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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » A Sandbox: World of Warcraft. LOTRO, Warhammer, Rift, SWTOR... How would it work?

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24 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 6403

OP  10/09/12 4:07:55 PM#1

This is just for imagination and discussion of course.

But lets say with the funding needed,

how would you make a Sandbox MMO based on WoW, Warhammer, LOTRO, Rift and other post EQ2 themepark MMO?

seeing the features these MMOs have added to the genre, how would you apply it to a Sandbox MMO?



Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11863

10/09/12 4:15:02 PM#2

think it would be more intersting to take a sandbox like Ultima Online

- and update it with some features that later games have


Elite Member

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 2178

10/09/12 4:15:25 PM#3

Similar to something like Archage I imagine. A hybrid system with a class based game over top of a more seemless world allowing far greater player interaction. A themepark is just a collection if mechanics slapped together. Honestly a sandbox world created from the ground up is an easier task as long as the engine supports it.


You can create an entire world with all it's integrated components (resources, mobs, etc) and slap in what ever system you want that drives player character interaction with it after. The problem with many themeparks is that they do the opposite and the world you play in is the after thought and nothing more than card board cutouts you can't interact with akin to movie sets.

You stay sassy!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/05/11
Posts: 720

"Kill me, my man kills you, that's how you lose."

10/09/12 4:20:01 PM#4

I wouldn't personally.  I don't think any of those games are even good. 

Using them to create a sandbox would be ridiculous.  The fans of those games would be expecting a similar game as the themepark title. 


It would be SWTOR all over... a failure.  Or Elder Scrolls Online ... will be a failure.  They would try to take something elses popularity and use that to get a playerbase and everyone will be disappointed.


I maybe could see something done with LOTRO... never played the game but I could see a sandbox being made based off what I know about the storyline from the movies.

"I see they watchin' me and takin' notes on my moves, Run up on me it's all I want I ain't got nothin' to lose."


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

10/09/12 4:46:21 PM#5
Warhammer is an excellent ip for a darkfall type game.

It's a world constantly at war, theres 11 factions, but many of those fight amongst themselves, then you've got hidden chaos cultists, bandits etc.. within the empire and breton. Only factions that don't fight or have hidden plots and usurpers internally are dwarfs and lizardmen.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

10/09/12 4:56:39 PM#6
Originally posted by Nadia

think it would be more intersting to take a sandbox like Ultima Online

- and update it with some features that later games have

UO would never work today and if it did it wouldn't be UO.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

10/09/12 4:59:33 PM#7

I assume that you would like to preserve most of playerbase from those titles?       


Impossible with WoW. 

Hard with Rift.

Still hard with Swtor, but part of it's playerbase are / were old SWG fans and another part will check anything wtih SW tag.

Lotro - propably easiest, though some of new roaming playerbase that came after f2p might be hard to convince.


Unless you want to do something that is not really sandbox, but just have 2 or so sandboxy elements, rest of game made like themepark and put "sandbox" tag on it for marketing purposes.


Most modern themeparks are focused almost solely on end-game and their end-game conceptual wise is more similar to mutliplayer games like LoL or Call of Duty than sandbox mmorpg.  

If you will face most WoW players with choice between playing Dota 2 and sandbox mmorpg they will choose Dota 2.

It's concept of matchmaked instanced co-op pvp game of Dota is closer to WoW end game than in example teritorial control, in-depth crafting, politics and virtual world of sandbox games.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2955

10/09/12 5:04:01 PM#8
You can't.

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/09
Posts: 338

10/09/12 5:08:45 PM#9
Originally posted by Nadia

think it would be more intersting to take a sandbox like Ultima Online

- and update it with some features that later games have

I'm so tempted to reopen my account, but I think overall I would be disapointed. :(


Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/12
Posts: 93

10/09/12 5:25:09 PM#10

You need other people's brain to actually 'think' what it would be like?

It is very, very simple to see how sandbox WoWish, EQish, etcetcish sandbox UOish game will look like.

All you need is, in fact, logical thinking ability and regular sized average brain that you must have.

Then why it's still not there?

There are 3 reasons why developers couldn't make such a game yet.

1.  CPU/GPU in the past couldn't handle that much resource. (It looks like it is very possible these days though,theoratically.)

2. It costs way too much(as you mentioned in funding) and there is no example to convince investors. Frontiers always take too much risk.

    Whoever do it first, they take all risk. Look at half-sandbox MO, DF, and the current status of original sandbox UO.

    It's just not tempting.

3. Developers don't really care about sandbox MMO.

    IMO, MMO developers are quite different group of people to group of MMORPG players.

   99.9% of developers don't really care about reality of MMORPG. They only care about what they learned to program in their experience and they are all traditional stuffs. What they enjoy is to do what they learned well, not to creat totally innovative. ( There are of course exceptions. But not enough to create what you,we, are looking for.


So, talking how it would look like is just silly. It is very obvious,.

It will look like crude model of matrix world in the movie Matrix 1997.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

10/09/12 5:26:28 PM#11

you can integrate sandmox elements into any game. Allowing the building of anything makes it a sandbox element. It doesnt have to be like UO or have free for all pvp.

just build tool that players can use to generate content.

for instance i have a 96%Good/4% evil pvp system that allows the ones that can hack being evil to fight amongst themselves to be evil commanders, who can then trigger npc events in the world and provide the "brain" required for dynamic content. The badder thay are..the more dynamic content the 96% will have.

with this in mind, the good side can spend their time building castles, digging mines, building walls, fortifying towns with guards and so on to defend against these evil players ( who dont and cannot ever have enough numbers to overwhelm the good side, which is wht the best of them get to initiate events utilizing npcs..otherwise known as pve..... )

good players can also spend their time hunting the evil players if they so wished.

lastly the evil player minority gets to build hideouts which they can populate with monsters, which is yet another source of pve for the 96%.

if you think about it, it makes alot of sense. you just need the appropiate proportions and proper ruleset.




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Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

10/09/12 5:29:42 PM#12
The more sandbox elements you add to it most of those, the less fun they would be as themeparks. LOTRO is probably the exception, as I can easily see the population of servers like Landroval and Silverlode taking up the sandbox gameplay and focusing on that more than the leveling.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3548


10/09/12 5:47:14 PM#13

Rebuild it from the ground up removing everything that made those games what they are, you cannot convert a themepark into a sandbox.

Then when you open the doors expect a ton of grief from the themepark kiddies, ignore this and stick to your sandbox principles. Once they have all left try to rebuild your playerbase slowly and steadily with regular expansions/improvements. And most importantly of all, never, ever log in to and read what people are saying about your game?


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/30/04
Posts: 515

Hows your google-Fu?

10/09/12 5:49:12 PM#14

Vanguard, was about almost that (IMO).

If you made a working verision of Vanguard and put in guild built PvP cities, maybe.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 5695

10/09/12 6:05:38 PM#15

I wouldn't. I'd probably go with some kind of sci-fi theme.  Post modern dark sci fi cyber punky theme. Anyway. If I had to borrow from an exsisting game. I'd probably incorporate a lot of Anarchy Online's Stat based gear instead of level based gear. And probably a skill system borrowed from Ryzom and SWG


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

10/09/12 6:39:00 PM#16
Ao isn't really a sandbox. It invented instanced dungeons.

Novice Member

Joined: 4/04/09
Posts: 471

10/09/12 6:42:45 PM#17

I can easily imagine an alternative LOTRO with SWG (pre-ngu ofc) style gameplay.

A World of Warcraft that took on a sandbox element is also imaginable, they already have enough crafting and various fluff for players amusement. Let players build structures like in old school Warcraft etc


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/02/12
Posts: 511

10/09/12 8:20:47 PM#18

The following are possible  means to transform WoW (the harder themepark to be turned in a sandbox) in a sandbox:

1- Create the possibility for the players to fight for and to control territorys, castles, fortress, bases, political posts, etc. These features should provides resources to their owners.

2- Eliminate the factions, or allow pvp between player of the same faction. The status of enemy/allied, pvp flag and wars being controled by the players themselves or guild leaders. Punitions to the killing of players that aren't enemys or pvp flagged.

3- The best gear will be the crafted ones. Instances would provide only materials to the craft. Eliminate the bind-on-equip or bind-on-pick. Itens would suffer durabillity loss and need to be eventually replaced.

4- Provide the top bosses in the open world instead of instances, with big times to respawn.

5- Create better penaltys to death, like loss of xp, itens or far more money than today.

6- Create the possibility to build useful things, with eonomic or military purposes.








"What we are aiming in ArcheAge is to let the players feel the true fun of MMORPG by forming a community like real life by interacting with other players, whether it be conflict or cooperation." (Jake Song)


Elite Member

Joined: 1/12/04
Posts: 3481

Not thinking before you speak is human. Not thinking before you hit ENTER has no excuse.

10/09/12 8:46:10 PM#19

Considering it cost SOE about $25 million to make Star Wars Galaxies. Making an MMO based off their initial design probably wouldn't cost much more today. Effectively, you could make an upgraded SWG 2.0 for about $75-100 million tops. Why SWTOR cost so much was because of all the Voice Over crap that while entertaining the first time through proved to be a deadend in terms of gameplay longevity.

Giving players the freedom to build where ever, fight over resources, craft wanted items and choose from a multitude of class / professions is not a hard task to accomplish. SWG was designed exactly for that purpose and it gave players the freedom to explore the galaxy in a way most MMO''s fail to do.

Allowing players to manipulate terrain is probably a bad idea, but precreated areas for building cities and empires is not that hard. Shadowbane is another example of a free to roam sandbox where players could build guild fortresses pretty much anywhere on the map.

Darkfall would have been more successful if it hadn't incorporated an FPS style combat system. Sandbox games dont need that much combat control to be fun, ala SWG and Shadowbane. Honestly, if I won $100 million from the lottery, I wouldn't even hesitate to make an MMO design based entirely off SWG.


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Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395


10/09/12 8:48:18 PM#20
Originally posted by MMOExposed

This is just for imagination and discussion of course.

But lets say with the funding needed,

how would you make a Sandbox MMO based on WoW, Warhammer, LOTRO, Rift and other post EQ2 themepark MMO?

seeing the features these MMOs have added to the genre, how would you apply it to a Sandbox MMO?

You expect us to write a design-doc for sandbox WoW?

You crazy?

Nobody here can seriously answer this question.

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