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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » (can we get a history lesson): why was the first Themepark MMO created? what purpose they were trying to solve?

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126 posts found
  User Deleted
10/31/12 7:06:20 AM#121

The OP question implies that MMO's were originally sandboxes and that "Themeparks" were created later.  MMO history isn't quite that simple.  Questing and levels have been around forever.  

I just wish there was a way to agree on what a sandbox actually is.  It just seems to me that the only way to avoid putting something into a sandbox game that would ruin it would be to just give them an IBM computer with the DOS promt.  Even then, some would probably complain that the cursor was blinking and giving the player too much direction.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

10/31/12 7:43:14 AM#122
Sandboxes don't have leveling game followed by endgame, sandboxes just are.
  User Deleted
11/03/12 5:22:53 AM#123
Originally posted by Loktofeit

EverQuest

While many of the early MMOs were influenced by the popular text-based multiplayer RPG DikuMUD, EQ was a rather faithful reproduction of the class-based kill-centric gameplay and the loot/xp return from it. It was pretty simple and straightforward gameplay - kill, loot, kill, loot, kill, loot, level.

The purpose they were trying to solve? Not even sure what that question is asking, but if you are asking what the goal was for EQ, I would say a graphical version of DikuMUD.

Old Lok got it right, as often.

Just like UO is the grandfather of MAINSTREAM sandbox MMORPGs, EQ is the grandfather of MAINSTREAM theme park MMORPGs. EQ introduced the kill/loot/level based gameplay, along with the forced dungeon/raid centric end game.

I could even add a 3rd category... action based combat MMORPGs. The grandfather being AC1, with the grandchildren being Tera (closer to the loot centric EQ model but with player skill heavily involved in combat like AC1) and GW2 (closer to the AC1 model, also with player skill heavily involved instead of dice rolls).

PS: I wrote MAINSTREAM in caps so people don't miss it and come posting "but there were MMORPGs before UO and EQ.

  Rimmersman

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 911

11/03/12 5:37:58 AM#124

EQ is the grandfather of all 3D mmos and was not a what you would call a themepark today. It was skilled based in many areas and had some features you would find in a sandbox MMO today.

EQ was a hybrid MMO, anyone who played EQ would know this.

WOW is the grandather of themepark MMOs

  Neherun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/06/07
Posts: 202

11/03/12 6:09:52 AM#125
Originally posted by Rimmersman

EQ is the grandfather of all 3D mmos and was not a what you would call a themepark today. It was skilled based in many areas and had some features you would find in a sandbox MMO today.

EQ was a hybrid MMO, anyone who played EQ would know this.

WOW is the grandather of themepark MMOs

I believe the grandfather's throne of 3d MMO's goes to Meridian 59.

 

Also, when people mention "WoW catering to this and this crowd". The funny thing is that Blizzard fucked up with their engine, it couldn't even handle open world PvP, which they essentialyl wanted into the game, thus they made "battlegrounds". I still can't understand why people "enjoyed" capture the flag - mode playing in an MMORPG?

 

  Novusod

Novice Member

Joined: 5/30/09
Posts: 860

11/03/12 6:56:25 AM#126

The phrase Rome wasn't built in a single day applies here.  The transition from Sandbox to themepark happened sometime after the launch of EverQuest 1 in 1999 and Star Wars Galaxies NGE patch in late 2005. There was no concept of themepark before EQ1 and there have been virtually no sandboxes made after the NGE. Everquest 1 itself launched as a sandbox and slowly became more of a themepark over time.

 

One big milestone in the journey was the introduction of the epic quest in EQ1 in the year 2000. The epic quest was a big long maze of obsticles one had to do in order to obtain a class defining weapon and ability. Think of the epic quest as like King Author's search for the holy Grail. The thing about the epic quest was that it was all a predetermined trail where you went from A to B to C and in the end got a reward. It was the classic MMO skinner box. You do the quest and then you get a reward like a rat in a maze. Before that there were no "reward" quests. Before epics people used to just go out in the world randomly with their usual group of friends to kill things randomly in the general search of experience and loot.

 

In the open world you never knew what you were going to run into or what you were going to get or even if you would survive. Then epics came along and everyone did the same quest and got the same reward, it was very popular. Because it was popular the developers added more of these epic quests. There was epic 1.5 and epic 2.0 and dozens of other large reward quests were built into the game. As time went on every year there were more skinner box style reward quests and less open world sandbox adventuring. The idea of a themepark MMO was slowly being born.

 

Then came EQ2 which was billed as more casual than Everquest 1. EQ2 would have more the quests people liked and less boring stuff (ie open world grind). EQ2 wasn't a true theme park yet because players still did open world adventure grinding but questing was a large part of the game. Then came along WoW about a month after Eq2 with a much more true themepark design. Everything in WoW was spelled out right from the get go with guests and quest hubs all throughout the game. As everyone knows WoW went on to become the most successfull MMO of all time.

 

It is because of WoW's success that the sandbox MMO rapidly died away. A year after launch EQ2 dropped all pretense of being an open world sandbox and became a strict quest ginder with a raiding based endgame. Star Wars Galaxies which was the most advanced and highly developed open world sandbox ever made was abandoned and thrown under the bus. In one fell swoop the NGE turned SWG into a themepark overnight with much backlash from the community. Every MMO under development and in planning became a WoW clone theme park.

 

This brings us to the present day observing that little has changed since the MMO dark age started in 2005. Every year a new batch of WoW clones is releases and underperforms because the themepark has now been over done people want to play a sandbox again. Here's to hoping that Smedley keeps his promise and makes EQNext into a sandbox and not another WoW clone theme park.

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