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

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472 posts found
  kadepsyson

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/06
Posts: 1967

The doctors say his chances are 50/50...but there's only a 10% chance of that.

10/03/12 1:09:37 AM#321
Originally posted by DLangley
 

Since when is DLangley a novice member?  Did I miss somethin?  lol

El Psy Congroo

  Mazzak

Novice Member

Joined: 10/07/12
Posts: 1

10/07/12 5:34:49 PM#322
Sandbox all the way! I just wish more people would play sandbox games... Imagine if there were 2 teams of 100 people each fighting for the control of a city, risking all their loot and equipment. I guess that's what I was looking for in Darkfall. If there's a lot of people who play Darkfall : UW, I guess it's going to be epic!
  pkpkpk

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/10
Posts: 74

10/08/12 1:28:35 AM#323
These terms are nearly meaningless buzz words. The only definition I've seen of them is that a theme park uses levels and a sand box uses skills. The latter system has always been prone to macro users and so every game I've seen that uses it has been a disreputable playground for 'griefers', since the strongest people end up being those that have cheated. I haven't played a skill-based MMO and don't want to. Darkfall is a good example of the style: a monoculture of unethical players. For PvE a level-based game with forced grouping is clearly the best (FFXI, EQ, EQ2). For PvP level-based is still the best, but the rules should be much more complex. Magical gear should be extremely rare, levels should be limited and not difficult to gain, player accountability is the most important thing. Shadowbane has so far been the best that I've seen. Above all death should be meaningful. Cash or inventory loot or both at a minimum. GW2 and Warhammer and terrible PvP games because of the lack of meaningful deaths.
  Neherun

Elite Member

Joined: 9/06/07
Posts: 240

10/10/12 9:44:04 AM#324
Originally posted by Purutzil

Theme park = MMO preference

Sandbox = Online Seperate server preference.

 

Issue with sandbox is it tends to reflect capitalism where the players on top always will be on top and the players below are practically unable to get up to the top. This can be through skills or through wealth and its just a horrible experience, particularly with open pvp leading to griefing of players, the person focusing on those who stand no chance which to me, is just pathetic. If you gank someone, gank someone who is your level with your potential at the very least.  Games like minecraft (I know, why that game) show a good example of how sandbox can work, providing the ability for servers to be made and created and the playing field given an easier time for players to catch up or simply move servers and find newer places to have a shot at the top.

 

Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top.

 

In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

 

So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

 

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3518

10/10/12 9:53:23 AM#325

Most 'sandbox' MMO's miss the tools to actually create new content with. Except maybe some promises of features that will be implemented some time in the future. There is mostly just sand. So in those cases I prefer a mix of themepark content in a sandbox.

I don't even see EVE (yet) as a sandbox. You have freedom in character progression yes and to kill any player, but the world/galaxy can't be shaped in any way. So to me that game lacks the sandbox tools too imo. This is why PVE in EVE just needs those themeparky missions. I think its a good game, just not as sandbox. If you are not interested in PVP, you can even call it lacking. In a good sandbox MMO you wouldn't have that problem.

Minecraft is a sandbox.  If I want to play a sandbox game, I play  a modded Minecraft multiplayer with some friends. I can't think of any sandbox MMO atm.

 

  Sinella

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/03/09
Posts: 338

10/10/12 9:58:32 AM#326
Originally posted by Neherun

 In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

 

So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

 

In my eyes, what is truely pathetic is a player who can't imagine that other people play games for different reasons. I love sandbox games, but without FFA PvP....I don't play for competition. I'm simply not interested in it.  Why should I be ? When someone goes to fish in real life why should it be his main interest to catch a bigger fish than the other fisherman ? Why can't he just enjoy the fish he caught without comparison to the other guy ?

People play MMOs to play with others. To play with...not only to compete with. You know, to help, to socialize, to share interesting moments, to make new friends...if you think competiton is the only reason to play MMOs your MMO experience must be very shallow.

  maccarthur2004

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/02/12
Posts: 510

10/10/12 12:42:48 PM#327
Originally posted by Sinella

People play MMOs to play with others. To play with...not only to compete with. You know, to help, to socialize, to share interesting moments, to make new friends...if you think competiton is the only reason to play MMOs your MMO experience must be very shallow.

Sandboxes mmos give much more oportunitys, tools and motives to socialization than themeparks.

I don't know any mmo with "FFA PVP". Every mmo that i know have rules to pvp (Ex: you can kill only enemys or "flagged" players without be liable to punishments).

And in the end, mmos with a "dangerous" enviromnet give more motives to people strive to have good and reliable friends and allys. Is obvious and inevitable that anti-social people will have more difficultys.

 

 

 

"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)

  Bercilak

Albion Online

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 101

10/11/12 4:30:28 AM#328

Theme Park

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from the developers, mostly in terms of passively consumed content like dungeons, raids or quests

 

Sandbox

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from other players using tools and game mechanics developers made not knowing exactly how people will use them actively.

 

 

Additional

Theme Park: New content is mainly created by quest or dungeon designers adding new storys

Sandbox: New content is mainly created by developers adding new game mechanis or tools players can use

 

 

A medieval sandbox MMO
http://www.facebook.com/albiononline/

  Apraxis

Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1509

10/23/12 4:32:15 PM#329
Originally posted by pkpkpk
These terms are nearly meaningless buzz words. The only definition I've seen of them is that a theme park uses levels and a sand box uses skills. The latter system has always been prone to macro users and so every game I've seen that uses it has been a disreputable playground for 'griefers', since the strongest people end up being those that have cheated. I haven't played a skill-based MMO and don't want to. Darkfall is a good example of the style: a monoculture of unethical players. For PvE a level-based game with forced grouping is clearly the best (FFXI, EQ, EQ2). For PvP level-based is still the best, but the rules should be much more complex. Magical gear should be extremely rare, levels should be limited and not difficult to gain, player accountability is the most important thing. Shadowbane has so far been the best that I've seen. Above all death should be meaningful. Cash or inventory loot or both at a minimum. GW2 and Warhammer and terrible PvP games because of the lack of meaningful deaths.

Well.. your definition of sandbox vs themepark isnt correct. It has nothing to do with skill vs. level per se. Even a class based game could be build up as a sandbox, even if i think that classes are to some degree against the principle of a sandbox.

And after all.. Shadowbane was a sandbox.

As i often said. basicly, a sandbox is, if you can change the world(simply put).

Or a little bit more specific:

If you can create, modify, destroy and interact with persistent objects in a persistent world. And as more objects you can do this as more is the sandbox value. Simpliest example.

Able to build a house, to modify it(decoration as example), to destroy it and to interact with it(lock up door, be able to decorate it, go in, lock in someone into it, and so forth). And with that emergent gameplay will be generated(or player driven content).

If a game has just that, and all the rest is themeparkish(levels, classes, heavy vertical progression, quest hubs) it is neverthelss some kind of sandbox, and you will be able to change(with a lot of houses, or the lack of) the world. By the way, if crafted items(armor, weapons) would be placeable in the persistent world, and would stay there(with other worlds if they would be persistent, which isnt the case in nowadays game with bind on equip, bind on pickup, and not be persistent, or dropable in the world) would also count as that.

But of course, it would be preferable if more objects would get this state(like trees, pets/mounts, or whatever). And the best or purest sandbox scenario would be, if any object in the world would behave like that.

And this is the point where classes come into play. With classes the player character(as one of those objects) dont behave like that.. he is no longer modifiable. He is bound to a certain path, you cant modify it, to be something completely different.

Levels or Skill Progression is basicly just a number, and it depends much more on how it is implemented, than the term alone. But of course the openness of a world, or character progression is also often referred to a sandbox. But in my mind it is much more the open world design pattern, which goes more often then not hand in hand with sandbox design, but is not necessarily correlated.

Of course, there is no 100% definition for sandbox gaming. But just think about the real sandbox, and my definition, and the way a open world is like. A real sandbox is very limited in space, with strict borders, but within you can more or less do whatever you can imagine. Like create, modify, destroy and somewhat interact with objects within the sandbox.

Another sidenote. FFA games like DayZ will be more often than not referred as sandbox gameplay. But you cannot create a lot of objects there, isnt? Well.. you can create, modify, destroy and interact with player characters. You can create, modify, destroy and interact with camp fires and a few other objects, and you can even with more objects modify, destroy and interact(like weapons, vehicles and so forth) persistently.

So and now took WoW as example:

Can you create any object persistently? Just your player characters(and mount as character extention, it can not be alone in the world persistently), and even player characters are not really persistently.(if you log out they are gone)

Can you modify any object persistently? Just your player character. (Again, items are not persistently, you can not drop them, you can a lot of them not even trade, like bind on equip or more restrictive bind on pickup)

Can you destroy any object persistently? No. (within a pvp server you could argue, that you can destroy other player characters.. but on the other side.. respawning is not really destroying, but argueable overall)

Can you interact with objects? With a few objects, but very limited. Like sitting on a chair. Open some doors. Attack mobs. In a few MMOs you can even just interact with Mobs at all. But overall.. well.. very limited.

So basicly you can not even do those 4 things with just one object in WoW.

 

  Randayn

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/16/12
Posts: 778

10/23/12 4:39:32 PM#330
Originally posted by Neherun
Originally posted by Purutzil

Theme park = MMO preference

Sandbox = Online Seperate server preference.

 

Issue with sandbox is it tends to reflect capitalism where the players on top always will be on top and the players below are practically unable to get up to the top. This can be through skills or through wealth and its just a horrible experience, particularly with open pvp leading to griefing of players, the person focusing on those who stand no chance which to me, is just pathetic. If you gank someone, gank someone who is your level with your potential at the very least.  Games like minecraft (I know, why that game) show a good example of how sandbox can work, providing the ability for servers to be made and created and the playing field given an easier time for players to catch up or simply move servers and find newer places to have a shot at the top.

 

Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top.

 

In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

 

So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

 

LOL...I don't play games to release my inner bully...or my inner Roman Gladiator...

  Badaboom

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/04/10
Posts: 2401

10/23/12 4:41:32 PM#331
Originally posted by Bercilak

Theme Park

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from the developers, mostly in terms of passively consumed content like dungeons, raids or quests

 

Sandbox

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from other players using tools and game mechanics developers made not knowing exactly how people will use them actively.

 

 

Additional

Theme Park: New content is mainly created by quest or dungeon designers adding new storys

Sandbox: New content is mainly created by developers adding new game mechanis or tools players can use

 

 

Best way to describe the two is with this analogy:

Sandbox is to lego as Themepark is to legoland.

  Bercilak

Albion Online

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 101

10/24/12 4:54:44 AM#332
Originally posted by Badaboom
Originally posted by Bercilak

Theme Park

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from the developers, mostly in terms of passively consumed content like dungeons, raids or quests

 

Sandbox

= Content/Entertainment comes directly from other players using tools and game mechanics developers made not knowing exactly how people will use them actively.

 

 

Additional

Theme Park: New content is mainly created by quest or dungeon designers adding new storys

Sandbox: New content is mainly created by developers adding new game mechanis or tools players can use

 

 

Best way to describe the two is with this analogy:

Sandbox is to lego as Themepark is to legoland.

Nice analogy.

 

However I think the problem for the discussion is to clearly seperate between both, which is not possible.

Most of the time the question is how much themepark or sandbox elements does a game have. 

Ultima Online I would describe as a Sandbox Game, however it has also theme park elements, just by having Quests. 

A medieval sandbox MMO
http://www.facebook.com/albiononline/

  Ozmodan

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 6821

10/27/12 2:29:05 PM#333

Quests do not make a game part themepark.  SWG was one of the best sandbox games ever and it had what you could call a quest system.  Sandbox means an open world with open character development based on a skill system with a crafting system that defines the economy.  Yeah there are other, anciliary things that add to a sandbox, but are not needed for a game to be one.

So yeah UO was a true sandbox as was SWG.  

  nutsodds

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/10
Posts: 90

10/29/12 12:31:34 PM#334
Regharding Sandboxes ,now is a good moment to try out the Xsyon free trial .Every week they wipe haracters though.
  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 834

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

11/03/12 6:03:32 AM#335

When does it stop being an MMO and start being a building platform?

...I am on second life, I have a partner, and land, and a business (that makes me rl money), I go to live concerts, roleplay, build, explore. None of this feels like a game to me, and it is generally accepted (as I have seen) that second life, IMVU, Active Worlds and others like them are building platforms...you can build a game on them but they are not games themselves.

Then there is something like minecraft...it has a combat system, some pretty fixed physics, and some basic rescources collection and application, even NPC enemies populated throughout the world. Yet you can build your house almost any way you like within the games limitations. Assign your own storyline etc. Is this an MMO (I don't actually play minecraft)?

I am not sure an MMO can escape being theme park and still bean MMO. I think it may be that an MMO is theme park by default and can incorperate some sandbox elements of building platforms. If it does it enough while clearly remaining a game, then it is a sandboxy game, imo...but to me that doesn't nescessarily have to make it any less theme park. As you can add to something without also taking something away.

 

 

  GN-003

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/10
Posts: 78

11/04/12 4:23:19 PM#336
Originally posted by Randayn
Originally posted by Neherun
Originally posted by Purutzil

Theme park = MMO preference

Sandbox = Online Seperate server preference.

 

Issue with sandbox is it tends to reflect capitalism where the players on top always will be on top and the players below are practically unable to get up to the top. This can be through skills or through wealth and its just a horrible experience, particularly with open pvp leading to griefing of players, the person focusing on those who stand no chance which to me, is just pathetic. If you gank someone, gank someone who is your level with your potential at the very least.  Games like minecraft (I know, why that game) show a good example of how sandbox can work, providing the ability for servers to be made and created and the playing field given an easier time for players to catch up or simply move servers and find newer places to have a shot at the top.

 

Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top.

 

In my eyes, those below me will be below me, when it comes to MMORPG gaming. Why would I not abuse such power in an MMORPG environment? What truly pathetic is to me is the players who are afraid of competitive experience. Everything should be a non-challenging joyride. People give up way too easily these days, that's the issue.

 

So, you aren't the top dog on the server? Well, strife to be, if not, why play multiplayer games at all?

 

LOL...I don't play games to release my inner bully...or my inner Roman Gladiator...

I don't believe that was his point at all. In a competitive environment, there will always be a bigger fish. Be it sandbox, themepark, blah, blah, blah, there will always be a select few at the top. Whether it's because they're more organized, efficient, exploitative, have more time or are just overall better, they'll always be there. I understand the concern, but do you honestly believe this is exclusive to games that have sandbox-esque mechanics? Take a good luck at Guild Wars 2.

During the first few weeks, a lot of players made a lot of money from exploiting the game. ANet eventually patched these issues and those missed out, missed out. Though, to be fair, there were a decent amount of temporary bans. I believe some of the first few players to craft their legendary weapons happened to be alpha testers. They knew well in advance what they needed in order to craft them. Then there's the players who would glitch CoF and do speed runs, people who manipulate the Trading Post, etc. The list goes on and on. Hell, there was even a post on reddit by someone claiming to have found a new recipe for a precursor weapon. The recipe turned out to be bogus. He bought up a massive amount of a certain item, claimed you needed said item for the recipe, then sold the item in bulk for a huge profit. Needless to say, people "lost," a lot of gold.

This sort of behavior is seen in practically every game that involves humans. It's a bummer, but it's a human nature. I'm sure there are ways to alleviate these issues, but at what cost? How much freedom do you have to sacrifice in order to achieve equality for all? Is it even possible in an MMORPG?

"Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top."

I'm not so sure about that. I'd imagine most people who have checked out sandbox MMORPGs and left have done so because they're either underfunded, unpolished, lack exposure/support, littered with bugs, or all of the above. Can you name me a recent, AAA sandbox MMO?

  Divona

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/02/11
Posts: 168

11/04/12 4:55:36 PM#337
Originally posted by GN-003
 

"Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top."

I'm not so sure about that. I'd imagine most people who have checked out sandbox MMORPGs and left have done so because they're either underfunded, unpolished, lack exposure/support, littered with bugs, or all of the above. Can you name me a recent, AAA sandbox MMO?

Agree. I tried and left any sandbox games because of the reason listed above, plus there is non that has the suitable playstyle of sandbox I like to play. I want to walk and do activities with my character, not space ship in EVE Online, but that is not available. 3rd person control in Darkfall doesn't do justice. I prefer tab target. Mortal Online, no 3rd person view, littered with bugs and way too slow gameplay. Most of sandbox seems to be open world PvP, where I would much prefer PvE sandbox with PvP as an option. EVE Online does a good job at that with low sec and high sec seperate the heat, even though players still can start firing at anyone, but in high sec there could suffer the concequences more than within low sec. Economy and trading also important in sandbox game. Ryzom was good, but user interface need work. Character customization not good enough for today standard. There just no sandbox game up to my standard available in the market at the moment. EVE Online come at the top, Ryzom is second, but both has enough flaws that prevent me from continue playing it.

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 162

11/06/12 4:01:39 AM#338

I posted this in the comments for the latest Wildstar article, however it is for wider discussion so I'll repost here to see what people think:

it seems that the term themepark is becoming synonym with bad game design, so developers are trying to sell their games based on anything that is NOT themepark no matter how small it is.


we are ourselves to blame. since there's a push for sandbox features (at least on this website), devs are picking up the term and running with it.

I'd suggest that we as players should not use themepark/sandbox general terms but rather specific game features that we want to see implemented (housing, free-form classes, weather/season/night/day cycles, resource depletion/migration etc). this way we get at least some features implemented in some mmos without resorting to name calling (sandbox vs themepark or hybrid).

I am sick of this generic arguments what makes a sandbox and what makes a themepark. specify the features and mechanics that will make a game interested. that's the way forward. otherwise we leave the interpretation to the devs and then argue in useless discussions about semantics that will not accomplish anything.
  Neherun

Elite Member

Joined: 9/06/07
Posts: 240

11/07/12 5:04:35 AM#339
Originally posted by GN-003
-snip-

I don't believe that was his point at all. In a competitive environment, there will always be a bigger fish. Be it sandbox, themepark, blah, blah, blah, there will always be a select few at the top. Whether it's because they're more organized, efficient, exploitative, have more time or are just overall better, they'll always be there. I understand the concern, but do you honestly believe this is exclusive to games that have sandbox-esque mechanics? Take a good luck at Guild Wars 2.

During the first few weeks, a lot of players made a lot of money from exploiting the game. ANet eventually patched these issues and those missed out, missed out. Though, to be fair, there were a decent amount of temporary bans. I believe some of the first few players to craft their legendary weapons happened to be alpha testers. They knew well in advance what they needed in order to craft them. Then there's the players who would glitch CoF and do speed runs, people who manipulate the Trading Post, etc. The list goes on and on. Hell, there was even a post on reddit by someone claiming to have found a new recipe for a precursor weapon. The recipe turned out to be bogus. He bought up a massive amount of a certain item, claimed you needed said item for the recipe, then sold the item in bulk for a huge profit. Needless to say, people "lost," a lot of gold.

This sort of behavior is seen in practically every game that involves humans. It's a bummer, but it's a human nature. I'm sure there are ways to alleviate these issues, but at what cost? How much freedom do you have to sacrifice in order to achieve equality for all? Is it even possible in an MMORPG?

"Sandbox can be fun, its just so much of it tends to be quite flawed. Theres a reason why sandboxes haven't taken off. Its not that they haven't been created, they simply lose interest quickly as people who call for certain things quickly leave when its not 100% what they wanted or they realize they won't ever hit the top."

I'm not so sure about that. I'd imagine most people who have checked out sandbox MMORPGs and left have done so because they're either underfunded, unpolished, lack exposure/support, littered with bugs, or all of the above. Can you name me a recent, AAA sandbox MMO?

Yup, that wasn't my point at all. In all MMORPG's theres the bigger fish, and I don't understand those who really quit the game because "I cannot be #1".

 

Also, you are one hundred percent correct on Sandboxes these days, they are all small scale A only titles, and they obviously cannot compete with AAA titles.

I still meet people who say "Shadowbane had the best MMORPG concept ever, but the game itself sucked balls". And I agree to them, the game was about building cities, constructing nations, warring with other nations, politics and everything small scale between. It had a revolutionary class system, but the game was only good on paper. It was a buggy piece of troll garbage you just had to keep playing because the concept was so awesome. And that game wasn't a sandbox, it just offered something else than rince and repeat gameplay.

 

 

  wrightstuf

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/09
Posts: 714

11/07/12 5:12:54 AM#340
In a sandbox, you have a little plastic pail and shovel. In a themepark you have roller coasters and thrill rides. seems like a no brainer which is better
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