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Just what is "sandbox"...

eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

I see many people pine for the days of the "sandbox" games, typically UO and SW:G. Some point to AC1.

These were all skill based systems, but does skill based system mean "sandbox"?

The thing I see in common between those three is not an intentional "sandbox" design, but rather, no storyline. Both AC1 and SW:G shipped without any reason to do anything. That's a flaw in my book, not a bonus.

So, all the proponents of a sandbox design, what is your ideal system? Do you bother with a story? Do you bother with skills? Classes? Archetypes? What's the end game consist of? PvP everywhere all the time no limits?

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Comments

  • fantarosfantaros Member Posts: 394

     

    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I see many people pine for the days of the "sandbox" games, typically UO and SW:G. Some point to AC1.
    These were all skill based systems, but does skill based system mean "sandbox"?
    The thing I see in common between those three is not an intentional "sandbox" design, but rather, no storyline. Both AC1 and SW:G shipped without any reason to do anything. That's a flaw in my book, not a bonus.
    So, all the proponents of a sandbox design, what is your ideal system? Do you bother with a story? Do you bother with skills? Classes? Archetypes? What's the end game consist of? PvP everywhere all the time no limits?

     

    Are u trying to start a flame war or something? from all he features of those games the only thing u noticed is that they are not story driven?

    How about the fact u are free to do what u want where u want? there is no linear preogression, ie i outleveled this place time to move.

    Or that there are no archetypes to constrict u? u can throw fireballs and smash heads with hammers if u want to

    Or that sandboxes have seamless worlds? Or maybe that there is NO end game in a sandbox?

     

    And to quote the words of many people on these forums u cannot understand what its like unless u try it/play it

  • eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

    I have played them. They play just like every other MMO, except they have no story driving them. I suppose if you like macroing skills over and over again, they're great. "Out level"? LOL, so being able to raise your skills by shooting bunnies is a great advantage... I missed that.

    Seamless worlds = vast empty areas, or, at best, "Random placement of npc camps."

    I want to hear what the ultimate sandbox game would be.

     

  • rapt0r0rapt0r0 Member Posts: 93

    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I see many people pine for the days of the "sandbox" games, typically UO and SW:G. Some point to AC1.
    These were all skill based systems, but does skill based system mean "sandbox"?
    The thing I see in common between those three is not an intentional "sandbox" design, but rather, no storyline. Both AC1 and SW:G shipped without any reason to do anything. That's a flaw in my book, not a bonus.
    So, all the proponents of a sandbox design, what is your ideal system? Do you bother with a story? Do you bother with skills? Classes? Archetypes? What's the end game consist of? PvP everywhere all the time no limits?
    Are you serious? Star Wars Galaxies has no story? I'm sorry, I guess those movies were my imagination and I guess I was tripping on something when I thought I read all those books about various parts of the galaxy. In my book SWG pre-cu was as close to a perfect game as I've seen yet. It did need things added to it but the freedom and lack of limits was the best game to engross a player that I have seen.

    SWG had many skills/classes or w/e you call them. You could mix and match in what every style you wanted. There were no levels so you did not know for sure what you were going up against. Player housing so that your house could be an expression of your indivdual self and not a box that pops up with slots to fill up for a bank. The game was the greatest game of expressing ones indivdual self that I have seen, from clothes to class spec to houses to cities.

    It was truely something you had to play to understand. I am just looking for more games to pass the time until something that great is made again. It doesn't even have to be Star Wars, hell I didnt even like star wars till i started playing that game... It just has to allow ones self to be them self.

  • fulmanfufulmanfu Member Posts: 1,523

    basicly:

    sandbox: you are placed in a world and you decide where to go from there, what to do etc.
    wow,etc: you are pushed through a world in a set pattern doing the same exact thing as everyone else

  • eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

    SW:G != the movies.

    Same *setting* for the most part, but definitely not the same story (when I played I noticed no story at all).

    It was just "go grind X skill over and over again so I can unlock Y skill so I can grind it."

  • rapt0r0rapt0r0 Member Posts: 93

    How long and when did you play? There was a story but it did not follow an exact path like other games. It was open ended for a reason.

  • TheChronicTheChronic Member Posts: 253

     

    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I have played them. They play just like every other MMO, except they have no story driving them. I suppose if you like macroing skills over and over again, they're great. "Out level"? LOL, so being able to raise your skills by shooting bunnies is a great advantage... I missed that.
    Seamless worlds = vast empty areas, or, at best, "Random placement of npc camps."
    I want to hear what the ultimate sandbox game would be.
     

     

    wrong... wrong and again wrong....

    this dude is exactly the reason why SOE announced the NGE..

    sandbox means to give the players the opportunity to do whatever they want, and especially the opportunity to have a choice...

    beside combat there are plenty of other things you can do... you dont have to "fight" or attend combat to have fun, its a big sandbox world where you can do whatever you want...

    you are not forced to do something to have fun all in all...

    you choose what to do and not the game and the most important thing: no linear quest driven system like world of warcraft nessasary(!) but as a bonus for those who prefer...

    "You must be either retarded or a fanboi..."

  • eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

    Originally posted by TheChronic


     
    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I have played them. They play just like every other MMO, except they have no story driving them. I suppose if you like macroing skills over and over again, they're great. "Out level"? LOL, so being able to raise your skills by shooting bunnies is a great advantage... I missed that.
    Seamless worlds = vast empty areas, or, at best, "Random placement of npc camps."
    I want to hear what the ultimate sandbox game would be.
     

     

    wrong... wrong and again wrong....

    this dude is exactly the reason why SOE announced the NGE..

    sandbox means to give the players the opportunity to do whatever they want, and especially the opportunity to have a choice...

    beside combat there are plenty of other things you can do... you dont have to "fight" or attend combat to have fun, its a big sandbox world where you can do whatever you want...

    you are not forced to do something to have fun all in all...

    you choose what to do and not the game and the most important thing: no linear quest driven system like world of warcraft nessasary(!) but as a bonus for those who prefer...

    I can do every single thing in EQ1 that you can do in SW:G or UO or AC1. There's nothing forcing me to grind levels or skills in EQ1. I can craft, I can bake cakes, I can sit around chatting...

    So... what's the benefit again? No one seems to be able to quantify it besides "I can do anything".

    Can you blow up mos Eisly? Can you build a death star? Can you murder every single person in the game? That "anything" is looking kinda shaky... No, the "anything" is watch people AFK macro dancing skills, or AFK macro doctor skills, or AFK macro X skills, or run around vast empty areas not doing "anything"...

  • MaldusterMalduster Member Posts: 109

    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I see many people pine for the days of the "sandbox" games, typically UO and SW:G. Some point to AC1.
    These were all skill based systems, but does skill based system mean "sandbox"?
    The thing I see in common between those three is not an intentional "sandbox" design, but rather, no storyline. Both AC1 and SW:G shipped without any reason to do anything. That's a flaw in my book, not a bonus.
    So, all the proponents of a sandbox design, what is your ideal system? Do you bother with a story? Do you bother with skills? Classes? Archetypes? What's the end game consist of? PvP everywhere all the time no limits?

    A skill-based game with no levels, no restrictions.

    Best example is oldskool UO in my opinion.

  • fulmanfufulmanfu Member Posts: 1,523

    i never played eq1. could you put up a shop, in a little town in a secluded place that you and your friends built up from nothing. make a million different outfits/weapons, whatever, and display them? having some for sale in merchants etc. decorate your house or guild hall or w/e with thousands of options. could you get the travel system to put a stop in your city if you built it up ?

    could you spend hours surveying land for high quality resources and harvest them? or is every crafting ingredient generic same thing creating the same quality item?i dont know i never played eq1. could you bioengineer new species?

    could you honestly go from day 1 and never kill one thing for months and still have things to do? if so i missed the boat back in the day :/

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 41,226

    Originally posted by eric_w66


     
     


    Can you blow up mos Eisly? Can you build a death star? Can you murder every single person in the game? That "anything" is looking kinda shaky... No, the "anything" is watch people AFK macro dancing skills, or AFK macro doctor skills, or AFK macro X skills, or run around vast empty areas not doing "anything"...

    Well, in EVE we blow up people's POS's (Privately owned stations), yes, we can build death stars, we call them Titans, and they are damn near invincible, and yes, it is in theory possible to murder every single person in the game. (not probable though).

    As to anything, some folks battle for control of vast areas of 0.0 space, fighting in everything from small gang efforts to massive fleet fights.  But other folks prefer to run missions until they perfect their ships, skills and techniques for combat and salvaging.

    Yet other people craft all manner of things, from small parts to entire spaceships.  You can explore space and try to find new complexes and objects that sometimes bring great wealth. 

    Other folks decide to become miners and can mine entire systems using "hulks" in a matter of hours.  Other folks make money trading either on the auction house, or by transporting goods around the galaxy.

    Some folks prefer a life of crime, and become pirates preying on the weak and stupid, who foolishly come through the gate they are camping and blow them up. Some have some honor and will offer to ransom their victims life (pod) and others will kill with no mercy.

    Some people go anti-pirate and spend their days hunting down these evil doers.  Bounty hunting can also be a fun diversion, as well joining an empire based PVP group that declares war on others for fun and profit.  You can even be a mercenary for hire and get paid to fight other peoples battles.

    Some folks even spend all their days seeing if they can scam other players out of their money somehow by hook or by crook, which has led to some intricate and detailed cons that are almost legendary in scope.

    Some try to bait noobs into attacking them in empire space, and watch the npc space force concorde kill for them.  Others will suicide gank a hauler with the hopes of getting billions of loot from an unlucky pilot (my own corp has a member who lost 6 billion in gear by making a mistake of flying near Jita while still flagged with our name and got nailed by a Wardec corp)

    Some people actually run new player "universities" to help train new players in EVE and hopefully keep them playing until they reach the upper level of the game.

    There is no way to tell you everything a sandbox game like EVE offers, but what it definitely doesn't have is a scripted story line.

     

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

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    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing New Worlds atm

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  • eric_w66eric_w66 Member UncommonPosts: 1,006

    I play eve too, I fool around in it, doing my mining and missions and trading, but there comes a point where you have to ask "Why?" PvP in Eve is poor in my opinion, the vast majority of it is the "blob" style 6 on 1 etc. That's definitely not my thing. And controlling space in an online game is about as much fun to me as owning a house in SW:G or UO. Doesn't mean much to me. I'd rather be having fun doing something.... fun. I played Planetside and WW2 Online, which is enough "area control" for me (and the pvp is 1000000 better too :)).

    But, when its all boiled down, eve is "grind skills" and get cash/items. Sounds very similar to every other MMORPG out there.  I do love Eve's economy, but it isn't great because it is more of an sandbox type of game, its great because everything is consumed. Most RPG's don't lend themselves to such consumption (i.e. your character doesn't die permanently when you die, unlike your spaceship in Eve).

  • admriker4admriker4 Member Posts: 1,070

    My definition of sandbox

    SWG - One of the many late nights exploring some massive planet (dathomir this night), I came across a cave-like Hut. This is literally in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by deadly mobs that back then could easily kill you.

    I approach the cave entrance. Inside there are these npc's called Singing Mountain Clan. Unlike WoW and other linear games, I wasnt directed to meet them. There arent any signs above their heads letting me know they have quests for me.

    I discovered this place on my own. I ask some guildies if they are aware of the place, none have ever been where Ive been this night.

    The quests told a story about  the singing clan and their enemy nightsisters. One neat part about the quest, I had to kill some imperials (the quest couldnt be done if you were an imperial obviously). Once I killed these imps, I was to return with proof of the kill. That proof was a chest piece called Imperial Sgt chest plate. I took the piece back to my house as decoration, returned and redid the quest.

    And unlike linear games, not all npc quests are available to everyone. You had to be a rebel and you needed singing clan rep to get them to give the quests. This further limited some quests to certain players. And of course somewhere else in a dark hard-to-find location there would be quests for the imp/nightster player with a whole different storyline and rewards.

    For years and years after, I got tells and emails begging me to know where I got that chest plate. Whenever I go back on one of those free trials I find 20 emails from current players offering me ridiculous sums of credits for that item because they wandered into my museum and saw it

    In a linear game, you are led by the nose literally from northshire abbey to goldshire to westfall to lakeshire to darkshire, etc etc etc etc etc. You arent discovering anything rare or unique. You are on a treadmill with a thousand other people.

    In a sandbox game there are stories to be told but the key is you have to discover them. Nothing is handed to you and you certainly arent led around from place to place. In a skill based sandbox like SWG, exploration was a big part of the game. You just never know what you'll discover each night.

    I really miss those late nights in SWG. And to this day I bet 95% of the players in SWG NGE havent found what Ive found. Not that they really care, theyre too focused on pwning each other

  • eugameugam Member UncommonPosts: 984

     

    Originally posted by eric_w66


    I see many people pine for the days of the "sandbox" games, typically UO and SW:G. Some point to AC1.
    These were all skill based systems, but does skill based system mean "sandbox"?
    The thing I see in common between those three is not an intentional "sandbox" design, but rather, no storyline. Both AC1 and SW:G shipped without any reason to do anything. That's a flaw in my book, not a bonus.
    So, all the proponents of a sandbox design, what is your ideal system? Do you bother with a story? Do you bother with skills? Classes? Archetypes? What's the end game consist of? PvP everywhere all the time no limits?



     A sandbox is a box full of sand :) Its up to you what you make out of it. Wanna cross the desert on a camel or wanna build a castle ? Its up to you. Sandboxes are fantasy based, the mechanics offer you just a huge pile of grains.  The game might offer some lore, but its totally up to you what place you want to take in this world. Want to open a flowershop ? Do it. Want to be an artefact raider ? Be it.

     

    Actually there never has been a 100% sandbox game. UO probably a bit, SoR a bit, SWG a bit. The real sandbox now is in development

    http://kotaku.com/gaming/legos/lego-mmo-revealed-241626.php

    The idea to build ingame content with Lego stones is the ultimate sandbox. The endgame is endless, the possibilities and the potential is endless. Thats sandbox.

  • shukes33shukes33 Member Posts: 1,051

    I think the point of sandbox by asking "so what are the gamins/advantages?" that's the point you fail to see. true sandbox worshippers are not after the fastest/easiest way to gain. They just want a world that feels like they control there own! you dont have to gain anything or achieve anything, you just play and join in. I enjoyed eq1 for this fact. one of the main things that made eq great was that it took an age to level. this made you stay in area's and bleed them to death! this also gave you a way of learning that area. People go on about the downtime but thats what created the draw of the game, you could engineer places to fight because there wasn't a 5 minute repop. My friends and i even used an empty hut in bb harbour where we would meet to plan our next adventure. in games these days people join a group just to complete a quest part then leave to join the next group for the next quest.

    Being involved is the biggest draw for me.

  • glim3merglim3mer Member UncommonPosts: 154

    Some people will never understand the virtues of "sandbox", OP included.

    In SWG, it wasen't just kill x of y to unlock z skill. But even if you WANT to see it like that, then how is a class based, linear game any different? You pick up quest, tells you to kill 10 pigs, come back, receive cookie. So fine, lets say they are both the same, in the sense that they both force you to kill stuff.

    However, you are not binded to killing stuff, you can actually USE the world and shape it to your own vision. You can place houses, harvesters, you can create cities, fields of harvesters. You can place faction bases, where you need to guard them 2 hours per day. Others can raid you cities and attack your bases. You can place structural defenses to protect your bases. You can control those turrets. You can do ANYTHING you want. ONLY thing you cannot do, is wait in a queue to get to do some PvP.

    And not only that, have you ever moved your houses from one planet to another? It is a real move. You pack, you organize, you put things in "boxes" ie backpacks, and you move them to the new location. Part of the fun is finding a new spot to place your new houses. You pick a nice location, you pick a spot where the surface is flat, you might even have to find a city militia to grant you zoning rights to place a house.

    Houses are useless you say? Not if you made your houses into safehouses for when you PvP. Find a nice spot to attack, go a little outside, place your safe house and then attack. Odds get uneven, run into the house YOU placed. Your ALWAYs in control of your actions, the outcome and the result. You plan, you win. You dont just mash buttons ala WoW and hope you CRIT.

    And the greatest virtue of them all, you dont like your "class" template, change. Without deleting your character. You can switch to anything you want. You want to be able to heal a little while your shooting your gun, you can, want to be able to have some scouting abilites while your running around healing people, you can, want to be able to entertain people and get rid of their battle fatigue after you drop the huge sword as a swordsman... YOU CAN.

    But some people dont like freedom, they wouldnt know what to do with it. Thats cool though, cause most of the industry understand that now and they are making games that help you walk by holding your hand all the way to level 70. Yoopie!!! go be like everyone else... mediocre.

  • slask777slask777 Member Posts: 706

    Not many real sandbox games left. AO comes to mind, allthough it aint real sandbox either, just have some aspects of it, ie. character development, pvp towers and so on...What to be a tank that can tradeskill some stuff at the side, and use a bloody cookie to tank with, you can. How successful you are doing it is another matter though.

    People tend to go for cookiecutter builds in that particular game, but there are exceptions. Some of them are very good even. Remember one tank that refused to use pants in there. He called himself nooopaaanntss or something like that. Also a healer(doctor) that outtanked the tank class(enforcers) on all but the biggest bosses. That is one aspect of sandboxing I really like. That you aint confined to the typical stuff you class do, you can experiment.

    ---
    Grammar nazi's. This one is for you.

  • rapt0r0rapt0r0 Member Posts: 93
    Originally posted by glim3mer


    Some people will never understand the virtues of "sandbox", OP included.
    In SWG, it wasen't just kill x of y to unlock z skill. But even if you WANT to see it like that, then how is a class based, linear game any different? You pick up quest, tells you to kill 10 pigs, come back, receive cookie. So fine, lets say they are both the same, in the sense that they both force you to kill stuff.
    However, you are not binded to killing stuff, you can actually USE the world and shape it to your own vision. You can place houses, harvesters, you can create cities, fields of harvesters. You can place faction bases, where you need to guard them 2 hours per day. Others can raid you cities and attack your bases. You can place structural defenses to protect your bases. You can control those turrets. You can do ANYTHING you want. ONLY thing you cannot do, is wait in a queue to get to do some PvP.
    And not only that, have you ever moved your houses from one planet to another? It is a real move. You pack, you organize, you put things in "boxes" ie backpacks, and you move them to the new location. Part of the fun is finding a new spot to place your new houses. You pick a nice location, you pick a spot where the surface is flat, you might even have to find a city militia to grant you zoning rights to place a house.
    Houses are useless you say? Not if you made your houses into safehouses for when you PvP. Find a nice spot to attack, go a little outside, place your safe house and then attack. Odds get uneven, run into the house YOU placed. Your ALWAYs in control of your actions, the outcome and the result. You plan, you win. You dont just mash buttons ala WoW and hope you CRIT.
    And the greatest virtue of them all, you dont like your "class" template, change. Without deleting your character. You can switch to anything you want. You want to be able to heal a little while your shooting your gun, you can, want to be able to have some scouting abilites while your running around healing people, you can, want to be able to entertain people and get rid of their battle fatigue after you drop the huge sword as a swordsman... YOU CAN.
    But some people dont like freedom, they wouldnt know what to do with it. Thats cool though, cause most of the industry understand that now and they are making games that help you walk by holding your hand all the way to level 70. Yoopie!!! go be like everyone else... mediocre.

    Well said. Pretty much what I was going for, I just had so many ideas swarming my head at once that i could not pick one and go from there. I could add a bit more to it but I'm sure we all could.

  • hanshotfirsthanshotfirst Member UncommonPosts: 712

    People seem to vary on what they consider a "sandbox".



    For some, it's Open or FFA PvP. For others, it's a skill-based progression system, rather than classes and levels. And unfortunately, sometimes developers use the expression merely as a cop-out for not producing any worthwhile content.



    In my opinion, an example of a good "sandbox" game was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Despite having levels, classes AND content, there was considerable freedom in how you developed your character, and how to participate in the story.



    As far as I'm concerned, the most simplistic definition of "sandbox" boils down to choice, lots of it. It doesn't have to mean a dearth of content or lack of story, though in MMOs, that's all too frequently what you get.

  • slask777slask777 Member Posts: 706

    True sandboxing is impossible I think. As an example, I played D&D in my youth. I had a mage then that used fear to control people when in reality he was a skinny, little whimp with some serious self esteem issues. He had to be better, faster, harder and more bad than everyone else. He killed his own father by trickery and deceit cause he wanted to outdo another person I played with, while turning that another person into a zombie. Had quite a few laughs of all the things we thought up under that scenario. The zombie gave the nobles of the area he had his tower in, food poisoning cause he had to taste the cake being made for em, and some of his rotten flesh got into that cake and so on.

    You can never have freedom like that in a videogame, but you can get close. That is what a sandbox game is all about. Freedom to do what you want, with who you want, any way you want, when you want and so on.

    ---
    Grammar nazi's. This one is for you.

  • DreamionDreamion Member UncommonPosts: 287

    This is the SWG part.



    //



    I doubt HARD that YOU played any sandbox that you say you have, seriously. You are asking us what a sandbox is when you still say you have played them.. you should know then! Or my other opinion is that you could never get to that point in swg pre-nge to experience all the things you could do! Swg pre-NGE and pre-cu is something you cant describe how fun it was. you say wow/eq2 is good as swg pre-nge? I bet every Vet in the swg pre-nge history doesnt share the same opinion as you do.



    This is what i want.



    //



    An MMORPG that is free from choosing any class in the beginning of the game. You can go wich ever way you want with "class" as we should call it then. There maybe should be a story in the game but when you end it you still have things to do beside of it that is FUN and not a farming thing. To actually be in a guild and show that it exists, not only by having a little stupid text above your head with <clanname> in it, a city a fortress a big lake or a part of the world that your guild own as property in the game that no one else can claim unless they try challenge your clan in a PvP match for example. PvP wich is freely between all players in the world and no interrupting from the NPC's, they shouldn't care. If you wanna survive? make some friends, join a guild. If you make enemies then its your own fault. (I could fill these things in more correctly, but i think you know what i want)

  • rictor51rictor51 Member Posts: 24

    dont confuse the "free roaming play" over no storyline. it is the simple fact that it lets you play what you want when you want. some people hate the linear type play where you have your only means of leveling by going through quests and being force fed content that you dont really care about. Some people enjoy learning the storyline at their own pace.. or playing a game cause of the sheer mechanics. using the excuse that people just macro'd means nothing to the term "sandbox"... that would be a design flaw because believe it or not.. in EVERY game there is some form of marcoing being a sandbox or whatever.

     

    I believe what it means is what was said before.. seamless, free roaming, do what you want when you want and making your own storyline instead of being forced to do just what quests tell you to do. i played UO for a very short time but know there was a story there. played ac1 and LOTS of storyline there.. monthly updates to the story and players could actually be a part of something if they wanted to. it openned up the social aspect as well as freedom and made the story that much more important. SWG had a story too but left a lot open for sake of the social and freedom aspects and succeeded in making it fun (back before it was ruined)

     

    games that force grouping, force classes, restricted skill trees, etc arent sandbox games. skill trees are lame imo.. forced grouping doesnt give the feel that your character is as important (although yes it makes you want to have friends and all that bs) and forced classes are dumb. it takes out the element of skill and makes people have to play classes they dont want to play cause there are "too many of them"

     

    hope some of this makes sense for i am watching something funny on tv and didnt proofread. hope it pisses some of you off too. I have played just about all mmorpgs and loved some sandbox ones and loved some of the others. (yes even wow.. just dont think it was the greatest wouldnt even fit on my top 5)

  • BadSpockBadSpock Member UncommonPosts: 7,979

    Ohh I like this thread. Thanks eric_w66.

    I've often thought about what people call "sandbox" vs. what they call "linear" game play in a MMORPG.

    As a long time Ultima Online Veteran, Star Wars Galaxies player from day one, and avid World of Warcraft player (off and on) for three years... I think I've seen both ends of the spectrum.

    The main difference is that so-called "linear" games guide you to content that is appropriate for the relative strength of your character. This is done mostly through quests. Even if the so-called "linear" questing game was skill based, having all of your skill at about 1/3 of the maximum is exactly the same in a class base game as being around level 20 out of 60.

    People do not realize that even in a so-called "linear" quest based game, you don't have to do the quests. You can wander around, collecting resources to use in crafting, socialize with other players in towns and inns/taverns, find monsters around your level to combat and advance your power... But you may say "yes but I won't level as fast!" well then you are playing for the wrong reason.

    It's just that in so-called "sandbox" games, you usually don't have the option for guidance, unless it's from other players. You have to figure it out on your own, make mistakes and move on. Some like that more, some like a little guidance. Anyone who says stuff like "hand-holding" etc. is just wrong.

    Some of the things that the so-called "sandbox" games had that are lacking in more so-called "linear" questing games is some of the social content. Building homes and cities, more robust crafting and economies, even things like music, dancing, mini-games and other such activities.

    So far, in more so-called "linear" questing games, you pretty much have to fight stuff in order to advance your character's level. In more traditional so-called "sandbox" games, you could pursue other courses of advancement, though most end up fighting anyway.

    This trend is changing. More questing type games are offering more advanced crafting, housing, and social options. Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar comes to mind with their excellent music system, neighborhood housing, etc.

    Many of us do perceive a lack of story (i.e. questing) as a lack of content, and thus would be bored with a game that didn't have interesting questing. I know this is true personally because trying to make alts, I get so bored of the questing content because I've already been there, I know the outcomes, and it feels more like grinding.

    It's really all the same. Either you kill 100 rats to level your skills / xp for no reason other then to advance your toon, or you kill 10 rats for Bob and 20 more for Jimmy for various quests and end up killing 100 rats anyway, but the story of quests gives you the illusion of doing something more then simply killing 100 rats.

    So it's true, sandbox = no story beyond what you (the player) creates. linear questing = dev provided story to mask the same grind as the sandbox game.

    My ideal system?

    One with skill based advancement, I create my own unique(ish) class. One with a very strong and well developed story line (questing) however with tons of non-quest related content. Dungeons and temples and castles etc. to explore and battle in, with reward for going off the beaten path the quests provide. Excellent yet not tedius make X 30 times to make Y crafting, housing and city building that doesn't create urban sprawl and use up all the available free space... a robust economy with developer created limitations to prevent rampant inflation and predatory auctioning practices.

    Advancement system where a hour of questing = hour of grinding = hour of PvP = hour of crafting = etc. Many choices for PvP that are fair and balanced and fun, rewarding my skill as a gamer in a gank/grief free world.

    That kind of thing... I could go into more detail, but I already made a couple blog posts way back when about it...

  • HexxeityHexxeity Member Posts: 848

    The OP had a good point when he said you can do a lot the same things in a so-called "linear" game that you can do in a sandbox game.  The difference is, in those "linear" games, there is a story to follow if you so choose.  And guess what, most people end up doing that because it's more interesting.

    The sandbox certainly appeals to a very vocal minority, and if a developer can find a way to give them what they want on a reasonable budget, that developer will have a very dedicated audience.  Oh, wait.  That's EVE.

    I guess someone could do a fantasy one to appease the rest of the sandboxers.  It would be only minimally successful, especially compared to what the same company could do with a less open-ended game ... hm, maybe that's why no one wants to bother?

    By the way, if you think old-school UO was not level-based, you do not understand what numbers are.  UO was not CLASS-based, but those skill numbers had exactly the same purpose in terms of gameplay as your level in WoW.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Member UncommonPosts: 7,979

    After reading a few more posts from other people, I just gotta keep writing.

    We had a fine house in UO on Great Lakes, full of all kinds of treasures. We'd get together and hop over to Felucca and do some Factions PvP. We'd run through some dungeons to make cash and hopefully get some rare stuff.

    I'd log onto Siege Perilous and join my murderous brethren in our war against humanity. We'd defend our home from their constant attacks, we'd gather resources to build our weapons of war. We'd fight monsters around our home to build our skills. We'd sit and chat, dueling and killing each other for fun, we'd train Red healers into our camp and box them in to resurrect us when we'd die.

    I know sandbox. I know we made our own stories, are own lives.

    SWG was not a good Sandbox for me. Too much grinding. The beauty of UO was that there was no grinding. You can macro your skills up to almost max in no time, after that it was just about doing... whatever you wanted to.

    Progression + sandbox kills the sandbox, in my opinion. The sandbox becomes a boring grind-fest of a progression because there is no content.

    No progression + sandbox = a truly open world, where you make your own adventure and fun.

    In a progression based game, you need something to do in order to progress. Quests and developer created story give you that something to do. Progressing your character is merely the bi-product of a successful questing game.

    WoW did a great job with this, but they could have done a lot more. You only read and appreciate the quests the first time through. The quests are very static, very vanilla.

    Sandbox vs. linear is really like a book. Some like to read a well crafting story, immerse themselves in the world the book creates, and go along for the ride. Others like to choose their own path, write their own story.

    Some like both. So why can't we get a game with both?

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