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

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470 posts found
  Derkyn

Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/11
Posts: 1

6/22/11 8:40:45 AM#61

What I don't know is why both contents are opposed. I learned about sandbox games watching some anime and tv series about virtual games that are like mmo. I was always tired of Wow about raids that were the only thing that you could do in high end, the thing that I liked more about wow was the pvp conflicts with campers and role play events that was so casual to see. The game didn't reward this kind of game, but wow had good points.

The possibility to play more cassually, doing some quests, and lvling was fun, it's not like you can have the time to live everyday a adventure of sandbox likes.

So I think,that a game that would have the both content would be more perfect, more theme park for the beginning of the game, but the high end content would be sand box, because sandbox lacks this early gameplay that keep you playing.

Even let the people to create their own mission with npc for the people, the management of the npc, for the newb people playing. Designers and players creating the world together. More problems about the the sandbox, is that the boring task are done too by the player like farming or having boring classes like merchant because it's the hardcore way of doing things, is realistic.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 1036

6/26/11 2:03:17 PM#62

Here is how I divide.

 

Content. 

WoW no EQ style game is based on single player styled RPG played with a lot of people.   The developer content is the focus.  Nothing the player does effects anything outside of their own personal experience with few usually temporary exceptions.   I don't know if I like these games being called themeparks.  Because sandboxes games almost always themeparks which is why I don't think its a good term.  

UO styled games are based on player and world interactions and tools being first and developer generated content is second.   You have a themes and themeparks giving the players developer direction.  But the community makes the game and defines it to a degree and unique content.

Housing. 

In UO styled games you tend to have real estate either freely placed, zone restricted or buying of limited pre-built, but they all have physical domain.  Though some games don't have this which is pretty sad for a sandbox.

In EQ styled games most games live you as vagabonds or live in virtual space that's not tied to the main world. 

Crafting:

Both style games tend to have the same style or at least can.  The importance of UO styled games is allowing the building of community tools and content.

My biggest disappointment is the lack of top of the line sandbox games and the saturation of themepark only games.  I always felt that the two genres would have merged giving us heavy developer content games that allow you to form comunnities, towns, cities or nations in the open space.  SWG was a step in this directions but it last it's way and failed and pretty much killed the Sandbox. 

Imagine a game with the content of wow where you could build own faction/racial cities in contested areas. 

  Ghil

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/04
Posts: 22

6/27/11 9:05:01 AM#63

Because the two are in opposition. A sandbox is about freedom, about trying to not limit the player as much as possible, to create basically a room full of toys which can then be assembled by the kids and form a unique toy room.

The Themepark is exactly the opposite: Limiting the player allows to generate content tailored to what the devs envisioned. Yes, the parents did most of the room, but hey, What a cool looking medieval themed toy room!

To create deep and involved storylines, you have to set the pieces yourself. The more storyline heavy your focus becomes, the more you chip away at the player's freedom, and the more you try to make the story modular, so you can plug it into an ever evolving world, the more you restrain your writers and their abilities.

Not one of those two is the "true awesomely good" approach to MMOs. But before we can merge them, we have a LONG way to go into the rabbit's hole, technologically speaking, to allow for a sort of scripted freedom. To allow your writers to wander off into the world and plant seeds of stories all over, that could dynamically evolve depending on the world's state, would be insanely awesome, but insanely hard to do.

  jamigre

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/07/03
Posts: 300

6/27/11 2:24:40 PM#64

Comparing a themepark to a sandbox, is very allegorical. In a themepark you see the form of a house but you dont get to build it, you see a market economy but you don't quite get to experience it. 

And once you step out of that cave, and see the objects as they are, not their shadow versions, you think to youself. Geez, why did I ever even bother with all that themepark junk. 

:)

-------
Check out http://partyupgamer.com - and meet people you actually want to play with.
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  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 1036

6/28/11 11:40:56 AM#65
Originally posted by Ghil

Because the two are in opposition. A sandbox is about freedom, about trying to not limit the player as much as possible, to create basically a room full of toys which can then be assembled by the kids and form a unique toy room.

The Themepark is exactly the opposite: Limiting the player allows to generate content tailored to what the devs envisioned. Yes, the parents did most of the room, but hey, What a cool looking medieval themed toy room!

To create deep and involved storylines, you have to set the pieces yourself. The more storyline heavy your focus becomes, the more you chip away at the player's freedom, and the more you try to make the story modular, so you can plug it into an ever evolving world, the more you restrain your writers and their abilities.

Not one of those two is the "true awesomely good" approach to MMOs. But before we can merge them, we have a LONG way to go into the rabbit's hole, technologically speaking, to allow for a sort of scripted freedom. To allow your writers to wander off into the world and plant seeds of stories all over, that could dynamically evolve depending on the world's state, would be insanely awesome, but insanely hard to do.

I think the way to get Sandboxes to feel more involved is to think outside the box.

The number one way I think is to have World Masters who can give quest and have tools to create quest large scale and small scale.  Second the lose the fear of having unique and one time quest and make them be the seeds of communal quest.  Thridly give players tools as well to be able to create create content and reason to do so.  As well as compliment the World Masters role.

And example of a World Master Large Scale Quest.  World Master takes over the role of a NPC and gives players area a quest to recover Sword of Whatever in recently uncovered area.   Area is generated by World Master generated and populated with mobs according to the story arc.  The player who recovers the sword find a sword with super good stats or ability.  Upon picking the sword up he finds him/herself cursed with  a disease that weakens him badly and disfigures them(ugly model).  This disease is highly contagous and weakens other players in a radius which soon spreads to most locals and others world wide.   World Master NPC quest giver turns out to be a monster of some sort of the monsters from the undiscoverd area and they launch attacks on weakend players and their towns.  World Master plops war tents near cities and NPC's attack every so often or occupy them.   A quest line around the world is created tto find answers on how to cure the disease.  This would be an example of a main monthly story arc.

I think World Master concept could bridge the gap of content without forcing sandboxes to have toomany perm theme attractions slapped on a community builder.

  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

7/01/11 9:07:10 PM#66
Originally posted by textron
Originally posted by Ghil

Because the two are in opposition. A sandbox is about freedom, about trying to not limit the player as much as possible, to create basically a room full of toys which can then be assembled by the kids and form a unique toy room.

The Themepark is exactly the opposite: Limiting the player allows to generate content tailored to what the devs envisioned. Yes, the parents did most of the room, but hey, What a cool looking medieval themed toy room!

To create deep and involved storylines, you have to set the pieces yourself. The more storyline heavy your focus becomes, the more you chip away at the player's freedom, and the more you try to make the story modular, so you can plug it into an ever evolving world, the more you restrain your writers and their abilities.

Not one of those two is the "true awesomely good" approach to MMOs. But before we can merge them, we have a LONG way to go into the rabbit's hole, technologically speaking, to allow for a sort of scripted freedom. To allow your writers to wander off into the world and plant seeds of stories all over, that could dynamically evolve depending on the world's state, would be insanely awesome, but insanely hard to do.

I think the way to get Sandboxes to feel more involved is to think outside the box.

The number one way I think is to have World Masters who can give quest and have tools to create quest large scale and small scale.  Second the lose the fear of having unique and one time quest and make them be the seeds of communal quest.  Thridly give players tools as well to be able to create create content and reason to do so.  As well as compliment the World Masters role.

And example of a World Master Large Scale Quest.  World Master takes over the role of a NPC and gives players area a quest to recover Sword of Whatever in recently uncovered area.   Area is generated by World Master generated and populated with mobs according to the story arc.  The player who recovers the sword find a sword with super good stats or ability.  Upon picking the sword up he finds him/herself cursed with  a disease that weakens him badly and disfigures them(ugly model).  This disease is highly contagous and weakens other players in a radius which soon spreads to most locals and others world wide.   World Master NPC quest giver turns out to be a monster of some sort of the monsters from the undiscoverd area and they launch attacks on weakend players and their towns.  World Master plops war tents near cities and NPC's attack every so often or occupy them.   A quest line around the world is created tto find answers on how to cure the disease.  This would be an example of a main monthly story arc.

I think World Master concept could bridge the gap of content without forcing sandboxes to have toomany perm theme attractions slapped on a community builder.

After playing pen and paper D and D a couple of times in a group, I wasn't invited one day so I asked the dude, "Why wasn't I invited?"  He said I was "min-maxing".  I didn't know what that meant at the time so I was like, "Fine whatever."

"Min-Maxing" is the opposite of roleplaying.  You do not want to turn the Game Master over to a bunch of non-roleplaying, meta-gaming, Chinese Gold buying, 5-account pay to win, favoratism hand-out Guild leaders.

About 5-10 years later I finally got around to reading my first fantasy book, which was based on D and D.  It was called uhhhh the Dragonlance series.  Fun books.  In those books I'd say the Dungeon Master roleplayed Gods and Demigods while maintaining the game mechanics in the backround.  I bet there could be a game devised where some players could roleplay Gods and Demigods, but there would have to be some significant game mechanics involved to properly impliment it.  I have seen nothing of the sort anywhere.

In Dragonlance the fictional Gods got powerful by the number of worshippers, and the fictional Gods were constantly at odds with each other using their followers as their proxy wars; it's possible to simulate this in a video game but I doubt devs have the vision or talent.   A sort of feedback loop.  But if Godhood for any player becomes too attractive then everyone would want to be one, too many chiefs not enough Indians; or it would just be dominated by Guild Leaders who couldn't roleplay themselves out of a paper bag.  So the trick would be to make Godhood more work and less rewarding then playing normal characters.  The God would have to constantly supply their followers with phat lewt, while helping and guiding their followers to war with the followers of other Gods.  Evil vs. Good, etc.

  Moaky07

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/24/07
Posts: 2199

MMO sandbox games are as exciting as watching paint dry.

7/04/11 11:35:16 AM#67
Originally posted by jamigre

Comparing a themepark to a sandbox, is very allegorical. In a themepark you see the form of a house but you dont get to build it, you see a market economy but you don't quite get to experience it. 

And once you step out of that cave, and see the objects as they are, not their shadow versions, you think to youself. Geez, why did I ever even bother with all that themepark junk. 

:)

 Well I guess you took the red pill then eh?

 

If I am paying a company to have an account, I want them to be the ones creating the content. Proffesionally created content rules over wanna-be developer content the far majority of the time.

 

Not saying that there isnt some modders out there with quality stuff....I am saying they are the exception, and not the rule. To make matters worse, the good modders will never have access to the same tools the actual Devs do.

 

In short...pizz on sandboxes.

Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 1036

7/05/11 12:16:47 PM#68
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by jamigre

Comparing a themepark to a sandbox, is very allegorical. In a themepark you see the form of a house but you dont get to build it, you see a market economy but you don't quite get to experience it. 

And once you step out of that cave, and see the objects as they are, not their shadow versions, you think to youself. Geez, why did I ever even bother with all that themepark junk. 

:)

 Well I guess you took the red pill then eh?

 

If I am paying a company to have an account, I want them to be the ones creating the content. Proffesionally created content rules over wanna-be developer content the far majority of the time.

 

Not saying that there isnt some modders out there with quality stuff....I am saying they are the exception, and not the rule. To make matters worse, the good modders will never have access to the same tools the actual Devs do.

 

In short...pizz on sandboxes.

 The problem is that developer content gets pissed through fast, lamer than what you get in single player games, and repetative and stagnant from game to game (Kill 200 wolves for 5 wolf pelts for you and all your characters)

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3756

RIP City of Heroes!

7/05/11 12:20:19 PM#69
Originally posted by textron
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by jamigre

Comparing a themepark to a sandbox, is very allegorical. In a themepark you see the form of a house but you dont get to build it, you see a market economy but you don't quite get to experience it. 

And once you step out of that cave, and see the objects as they are, not their shadow versions, you think to youself. Geez, why did I ever even bother with all that themepark junk. 

:)

 Well I guess you took the red pill then eh?

 

If I am paying a company to have an account, I want them to be the ones creating the content. Proffesionally created content rules over wanna-be developer content the far majority of the time.

 

Not saying that there isnt some modders out there with quality stuff....I am saying they are the exception, and not the rule. To make matters worse, the good modders will never have access to the same tools the actual Devs do.

 

In short...pizz on sandboxes.

 The problem is that developer content gets pissed through fast, lamer than what you get in single player games, and repetative and stagnant from game to game (Kill 200 wolves for 5 wolf pelts for you and all your characters)

 I agree with Moaky07 about the professional content.  Too many people believe their own content is a pile of gold when it really is a pile of junk.   I pay for professional quality content.  If I have exhausted content, it's time to move on to something else. 

  aionix

Novice Member

Joined: 12/14/07
Posts: 296

7/05/11 12:29:00 PM#70

I enjoy both....it tends to be a mood thing.  Sandbox MMO's are all about the community.   I play EVE and love how deep the world is, how great my corp buddies are, and how everyday I go out to the market to sell my ice and ore it is different and there is always soemthing big (politically or battle) going on.  Sandbox MMO's (when done right of course) are fantastic worlds where you can live a second life (no pun intended for that horrific game) and truly roleplay.

 

Someday's though, I just want to relax and get a shiny lol.  I play RIFT atm and enjoy the guild I'm in.  Its not a spectacular game, but its a done right Themepark MMO and a fine alternative to WoW, EQ2, or AoC.  However, I think there is soon to be a trend breaker in the Themepark realm.

 

I see the last successul subscription based Themepark MMORPG being SWToR because its Bioware and Star Wars.  It will have a nice big battle with WoW and they'll compete over those gamers that don't mind to shell out $15 a month.  However, GW2 with its B2P method (if successful which at this point looks to be) will be the new way of Themeparks.  People will buy this because they can play it at anytime without feeling the need to log in everyday for dailies because there is no subscription.  When they get the mood to go and "loot a shiny" they'll hop on GW2 for a couple of hours.  I see this becoming the new successful payment method for Themeparks because it makes sense when you understand the gameplay.

 

I only see single sharded Sandbox MMO's getting away with subscriptions in the future in all honesty.  But this is my own opinion, to each his own.

  ladyattis

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/04
Posts: 1261

Wicked Witch of Single Player Games!

7/06/11 6:06:34 PM#71


Originally posted by Erstok
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.


Actually, the opposite is true in terms of supply vs demand. If there's too many sell orders in EVE, watch the price tumble to parity with the buy orders in any trade hub. SWG had mudflation due to growing servers, which made pricing vary dramatically from server to server.

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 1036

7/08/11 5:33:02 PM#72
Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by textron
Originally posted by Moaky07
Originally posted by jamigre

Comparing a themepark to a sandbox, is very allegorical. In a themepark you see the form of a house but you dont get to build it, you see a market economy but you don't quite get to experience it. 

And once you step out of that cave, and see the objects as they are, not their shadow versions, you think to youself. Geez, why did I ever even bother with all that themepark junk. 

:)

 Well I guess you took the red pill then eh?

 

If I am paying a company to have an account, I want them to be the ones creating the content. Proffesionally created content rules over wanna-be developer content the far majority of the time.

 

Not saying that there isnt some modders out there with quality stuff....I am saying they are the exception, and not the rule. To make matters worse, the good modders will never have access to the same tools the actual Devs do.

 

In short...pizz on sandboxes.

 The problem is that developer content gets pissed through fast, lamer than what you get in single player games, and repetative and stagnant from game to game (Kill 200 wolves for 5 wolf pelts for you and all your characters)

 I agree with Moaky07 about the professional content.  Too many people believe their own content is a pile of gold when it really is a pile of junk.   I pay for professional quality content.  If I have exhausted content, it's time to move on to something else. 

What I was talking about was profession content  as well.  Just coming from event set into motion by World Master style story tellers. 

What do you consider profession content?  Kill quest? Deliver quest? Find something on the ground quest? Those are pretty much the basis for all MMORPG quest.   How many times do you skip reading what's said and figure out what you need to do?  How often do you care about the quest or make a difference with your character or world?

  Sulaa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/13/11
Posts: 905

7/13/11 5:02:31 AM#73

Sandbox is better imho BUT too many ppl think open pvp = sandbox.

For sandbox game to be good and interesting it has to be attractive and has professionaly developed content on few areas:

- very good crafting

- interesting housing

- good pve content

- interesting pvp system

- economy! (crafters have to make all or almost all of items, dungeons , etc should give you some ingridients not ready items + there has to be things to make economy going , like items losing durability and finally getting broken and/or losing some items when dying ,etc)

Sandbox imho have to be developed good on various levels as it is supposed to "emulate" complete world with certain rules.

 

I am not against themeparks I've played some f.e Lotro till I got tired on f2p item shop influencing game more and more.

Problem with themeparks is after you hit level cap they start to be boring very quickly unless you are into raiding or instanced pvp. They get boring even quicker if you go to anther themepark immedietaly after playing one before.

I think that one of the reasons (ofc among many others like bugs, etc) that many people stop playing many mmos after such short time as 2-3 months, etc . Because almost all of games follow same pattern : solo lvl to max lvl then raid or/and do instanced pvp.

Ppl get bored fast and switch games all the time, some try avoid boredom by playing few games at once (and that is one of the main reasons that many such ppl prefer f2p to avoid few subscriptions).

Good sandbox (like UO or Eve thou second one goes dangerous road lately) or "sandpark" (like f.e SWG) can give many players more ways of entertaiment than jsut grinding instances endlessly thus keeping you playing for much longer.

But sandbox or sandpark has to be good , some are jsut focused on one area like DFO only has pvp (pve , crafting ,etc are laugable) or are bugged and/or filled with bots to death (Vanguard).

 

Maybe it is impossible for sandbox game to reach subscription levels like WoW, but I am sure that good sandbox or with even more chance good "sandpark" can reach preety high levels of subscription. Eve has abut 400 k subscriptions and it is spaceship sf, I think professional and complete fantasy sandpark  could easily reach 1 mln +.

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4853

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

7/13/11 12:17:35 PM#74

" economy! (crafters have to make all or almost all of items, dungeons , etc should give you some ingridients not ready items + there has to be things to make economy going , like items losing durability and finally getting broken and/or losing some items when dying ,etc)"

I have to disagree with this part here.  I have played games where mobs did not drop ready items and just dopped ingredients.   The result was very very few adventures - they have no reason to go to the dungeon.  And with very few adventures, there is no one to buy the crafters items.  So the crafters just end up making it for themselves.

Here is what happens - the adventurer goes to the dungeon, grabs ingredients, then waits.  He needs to find a crafter which takes time, then he needs to wait for the crafter to actually make it which could be anywhere from 15-20 minutes to travel there, make it and travel to where he can use it, to days or weeks for the crafter to make it and meet up with him again.  It ends up severely limiting the adventurers time and enjoyment.

I may not be a majority but I'm not alone, I won't play a game like that again.

Venge

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Kothoses

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/08/10
Posts: 689

7/13/11 12:26:13 PM#75

Sandbox  might not = open PVP but it certainly should not also = crafting/housing/economy just because its sandbox.  If we take the literal meanings of them then I prefer a themepark but only just.

 

Sandbox = You are the player taking part in a world, there are no "levels, Zones or quests" just you and the world.  You are still not able to just go anywhere you want without being brutally killed.

 

Themepark = You are the player taking part in a story.  There are "levels zones and quests"  You are not able to go anywhere you want without being brutally killed.

 

 

I hate the idea that player driven economies deep and engaging crafting systems and quests and dungeons are all mutually exclusive.  Final Fantasy online had elements of them all in it and that worked fine.  The day a studio comes up with a Sandbox mentality game, with the added content that a themepark brings, IE A truley open world with quests stories plots player driven economics, internedependant crafting, dungeons, solo and group play without the need to throw in FFA pvp and player looting then they will be on to a winner.

 

Hence why although I will be playing ToR for the story, I will be watching TSW and Archage for their worlds :)

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

  mrcalhou

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 1459

7/13/11 12:33:25 PM#76

I basically distill the concept of themepark and sandbox to where a themepark is story-driven and follows a mostly linear progression path and a sandbox may or may not have stories but regardless of if they do characters will not be forced to follow the same path to progress.

This is why I'd classify Eve, even though it has missions (quests), as a sandbox.

--------
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The most awesomest after school special T-shirt:
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Back: /\OH --> Bad Decisions

  clbembry

Novice Member

Joined: 7/14/11
Posts: 95

7/14/11 12:54:39 AM#77

I think the best example of a sandbox is Minecraft.

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

7/17/11 10:11:38 AM#78
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by sagil

Sandbox should actually have more content than themepark. Take this as an example of a feature: quests (i dont like seeing just terrain, i would like to go on missions and uncover the history of the world) that give fame to particular factions. Since in sandbox you skill up instead of going up in levels so you can freely choose what to be.

 

It's too bad only small budget developers are making sandbox games.

Sandbox with lots of contents is a Theme Park.

You obvious don't know difference between Sandbox and Themepark.

  dageeza

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/04
Posts: 580

7/17/11 1:10:29 PM#79

Definitions are different and fairly undefined for sandbox games as any or many rulesets can be used or even none need be applied depending on what the dev's own definition of sandbox is...

I think many gamers and devs alike have their own version of what a sandbox is and isnt, should and shouldnt be..

Sandboxes can range from simplistic niche pvp oriented full lootz litterboxes all the way to insanely complex full featured PvEvPvP sandboxes with player ran politics and completely player ran rulesets, player built universes and many things that have not even been thought of let alone implemented in any game yet..

Sandbox games are capable of going way beyond the pre-determined paths of todays themepark games and are the future of the mmo market including FPSMMOs, yet to many (myself included) there is something missing in all the current sandbox, mmofps and themepark offerings that could only be filled in by combining the three, but that would be unrealistically asking for a real true new gen mmo instead of getting the same regurgated bits and pieces being repackaged and called a new game...

Playing GW2..

  Shoko_Lied

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/07
Posts: 2110

SWG Publish 4 Jedi:Flurry: TKM unlock

7/21/11 6:44:57 PM#80

I prefer sandbox mmo's when pulled off well. When players create their own adventure and fun, then there is no worry about whether or not the developers can release tons of raid content/uber drops to keep the community satasfied. This also invalidates progress and changes the dynamic of how the game is played constantly.

Besides in themeparks, you can only make a robe look SO cool, then after that everything looks more or less the same, or worse. An ideal sandbox has a lot more potential for a rewarding investment than a themepark imo. And no, a sanbox doesn't HAVE to have a lot of grinding like so many people think.

The only people I know who don't like sandbox mmo's, hate them because either they haven't played one and have heard some negative things, or don't know where to go and what to do in the game. They prefer having set path's. I don't dislike a good themepark like the next guy, but I just cant believe how many people don't have any self sufficiency in games.

But really, My absolute favorite mmorpg is the sandpark type.

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