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My favorite games have always been those that feel like a world, It doesn't matter if it is a themepark or sandbox, I just want the fantasy world to be believable to me, which personally, heavily involves visuals. If there is a floating ship, make it have some wings, or a mechanism that can make it fly, heck all you have to say is "magic" but give me a reason to believe it can really fly.
All that is required to translate the feeling of immersiveness is to make me understand the world you have created, this is where my problem with player created content lies. I love the idea of being able to build a house, a town, or a castle with my mates within the world, but I also want the building to be believable to me in context with the world I am playing in. More often than not, players create, and abandon...or they create the most goofy looking buildings which for me ruin immersivness. Minecraft is a popular game, and I actually enjoyed playing it when I did, but this is the perfect example of what happens when you give players freedom to create the world...perhaps it is a reflection of human nature, but the worlds are often chaos.
How can devs give players the freedom to create their own guild towns/cities, while limiting the amount of absurd creation that usually happens?
I propose this idea for a sandbox type game: This game would fit into the F2P trend we are seeing now, but players have the option to buy land in the game world (this could be a designated area or the whole world) with real money, this is how the game would make its profit. Players would have a monthly fee for how much land they own so that if you want to pay 5 dollars a month for your own personal plot, you can, or if you want to build a whole city (split the cost between friends?), you would end up paying more. The concept of this is to deter players from starting the game and building whatever they want with no consequence, and hopefully leaving the players that want to create something meaningful to do so. It's the players choice to build or not, so a player that has to pay a monthly fee only to build a huge dick on the map (seen it happen) might not think its worth it.