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with all the pro Sandbox talk over the last decade, no sandbox game really changed the formula

MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,115
This something that bothers me to this day. I been around this forum for a while. 

I been here with Sandbox was all the hype and themepark was frowned upon publicly. But one thing I noticed, all the sandbox mmos that were released over the decade pretty much all follow the same formula.  This is the same general complaint the MMO community had regarding the age of Themepark WoW Clones which all follow the same EQ/WoW formula over and over.

Pretty much all the hyped up Sandbox games that came out during all of this all were some kind of a grindy unbalance FFA open world death match with little group focused pve elements. They all pretty much PvP MMOs.  

We just didnt have a name for this back then like we did for games using the WoW model.  People here were more coded on talking about these Sandbox mmos as well. We all knew they were just PvP focused MMOs, but those words would never be whispered or denied outright by the most vigilant sandbox mmo fans. But again we all knew the reality here. 

The thing is these games always failed as well. But we never saw an outcry against developers using that same formula,  like we did for the WoW Clones.

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Fearumdelete5230obii
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Comments

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    Whenever an online game has FFA-PVP rules, that combat inevitably defines the game. 

    The first "sandbox" MMO (UO) proved that there's no way to successfully mix those players that enjoy PVP and those that don't.

    Sandbox has become synonymous with FFA-PVP, because it's the easiest form of "content"...
    MaurgrimAlBQuirkymadazzVinterkrigpicommander
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,199
    Yep. The hardcore PvPers choked off their own games.
    The problem is that they didn't want just war, they wanted to dominate all the other players.
    They said it was "realism." But it's not realistic when you don't die and there's no end to the domination.

    Funny thing about those games. When all those "hardcore" PvPers found out that they weren't as "hardcore" as they thought, when they got dominated themselves by the real "Elites" in PvP, they too left.
    And the elite PvPers were left on their own, and it wasn't enough to support their own game.
    jimmywolfHatefullMaurgrimbcbullyVinterkrigPsYcHoGBR

    Once upon a time....

  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,199
    edited May 2019
    My dream has been a true Sandbox game, with open world PvP, but with "Justice" so that players can put a stop to domination by groups of hardcore PvPers. That's as realistic as it can get.
    And in a deep PvE game, with a great player run economy and politics.

    But I'm realizing that even that won't work. Player just won't accept it anymore.
    My next best dream is a game with open world WARFARE only. With enlistment.
    Viper482

    Once upon a time....

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,854
    Three reasons.
    1 Pvp is very easy for a developer to implement,VERY easy.Doing it right is another thing,it cannot be done right in a unbalanced system like a rpg.

    2 Devs trying to cater to everyone to make more sales,get more crowd funding,ends up a sloppy game.
    3 Players don't know what they want,they support anything and everything and change their mind more often than the weather changes.

    So the formula has been to copy each other and try and create 1-2 gimmicks where you can say "we are different"but in reality all the same sloppy designs.

    Some aspects looked organized,like creating zones catered to a certain race but overall the game designs have been very sub par.

    I want a game designed the way i would design it or hopefully even better,ideas i wouldn't think of more depth than i imagined.I do NOT want more of the same old with a new face.

    IMO there is a bigger picture and why all the genres that once were improving by the year have become stagnant.The reason is marketing,way easier to make cheaper less costly,less thought put into games and just get the media and streamers to market your product and PRETEND it is good.OH look popular streamer A is playing this game,it MUST be good.Oh look all the websites are giving this game a 9/10,it MUST be good.
    Bottom line,does anyone think for themselves anymore?


    Scotdelete5230

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • MikehaMikeha Member EpicPosts: 9,133
    What games failed? 
    FearumbcbullyPhaserlight
  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn Member EpicPosts: 3,320
    I would say that Sandbox was never going to be 'game changers.'  It has a niche following, and while it isn't small, I don't think it's enough to change the landscape.  I think most of the cry was that there were a lack of sandboxes to fill that niche.  You can agree or disagree with the definition of sandbox or whether the current crop is any good.  However, I will say that the choices are greater because of the pro sandbox tantrums.
    AlBQuirkyHawkaya399

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Member EpicPosts: 3,967
    edited May 2019


    I'm having a vision... shh... shh, I need silence...

    Someone butchers the term "sandbox"
    I see much confusion with the words "open world" and sandbox
    Some butt hurts chimes in blaming past PVP from badly done games for all present and future PVP misfortunes
    Oooooh... I'm seeing much confusion, salt and pain felt from the gluteal region of so many...

    Ahhh... I lost the connection. I must rest.

     :D 

    HatefullAlBQuirkySteelhelmXarkobcbullyStoneRoses
    "As far as the forum code of conduct, I would think it's a bit outdated and in need of a refre *CLOSED*" 

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • acidbloodacidblood Member RarePosts: 877
    Wizardry said:
    Bottom line,does anyone think for themselves anymore?
    I think people are slowly waking up (i.e. the general backlash against lootboxes), but there is a new fool born every minute, so...

    As for Sandbox MMOs, EvE and Minecraft prove that they can work if done 'right', but as has been noted, many are just poorly designed contentless PvP games.

    It will be interesting to see how something like Ashes of Creation goes (assuming they get over the BR nonsense) as a more 'directed sandbox' (i.e. player agency, but not total freedom).

  • BladeburaibaBladeburaiba Member UncommonPosts: 117
    Honestly...you didn't hear the sound of the outcry?  It was the sound of millions of wallets clapping shut tighter than my hinnie at the mention of "colonoscopy."

    Like someone else said, there was a lot of small companies tryna chase after the Eve money (and Eve has more than just sand in it), but certainly not anything compared to the wow clone gold rush.  How much noise do you expect a handful of disgruntled DF players to make?



    CryomatrixHawkaya399
  • ChildoftheShadowsChildoftheShadows Member EpicPosts: 1,896
    Whenever an online game has FFA-PVP rules, that combat inevitably defines the game. 

    The first "sandbox" MMO (UO) proved that there's no way to successfully mix those players that enjoy PVP and those that don't.

    Sandbox has become synonymous with FFA-PVP, because it's the easiest form of "content"...
    not just easiest, but cheapest too

    What is more expensive for a dev to make in this example (fits with the endless pvp deathmatch mmo clones as well)?

    A battle royale game with a few assets and throw players into a box to kill each other

    or

    A game like skyrim or witcher 3 or even divinity series with massive amounts of voice acting, story, quests, content, monsters etc? With the latter even having multiplayer (with the latest in series)

    There is a reason the devs for these sandbox MMOs keep making contentless pvp MMOs where they want "players" to make the content. because its literally pretty much free content with little to do on the developers part. They are ALWAYS indie, and almost always fail

    EVE Online is an exception because it allows a TON of content for everyone. Surprise surprise its the only successful sandbox MMO...funny that heh?
    UO wasn't successful? I guess we have very different definitions of what successful is.
    ScorchienGdemamiHatefullVinterkrig
    "Wake up, It's RNG, there is no such thing as 'rare'"
    - Ungood
  • ScorchienScorchien Member LegendaryPosts: 7,370
    Whenever an online game has FFA-PVP rules, that combat inevitably defines the game. 

    The first "sandbox" MMO (UO) proved that there's no way to successfully mix those players that enjoy PVP and those that don't.

    Sandbox has become synonymous with FFA-PVP, because it's the easiest form of "content"...
    not just easiest, but cheapest too

    What is more expensive for a dev to make in this example (fits with the endless pvp deathmatch mmo clones as well)?

    A battle royale game with a few assets and throw players into a box to kill each other

    or

    A game like skyrim or witcher 3 or even divinity series with massive amounts of voice acting, story, quests, content, monsters etc? With the latter even having multiplayer (with the latest in series)

    There is a reason the devs for these sandbox MMOs keep making contentless pvp MMOs where they want "players" to make the content. because its literally pretty much free content with little to do on the developers part. They are ALWAYS indie, and almost always fail

    EVE Online is an exception because it allows a TON of content for everyone. Surprise surprise its the only successful sandbox MMO...funny that heh?
    UO wasn't successful? I guess we have very different definitions of what successful is.
    21 years now , pulling in a profit and continuing delivering new content to its customers .... yup , thats a success
    HatefullVinterkrigobii
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,354
    too bad ultima online 2 was canceled.  And there was no new plan for the franchise.
    Existentialist
  • AenghasAenghas Member UncommonPosts: 90
    I feel like I have seen outcry on the official forums of 'sandbox' pvp games though. The communities that play these games are well aware of how little creativity and originality goes into most titles and are pretty vocal about it. On the flip side of that coin though a lot of players want something safe and comfortable, they get upset if they feel like a game is deviating from a formula.

    Lots of developers use that to their advantage in marketing too. "This game is the spiritual successor of (nostalgic 'hardcore' game)." And if they deviate from making a clone the community gets toxic really fast because they want that clone so bad.
    AlBQuirky
  • LackingMMOLackingMMO Member RarePosts: 510
    For every sandbox that has failed there have been 2 themeparks failing as well. I see a market for each type of game but what I have seen from developers is a lack of imagination. Everything has either been a wow clone(which is a clone) or more of a survival game and nothing else added. Also on both sides lack of direction and support has ruined things. its not just a sandbox issue.
  • rounnerrounner Member UncommonPosts: 713
    Most responses to this thread do not address the original post, they merely argue about personal preferences. I agree with the OP that sandbox, no matter how you define it has not really been outside the box any more than other games. I chose that metaphor deliberately.
    AlBQuirkySteelhelm
  • TheocritusTheocritus Member EpicPosts: 7,671
    The OP is right though, we never did get that great PVE sandbox MMO...I guess the closest we came was Ryzom?
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 6,250
    Yep. The hardcore PvPers choked off their own games.
    The problem is that they didn't want just war, they wanted to dominate all the other players.
    They said it was "realism." But it's not realistic when you don't die and there's no end to the domination.

    Funny thing about those games. When all those "hardcore" PvPers found out that they weren't as "hardcore" as they thought, when they got dominated themselves by the real "Elites" in PvP, they too left.
    And the elite PvPers were left on their own, and it wasn't enough to support their own game.
    I've often thought of the FFA PvP playerbase as "The Sith" of gaming. The Sith are ruled by "the strongest", so they keep themselves weak by constantly fighting each other. Same with FFA PvP'ers. Killing off the weak sends them off to play other MMOs. Then they turn on each other and again the weak go somewhere else. Soon, the game dies.
    Vinterkrig

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,838
    I think it would be great if there were some sandbox games gives which give players a wider range of more complex non-PVP tools. Maybe some indie developer comes up with one somewhere down the line.

    As for FFA OW PvP, it can easily exist in a game without defining it. The developers just need to show a bit of fantasy regarding ideas how to regulate it.
    Amaranthar
  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko Member EpicPosts: 6,916
    ...

    As for FFA OW PvP, it can easily exist in a game without defining it. The developers just need to show a bit of fantasy regarding ideas how to regulate it.
    I think believing that is believing in a fantasy, lol

    There's only one viable play style if the whole world is FFA-PVP, and that's PVP. Anyone else is just going to be killed and looted, sooner or later, usually on a regular basis. That's why most non-PVP'ers will avoid that rule set, and if they don't realise the implications, they very soon learn them and leave the game. Or become PVP'ers...

    EVE walked the middle road by keeping 30% of the game world relatively safe. Not totally safe, but manageable if you were prepared to adapt. CCP vigorously defended that design and modified it whenever the playerbase found "workarounds". A section of the EVE community has endlessly campaigned for the removal or watering-down of the safezone protections, but their arguments have always been ignored by CCP. There's a very good reason why EVE's safezone is by far the highest populated part of that game world !  :D

    But PVP still defines everything that happens in EVE, because whatever you do, you have to consider the dangers and calculate the risks.
    AlBQuirkyobii
  • coretex666coretex666 Member EpicPosts: 3,838
    ...

    As for FFA OW PvP, it can easily exist in a game without defining it. The developers just need to show a bit of fantasy regarding ideas how to regulate it.
    I think believing that is believing in a fantasy, lol

    There's only one viable play style if the whole world is FFA-PVP, and that's PVP. Anyone else is just going to be killed and looted, sooner or later, usually on a regular basis. That's why most non-PVP'ers will avoid that rule set, and if they don't realise the implications, they very soon learn them and leave the game. Or become PVP'ers...

    EVE walked the middle road by keeping 30% of the game world relatively safe. Not totally safe, but manageable if you were prepared to adapt. CCP vigorously defended that design and modified it whenever the playerbase found "workarounds". A section of the EVE community has endlessly campaigned for the removal or watering-down of the safezone protections, but their arguments have always been ignored by CCP. There's a very good reason why EVE's safezone is by far the highest populated part of that game world !  :D

    But PVP still defines everything that happens in EVE, because whatever you do, you have to consider the dangers and calculate the risks.
    I cannot believe someone is actually convinced that it is impossible to regulate PVP in a PC game. Something so trivial comparing to things that humans have already achieved.
    AmarantharGdemami
  • FearumFearum Member UncommonPosts: 1,175
    edited May 2019
    What sandbox PVP games are you referring too? All I've seen come out over the last 10 years were more theme parks that launched and failed.

    Theme park games launch and 2 weeks later all we see is crying on forums about no end game... more content... 

    AlBQuirkyViper482
  • madazzmadazz Member RarePosts: 2,039
    Whenever an online game has FFA-PVP rules, that combat inevitably defines the game. 

    The first "sandbox" MMO (UO) proved that there's no way to successfully mix those players that enjoy PVP and those that don't.

    Sandbox has become synonymous with FFA-PVP, because it's the easiest form of "content"...
    Actually it was just fine. People like you who didn't have experience are the ones that keep stating this complete bullshit over the years. In my guild there were those who never took part in PvP. They would treasure hunt, farm (sheep shearing and stuff), craft, explore, play music, make furniture, tame animals for reselling and on and on. 

    Then what happened was Trammel. UO had an absolutely steady and rock solid population increase going on over time. When Trammel happened it had a huge surge because of the carebears hearing "Oh wow I will like it now". Wanna know what happened? They all fucking left as well as a ton of the PvP'ers. UO was never able to regain those pre-trammel numbers (or the temporary surge numbers either). 

    I wasn't into PvP to much in UO and it still stands as my favourite MMO of all time. Not all MMO's have to be for everyone and UO is a shining example of what happens when a game tries to do just that. Now its a bunch of mostly empty servers filled with few people who have multiple accounts in a weird world.

    So yeah, UO proved that there is a way to do it. And it did it well.
  • madazzmadazz Member RarePosts: 2,039
    edited May 2019
    Whenever an online game has FFA-PVP rules, that combat inevitably defines the game. 

    The first "sandbox" MMO (UO) proved that there's no way to successfully mix those players that enjoy PVP and those that don't.

    Sandbox has become synonymous with FFA-PVP, because it's the easiest form of "content"...
    not just easiest, but cheapest too

    What is more expensive for a dev to make in this example (fits with the endless pvp deathmatch mmo clones as well)?

    A battle royale game with a few assets and throw players into a box to kill each other

    or

    A game like skyrim or witcher 3 or even divinity series with massive amounts of voice acting, story, quests, content, monsters etc? With the latter even having multiplayer (with the latest in series)

    There is a reason the devs for these sandbox MMOs keep making contentless pvp MMOs where they want "players" to make the content. because its literally pretty much free content with little to do on the developers part. They are ALWAYS indie, and almost always fail

    EVE Online is an exception because it allows a TON of content for everyone. Surprise surprise its the only successful sandbox MMO...funny that heh?
    UO wasn't successful? I guess we have very different definitions of what successful is.
    UO was, yes. But only because it became PvP optional, it was bleeding mass amount of players before that

    I should have been more...precise with my wording.

    But I meant pvp forced MMOs, only EVE Online is the exception. UO however shows for most part, a PvP optional sandbox MMO has far more success than pvp forced mmos.
    I can't tell... are you lieing or you just aren't educated on the matter and you're echoing other lies.

    I do recall one of the devs told bold lies stating that it was dropping in population (no it wasn't, it was increasing... they just stretched the truth about the amount that DIDN'T stay).

    UO was steadily increasing players over time. Its an indisputable fact that can be proven with actual data. Did Trammel increase those number significantly? Yes it did. For months. Then it dropped to lower than pre-trammel numbers.

    Edit - Wanted to add some numbers to show it was increasing population:

    9/1997: UO's launch
    -- Start, 0 subs
    10/1998: T2A's launch (Lost Lands)
    -- ~90,000 subs
    5/2000: Renaissance's launch (Trammel)
    -- ~130,000 subs

    It hit like 190k with Trammel in 2001. Then it dropped. Then the 3D client released which brought it up to 200k, which then dropped again after people realized it was shit. A few other expansions created surges in the population, but none of them created the community and dedicated player base that was steadily growing pre-trammel.
    ScorchienGdemamiArglebargleVinterkrigobii
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