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228 posts found
  Aldous.Huxley

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/13
Posts: 443

5/11/13 8:18:55 PM#181
The right sandbox hasn't come along yet. When it does, it will dwarf the numbers of any theme park mmo. Why, you ask? Because people will live in the game. A theme park is a nice place to visit. A sandbox is a better place to live.

Theme park games are on there last leg as we speak. WoW was the beginning & the end. Hybrids will reign next as the transition continues. The end game is sandbox.

Welcome to the future.
  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10888

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

5/11/13 8:21:46 PM#182


Originally posted by Kleptobrainiac
The right sandbox hasn't come along yet. When it does, it will dwarf the numbers of any theme park mmo. Why, you ask? Because people will live in the game. A theme park is a nice place to visit. A sandbox is a better place to live.Theme park games are on there last leg as we speak. WoW was the beginning & the end. Hybrids will reign next as the transition continues. The end game is sandbox.Welcome to the future.


See? Every sandbox thread.

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

  Antiquated

Novice Member

Joined: 3/08/13
Posts: 479

5/11/13 8:30:21 PM#183
Originally posted by lizardbones
See? Every sandbox thread.

Prophecy is a growth industry on forums, always.

Dunno, it's appealing to climb on a soap box and preach, I guess.

  Siris23

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/09
Posts: 189

5/11/13 8:35:53 PM#184
Originally posted by someforumguy
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

Is there any proof that sandboxes are popular at all?

 

The only proof of sandboxes being popular is that every new game gets some people on mmorpg.com begging for it to become a sandbox, and the same people scoffing any game thats not a sandbox... 

 

But how popular are Sandboxes?  just wondering if someone ever somewhere did a decent poll about this?

You wrote sandboxes, not sandbox MMO's. The freedom of choice, even if it is just the option to ignore the main lineair quest (Skyrim) is quite popular. 

- Minecraft sold millions. This game on its own should say enough. It is not a MMO, but it is played on servers. Servers with loads of different themes (not all based on vanilla and/or pvp). Techbased (heavily modded to have machines and very smart automation), creative based (mainly building), adventure based (heavily modded), pvp based (hunger games), or any combination of that.  You cant' get more freedom in a game then with this one. You as player determine what features you want to have. As server admin you determine the rules and features. 

- Skyrim sold millions Can debate if this is a sandbox, but the game offers a lot of freedom for a rpg.

- The Sims franchise sold millions.

Anyway, sandbox MMO's have not been popular. One possible reason for this could be that the sandbox genre isn't popular enough. Another possible reason is that the sandbox MMO's untill now simply weren't good enough (which is my opinion).

I think that a good sandbox MMO is just very difficult to create. What doesn't help is that a lot of players assume that sandbox MMO = FFA PVP. FFA PVP is just another possible feature. It is not mandatory because I think that there are no specific requirements for a sandbox game.

Skyrim - no one around to kick over your sand castles

Sims - no one around to kick over your sand castles

Minecraft - choosing the right server minimizes the chances of someone kicking over your sand castles, or just play single player.

Sandbox MMO - not a matter of if, but when someone(s) will kick over your sand castle (probably right after you start building it is the most likely answer)

  Yaevindusk

Elite Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1241

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

5/11/13 8:37:58 PM#185

 

I've come to the realization that Themeparks in general are well... Themeparks (genius, I know).  Lately they're just single player games whereby you most likely have to pay an extra entry fee (monthly) just to play them.  There is little difference between a current MMO Themepark and a single player or Online game save for the ability to see others in major towns and occasionally (though oft rarely) in the wilderness while you play by yourself (also sometimes the length it takes to level up, but most in today's age just rush through in a day or two as people expect things handed to them).  The main difference is that they're more expensive (for the gamer to play and the developer to make initially) and that they may take a little while longer to reach "end game" whereby you're then just jumping through hoops and then on a maintenance treadmill.

 

As technology develops there will be a need to distinguish current MMOs from just plain Online Games in the next generation, computer based console systems.  Soon it won't be enough just to have people in town, as these machines are more than capable of holding hundreds of players in an area (heck, current generation are able to do this if coded correctly).  It won't be a matter of it Themeparks (as they are now) are popular or not, but rather if they're really considered MMOs at all.  Therefore moving to a new formula whereby the players are in charge in some way, new payment models to incorporate newly interested parties on consoles and once again implementing the whole forced player grouping may simply take root of its own eventually.

 

I've posted this in the past, but I still think it hold relevance when it comes to this topic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvK8fua6O64

 

What is a sandbox?  Well, that's a lot of things to many people.  When translating elements onto the computer it's a myriad of things.  The "pure" sandbox games have a niche audience.  The ability to have your house burnt down, for instance, is something that would not fly with the majority of sandbox fans.  Something as simple as looting bodies may, but only if said loot is easily acquired via player crafting (which again is easy to do: go to a side of a mountain, any mountain, throw a pick axes, get ore, smelt, craft... no extra busy work materials, no nodes to play hot and cold with).  Even forced PvP sandbox is a niche.  Though really games such as Minecraft became popular because it invoked creativity and the ability to pretty much do whatever you'd like.  Big servers became popular and people made a 1:1 replica of Middle Earth because they had such things as admin powers and the inability to destroy blocks by players who did not have these admin powers.  That project took years and hundreds of people logging in at once to coordinate and work on.

 

To be a truly successful one can't stifle creativity.  Sadly (or not) that sometimes translates to limiting the ability to grief other people, as there are those who would simply love to kick over your sand castle at the beach and then post it on youtube.  The game will then get a bad reputation.  Generally, any game that promotes said activity will also be doomed to niche crowds.  So we'll likely see quite a bit of failed sandboxes in the future as they try and get that formula correct.

 

Luckily they need only look to games such as Ultima Online for inspiration.

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  Jagarid

Novice Member

Joined: 8/01/09
Posts: 413

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

5/11/13 9:11:44 PM#186
Originally posted by Kleptobrainiac
The right sandbox hasn't come along yet. When it does, it will dwarf the numbers of any theme park mmo. Why, you ask? Because people will live in the game. A theme park is a nice place to visit. A sandbox is a better place to live.

Theme park games are on there last leg as we speak. WoW was the beginning & the end. Hybrids will reign next as the transition continues. The end game is sandbox.

Welcome to the future.

 

You're mistake is in thinking that a game where "people will live in it" will be a great success.  It will not.   To be a great success, in terms of number of players playing y our game you need to attract the masses, not just the hardcore never-log-out-except to sleep people.    The masses have busy lives, they need games they can pick up and play for short play sessions in between all of the other things they have going on.  

A game where the appeal is that it is not a game, but a place you live, is not a game that is convenient for that group of people.   And guess what, most people fall into that category.

I'm not saying a game such as you describe isn't appealing, I'm just saying you are being very naive if you think it would dwarf the numbers of any theme park mmo.   You are ascribing what you want in this type of game to "the masses"...the masses are not the same as you (or me).  The very fact that we are here in MMORPG.com posting indicates that we are far more engrossed in the gaming experience then "the masses".   

  General-Zod

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 571

Kneel.

5/12/13 12:48:30 AM#187
Originally posted by Siris23
Originally posted by someforumguy
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

Is there any proof that sandboxes are popular at all?

 

The only proof of sandboxes being popular is that every new game gets some people on mmorpg.com begging for it to become a sandbox, and the same people scoffing any game thats not a sandbox... 

 

But how popular are Sandboxes?  just wondering if someone ever somewhere did a decent poll about this?

You wrote sandboxes, not sandbox MMO's. The freedom of choice, even if it is just the option to ignore the main lineair quest (Skyrim) is quite popular. 

- Minecraft sold millions. This game on its own should say enough. It is not a MMO, but it is played on servers. Servers with loads of different themes (not all based on vanilla and/or pvp). Techbased (heavily modded to have machines and very smart automation), creative based (mainly building), adventure based (heavily modded), pvp based (hunger games), or any combination of that.  You cant' get more freedom in a game then with this one. You as player determine what features you want to have. As server admin you determine the rules and features. 

- Skyrim sold millions Can debate if this is a sandbox, but the game offers a lot of freedom for a rpg.

- The Sims franchise sold millions.

Anyway, sandbox MMO's have not been popular. One possible reason for this could be that the sandbox genre isn't popular enough. Another possible reason is that the sandbox MMO's untill now simply weren't good enough (which is my opinion).

I think that a good sandbox MMO is just very difficult to create. What doesn't help is that a lot of players assume that sandbox MMO = FFA PVP. FFA PVP is just another possible feature. It is not mandatory because I think that there are no specific requirements for a sandbox game.

Skyrim - no one around to kick over your sand castles

Sims - no one around to kick over your sand castles

Minecraft - choosing the right server minimizes the chances of someone kicking over your sand castles, or just play single player.

Sandbox MMO - not a matter of if, but when someone(s) will kick over your sand castle (probably right after you start building it is the most likely answer)

Skyrim isnt a sandbox

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5282

5/12/13 3:56:37 AM#188

True success will only come with combining the strengths of sandbox and themepark. Sandbox is starting to be used as this years buzz word for every up coming release. Something like Age of Wushu does seem to have strong elements of sandbox and old school but I have not played it yet. You really need to investigate the game to see if those sandbox claims hold up, but I would advise that for any MMO you intend to play.

If sandbox elements in new MMO's just becomes part of the hype and players make it part of their hopes for the next best thing it will fail. But I think we are going to see some genuine attempts, how they play out may change the direction MMO's are going in.

  SavageHorizon

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/14/13
Posts: 1571

5/12/13 4:03:17 AM#189
Originally posted by Scot

True success will only come with combining the strengths of sandbox and themepark. Sandbox is starting to be used as this years buzz word for every up coming release. Something like Age of Wushu does seem to have strong elements of sandbox and old school but I have not played it yet. You really need to investigate the game to see if those sandbox claims hold up, but I would advise that for any MMO you intend to play.

If sandbox elements in new MMO's just becomes part of the hype and players make it part of their hopes for the next best thing it will fail. But I think we are going to see some genuine attempts, how they play out may change the direction MMO's are going in.

The sandbox elements do hold up in Age Of  Wushu, it's a very good hybrid mmo.

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  Muke

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 1622

5/12/13 4:11:20 AM#190
Originally posted by Lord.Bachus

Is there any proof that sandboxes are popular at all?

 

The only proof of sandboxes being popular is that every new game gets some people on mmorpg.com begging for it to become a sandbox, and the same people scoffing any game thats not a sandbox... 

 

But how popular are Sandboxes?  just wondering if someone ever somewhere did a decent poll about this?

I only know a few sandboxes and my experience is that those are doing well.

Add to that the fact that most newer MMOs are themeparks -post 2004- and the lifespan of those games kinda show the same thing every time:

 

-content gets old very fast

-players skipping content because the real 'fun' is at endgame

-devs can't keep up with releasing content because what takes months to make, players powergrind it in days/mere weeks.

-themeparks get old because it's the same thing all over again, just a different level, and there's no end untill the game dies.

-servers merge because of lower pop, enter coma mode and die at some point.

-post 2004 players are complaining about those games trying to copy a certain other game, which many devs do.

-themepark players reach a certain age where their brain is capable of notice the fact that they are trapped in a circle for x-amount of years and they want something else.

 

Add to that that singleplayer 'sandbox' games where you can do your own thing sell quite good, sandbox mmo's did very good (most did) so you could say there is a call out again for sandbox mmo's.

 

"going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"

  Eladi

Novice Member

Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 1063

5/12/13 4:11:24 AM#191
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by RefMinor

Originally posted by simsalabim77
EVE Online is pretty popular, but it's a niche audience for sure. It just happens that people who prefer that niche are extremely loud on these forums.


Without using the word WoW, name a themepark that has more subs.

Not a fair question. You use the "Poster Boy" for sandbox-ish games and rule out the use of the "Poster Boy" of themeparks for comparison.

 

How about this:
Name a sandbox-ish game, BESIDES EVE that has a good amount of payers playing it.

he is not "pointing"to the subscription amounts, he is only pointing out that eve is not a niche as so many call it, its one of the biggest mmo's on the western market (in the subscription market slice)

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

5/12/13 7:28:21 AM#192
Originally posted by Scot

True success will only come with combining the strengths of sandbox and themepark. Sandbox is starting to be used as this years buzz word for every up coming release. Something like Age of Wushu does seem to have strong elements of sandbox and old school but I have not played it yet. You really need to investigate the game to see if those sandbox claims hold up, but I would advise that for any MMO you intend to play.

If sandbox elements in new MMO's just becomes part of the hype and players make it part of their hopes for the next best thing it will fail. But I think we are going to see some genuine attempts, how they play out may change the direction MMO's are going in.

Well, you are just guessing what "true success" will be.

If you look at past true success, you don't need any sandbox element. Heck, you don't even need a virtual world. Example of true (tm) success:

- LoL

- WOW

- GW2

- Diablo 3

- WoT

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

5/12/13 7:43:42 AM#193
Originally posted by General-Zod

Skyrim isnt a sandbox

I don't think there's a single professional in the game industry that would agree with you on that one, but I guess that's no different than any of your posts. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1504

5/12/13 8:29:18 AM#194
Originally posted by Arglebargle
Originally posted by Jagarid

I think the issue with sandbox game popularity is that the audience is too fragmented.    

I love sandbox games, for example, but in the MMO space most sandbox games include free-for-all PvP, which I hate.  Therefore I have not played any of them.   I am not a unique individual at all, which means there's surely quite a lot of other MMO players who like sandboxes but who haven't played (or played for long) the sandbox games we have gotten.    

I know a lot of sandbox players think that free-for-all open world PvP is absolutely required for a game to be considered a sandbox, but it turns of more people than it attracts, and hence you see those types of games struggle to stay afloat.  Even Eve has areas where the PvP isn't a factor and if you have ever played that game you know that those areas are pretty crowded.  Their numbers would not be nearly as good without it.

Other fragmentation in the player base surely exists around other aspects of what is or is not in any given game.    I think this is the reason why no sandbox game has pulled down numbers like the most popular Theme park games; not because the concept of a sandbox is not as popular as Theme Park.

 

Well said!   No one in this household will even consider open PvP games.   And the reason is; we've played them before.

 

The fragmentation of the playerbase is a very good point, and one that I am sure many professional game companies are well aware of.   To the point of 'That's why you can't have nice things'.

 

That said, if done very well, it could still be possibly attractive, but only   DayZ and  WoD  are on my radar at this point.

That is a good point. And because of that, and because of the limits of a pve sandbox(no space to build up anything).

I personally think Sandboxes should go a step backward. Not Massive Multiplayer, but much more just Multiplayer, with Servers capable of a few hundred(and not thousands) of players. And with the options of private servers, and withit a setup of private rules to this server.

Advantages:

- World is build up and full.. no space left. Open up a new world.

- Different rulesets for different playstyles. (pve only, pvp, pvp hardcore and so on)

- Better community. (and even selective communities on private servers)

Early on every MUD got just a few hundred players.. and up to now i dont see the big advantage of a world with thousands of players in comparsion to a world with a few hundreds of players.

Edit:

And about the proof of popularity.

Well.. there is EvE and there is Minecraft.

And in the past UO and SWG were both rather popular.

But.. Sandboxy games will be always more of a niche gaming experience.

Simply put. As more complex a game is, and/or as more options a game offers as less attractive it will be by the masses.

The most simpliest game is always the most popular one. But with that of course not the best game, or the game with the highest lifespan.

  Giddian

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/06
Posts: 431

5/12/13 8:43:22 AM#195
Originally posted by simsalabim77
EVE Online is pretty popular, but it's a niche audience for sure. It just happens that people who prefer that niche are extremely loud on these forums. 

 100% correct. Most people on MMORPG.com are Sandbox PvP players. If this was the norm, you would see more Sandbox PvP games and less Themepark Games. They make what the masses want. that's where the Money is. I do like the fact that some games stick to there guns and provide Sandbox PvP games to the Crowd that love them. Everyone needs a game style they love. What some one prefers, Sandbox or Themepark is just an opinion of their game style.

Enjoy, Have fun.

  NaMeNaMe

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/09
Posts: 91

5/12/13 9:20:13 AM#196
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by General-Zod

Skyrim isnt a sandbox

I don't think there's a single professional in the game industry that would agree with you on that one, but I guess that's no different than any of your posts. 

Skyrim is NOT sandbox. It has sandbox elements. You cannot call skyrim a sandbox because it isn't no one has ever referred to the game as a sandbox don't even start.

"if u forcefully insert foriegn objects into my? body, i will die"

  Indol

Novice Member

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 192

5/12/13 9:24:44 AM#197

If Everquest and WoW had been Sandboxes the MMO landscape would look completely different today.

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5282

5/13/13 3:08:34 AM#198
Originally posted by NaMeNaMe
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by General-Zod 

Skyrim isnt a sandbox

I don't think there's a single professional in the game industry that would agree with you on that one, but I guess that's no different than any of your posts. 

Skyrim is NOT sandbox. It has sandbox elements. You cannot call skyrim a sandbox because it isn't no one has ever referred to the game as a sandbox don't even start.

 

Skyrim is a very open game where you can do loads of things and take many paths. That's what passes as sandbox in todays solo RPG's. I am not sure the definition is apt, but that's the idea.

  Yaevindusk

Elite Member

Joined: 9/05/10
Posts: 1241

Logic, reason and fact do not supersede human nature. Ignorance reigns without justice.

5/13/13 3:22:13 AM#199
Originally posted by Scot
Originally posted by NaMeNaMe
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by General-Zod 

Skyrim isnt a sandbox

I don't think there's a single professional in the game industry that would agree with you on that one, but I guess that's no different than any of your posts. 

Skyrim is NOT sandbox. It has sandbox elements. You cannot call skyrim a sandbox because it isn't no one has ever referred to the game as a sandbox don't even start.

 

Skyrim is a very open game where you can do loads of things and take many paths. That's what passes as sandbox in todays solo RPG's. I am not sure the definition is apt, but that's the idea.

 

I believe that's simply being non-linear (even though it does have a linear story/ending).  The console version of Skyrim is more so a MMO Themepark (whereby you can go anywhere and do any quest you want) than it is a sandbox if you get down to the nitty gritty.  The PC version, however, and the highly supported mod community (including steamworks and plug and play mod systems), editor tools and even the release of the improved Housing System (able to build them and not just buy them) make it what I would technically call a Sandbox.  So yes, one could call Skyrim a Sandbox on those terms, but I wouldn't really publicize it as such simply because I don't want people to get the wrong idea of what a Sandbox has been in terms of MMOs.

If we get a Elder Scrolls "Sandbox" like game that is missing core features of the Sandbox, I would be a sad panda.  Minecraft is a good example of a sandbox, and Ultima Online / SWG / Eve Online being some of the best MMO examples of what most Sandbox MMO players are looking for in their games.

When faced with strife or discontent, the true nature of a man is brought forth. It is then when we see the character of the individual. It is then we are able to tell if he is mature enough to grin and bare it, or subject his fellow man to his complaints and woes.

  roreux

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/13
Posts: 15

5/13/13 4:01:29 AM#200

Minecraft and Second Life are the most sandbox like games I can think of.  Minecraft, though not and MMO, is hugely popular.  Second Life has about 500K subs and is still growing.

 

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