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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why are there no sandbox MMO's - Why do they Fail?

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59 posts found
  Bior337

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/08/12
Posts: 25

9/08/12 7:24:08 PM#21
Originally posted by JimmyYO

If people can convince investors to make more then 2 Blade movies, More money into Vanguard, letting the EQ2 guys make another EQ, paying Turbine to do anything after DDO, a Ghostrider sequel and much more then anything is possible.

Investors get duped into making crap more often then successes, I guess sandbox devs are worse at BS'ing the rich folk.

What's wrong with Vanguard?

  JimmyYO

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/11
Posts: 541

9/08/12 7:25:36 PM#22
Originally posted by Kenze

its "cool" to seem to be  hardcore and be seen wanting a sandbox but very, very few want to actualy play a sandbox mmo.

 

We wouldn't know there aren't any good ones for non Sci Fi fans.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16610

9/08/12 7:25:49 PM#23
Originally posted by Geschaefer

I truly dont get it.

Is it that they arent lucative for the big gaming developers?

Are they too difficult to run?

What is it?

Those of us who have played true sandbox seem to never keep our mouths shut on these forums about he we all want a viable sandbox MMO. - but no ones willing to invest / develope one.

I inderstand that sandbox MMO's have shut down in the past - but at the same time so have themeparks.

I was a player of Pre NGE SWG - had my game destroyed by its makers - and have been waiting patiently for years for a new game to pick up the sandbox torch. 

Does anyone have any true insight as to why there arent any viable sandbox's and why theres no real sandbox prospects on the horizon? 

A sandbox MMO is a lot harder to make. In a themepark game you generally know what the players want to do, in a sandbox they can more or less do anything.

Creating tools for the players might sounds easier at first glance than making loads of quests but when you stop to think about it you will see that there is a lot of problems with that.

You need to make it so your players can entertain themselves all the time.

And there is not really someone you can copy either, UO wouldnt really work today, Eve is so niched that a copy would have very hard to take Eves players and ever harder to find new and while the SWG vets say something other the game never were that popular and lost players fast already before the NGE (yeah, I know it had great crafting).

No, you would have to make a new system for scratch or do like CCP is doing for WoDO, take an P&P system and mod it into a MMO system.

Few devs dare to take such chanse or for that matter all that work, that is why Bethesda chickened out and made ESO into a themepark instead.

I for one wait for WoDO and hope that Rockstar will make a MMO, they both have funding and guts enough to make a real sandbox MMO.

  JimmyYO

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/11
Posts: 541

9/08/12 7:28:52 PM#24

What's wrong with Vanguard?

http://forums.station.sony.com/vg/posts/list.m?topic_id=58842

And heres a sample of the latest patch from the recommitted devs. If that isn't enough the last 4 patches before it were just like this one:

http://forums.station.sony.com/vg/posts/list.m?topic_id=58871

 

  Sephros

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/22/11
Posts: 388

9/08/12 7:36:32 PM#25
I think dayz shows that the sandbox and hardcore crowd arent as small as everyone thinks. 1.1 mil unique id's. Thats one per account bought. Before the graphic glitch situation that lasted far to long, they were having 200k players per 24 hour.period. Those are great numbers, and that was for an alpha mod for petes sake. There is a demand, hopfully the standalone dayz product will crush those numbers, and all the other devs will do headspins. They have already noticed the want for a product like that. Now they are behind the eight ball.

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  jmcdermottuk

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/10/06
Posts: 781

9/08/12 7:42:50 PM#26
Originally posted by Bior337
Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

First off let's stop looking at DayZ, it's not an MMO.

Um... its more of an MMO than the majority of themepark games released in the last 7 years. How the hell isn't it an MMO? If games like DDO and SWTOR and World of Tanks are MMOs then so is Dayz.

It's a mod for an FPS game. The servers hold 64 people, hardly Massive, that first M in MMO. Is Battlefield or CoD an MMO? No, same thing. You're also correct about World of Tanks, which isn't an MMO, but a lobby based FPS 15v15 game with tanks instead of people with guns but it has a cash shop so people are fooled into calling it an MMO, but it isn't.

Planetside 2 plans to allow 2000 people per continent to fight it out, Massive! GW2 currently has 500 players per server in W v W v W, 1500 total, again Massive. 64 players to a server is basic FPS territory. It's multiplayer but not Massive.

The title MMO is applied to a lot of games these days that are not MMO's and never will be until they can allow and least a couple of hundred players to interact in the game and not just in a lobby.

I'm being a bit pedantic, I know, but this is one of my pet hates. Putting a pig in a stable doesn't make it a horse. The same applies to a lot of games people are currently calling MMO's but which fail to meet the basic tenent of Massively multiplayer online. And that's not numbers of subs or boxes sold but numbers of people interacting within the gameplay itself.

Sorry for derailing the thread there but as I said, pet hate. Back to sandbox MMO's and their failings. Already said it. It's the FFA Full Loot without consequences scaring players off that's the main fault.

  eddieg50

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/22/05
Posts: 1478

9/08/12 7:43:28 PM#27
I was playing Ryzom for a while , perfectly good sand box but no one plays it, People just do not like sand box games
  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16610

9/08/12 7:43:31 PM#28
Originally posted by Sephros
I think dayz shows that the sandbox and hardcore crowd arent as small as everyone thinks. 1.1 mil unique id's. Thats one per account bought. Before the graphic glitch situation that lasted far to long, they were having 200k players per 24 hour.period. Those are great numbers, and that was for an alpha mod for petes sake. There is a demand, hopfully the standalone dayz product will crush those numbers, and all the other devs will do headspins. They have already noticed the want for a product like that. Now they are behind the eight ball.

The sandbox only fans are a small group but there is a lot of people like me who just want a good game. I dont care if a game is a sandbox or not, I just want a good game.

But all larger investors have only put their money into Wow copies the last 8 years so the choices is rather limited. We can choose between Eve, which is a good game but somewhat limited in the type of players it attracts or a few badly done indie games.

If ESO really would have been a sandbox it could have made a big difference, Bethesda have already proven that millions like their singleplayer sandboxes.

But as I said, I only want a good game and Eve really isnt my type of game so currently I only play singleplayer sandboxes.

  Sephros

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/22/11
Posts: 388

9/08/12 7:50:42 PM#29
And im sure a lot of those wow clones would have loved to see dayz numbers. They will start to come.around. Once more people like rocket show some nads and just do it. Obviously bohemia interactive has seen the light, they are funding stand alone dayz.

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  Khayotix

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/08
Posts: 222

If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

9/08/12 7:53:56 PM#30

The problem with why "Sandbox" MMO's fail is Quality. Compared to a game that has a huge budget like most "AAA" MMO's they just cannot compete in quality and polish for the most part, graphics are sub par or worse, animations, the whole nine yards. This however is changing as we speak, with games like Archeage, Everquest Next, Black Desert Online, DayZ(although not entirely an MMO) and quite a few others.

 

The tides are turning to create more AAA quality Sandboxes, and more emergent gameplay mechanics giving us as players more and more freedom.

 

  Sora2810

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/23/08
Posts: 567

9/08/12 8:02:19 PM#31
Originally posted by Geschaefer

Ye, i have played eve.

My problem wiht eve (and ive heard this from a lot of former eve players) is that I dont like playing as a ship.

Its that simple. Eve is good, I just woule prefer developing a character and fighting creatures / missions / other players.

Im just not into flying my character ship while mining and trying to not get blown up.

I will always enjoy MMO's with sandbox elements. I'm shocked no one has come in and toted example 'a' is not a true sandbox. 

Look up repopulation OP.

Here's my take; Developers are finding it hard to create an MMO without the finicial backing of a publisher. Publishers use math and statistics to predict the succes of a game, based on whats popular. Sandboxes are not meant to amass trillions of users. In fact, most of them max out at 200k, which, as far as sandboxes goes, is the equivilent of 2 million themepark players.

Niches are the greatest communities in gaming existance. They love a game before it comes out, support and help provide valuable feedback, understand work-arounds for imperfections/bugs. So long as dev's keep their niche happy: they know they will always come back. Unfortunately, other developers turn a blind eye towards this and believe gaining new players is the end all/be all solution. Which is why WoW turned a bit more. . . <insert synonym for casual here> .

Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  User Deleted
9/09/12 5:12:05 AM#32
Originally posted by Geschaefer

Ye, i have played eve.

My problem wiht eve (and ive heard this from a lot of former eve players) is that I dont like playing as a ship.

Its that simple. Eve is good, I just woule prefer developing a character and fighting creatures / missions / other players.

Im just not into flying my character ship while mining and trying to not get blown up.

That's fine and all, but the fact you don't like "being a ship" doesn't make it not a sandbox and it doesn't mean it has "failed". Making the title/original OP somewhat incorrect.

  jpnz

Elite Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3545

9/09/12 5:16:27 AM#33

Kinda like how the music industry doesn't have a lot of 'jazz' right now.

It just isn't popular thus not many people make that kind of music.

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

  StonesDK

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1833

9/10/12 6:54:00 AM#34
Themeparks are holding investors back from supporting sandbox games. Themeparks has a quantifiable number of potential subscribers in the millions.

 

Sandboxes have quantifiable numbers in hundreds of thousands so the funding will reflect it and so will the quality

 

 

To catch an investors eye you have to be able to sell your idea. WoW sounds better than EvE.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17123

9/10/12 7:01:26 AM#35
Originally posted by jpnz

Kinda like how the music industry doesn't have a lot of 'jazz' right now.

It just isn't popular thus not many people make that kind of music.

I've been saying that for years.

Though there are quite a few people playing jazz. Buying it? not so much.

Niche community.

 

 

  Bjelar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/12
Posts: 383

9/10/12 7:11:50 AM#36
Originally posted by Kenze

its "cool" to seem to be  hardcore and be seen wanting a sandbox but very, very few want to actualy play a sandbox mmo.

 

Exactly. People don't want to play what they say they want to play.

  tuppe99

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/16/05
Posts: 250

9/10/12 7:19:53 AM#37

And even the people here, that are clamoring for a sandbox do not really want to play one ;)

 

There are quite a few sandboxes (there is a thread somewhere that lists them all), but very few people on these forums are playing them. Here, we are all waiting for the "ultimate" sandbox and we won't touch anything else in the meantime. 

  StonesDK

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/06/11
Posts: 1833

9/10/12 8:51:49 AM#38
Originally posted by tuppe99

And even the people here, that are clamoring for a sandbox do not really want to play one ;)

 

There are quite a few sandboxes (there is a thread somewhere that lists them all), but very few people on these forums are playing them. Here, we are all waiting for the "ultimate" sandbox and we won't touch anything else in the meantime. 

Correction. People don't want to play shitty sandbox games. There's a difference. You need to get out of your black and white world

 

Take FFA full loot PvP out of the equation and what do you have left on the list?

When you have done that then filter out F2P cash shop as well

Then take out the ones with gamebreaking bugs, corrupt moderators, and last but not least perma death

 

That's the heart of the matter. There is no lack of sandbox games. Just good quality ones actually worth the space on the hard drive

You could say the devs behind sandbox games are their own worst enemies. Not only do they decide to make a niche game, they also include niche mechanics to make their playerbase even smaller. Then factor in a small budget and an obsolete game engine and It's no wonder why they fail

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

9/10/12 9:04:16 AM#39

Most devs never have done any sandbox.   It is possible some of lead designers don't really know or are not interested how to make one. 

 

Make a shit low cost sandbox that will remake dozens of small mistakes of first sandboxes is easy.

Make sandobx that will be reall though out and will not be dumbed-down, streamlined and filled with big amount of hand-holding themepark ideas is mind-blowing to design. I think.

 

Concept wise to make themepark is simpler.  With big budgets hundreas of devs will be working on it and it will be huge complex enterprise, but concept wise most themeparks are simple as hell.

Design content that players will do in a way someone designed  vs making whole lot of complex systems in a way that will be interesing and fun to use and it will be hard or impossible to abuse.

 

It might be hard to even assembly a good team to make very well made sandbox.  Most experienced themepark devs won't have any experience in sandbox.  Most sandbox developers never created succesful product.  At least in western market.

Since there were only 2 succesful sandboxes and 1 that was succesful for relatively short time.

 

 

  Brenelael

Guide

Joined: 10/19/06
Posts: 3951

Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious since 2006

9/10/12 9:33:44 AM#40

The #1 reason why most Sandbox MMOs don't do so well is that Devs seem to be stuck with the idea that Sandbox has to equal FFA PvP w/Full Loot. The first major developer to create a PvE oriented Sandbox MMO will most probably have an instant success on their hands. The problem is because most Sandbox MMOs don't do so well they aren't willing to take the risk so it's a Catch 22 situation. A well made PvE Sandbox MMO would appeal to the mainstream MMO market but because all of these FFA PvP w/Full Loot Sandbox MMOs keep struggling to survive in their niche markets no investers are willing to dump a boat load of cash into anything with a "Sandbox" label on it. "Sandbox" = Failure in their eyes.

 

Bren

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