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Could Blizzard Pull Off a Sandbox-Type MMORPG?

Reports before said that Blizzard was hiring for new positions to make a, "next-generation MMO" but it doesn't really entail anything after that.

That's where I kind of get excited. Think about it. All these indie companies are promising the world to you: including NPCube with Dark and Light and Aventurine SA and Darkfall, yet one completely busted and Aventurine has yet made good to many of their promises. However, if it was one to be able to take chances from a large-scale MMOG, I think it would have to be a large-scale company who makes so much money that they could make up from the loses in case the idea doesn't come through. Blizzard has already crafted and perfected the old-generation MMOGs, which I consider to be linear by design - will their next MMO be same? I just highly doubt that they would make the same because then two of their games would then be in competition of one another.

In other words, I think it makes little sense to completely recycle the same success but instead look for a new crowd of MMOGer's who take on the role of games differently than the linear-played World of Warcraft.

What are your thoughts about it? 

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Comments

  • daarcodaarco Member UncommonPosts: 4,275

    If Blizzard wanted to, they could make the most amazing MMO ever. But they choose to not to. Why would they? They get all the money they want from WoW.

  • IhmoteppIhmotepp Member Posts: 14,495

    WoW can't last forever. At some point they will have to replace it with a new and improved update. Or somebody else will.

    There are new players born every day. Someone has just turned 13 or 14 and gotten their parents to give them a game card, and logged onto WoW for the first time ever, and they are having fun right now.

    But at some point it will start to look and feel dated, and even these new players will be looking at alternatives.

    image

  • paulscottpaulscott Member Posts: 5,613
    Originally posted by daarco


    If Blizzard wanted to, they could make the most amazing MMO ever. But they choose to not to. Why would they? They get all the money they want from WoW.

     

    The arguement for making a sandbox is ofcourse so they don't compete with WoW.  

     

    Obviously if a sandbox is as "mainstream" as forumers say it'll obviously be another big hit and drive other MMO companies into dispair.

    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • MackerniMackerni Member Posts: 230
    Originally posted by daarco


    If Blizzard wanted to, they could make the most amazing MMO ever. But they choose to not to. Why would they? They get all the money they want from WoW.

    What's good to you might not be good to someone else. While I'm a little upset that Blizzard only 'linearifed' the genre, I respect that they took seven years to make World of Warcraft, and yet unlike any other large-named MMO maker, has only released one game (thus more focus to this game). You can complain that they haven't make 'the most amazing MMO ever', but World of Warcraft took seven years, tens of millions of dollars, and yet you don't even seem impressed. Maybe the reason they haven't made the game isn't because they don't want to, or don't have the desire to, but because simply it takes longer than the time they had with the new influx of money they've gotten since the success of the MMOG? World of Warcraft has only been out for about half the time it's taken to develop it.

  • StormreaverStormreaver Member Posts: 130

    It's actually quite likely that Blizzard's next game will be a sandbox MMO. Like paulscott said, another linear themepark would be in direct competition with WoW, and why would they want players on only one of their games if they have two released? Basically, Blizz is currently in a position where their next game will get at least a few million subscribers regardless of how good it is and what type of gameplay it involves.

    If Blizzard decides to go the sandbox route, they could have the entire market cornered. I'm not talking about 11 million subscribers on both games, but I'm talking about stealing away all the players the endlessly complain about how linear all the MMOs are these days. If I was Blizzard, I would take the sandbox route. Of course, there are always players that won't play a Blizzard game on principle (which I find ridiculous), but I'm guessing they are a very small minority.

    Then again, the question was whether or not Blizzard could pull it off. Blizzard is lightyears ahead of many companies when it comes to artistic direction, polish, and fully fleshed-out gameplay. There is no doubt in my mind that they are capable of creating an amazing sandbox experience.

  • Capn23Capn23 Member Posts: 1,529

    Or they could just be making a linear sci-fi MMO.

     

    dunno. I'm not sure Blizz WANTS to cater to the sandbox crowd.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Guys! I'm hopelessly lost in a mountain of mole hills! Them damn moles!

  • paulscottpaulscott Member Posts: 5,613
    Originally posted by Capn23


    Or they could just be making a linear sci-fi MMO.
     
    dunno. I'm not sure Blizz WANTS to cater to the sandbox crowd.

     

    The there are lots and lots of different types of sandbox crowds

    And aboslutly no one wants to cater to the sterotype.

    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • tboxtbox Member Posts: 372

    It depends on how forward thinking and amount of risk they want to take. 

     

    Sandbox has gotten popular over the years. I mean look at spore and other simulation games which are close to the core of sandbox idea. Mix that with strategy and rpg game play and you have a new gen mmo.

     

    Dev and quest writer content is ok but when players create content then it prolongs the game and keeps things fresh.

     

    One of the cool things about sandbox games is when you can bring in new servers or wipe older ones it is like playing a new game again.

  • AbrahmmAbrahmm Member Posts: 2,448
    Originally posted by Capn23


    Or they could just be making a linear sci-fi MMO.
     
    dunno. I'm not sure Blizz WANTS to cater to the sandbox crowd.

     

    Looking at the crowd that plays WoW, I don't think Blizzard has any standards on what kind of crowd they will cater to.

    Tried: LotR, CoH, AoC, WAR, Jumpgate Classic
    Played: SWG, Guild Wars, WoW
    Playing: Eve Online, Counter-strike
    Loved: Star Wars Galaxies
    Waiting for: Earthrise, Guild Wars 2, anything sandbox.

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Member Posts: 1,357

    I guess that depends on how you view the community split. Are they split over the style of the genre (ie. linear v. sandbox) or the backdrop (ie. Sci-Fi v. Fantasy)?

    If the majority of players like linear games, then Blizzard would benefit more by creating a Sci-Fi quest-based/linear MMORPG. If the same players that play fantasy would play Sci-Fi, then they are better off creating a different style, such as the sandbox design.

    In other genre's, there are some that will play fantasy AND sci-fi, but most people gravitate to one or the other. I think the MMORPG genre is the same in a way. If Blizzard created a Sci-Fi MMORPG, I bet a portion of the fantasy playerbase would flock to it, but I think the majority of players would be new to the genre or would migrate from other Sci-Fi MMORPGs.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • paulscottpaulscott Member Posts: 5,613

    You can make something reasonably sandboxy by just having it so there's a few things a new player can do, You can get a pretty reasonable sandbox without having any PvP or even "risk" in it(granted the stereo type no one cares about will stay otherwise).   That doesn't mean rehashing the same combat mechanics to the theme of different quest/dungeon/areana types.

    I find it amazing that by 2020 first world countries will be competing to get immigrants.

  • TatumTatum Member Posts: 1,153

    Could Blizzard pull off a sandbox MMORPG?  Sure, why not?  The million dollar question isn't "can they" it's "will they".

    To be honest, I'd root for them, because the results would be hilarious and ironic.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 24,846

    Could Blizzard make a sandbox game?  Sure.  Quite a few companies already have made sandbox games.  Could Blizzard make a game that is what a lot of people mean when they say they want a sandbox game?  Even if we ignore the fact that many of the people who say they want a sandbox game mean very different things by it, for many of them, probably not.  Too many people seem to want things that computers are ill-suited to do. 

  • ste2000ste2000 Member EpicPosts: 6,194

    WoW is a linear game, so making a sandbox would make commercial sense.

    Usually companies like to diversify their market, so it is not an impossible thing they decide to make a MMO with more freedom.



    Forget about full loot and stuff like that though.

    If they make it it would be a cross between SWG pre-CU and WoW, easy to get into and no extreme penalties.

    They still want to get as many subscribers as possible, unlike the indie companies which are happy with a niche market.

  • RavanosRavanos Member Posts: 897

    I still think Blizzard is going to do a MMOFPS based on Starcraft ... just my opinion though.

  • FlarinstarFlarinstar Member Posts: 84

      No Blizzard couldn't do it. The company is far to greedy for mass cash and that can only be achieved by a game that is going to acquire millions of players (such as WoW). Sandbox games are far too nitch and do not have enough objectives for the common player. And therefore they are too hardcore and nitch for the mass population of gamers. So noo Blizzard can't do it.

    Looking for a new game to play

  • Terminus-EstTerminus-Est Member UncommonPosts: 352
    Originally posted by Flarinstar


     Sandbox games are far too nitch and do not have enough objectives for the common player. And therefore they are too hardcore and nitch for the mass population of gamers.

     

    I would have said the same about MMORPGs in general before Blizzard made WoW.

  • ronan32ronan32 Member Posts: 1,418

    it would be very business savy indeed if blizzard decided to make a sandbox game while all other companies are trying recreate wow.

  • Moon-DaddyMoon-Daddy Member UncommonPosts: 101

     Blizzard has no reason not to build a sandbox styled MMO. They have a keen understanding on what a market wants (11million subscribers, not that i think they provide for 'everyone') So, why wouldn't they want to take hold of the people who refused or quit playing WOW.

    They  have the money to take a risk and with their cash cow mmo constantly bringing in revenue and with another good 4-5 years of content (if they use all of their lore..or fuck with their lore, as they so love to do) i dont see it ding anytime soon. However,  i cant see Blizzard taking  a sandbox approach,  blizzard doesn;t seems to give to much control to players, they still like a path which is under their control, its easier to cater to players for, and keeps everyone on the same level.

    I see the game leaning towards a FPS styled game, they have attempted to build one before (Starcraft: Ghost) but it was scrapped. However, they have an understanding now of FPS styled games although it was a screw up i reckon they will be trying to combine what was lost with their new mmo, not saying it will be Starcraft or anything. 



    Although if they do go for a sandbox it could form a  RTS blend, i cant see how this could work with if they reach 11million subscribers but it would be interesting if your guilds became the army, leaders/officers controlled building construction unit upgrades etc.

    Well enough of my speculating, But my vote is going for more of a FPS blend into their next-gen mmo



    (sorry this may be worded terribly)

    Making so much noise you dont know when to listen.

  • BrenelaelBrenelael Member UncommonPosts: 3,821
    Originally posted by ronan32


    it would be very business savy indeed if blizzard decided to make a sandbox game while all other companies are trying recreate wow.

    Very true indeed. The only way Blizzard could make another MMO that wouldn't directly compete with WoW would be to make a sandbox PvP MMO. It probably wouldn't have full loot or harsh death penalties though as that is not their style. Blizzard is more than capable of pulling this off but the real question is would they?

     

    Bren

    while(horse==dead)
    {
    beat();
    }

  • AntariousAntarious Member UncommonPosts: 2,831

    It would make sense to try it... seeing as how others have stated what seems to be the obvious.  If you missed it that would be...

    After the success of WoW other companies have spent a lot of time trying (without success) to emulate whatever worked with WoW.

    So going in a different direction would seem obvious.

    Then again Blizzard certainly has the money so that whatever they choose to do... I think expectations will be high.

    I'm not the biggest fan of WoW but its a solid MMO at the core and obviously successful.  So I would certain be happy if Blizzard went in the direction I actually enjoy.  If nothing else...

    A successful sandbox game... would make other companies try to copy that.  More sandbox... less cat filling would be nice.

  • saniceksanicek Member UncommonPosts: 368

     Blizzard was always very adept at taking an existing idea with great potential and be the one who polishes it, adds fluff and makes it appealing and easy for the masses. They did it with the RTS genre (Dune II -> W-W3, SC). They did it with the action RPG genre ( console action rpgs -> D1, D2 (amagad mouse!) ). And they did it with the MMORPG genre, taking EQ as the model, we all know of the result.

    MMORPG genre being very wide in actual definition sports various different approaches, be it sandbox vs theme park, pve vs pvp, twitch vs dice, etc. So the genre still has many different approaches Blizzard can grasp and shape into shiny polished successfull game for the masses. Personaly I wouldn't mind if they took EVE as the role model and made SC sandboxish MMO outa it.

    Subscribtions: EVE, SWTOR WOW, WAR, DDO, VG, AOC, COV, FFXI, GW, RFO, Aion
    +plenty of F2P, betas, trials

    Female Dwarf player: WOW, VG, WAR, DDO
    .
    Due to the recent economic crisis and spending cuts the light at the end of the tunnel was turned off. Sincerely, God.

  • Death1942Death1942 Member UncommonPosts: 2,587

    Blizzard are great at taking (existing) ideas and combining them into a brilliant and very polished product.  Since there are so few Sandbox games that they can copy off it would be hard for them to make a decent one and (in all fairness) as a Developer you want your games to get better and better and something tells me nothing is going to be as good as WoW (even from them) for a few years

    MMO wish list:

    -Changeable worlds
    -Solid non level based game
    -Sharks with lasers attached to their heads

  • CaesarsGhostCaesarsGhost Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 2,136
    Originally posted by daarco


    If Blizzard wanted to, they could make the most amazing MMO ever.

     

     Depending on your viewpoint... they DID make the most amazing MMO ever (to date).

    You're like a Linux user claiming MS is evil because their OS is the most popular,easy to use, and widespread.  Their success is the amazing part, not whether you think it's the best or not.

     

    ...and whether you admit it or not, that analogy is perfectly sound.

    - CaesarsGhost

    Lead Gameplay and Gameworld Designer for a yet unnamed MMO Title.
    "When people tell me designing a game is easy, I try to get them to design a board game. Most people don't last 5 minutes, the rest rarely last more then a day. The final few realize it's neither fun nor easy."

  • VarkingVarking Member UncommonPosts: 542

    As a Blizzard hater, I think they could.

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