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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What would happen if a AAA sandbox mmo be released?

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112 posts found
  maccarthur2004

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/12
Posts: 488

 
OP  11/18/12 2:24:43 PM#21
Originally posted by Ridelynn

Bunch of people would flock to it based on AAA-level hype.

1% of the players would be utter asshats (because it's a sandbox and they can do whatever they want), making the game inhospitable for 99%.

Very hard to happen, because 1% of the players never will have the power to "own" all the rest, still more if the majority of the playerbase is not finicky players came from themepark mmos with their "little girl" mentality and attitude. And nobody in any mmorpg have this freedom, because his actions produce consequences from others players or the game itself.

"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)

  bishbosh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/21/11
Posts: 401

11/18/12 3:00:34 PM#22
i dont think themepark players would dislike a well made sandbox. most people dont know what they like until you show it to them. the industry just likes to play safe and hence keeps pumping out themeparks because WoW. 
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13307

11/18/12 3:05:53 PM#23
Originally posted by maccarthur2004
Originally posted by Quizzical
Same as has happened in the past:  a large fraction of the players who say they want an AAA sandbox would insist that it wasn't AAA.  Another large fraction would insist that it wasn't a sandbox.  Both groups would promptly resume complaining about the lack of AAA sandboxes.

LoL, very true. :D

But you could cite a AAA mmo released in the last 10 years that can be considered sandbox?

Uncharted Waters Online

  Vunak23

Novice Member

Joined: 11/27/10
Posts: 659

In your house Eatin' your Cookies!

11/18/12 3:13:50 PM#24
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by maccarthur2004
Originally posted by Quizzical
Same as has happened in the past:  a large fraction of the players who say they want an AAA sandbox would insist that it wasn't AAA.  Another large fraction would insist that it wasn't a sandbox.  Both groups would promptly resume complaining about the lack of AAA sandboxes.

LoL, very true. :D

But you could cite a AAA mmo released in the last 10 years that can be considered sandbox?

Uncharted Waters Online

Uncharted Waters is a F2P/P2W game that wasn't even done by a AAA  MMO studio... How exactly is it AAA again?

"In the immediate future, we have this one, and then we’ve got another one that is actually going to be – so we’re going to have, what we want to do, is in January, what we’re targeting to do, this may or may not happen, so you can’t hold me to it. But what we’re targeting to do, is have a fun anniversary to the Ilum shenanigans that happened. An alien race might invade, and they might crash into Ilum and there might be some new activities that happen on the planet." ~Gabe Amatangelo

  Sukiyaki

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/14/09
Posts: 1296

11/18/12 3:16:33 PM#25

"Oh god this and that doesnt it work exactly like game X. Its broken X  million player in game X cant be wrong. Omg failed game X clone. Why cant they just stop making game X clones. They will never come close to the greatness of game X. Failed game X killer! Why cant they make something new that doesnt try to work excactly like game X but fails at it. Obviously because the only saw my game X and thought hey we want to do that to. I dont care if they made MMOs before game X and game X copied more from them than they did from game X. Obviously they tried to clone game X, look that map it looks exactly like game Y which game X bluntly ripped off and I could go on but wont, therfore your game is a clone of game X! What sandbox? This is just game X minues feature A, B , C and D and zerg and anything bad I can think of! Why would a want to play game X with less great game X stuff and more anoying stuff game X doesnt have. Oh god game X this oh god game X that .

even if they didnt try or have any clue about sandbox game Z.

Only louder and more obessive if they do.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13307

11/18/12 3:33:01 PM#26
Originally posted by Vunak23
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by maccarthur2004
Originally posted by Quizzical
Same as has happened in the past:  a large fraction of the players who say they want an AAA sandbox would insist that it wasn't AAA.  Another large fraction would insist that it wasn't a sandbox.  Both groups would promptly resume complaining about the lack of AAA sandboxes.

LoL, very true. :D

But you could cite a AAA mmo released in the last 10 years that can be considered sandbox?

Uncharted Waters Online

Uncharted Waters is a F2P/P2W game that wasn't even done by a AAA  MMO studio... How exactly is it AAA again?

So if F2P means a game isn't AAA, then that means SWTOR, LOTRO, Vanguard, EQ2, CO, STO, Aion, and quite a few others aren't AAA.  It's actually a subscription game in Japan, but the publisher that handles the English language version seems to think everything should be F2P.

As for the studio, Tecmo-Koei has about 30 years of game design experience (on both the Tecmo and Koei parts, if you go back to before the merger) and gets several hundred million dollars in annual revenue.  That certainly makes them smaller than EA, Blizzard, and NCsoft.  Can you think of any other studios that have made at least one MMO and are larger than that?

  stragen001

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/09/09
Posts: 1737

Mr Flibble is VERY cross

11/18/12 3:43:49 PM#27

What would happen if a AAA sandbox mmo be released?

All the Sandbox fans would flock to it, and enjoy it greatly. 

All of the serial game jumpers would also flock to it, because its a AAA MMO release and they play all of them. some might enjoy it, some might not.

Many Themepark fans would also play it to see what its all about.

 

After a couple of months, all of the serial game jumpers would have moved onto the next title, the themepark fans would have decided that they dont like it because its not a themepark, many of the sandbox fans would have left because of all the whining the thempark fans were doing before they left, and only the hardcore sandbox fans would be remain. 

 

After a couple more months, the game would shutdown or go F2P because there arent enough hardcore sandbox fans to support a AAA sandbox MMO. 

 


Originally posted by Ridelynn Bunch of people would flock to it based on AAA-level hype. 1% of the players would be utter asshats (because it's a sandbox and they can do whatever they want), making the game inhospitable for 99%. 94% leave - citing the game as either too hard, lacking focus, poor story, or just don't get the point. 1% continues being asshats, and the other 5% log on occasionally just so they can keep the "street cred" of saying they play.
 
This. See: Darkfall.

Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1457

11/19/12 7:00:50 AM#28
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Vunak23
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by maccarthur2004
Originally posted by Quizzical
Same as has happened in the past:  a large fraction of the players who say they want an AAA sandbox would insist that it wasn't AAA.  Another large fraction would insist that it wasn't a sandbox.  Both groups would promptly resume complaining about the lack of AAA sandboxes.

LoL, very true. :D

But you could cite a AAA mmo released in the last 10 years that can be considered sandbox?

Uncharted Waters Online

Uncharted Waters is a F2P/P2W game that wasn't even done by a AAA  MMO studio... How exactly is it AAA again?

So if F2P means a game isn't AAA, then that means SWTOR, LOTRO, Vanguard, EQ2, CO, STO, Aion, and quite a few others aren't AAA.  It's actually a subscription game in Japan, but the publisher that handles the English language version seems to think everything should be F2P.

As for the studio, Tecmo-Koei has about 30 years of game design experience (on both the Tecmo and Koei parts, if you go back to before the merger) and gets several hundred million dollars in annual revenue.  That certainly makes them smaller than EA, Blizzard, and NCsoft.  Can you think of any other studios that have made at least one MMO and are larger than that?

Interesting. The funny part is, i never heard anything about Uncharted Water. And i guess a huge part of the problem here is the huge prejudice against all MMOs from Asia. Arche Age may have the same problem. Even i personally just played the huge Asia games(NCSoft), and one reason is/was the asia theme/point and click gameplay/grindness factor of the asia games of the last decade.

And just out of curiosity, how many player play the game at the moment? Or with other words exist more or less healthy servers nowadays? (or only in Japan/Korea?) How much problems/effects does have the Cash Shop? (usually i think cash shops and a important ingame economy dont fit well together) Is it worth a try?

Hmm.. and as much as i have read, there is just a US server, how much problems will EU player have? Hmm.. and it took 5 years to port from Japan release to US release.. another huge problem of a lot mmos from Asia. I seriously hope Arche Age will not suffer from the same problem.. although it looks like it at the moment. I guess this is another reason why i just played NCSoft games from Asia, because they are more or less the only company capable of releasing more or less in the same time frame, in both Asia and NA/EU.

Originally posted by stragen001

What would happen if a AAA sandbox mmo be released?


Originally posted by Ridelynn Bunch of people would flock to it based on AAA-level hype. 1% of the players would be utter asshats (because it's a sandbox and they can do whatever they want), making the game inhospitable for 99%. 94% leave - citing the game as either too hard, lacking focus, poor story, or just don't get the point. 1% continues being asshats, and the other 5% log on occasionally just so they can keep the "street cred" of saying they play.
 
This. See: Darkfall.

Well.. Darkfall is first of all no AAA release.. They even published by themself because of not finding any publisher at all.

And Darkfall is even more a niche in a niche, and not that much sandboxy. Clans can build cities just on a few predefinded places.

It is more or less all about territory control alone. So it is just for hardcore pvp player willingly to play in huge clans, and there is not a lot beside of this to do. You cant play there with just a few friends or a smaller clan, not even to talk about solo. And the only thing to do is to play the territory control game. Not that it is bad at all.. but it is a niche in a niche, and not directly the usual sandbox. It is more or less Shadowbane 2, which wasnt that bad either.

With more money and more time and expanding the gameplay options it would be a rather good sandbox, but as it is(and i guess DF:Unholy Wars will not change a lot in that regard), is just the typical indy approach of a sandbox game focusing on just a few(and really to less) elements of sandbox gaming. On the other hand, give them a few years more time to expand the game DF5 in 10  years could be a rather good game. Especially because it looks like it, that the developer of DF are willingly to further develop on it, and are capable of doing so with the little support they get. And every release may get some more players to their small player base. (and yes, the player base of DF is smaller than UO nowadays, and that one is 15 years old)

 

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/19/12 7:15:33 AM#29
Originally posted by Quizzical

As for the studio, Tecmo-Koei has about 30 years of game design experience (on both the Tecmo and Koei parts, if you go back to before the merger) and gets several hundred million dollars in annual revenue.  That certainly makes them smaller than EA, Blizzard, and NCsoft.  Can you think of any other studios that have made at least one MMO and are larger than that?

Lineage I and II?  All of those western gamers investing their lives in They Don't Matter?

The ArcheAge effect says it's not a 'real' game if it's published Over There.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  DKLond

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 543

11/19/12 7:28:39 AM#30

Won't happen.

AAA is about budget, and no publisher is going to fund a sandbox title with major money. The mainstream audience will never accept the consequences of a true sandbox world.

However, it's not impossible to merge genres. If handled correctly, you can create a themepark/sandbox hybrid - and appeal to both audiences. You would need to create rules for PvP that allowed for casual/mainstream gamers to avoid it - and you would need to please the hardcore full loot PvP crowd. You can do that by creating a "neutral" faction that mainstream players could join - and they could just do consensual PvP. The same goes for the economy. You'd need to create a world where sandboxers could create their own economy - and yet not negatively affect the mainstreamers. Conveniently, this could also work with a neutral faction and an AI/NPC driven economy on the side.

The challenge is that you have to have THE BEST themepark features and THE BEST sandbox features to lure a big enough audience to the game.

ArcheAge seems to do this, at least partially. This is the reason I'm hoping it might succeed - but the obstacle is the Asian-oriented developers. It remains to be seen if they can truly create a game that will appeal to enough players in the west to make it worthwhile in the long run.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13307

11/19/12 10:12:24 AM#31
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Quizzical

As for the studio, Tecmo-Koei has about 30 years of game design experience (on both the Tecmo and Koei parts, if you go back to before the merger) and gets several hundred million dollars in annual revenue.  That certainly makes them smaller than EA, Blizzard, and NCsoft.  Can you think of any other studios that have made at least one MMO and are larger than that?

Lineage I and II?  All of those western gamers investing their lives in They Don't Matter?

The ArcheAge effect says it's not a 'real' game if it's published Over There.

I certainly think of Lineage I and II as AAA MMORPGs.  They're way to grindy for my taste, but AAA doesn't mean "games that I like".

I think Tecmo-Koei faces some challenges in being branded too broadly as "Asian".  They're a Japanese company, and Japanese gaming culture is very different from Korean or Chinese gaming cultures.  When people think of "Asian" grinders, they're usually thinking of Korean games.  That's largely because South Korea pumps out a ton of MMORPGs, while few Japanese games are MMORPGs at all.

But Tecmo-Koei is a Japanese company, not Korean.  If you want a cultural starting point, you should think of other Japanese gaming companies (e.g., Nintendo, Sega, Square, Capcom, Konami), and not whoever made your least favorite Korean grinder.

Though in fairness, Koei has long lived in their own world, and barely even acknowledged the existence of other gaming companies.  There are some longstanding conventions that "most" MMORPGs abide by, but Koei completely ignores in order to do things their own way.  The downside of that is that when you first pick up the game, you'll be completely lost.  Even if you spent hours reading up on it ahead of time, and constantly ask tons of questions (which you should).  But the advantage is that you won't already be 90% of the way to being sick of the game due to your experiences with other games, as is likely if you pick up the latest WoW-clone.

For decades, Koei has had their niche of incredibly complex strategy games (e.g. Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors, Nobunaga's Ambition, P.T.O., Liberty or Death), typically having you play one side in a war.  They're hard to get into, as it takes a number of hours just to figure out what you're supposed to do.  The market for that isn't very big in the US, so some of their games get translated into English and some don't.

The Uncharted Waters games are somewhat different from the Koei norm, and were sandbox games long before I had ever heard of the term, and possibly before it was even coined.  The old console games had a bunch of NPCs sailing around basically acting like other players, which really cried out for an MMORPG treatment where it would be other players rather than just NPCs.  Koei finally obliged, releasing Uncharted Waters Online in Japan in 2005.  But it didn't get translated into English until 2010.  One could argue that the English-language website for the game still isn't translated into English, but the game itself is much better.

The English-language publisher was originally Netmarble, a Korean company.  Then Gpotato got involved, and I'm not sure what the relationship between Netmarble and Gpotato is.  Gpotato certainly believes in making games pay to win, and Netmarble probably does, too, and they seem to be very much trying to make it pay to win.  And it is pretty much pay to win if you want to be a pirate (i.e., attack other players and steal their stuff).

But otherwise, the nature of the game makes it awfully hard to make it pay to win, in spite of Netmarble's best efforts.  In most MMORPGs, if you could buy an item that gives you +10% attack power, that would be horribly unbalancing.  In Uncharted Waters Online, that would basically amount to a rounding error.  I might have the most adventuring discoveries of anyone on the server (currently at 1864); if not, then I'm surely close to it.  And I've paid $20 for the game so far--with $4 of that still unspent item mall cash.  In a real pay to win game, that's not terribly common.

  botrytis

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Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2516

11/19/12 10:13:56 AM#32

People would gnash their teeth like they do with every other game currently out there.

 

No one would be happy, basically.

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  Edeus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/10
Posts: 513

11/19/12 10:18:21 AM#33
Originally posted by Quizzical
Same as has happened in the past:  a large fraction of the players who say they want an AAA sandbox would insist that it wasn't AAA.  Another large fraction would insist that it wasn't a sandbox.  Both groups would promptly resume complaining about the lack of AAA sandboxes.

What he said.

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  apocoluster

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1295

\m/,

11/19/12 10:25:07 AM#34
Originally posted by TheScavenger

The same thing when a themepark MMO comes out

 

"this release sucks, worst release of any MMO ever"

"wow, they lied about x feature and y feature sucks!"

"why is the game so buggy?"

"so and so MMO has way more content, why play this at all?"

"if you can make a better MMO, do it yourself n00b" (this one is my favorite, its hilarious)

"why is all sandbox MMOs focused on deathmatch PvP?"

"why is this sandbox MMO focused so much on PvE? carebears trololol" (mostly relates to Ryzom, since its the only PvE sandbox MMO)

"this MMO sucks. Way overhyped."

"you are just haters, all of you are trolls! ALL OF YOU!"

"if you dont like it, leave" (and then everyone leaves and the MMO dies)

 

I think I got all the major ones that would relate to a sandbox MMO...it doesn't matter if it is a themepark or sandbox, the sceanario will be the same

I agree, was gonna write the same thing when I noticed Scav's post.  The population will rise at release then they would leave.  Finally the game would settle at the population it was meant for.  Neither a failure or a success but somewhere in teh middle.  Though failure or success is a personal thang.  Some it wil lhave failed..others it would have succeeded.

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1457

11/19/12 10:27:14 AM#35
@Quizzical: Thanks for your write up. I seriously have to look a little bit deeper into it. Sounds interesting.
  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/19/12 10:29:07 AM#36
I think if someone made a casual friendly sandbox with a medium budget it could make good money.

I don't get why sandbox mmos have to be so hardcore.

Why can't there be a mmo sandbox as approachable as minecraft or terraria.
  PyrateLV

Tipster

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1118

11/19/12 10:31:36 AM#37
Originally posted by stragen001

What would happen if a AAA sandbox mmo be released?

All the Sandbox fans would flock to it, and enjoy it greatly. 

All of the serial game jumpers would also flock to it, because its a AAA MMO release and they play all of them. some might enjoy it, some might not.

Many Themepark fans would also play it to see what its all about.

 

After a couple of months, all of the serial game jumpers would have moved onto the next title, the themepark fans would have decided that they dont like it because its not a themepark, many of the sandbox fans would have left because of all the whining the thempark fans were doing before they left, and only the hardcore sandbox fans would be remain. 

 

After a couple more months, the game would shutdown or go F2P because there arent enough hardcore sandbox fans to support a AAA sandbox MMO. 

 


Originally posted by Ridelynn Bunch of people would flock to it based on AAA-level hype. 1% of the players would be utter asshats (because it's a sandbox and they can do whatever they want), making the game inhospitable for 99%. 94% leave - citing the game as either too hard, lacking focus, poor story, or just don't get the point. 1% continues being asshats, and the other 5% log on occasionally just so they can keep the "street cred" of saying they play.
 
This. See: Darkfall.

Yeah. Pretty much this^

 

**P.S. Darkfall isnt really a Sandbox

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  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13307

11/19/12 10:36:00 AM#38
Originally posted by Apraxis
@Quizzical: Thanks for your write up. I seriously have to look a little bit deeper into it. Sounds interesting.

In that case, start here:

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/555/view/forums/thread/332238/Well-this-is-different-a-review.html

Quite a bit of stuff has been added since then, but that will at least get you started.  I go into a lot more detail on the adventuring discovery system here:

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/555/view/forums/thread/337275/Adventuring-discovery-guide.html

And if you think those posts are too long, then you won't like UWO, as you won't have the patience for it.  Koei doesn't do instant gratification, or even kind of soonish gratification.

  User Deleted
11/19/12 10:37:00 AM#39
Originally posted by DKLond

Won't happen.

AAA is about budget, and no publisher is going to fund a sandbox title with major money. The mainstream audience will never accept the consequences of a true sandbox world.

However, it's not impossible to merge genres. If handled correctly, you can create a themepark/sandbox hybrid - and appeal to both audiences. You would need to create rules for PvP that allowed for casual/mainstream gamers to avoid it - and you would need to please the hardcore full loot PvP crowd. You can do that by creating a "neutral" faction that mainstream players could join - and they could just do consensual PvP. The same goes for the economy. You'd need to create a world where sandboxers could create their own economy - and yet not negatively affect the mainstreamers. Conveniently, this could also work with a neutral faction and an AI/NPC driven economy on the side.

The challenge is that you have to have THE BEST themepark features and THE BEST sandbox features to lure a big enough audience to the game.

ArcheAge seems to do this, at least partially. This is the reason I'm hoping it might succeed - but the obstacle is the Asian-oriented developers. It remains to be seen if they can truly create a game that will appeal to enough players in the west to make it worthwhile in the long run.

Funcom tried this with Anarchy Online.

WoW crowd came there and wanted themepark features ,daily quests,boss drops for everybody, cookie cutter god mode perks ,cash shop boosting,instanced PvP  etc and Funcom delivered.

it really didnt work out well.

 

  Maelwydd

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/26/09
Posts: 1133

11/19/12 10:53:47 AM#40

If someone makes a sandbox game but is somehow able to prevent all the asshats from having the ability to be asshats then it would be successful. First though 'someone has to realise that the term 'Sandbox' does not just mean FFA PVP Full loot'.

 

The problem so far is that the only examples of sandbox games we have do not sell well to prospective developers or punblishers. When someone with money looks at the options and has to choose between "Fun for all" or "piss off most people" it isn't a wonder why we are where we are.

 

But if a developer were able to design a game tha gave people the freedom to play without being able to prevent others from their fun then.....people would still complain and ruin it for others. People are douchebags for the most part, and sandbox games so far are where they tend to hang out most.

 

I firmly believe the mechanics are available to alow all sorts of play styles to co-exist in a game and have it a true sandbox...the problem will be (and is so far to date) that getting the money is gonna be a hard sell based on the attitudes of the 'target audiance' that sandbox games aim for. The target audience needs to change or at the least needs to be supported by game design to allow a wider audience.

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