Quantcast

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

[Column] General: Cleaning the Litterbox

BillMurphyBillMurphy Former Managing EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 4,565

By people who pay attention to my gaming habits, I'm accused of being a themepark-only sort of MMO player. And lately, they're right... but it's not for lack of desire to get lost in a more free-form MMO experience. No, the problem with sandboxes is a simple one, if you ask me: there hasn't been a really good one in over a decade.

Read on for more of Bill Murphy's Cleaning the Litterbox

Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

My Review Manifesto
Follow me on Twitter if you dare.

«1

Comments

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,127

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     

    The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

     

    For games all I want is for it to be FUN... whether it's a themepark or a sandbox or twitch or tab target...  all is far secondary to simply having a fun game.  Once we have bunches of THOSE then we can start to haggle about the details...

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Former Managing EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 4,565
    That's true too! And at the core of what I'm saying... all the good intentions and ideas in the world don't matter if a game isn't enjoyable.

    Try to be excellent to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else has seen or endured.

    My Review Manifesto
    Follow me on Twitter if you dare.

  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,127

    Yup.  Today people are more obsessed by the adjectives than the resulting FUN factor.   People actual post things like "Yes I agree game XYZ is horrible but it's the only game around in 1st person, Open World , Full Loot PvP, with twitch combat, classless skill system, with auction houses in a fantasy setting"

     

    Just makes me scratch my head...

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

  • ZandilZandil Member UncommonPosts: 252
    Even tho it was not the success it could have been i always love age of conan for trying i new comvat style, may not of worked as well as they wanted but good on them for trying something different.

    image
  • FearumFearum Member UncommonPosts: 1,175

    So in short, damn you Crowfall! I agree, there is change in the near future finally from the same old copy and paste games. Personally I can't wait for something to grab me again and remind me why I first fell in love with the genre and the huge potential it had so many years ago.

    Good read Bill. 

  • jonp200jonp200 Member UncommonPosts: 455
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     

    The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

     This is in stark contrast to some who are most interested in what the chicken looks and feels like when it hits the litterbox.....

     

     

     

    Seaspite
    Playing ESO on my X-Box


  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,119
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     

    The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

     

    For games all I want is for it to be FUN... whether it's a themepark or a sandbox or twitch or tab target...  all is far secondary to simply having a fun game.  Once we have bunches of THOSE then we can start to haggle about the details...

    They need to tastes good , but the way you cook make them "good" in difference way.

    Think about the case where you get tired of baked chickens and want fried one but it no where to find and you can't make one yourself.

    Think about when you want new MMORPG build in old way but all you can manage to find is another WOW.

    Yes , it good , it fun , but not what you want .

    Fried or baked is matter , you call the fried but they gave you the baked and say "deal with it" . Feel ?

  • BattlerockBattlerock Member CommonPosts: 1,393
    I'm going to just say fried or baked, it matters to me now, as someone who has done the theme park and now has theme park plus twitch, I tell you I can just watch it live on twitch and feel like I've been there done that, or that what I am seeing isn't anything special. The unorthodox randomness of sandbox I feel is the only thing that will grab my attention aside from a unique twist on pvp. The randomness is what I am attracted to. This is why I want to see 100% ai removed, and instead let's players program and have some control over the behavior of the ai, just like one does when playing a rts. I want this for every ai in the game, even world bosses can and should be controlled by players. The same person doesn't control that world boss all the time or most of the ai.... That becomes a coveted privilege. But the idea is that everything ai has the randomness of another human hand attached to it. I can invision this, but I don't know if it's resonating with others, do you understand what I am saying?
  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,534

    I'm with you on this.  Feels like I've been waiting a decade for a good mmo with contested content and PvP.  Now after scanning the horizon (and I scan every day) I can only find one outfit that seems to even understand what it takes to create these virtual worlds that we crave and have eluded us for all these years... and thats McQuaids Pantheon.

    You just gotta go with what makes you happy, and after listening to the new pantheon round table and reading their updated game summary, I'm more hyped up about a sandbox pve game than any of the pvp games I've been waiting on for so long.

    You cant always get what you want.


  • rodingorodingo Member RarePosts: 2,870
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     

    The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

     

    For games all I want is for it to be FUN... whether it's a themepark or a sandbox or twitch or tab target...  all is far secondary to simply having a fun game.  Once we have bunches of THOSE then we can start to haggle about the details...

    Well said

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,674

    Perhaps that is the WHY we don't see any good MMORPG's anymore,they all think the same way and imo is the wrong way.

    It is NOT about old school or what worked in the past,it is ALL about WHAT you are suppose to be designing >>>a MMORPG.

    You have no business calling your game a MMO if everyone runs around solo.It also makes ZERO sense to login to the internet to game if again your going to play solo.It is not a group versus solo argument it is simply ,you want to play an mmo and a RPG then it SHOULD involve OTHER  players.

    The WORST design ever is the connect the dots linear questing.First fo all these are NOT quests not by a long shot,a quest should feel epic and should not have 100 of these every level.

    Themeparks are  designed to simply hold your hand through a level and by yourself.Levels should NOT be your ONLY focus,your character should be the focus,hence the WHY ...it is suppose to be a rpg remember?It SHOULD also be YOUR game to play NOT a follow the developers yellow markers around all game.

    There should also NOT be an end game that is again the dumbest trend in gaming ever.Players should never stop evolving,if you want to use levels "another dumb idea"then they should go on forever.

    Personally i'd like to see levels disappear and a more realistic aging process used.Games should utilize lineage,family trees and players should eventually die albeit after a very long time.

    Last point >>>FUN.I hear this all the time.It is NOT just about FUN,i mean seriously that is the problem with game design.Yes it has to be FUN but it should NEVER be a side show that does not belong within the game's LORE or setting.Example some migth think Super Mario is fun,why on earth would you put that in a Fantasy world set in ancient times,it does NOT belong there.

    Jump puzzles,speed runs,you might like the ideas but they DO NOT belong in a MMORPG.I cannot imagine a legendary Warrior set back in the year 1500 thinking,,hey let's have some fun let's do some jump puzzles.../NOT ..dumb idea.It makes games and their designers look silly and becomes more about mini gaming than the actual setting you are SUPPOSE to be creating.

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

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,674

    It usually takes the extreme before players wake up and realize how silly it is to try and change the design of a genre to turn it into FUN for them..Example when we start seeing hover boards and rocket ships and automobiles in an ancient Fantasy setting,gamer's are like WTF it doesn't belong...oh really and ideas we already see in rpg games do?

     

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

  • tordurbartordurbar Member UncommonPosts: 421

    Nothing ticks me off more than this "You have no business calling your game a MMO if everyone runs around solo".  MMOLRPG - Massive Multiplayer on-line role playing game. Guess what, "multiplayer" is only ONE of the letters. You want forced grouping - go to the Asian MMOs.

    Massively is the key. Why should I waste my precious time being forced to do what other people want me to do? I play the game at my own pace and have fun doing it. I do enjoy player interaction when it is mature and helpful but find that anymore in an MMO. Yes, I have tried guilds but every one has a clique or breaks up. So high school. The real serious guilds are the hard-core raiders and, though I respect them, the dedication required for such effort is not fun for me.

    I firmly believe that the reason why MMOs took off financially was WOW and one of the big reasons it did so was because it allowed a solo player to get to max level. Before WOW that was near (if not totally) impossible.

    For the players that demand everything be social - go to it, but let the solo players do their thing as well.

  • Adjuvant1Adjuvant1 Member RarePosts: 2,100

    The term "sandbox" wasn't used to describe mmos a decade ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_world

    I know, and have often said, wikipedia, being user submitted, isn't the end all be all, but this in particular conflicts the error of interchangeable use of "sandbox" and "open world".

    "An open world is a type of video game level design where a player can roam freely through a virtual world and is given considerable freedom in choosing how or when to approach objectives. The term free roam is also used, as is sandbox and free-roaming. "Open world" and "free-roaming" suggest the absence of artificial barriers, in contrast to the invisible walls and loading screens that are common in linear level designs. An "open world" game does not necessarily imply a true sandbox. In a true "sandbox", the player has tools to modify the world themselves and create how they play. Generally open world games still enforce many restrictions in the game environment, either because of absolute technical limitations or in-game limitations (such as locked areas) imposed by a game's linearity."

    There was little to no technology for a player to "use tools and manifest within the world" so long ago. If you disagree, you can always go change the page yourself, change history. You do it in public opinion here, why not make it official. Terms change their meanings! But this change happened in the last 4 years, not 10. Now you know, whether you care or not. Eh, you care to write articles read by people who know better, make money off it, I'd think you'd care to be correct.

  • FoomerangFoomerang Member UncommonPosts: 5,619

    I had no real expectations going into my first mmo. Everything was new and exciting. And after years of experience playing almost everything out there, I wanted something new and exciting again. Problem was, my wish for something new also came with a truck load of wants and must have features. Only way I could enjoy something new was to let go of my checklist of mandatory systems.

    I see it all the time here. People constantly talk about wanting something new but sadly never give themselves the chance to experience it because of some predetermined set of criteria. I've seen people blow off an entire combat system because it had seven buttons instead of eight or it had tab targeting. I've seen fellow crafting fanatics dismiss an entire economy because their house was instanced or they looked up the most powerful weapon in the game and it was a raid drop.

    Sometimes I think we are or own biggest barrier to enjoying an mmo. Perhaps the litter that must be addressed is our own baggage we insist on bringing with us to every potential new experience

  • AlverantAlverant Member RarePosts: 1,195
    How are the terms "sandbox" and "themepark" being defined? I never got that. From what people say, I don't think they're really set and many MMOs can be either one depending on what people think they are or play the game.
  • victorbjrvictorbjr Member UncommonPosts: 212
    Reading the comments, I would now like some chicken.

    A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

    Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  • OzmodanOzmodan Member EpicPosts: 9,723
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

    For games all I want is for it to be FUN... whether it's a themepark or a sandbox or twitch or tab target...  all is far secondary to simply having a fun game.  Once we have bunches of THOSE then we can start to haggle about the details...

    I have to disagree with your first statement.  Sandbox and themepark are entirely different styles of game design.  So it is a huge deal that nothing has emerged in the marketplace lately with that kind of design.  I will have to grant you there really has not been much in the sandbox design box for ages, so it is understandable that you don't grasp how different the two designs are.

    I have to agree with the fun factor though.  If the game play is not fun there is not much point in playing and it has to continue as long as you play.

  • nbtscannbtscan Member UncommonPosts: 862
    Originally posted by DMKano

    If you lower your expectations and enjoy the games *for what they are* and not constantly feel disappointed because *they don't match up with your idealistic game in your head* - you'd actually having a lot more fun gaming.

    This is pretty much what it comes down to.   A lot of people can't let go of the game that first hooked them.  There's also the people that expect games to have a very specific feature set and if doesn't have that they won't even give it a second look, so they blame the genre as a whole for not having any games they want to play.

  • LudwikLudwik Member UncommonPosts: 407
    Isn't H1Z1 like the ultimate MMO sandbox?

    It's a persistent world with 2000+ players. The entire world is non-instanced and there's no purpose other than basic survival. Full loot on death, etc.

    ...or are we just going to ignore it because it's not WoW and thus must not be an MMO.
  • docminus2docminus2 Member UncommonPosts: 184

    Aside from some Indies going their way not caring about how big the game will be -

    in terms of profitability and thus investement into something longterm for us players, do some of the companies actually do market analysis? Or is it, as stated by Bill just the dream to be like WoW that drives developers? How many niche games/similar sandbox/crafting/survival ganes can the market actually sustain? Not enough profit, no further development, meaning only a core fan-base will remain.

    It doesn't look like the number of subscribers for MMOs really is going up, the huge increase is unfortunately more in the f2p (Cash-shop) area like LoL and others? But what do I know, I don't have any numbers per se. Again, do the developers???

    --------------------------------------------
    Youtube newb:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC96N3cxBuqKTPV2BQNlzGUw

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,998

    From the article:

    "No, the problem with sandboxes is a simple one: there hasn't been a really good one in over a decade."

    To that, I say:

    Uncharted Waters Online

  • sketocafesketocafe Member UncommonPosts: 950
    EVE's good, still alive. Also a good company to emulate (in terms of what they did with their first video game) instead of blizzard. Just because the release date is over a decade ago doesn't mean it makes sense to ignore its existence in an article about sandbox MMOs. The devs did it right in the start by reinvesting what they earned from the smallish core community they attracted at the start and making their product better all the time. This sounds like a far better idea than aiming for a smash success and laying off three-quarters of your team when this doesn't happen in the first three months. 
  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,534
    Originally posted by tordurbar

    Nothing ticks me off more than this "You have no business calling your game a MMO if everyone runs around solo".  MMOLRPG - Massive Multiplayer on-line role playing game. Guess what, "multiplayer" is only ONE of the letters. You want forced grouping - go to the Asian MMOs.

    Massively is the key. Why should I waste my precious time being forced to do what other people want me to do? I play the game at my own pace and have fun doing it. I do enjoy player interaction when it is mature and helpful but find that anymore in an MMO. Yes, I have tried guilds but every one has a clique or breaks up. So high school. The real serious guilds are the hard-core raiders and, though I respect them, the dedication required for such effort is not fun for me.

    I firmly believe that the reason why MMOs took off financially was WOW and one of the big reasons it did so was because it allowed a solo player to get to max level. Before WOW that was near (if not totally) impossible.

    For the players that demand everything be social - go to it, but let the solo players do their thing as well.

    I couldn't disagree more.  Empirical evidence states otherwise.  One only has to look at the games like WoW and that archetype of MMO that has removed so much of the multiplayer requirements on MMO content and see the direct correlation it has had on the industry.  Before WoW, game hopping wasn't a thing.

    Since games stopped requiring activities in mmos to be almost exclusively multiplayer, the gameplay has been less compelling.  I believe its directly responsible.  All aspects of the game like the danger factor in the game world, the social aspect, the quality of content all have suffered immensely due to this trend to make multiplayer game content easily accomplished by a single player.


  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,127
    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    Originally posted by Slapshot1188

    Sandbox... themepark... those are just words that describe parts of a game.  Just like Fried and Baked can describe chicken.

     The most important part to me is whether the chicken TASTES GOOD... not whether it was fried or baked.

    For games all I want is for it to be FUN... whether it's a themepark or a sandbox or twitch or tab target...  all is far secondary to simply having a fun game.  Once we have bunches of THOSE then we can start to haggle about the details...

    I have to disagree with your first statement.  Sandbox and themepark are entirely different styles of game design.  So it is a huge deal that nothing has emerged in the marketplace lately with that kind of design.  I will have to grant you there really has not been much in the sandbox design box for ages, so it is understandable that you don't grasp how different the two designs are.

    I have to agree with the fun factor though.  If the game play is not fun there is not much point in playing and it has to continue as long as you play.

    I would argue that they do NOT have to be mutually exclusive.  I would argue that even a good sandbox game will have to have well developed PvE.  I am not saying they need quest bubbles and exclamation points, but the world should be populated and a reasonably well developed AI should control the creatures/NPCs.  But that is just my takeaway from most modern sandboxes I played... again.. all I want is a FUN game.  If a fun sandbox comes out with zero PvE.. that's great too.  I don't see how, but I'd love to be surprised.

     

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

    "Oddly Slap is the main reason I stay in these forums." - Mystichaze April 9th 2018

    My ignore list finally has one occupant after 12 years. I am the strongest supporter of free speech on here, but free speech does not mean forced listening. Have fun my friend. Hope you find a new stalking target.

Sign In or Register to comment.