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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What does sandbox mean to you?

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56 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/09
Posts: 337

1/04/13 1:09:31 PM#41
Originally posted by maccarthur2004
Originally posted by XAPGames

For me, a sandbox world is a simulation, a themepark world is a game.


Simulation = Turn me loose in a world to do what I want with whatever tools the developer has provided.

Game = Developer provides a one-path or multi-path route to completion with developer provided content (tasks, stories) along the way.



I agree.


For me, sandbox = Ultima Online. The more a mmo is near the UO setting, more "sandboxy" is it.



For me UO is a great example of a sandbox. *plays in the sandbox*


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 3068

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

1/04/13 1:25:12 PM#42

Sandbox has different meanings to different folks.

Sandbox means to be not being fenced in. By that I mean I should not have to get on the hamster wheel of death. This means I should not be forced to do quest a, quest, then quest c to progress.

I should be able to go anywhere on the map at any time and do whatever I want without having to do the theampark quest hubs. I should be able to choose what to do and level up my own way.

SWG was much like this before cu. After the cu we were forced into doing quest after quest, I hated kashyyyk and how that all went down and that was just what we saw headed our way with mustifar.

Oh well that is my 2 coppers worth.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3269

I am more than some of my parts

1/04/13 2:25:25 PM#43

For me, a sandbox is driven by player created content while a themepark is developer created content.  A sandbox should be a roleplayers paradise, where as a themepark is a casual's paradise.


This however, does not seem to be the case from what I witness in games. A sandpark is a free-for-all, while a themepark attempts to balance things between players.

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 204

1/05/13 2:47:39 PM#44
Originally posted by XAPGames

For me, a sandbox world is a simulation, a themepark world is a game.


Simulation = Turn me loose in a world to do what I want with whatever tools the developer has provided.



This ^^^.

Sandbox = no limits to skills and atributes you can master, no limits where you could build, dig, clime, swim etc.

All possible options available to use even hiring workers/npcs to help me, just like in sims.

All from first person perspective, just like in real life.


Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

1/05/13 2:50:34 PM#45
It's kind of a hokey religion. But then so is every other Brand.

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.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/29/06
Posts: 355

1/05/13 3:23:53 PM#46

To me, sandbox has to do with the amount of choices a player can make and the amount of control a player has over the game world.  Think of an actual sanbox.  There is sand in a box.  There are very few rules about what you can do in the sandbox (although they may very according to the location of the sandbox and who is around).  The thing that makes a sandbox fun is what a person chooses to do with the sand and what "tools"/toys  the person has to use in the sand.  As long as the person stays within the rules, there is really no right or wrong way to play in the sand (Is it wrong to dig in the sand versus building a sand castle?  Is it wrong to make "mudpies"?  Is it wrong to bring in a toy dump truck or other toy cars?  Who can prove that one way of playing is better than another when it is about personal preferences and mood at the time?).

In MMOs, the degree to which a game is "sandbox" varies which is part of the reason why people argue over whether or not a game is considered "sandbox."  It is also a reason for the conflict when someone says they want a sandbox game and others say "are you supporting current sandbox games?" or "there are sandbox games already in existence."  For example, people have pointed out Vanguard as an example of the failure of sandbox games.  I have played Vanguard but it is not what I'm looking for in a sandbox.  Why? Players are limited to one class and are leveled.  Some of the features of Vanguard that make it a challenge are things that could be considered sandbox but not something that makes a sandbox appealing to me.  Add to the varying degrees to which a game can be "sandbox" all the other features that can vary in a game, and it leads to those who enjoy at least some degree of sandbox complaining about the lack of games with sandbox features.  For those who enjoy straight "themepark" games, there is such a large amount of themepark games available that there's a better chance of finding at least one with the features they want.

For an example of a "game" that is an ultimate sandbox, there is Second Life.  The majority of the content in the game is player made or player provided.  The company provided some of the building blocks.  The potential problem with a sandbox to that extreme is there is a lack of uniformity across the "game" world and it becomes many games with the same launch point.  It also leads to more abuses of the system.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2470

"Always borrow money from a pessimist. They won't expect it back."

1/05/13 3:28:53 PM#47
For me, games like Ultima Online and Asheron's Call 1 were sandbox games. I always had so much I could do in those 2 games. I didn't have my hand held the whole time I played like most mmorpg's today. I never got bored until the games had aged a lot and there became less and less people playing.

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
Dark Age of Camelot


Novice Member

Joined: 12/11/12
Posts: 172

1/05/13 3:29:41 PM#48

SANDBOX= do whatever ou want without guild lines.

Think of a sandbox when u r a kid...u can do whatever u wanted. this is what a sandbox is.


  User Deleted
1/05/13 3:36:47 PM#49
Sandbox is a meaningless buzzword used to cover a massive number of games that possess fewer restrictions than most games. The people who use this term tend to be just as delusional as the people who insist that absolute linearity is the way to go, due to their general massive egotism, elitism, and general douchebaggery. To an outsider, both sides are just having an embarassing dick-slap fight that ends with both looking stupid in the long term.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/09
Posts: 2009

1/05/13 5:31:15 PM#50

I always imagine playing an mmorpg like it is a second life.  As in it let me felt I was living and breathing in a real world.  That's what sandbox mean to me.  Everyone will be their unique self, not like the mmorpg today where everyone is just another replica of another.

An unrealistic expectation to realism which will never be possible to achieve.  That is what meant to me. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1544

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

1/05/13 7:47:52 PM#51

Good question.  My idea of Sandbox is an MMO I can "live in."  Something that offers a wide variety of unique and interesting objectives.  Not JUST questing or dungeons.   I play Mabinogi and call it a sandbox because I  live in a house, grow crops, and get a job to pay for it.  I pursue social skills like composing.  I can make songs or start a band.  I'm happy with it.  I guess I want to be in a cyberworld that lets me accomplish things I'll never get around to accomplishing in real life.  I'm never going to learn to play the lute, drums, flute, or become a renown composer in real life.  I can in Mabinogi and make a reputation.  

Tho it's not an mmo I play Sims 2 because I can design clothing or furniture.  Not fullfilling enough when you cannot get on wtih buddies and kill stuff, so I still prefer the mmo.

Sandbox lets you be creative while giving your avatar a home and stuff to kill.

Best console game: DD Dark Arisen. Best mmo: GW2. Best game series ever: The Sims.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/25/06
Posts: 503

1/05/13 7:58:09 PM#52
At this point all sandbox means to me is endless threads discussing what it is or comparing its merits to other types of MMO's. 

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1518

1/05/13 8:56:12 PM#53
Originally posted by Orenshii

Show me a feature in a sandbox ill show you it in a themepark.


The only difference is the words themselves.


world pvp? seen in many themeparks

Skills over levels? seen that in a themepark too

rocks that run out of ores? themepark also

Landscape changed by the people of the game? seen that one too..

Live a life without hunting monsters? yep have done that also in a themepark.



I think someone came up with another way to segregate and categorize games

just to start a fight amoungst people.



Placeable/Buildable/Destroyable World Objects. Like a house, a Tree or what ever else will stay persistence in a world for everyone as long as it will be destroyed. Ok, name one Themepark mmo with that feature... and i will call it a sandbox. ;)

Point is.. there is not one. In Themeparks houses are undestructable, houses are in most cases in a instanced housing zone or the like, or with no persistent housing at all.

The core of sandboxes are objects you can place in the world or destroy from the world. And the most probably very best example is Minecraft. Dynamic objects, dynamic world.. and with dynamic is meant that you can place that object in the world, use it in one or another, or even different ways, and destroy it finally.. and of course it have to be persistent for everyone.. with other words, when i can use/destroy it so you shall use/destroy it too.


And there is a reason for it. It would be rather irritating if you could destroy the quest hub, or quest items and noone could finish it... so everything stays the same forever with the available to enjoy the theme.

In a sandbox themes will be build up on the fly and maybe demolished one day later.. sandboxes are in a state of flux.. themeparks are not. It really is simple.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 2138

1/06/13 4:46:57 AM#54
Originally posted by DrunkWolf
its peoples opinions, ask 10 different people what a themepark/sandbox is and you will get 10 different answers and a thread full of argueing over who is right.

Exactly. And main reason so many games are flamed by .. ue ue ue ... i want my sandbox ... no, no, .. ueeee ... ueee ... i want my thmepark. Bah. Such discussions should be cut short. You enjoy - play. You do not - leave. Do not know from where comes that insatiable desire to CONVICE whole world that that certain game sucks, shuld be doomed, deleted, ... whatever.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/06
Posts: 1609

1/06/13 4:49:01 AM#55
anywhere you can see a piece of land and go I want to build a house there and you can + has terraforming. Then it's a sand box. Pretty easy. Think of a blank sand pit. Can't see why hardly anyone can't get what a sandbox is right. It's not that hard.

This isn't a signature, you just think it is.


Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 3098

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

1/06/13 4:54:06 AM#56

Non-Linear and Free to go as I choose and do as I please.



Nothing else even comes close to the basic definition of a sandbox.  Those who say you need to build stuff or have FFA PvP are wrong, thsoe are just systems common to sandboxes but not a necessary indication of systems needed.


Sandbox = non linear, free form, freedom


thempark = hand holding, linear, rigid systems intent on guiding a player though out the game.

Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

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