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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » A polished AAA sandbox would get 50% of the market and dominate alongside WOW.

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212 posts found
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10942

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

2/03/11 11:49:33 AM#101


Originally posted by Aganazer


Originally posted by lizardbones
 



Originally posted by ReallyNow10




Originally posted by Aganazer
Common misconceptions about theme-parks and sandbox games.

[*]
WoW is the most popular game so people want theme-parks. - First you would have to prove that people play WoW because its a theme-park. There could be many reasons.
[*]
Sandbox games always have a small playerbase. - Just like #1, first you would have to prove that they have a small playerbase because they are a sandbox. There could be many reasons. Most sandbox games have also had a low budget or a terrible NPE.

Its not a sandbox without FFA PvP. - That makes about as much sense as saying that a Nissan Leaf isn't a car because it doesn't have a gas tank.

Sandbox is a niche market. - Tell that to Zynga. Farmville (and most facebook games) proves that casuals and non-gamers love creating things in a sandbox environment. Sandbox games dominate the social network scene. Every year the difference between social network games and MMOG's becomes a little smaller.
 




This post is exactly right.





The only thing that I would take issue with is the reference to Farmville and the other social networking games. They are not mmorpg in the generally accepted sense. They do not have an actual world. When you visit another player's farm, you don't even see the other player. You are visiting an instanced version of the other player's farm.

Everything else though is pretty spot on.

The point of the Farmville reference is to show that mainstream people are very accepting of sandbox features when presented in an accessible way. Its a fact that sandbox games are popular. Its a fact that these sandbox games are multiplayer games. Its a fact that there are a massive amount of people playing them simultaneously. Its not a big stretch of the imagination to realize that the same success could found in a MMOG.
I don't play Farmville so I can't comment on it specifically, but my wife is a Farmtown addict. In that game you do see other players at your farm. There are even market areas with a lot of other players on the screen. The game world is essentially hundreds of thousands of persistent sandbox instances. It may not be the kind of MMOG we are used to, but its really not that different.



I've always though a game that married Farmville to Animal Crossing with a persistent, shared world would dominate the market. I think it's a stretch to take the success of Farmville/Farmtown/Cityville, etc. and translate that into the success of a sandbox mmorpg though. For instance, why would you spend $50 Million dollars to develop a full blown mmorpg and attract 5 Million people, when you can spend $50 Thousand dollars on a Flash application and attract 80 Million people? There's just a lot more to be considered besides 'sandbox' or 'theme park'.

In fact, I would bet that 'Sandbox' or 'Theme Park' is one of the smallest factors in a game's success. Completeness, number of different activities, accessibility, etc. are all things that are more important than whether a game is a 'Sandbox' or a 'Theme Park'. How the PvP is implemented is a huge factor too.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Hurvart

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 566

2/03/11 11:57:33 AM#102
Originally posted by RajCaj

I wish, but I highly doubt that.

 

The current MMORPG market  isn't the same playerbase that existed in the late 90s. 

The reason no AAA publisher has touched any of the sandboxes thats been put out there is because it can't get anywhere near 50% of the current market......and I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I tended to believe the Blizzard's & EA's of the world when it comes to market research, etc.

I think IF a game publisher that had the moxy & development dollars cooked up a nice polished Sandbox UO type game that it could pull in probably about double the numbers EVE does....but thats about as far as the sandbox sub-genere goes.  There are too many former FPS, console, single player-casual type gamers now playing MMORPGs to convince half the current playerbase that full loot death, deep and detailed content, and FFA PvP system is a good idea.....thanks to the bar Blizzard has set (or lowered) for MMO gamers.

 

The majority of the MMO playerbase now play MMOs to hack n' slash than to explore and persist in a virtual world.

If they release a WoW-clone and cant compete as well as they hoped they will not get double EVE numbers. Perhaps they will the first month. But after 1-3 months 80% will be gone. They will return to WoW or try other games....

Its better to focus on different players that dont prefer WoW or games like WoW.... Just like Ferrari cant compete with Toyota if they try to build better "Toyotas". Even if its a much bigger market and potential for profits much better.

  pluzoid

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/07
Posts: 153

2/05/11 7:36:18 PM#103

WoW is successful in its own right, but not everyone is into WoW, hence the many people posting in this forum instead of playing MMO's :P

A company with good backing needs to offer something that actually resembles what a MMORPG was suppose to be about:

- Not about gear! About Story!

- About having a Character living in a Virtual Universe that has a never ending story (AH AHAHAHAA).

- Dont need alts because it has various activities that incaptivate you and not bore you to death or alt-holism.

- A class system that allows for hardcore combatants (earn money through killing), Crafters who earn money through making stuff with variable stats based on the quality of materials used, so its not static and tedius, gratification through superior produce :P.

And hybrids for people who like crafting crap for quick cash. This crap could be like small things like repair kits or potions, while let the hardcore crafters make vehicles and wepons and armor, cuz warriors such really make money selling there looted items off the people they kill, not weapons and armoursets, its not realistic tbh.

Fending off armies of baddies to keep cities or planets occupied for resources would be a interesting variation from the time consuming grind of raids.

Objectives could be random on a daily or weekly basic, to retreieve something important from within the stronghold of the baddies, (oooo) and they you get paid well for your services.

Meh Im beginning to think that mmorpgs are just a flawwed genre, and nothing will sate my nurishment, I'll play SW:TOR when its out cuz its got jedi, and mebbe there storyline will be enough.

 

- oh killing shouldnt be boring, like go here and get 10 nunas terminated, like a instance instead, but instead of getting loot to wear, get loot to sell for cash to buy crafted items off crafters, or rare materials to be used for crafters.

  Luv_bug

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/11
Posts: 121

2/05/11 10:09:49 PM#104

The question is is there a publisher with the willingness to spend the money necessary to make a really great sandbox that is original and wholly unWoWlike in its look and feel? Are they willing to spend the maybe 5 years and thousands of manhours on a paradigm that, in its day, garnered nothing approaching WoW's success? Whose vision will they bet the farm on then? Experienced devs that have proven, as a whole, incapable of creating IPs and gameplay that have, thus far, challenged WoW in any serious fashion using a p2p model? Going f2p would generate subs, but would it generate enough to risk the funds on a true AAA sandbox game? An individual developer faces all these issues but without the financial strength a publisher has to risk a flop on an expensive design. Couple that with the fact the people who understand project management, programming, or running a business don't necessarily know what a  complete comprehensive sandbox actually entails and you heve the problems we have today. 

  Amaranthar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2171

2/05/11 11:01:56 PM#105
Originally posted by Luv_bug

The question is is there a publisher with the willingness to spend the money necessary to make a really great sandbox that is original and wholly unWoWlike in its look and feel? Are they willing to spend the maybe 5 years and thousands of manhours on a paradigm that, in its day, garnered nothing approaching WoW's success? Whose vision will they bet the farm on then? Experienced devs that have proven, as a whole, incapable of creating IPs and gameplay that have, thus far, challenged WoW in any serious fashion using a p2p model? Going f2p would generate subs, but would it generate enough to risk the funds on a true AAA sandbox game? An individual developer faces all these issues but without the financial strength a publisher has to risk a flop on an expensive design. Couple that with the fact the people who understand project management, programming, or running a business don't necessarily know what a  complete comprehensive sandbox actually entails and you heve the problems we have today. 

At this point, they should be seeing that the Clones aren't working anymore. If they don't see it yet, they will soon enough with this next round of releases. So the race is on, the flag has dropped. The first one to do it really well will be the one to compete with WoW. How well a Sandbox will compete is yet to be seen, but even an 80/20 split is well worth the investment. And I think that's very low, myself.

Once upon a time....

  ReallyNow10

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/11/10
Posts: 1695

Don't give us stories. Give us worlds and we will make our own stories.

2/06/11 8:42:14 AM#106
Originally posted by Amaranthar
Originally posted by Luv_bug

The question is is there a publisher with the willingness to spend the money necessary to make a really great sandbox that is original and wholly unWoWlike in its look and feel? Are they willing to spend the maybe 5 years and thousands of manhours on a paradigm that, in its day, garnered nothing approaching WoW's success? Whose vision will they bet the farm on then? Experienced devs that have proven, as a whole, incapable of creating IPs and gameplay that have, thus far, challenged WoW in any serious fashion using a p2p model? Going f2p would generate subs, but would it generate enough to risk the funds on a true AAA sandbox game? An individual developer faces all these issues but without the financial strength a publisher has to risk a flop on an expensive design. Couple that with the fact the people who understand project management, programming, or running a business don't necessarily know what a  complete comprehensive sandbox actually entails and you heve the problems we have today. 

At this point, they should be seeing that the Clones aren't working anymore. If they don't see it yet, they will soon enough with this next round of releases. So the race is on, the flag has dropped. The first one to do it really well will be the one to compete with WoW. How well a Sandbox will compete is yet to be seen, but even an 80/20 split is well worth the investment. And I think that's very low, myself.

I very much agree with this.  The on-rails quest grind is dying, and really no longer popular even in "the-game-that-shall-not-be-named."

Open worlds, I predict, are going to come back in a big way, and the newbie gamers will have a new wondrous experience.

  gambe1

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/10/07
Posts: 125

2/06/11 8:48:47 AM#107

WoW is an anomaly in MMO genre. Just polished sandbox is not enough even if it is AAA. There is so much different variabilis when it comes to mmorpg's, and you can't predict how players will react to the game. Eve for example is polished AAA sandbox, and it does not have 5mio subscriptions.

  Daitengu

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/03/08
Posts: 445

2/06/11 9:04:26 AM#108
Originally posted by pluzoid

WoW is successful in its own right, but not everyone is into WoW, hence the many people posting in this forum instead of playing MMO's :P

A company with good backing needs to offer something that actually resembles what a MMORPG was suppose to be about:

- Not about gear! About Story!

- About having a Character living in a Virtual Universe that has a never ending story (AH AHAHAHAA).

- Dont need alts because it has various activities that incaptivate you and not bore you to death or alt-holism.

- A class system that allows for hardcore combatants (earn money through killing), Crafters who earn money through making stuff with variable stats based on the quality of materials used, so its not static and tedius, gratification through superior produce :P.

And hybrids for people who like crafting crap for quick cash. This crap could be like small things like repair kits or potions, while let the hardcore crafters make vehicles and wepons and armor, cuz warriors such really make money selling there looted items off the people they kill, not weapons and armoursets, its not realistic tbh.

Fending off armies of baddies to keep cities or planets occupied for resources would be a interesting variation from the time consuming grind of raids.

Objectives could be random on a daily or weekly basic, to retreieve something important from within the stronghold of the baddies, (oooo) and they you get paid well for your services.

Meh Im beginning to think that mmorpgs are just a flawwed genre, and nothing will sate my nurishment, I'll play SW:TOR when its out cuz its got jedi, and mebbe there storyline will be enough.

 

- oh killing shouldnt be boring, like go here and get 10 nunas terminated, like a instance instead, but instead of getting loot to wear, get loot to sell for cash to buy crafted items off crafters, or rare materials to be used for crafters.

 

I have to disagree on it not being realistic. Mainly because people IRL CAN take up different jobs and skills. A hunter can be a leather worker. The founder of Aikido was a farmer while he taught. I personally can build computers, design a house, build the house, paint, sculpt, draw, cook, etc. Am I best best at any of it? no, atleast I can sew up a damn tear in my pants without having to hire a tailor.

 

I personally would prefer a classless system that was part player skill and character skill based. I like the system Mabinogi has, even if I don't like the controls. it's very much classless. Eve is also technically classless, but  don't like that skills are trained in real time instead of based upon player action, and I like the controls even less lol.

  gurugeorge

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/08
Posts: 474

2/06/11 12:11:04 PM#109

Again, I have to harp on the fact that the distinction that's really apposite isn't "sandbox" vs "theme park", but rather "sim" vs. "game".

There just aren't enough people who have enough time on their hands to live for substantial hours in a proper virtual world, to make that viable. 

Most people have families, jobs, homes, etc., and just want something casual that has something of the feel of a virtual world (mostly, at least a feeling of persistence, that things are going on when they're not logged in).

Fewer people have the time for true virtual worlds now.  The older folks here who are pining for it are no longer students.  Students nowadays have less time for it - not just because of rl pressures, but because there are other distractions (mobile phones and Facebook, for example) that take up some of the social space that the virtual world idea formerly served, but are more friendly to casual dipping in and out of (asynchronous, is I believe the professionals' term).

It's a dead duck - or rather, a niche duck.

Lovers of true virtual worlds, who do have the time to play them, will have to look to specialized games with smaller populations but more intimate dev attention and higher subscription rates (something like NWN's PWs on steroids). I think that will come, to fill in those niches (that are definitely there, just not big enough for AAA investment).  Generic MMO engines (e.g. something like a Hero Engine LE type of deal) will also facilitate that (photorealistic enough for jazz, suitable for building large but not massive PWs with).

  Meowhead

Tipster

Joined: 1/31/09
Posts: 3728

2/06/11 12:22:30 PM#110
Originally posted by gurugeorge

Again, I have to harp on the fact that the distinction that's really apposite isn't "sandbox" vs "theme park", but rather "sim" vs. "game".


I agree with you.  A good example of  'sandbox' vs. 'game/theme park' would be Second Life.

It's the extreme of sandbox.  There's no real game, there's no guided developer content.  It's just a bunch of building tools and plop, there you go.

So far as being an actual sandbox, it totally crushes any MMORPG into the dust... but at the sacrifice of not being a game at all (Other than what people build into it on their own)

'Sim' is a much better moniker for what people are talking about, because you're simulating a virtual world in older MMORPGs... a complete sandbox has NO rules, and rules are what makes games.

Just having crafting or combat systems are big sets of rules right there, so they're hardly 'true' sandboxes.

  Amaranthar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2171

2/06/11 12:23:19 PM#111
Originally posted by gambe1

WoW is an anomaly in MMO genre. Just polished sandbox is not enough even if it is AAA. There is so much different variabilis when it comes to mmorpg's, and you can't predict how players will react to the game. Eve for example is polished AAA sandbox, and it does not have 5mio subscriptions.

I think you have a point on the "variables" involved, but I also think that a proffesional studio should be able to work it out.

As far as EVE, that's not a complete world, it's space only. That's not really what most gamers want.

Once upon a time....

  Paradigm68

Novice Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 880

2/06/11 12:24:53 PM#112

Need a fantasy based ver of EvE

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 7313

2/06/11 12:28:26 PM#113


Originally posted by Amaranthar

I think you have a point on the "variables" involved, but I also think that a proffesional studio should be able to work it out.

See, that's what makes them professionals - they are not making 'polished AAA sandbox' as they know it is a project that would not pay off.

  gurugeorge

Novice Member

Joined: 6/26/08
Posts: 474

2/06/11 12:30:46 PM#114
Originally posted by Meowhead
Originally posted by gurugeorge

Again, I have to harp on the fact that the distinction that's really apposite isn't "sandbox" vs "theme park", but rather "sim" vs. "game".


I agree with you.  A good example of  'sandbox' vs. 'game/theme park' would be Second Life.

It's the extreme of sandbox.  There's no real game, there's no guided developer content.  It's just a bunch of building tools and plop, there you go.

So far as being an actual sandbox, it totally crushes any MMORPG into the dust... but at the sacrifice of not being a game at all (Other than what people build into it on their own)

'Sim' is a much better moniker for what people are talking about, because you're simulating a virtual world in older MMORPGs... a complete sandbox has NO rules, and rules are what makes games.

Just having crafting or combat systems are big sets of rules right there, so they're hardly 'true' sandboxes.

Indeed.  And note that the popularity of Second Life shows that while there is a market for a pure sandbox, in a way, the market is of ordinary people who aren't interested in a fantasy sim or an s-f sim (as probably most of us here would be) - but an ordinary RL SIM!!!!

We geeky "hardcore" types would scoff at that, because we love our elves, our spaceships and superheroes; but that's what one of the few true "sandbox" MMOs in the world shows, very clearly.

  Manasu

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/10
Posts: 148

Oi! oi! oi! oi!

2/06/11 12:41:49 PM#115
Originally posted by Paradigm68

Need a fantasy based ver of EvE

Yeap!


A Blizzard developer once said:"If Player Housing was a 5 minute job then it would definitely be in World of Warcraft by now"

  ReallyNow10

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/11/10
Posts: 1695

Don't give us stories. Give us worlds and we will make our own stories.

2/06/11 1:01:14 PM#116
Originally posted by Manasu
Originally posted by Paradigm68

Need a fantasy based ver of EvE

Yeap!

Yet they can do the complex and unnecessary phasing instead.  Go figure.

U.O. had housing, and that was back in 1998.

  xpiher

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/08
Posts: 3304

2/06/11 5:45:38 PM#117
Originally posted by Manasu
Originally posted by Paradigm68

Need a fantasy based ver of EvE

Yeap!

Its coming. Its called world of darkness. 


Games:
Currently playing:Nothing
Will play: Darkfall: Unholy Wars
Past games:
Guild Wars 2 - Xpiher Duminous
Xpiher's GW2
GW 1 - Xpiher Duminous
Darkfall - Xpiher Duminous (NA) retired
AoC - Xpiher (Tyranny) retired
Warhammer - Xpiher

  HolaHola

Novice Member

Joined: 2/21/08
Posts: 68

2/06/11 5:55:45 PM#118

Take a look at ArchAge for an AAA sandbox game.

Playing: League of Legends!

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10942

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

2/06/11 6:09:41 PM#119


Originally posted by xpiher


Originally posted by Manasu


Originally posted by Paradigm68

Need a fantasy based ver of EvE


Yeap!


Its coming. Its called world of darkness. 



Other than it's being written by CCP, is there anything, anything at all that anyone can point to that gives any details on the type of game WoD is going to be?

Economy? PvP? Storylines? Player governments? Anything?

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Erstok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 581

Fanatics are picturesque, mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reason.

2/06/11 6:15:58 PM#120

SWG Pre-CU, without SOE.


When did you start playing "old school" MMO's. World Of Warcraft?

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