox that players feel is so vastly different than what they feel is the more" linear  or hand holding" MMORPG?

    It's a different approach to both how the game is played and how the development continues. 

    To start, themepark features are scripted content, whereas sandbox features are toys and tools. Developers create sandbox content with the intent of seeing how the players use it and building up that content or additional content based on how it is used. Themepark content is designed to be used a specific way, and it is done so to maximize the experience when one plays through the content.

    Housing is a great example of content that differs greatly depending on the approach taken. 

    In some MMOs, the player owned structure is simply a variation on the quest hub system. Players do quests or reach milestones to obtain or unlock items for their houses. In that scenario, the focus of further development is solely more quests, unlocks and store items to facilitate the use of that hub. In other MMOs, the player owned structure is usually part of a player owned area, and its functionality is dependent on how the player looks to use it. UO, EVE and Free Realms are examples of this. The players tailor what they build and how they build it to accommodate their social, combat and utility needs or interests. In each of those games, the devs watched how players chose to use the content and built further functionailty to support how the players chose to use it. 

    Trade hubs are another example. In themepark-focused games, the trade hub is what the developers decided it will be, and any efforts to establish any other location would be directly working against the system to do so. Even then, it is extremely unlikely the devs will change the location because the game is designed around trade hub being at location X. In sandbox-focused games, at any given point, the trade hub is where the players chose the trade hub to be. In UO, it was Trinsic and Britannia for the longest time, then shifting to Luna when the players found that a more effective trade hub to play/adventure/sell from. In EVE, the players had sevreal trade hubs they started forming, then gravitated heavily toward Yulai. As changes in travel routes came about,players shifted that to Jita. Someday they'll more than likely move again. The game is designed to allow players to make that choice and let's them define what will be the meeting place. 

     

    To be clear, I am not saying that either system is better than the other. They are two different apporaches to development. Vastly different.

     

    "you still have your fetch and deliver quests, you still have your kill X of this quests, (will explain below), you still have your collect trophies from mobs type quests, you still have your quest hubs, and as far as I can tell you still have your 'forced' completion of quests to advance the main storyline."

    You just describes the themepark content that may or may not be in a sandbox-focused game. You have no main storyline to advance in ATITD, UO, EVE or Free Realms. In some of those, you don't even have quests. 

    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

  • laokokolaokoko TaipeiPosts: 2,003Member

    The thing to me is game company isn't the most creative bunch and need to "copy" some model.

    When you have an "abstract" idea called sandbox, they don't know what to copy.  I mean there's a mech warrior version of Eve that other game company replica.  That is the kind of things game company need. 

    Another thing is as good as those "old timer" games are UO, SWG, people stop playing them(or failed to deliver good enough patch to sustain people).  If those games sustain more people more game company will probably try to replica it.

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,548Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by paulytheb

    You are preaching to the choir ,brother.

    I'll support your post just because you and I are sitting in the same boat.

    2nded.


  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Emeraq

    What is it about Sandbox that players feel is so vastly different than what they feel is the more" linear  or hand holding" MMORPG?

    It's the difference between starting the day with an unread book vs an unwritten journal.

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    One thing that is for certain (according to people on these forums): Developers are lazy, greedy, talentless, can't think for themselves morons who could care less about games or their playerbase. They can't keep their mind off of WoW and the greatness of WoW. They make their decisions bgased only on the success of WoW and/or how much cash thay can grab from the eager public. They are a souless bunch who will spend all of eternity burning in Hell.
  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    WoW was the Caesar Augustus. Now we are experiencing the rule of the Caligulas and Neros.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn belleville, ILPosts: 1,699Member Uncommon
    Actually pretty easy answer.  Cookie Cutter games make more money.  Until a good (as deemed by the masses, not hardcore sandboxers) one comes out and proves profitable, they won't make them.

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member

    As many have sead EVE is a AAA sandbox game.

    I started playing EVE in late beta first then from release to 2007 then after that sporadic logins.

    EVE back in 2003 were broke pretty unplayable if EVE has lauched today in the same way It would have died out within months.

    But EVE grew over the years and turned into IMO a AAA sandbox MMO.

    So if you don't have a problem with space games I suggest you try it out, and don't listen to people who says you need a spreadsheet to be able to play, I have never used it and still play the market to earn billions of isk, It was needed  for my ship losses in 0.0 on my main.

    But you do need time, you won't get anywhere with 1hour login here and 30min login there.

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Because sandbox MMO's don't sell as well and have crappy player retention, sans a few good examples. Also, devs like to meddle with crap they don't need to in sandbox MMOs and it pisses people off more often than making them happy.

    Nonsense. Former triple A MMO's like SWG, AC 1 had excellent retention and good sub. numbers for pre-WoW era. But you do have a point. Sandbox MMOs are not as profitable because it takes more development effort to make a proper sandbox MMO and the initial box sales is less (but retention higher).

    So in the current era of quick, short time profit, ThemeParks dominate the triple A MMO market. Their revenue is not all that different from single player games, with the added bonus of sub. fees and then future F2P conversion to squeeze the last cent out of it.

    MMO's are big bussiness now, which means creating a good solid game with longetivity is secondary to high profit.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,620Member
    Originally posted by Torgrim

    As many have sead EVE is a AAA sandbox game.

    I started playing EVE in late beta first then from release to 2007 then after that sporadic logins.

    EVE back in 2003 were broke pretty unplayable if EVE has lauched today in the same way It would have died out within months.

    But EVE grew over the years and turned into IMO a AAA sandbox MMO.

    So if you don't have a problem with space games I suggest you try it out, and don't listen to people who says you need a spreadsheet to be able to play, I have never used it and still play the market to earn billions of isk, It was needed  for my ship losses in 0.0 on my main.

    But you do need time, you won't get anywhere with 1hour login here and 30min login there.

    Eve is what, 8 years old? You really think the OP, or any sandbox fan, are not aware of the only still successful sandbox MMO?

    But it does not matter how good a game or any media is, they dont last forever and few people can play the game game for several years.

Sign In or Register to comment.