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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] WildStar: The Marriage of Theme Park & Sandbox

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57 posts found
  Strycker

Novice Member

Joined: 3/01/05
Posts: 55

11/04/12 6:45:15 PM#41

Sandbox is most notably:

 

1. Skill based character progression; Yes, optimal builds are made but as the game progresses these optimal builds change and/or people discover new combinations. It essentially creates an evolving meta game in character progression

 

2. Ability to visually impact the environment; Non-instanced player housing most notably, preferably ability to create cities and so forth. This requires modern map design to be thrown out the window; Lots and lots of open terrain is required. I'll also put in here, SWG harvesters were a strong point of sandbox gameplay, being able to visually see a field of harvesters someone put up

 

3. Going back one step; Modern map design has no place. Yes, this results in those who say your world is bland, but the blandness is replaced by a level of immersion due to the increase in size (Asheron's Call). Also increases immersion because a modern detailed map is not required to navigate

 

4. Removal of quest system as primary means of leveling; A randomized mission system is acceptable, but what is considered unacceptable post-WOW - the primary means to leveling is this old little system called "hunting". Wander out, explore in any direction, kill things, run into crazy monsters that you might not be able to handle, etc. This results in a GRIND, indeed, but so is questing at this point.

 

Sandbox (RPG): A MMO sub genre in which the player has open ended skill based character progression, can visually impact the environment in an entirely open world with limited borders, and develops their avatar through exploration, hunting, and other means seperate from the modern questing system.

 

(Erryone happy?)

 
 
 
  darkhalf357x

Elite Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1083

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

11/04/12 7:21:51 PM#42
Originally posted by Po_gg

I never liked sandbox conception in mmo's - hard to control it from development side, gameplay is too playerbase-dependant, and let's face it, most playerbase su**s big time :) and I'm more of a content oriented guy anyway.

On the other hand, I love the GTA series, and they were the first ones labeled as sandbox. And that's why I really looking forward to WildStar's half park / half sandbox experience, this kinda sandbox sounds great. I mean when you have a story, a nice world design, and you can go anywhere, do anything, but you have a goal in the long run. I guess I will enjoy both the explorers and the builders.

Why is GTA labeled a sandbox?  Wasn't it just a bunch of 'theme park rides' that you could do anyway you like?   The problem here is we will constantly argue sandbox versus themepark endlessly until we all agree on a single definition for both.  Right now it means a bunch of different things to different people.

  Draron

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/11
Posts: 1009

11/04/12 10:15:19 PM#43
IMO, the best examples of a mix between the two are Mabinogi and Runescape.
  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 1950

11/05/12 12:58:39 AM#44
Originally posted by darkhalf357x
Originally posted by Po_gg

I never liked sandbox conception in mmo's - hard to control it from development side, gameplay is too playerbase-dependant, and let's face it, most playerbase su**s big time :) and I'm more of a content oriented guy anyway.

On the other hand, I love the GTA series, and they were the first ones labeled as sandbox. And that's why I really looking forward to WildStar's half park / half sandbox experience, this kinda sandbox sounds great. I mean when you have a story, a nice world design, and you can go anywhere, do anything, but you have a goal in the long run. I guess I will enjoy both the explorers and the builders.

Why is GTA labeled a sandbox?  Wasn't it just a bunch of 'theme park rides' that you could do anyway you like?   The problem here is we will constantly argue sandbox versus themepark endlessly until we all agree on a single definition for both.  Right now it means a bunch of different things to different people.

It's not my label, the press called it sandbox so I can only guess, but maybe because you got a map, and the freedom to do anything (inside the game's limits ofc) and it was a new thing. As you said sandbox means different things to anyone.

For me it's the above, I like to have a story or a goal even in sandbox games. Maybe that's why I had the most boring and dull gametime experience in games like minecraft or second life... Ok, Eve wasn't boring, it was just pointless (only an opinion, sorry Eve'rs :) )

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 150

11/05/12 1:10:10 AM#45

Random quests do not a sandbox make.

 

 

  shantideva

Novice Member

Joined: 6/15/09
Posts: 193

11/05/12 2:04:18 AM#46
Rollercoaster tycoon is a bit of a themepark sandbox...not very mmo though but still=)

"Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day!"

  User Deleted
11/05/12 2:35:53 AM#47

One could argue if changing some of the nature of quests (as a system) makes a game more "Sandbox". However the main chunk for Sandbox comes from (valid) player activities outside quest.

 

For me, any game that even remotely wants to qualify as a sandbox or hybrid needs to offer valid choices in game activity at lvl1. For a Sandbox you need systems where players can chose their way of advancement with items and characters and for that these things CAN NOT be included:

 

1. That excludes item tiers

2. QUEST -> INSTANCE -> RAID Item structure

3. "Bound to" Mechanics. (Worlddrops need to be tradeable)

 

Have those and your game isn't a sandbox hybrid but a pure themepark. Reading through the article this guy even thinks random (or hidden) quest locations are valid enough to call it hybrid? 

This is a joke and probably the biggest abuse of the word sandbox hybrid i've heard.

If he wants to be a hybrid he needs valid advancment (level) outsie quests not just hide them!

 

It's pretty easy: 

Themepark: Quests ( Mainstory) is told. Instance / raiding at max level for advancement. Daily chore quests for additional timesink.

Hybrid: Offers equal advancements outside those quests and instance tiering

Sandbox: You create this damn amazing story all by your actions in the world and gear even up.

 

Jeremy Gaffney, chant it over and over and you may not come off like a (clueless) buzzword throwing suit.

 
 
  User Deleted
11/05/12 2:52:43 AM#48
Originally posted by lizardbones

I'm asking people to show me something that exists in the world, based on the definitions they've given for "sandbox". Of course there are no examples, because their definitions are exaggerations. They are comparing Wildstar's sandbox features to things that do not exist. That's silly.

If people are going to get all pissy about Wildstar saying they have sandbox content, then they need use things that actually exist to compare it against. SWG, UO, Eve or even a Minecraft Multiplayer server would all be good examples of "sandbox" that most people would accept.

** edit **
For instance, in Eve, players can't destroy planets. There are restrictions. According to the post above, as soon as you put restrictions on a sandbox, it's no longer a sandbox, so Eve is not a sandbox. It's a dumb argument.

Restrictions are a game thing, not a sandbox/theme park thing.

 

Would Terraria count?

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/05/12 6:21:06 AM#49


Originally posted by Azoth

Originally posted by lizardbones  

Originally posted by someforumguy Lol. 'non-lineair quests from a semi-static pool'. What does that even mean?   And then his hybrid themepark/sandbox example. A campfire that you can place and leaves the player the puzzle to where he should place it. O wow, such a sandboxy freedom! Lol. That is just similar to any kind of buff that you can activate as player.  The guy is just throwing around the term sandbox as some kind of gimmick to attract potential players. His campfire example is way too shallow to use that term. I don't think it is smart for the dev to use the word sandbox for this game. And yeah, it is possible to create a hybrid. The whole point of a sandbox game is that you get the freedom to create anything in it, Even a themepark if you want. But this game won't even get close to becoming a sandbox.
Where is the sandbox MMORPG that exists where you the player can create a themepark?  
In a sandbox when player create quests for other players, it  becomes a ''theme park feature'' to the player taking it. The quest is player created but from there anyone doing the quest will be on rail pretty much. It could be a full story quest or simply a delivery quest.

With a real sandbox with all the needed tools you could if you want create a dungeon for others to raid.

So in a sandbox you can create theme park, but doing it the other way around has never been seen. The content is player or devs driven, I don't see how it could be in between. 

You couldn't take wow for exemple and all of a sudden give the player tools to terraform or destroy buildings but it would mess with the quests, the npc and the cities.

For it to work you would need area specificaly designed to be only sandbox even then it would just be like playing 2 games.




Where is the real world example of an MMORPG Sandbox that fits this definition?

You can RP this type of stuff in any game, even WoW. But that's not the same thing as players creating content that becomes part of the game. Where is the MMORPG Sandbox that makes this happen?

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/05/12 6:26:32 AM#50


Originally posted by Enigmatus

Originally posted by lizardbones I'm asking people to show me something that exists in the world, based on the definitions they've given for "sandbox". Of course there are no examples, because their definitions are exaggerations. They are comparing Wildstar's sandbox features to things that do not exist. That's silly. If people are going to get all pissy about Wildstar saying they have sandbox content, then they need use things that actually exist to compare it against. SWG, UO, Eve or even a Minecraft Multiplayer server would all be good examples of "sandbox" that most people would accept. ** edit ** For instance, in Eve, players can't destroy planets. There are restrictions. According to the post above, as soon as you put restrictions on a sandbox, it's no longer a sandbox, so Eve is not a sandbox. It's a dumb argument. Restrictions are a game thing, not a sandbox/theme park thing.  
Would Terraria count?


Terraria isn't an MMORPG, but that's why it works. Ditto for Minecraft servers. You're not going to get much more sandbox than a Terraria or Minecraft server and still have an RPG style game. But no, Terraria doesn't count as it's not an MMORPG.

In these sandbox threads, people keep coming up with definitions for sandboxes that do not apply to well known, existing sandboxes (UO, SWG, Eve), and then apply those definitions to new games, using that as proof that the new games do not have sandbox content.

If Wildstar has content that allows players to change the landscape, and generate player driven content, then they can say they have sandbox content. It might be bad sandbox content, it might be weak sandbox content, and it might be a tiny percentage of the game, but it's sandbox content.

** edit **
Wildstar is billing itself as having sandbox content, not being a sandbox. There's a difference, and this is a better take on the whole sandbox/theme park thing anyway. It's a spectrum from "Sandbox" to "Theme Park" and games lay somewhere on that line. Wildstar is closer to "Sandbox" than WoW, Rift or TSW. That's what they're saying.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 376

11/05/12 6:32:28 AM#51
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Azoth

Originally posted by lizardbones  

Originally posted by someforumguy Lol. 'non-lineair quests from a semi-static pool'. What does that even mean?   And then his hybrid themepark/sandbox example. A campfire that you can place and leaves the player the puzzle to where he should place it. O wow, such a sandboxy freedom! Lol. That is just similar to any kind of buff that you can activate as player.  The guy is just throwing around the term sandbox as some kind of gimmick to attract potential players. His campfire example is way too shallow to use that term. I don't think it is smart for the dev to use the word sandbox for this game. And yeah, it is possible to create a hybrid. The whole point of a sandbox game is that you get the freedom to create anything in it, Even a themepark if you want. But this game won't even get close to becoming a sandbox.
Where is the sandbox MMORPG that exists where you the player can create a themepark?  
In a sandbox when player create quests for other players, it  becomes a ''theme park feature'' to the player taking it. The quest is player created but from there anyone doing the quest will be on rail pretty much. It could be a full story quest or simply a delivery quest.

 

With a real sandbox with all the needed tools you could if you want create a dungeon for others to raid.

So in a sandbox you can create theme park, but doing it the other way around has never been seen. The content is player or devs driven, I don't see how it could be in between. 

You couldn't take wow for exemple and all of a sudden give the player tools to terraform or destroy buildings but it would mess with the quests, the npc and the cities.

For it to work you would need area specificaly designed to be only sandbox even then it would just be like playing 2 games.




Where is the real world example of an MMORPG Sandbox that fits this definition?

You can RP this type of stuff in any game, even WoW. But that's not the same thing as players creating content that becomes part of the game. Where is the MMORPG Sandbox that makes this happen?

 

I never said that there was a Sandbox with those feature now. I was explaining what an hybrid game would be to me.

I guess putting work order or fetch quests in eve is somewhat related to what I was explaining, in the lowest scale possible.

 

  Azoth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 376

11/05/12 6:36:46 AM#52
Originally posted by lizardbones

 


Originally posted by Enigmatus

Originally posted by lizardbones I'm asking people to show me something that exists in the world, based on the definitions they've given for "sandbox". Of course there are no examples, because their definitions are exaggerations. They are comparing Wildstar's sandbox features to things that do not exist. That's silly. If people are going to get all pissy about Wildstar saying they have sandbox content, then they need use things that actually exist to compare it against. SWG, UO, Eve or even a Minecraft Multiplayer server would all be good examples of "sandbox" that most people would accept. ** edit ** For instance, in Eve, players can't destroy planets. There are restrictions. According to the post above, as soon as you put restrictions on a sandbox, it's no longer a sandbox, so Eve is not a sandbox. It's a dumb argument. Restrictions are a game thing, not a sandbox/theme park thing.  
Would Terraria count?


Terraria isn't an MMORPG, but that's why it works. Ditto for Minecraft servers. You're not going to get much more sandbox than a Terraria or Minecraft server and still have an RPG style game. But no, Terraria doesn't count as it's not an MMORPG.

In these sandbox threads, people keep coming up with definitions for sandboxes that do not apply to well known, existing sandboxes (UO, SWG, Eve), and then apply those definitions to new games, using that as proof that the new games do not have sandbox content.

If Wildstar has content that allows players to change the landscape, and generate player driven content, then they can say they have sandbox content. It might be bad sandbox content, it might be weak sandbox content, and it might be a tiny percentage of the game, but it's sandbox content.

** edit **
Wildstar is billing itself as having sandbox content, not being a sandbox. There's a difference, and this is a better take on the whole sandbox/theme park thing anyway. It's a spectrum from "Sandbox" to "Theme Park" and games lay somewhere on that line. Wildstar is closer to "Sandbox" than WoW, Rift or TSW. That's what they're saying.

 

Then they should tell us what is the sandbox part of it. The only random thing I saw in that article is the campfire... 

If wildstar has content that allows player to change the landscape, as you say, they didn't mention it in this article. 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10375

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/05/12 3:02:07 PM#53


Originally posted by Azoth
Then they should tell us what is the sandbox part of it. The only random thing I saw in that article is the campfire... 

If wildstar has content that allows player to change the landscape, as you say, they didn't mention it in this article. 




I don't know if players can change the landscape or not. I would really like more details on that type of content myself. The person being interviewed didn't give enough details about what the game provides (imo).

The example given was that players can build up a doctor's office or some kind of shop. Are players picking the location of that town stuff? I don't know, but it didn't sound like it from the interview. The impression I got in earlier articles was that the Explorer path allowed players to find areas where they could start trading posts or towns, and the towns would grow over time with player interaction. I don't know how accurate that represents what happens. They've been very close lipped about the whole Explorer thing.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  TheCrow2k

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 956

11/05/12 9:34:53 PM#54

The More I read about Wildstar the more intrigued I become. I really do hope they can pull off the hybrid of the two because that is the direction I think future MMO's need to go.

Themepark MMO's simply cannot produce enough content quickly enough to stay ahead of the players progression, having a good sandpark base helps alleviate the problem of players running out of things to do.

  haplo602

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 150

11/06/12 2:59:07 AM#55

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.

  sgtpitt

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/09
Posts: 4

1/08/13 3:22:11 AM#56

Old thread, but the question still stands, 100 people with 100 views of what a sandbox should be.

 

IMO the main system of a sandbox has to be degradable/destroyable items, this in turn creates a need for crafting which in turn creates an ecconomy.

  juspar

Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/05
Posts: 9

5/30/13 11:03:06 PM#57

Um

 

This game isn't a sand box.  The devs never said it was a sandbox.  They're saying it's HYBRID, that means it's not pure either.

 

I'd say it's been doe before too.  Star Wars Galaxy had some environmental features of a sandbox, and non linear quests.

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