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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » We are asking the wrong question.

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86 posts found
  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1461

11/19/12 9:07:44 AM#21
Originally posted by Loktofeit

The second question is difficult because sandbox content is toys and tools. The more story driven or scripted that content is the more it restricts the flexibility of the toys and tools. It's like looking for a story driven Etch-a-sketch. LEGO is a great example of where that leads to - hundreds of kits, each one basically only good for making one pre-defined structure or setting. MMOs could probably take that approach with their content, and it would work great with the F2P model, as it allows for a la carte selection of content.

Modulized content could allow for better mix of open-ended, creative gameplay while still offering story to follow. Maybe even allow players to DM or have contractable DMs to work with the players through the modules. Actually, that would probably bring MMOs back to their PnP roots and make for a far more interesting and engaging game in a story-driven sandbox environment.

I agree. That would most probably one way to bring micro transaction into sandbox gaming without ruining it. And truth is, at least in my humble opinion, micro transaction(F2P,B2P) will be the future for mmorpgs. If we like it or not will not change that, because a monthly subscription discourage a lot of people for whatever reason.

But you cant bring items(Cash Shop) into a sandbox game without hurting the ingame economy. Modulized content could work, although i foresee the problem of persistence and the one world feeling. But you have to come up with something different than the usual stuff selling in Cash Shops. Sandboxes can not be gear progression based, and are much more crafting based.

Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Loktofeit

Modulized content could allow for better mix of open-ended, creative gameplay while still offering story to follow. Maybe even allow players to DM or have contractable DMs to work with the players through the modules. Actually, that would probably bring MMOs back to their PnP roots and make for a far more interesting and engaging game in a story-driven sandbox environment.

Which makes me wonder if it could possibly pass.

We're loaded to the rafters with Old Guys. 

Demonstrably, what we wanted/liked doesn't seem to sell well with GenX and GenY and etc.

But we keep trying to force them into old molds.  The majority of species "gamer" grew up with an internet and smartphones and tablets--we didn't.  Bitching about the lost glories of bygone ages, PnP, MUDs, GEnie, Dial Up, Acoustic Modems(!)--they must think we're (mostly) insane.

Maybe the we should open a Game Design for the Real World forum--no one born before 1990 allowed to participate.

(counts on fingers1990..that's...22, yeah that works)

Consider a plot of gamer ages--I am way, way out the on the right-hand tip, two, three, maybe four stdevs above the mean.

I should be driving game design for the other 95%+ of the gamer pop?  I don't think so.

22 year old? His ideas and his influence can only grow greater.

Hmm.. first of all. The game designer were almost always in another age. And yeah, we have other passions, and think about a lot of things differently. But that a alone dont mean, that what we liked dont fit for them at the core.

It is much more, that they are not used to read, not used to give you that much time to present a game play, a story or whatever. It is much more about presentation, and how you can grab them. I guess story, and even more a good story involving not just you, but you and your friends is nowadays as enganging as it was 20 years ago. You just dont have to expect that you have a lot of time to unfold your plot, or that they are willingly to read pages after pages. MUDs dont work nowadays because of that, and not because of the story or gameplay itself. At least imho.

Edit:

And by not willingly to read, i implicitly mean willingly to listen, too. You cant tell a long story, you have to involve them early on. A lot of games nowadays make the mistake to tell to much at once, and listening a longer time is as bad as reading a lot of text. At least that is what i have observed.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17128

11/19/12 9:26:56 AM#22
Originally posted by Apraxis

Hmm.. first of all. The game designer were almost always in another age.

I think there was a bit of truth to what you say, especially since "humans' are pretty much "about story" no matter their age.

However, I think I disagree with the core of the above statment.

The earlier games that are referenced were done seemed to be done by very young people at the nascent stage of video game development. It wasn't like they were referencing earlier video games. If anything they were probably trying to recreate what they experienced during pen & paper game sessions.

And what were those things about? Worlds and the stories that went on in them.

Nowadays I get to experience first hand the schism in what is desire for  a video game. Two of the departments in my company are made up of very young people, early 20's to mid.

Not many of them play video games, espcially mmo's, but of those who do, it's pretty much the "angry birds" variety of game. There are a few older people who play other types of games and they have often indicated that though they liked games such such as skyrim, the open nature was too much for them. They either didn't finish it or just did the quests they could find and the main quest.

They were more interested in the "game" part.

 

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/19/12 9:38:20 AM#23
Originally posted by Apraxis

Hmm.. first of all. The game designer were almost always in another age. And yeah, we have other passions, and think about a lot of things differently. But that a alone dont mean, that what we liked dont fit for them at the core.

Publishers used to design games around roleplaying, for the tiny niche of the general population that really enjoyed that.

Then, around 2004 plus or minus, the rest of the gaming market arrived...LOLRP was their most typical response.  Some of them only make responses in foreign languages--I claim no psychic powers about what they might want.  But clearly, for this much bigger market, a game designed around roleplaying will not do the job, regardless of how much I enjoyed it in the wayback...they (the vast majority) didn't do any PnP at all, nor do they want to.

It would be like asking my kid to put down his mp3 player and enjoy this vinyl record album.  I can talk him into listening, maybe, but I really can't alter what he enjoys.  And It isn't Peter Frampton (this album sold gobs when I was a teen--'you're insane old man' glance).

Gamers are still continuing to arrive.

We typically espouse not adaptation, not innovation, but a devolvement towards older models of games. We're a force actively seeking to hold back evolution.

(Don't be fooled by those threads decrying lack of innovation, when the same fellow writes another thread ten minutes later about how cool EQ or UO was, why can't we make games like that any more?)

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.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17128

11/19/12 9:40:32 AM#24
Originally posted by Icewhite

We typically espouse not adaptation, not innovation, but a devolvement towards older models of games. We're a force actively seeking to hold back evolution.

(Don't be fooled by those threads decrying lack of innovation, when the same fellow writes another thread ten minutes later about how cool EQ or UO was, why can't we make games like that any more?)

wow lightning strikes twice. Again, I completely agree.

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1461

11/19/12 9:49:29 AM#25

Well. maybe you are right. And in that regard it would be interesting to know the demographics of a game like minecraft.

Ok, that one is not about story, but it is the prototyp of sandbox gaming. But i guess i would not be surprised if the largest share of minecraft players would be above 30. And then again, is there not a market nowadays for players above 30?

Gaming has evolved as i was a kid almost no adult played any computer game whatsoever. But as computer gaming become mature the players become it, too. And a huge amount(as i see it from me and among my friends) is still playing games.

And well.. maybe it is just wishful thinking.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/19/12 10:03:50 AM#26
Originally posted by Apraxis

Well. maybe you are right. And in that regard it would be interesting to know the demographics of a game like minecraft.

Ok, that one is not about story, but it is the prototyp of sandbox gaming. But i guess i would not be surprised if the largest share of minecraft players would be above 30. And then again, is there not a market nowadays for players above 30?

Gaming has evolved as i was a kid almost no adult played any computer game whatsoever. But as computer gaming become mature the players become it, too. And a huge amount(as i see it from me and among my friends) is still playing games.

And well.. maybe it is just wishful thinking.

I've still got vinyl in the attic,, and a case of dusty CD's.

Bands still make my sort of music, but they're slowly growing vanishingly rare.  Alice is in his mid 60's, the Stones may as well be buried, Jimmy Page can't play well enough to even do short reunion concerts any more.  Stevey Tyler's doing reality TV.  AC/DC sells with 'golden oldey' discounts.

Do MMO's even make a sales blip compared to x-box titles?  X-box is even nearing retirement age now, MS is trying to write for cell phones and tablets.

Enough DOOOM, not really interested in becoming one of those guys.  You may want to keep an eye on PC Games existing as a market, at all, for much longer.

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.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7699

Logic be damned!

11/19/12 10:07:43 AM#27

The most popular sandbox experiences tend to be the most simplistic - where the most basic rule sets and mechanics lead to the largest variety and deepest complexity.

Not the other way around.

 

Now Playing:
Looking Towards: Destiny

  nethervoid

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/05
Posts: 531

11/19/12 10:16:22 AM#28
For the OP, sandboxes don't have stories, so I guess that's where it ends for this debate. Stories are for single player games.

nethervoid - Est. '97
[UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

  User Deleted
11/19/12 10:35:18 AM#29

I don't want to be told "a good story" in an MMORPG.  I'd much rather be told "a thousand good stories" in non-connected short arc storylines.  That way non-linear gameplay can be achieved and still have meaningful interaction with NPCs and the world.

 

Also, I would prefer storyline content questing be entirely optional in character progression.  If I don't want to help the mages guild leader track down the missing grimoire, why should I be forced to?

 

The key feature for me is freedom.  I want a large world that I can interact with in a manner of my own chosing.

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1461

11/19/12 10:41:38 AM#30
Originally posted by Icewhite

Enough DOOOM, not really interested in becoming one of those guys.  You may want to keep an eye on PC Games existing as a market, at all, for much longer.

As much as i see it there is a renewal of the pc market ongoing. And Steam, kickstarters, and a lot of small budget(indy) single player games have a lot to do with it.(and the easier way of distrubition, and the decline of piracy). Although the vast majority of games is nevertheless console or multiplatformer.

But the PC market was declared dead one thousand times, and nevertheless is still alive. And i refuse nowadays to buy a console, although i owned Atari2600, NES, SEGA Master System and Super NES..

And nevertheless the hope dies last anyways. :)

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19530

11/19/12 11:11:19 AM#31
Originally posted by jpnz

 


I hope this thread starts the discussion of 'why do you play games?' and how that can be integrated into a 'sandbox MMO' without touching the 'sandbox' design.

 

 

This is the only relevant question.

i play games to have fun, to be entertained. And what entertain me?

- good combat, with interesting abilities, choices, and the meta game of optimizing (dps and what-not), and some  challenge

- good progression ... items, abitiies, stat points ...

- other types of adversarial gameplay like stealth, or hacking.

- some co-op

- assessible .. mean less wait time, no long time commitment

Now i don't see sandbox design is relevant to what i like. The kind of gameplay i like can be easily incorporated in a lobby game, and many themepark games have that.

  madazz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1303

11/19/12 11:11:27 AM#32

Everyones post on here should be ignored by any developer looking to make a sandbox. Why? Because this forum has proven time and time again that collectively, we don't know what we want, or what is best for us game wise. With that said, a developer needs to start with a clean slate and create what they want. Rather than have a developer create a sandbox that tries to cater to us, maybe we need a developer that is truely trying to create something special that we can all appreciate. 

 

Proof we get what we want:

-we requested end game, now our games end.

-we wanted raiding, now the rest of the game is lackluster.

-we wanted no death penalties, now many games have a loss of accomplishment.

-we wanted no grind in ANY form, now you can rush to the end of most games with in a month.

-we wanted things easier to find, now many games even have an actual line you can follow on the ground to reach your destination.

-we wanted protection from gankers, now we have no PvP in open world.

-we wanted a safe place to PvP, now we have PvP arena's you que up for that are basically just a themepark/instance within the game that simulates an FPS battle in MMORPG form.

-we wanted it cheaper, now we have F2P games that require in-game micro transactions to keep up to those who do pay (yes some games aren't quite as bad as others in this sense, please, not trying to start a debate).

-we wanted faster travel, no we can just teleport anywhere and the world feels small.

 

Now, I know some of what I have stated appeals to some, and to others not at all, but the fact is, it just shows how divided we are. I certainly didn't ask for many of those things, but collectively "WE" as a community did. So going forward, I already know what I like and don't like. Though every game has been pretty well much the same lately, I am going to keep trying them here and there in hopes that I may find one that is actually different in some way. I really hope a Dev grows some balls, takes a gamble and tries something else. It may be something that none of us have even thought of at all!

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19530

11/19/12 11:27:18 AM#33
Originally posted by madazz

Proof we get what we want:

-we requested end game, now our games end.

Yeh, and we are free to move on to other games.

-we wanted raiding, now the rest of the game is lackluster.

Wouldn't say that. Some non-raid dungeons are good.

-we wanted no death penalties, now many games have a loss of accomplishment.

Like what? People still rever hard core raid guilds, and world first.

-we wanted no grind in ANY form, now you can rush to the end of most games with in a month.

Yeh .. and can enjoy more content in a shorter time.

-we wanted things easier to find, now many games even have an actual line you can follow on the ground to reach your destination.

Yeh, and get rid of trivial, easy .. search and find things aspect of the game to focus on combat. Exactly what i like.

-we wanted protection from gankers, now we have no PvP in open world.

Yeh. Exactly why world pvp is not popular. But you can still go to pvp servers.

-we wanted a safe place to PvP, now we have PvP arena's you que up for that are basically just a themepark/instance within the game that simulates an FPS battle in MMORPG form.

And e-sport becomes popular. The most popular online game LOL, is an arena and nothing else.

-we wanted it cheaper, now we have F2P games that require in-game micro transactions to keep up to those who do pay (yes some games aren't quite as bad as others in this sense, please, not trying to start a debate).

Yeh .. and you cannot get cheaper than free. And you cannot get more assessible than zero commitment.

-we wanted faster travel, no we can just teleport anywhere and the world feels small.

And found that the world feel is not that important.

 

Now, I know some of what I have stated appeals to some, and to others not at all, but the fact is, it just shows how divided we are. I certainly didn't ask for many of those things, but collectively "WE" as a community did. So going forward, I already know what I like and don't like. Though every game has been pretty well much the same lately, I am going to keep trying them here and there in hopes that I may find one that is actually different in some way. I really hope a Dev grows some balls, takes a gamble and tries something else. It may be something that none of us have even thought of at all!

Yeah, you are right. There is no "we". Only many of "I". And i like msot of the stuff you posted. I am happy where MMOs are going.

Devs have balls, what are you talking about? Blizz did LFD and LFR when all the hardcore fanboys were crying bloody murder about "community" and "socialization". They put it mutliple level of difficulties when hardcore raiders were crying "it dilute the challenge". They took a gamble and it worked beautiful. WOW became a much better game for many.

 

  nethervoid

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/05
Posts: 531

11/19/12 11:31:59 AM#34

Designing a sandbox is really quite easy. All you have to do is create a blank world and systems where players can create things in the world. Then sit back and watch.

It really is that easy.

nethervoid - Est. '97
[UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19530

11/19/12 11:56:54 AM#35
Originally posted by nethervoid

Designing a sandbox is really quite easy. All you have to do is create a blank world and systems where players can create things in the world. Then sit back and watch.

It really is that easy.

That is the problem. Most players can't create anything interesting.

And you sound like "creating a blank world and systems" is easy. Why don't you show us how it is done?

And how do you attract anyone to "a blank world"?

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1461

11/19/12 12:00:28 PM#36
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by madazz

Proof we get what we want:

-we requested end game, now our games end.

Yeh, and we are free to move on to other games.

-we wanted raiding, now the rest of the game is lackluster.

Wouldn't say that. Some non-raid dungeons are good.

-we wanted no death penalties, now many games have a loss of accomplishment.

Like what? People still rever hard core raid guilds, and world first.

-we wanted no grind in ANY form, now you can rush to the end of most games with in a month.

Yeh .. and can enjoy more content in a shorter time.

-we wanted things easier to find, now many games even have an actual line you can follow on the ground to reach your destination.

Yeh, and get rid of trivial, easy .. search and find things aspect of the game to focus on combat. Exactly what i like.

-we wanted protection from gankers, now we have no PvP in open world.

Yeh. Exactly why world pvp is not popular. But you can still go to pvp servers.

-we wanted a safe place to PvP, now we have PvP arena's you que up for that are basically just a themepark/instance within the game that simulates an FPS battle in MMORPG form.

And e-sport becomes popular. The most popular online game LOL, is an arena and nothing else.

-we wanted it cheaper, now we have F2P games that require in-game micro transactions to keep up to those who do pay (yes some games aren't quite as bad as others in this sense, please, not trying to start a debate).

Yeh .. and you cannot get cheaper than free. And you cannot get more assessible than zero commitment.

-we wanted faster travel, no we can just teleport anywhere and the world feels small.

And found that the world feel is not that important.

 

Now, I know some of what I have stated appeals to some, and to others not at all, but the fact is, it just shows how divided we are. I certainly didn't ask for many of those things, but collectively "WE" as a community did. So going forward, I already know what I like and don't like. Though every game has been pretty well much the same lately, I am going to keep trying them here and there in hopes that I may find one that is actually different in some way. I really hope a Dev grows some balls, takes a gamble and tries something else. It may be something that none of us have even thought of at all!

Yeah, you are right. There is no "we". Only many of "I". And i like msot of the stuff you posted. I am happy where MMOs are going.

Devs have balls, what are you talking about? Blizz did LFD and LFR when all the hardcore fanboys were crying bloody murder about "community" and "socialization". They put it mutliple level of difficulties when hardcore raiders were crying "it dilute the challenge". They took a gamble and it worked beautiful. WOW became a much better game for many.

 

Well.. it is nice if everythings has turned out that good for you. I appreciate your enjoyment in the mmos of late, and the evolution it took.

But just sometimes, i ask myself, why do you post that much, instead of happily playing all those great games?

I indeed know, why i post a little bit more recently.. and it is much more the lack of good games at the moment, albeit i enjoy at the moment a few games like xcom, civilization, chivalry and football manager... just not a lot of mmos.

But i hope you get it, that not everyone is the same, and we all have different tastes. And that there is some money to make to satisfy an unsatisfied taste. Yours is obviously not unstatisfied.. mine and from a few others indeed is.

And it really would be a shame if every game released would be the same...

 

  muffins89

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 1254

11/19/12 12:04:03 PM#37
Originally posted by revy66
Man...sorry to hear there are so many misinformed people that have not experienced a sandbox mmo....In EVE there is in fact a story. It is the one that is created by the players and you can make your own in it. This is what a story is like in a sandbox mmo.

i dont think OP is that mis-informed.  he'd rather be told a story then make one.

I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2406

World > Quest Progression

11/19/12 12:15:06 PM#38
Chasing the assumed money stream of the themepark hasn't worked well for most companies so the argument of "sandboxes won't have the $$$" isn't much of an argument anymore. The industry is changing and has already quite a bit. The market is now saturated with themeparks, a lot of them with F2P options, which is leaving many companies in the cold due to musical MMOs. My hard drive does kind of resemble a console system with the amount of games I can play at any time.

The only "proof" I need that MMOs should have more sand is the fact that a major company is staking their franchise name on it. They even flushed money in order to go back and change it. I'm not sure what else needs to be seen.
  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

11/19/12 12:23:56 PM#39

Problem is many dont know the difference between mmo's and mog's, sandbox and themepark, and are unaware of so many features mmo's use to have. As an older gamer i feel the industry has been dumbed down because you are getting less. Story lines only get you so far. Then you are stuck with either dailies, raids, or warzones for end content and i am not happy with that.

Sandboxes offer tons more to do and there is no end game. Most the great times i have had in sandboxes came from player content. Many creative people out there.

Lot of misconceptions about sandboxes also hurt their chances. But more sandboxes are on the way than the past 10-15 years combined. So yes things are changing, and yes people will get a dose of sandbox love to try out.

Major misconception that hurt sandboxes :

open world pvp

full loot pvp

10-20 minute wait time to travel

too complex

no story line

not casual (lol)

 

Maybe one or two games have some of this, but not all. The problem is there are not enough sandboxes out there for the masses to explore. Once more come out and people get a choice it may spark a lot of intrest. Then players will have a real choice, just like sandboxes give you a choice in game ;)

 

 

 

  nethervoid

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/05
Posts: 531

11/19/12 12:27:21 PM#40
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by nethervoid

Designing a sandbox is really quite easy. All you have to do is create a blank world and systems where players can create things in the world. Then sit back and watch.

It really is that easy.

That is the problem. Most players can't create anything interesting.

And you sound like "creating a blank world and systems" is easy. Why don't you show us how it is done?

And how do you attract anyone to "a blank world"?

"And you sound like "creating a blank world and systems" is easy. Why don't you show us how it is done?"

lol is this seriously your come back? Right back at you. You can never give an opinion on this board any longer unless you've developed an MMO.

"And how do you attract anyone to "a blank world"?"

The blank world IS the attraction. You get to build cities and dungeons etc. You get to actually have an impact on the world. Build a city. Fight to keep that city safe. Craft items. Have a shop in town. Create a mage tower for training. People love doing that stuff. Look at minecraft. Most searched game on youtube for a long, long time now. Last I checked it was getting 14 million searches per month whereas COD4 was getting about 3 million.

Best part is you don't have to spend a lot of time creating content. You can put all that extra time into creating bad-ass systems for people to build with.

nethervoid - Est. '97
[UO|EQ|SB|SWG|PS|HZ|EVE|NWN|WoW|VG|DF|SWTOR]
13k subs YouTube Gaming channel

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