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Is there something the Sandbox genre can do better at?

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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Better showcasing and recording of player impact on the game world. One of the biggest features of a sandbox-focused MMO is the one that seems least served by most developers - the history written by the players. Single-shard universes (ex: ATITD, EVE Online) would benefit greatly from putting such content on display for several reasons:

    • Universal relevance - The entirety of the playerbase is affected by it and, if we take into account the butterfly effect, had some hand in creating it.
    • An involvement resource - Many players want to take part in the sandbox gameplay but are either unsure how or simply don't know what is currently happening.
    • It answers The Freedom Question - A lot of sandbox-focused MMOs like to pitch that players can impact the game world, but they rarely say HOW. For the sandbox-curious or the new player, a timeline of sorts is a great way to show how, especially in the case of the more established sandbox-style games because it also helps to dispell the myth that new players cannot impact the game world in older MMOs.
     

    Sometimes the chronicling of history is done by the devs, but it usually is in such a manner that it's not readily digestible or unclear that it isn't fiction. In most cases, there often is no single place a player can go for a clear answer as to what the latest major events are or what is currently playing out in-game.

    Some MMOs put the history on a wiki. Game wikis are great for looking up information, but they are bland, limited in functionality, and they don't seem to do justice to what is one of the biggest selling points of sandbox-focused MMOs.

     

    Some examples of player-created timelines.

     

    Now imagine a dev-created resource in-game or on the main website (interactive, preferrably) where players could see or even update the history, emergent gameplay, politics, shifts in power, player venues, momentous events, etc.

    http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/The_Book_of_EVE

    That link is a great example of what I was saying above; thanks for posting it!

    • Chronicling by the devs in such a manner that it's not readily digestible or unclear that it isn't fiction.
    • There's no clear answer as to what the latest major events are or what is currently playing out in-game.
    • Game wikis are great for looking up information, but they are bland, limited in functionality, and they don't seem to do justice to what is one of the biggest selling points of sandbox-focused MMOs.

    Try downloading the PDF please ^^' (in EVE there are no major events, at least not in the sense that "oh yeah this shit was big!" because in the grander scheme of things you donno what else is coming down the pipeline and what impact it would have on you, as a gamer with set goals in the sandbox of EVE, ergo major events do not exist as a universal constant, some events might be major to you, say the begining of Sansha's incursions, but to me it's just a annoying little event that crops up every now and then in my mission hubs) and as for devs telling the stories players live out... that's like asking a  war report how a soldier's life is, he/she might give a good idea but you'll never hear the full story.

    I'm very familiar with the Book of EVE. In addition to it being a great example of all of the issues presented above, the content in it ended three years ago... and it's 1,000 pages long. 

    "in EVE there are no major events..."

    As stated in my first post, the events I am referring to aren't dev events but player events. In EVE, those are the ones that shape and change the game world. Some individual examples would be:

    The Great War

    The Ubiqua Seraph assassination

    The Battle of Asakai

    Burn Jita

    Hulkaggedon

    Goons Disband

    Attack on Chribba's POS - this one is a beautiful example of not only the collaboration of players from all walks of EVE life, but also of the ripple effect the event had beyond the event itself.

     

    Some examples of sites that cover these player events would be:

     

    Shadowbane used to have a regular herald feature and an interactive dynamic map of the world on their site. A player interested in the latest politics, current balance of power, ongoing player venues (training towns, libraries, merchant cities, etcs) could go to the site and get this information. They could find out what was happening now in the world of Shadowbane.

    Ultima Online players could do the same at http://uo.stratics.com (as close to official as you're going to get since the main site is now just marketing and maintenance news), where the latest story, player events, tournaments and such are posted.

     

    To reiterate, I'm not saying that no dev records this kind of stuff, only answering the OP's question  - it's one area where sandbox games can do better.

     

     

    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

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    To improve the Sandbox genre, is there something that need to be improved? What can be done to improve the genre?

    That is a good question.

    I think sandbox games should try to be a bit more like P&P RPGs, and other P&Ps than D&D.

    I also think that sandboxes needs to add stuff for the casuals as well without detroying the game for the current crowd. To really afford running a AAA MMO a game needs to attract enough players and if you niche them too much that aint gonna happen.

    The question is just if you can please both crowds, I think you can but it is a hard balance.

    For one thing I think sandboxes needs to add a new serverset with more limited PvP as well as the usual FFA full loot. Maybe one where you only gets flagged in enemy terrain and instead generate random loot while keeping your stuff. That means the regular crowd still can play on their servers without any change while the casuals gets their more casual servers and the game gets in enough money.

    I also think that sandboxes needs to become better at PvE, most games now are so-so or worse.

    The siege part can also be improved to be more tactical. I am in favor of something similar to "Natural selections" commanders, a tactical view for a general and 2 fieldmarshalls so they can give orders and drop boosts/heals for each side.

    I would like a sandbox where you actually can play monsters and build a dungeon with traps and stuff in for your guild.

    Sandboxes are fun but they can become a lot better, the evolution more or less stopped after UO, Eve and Pre-CU SWG. But the real problem right now is that they cant generate enough players for someone really competent to make one, that is why Bethesda let Zenimax hire in Firor and made ASO a RvR themepark instead of a sandbox, they thought it have better chanses to get in money.

    If made right I think a sandbox should do well today anyways (Ok, Eve is doing well but twice or more of that).

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by haplo602

    You have a problem with the first part. Sandboxes mimic real life to a great extent and mundane and repetitive tasks are part of your daily life (work, school etc.). Even the themeparks get this wrong. You end in a gear/raid/quest treadmill in the end. Sandboxes usualy have the advantage of you picking the means to an end, themeparks do not.

    I see you've confused two terms: sandbox and simulation. Sandboxes don't need to simulate real life, simulations/simulators on the otherhand, are meant to simulate life.

    No, sandboxes do not have to simulate anything. All they need to do is be sandboxes.

    Agreed, sandboxes is more about player generated content and freedom. If it just was about doing menial tasks many more MMOs would be sandboxes.

  • NeherunNeherun St. MichelPosts: 278Member

    By giving people a real purpose. See DayZ, a perma-death game that is now in translation to MMO server architecture is thriving. Why? Because that sandbox gave players a goal; Survival. Doesn't matter what the red tape is, people will need it, otherwise they'll feel void in the world.

     

    image

  • WellzyCWellzyC Stillwater, MNPosts: 557Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    To improve the Sandbox genre, is there something that need to be improved? What can be done to improve the genre?

     

     

    um yeah....

     how about making one.

    The way mmo's were: Community, Exploration, Character Development, Conquest.

    The way mmo's are now : Cut-Scenes,Cut-Scenes, solo Questing, Cut-Scenes...


    www.CeaselessGuild.com

  • haplo602haplo602 Posts: 213Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by haplo602
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Like the Axehilt said, pretty much everything, but the worst of all is the moment to moment gameplay. They are mostly about doing arduous and mundane activities with few peaks of actual fun here and there. Often its not worth it all. The fun you may have in them is not worth the effort.

    I also think too many games have just too much unnecessary shit tacked on to them. "Ooh, but the flowers turn towards the sun!" -Nobody really gives a crap! Features like that are wasted manhours and resources. How can they concentrate on fluff like that when half the time the core gameplay already makes you want to stick toothpicks under your toenails and kick a wall?

    Make sure the game is fun and works before adding unnecessary shit.

    You have a problem with the first part. Sandboxes mimic real life to a great extent and mundane and repetitive tasks are part of your daily life (work, school etc.). Even the themeparks get this wrong. You end in a gear/raid/quest treadmill in the end. Sandboxes usualy have the advantage of you picking the means to an end, themeparks do not.

    I see you've confused two terms: sandbox and simulation. Sandboxes don't need to simulate real life, simulations/simulators on the otherhand, are meant to simulate life.

    No, sandboxes do not have to simulate anything. All they need to do is be sandboxes.

    Actualy my view is quite correct. In order for your character to live and evolve (gain experience and skills etc.) there has to be some training process in the game. This translates in a living simulation in scope of the game world. Otherwise there cannot be any evolution or time flow. And this is universal to every game with any kind of character progression.

     

    You might not like this simplified view but it does not make it any less true. 

     

    Notice I did not say sandbox games are simulations of real life, just that they mimic it to some extent.

     

     

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    Better showcasing and recording of player impact on the game world. One of the biggest features of a sandbox-focused MMO is the one that seems least served by most developers - the history written by the players. Single-shard universes (ex: ATITD, EVE Online) would benefit greatly from putting such content on display for several reasons:

    • Universal relevance - The entirety of the playerbase is affected by it and, if we take into account the butterfly effect, had some hand in creating it.
    • An involvement resource - Many players want to take part in the sandbox gameplay but are either unsure how or simply don't know what is currently happening.
    • It answers The Freedom Question - A lot of sandbox-focused MMOs like to pitch that players can impact the game world, but they rarely say HOW. For the sandbox-curious or the new player, a timeline of sorts is a great way to show how, especially in the case of the more established sandbox-style games because it also helps to dispell the myth that new players cannot impact the game world in older MMOs.
     

    Sometimes the chronicling of history is done by the devs, but it usually is in such a manner that it's not readily digestible or unclear that it isn't fiction. In most cases, there often is no single place a player can go for a clear answer as to what the latest major events are or what is currently playing out in-game.

    Some MMOs put the history on a wiki. Game wikis are great for looking up information, but they are bland, limited in functionality, and they don't seem to do justice to what is one of the biggest selling points of sandbox-focused MMOs.

     

    Some examples of player-created timelines.

     

    Now imagine a dev-created resource in-game or on the main website (interactive, preferrably) where players could see or even update the history, emergent gameplay, politics, shifts in power, player venues, momentous events, etc.

    http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/The_Book_of_EVE

    That link is a great example of what I was saying above; thanks for posting it!

    • Chronicling by the devs in such a manner that it's not readily digestible or unclear that it isn't fiction.
    • There's no clear answer as to what the latest major events are or what is currently playing out in-game.
    • Game wikis are great for looking up information, but they are bland, limited in functionality, and they don't seem to do justice to what is one of the biggest selling points of sandbox-focused MMOs.

    Try downloading the PDF please ^^' (in EVE there are no major events, at least not in the sense that "oh yeah this shit was big!" because in the grander scheme of things you donno what else is coming down the pipeline and what impact it would have on you, as a gamer with set goals in the sandbox of EVE, ergo major events do not exist as a universal constant, some events might be major to you, say the begining of Sansha's incursions, but to me it's just a annoying little event that crops up every now and then in my mission hubs) and as for devs telling the stories players live out... that's like asking a  war report how a soldier's life is, he/she might give a good idea but you'll never hear the full story.

    I'm very familiar with the Book of EVE. In addition to it being a great example of all of the issues presented above, the content in it ended three years ago... and it's 1,000 pages long. 

    "in EVE there are no major events..."

    As stated in my first post, the events I am referring to aren't dev events but player events. In EVE, those are the ones that shape and change the game world. Some individual examples would be:

    The Great War

    The Ubiqua Seraph assassination

    The Battle of Asakai

    Burn Jita

    Hulkaggedon

    Goons Disband

    Attack on Chribba's POS - this one is a beautiful example of not only the collaboration of players from all walks of EVE life, but also of the ripple effect the event had beyond the event itself.

     

    Some examples of sites that cover these player events would be:

     

    Shadowbane used to have a regular herald feature and an interactive dynamic map of the world on their site. A player interested in the latest politics, current balance of power, ongoing player venues (training towns, libraries, merchant cities, etcs) could go to the site and get this information. They could find out what was happening now in the world of Shadowbane.

    Ultima Online players could do the same at http://uo.stratics.com (as close to official as you're going to get since the main site is now just marketing and maintenance news), where the latest story, player events, tournaments and such are posted.

     

    To reiterate, I'm not saying that no dev records this kind of stuff, only answering the OP's question  - it's one area where sandbox games can do better.

     

     

    The Great War - not that important, the main opponents never settled their beefs with each other until over half a decade later when Goonswarm with the help of TEST finally eradicated IT alliance which was to be perfectly frank a shadow of BoB that survived the alliance wide assassination.

    The Ubiqua Seraph assassination - impressive but did not have much if any of an impact, clones people. As for the theft... those are by no means uncommon and hell one of the EVE-Online player run banks recently (think within the last 6 months) went "yo guys, sorry but your shit is now ours" and I recall the isk in that theft was over a trillion isk.

    The Battle of Asakai - major alliances derping each other, the only real kicker of that event was where it took place and why. No real long term effects on anyone besides involved parties (which to be fair were allot of parties).

    Burn Jita - Goonswarm being Goons, fun fact I was in Jita during the burn event dropping off loot in a Vengeance, the only thing that pissed me off was the insane time dilation which meant my usual trip within the system took 10 min instead of 6-7.

    Hulkaggedon - pretty much dead due to the exhumer/mining barge rebalancing and what it was was basically open season on those two ship types and sometimes missioners as well, someone did try to gank my tengu during a hulkageddon... easiest damn 2 intact plates I've ever made.

    Goons Disband - Mittani himself covered this as basically the previous leadership's crowning derp moment, short version: they forgot to pay the bills and their space got repoed, high sec, low sec and null sec everwhere else was not affected.

    Attack on Chribba's POS - Love Chribba as he's a decent guy in a game where most major players are jackals but if you think the attack had any impact on anyone besides involved parties you're stretching it.

     

    As I said major events are non-existent in EVE in terms of emergent gameplay as a smart player will have double hell even triple buffers so they don't end up flying an Ibis for 2 weeks getting money (I got 3 redundencies in isk earning potential and each of these redundencies has further backups). The true major events are GM led and while rare they still happen and their effects can be dictated by the players participating (if I am not mistaken the ships classes and types in Incursions were somewhat  influenced at least in terms of naming conventions by the defenders against the initial Sansha Incursions).

    image
  • cinoscinos LondonPosts: 963Member
    Originally posted by BitterClinger
    I don't have a real answer.  I can only think that the next successful sandbox MMO will either be hyper-niche or implement a lot of hand-holding for new players to get them into the meat of the game and the economy. Oh yeah, and drop the "sandbox = open world pvp" thing (unless you're going hyper-niche).

    Pretty much nailed my thoughts whilst I waited for the thread to load. :)

    No need for me to add more than a reaffirmation.

  • WraithoneWraithone Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 3,593Member Uncommon

    First off, you have to break the connection between forced PvP and the phrase "sand box".  In way too many people, the one implies the other.  That right there, auto niches any game that applies it.  I don't care what type of "new and creative" system the Dev's think they have come up with, if they include forced PvP, the game will auto niche.

    It has been demonstrated in game, after game, after game, that including forced PvP, always leads to an endless arms race between the Dev's and the Goonie types. Why? For the same reason that CCP (a VERY pro PvP company) has had to evolve Concord and the high sec rules of engagement.  To protect their business model. 

    That soaks up a lot of Dev time/talent and focus, that could be better applied to other areas of the game.

    Like it or not, there are a LOT of CareBears out and about, and their money is green. ^^

    Once that has been dealt with, then one can move forward with the other subsystems of the game.

     

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    To improve the Sandbox genre, is there something that need to be improved? 

    The sandbox.

    There are many things that could improve it. Some of those are talked about but haven't been implemented, others haven't been thought of.

    For those thinking the sandbox genre is fine as is........well, I think the condition of the vast majority of our current crop tell that story pretty well.

  • ElementoElemento McAllen, TXPosts: 62Member

    Here's what I don't get..

    Why can't a company just remake Ultima Online? Just remake a game loosely based on the Ultima Online formula with better graphics and all the sandboxers out there would be happy.

    Am I wrong?

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Wraithone

    First off, you have to break the connection between forced PvP and the phrase "sand box".  In way too many people, the one implies the other.  That right there, auto niches any game that applies it.  I don't care what type of "new and creative" system the Dev's think they have come up with, if they include forced PvP, the game will auto niche.

    It has been demonstrated in game, after game, after game, that including forced PvP, always leads to an endless arms race between the Dev's and the Goonie types. Why? For the same reason that CCP (a VERY pro PvP company) has had to evolve Concord and the high sec rules of engagement.  To protect their business model. 

    That soaks up a lot of Dev time/talent and focus, that could be better applied to other areas of the game.

    Like it or not, there are a LOT of CareBears out and about, and their money is green. ^^

    Once that has been dealt with, then one can move forward with the other subsystems of the game.

     

    What have you been on dude? Concord and high sec has been in-game since launch, the only thing they changed which affect "high sec rules of engagement" in the whole of EVE history has been the jump timer with cloak, in the early days if you jumped your ship would show up at the other gate even before you loaded onto that node ergo you could get popped before you even loaded but this was a change to the universal rules of engagement but overall the rules haven't changed much, they made them more easily understood with big red warning signs and a retard friendly "don't shoot shit in high sec/shoot shit in high sec" switch so people don't fall for griefing as much but the mechanics are the same for the most part (you steal someone's shit? they can shoot you for 15 min, someone shoots you? you have kill rights on them, etc,etc, all pretty much the same just that they put in more warnings on what to do if you like your ship).

    image
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    To reiterate, I'm not saying that no dev records this kind of stuff, only answering the OP's question  - it's one area where sandbox games can do better.

    The Great War - not that important, the main opponents never settled their beefs with each other until over half a decade later when Goonswarm with the help of TEST finally eradicated IT alliance which was to be perfectly frank a shadow of BoB that survived the alliance wide assassination.

    The Ubiqua Seraph assassination - impressive but did not have much if any of an impact, clones people. As for the theft... those are by no means uncommon and hell one of the EVE-Online player run banks recently (think within the last 6 months) went "yo guys, sorry but your shit is now ours" and I recall the isk in that theft was over a trillion isk.

    The Battle of Asakai - major alliances derping each other, the only real kicker of that event was where it took place and why. No real long term effects on anyone besides involved parties (which to be fair were allot of parties).

    Burn Jita - Goonswarm being Goons, fun fact I was in Jita during the burn event dropping off loot in a Vengeance, the only thing that pissed me off was the insane time dilation which meant my usual trip within the system took 10 min instead of 6-7.

    Hulkaggedon - pretty much dead due to the exhumer/mining barge rebalancing and what it was was basically open season on those two ship types and sometimes missioners as well, someone did try to gank my tengu during a hulkageddon... easiest damn 2 intact plates I've ever made.

    Goons Disband - Mittani himself covered this as basically the previous leadership's crowning derp moment, short version: they forgot to pay the bills and their space got repoed, high sec, low sec and null sec everwhere else was not affected.

    Attack on Chribba's POS - Love Chribba as he's a decent guy in a game where most major players are jackals but if you think the attack had any impact on anyone besides involved parties you're stretching it.

    As I said major events are non-existent in EVE in terms of emergent gameplay as a smart player will have double hell even triple buffers so they don't end up flying an Ibis for 2 weeks getting money (I got 3 redundencies in isk earning potential and each of these redundencies has further backups). The true major events are GM led and while rare they still happen and their effects can be dictated by the players participating (if I am not mistaken the ships classes and types in Incursions were somewhat  influenced at least in terms of naming conventions by the defenders against the initial Sansha Incursions).

    I don't know if you're simply stuck on the EVE thing or just looking to argue. If the former, I'm suggesting that sandbox-focused MMOs as a whole could benefit from creating a greater awareness of what the players are doing in the game world, as it not only showcases what the existing players have done but allows other players (new and old) to find out about and get involved in shaping the game world.

     

    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

  • SasamiSasami HelsinkiPosts: 326Member
    Originally posted by Neherun

    By giving people a real purpose. See DayZ, a perma-death game that is now in translation to MMO server architecture is thriving. Why? Because that sandbox gave players a goal; Survival. Doesn't matter what the red tape is, people will need it, otherwise they'll feel void in the world.

     

    Only that DayZ is hardly MMO in anyway or sandbox MMO at all. Infact new SimCity would be MMO on your point. Generally sandbox MMOs fail because they try to be life simulators, not games. Second Lifes with combat.

  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,085Member Uncommon

    Personally i think we are now entering the age of the hybrid MMO. The total making of themepark MMO's is slowing down with games like GW2, TESO and NeverWinter Online being three AAA games that are at the twiglight years of themepark MMO's.

    Yes GW2 has a following and TESO will have but these kind of games will be taken over by the hybrid storm that is coming.

    Of course you will always have theme parks but now we have games like ArcheAge,  EQNext and a few other hybrid MMO's coming through.

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  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Elemento

    Here's what I don't get..

    Why can't a company just remake Ultima Online? Just remake a game loosely based on the Ultima Online formula with better graphics and all the sandboxers out there would be happy.

    Am I wrong?

    The MMOs that try seem to go to one of two extremes - predominantly FFA PVP (Darkfall, Mortal Online) with little other content or predominantly world-building sim (Xsyon, Salem) with FFA PVP tacked on.

    One of the similarities between EVE Online and Ultima Online is that they both support what seems to be the most common division of combat PVP and the rest of gameplay which is - and this is going to sound like blasphemy to some - a portion devoted to combat PVP and the majority of the game supporting everything around it. When I say 'supporting' I mean actually making it so that the player who wants to smash rocks, pick flowers and bake bread without getting violently molested has a reasonable chance of doing so. In turn, those rock, flowers and loaves of bread fuel the PVP gameplay.

    I don't think many devs have actually tried that, and there are many ways to go about it. One of the most unique approaches is in Puzzle Pirates. Players choose the island they want to be a citizen of. They shop there, dock there, live, gamble and run shop there. Islands are occuied and controlled by armadas who wage wars to control the islands. Sinceit's an occupation model of territory control, the players who do not wish to engage in that level of gameplay are not kicked from their towns. Their stores aren't burnt to the ground and they aren't getting PK'd in the streets. More importantly, the new owners of the island have it in their best interest to keep the citizenry happy because if the taxes are too high or life there becomes 'stale' they will move to another island, reducing the revenue that the new occupiers receive from the island they fought for.

    The playstyles are separated, but they are dependent on each other. What this means is that the people who want to swashbuckle all day can do so, receiving the rewards of combat, PVP or otherwise. They are not pausing the activities they enjoy to grind through activities they don't enjoy. Likewise, the person that wants to run a shop can do so, supplying the combat players with the ships, swords, ammo, etc and don't have to grind through activites they don't enjoy to do so.

    It seems to me that to make a successful sandbox-focused MMO, developers would have to take one of two approaches that I don't think they're ready to take

    1. a predominantly PvE sandbox content (ex: Free Realms)
    2. an open world PVP-centric MMO is designed around only 20% or so of the playerbase actually PVPing and the rest of the playerbase engaging in activities that support the combat PVP with a certain degree of safety or additional mitigation within the open world PVP environment. (ex: EVE Online, Ultima Online,Puzzle Pirates)

     

    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

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Like the Axehilt said, pretty much everything, but the worst of all is the moment to moment gameplay. They are mostly about doing arduous and mundane activities with few peaks of actual fun here and there. Often its not worth it all. The fun you may have in them is not worth the effort.

    I also think too many games have just too much unnecessary shit tacked on to them. "Ooh, but the flowers turn towards the sun!" -Nobody really gives a crap! Features like that are wasted manhours and resources. How can they concentrate on fluff like that when half the time the core gameplay already makes you want to stick toothpicks under your toenails and kick a wall?

    Make sure the game is fun and works before adding unnecessary shit.

    And yet should you fail to include them you will see endless threads of complaint about this. The reason is that people will, by physiology, perceive the things you leave out and a sensory bell goes off. I imagine that when you create a landscape and the models on it you don't limit your color palette do you? The reason you don't is because the viewer would see the image as unrealistic and it would be rejected by the mind.

    This same effect happens with the experiences available within the game. If the options are very few, then a certain percentage of the players will be fighting against their own reality testing instincts. Yes, this is a subjective thing (for those players), but for those who suffer from this, games that do not allow for exploration (or mundane tasks to provide a contrast to combat) are nigh unplayable.

    I watch as my character in GW2 runs though plants and the plants move aside. Sure they don't get trampled under and stay that way, but I don't need that much. I think the trick is finding that balance between too focused, and too expansive.

     

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Loktofeit

    To reiterate, I'm not saying that no dev records this kind of stuff, only answering the OP's question  - it's one area where sandbox games can do better.

    The Great War - not that important, the main opponents never settled their beefs with each other until over half a decade later when Goonswarm with the help of TEST finally eradicated IT alliance which was to be perfectly frank a shadow of BoB that survived the alliance wide assassination.

    The Ubiqua Seraph assassination - impressive but did not have much if any of an impact, clones people. As for the theft... those are by no means uncommon and hell one of the EVE-Online player run banks recently (think within the last 6 months) went "yo guys, sorry but your shit is now ours" and I recall the isk in that theft was over a trillion isk.

    The Battle of Asakai - major alliances derping each other, the only real kicker of that event was where it took place and why. No real long term effects on anyone besides involved parties (which to be fair were allot of parties).

    Burn Jita - Goonswarm being Goons, fun fact I was in Jita during the burn event dropping off loot in a Vengeance, the only thing that pissed me off was the insane time dilation which meant my usual trip within the system took 10 min instead of 6-7.

    Hulkaggedon - pretty much dead due to the exhumer/mining barge rebalancing and what it was was basically open season on those two ship types and sometimes missioners as well, someone did try to gank my tengu during a hulkageddon... easiest damn 2 intact plates I've ever made.

    Goons Disband - Mittani himself covered this as basically the previous leadership's crowning derp moment, short version: they forgot to pay the bills and their space got repoed, high sec, low sec and null sec everwhere else was not affected.

    Attack on Chribba's POS - Love Chribba as he's a decent guy in a game where most major players are jackals but if you think the attack had any impact on anyone besides involved parties you're stretching it.

    As I said major events are non-existent in EVE in terms of emergent gameplay as a smart player will have double hell even triple buffers so they don't end up flying an Ibis for 2 weeks getting money (I got 3 redundencies in isk earning potential and each of these redundencies has further backups). The true major events are GM led and while rare they still happen and their effects can be dictated by the players participating (if I am not mistaken the ships classes and types in Incursions were somewhat  influenced at least in terms of naming conventions by the defenders against the initial Sansha Incursions).

    I don't know if you're simply stuck on the EVE thing or just looking to argue. If the former, I'm suggesting that sandbox-focused MMOs as a whole could benefit from creating a greater awareness of what the players are doing in the game world, as it not only showcases what the existing players have done but allows other players (new and old) to find out about and get involved in shaping the game world.

    -sighs- you do not get involved in changing or shaping the world, just like in real life, you set up your goals and then decide which way you wanna go (blowing through whoever is neccesary to get to your end goals or making friends along the way, friends that might be valuable assets later on). If your actions shape the world it is a secondary effect, if your goal is to effect change than good f-ing luck (you get "major" events which pop and sparkle and whatnot for your efforts if you're good, but you'll not really change anything by going for flashy fast results, you get results more often than not by just doing your own thing and yes that could mean you won't be catalyst of change but you could be one of the guys who instigate the catalyst).

    Sandboxes are more games of creating your own stories than shaping the game world, I keep hearing fears of Goonies ruining the game for PVErs, of breaking the game with loopholes, and whatnot so how shall I put this: if you don't stand up to bullies they'll take your lunch money everytime. What the hell is it with people these days afraid to stand up for themselves ? Goonswarm in EVE makes a point of never picking on small sturdy alliances because EVE 0.0 warfare is a war of attrition and goons know that in such wars their morale will be hit hard if they get bloodied by a smaller group than them (they never pick on small groups based on nationality for this very reason, christ mittani even stated he'd rather go to war with the russians as a whole group than face the main romanian alliance in-game, mostly because us romanians have a very fucked up mentality: we'll take allot of punishment while dealing pin pricks and not suffer much in the way of morale attrition).

     

    A sandbox gives players tools and the structure (mechanics, rules,lore, etc) to build their experience on their own and craft amazing stories that way. The lack of unrestricted PVP (but not without consequences) in a sandbox will leave you with so much less room for amazing stories, I mean how many things can you craft, how many monuments can you collectively raise without fear or need to defend it before you lose interest in the game? Not many, that's the genius of EVE, you can raise your monument and if you're smart enough it will endure (and this in no way constitutes world shaping, you merely plonked your flag down and what results is anyone's guess), if not you'll walk away either with a good Last Stand story and/or a vendetta to settle.

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  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by haplo602
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    I see you've confused two terms: sandbox and simulation. Sandboxes don't need to simulate real life, simulations/simulators on the otherhand, are meant to simulate life.

    No, sandboxes do not have to simulate anything. All they need to do is be sandboxes.

    Actualy my view is quite correct. In order for your character to live and evolve (gain experience and skills etc.) there has to be some training process in the game. This translates in a living simulation in scope of the game world. Otherwise there cannot be any evolution or time flow. And this is universal to every game with any kind of character progression.

     

    You might not like this simplified view but it does not make it any less true. 

     

    Notice I did not say sandbox games are simulations of real life, just that they mimic it to some extent.

    Now you've confused evolving with progress. Progress doesn't have to be training, it doesn't have to be experience. It doesn't even have to be tied to a single character or avatar. Whatever words you wrap around it, sandboxes don't need to mimic life - to any extent. You still confuse simulation with sandbox.

    Sandboxes don't have to mimic or simulate anything. What they should do instead is to be fun while doing what they do. Nothing in the definition of sandboxes suggest they have to include mundane and arduous tasks in them.

    A "gamey sandbox" shouldn't be beyond your imagination.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • Grimm666Grimm666 Thornhill, ONPosts: 126Member Uncommon

    In my opinion, I think the sandbox genre needs to get better at giving players a variety of options regardless of their playstyle or per-session playtime. While most sandbox games generally let the player do almost anything they want, I find that inevitably the "fun stuff" is based around being online for either a ridiculous amount of time, being lucky and logging on at the right moment or being well-connected enough to know when the major events will happen (and having free time at that moment).

    Themepark games have been moving farther and farther away from requiring players to have their free time revolve around the videogame. Outside of regularly scheduled weekly raids, I can't think of many themeparks that require you to be logged in at exactly 1pm on a Saturday afternoon to see an event. If I log into an MMO, I want to ask myself "I've got X minutes/hours. Should I do A, B or C in that time?" With sandboxes, I tend to login and say "I've got X minutes/hours, but there's a gank squad outside the city and it'll take 1-2 hours to get enough guildies online and gathered to help me out. Guess I'll just logout and play WoW instead."

    There's some exaggeration here, but my point is that in a themepark I can get fun out of it based on what I put into the game, but in a sandbox, I'm usually at the mercy of other players for entertainment, and players are a very unreliable source of fun.

  • haplo602haplo602 Posts: 213Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by haplo602
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    I see you've confused two terms: sandbox and simulation. Sandboxes don't need to simulate real life, simulations/simulators on the otherhand, are meant to simulate life.

    No, sandboxes do not have to simulate anything. All they need to do is be sandboxes.

    Actualy my view is quite correct. In order for your character to live and evolve (gain experience and skills etc.) there has to be some training process in the game. This translates in a living simulation in scope of the game world. Otherwise there cannot be any evolution or time flow. And this is universal to every game with any kind of character progression.

     

    You might not like this simplified view but it does not make it any less true. 

     

    Notice I did not say sandbox games are simulations of real life, just that they mimic it to some extent.

    Now you've confused evolving with progress. Progress doesn't have to be training, it doesn't have to be experience. It doesn't even have to be tied to a single character or avatar. Whatever words you wrap around it, sandboxes don't need to mimic life - to any extent. You still confuse simulation with sandbox.

    Sandboxes don't have to mimic or simulate anything. What they should do instead is to be fun while doing what they do. Nothing in the definition of sandboxes suggest they have to include mundane and arduous tasks in them.

    A "gamey sandbox" shouldn't be beyond your imagination.

    So in your view, a sandbox game just lets you shift sand from one part to another without any king of feedback or  influence on the kid playing in the sandbox.

     

    I'm having a hard time to imagine anything that would be remotely fun from what you describe. Care to describe an example ? 

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    Like the Axehilt said, pretty much everything, but the worst of all is the moment to moment gameplay. They are mostly about doing arduous and mundane activities with few peaks of actual fun here and there. Often its not worth it all. The fun you may have in them is not worth the effort.

    I also think too many games have just too much unnecessary shit tacked on to them. "Ooh, but the flowers turn towards the sun!" -Nobody really gives a crap! Features like that are wasted manhours and resources. How can they concentrate on fluff like that when half the time the core gameplay already makes you want to stick toothpicks under your toenails and kick a wall?

    Make sure the game is fun and works before adding unnecessary shit.

    And yet should you fail to include them you will see endless threads of complaint about this. The reason is that people will, by physiology, perceive the things you leave out and a sensory bell goes off. I imagine that when you create a landscape and the models on it you don't limit your color palette do you? The reason you don't is because the viewer would see the image as unrealistic and it would be rejected by the mind.

    This same effect happens with the experiences available within the game. If the options are very few, then a certain percentage of the players will be fighting against their own reality testing instincts. Yes, this is a subjective thing (for those players), but for those who suffer from this, games that do not allow for exploration (or mundane tasks to provide a contrast to combat) are nigh unplayable.

    I watch as my character in GW2 runs though plants and the plants move aside. Sure they don't get trampled under and stay that way, but I don't need that much. I think the trick is finding that balance between too focused, and too expansive.

    If you understand what the game tries to do and accept it, you shouldn't have any problems ever. I don't whine about not being able to build my own house and sell ammo in Battlefield. BF is not about that. It is precicely what the SWG fans did with SWTOR and Bioware was fairly open what their game was going to be like and what it was about.

    What GW2 did, it did it well. I was expecting more Guild Wars 2.0, but I get why they went for this. I don't need to whine, and whine, and whine how it turned out. It was exactly how they said it was going to be. Everyone had sufficient information available to them before purchasing. The game was a success. What more do you want?

    Again, I'd much rather play a game that does few things, but does them well rather than a game that tries to do many things, but everything poorly.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • DeVoDeVoDeVoDeVo Outhere, NCPosts: 94Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Wraithone

    First off, you have to break the connection between forced PvP and the phrase "sand box".  In way too many people, the one implies the other.  That right there, auto niches any game that applies it.  I don't care what type of "new and creative" system the Dev's think they have come up with, if they include forced PvP, the game will auto niche.

    It has been demonstrated in game, after game, after game, that including forced PvP, always leads to an endless arms race between the Dev's and the Goonie types. Why? For the same reason that CCP (a VERY pro PvP company) has had to evolve Concord and the high sec rules of engagement.  To protect their business model. 

    That soaks up a lot of Dev time/talent and focus, that could be better applied to other areas of the game.

    Like it or not, there are a LOT of CareBears out and about, and their money is green. ^^

    Once that has been dealt with, then one can move forward with the other subsystems of the game.

     

    What have you been on dude? Concord and high sec has been in-game since launch, the only thing they changed which affect "high sec rules of engagement" in the whole of EVE history has been the jump timer with cloak, in the early days if you jumped your ship would show up at the other gate even before you loaded onto that node ergo you could get popped before you even loaded but this was a change to the universal rules of engagement but overall the rules haven't changed much, they made them more easily understood with big red warning signs and a retard friendly "don't shoot shit in high sec/shoot shit in high sec" switch so people don't fall for griefing as much but the mechanics are the same for the most part (you steal someone's shit? they can shoot you for 15 min, someone shoots you? you have kill rights on them, etc,etc, all pretty much the same just that they put in more warnings on what to do if you like your ship).

     

    Didn’t they also change Concord’s response times and security penalties?

    http://community.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=577

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,672Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru

    -sighs- you do not get involved in changing or shaping the world...

    You point out another thing that sandbox devs could probably do better - show players the reach of their actions within the game world.

    The Chribba incident is a good example. A popular PvE player had stations of his that were under seige. He mentioned it on the forums to give people a heads up, and players from all around EVE showed up to help - miners, mercs, pirates, 'white knights', etc. Afterward, many of those players banded together for other objectives. To quote the article I linked in the prev post:

    Now the forces that banded together under Chribbas banner have started to go after other corps and alliances. If an alt was in CPR that is reason enough for them to dec whatever corp or alliance the ‘main’ lives in. Jonny 101 has spent 5250 mill of his own cash and 250 mill of donated to wardec the Privateer alliance. Sys-k has dropped IMM since they held another character common to Epi. (Or so it is claimed by the FoC [Forces of Chribba].)

    Has this ended? No, In Eve very few things end. The sand shifts and the tides change but there will always be the historical moment when the forces of Crime and Punishment stepped up to defend a pacifist. By Jonny’s measure “Bottom of the barrel “pvp” corp attacks Chribba. The elite of eve’s mercenary community and the worst pirates in the game band together to curbstomp them into the stone-age.”

     

    A lot of that may as well be written in cuneiform for the non-EVE player, but the net result is that the paths of many players changed as a result of that event. This in turn changed where some were based, what they flew, and the alliances (and enemies) they have. In a themepark-focused game, no matter how tumultuous or major an event is, it doesn't change the course of any players. They continue to the same zone they were headed to before the event and fight the same mobs with the same gear that they were going to fight and use.

    At CCP, we call this the Butterfly Effect. Call it whatever you'd like - butterfly effect, chaos theory, ripple effect, whatever. It's definitely a result of emergent gameplay and it is the reason why a good gauge of the amount of sandbox content in an MMO is comparing the history/path of different players. Greater divergence in their paths is usually an indication of more sandbox content.

     

    Your post definitely brings to light a big area where sandboxes could do better - creating more awareness of the real, reaching impact player actions have within the game.

     

    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

  • LyrianLyrian Posts: 295Member Uncommon

    The most important feature that a sandbox needs to to cultivate from the beginning of the game is an investment in your character and creating a desire to want to play. To have further goals than just capping out on levels and then gear progression. Which unfortunately the mass of our current games follow. Ideally there should be multiple avenues of advancement, both vertically, horizontally, and diagonally through all aspects of the game be it combat, crafting, pvp, housing, etc.

    The biggest thing that I feel separates the sandbox genre from the themepark genre is how the game treats you as a player. In All of the most recent games: SWTOR, GW2, Rift, and WoW. The NPCs of the world treat you like you are only person on the face of the world 'who can get crap done' This maybe done to a bigger or lesser extent in some games than others, those of you who enjoyed the Jedi Guardian storyline in SWTOR know what I'm talking about best (what do you mean you lost ANOTHER planetary super weapon?! WHY DO YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE?!). All of these games treat you like a super hero right from the start, and to draw a line from the Incredibles "When everyone is super. Then no one will be." Sandbox games put everyone on a more even level. You are one of the masses, YOU need to do something to make yourself well known, not simply play through the story. The best way I can see this happening is to get the players involved in the actual world. Players should be able to run towns, cities, even to go as far to rule nations (or form their own!). The rulers of these cities should have incentives to offer player quests and rewards for other players to fufill. I.e Too many wolves in the area causes the owner's trade revenue to drop by x% until the wolf population is lowered.

    The idea too that a sandbox world is storyless is a misconception too. EVE manages very well having an overall story arc and several smaller ones throughout the game here and there. That idea can be massively expanded to have multiple story arcs within different regions of the game that could play out in different ways depending on the player activity. If there is a zone or area of the game that is completely neglected, the local 'elements' should grow in power and consolidate themselves and eventually go forth and bother players until they are dealt with.

    I could go on and on with different sandbox ideas that I am sure have been thrown around here before. But it can be boiled down to simply being 'let me do what I want to do, and let what I want to do matter in the world.'

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