Mark continues with Foundational Principle #11.
"I love sandbox games (SBGs) but the word sandbox has already fallen into the category of overuse by game developers seeking to use this hot buzzword to describe and build hype for their games. While Minecraft was not the first sandbox game, it has really earned the right to be described as the epitome of this type of game, as it is was and continues to be brilliantly iterated on by Mojang and the Minecraft community.
However, applying the term to an MMORPG is a bit of a stretch for most MMORPGs because of the many fundamental differences between them and games such as Minecraft. So, before we begin, let me categorically state that “CU is not a true sandbox MMORPG” just as I believe the vast majority of MMOs/games that are calling their games SBGs are not true SBGs. IMO, a true sandbox MMORPG would allow the player to build out his stats, skills, alter the world, etc. without most of the fixed conventions and limitations that are found in CU and most other RPGs.
However, I do believe that we and other MMO developers can learn from and adapt the concept of SBGs but we should not promote our games as “The One Sandbox MMO to Rule them all” unless they really are true SBGs. In concept, CU will be a MMORPG with a limited number of strong sandbox systems, especially in RvR, that will help differentiate it from much of the competition.
One of my goals with CU’s design was to look at the concept of sandboxing in terms of all relevant systems and determine where to best apply it. In doing so, I looked at all aspects of this game including character skills, classes, magic system, crafting, building, etc. to determine where we would be best served by utilizing a more building block approach to the system(s) or much more rigid approach. In terms of the physical world, I looked at applying the concept of a truly open world to CU’s RvR system, since the terms open world and sandbox are not necessarily synonymous.
However, you cannot spell sandbox without the word box (well, you can try but don’t enter a “spelling bee” and hope to win it) and as such, there will be multiple boxes in this game to help ensure that things can’t get too far out of balance. In some cases, it will be a very large box (such as RvR); in other cases, it may be a very small box (such as the class/skill systems) as needed for balance, overall gameplay enjoyment, and, of course, practicality. As usual, let us see how these concepts fit into my vision for various aspects of CU’s design.
IMO, in a true SBRPG a player’s actions within the game would dictate character evolution and progression. There would be no restrictions on what weapons he uses, what armor he wears, what spells he casts, actions would have consequences, etc. While there still has to be some kind of box around it, just as in Minecraft where you have a limited number of core “recipes” for items, an SBRPG needs some limitations as well. A player’s statistics will increase/decrease based on what players do within the game; using heavy weapons will increase strength, using magic will increase attunements, etc. and other statistical changes will also be based on what happens to the character within the game.
While CU does have a strong class system, we will not impose strict limitations on armor, weapons, etc. based on classes but there will be trade-offs that the player will have to consider for wearing and using certain items/materials. Therefore, while we get some “sandbox points” (SBPs) for a character’s statistical evolution and non-class limited weapons and armor, we also lose points for the strong class-based system (though there are elements within the class system that will garner more SBPs when we talk about them during the Kickstarter). Thus, as far as character/class system is concerned we may have some sandbox elements in our game but we cannot in good conscience call it a true SBRPG."
Continue reading here: http://camelotunchained.com/en/foundational-principle-11/