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Sandbox and the player, can this even work?

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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Scot
    The real problem is that the more players play games where their hand is held the more they will expect that to happen. Any attempt at giving players a freedom to make their own decisions will just have the teens scratching their heads.

    We are not talking about decisions here. We are talking about simple but tedious tasks like find a NPC in this city. Just walk around and click on all of them. A 6 year old can do that .. but don't tell me that is fun.

    There is plenty of decisions in MMOs. What class to play? What spec? Play the meta-optimizing/therocarfting game.

    People just don't want trivial ones.

  • whilanwhilan Everett, WAPosts: 3,172Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by whilan
    Can you help me with X quest or where can I find X person?

    Many times in chat you'll see someone lost or asking how to do this or why they can't click on that, it's all seems like pretty simple stuff but people tend to get lost easy or don't want to figure out on their own how to do something.

    Because looking for a NPC is not fun for them? It is not hard .. how hard can it be to walk all over town and click on every NPC? But it is tedious, and no-fun activity.

    That is the issue.

    Back in the Might and Magic (first one) days, i draw my own map on graph paper, because there is no alternative. That does not make the game magically more fun just because you have to do more. It is easy, non-challenging and tedious.

    I much prefer mini-map and quest icons because i don't play MMOs to look for thing. I play MMO to combat things (and the combat better be fun & challenging).

    Which kind of shows my point, people don't want to look for things or try and figure it out because they consider it not fun to do these activities, they want to get to the action and it to be fun and challenging (nothing wrong with wanting something fun and challenging), which sandboxes tend not to focus on, there tends to be quite a bit of work (altering terrian, getting materials, building times, placements) just to get a point like a fort so you can do some PvP, assuming this is even the main focus of the game.

    There tends to be a lot of other "work" you need to do just to get to the result you want prior to doing this.  Assuming the player even bothers with attempting these "not fun" activities in the first place.

    Help me Bioware, you're my only hope.

    Is ToR going to be good? Dude it's Bioware making a freaking star wars game, all signs point to awesome. -G4tv MMo report.

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by whilan
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by whilan
    Can you help me with X quest or where can I find X person?

    Many times in chat you'll see someone lost or asking how to do this or why they can't click on that, it's all seems like pretty simple stuff but people tend to get lost easy or don't want to figure out on their own how to do something.

    Because looking for a NPC is not fun for them? It is not hard .. how hard can it be to walk all over town and click on every NPC? But it is tedious, and no-fun activity.

    That is the issue.

    Back in the Might and Magic (first one) days, i draw my own map on graph paper, because there is no alternative. That does not make the game magically more fun just because you have to do more. It is easy, non-challenging and tedious.

    I much prefer mini-map and quest icons because i don't play MMOs to look for thing. I play MMO to combat things (and the combat better be fun & challenging).

    Which kind of shows my point, people don't want to look for things or try and figure it out because they consider it not fun to do these activities, they want to get to the action and it to be fun and challenging (nothing wrong with wanting something fun and challenging), which sandboxes tend not to focus on, there tends to be quite a bit of work (altering terrian, getting materials, building times, placements) just to get a point like a fort so you can do some PvP, assuming this is even the main focus of the game.

    There tends to be a lot of other "work" you need to do just to get to the result you want prior to doing this.  Assuming the player even bothers with attempting these "not fun" activities in the first place.

    Yeah ... no disagreement here. It boils down to what players consider fun challenges.

  • klagmireklagmire fenton, MIPosts: 94Member

    Yes it can work.

    PVP- make it so all servers are the same. If you want to open world PVP- Flag/toggle yourself PVP on, dont want to PVPtoggle yourself PVP off! simple.

    As far as players not knowing what to do, I have always just given them the wikia and told them to look it up. I had to look it up to get a quest done. Takes like 5 to 10 mins. If they are not smart enough to check the content websites like wikia or others, they are not good enough to play a sandbox.

    Played:SWG(pre NGE/CU sucked)Yep its true, anyone who quit SWG because of the NGE/CU missed out on a much better combat system. DCUO, Fallen Earth, STO, The Secret World. Battlefield series. Planetside 2. Still playing SWG.

  • nerovipus32nerovipus32 dublinPosts: 2,735Member
    When i left college i got a job in customer service for a pharmaceutical company, it thought me how stupid the general public really are. So when it comes to games they have to develop for the lowest common denominator.
  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by whilan
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by whilan
    Can you help me with X quest or where can I find X person?

    Many times in chat you'll see someone lost or asking how to do this or why they can't click on that, it's all seems like pretty simple stuff but people tend to get lost easy or don't want to figure out on their own how to do something.

    Because looking for a NPC is not fun for them? It is not hard .. how hard can it be to walk all over town and click on every NPC? But it is tedious, and no-fun activity.

    That is the issue.

    Back in the Might and Magic (first one) days, i draw my own map on graph paper, because there is no alternative. That does not make the game magically more fun just because you have to do more. It is easy, non-challenging and tedious.

    I much prefer mini-map and quest icons because i don't play MMOs to look for thing. I play MMO to combat things (and the combat better be fun & challenging).

    Which kind of shows my point, people don't want to look for things or try and figure it out because they consider it not fun to do these activities, they want to get to the action and it to be fun and challenging (nothing wrong with wanting something fun and challenging), which sandboxes tend not to focus on, there tends to be quite a bit of work (altering terrian, getting materials, building times, placements) just to get a point like a fort so you can do some PvP, assuming this is even the main focus of the game.

    There tends to be a lot of other "work" you need to do just to get to the result you want prior to doing this.  Assuming the player even bothers with attempting these "not fun" activities in the first place.

    To me it is an issue of replayability.  I had a lot of fun making maps in older games but after a while it became just a rote activity and I was quite happy to automate it. 

    When I first played A Tale in the Desert, I loved all the little details that you had to pay attention to and all the work you had to do to build the facilities you wanted.  After the Tale reset, I went back and this time all those things seemed trite and tedious.  There just did not seem to be any replayability in those features for me despite the fact that I loved them the first time through. 

  • redcappredcapp brook, NYPosts: 722Member
    Your premise is essentially that newbie-friendly guidance systems and sandbox games are mutually exclusive, which is not true.
  • madazzmadazz A town, ONPosts: 1,564Member Uncommon
    SOOO many terrible threads on this forum for the past year or two. Cause you know... sandbox games can't work. That is why EvE only has two players, why UO was cancelled, and why Darkfall didn't earn enough money for a revamp /sarcasm.
  • DivonaDivona WellingtonPosts: 175Member

    It's like when smartphone came out. People wonder why we need such phone? They were thinking about the old that try to be smartphone, but just not up to the standard and leave bad taste in the mouth after using it. When iPhone and Android came out and reach it peak, people try it out and like what they have, they wondering how did they live without it.

    The problem is not in sandbox, but the design and polish of the game system in general. Many got put off by amount of text tutorials on how the game work when they actually want to play the game. If they skip the tutorials, they has no idea how to play the game. Sandbox also popular with it mad user interface, with so many windows and buttons, that put most people off too. Graphics and animation also low in quality in the old sandbox game, as mostly it indie developers, so that also put more people off. Now, imagine sandbox gets redesign by AAA company who actually know what they are doing.

    "People don't know what they want until you show it to them." - Steve Jobs

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon
    ibox, I can see it now, sandbox with designer flair. :)
  • Squeak69Squeak69 Colorado Springs, COPosts: 956Member

    I have two issue and two issue only with sandbox.

    1. I hate forced PvP, yes some time I enjoy it but at other I don't want to do it, in most sandbox games for some reason it is beleaved it has to be PvP or in some cases you can stay in safe areas but you cant do much in them. im sorryii like traveling around building crafting and tradeing I like the several aspect of sandbox ALOT, but knowing that I can be ganked by someone who is ether just a ass or simply says im a bandit its how I play so I go around killing everyone and normally do it to people who I have no chance of loseing t, this drives me nuts, and don't say it dousnt happen casue there is always a good chunk of people who do this.

    so in short cause I ranted, my first issue with Sadboxs is I don't like getting ganked when im minding my own bussness.

    2. the definition of sanbox, there is a split in the term sandbox, basicly being dose it mean player authorship or a game with a moldable world, I now this seems silly but I have tried a few games that where called sandbox and I found out there was no building aspect to it. you had crafting and the ability to go kill stuff that was it, this in my opion is not a sandbox it is a open world with no missions. or in another way its was a theme park that was to lazy to put in missions, and used the term sandbox as a excuse.

    so in brief I think sand box are games you can build in not mission less open world.

    F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used toimage
    Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  • ro8terro8ter Phoenix, AZPosts: 23Member

    This is a sandbox

     

     

    We've all used one.  It's pretty simple.  Only the rules of physics apply.  Easy to learn, difficult to master.

    The only game that comes close to a sandbox is Minecraft, imo.

  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,084Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Squeak69

    I have two issue and two issue only with sandbox.

    1. I hate forced PvP, yes some time I enjoy it but at other I don't want to do it, in most sandbox games for some reason it is beleaved it has to be PvP or in some cases you can stay in safe areas but you cant do much in them. im sorryii like traveling around building crafting and tradeing I like the several aspect of sandbox ALOT, but knowing that I can be ganked by someone who is ether just a ass or simply says im a bandit its how I play so I go around killing everyone and normally do it to people who I have no chance of loseing t, this drives me nuts, and don't say it dousnt happen casue there is always a good chunk of people who do this.

    so in short cause I ranted, my first issue with Sadboxs is I don't like getting ganked when im minding my own bussness.

    2. the definition of sanbox, there is a split in the term sandbox, basicly being dose it mean player authorship or a game with a moldable world, I now this seems silly but I have tried a few games that where called sandbox and I found out there was no building aspect to it. you had crafting and the ability to go kill stuff that was it, this in my opion is not a sandbox it is a open world with no missions. or in another way its was a theme park that was to lazy to put in missions, and used the term sandbox as a excuse.

    so in brief I think sand box are games you can build in not mission less open world.

    Not every sandbox forces you to pvp, WURM Online is a true sandbox mmo that actually has different servers pvp&pve.

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  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,084Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ro8ter

    This is a sandbox

     

     

    We've all used one.  It's pretty simple.  Only the rules of physics apply.  Easy to learn, difficult to master.

    The only game that comes close to a sandbox is Minecraft, imo.

    And Wurm Online outshines mc imo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueIzp5w2QzY

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  • WarleyWarley Jackson, MIPosts: 376Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by whilan
    Originally posted by maplestone
    Originally posted by whilan

    I again don't want to think the player is stupid that they can't figure it out, it might be that the mass public of MMO gamers may not be ready for something so directionless with no guide just yet as a full on sandbox.

    Minecraft has sold 11 million copies, making it the 5th-highest selling PC video game of all time (give or take some quibbling over how accurate some old numbers are - WoW is quoted at 10 million sales on those same lists).

    I find it hard to rationalize a number that large against your hypothesis that the mass public isn't ready to live in a sandbox.

     

     

    i'm not sure how many of these 11 M copies are active people, boxes sold does't tell us how many stayed, a lot of people can buy a product because it's the new thing and drop it shortly there after because they get frustrated with it, as i pointed out could be the problem later on.

    I will grant you Minecraft has garned quite a bit of a following but there is also a off-line mode that people play as well, so many people could have bought it for that reason because they like creating works of art in a game world.

    How much of the MMO crowd (those that seek to play with others on a daily basis) actually play the game in an MMO sense is the question, also with no link to the site i can't tell what length of time we are considering when comparing WoW with Minecraft in this instance if it's all time sales of all expansions I'm pretty sure that 10M sales for WoW is going to be off by quite a bit.

    However this isn't about so much how many people buy a game but the mentality of the player and can a sandbox game work with that mentality. Which just because a lot of people buy a game doesn't show they actually stayed or understood it enough to warrant continue running of the game.

    Decent point on sales shows interest not sure it counters the point or proves sandboxes will work though with the normal MMO crowd.

    Minecraft is immense online and offline. I see servers as big as 3k+ people, with hundreds around 400 - 500+ people, and thousands with 50 - 100+ people. These are online servers. Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world, both online and offline.

    The game proves that you don't need top end graphics to be successful. You need top end, deep gameplay. What's even more ironic about Minecraft is that you can -and often do- lose your stuff when you die. You have no quests, no direction when you start, and no in-game guide to help you when you build stuff. 

    Minecraft isn't even just a fad.  It's a couple years old now and is still massively popular. At the e-commerce business I do Web development work for Minecraft themed products sell just as well as Disney and better than well known brands such as Mario and Zelda.

    It's funny, but Minecraft actually shows how massively out of touch executives and big companies are. They only can see and understand polish and sparkles, and don't understand the reason why their games often fail despite having great graphics is they're simply polishing turds. The only developers that do things similar to Minecraft are other indies, and even these clones do relatively well.

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