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Originally posted by DamonVile What are the great sandbox games ? EVE, SWG ......???
Age of Wushu, about 30 times the players as EVE world wide. It's been like this for nearly 3 years now.
Originally posted by nilden Originally posted by Loke666 Originally posted by InporylemQQ I don't think it being hard is the problem. The true sandbox crowd is just so so so much smaller that the typical theme park or sandpark fanbase is. It's not financially wise to make sandbox mmorpg's.
I doubt that. Singleplayer sandboxes are hugely successful, like Skyrim, GTA, Sims and so on...
The reason for that is that there are many well made single player sandboxes with very varying gameplay. With MMOs you have very limited choice (if you don't like Eve you have very little choice indeed). All MMO sandboxes are for example very PvP driven (nothing wrong with PvP based games but it is still a very limited choice).
A few good sandboxes that actually differs from eachother would open up the door, we MMO players will play any good game no matter if it is sandbox, themepark or something else.
And frankly is Eve still a sandbox and one of the larger MMOs out there and considering how old it is is that impressive indeed.
Any time someone claims there is no market for sandbox I roll my eyes.
I love Minecraft, but it's not exactly a sandbox mmo. Yes, it does show there is a market for sandbox, but I daresay that Minecraft has it's life extended heavily by mods, and the fact that a host can create their own server with their own rulesets.
I'm actually surprised more developers haven't started to go down this route. Create a game that is sandbox, but not hosted on an "official" single server. Allow folks to create their own spaces in these games and play by their own rules. Allow for modding that can heavily extend the life of the game, and support streamers and youtubers for your game.
A lot of the real issue with MMO today is nothing to do with sandbox. They are just not MMO anymore.
Because companies keep trying to cater to the perception that the gaming industry is populated by "want it now" child mentalities, the majority of games no longer have any real MMO content regardless of their theme.
There really is no MMO as such now. The genre has regressed to the C-MUD level of solo play, IE with many players all playing solo, and the social element of team play is so deprecated that people new to MMO's generally perceive them to be inferior to standalone games with better graphics and more in depth content.
MMO always was and still is about playing with other people and the excitement of cooperative teamwork. It's easy to simulate that with PvP but so many people get bored playing the same football match that the industry is killing itself with the cheap PvP solution.
Many MMO gamers are really Pioneer spirited and want to conquer the environment with other People (not just their pet or other game supplied robots). When you don't give them that level of challenge, they just drift back to your standalone, solo play game.
ESO is a classic, current example. Morrowind was a better game. It has dated graphics but better in your face atmosphere. And, many current MMO's are just as bad. What point in playing an MMO that is just a sad facsimile of a better game? MMO has to have something extra, not much less.
There is the kids' level MMO which is basically a global chat zone with brainless idiots talking crap. There is the early adult level which encourages more interactive play. There is the mature adult level that emphasises teamwork and cooperation.
Each of those is viable. Unfortunately, most games today try to cater to all three and cannot.
The only games, recently, that have tried to break that mold were AoC and TSW. With adult levels of content and immersion they could have worked, had they not both watered don their content level in one way or another. When they diluted their adult population with appeal to the younger market, they lost their niche.
I think MMO's now, to be successful in a game crowded market, have to specialise and begin with a smaller game environment to start with and, as the OP points out, should focus more on good game mechanics than on huge amounts of content.
I think that we, the gaming population of whatever age, are bored with no need for cooperation, cheap quest lines and easy victories, and that it is high time that FunCom, NC or some other hold the line company made us a game intended for intelligent players.
It should be easy to come up with a new decent MMO:
1) Include world building
2) Make sure the MMO has artistic merit, that goes to show that the devs care about the world, the lore, the gameplay and the game mechanics.
3) Innovate on a genre
It is worth noting that none of these points has anything to do with networking issue which otherwise might have devs all annoyed, indifferent or maybe left clueless.
WOW (10 days and quit) | EVE (1000 days and quit) | WOT(playing on and off) | LOTR (5 days and quit)
Sandbox is a pie-in-the sky concept that is appealing on paper and in our imaginations but is thoroughly thrashed when you put thousands of other people in the world.
Making a sandbox is easy. Finding ten people that can agree on what a sandbox is becomes a nightmare. If you put the freedom that some folks want into a game, it allows for them to destroy the experience of others. The developers build in checks and balances, suddenly half say it's not a sandbox anymore.
Building a sandbox is a lose-lose scenario and a good way to set fire to millions of dollars of cash.
I don't think it's difficult to make a great sandbox MMO, I think it's difficult to get people to stop asking for all the features WoW has.
The challenge is that the bulk of the MMO playbase doesn't want to make their own fun, nor find their own answers. They DO want hand holding regardless of how much they state the contrary.
Originally posted by Nemesis7884 Originally posted by willbonney Quit complaining and go play Darkfall: Unholy Wars for free. May 1st to the 5th. linkage
imo darkfall is no mmo in a persistant living world - its simply a pvp arena
Thus illustrating the difficulty in making a "Good" sandbox.
There is massive amounts of disagreement over what that entails. Each player has his own preferences, which are often at odds with what other players are looking for.
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin
Writing a video game in general is a difficult process. Writing an MMORPG is an order of magnitude more difficult than writing a single player or even a small scale multiplayer game. So yes, writing a good sandbox MMORPG is that hard because writing an MMORPG in general is that hard.
It's not enough to have an idea of how a sandbox should work, a developer has to have all the little nitpicky details nailed down and they have to be able to revamp them based on what the players do too. Sure, it seems like writing a game that simulates a lot of stuff would work better than a game where the developer has to explicitly define and run things, but simulation still requires the developer to define and run things, only they have a lot less control over the outcomes.
For instance, you could simulate players arriving in an area and killing some animals, who might respond by running away, or breeding faster, and if all the animals are wiped out just spawn in new animals where players can't see them and have them run into the area. You don't even need graphics for this. You could use something like SimPy. Then mess around with the variables, like how long it takes for the players to kill the mobs, how long how many players enter the area, etc. The thing is, you have no idea how many actual players would show up, or how efficient they'll become at killing the mobs. All the careful simulation can easily become a typical theme park because players kill the mobs so fast that they are just spawning into the area and being killed so fast that they never run away and never migrate.
You can go in the opposite direction, like Eve, where very little happens in the world itself and everything is directed by the players, but then if you don't have PvP the game is likely to stagnate because the world isn't going to drive any activity.
None of this sounds all that simple when you have to account for all the things that players might do, as well as all the things you want them to do.
I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.
Originally posted by fivoroth There are no sandbox games except for UO which is ancient history and arguably eve if you consider that to be sandbox. How do people know that sandbox mmos will be that much better if we have never had any of them? Are you guys talking about your fantasies hoping that some day they might see the light of day?
IMO, people GENERALLY don't know what a sandbox even is. Quite honestly, if you read what people complain about on these forums, even in threads about sandbox games, I really doubt that anyone is really looking for a sandbox. IMO people want a better themepark. They want more freedom in their themepark (like climbing up the ladder beside the rollercoaster), but they don't want a sandbox per se.
This is how I see the typical conversation going between a sandbox gamer and a "sandbox gamer"
"SBG": What you doin?
SBG: Playing Rust.
"SBG": Awesome! I love sandbox games!
"SBG": Yeah man! So what are you doing?
SBG: Just collecting some wood and berries before it's dark.
"SBG": Cool! Are you like making some potions for a raid or something?
SBG: There are no raids.
"SBG": World Boss?
SBG: No World Bosses.
"SBG": Dungeon? Public Dungeon?
SBG: Nope and nope. Just need to eat something so I don't die.
"SBG": Oh........ Soooooooo, when are you going to do some PvP? Raid a village or something?
SBG: I can't do that right now. I need to build shelter first.
"SBG": Yeah! With some turrets and mines and stuff!!!
SBG: No, just some place I can sleep so nothing can eat me while I'm sleeping.
"SBG": Oh........So.....This game is stupid.
----------------Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - USTankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US----------------
Originally posted by Nemesis7884 I thought it would be a lot easier cause you can focus on perfecting the mechanics rather than threadmilling new content...they say the definition of insanity is do the same things over and over again expecting different results - but thats what we are basically getting in the mmo world for years... Why are there all kinds of sandboxes in the zombie genre but non in the fantasy (mmo) department? Why is it so difficult for devs to simply look at existing games, look at the stuff people love about them and the features they dont like and then simply combine the best stuff of them all? for example archeage has good sandbox featuers but bad combat and questing eso has good combat but no sandbox features tsw has good quests and an interesting skill system but no sandbox features and a boring combat package all that together and use something like minecraft as the basis of it and you got yourself an interesting sandbox game You dont even need to invent new fancy shit - just copy the best parts of other games??? Instead of improving and collecting on the best stuff thats out there - devs focus on new content and invention where non is required...a themepark mmo with fancy features is still the same old themepark mmo where you run through quests...ESO is a good themepark mmo - but even the best volkswagen is no ferrari - it simply will never be...
I think you're asking the wrong questions (though my assumption that you're asking the wrong questions could be, well, wrong).
What is the "accepted" definition of a Sandbox MMO?
Is it profitable to make said Sandbox MMO?
I don't think it's difficult to make one but it certainly is difficult to define one and possibly even harder to find an audience to pay for and play one. The generally acceptable assumption is that the market wants a Sandbow MMO. Maybe it's an incorrect assumption?
Yes, it is hard to make a good sandbox.
Many people will disagree when I claim that wow for example is quite sandboxy.
Yes it is level and quest driven, but they were very clever to implement lots of fluff and side stuff for players to do and keep all kinds of classes entertained.
Ideally a sandbox game lets me play what I want and gives me lots of choices what to do.
Of course it hard ... you need large fund and have to gather people who know how to put things together to make an MMOGame.
If it easy to make like pen&paper games then we ready have a lots of mmos now.
I thought we are talking about mmorpg's here
ArcheAge, Black Desert and Bless videos InporylemQQ Youtube
I know, whenever anyone mentions Minecraft == typical sandbox I roll my eyes also. It's basically like saying, "WoW has 8 million subscribers, so we just need to do exactly what they do and we'll also have 8 million subscribers." Or substitute WoW for any other anomalous game which represents a single game, basically, dominating every other game in the marketplace (GTA, COD, etc).
IMO, sandbox MMOs are basically riding on the success of EQN. Otherwise, I'd say we'll never see another attempt at one.
Originally posted by Ramanadjinn The real difficulty in this thing isn't the mechanics or sandbox features or what the players say or any of this philosophical junk. The difficulty is funding. If you want a game with the budget of SWTOR you want to be able to say you'll have the initial sales of SWTOR. If you want to blame anyone, blame SOE and everquest imo.
Yeh .. it is always about supply and demand.
If there is demand, there will be a way.
I really get the impression the movers and shakers in the industry don't truly know what people want. There's offerings like SWTOR, WAR, and now ESO that were vain moves to capitalize on the momentum of a game's IP. I also wonder if they think a persistent MMO will be hard to price and market as a sandbox. I started in the EQ generation, and it was always a hope of mine to see that sort of game get a graphical and mechanical upgrade. This didn't happen, much to my dismay.
Perhaps the powers that be saw the success of the WoW-inspired efficiency model, a model that wasn't there in Vanilla, and realized it was better for profits. It's really hard to say why games make such bad decisions, especially when looking at combat. It could be one of economics and budgets, so they choose between sandbox features and combat. I get the impression that development costs are skyrocketing and the market is incredibly fickle, so there isn't an economical way to approach the desire for worlds over themeparks.
ESO is a great mistake, it's a tragedy IMO. For many people, it's the game no one asked for and it would have taken a miracle to pull off what people wanted. For myself, I want the whole of Tamriel explorable as a coop game. I wanted all of the factions presented in the other games, with more detail. I wanted raids in the planes of Oblivion, I wanted expansions to Akavir. This will never happen. Because of that, I can't bring myself to play the game. If it had any other title on it, I could be less hateful towards it.
It's interesting you're suggesting copying the best parts of other games - I feel like that's the trend of the industry. Guild Wars 2 and Wildstar are both great examples of this. Wildstar is extremely aware of the successful ideas seen in other games and is implementing that with their own twist. Still, we hear the same cry that every game is the same. In truth, there's only so many ways to approach a system while adhering to the genre and the expectations of both consumers and investors.
The hard part is getting people to even agree what a sandbox is. Define what a sandbox actually is and then look at the feature set it would need.
Once you have defined that is the audience actually there? On this site sure, but in the mainstream, well PvP sandboxes tend to be pretty niche, PvE ones? well have we had one of those recently?
Its all well and good calling for Sandboxes, but what is a sandbox? until the players know what is they are asking for, it will be hard to get developers and publishers behind it.
Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.
Apparently it's harder to achieve than the Apollo missions. We seem to live in an age where technology somehow seems to be ahead of where it actually is.
There is also no money or time to devote to such features because you have to devote your time to the WoW core concepts so that people can leave the game in droves in two months.
Then there are the religious prohibitions against it: Thou shalt not make a game in the image of something that was less solo/console/handholding. The demographics of now, and two years from now, are ever pointing toward the kind of player who only wants the most ephemeral game experience with no learning curve or disparity of achievement among players.
Homogenists of the world unite!
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar People don't like it when impacting the world includes other people impacting them. People don't like to bee limited or even having to depend on other people.
That's the paradox of multiplayer sandboxes. People want to play them for the freedom but having to interact with other players automatically reduces that freedom in one form or another.
I love sandboxes and have spent hundreds of hours in single player sandbox games. However, multiplayer games tend to limit my freedom in such ways that the games do not feel like sandboxes. eg. I cannot play EVE because the game restricts my freedom in such ways that it becomes unplayable.
Doing a decent to good sandbox MMO ain't that hard. The problem aren't the players (which might sound surprising to most), it's actually the Devs / Pubs fault. Now, I'm not saying we should get WoW clones, but the Pubs really need to start paying attention and do what Blizzard is doing ever since the release of WoW. Blizzard has 1 MMO under their belt for over 10 years now and is sitting at the top of the mountain as being the best MMO with the most population, and for a P2P that is truly something to brag about and my hat goes off to Blizzard.
The problem I have now, is taking companies like Trion, Gpotato, NCSoft, Nexon, Aeria Games, Perfect World (All branches), Snail Games, R2 Games, SOE, Turbine, I can name more but I'm forgetting. Imagine if all these Devs/Pubs would of sticked to one project instead of releasing 5-6-7-8+ titles that look pretty much the same? We'd be having a game list on this site of about 40 GOTY instead of 200+ in which 190 are crap. All the companies I've mentioned in this paragraph have titles that over lap on each other and stealing one's other player base. Ragnarok, which was one of the best titles back in the day had the name ruined with Ragnarok 2 which looks like ROSE online / FLYFF. NCSoft had LineAge going their way but decided to release 5-6 titles that look alike. Nexon on the other hand, I shouldn't be putting Nexon in this paragraph but I am, but they do have some good things going their way, having Maple Story and Atlantica Online, 2 way different MMOs but Atlantica Online needs you to have a base salary of a Yankees baseball player to be able to fully pull in the potential the game has to offer.
All in all, after playing over a hundred MMOs for 20 years, WoW is by far the most complete and the most popular game because it is the only major release by Blizzard, so every resource heads to WoW.
While games in the 2nd paragraph are getting no where near the updates WoW is getting, only because the crew is sprayed thin to work on 6-7 titles.
My only hope from this point on, are when the indie titles start releasing, that the indie Devs will work on their dream project and not start releasing new titles year after year to the point where their first title gets abandoned and we are back to square one. And yes I've got my eyes on you Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. And I've got my eyes on the Torchlight MMO, but that's a story left to be told for 2017-2018.
Short answer : No! Is not THAT difficult to make a good SandBox MMO
Long Answer: Yes! It is difficult to make a good SandBox MMO. Way more difficult then themepark's. Why? Because today market consists in a very high percent of thempark gamers and if you want your SandBox game to succeed, you need to cater to that type of gamers too. Failing to do that, your game may become very niche . ( I am talking from a big MMO Studio/Company perspective , as I believe the indie companies, can't have the power to create a true SandBox MMO , at least not yet ).
I am still very , and I mean VERY surprised as to why no company has tried to copy the Runescape basics and make a big Sandbox mmo ( no browser ) .
From my point of view, Runescape is the only true Sandbox game and it was always been like that. If I would have been a developer and if I wanted to start a Sandbox project, first I would look at RS. I mean look at them, they always have 50+k of online players. That, is a lot in today's market if you ask me, and that is a game which has been on the MMO scene for like 13 years ( also is my very first MMO and I enjoyed it a lot ).
Been waiting for a (real) 3D game with Runescape basics ( specially PvP , but also crafting ) for like .. 11 years, since I quited RS.
But I am telling you .. I am still waiting and I hope someone will finally make a Sandbox. A real Sandbox with a balanced Pvp with full or partial loot, a very (perfect) economy including crafting & trading and also with a system which grouping , making friends aaaaaaaaand involving players into large events matters a lot.
Reporter: What's behind Blizzard success, and how do you make your gamers happy?Blizzard Boss: Making gamers happy is not my concern, making money.. yes!
Sandbox MMOs are not that difficult to make. Asheron's Call 1 was an excellent sandbox MMO and it was released 15 years ago. The issue is not that but rather that themepark MMOs are for some reason more profitable. They are easier to make and attract more people. So big name devs, who care mainly about money, go for the more profitable ways of creating MMOs.
So indy companies is where we need to look for good sandbox MMOs. Problem is that they dont have the cash so rarely can they create a triple A sandbox MMO.