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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Sandbox vs Themepark Discussion Thread

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470 posts found
  sagil

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 294

6/04/11 4:44:45 AM#41

Both have their goodies. Sandbox could have things such as what you see is what you get, like f.ex. taming an animal that you see before you. And themeparks have fun collaboration pve-wise where there are instances you can get stuff from.

What sandbox need to learn is more pve satisfaction (maybe not instances, but something that shines) and themeparks more what you see is what you get imo.

  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3721

6/04/11 7:26:03 AM#42
Originally posted by sagil
What sandbox need to learn is more pve satisfaction (maybe not instances, but something that shines) and themeparks more what you see is what you get imo.

 

I would agree with this, I would love to see a sandbox game ala eve in a fantasy setting, but with good quality questlines (less but higher quality long lines/lore)  and instances.  The instances should never ever give top end gear or it will mutate into an endgame cycle.  Thats why I like the reviews of archage so far, seems to be aiming in this direction, but I am watching the loot from instance discussion closely, but I think the J Song is aware of the issues so I am hopeful.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO

  Robokapp

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4778

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

6/04/11 7:30:41 AM#43

when I started eve, coming from wow everyone told me to do the tutorials. I did one tutorial and decided "I dont want to quest. I can quest in wow. here I want to do my own thing".

 

so I stopped doing tutorials. dumb idea...but I really really wanted to do my own thing.

 

I dont oppose to sandboxes having quests, but I'd like them not to be mandatory. in eve, aside for pvp, sometimes I feel like mining for a week straight, other times like ratting, other times just fly around probing...in WoW I never feel like going on mining expeditions for a week. I dont know why.

  emperorwings

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/06
Posts: 1397

6/04/11 7:47:51 AM#44

Destructable terrain, terraforming capabilityies, leveling (land), open skill classesss system is what a sandbox should be. PKing with a law system attached to it would be nice too so everyone just doesn't kill anyone for no reason.

This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3721

6/04/11 1:22:37 PM#45
Originally posted by Robokapp

when I started eve, coming from wow everyone told me to do the tutorials. I did one tutorial and decided "I dont want to quest. I can quest in wow. here I want to do my own thing".

 

so I stopped doing tutorials. dumb idea...but I really really wanted to do my own thing.

 

I dont oppose to sandboxes having quests, but I'd like them not to be mandatory. in eve, aside for pvp, sometimes I feel like mining for a week straight, other times like ratting, other times just fly around probing...in WoW I never feel like going on mining expeditions for a week. I dont know why.

 totally agree, I think questing should be there purely to add depth and storyline and lore and is optional.  It should offer no more xp than other avenues such as grinding, crafting etc.

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15845

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

6/04/11 2:01:06 PM#46

I want to give my opinion on the sandbox vs themepark debate. First lets look at the major western attempts at both.

For themeparks we have,

EQ 1/2

WOW

AOC

WAR

LOTOR

Rift

For sandboxes we have

UO

SWG

EVE

AC

DAOC is somewhere in the middle IMO. As I can't really call it a Themepark, maybe it's something else, it wasn't really a quest hub game?

Maybe I'm missing one or two from either sub-genre, but I think I named off the games with the most recognition.

Now looking at this list, there really isn't a huge number difference between the options that have been available over the years. Not as much as people seem to imply. If anything in recent years counting western indie attempts, there may even be more Sandbox games in the west.

My point with this is, have themeparks run their course? Maybe, at least  for a lot of people. However, that doesn't mean the sandbox genre is any more fresh. If anything IMO it's even older and staler, as people like myself had already grown tired of the typcial sandbox design before the Themepark phase took over.

Those who complain about the themepark stagnation seem to only have one alternative, make more sandboxes. The problem with that is; sandboxes may have already run their course as well. What would feel fresh about stepping into a new sandbox? Not much IMO, as I've been there and done that too. I"ve actually spent far more time with the SB sub-genre.

I'm just tired of hearing sandboxes used as the cure-all and end-all of the genre. As they had their chance, and even they had a hard time retaining mass customers over the long haul. It's not like forums were any less hostile towards games back then as they are now.

The answer to cure this stagantion is all new ideas, which as you can guess are hard to come up with. Hybrids are one way to go. However, with that, what elements do you use to add somethiing new into the genre, what would feel new? At this point I really don't have that answer.  You also have to keep in mind change things too much and you lose the genre as a whole.

In closing and TLDR, Sandboxes and themeparks are both old ideals, neither is fresh, the genre would be just as stale even if every game that released in the last few years was a sandbox.

 

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  Herodes

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/03
Posts: 1488

Consumer

6/04/11 2:01:33 PM#47


Originally posted by Bazharkhan

No levels combined with scalable content.  Levels are those nasty little buggers that like to sneak up on you and pigeon-hole you into content categories.
No classes.  Classes are nearly as insidious as levels.  When you have classes, you require all manner of class-specific content, quests, gear, etc.  Having a sandbox with classes is like having an open field neatly divided by big, immobile fences into much smaller, less open fields. 


I don´t disagree with you.

I just wanted to mention that IMO these 2 points are some of the core elements of RPG, I only miss item progression.
If I think this further, than this would mean...well...

the less RPG, the more sandbox.

  Bazharkhan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/10
Posts: 30

6/04/11 2:58:33 PM#48

You make a good point Herodes, and I would love to see levels and classes done well enough to prevent pigeon-holing.  I just haven't yet seen enough of it to convince me.  Can you think of a way that skill-based progression could work for you and still be enough of an RPG?  Give me a blade, a bow, and a spell or two for the dreary wilderness, and I will be a happy gamer.

  sagil

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 294

6/04/11 5:39:58 PM#49

No one has actually mentioned that indie themepark mmos fail harder than indie sandbox mmos. Look at Alganon f.ex.. Last time I saw there was only 23 players playing it.

  Kothoses

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/08/10
Posts: 690

6/04/11 5:41:59 PM#50

Badly made MMO of either Genre will fail, well made well supported MMO of either Genre will succeed.

 

Themeparks will attract more players but Sandboxes will keep players for a LOT longer.

 

Anecdotal generalisations that are only true in my opinion .

Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.

  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3721

6/04/11 6:01:26 PM#51
Originally posted by Kothoses

Badly made MMO of either Genre will fail, well made well supported MMO of either Genre will succeed.

 

Themeparks will attract more players but Sandboxes will keep players for a LOT longer.

 

Anecdotal generalisations that are only true in my opinion .

 agree with all points above.

 

Re the next gen of mmorgs we have 2 choices:

1 A themepark with more themeparky content.

2 A Sandbox with themepark content on top, i.e core community focus but with lots of pve/pvp content layered on top. 

For me personally when I think about what I want in a mmorg,  I understand that what I am looking for is that virtual world where I can immerse myself utterly in a new world, which is why sandbox appeals.   Re Option 1, you can see the dead end this represents, but also how it will attract the next generation of casual players.  I like to see it as following:

 

Start playing mmorgs ------------experienced-----------------------------------played for years

Themepark or sandbox-----------themepark or sandbox---------------------tired of themepark/older

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO

  Tahamtan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/16/03
Posts: 228

6/10/11 2:07:01 AM#52

I prefer Sandbox to themepark to a high extent. More freedom makes it interesting. Yet, MMO space is so empty of creativity right now that I welcome any good MMORPG. 

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3393

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

6/10/11 7:10:56 PM#53

Showing my ignorance here, but what is sandbox and themepark?

- 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

  kaveh7681

Novice Member

Joined: 11/22/06
Posts: 22

6/11/11 2:05:46 AM#54

Simply putting, in Sandbox MMO you have a lot of freedom in the world vs. Themepark that you are mostly limited by invisible lines of quests and rules of MMORPG. Still in Sandbox MMORPGs there are rules but many things in the world can be defined and changed by players and in summary in an ideal sandbox players are the ones who define the rules of the game vs themepark mmorpgs that game developers define how the world should be.

  jpnz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

6/11/11 2:57:55 AM#55
Originally posted by Brenelael
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
 

 But it does.  There are areas with towers of keeps you can control (Eastern plaguelands) and I'm told in Lich King expansion (I've never actually played this) there are more player controlled areas like this.

In a PVP realm in Wow there is nothing stopping a guild or players from controlling one particular zone and fighting to keep it (south shore anyway - a major gankfest of just horde killing alliance). 

No WoW cannot improve (I allready talked about building) those areas but they can keep them.

The spying, invasions, defense, that can all be done in WoW.  It normally isn't but it can be.

And if control territory is what sets them apart what apart all the so-called sandboxes that don't allow that - Istaria for one.

Venge

edit - since those can be done in WoW but the population chooses not to most of the time, does this mean that a major difference between sandbox and themepark is simply choice?

edit - aside from what bladstrom and I allready decided.  :)

The difference is in WoW the Developers decided which areas players can control. In EVE the players decide. Also In WoW the Developers chose the factions for the players. In EVE this is also left totally up to the players. In WoW the players controlled areas are on a timer... once the timer resets the areas are up for grabs again. In EVE a Corp can hold an area for years if they are strong enough. In WoW if you don't want to be a part of the area control system you can wander through without any concern. In EVE if you go into a another Corp's space you better have a damn good reason for being there.

 

The territory control system in EVE is nothing like what is in WoW.

 

Bren

The underline text is not technically 100% true.

Only 0.0 which CCP (the developers of EVE) decides can be player controlled.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3393

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

6/11/11 5:59:23 PM#56


Originally posted by kaveh7681
Simply putting, in Sandbox MMO you have a lot of freedom in the world vs. Themepark that you are mostly limited by invisible lines of quests and rules of MMORPG. Still in Sandbox MMORPGs there are rules but many things in the world can be defined and changed by players and in summary in an ideal sandbox players are the ones who define the rules of the game vs themepark mmorpgs that game developers define how the world should be.


Thank you. That clears some things up.

- 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

  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

6/18/11 8:47:09 AM#57

Sandbox means: player created content (housing, housing decorations, player owned vendors, Guild Halls, factories, mining thumpers, player economy; these games only include Pre-CU SWG, UO, and EVE (ugh))

Themepark means: developer created content  (quests, developer placed buildings, NPC vendors; every other game on planet)

-Player owned structures in instances does not count as sandbox because it effects nothing.

-Player owned structures restricted to plots of land is also not sandbox, it's functions quite like an instance; it effects nothing.

-Player owned structures which require a massive guild effort to build/maintain disenfranchises most players like in EVE, but technically could be considered functional and effecting other players.

-WOW's economy, while vast and quite time consuming doesn't count as a player economy, it effects nothing, it's simply another time sink.

-PVP could be considered Sandbox if it were player created content.  Ganking/Grieifing is not player created content, it is an oversight or lack of imagination on the developer's part to rectify the problem of Ganking/Griefing.  War, roleplaying highwaymen and pirates (only with real consequences) would be player created content, so in order for PVP to proporly work other game mechanics would have to be changed for it to be called a Sandbox feature.  You can't just throw PVP into a WOW-clone and call it a Sandbox feature.

 

Anything that promotes player created content leans towards sandbox:

-Level-grinding, mine-grinding, grinding-grinding, or any other repetative action that puts the player into a zombie-like state of mind slows player interaction and slows players from constructing, designing and placing player created content into the game world.  Leans towards Themepark.

-Jack of all trades characters that aren't required to interact with other players to trade prohibits player created content, leans towards Themepark.

-Having a high death penalty like in Eve Online kept a vast majority of players in safe space which is overcrowded and you can't even build structures there, NPC's own that space which isn't player created content.

-A centralized auction house negates the need for players to sell their wares at their owned NPC vendors, in their homes, which makes player owned structures function'less.  And a function'less player owned structure might as well be put in an instance since they serve no purpose.  Not a sandbox feature.

-Weapons and armor or anything else that drops off of a mob that allows a player to function without purchasing from another player is developer created content, therefore leans towards Themepark.  This includes all instances and raids in all of their incarnations, which exist solely for the purpose of avoiding spawn camping mobs that drop weapons and armor.

-RvR is developer created content (lore), FFA PVP where players could form their own organizations (lore) is player created content.

-Auto-lock and pushing 1,2,3,4 is developer created content.  Oblivion combat is player created content, a player can make up a wide variety of different fighting styles with just 2 mouse buttons, you can also design your own spells.  Who would win in Oblivion?:  A master Destruction mage, or a master Acrobat flying around avoiding missles?  Who knows, but it would be fun to watch.

-The only 2 MMOFPS, wwiionline and planetside, where you have to aim and it's not done awkwardly like in CU-SWG, a player can design their own fighting style as opposed to auto-lock and pushing 1,2,3,4 is player created content.  (like Oblivion)

  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

6/22/11 9:07:05 AM#58

My definition of sandbox extends to MMOFPS (wwiionline and planetside).  They are both Capture The Flag games  (hack the interface, hump the radio), that is developer created content.

"Well gosh, are you going to let the players place their own flags to be capped, in what logical geographical order will they place them, what logical reason would you do that?"

Of course not, that's silly.  A player, if given the chance, would place the flag in the middle of the ocean so it will be impossible for the enemy team to cap it, would be quite a stupid game to play wouldn't it.  So why not get rid of Capture The Flag altogether and simulate logistics?  In a real war the frontline was defined by how safely you could defend your logistical chain of supply in relation or proximity to the enemies logistical chain of supply, the terrain, and how you meet the enemy on that particular terrain.  The frontline in the real world is not determined by where the flags are to be capped.

You know what drove me absolutely up the wall playing WWIIONLINE?  The developers meticulously modelled WW2 equipment with precise anal accuracy, and then threw them into a big Team Fortress map.  Gawd!!!!  Then they had to backtrack on historical accuracy, like nerfing bombs, because bombing a spawn point (flag) would just be a too devestating camping tactic.

  ZombieKen

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/10
Posts: 4410

Zombie - Dead but still moving.

6/22/11 9:15:36 AM#59

@Nerf09  Great post... probably the cleanest comparison I've seen to date.

 

MSOTSG with PPE : Massively Single-player Online Task-driven Storyline Game with Purchasable Performance Enhancements *grin*

  Erstok

Novice Member

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 581

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

6/22/11 9:26:22 AM#60

Problem with sandboxes compared to the so called theme parks is less goods are regulated, the in game economies become over saturated with goods and prices get waaay to expensive (just like a real economy). Themeparks are very straight forward point a to point b gameplay. Themeparks tend to have more constructed story lines where as sandboxes are open ended though typically for a good example of a sandbox look at Second Life. It degenerates from user generated content into senseless circle jerking and drama out the ass.

Both have their positives and negatives and it's all a matter of peoples personal taste. Some like one and some like the other. 2 major examples that can easily be used for a comparison are SWG Pre-CU and WoW.


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

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