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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] WildStar: Is a 'Sandpark' Even Possible?

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65 posts found
  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1938

1/15/13 12:27:24 AM#41
Originally posted by PittyH

Ask 100 people what a sandbox is and get 100 different answers.

A sandbox can most certainly have thempark elements like quests/dungeons even raids.

The key to a sandbox is having degradable/destroyable items and a robust crafting system, this in turn creates a supply/demand ecconomy where player interaction is essential.

The key to a sandbox is also having an open world area of the game where pvp can take place usually with a reason to be there i.e resources.

And thus begins the endless cycle of territorial control and crafting supply and demand

 

A sandbox has nothing to do with non instanced player housing or terrain deformation like i've read in some threads. Just look at EVE which has neither of these things.

The ability to effect the game world comes primarily from player interactions, and the stories that arise from said interactions.

Different points of view and yes, for many people, things like housing and world changing are essential in a sandbox.  No matter how hard you try, you will not make those people think otherwise.  Personally, I don't see PvP as integral to a sandbox game.  It's important to PvPers, but not to PvErs, who after all, outnumber you siginificantly in this genre.

  friski

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 2

1/15/13 12:30:38 AM#42
Is it possible to make a true sandpark and please everyone at the same time?

That is not possible.

  Lobotomist

Elite Member

Joined: 5/20/07
Posts: 4840

I got so much trouble on my mind Refuse to lose.

1/15/13 1:16:16 AM#43

Not only its posssible but also very easy to make.

Actually I feel like we are in medieval times , where in Rome times they knew everything , than forgot it , and than it took them 1000 years to relearn all.

We got sandbox, we got sandpark ... all those we had before.

AO , SWG , EQ ....

 

  Po_gg

Elite Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 2083

1/15/13 1:31:53 AM#44
Originally posted by Vorthanion
Originally posted by PittyH

The key to a sandbox is also having an open world area of the game where pvp can take place usually with a reason to be there i.e resources.

Different points of view and yes, for many people, things like housing and world changing are essential in a sandbox.  No matter how hard you try, you will not make those people think otherwise.  Personally, I don't see PvP as integral to a sandbox game.  It's important to PvPers, but not to PvErs, who after all, outnumber you siginificantly in this genre.

/hats off to you sir, very much this ^

WildStar sounds like a promise. I'm looking forward to play both the explorer and the settlers way.

On the thread question, sandpark is possible of course. But I think the line is not between sandbox and themepark, it's much more between optional/no pvp and ffa pvp. I know I'd love to see a pve sandbox game, or even better, a sandbox with both a pvp and a pve servers, and let the players vote with their feet :)

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

1/15/13 1:38:27 AM#45

So many misconceptions about sandboxes in this post it isnt even funny.

Sandbox to me, is like real life. No limits except for what you dont want to do. Its like an alternate reality.

Build, craft, fight, make your own story, explore a wide open world, sit around and chat, not be forced down a set path, take your time, social interaction, and so much more.

The story bandwagon is getting old. It dries up after a month and you have to wait or buy new content. Why cant people make their own story? Be their own boss? Adventure out into the wild and make a claim to the wolderness? Older sandboxes it was more fun to show off you feats and accomplishments, not be like everyone else. Story only gets you so far, you realy need the tools to expand this and some room to make it happen.

PvP is for open world and sandboxes are full loot pvp. What a bunch of garbage. Majority of the older sandboxes didnt even have pvp or had special mechanics to help protect hose not wanting to fight. A tale from the desert as an example had no pvp what so ever, while SWG had three tiers of combat which you could pick and switch back and forth. No forced pvp and no griefing. Sandbox is not about pvp nor is it full loot gankfest.

Large open world? Why would anyone not want a beautiful mass of land to explore? Why cant you have this in a themepark game? Its beyond me why people want led down a maze of paths to rush you to the next mission.

Crafting, is most vital for a sandbox game. Player based economy is a must. But majority of the newer games switched to loot based economy and crafting is just a joke now. A game with good crafting helps promote selling and buying, more crafters = competition and lower prices. A combatant can sell a rare item for millions but a crafter asking 500 for a potion is out of the question?

Story and quests are only a themepark feature........wrong again. Majority of sandboxes have multiple quests lines, missions, and even story.I cant think of any sandbox games that dont have story and quests. Even eve being such a hardcore pvp and economiy game has story and quests lol.

Instances........ wont even go into this one. Was the worse thing to come out of the genre.

End Game- my arent you guys tired of the rush to max level just so you can "grind" out dailies, warzones, and raids over and over and over and over every single day for a token, a trinket, something the devs seem fit to give you for wasting your time? Id rather have no end game and beout playing not hold up waiting for an instance. End game is another horrible thing to come out of the industry, needs to go poof in a big way. You dont want to grind in a sandbox because its boring, but have no problem grinding out tokens for armor?

Basicaly a sandbox has everything a themepark already has and more. What are you going to add to a sandbox that a sandbox hasnt had or allows to be done? So yeah hybrid/sandpark is kind of saying you have no clue what a sandbox is to begin with. Or you need your hand held while exploring a big map ;)

 

Tell me a few features, legit ones, that a themepark has done that a sandbox hasnt.

  User Deleted
1/15/13 2:02:02 AM#46

One just needs a quick look at  <ITEMISASION> and <(item-based) progression> to realize you have two fundamental groups of players which can't be pleased at the same time.

 

In your typical Themepark clone you get the "ENDGAME" Raid and instance grinds for progress, more shiny "the best in slot" items. Those players demand the exclusivity of the best items, they feel entitled to have superior gear. In those games everything else means nothing and outside of those instances and Raids (and 5 daily quests) you don't have any progress at all and nothing to do.

 

Your "sandbox" people want progression too. But they don't want to grind forced fix group size instances and raids. They want to craft the best gear, trade (buy it off others) and go out and find that hidden lair with an open world boss which can drop a piece of shiny armor or do just a bit of everything.

 

 

Maybe it's just me, but whenever i lately hear someone talk about "Sandpark" all i see is someone claiming "You can grind mobs too for leveling up, you don't need to do all the quests in our Endgame raid tiered themepark".

 

A few public quests don't make your game Sandpark.

Involving Raid exclusive drops for crafting items does not make your game Sandpark.

 

Giving exclusive OR equal progression to players outside your gear treadmill instance/raid cluster does transform your Themepark to a Sandpark. 

 

 

1. Golden rule, don't limit your player's progression by one exclusive way of obtaining said goal. 

Example Themepark: Do instance X with daily limit for 5 marks, need 20 for boots. You want boots? - Go do this instance.

Example Sandpark: Do instance X for marks, gather 100 "x ore" for 5 marks, Craft 20 Boots of X for your faction and get 5 marks, kill 200 <random monsters> for 5 marks. (you can just focus on crafting or do whatever you feel like to get those boots, sell the loot and dropped crafting parts and buy those boots or marks)

And the most important part about it, don't do it in a "daily quest" shape or meta. It's not sandboxish if i need to do a checklist daily or miss out on progression!

 

But as you see, if you give progression to everyone and not just the tiered Instance player base the later wont be happy about it. You can do a sandpark, but you can't get both playerbases and if you don't give up the exclusivity of progression you don't even have a sandpark.

 

 

 

 

 

  Fdzzaigl

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 2112

1/15/13 4:38:23 AM#47

I think regardless of what you make, be it a themepark, sandbox, sandpark, themebox, MMOFPS, MMORTS or a themeboxpark RTS / FPS hybrid MMO-thing, you'll never ever please everyone anyhow.

As in your example of GW1, you'll always have groups of people that enjoy one thing in the game better than some other thing. Even if you make a game with only one thing you can actually do, you'll have people who complain about the way they have to do it here or there.

The trick, imo, is to find a healthy balance so that the complainers keep complaining, but also keep playing and enjoying your game.

Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  tordurbar

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 408

1/15/13 6:49:59 AM#48

Although I would love to see it happen you can't have a game that pleases both sandbox and themepark players. Especially now, with haters more vocal than ever before, a single feature could be the rallying cry to critically savage such a game.

Plus, design forces you into one camp or another. Perfect example, the initial videos of Wildstar had combat more like WOW whereas the recent combat videos show Guild Wars 2 type combat. Not everyone likes action combat (I am getting a little tired of it myself) so this design decision is going to please some and bother others.

One thing I do like is that Carbine is TRYING to please both the themepark and sandbox crowd. Putting elements of both "genres" in the same game, for me, is a win win situation.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/15/13 6:57:24 AM#49
I think you can meld the two, swg and ac would fall into that category, possibly daoc too though thats more themepark with a lot of sandbox elements
  Crynswind

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/10
Posts: 307

1/15/13 7:03:27 AM#50

Ah.... Wildstar, the first among many "open/choose the quest you want to grind" themeparks using the word Sandbox or Sandparks as a marketing gimmick.

 

 

Next "Sandpark": TESO

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/15/13 7:06:18 AM#51
Yep it seems like "sandbox" is the latest marketing buzzword following the success of minecraft, terraria, skyrim etc..
  Crynswind

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/10
Posts: 307

1/15/13 7:11:13 AM#52
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Yep it seems like "sandbox" is the latest marketing buzzword following the success of minecraft, terraria, skyrim etc..

I mean... how the hell is Wildstar a "hybrid" if all i can do is:

Choose the kill 10 rats quest i want to do

Instanced PVP and probably OWPVP with no meaning

Shallow crafting

....

Yeah nice sandpark, rofl.

 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10886

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

1/15/13 7:38:56 AM#53


Originally posted by Crynswind

Originally posted by ShakyMo Yep it seems like "sandbox" is the latest marketing buzzword following the success of minecraft, terraria, skyrim etc..
I mean... how the hell is Wildstar a "hybrid" if all i can do is:

Choose the kill 10 rats quest i want to do

Instanced PVP and probably OWPVP with no meaning

Shallow crafting

....

Yeah nice sandpark, rofl.

 




You can build a town.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Vorthanion

Elite Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 1938

1/15/13 10:58:07 AM#54
Originally posted by skydiver12

One just needs a quick look at   and <(item-based) progression> to realize you have two fundamental groups of players which can't be pleased at the same time.

 

In your typical Themepark clone you get the "ENDGAME" Raid and instance grinds for progress, more shiny "the best in slot" items. Those players demand the exclusivity of the best items, they feel entitled to have superior gear. In those games everything else means nothing and outside of those instances and Raids (and 5 daily quests) you don't have any progress at all and nothing to do.

 

Your "sandbox" people want progression too. But they don't want to grind forced fix group size instances and raids. They want to craft the best gear, trade (buy it off others) and go out and find that hidden lair with an open world boss which can drop a piece of shiny armor or do just a bit of everything.

 

 

Maybe it's just me, but whenever i lately hear someone talk about "Sandpark" all i see is someone claiming "You can grind mobs too for leveling up, you don't need to do all the quests in our Endgame raid tiered themepark".

 

A few public quests don't make your game Sandpark.

Involving Raid exclusive drops for crafting items does not make your game Sandpark.

 

Giving exclusive OR equal progression to players outside your gear treadmill instance/raid cluster does transform your Themepark to a Sandpark. 

 

 

1. Golden rule, don't limit your player's progression by one exclusive way of obtaining said goal. 

Example Themepark: Do instance X with daily limit for 5 marks, need 20 for boots. You want boots? - Go do this instance.

Example Sandpark: Do instance X for marks, gather 100 "x ore" for 5 marks, Craft 20 Boots of X for your faction and get 5 marks, kill 200 for 5 marks. (you can just focus on crafting or do whatever you feel like to get those boots, sell the loot and dropped crafting parts and buy those boots or marks)

And the most important part about it, don't do it in a "daily quest" shape or meta. It's not sandboxish if i need to do a checklist daily or miss out on progression!

 

But as you see, if you give progression to everyone and not just the tiered Instance player base the later wont be happy about it. You can do a sandpark, but you can't get both playerbases and if you don't give up the exclusivity of progression you don't even have a sandpark.

 

 

 

 

 

While I completely agree with your sentiment, good luck getting a modern game that would embrace such a philosophy.  Raiders are a very vocal and hateful minority that still has a deathgrip on the genre.  Sadly, there are too many developers who happen to feel the same way or even worse, used to be raiders themselves before they took up the job of making them.  It's also in part due to development laziness.  It's easier and more cost effective to cater to a single play style than it is to cater to multiples, especially for high end content.  I'm afraid I don't see this trend changing anytime soon and I don't think there are any development houses out there right now who would be up for the challenge.

  Heretique

Novice Member

Joined: 2/02/07
Posts: 982

Most of my posts get deleted.

1/15/13 2:51:49 PM#55
I am not opposed to the idea. Gives players direction while giving them multiple options. I am curious to see how this plays out.

Originally posted by salsa41
are you have problem ?

  DaGaffer

Carbine Studios

Joined: 1/14/13
Posts: 62

1/15/13 4:19:48 PM#56

Here's an example from the game (I've talked to some of this in a dev blog before but with a bit more detail):

  • "Loftite" is the blue glowing crystals you see in the 6-12 zone (Algoroc) shown in our F&F video.  When you get close to those crystals, there's a low gravity zone - so not only are pieces of the world floating around, but you float around too.
  • Bounding through the crystals can start a spontaneous challenge - collecting a certain amount in a certain time.
  • There's a minefield at the base of the cliff - it throws you into the air and damages you/monsters you lure in.
  • Scientists can study and enhance creatures and things in the environment.  If they scan loftite, the area becomes even more low-gravity, allowing even higher jumps etc (I can't recall off of hand if they buff the individual area or themselves/others nearby, we do both in different spots of the world).
  • Some of the random discoveries in the 6-12 area do things like further increase your jump height (amongst many many other things).
  • There is a quest to kill marauders (the green guys) past the minefield - but there aren't directed quests to scale the cliffs, or interact with the rest of that stuff as a rule.

So, in a playsession, without really considering it, I scanned loftite as a scientist, found a random jump buffer, was blowing up marauders for my quest by luring them into the minefield, while some of the mines were in the low-gravity area.  

 

I mis-timed one and tried to jump out of the mine explosion and blew myself via double-jump-height-in-low-gravity-with-scientist-boost literally up to the cloud layer, and splatted down on the very top of the cliff.    Where, by the way, there was some hidden content off the normal quest path - so it all worked out.

 

In our minds the fun happens when we provide enough density of small (well, some big, but groups of small work too) things in an area that the interactions become interesting.   So there is some direction (the quest that had me killing Marauders) but there are enough individual elements on the playground that there is a chance for some emergent or clever gameplay.

 

Other areas in the game currently vary in density and interestingness of the dynamic and static elements we've popped in.  Common feedback in playsessions is if an area feels "not dense enough" or "too dense" for content.  We actually want some variation so it a) doesn't feel monotone and b) if an area is too much for you you have some fallback areas that might be more or less dense to match your pace.

 

We don't promise re-inventing everything in the world, but IMO the right combinations of these are pretty dang compelling for me as a pretty experienced gamer, but we see noobies having fun too when they walk in off the street for a usability test.

 

We're just making a game we enjoy, honestly, and aren't really stressing about fitting into any particular box.  That may or may not make for easy marketing, but we figure good games sell and if we make something we and our testers (growing as we hit new phases of test) like it'll work out.

-jg

 
 

Jeremy Gaffney
Executive Producer, Carbine Studios (Wildstar Online)

  DashiDMV

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 363

1/15/13 4:29:05 PM#57
Originally posted by DaGaffer

Here's an example from the game (I've talked to some of this in a dev blog before but with a bit more detail):

  • "Loftite" is the blue glowing crystals you see in the 6-12 zone (Algoroc) shown in our F&F video.  When you get close to those crystals, there's a low gravity zone - so not only are pieces of the world floating around, but you float around too.
  • Bounding through the crystals can start a spontaneous challenge - collecting a certain amount in a certain time.
  • There's a minefield at the base of the cliff - it throws you into the air and damages you/monsters you lure in.
  • Scientists can study and enhance creatures and things in the environment.  If they scan loftite, the area becomes even more low-gravity, allowing even higher jumps etc (I can't recall off of hand if they buff the individual area or themselves/others nearby, we do both in different spots of the world).
  • Some of the random discoveries in the 6-12 area do things like further increase your jump height (amongst many many other things).
  • There is a quest to kill marauders (the green guys) past the minefield - but not to scale the cliffs, interact with the rest of that stuff as a rule.

So, in a playsession, without really considering it, I scanned loftite as a scientist, found a random jump buffer, was blowing up marauders for my quest by luring them into the minefield, while some of the mines were in the low-gravity area.  

 

I mis-timed one and tried to jump out of the mine explosion and blew myself via double-jump-height-in-low-gravity-with-scientist-boost literally up to the cloud layer, and splatted down on the very top of the cliff.    Where, by the way, there was some hidden content off the normal quest path - so it all worked out.

 

In our minds the fun happens when we provide enough density of small (well, some big, but groups of small work too) things in an area that the interactions become interesting.   So there is some direction (the quest that had me killing Marauders) but there are enough individual elements on the playground that there is a chance for some emergent or clever gameplay.

 

Other areas vary in density and interestingness of the elements we've popped in.  Common feedback in playsessions is if an area feels "not dense enough" or "too dense" for content.

 

We don't promise re-inventing everything in the world, but IMO the right combinations of these are pretty dang compelling for me as a pretty experienced gamer, but we see noobies having fun too when they walk in off the street for a usability test.

 

We're just making a game we enjoy, honestly, and aren't really stressing about fitting into any particular box.  That may or may not make for easy marketing, but we figure good games sell and if we make something we and our testers (growing as we hit new phases of test) like it'll work out.

-jg

 

When you guys get a free moment, might want to look into what your options are to get out from under NCSoft. Gonna have a lot of people not bother to even look at the game because they don't know how long until the rug is pulled out from under you guys.

The art style kind of reminded me of a Space Ace MMO.  You have some good ideas and hopefully you can build on them and stay true to the vision you want.

  hockeyplayr

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/27/10
Posts: 561

1/15/13 4:41:02 PM#58
To me I feel like the perfect sand park would be a modern take on runescape. It has optional quests.You can grind . Player driven economy. Various crafting skills. Player housing. Mini games and an option full loot PvP area. They have the concepts right (most of the time).
  Ice-Queen

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 2438

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

1/15/13 9:11:01 PM#59
It's sounding more like Gw2 type of game with housing. < sighs >

What happens when you log off your characters????.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
Dark Age of Camelot

  paulytheb

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/12
Posts: 200

1/15/13 11:27:32 PM#60
Originally posted by DaGaffer

Here's an example from the game (I've talked to some of this in a dev blog before but with a bit more detail):

  • "Loftite" is the blue glowing crystals you see in the 6-12 zone (Algoroc) shown in our F&F video.  When you get close to those crystals, there's a low gravity zone - so not only are pieces of the world floating around, but you float around too.
  • Bounding through the crystals can start a spontaneous challenge - collecting a certain amount in a certain time.
  • There's a minefield at the base of the cliff - it throws you into the air and damages you/monsters you lure in.
  • Scientists can study and enhance creatures and things in the environment.  If they scan loftite, the area becomes even more low-gravity, allowing even higher jumps etc (I can't recall off of hand if they buff the individual area or themselves/others nearby, we do both in different spots of the world).
  • Some of the random discoveries in the 6-12 area do things like further increase your jump height (amongst many many other things).
  • There is a quest to kill marauders (the green guys) past the minefield - but there aren't directed quests to scale the cliffs, or interact with the rest of that stuff as a rule.

*Snip*   ( just to shorten this up a bit)

-jg

 
 

I hate replying to a Dev, just out of fear that they will not ever post again if criticized. So thank you for the post.

In that vein I am trying to be nice and say this in the nicest possible way.

This post does not make me more interested in your game, it makes me less interested. Everything you have mentioned here has been done before. The last thing this genre needs is another game full of the same things as the last 10 years.

I have followed quite a few of the Wildstar Wednesday news releases and I do have my eye on it , but it IS going to take something new and different for me to buy another MMO box. So far I am not convinced.

The game does have a style and humor about it that could even be called charming, but the information given so far is couched in a lot of very carefully chosen words or cute but uninformative videos that cause more questions than they answer. I have learned, at an expense, that it is more important to look at what is NOT said.

So far there has been a lot written on Wildstar, but there is very little actual solid information. There has been a lot that has been NOT said. This fact alone concerns me

I just wanted to let you know that these games cannot continue to live by selling marketing buzzwords while delivering the same game we have all seen before.People are starting to get wise. Even the kids these days.

Thank you again for posting and in return I will continue to keep an interested eye on your game. I am just not "SOLD" at this point.

( Note to self-Don't say anything bad about Drizzt.)

An acerbic sense of humor is NOT allowed here.

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