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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why are there no seamless sandbox-ish MMORPG's anymore?

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252


5/14/13 4:05:15 AM#21
Originally posted by sidel

This isn't a post about what you don't mind or what the majority of people want. I don't really care what most other people want. I know what is fun and what keeps people playing mmorpg's.


So why are there no seamless/semi-instanced open world sandboxish MMORPG's that are fantasy based? I'm talking Eve Online meets EQ meets World of Warcraft meets Shadowbane.


Google those titles if you don't know what they are.


Why haven't companies seen the success of Eve Online and followed suit? WoW is NOT the same game it was 10 years ago, it was a hardcore game back then, atleast the end game. Vanilla is what kept people playing and what paved the way for the 10 million subscribers. down to 9.6 mil now. Eve Online has risen to 500,000 subscribers up 100,000 subscribers from 2012.


So people like to sit and say there isn't a market for these types of MMO's yet, to the contrary, I find there are TONS of people interested. I'm not going to give a "back in the old days it was 5 miles to school up hill both ways" speech, but the panzy ass, easy mode, give out gear like candy shit has to go. These crappy zoned, instanced, theme-park, train-rail MMO's with invisi-barriers and that big mountain or hill to stop you from going off the beaten path. I'm getting tired, sick and tired, of these crap mmo's. People think because a game has awesome graphics now that its an amazing game.


MMO's today are nothing like they were 10-15 years ago when they were being released. People then had huge worlds you can run from one end of the world to the other with no load screens and a million different ways to get there. Epic raids, dungeons and content that when you accomplished something, it felt rewarding and you felt you had conquered something. I mean, for any vanilla players or BC players, was the first time you downed Ragnaros or Nefarian, strike that, Onyxia or Lucifron the same as when you downed Lich King? You'd be lying if you said it felt the same and you know it.


So what happen to the balls these companies use to have? They've catered to people complaining about not getting to engage in end-game content because they don't want to put in time and effort, instead they want to login for an hour or 2 a night and get their purps, raise their ilvls and go to sleep.

It's no longer about the social interactions or the adventure anymore.

When WoW released bg's, it killed world PVP for the most part. Not all of it, but most. LFR/LFD tool killed the world. Now all people do is sit in SW/ORG and q-up for dungeons. Instead of making a game challenging with quality content, they have went the Ford Motor route instead of the Toyota route. Toyota: Quality before quantity, Ford: quantity before quality.

So what does Blizzard do now? Pumps out shit content every year and ahalf  that is so stupid easy my 2 year old niece could raid and be good at it. What the hell happened to these games? and why the hell has EVERY mmorpg that has come out since been the same cookie-cutter crap we see from everyone else. SWTOR, AION, AoC, CoH, GW2, and all the other fail shit MMO's that have come out since. Notice anything those mmo's have in common? Most of them? There isn't a single one that is seamless or open world. They are all instanced and zoned beyond belief. Do you really think SWTOR was a bad game because the classes sucked and the content sucked? Fuck no, it sucked because you had a load screen every 5 minutes from one place to another. Your own instancing of quests, i mean wtf? Aion failed for the same reasons, AOC failed because of the learning curve, bugs and the damn train-rail crap it made you do by following the same path. GW2 is such crap compared to Guild Wars 1, it's only Guild Wars by title only.


Why can the MMO developers not look at games like Eve Online and follow them? Why do they insist on copying what WoWis in its current state? They don't copy vanilla WoW, no they copy the same shit every other game company does, except they instance and zone everything and kill the world, then they add "battlegrounds" and destroy world pvp. If you're a care bear and can't deal with getting ganked or griefed, go the fuck home. You're damn right I want to kill lowbies and grief them, I then want your guild mates to come and destroy my ass for ganking you. Player policed servers are the best IMO.


Ask any Eve player here about the griefing and ganking that goes on in Eve...go complain in Eve about ganking. lol..


So why are there no MMO's like this? Why are there no awesome graphic, seamless, sandbox mmorpg's with theme park elements? SWTOR spent half a billion dollars in making that abortion of a game, and they couldnt even make a seamless world? what? $500 million dollars and SWTOR is what we got.


Thats sad, truly sad...

I think most sandbox fans dont want themepark featers in there game implemented most are immersive breakers and lame, like instance who in my view don't belong in sandbox.

I rather see more mmo's made in style of DayZ pure survival in open world ala skyrim-DayZ-Darkfall 1


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 812

5/14/13 4:10:30 AM#22
Originally posted by TribeofOne
seamless sandbox is cool to cry and moan for but when it comes to playing in it, noone sticks with them. 

EVE - 10 years for me today. Created my main 14. May 2003.

Some DO stick with them...


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/30/10
Posts: 812

5/14/13 4:13:51 AM#23
You don't have to be 1st person in DFUW, that's your only current option.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 245

5/14/13 4:39:26 AM#24
Wait a few years. Some nice sandbox mmorpg's in the pipeline: Pathfinder Online, Embers of Careus, The Repopulation, Gloria Victis, World of Darkness. I'm sure one of them will be what you are looking for.

Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/06
Posts: 16

OP  5/14/13 4:56:55 AM#25
Originally posted by SavageHorizon
Originally posted by sidel

This isn't a post about what you don't mind or what the majority of people want. I don't really care what most other people want. I know what is fun and what keeps people playing mmorpg's.


So why are there no seamless/semi-instanced open world sandboxish MMORPG's that are fantasy based? I'm talking Eve Online meets EQ meets World of Warcraft meets Shadowbane.

 Google those titles if you don't know what they are.

 Why haven't companies seen the success of Eve Online and followed suit? WoW is NOT the same game it was 10 years ago, it was a hardcore game back then, atleast the end game. Vanilla is what kept people playing and what paved the way for the 10 million subscribers. down to 9.6 mil now. Eve Online has risen to 500,000 subscribers up 100,000 subscribers from 2012.

 It's no longer about the social interactions or the adventure anymore.





Age Of Wushu is a very good mmo once you get your head round it. Then you have ArcheAge which is out in Korea, you can play there which many westerners are doing.

Both games are Hybrids.

If anything we have EQNext coming which is a AAA title and sandbox.

How are ppl playing ArcheAge without a korean SSN?


Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/06
Posts: 16

OP  5/14/13 4:58:54 AM#26
Originally posted by Caldrin
Originally posted by sidel
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112
There are many. They're just all made by terrible/has-been developers that don't play test their own games and think a return ping of 500ms is the status quo.

Mortal Online and Dark Fall doesn't count. We all know those are stupid. Who the fuck wants to run around in a fantasy MMORPG in first person mode? wth?

Quite a few people actually..

BTW Darkfall is not only first person, it also has 3rd person for ranged combat and normal walking around..

So them we have Mortal Online, Darkfall:Unholy Wars, Xsyon (recently got a really nice update). There are at least 5 or so Open world sandbox games that have recently been funded on kickstarter as well so expect at least one of those to actually be good.

We also have the repopulation coming this year, Everquest Next is going to be an open world sandbox game as well ,archeage should make it at the start of next year.. Hopefully more big publishers will realise we dont want any more wow clones and start making some better games..


Thinking about it this could not be a better time for people who love sandbox games.


Also @OP I am not sure why you keep mentioning eve when your talking about seamless open world sandbox MMOs.. eve uses zones and is not open world. each section of space is a separate zone, each space station is a separate zone, each mission you run is basically a separate zone..

I was talking about the open pvp and player run servers, the crafting, etc. i know its zoned...


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 2252

5/14/13 5:09:35 AM#27
Originally posted by sidel
Originally posted by fantasyfreak112
There are many. They're just all made by terrible/has-been developers that don't play test their own games and think a return ping of 500ms is the status quo.

Mortal Online and Dark Fall doesn't count. We all know those are stupid. Who the fuck wants to run around in a fantasy MMORPG in first person mode? wth?

Darkfall can be completely played in third person. Even archery and magic. the game has other flaws of course.

Don't fight against poverty, fight against greed.
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Novice Member

Joined: 6/22/07
Posts: 98

5/14/13 5:26:11 AM#28

I can see why some games feel the need to make end gear easy to get , I for one like that idea, because raiding bores the crap out of me and really don't have the time for it anymore.


I don't like instanced PvP , my favourite game ever Daoc is what I am after in a game in most respects.


The gear grind is a load of crap in most games , just give us a game where crafting is like Daoc was the first few years before Dragon gear, where you can actually make your own end game gear.


Come to think of it why the hell have stats on gear ? Heavy armour = more armour rating and less agility  , light armour more agility , less armour rating . Big bloody sword = more damage but less speed , two daggers more attacks but smaller damage. Why has everything gotto have stats in it ??


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1667

5/14/13 6:27:04 AM#29



This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/09
Posts: 1410

5/14/13 6:35:38 AM#30
Originally posted by sidel
Originally posted by SavageHorizon
Age Of Wushu & ArcheAge, there's two.

Age of Wushu is garbage and it isn't seamless. its instanced-zoned i call it.


and Archeage hasn't been released yet and the jury is still out on it.

not yet in Europe and America, but there's enough to tell it's close to what you're looking for :P

"Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life."


Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 2013

5/14/13 6:40:45 AM#31
Originally posted by sidel


Thats sad, truly sad...

Blizzard market studies probably showed the money they earn(ed) with the model they have is sufficient.

+ players want effort-->reward there, world pvp does not have a meaning or reward, everything respawns in a few minutes. There is no gain, and with open world battlegrounds -or no battlegrounds for that matter- everything's unbalanced as f*ck, ppl get blobbed, start complaining about being ganked and blammo, one sub less because the player is emoquitting.

Most WOW players can not deal with open world pvp. It's mostly carebears and IF they pvp, it's when they choose to.

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


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

5/14/13 6:42:06 AM#32
2 points
1 wow and EQ are in no way sandbox AT ALL
2 coh is older than wow, wow borrowed a lot of ideas from coh.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1394

5/14/13 7:22:13 AM#33

We should start to see more SWG-like games. It's taken almost 10 years for developers to realize that the pure Theme Park model is a recipe for disaster.

We need the best of both worlds...



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 85

5/14/13 7:28:08 AM#34
Entropian Universe (10 years old now)  And Afterworld (Beta)  are true sandbox.    Yes there subscription system (especially EU) are disliked by many but hey they are there.

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Joined: 6/09/04
Posts: 788

Your tears make my gun work better.

5/14/13 7:48:05 AM#35
Originally posted by Dauzqul

We should start to see more SWG-like games. It's taken almost 10 years for developers to realize that the pure Theme Park model is a recipe for disaster.

We need the best of both worlds...


SWG (Pre-cu) nailed it imo.  They had theme parks within the sand box.  But they weren't required in order to enjoy the game.  No levels, etc... I am preaching to the choir here I get it.

At any rate, the future is starting to look a bit better.  Of course, only time will tell but at least there are a couple titles out there worth waiting for.

If you want a new idea, go read an old book.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/04/13
Posts: 15

5/14/13 8:15:49 AM#36

Minecraft is the MMO that is most like a sandbox and it's hugely popular.  Just do a youtube search for the name.  It only allows 20 players last time I checked and that's below massively multiplayer  But you can build your own things just like with actual sand in a sandbox.


Second Life allows you to upload your very own 3D models and textures.  It's a true MMO with over 500K players.


There are still hundreds if not thousands of DIKU MUDs out there.  You know how people say "WoW clone"? what they should say is DIKU clone cause DIKU did it first.  I think the largest MUD only has 300 players.  The difference is DIKU allows certain players to construct content.


The new MMO Neverwinter allows players to construct content.  That's not as sandboxy as Minecraft but it's a start.


I was wrong, there are Mincraft servers with over 100 players so Minecraft is massively multiplayer online or MMO.



MMO Business Correspondent

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 1145

5/14/13 8:36:17 AM#37

"MMO's today are nothing like they were 10-15 years ago when they were being released. People then had huge worlds you can run from one end of the world to the other with no load screens and a million different ways to get there."

Where is this mythical army of MMOs from 10-15 years ago with no loading zones and seamless worlds?

Check out my monthly column on


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/06/11
Posts: 400

5/14/13 8:40:59 AM#38

It's a virtual guarantee that once the new wave of sandboxes hit, we'll hear the same outcry as we have now.  How the new generation of sandboxes aren't hardcore enough, how there isn't enough player co-dependency and forced grouping, how the carebears and casuals have dumbed down the genre beyond repair, how the skill system isn't as open or interesting as it should be, etc.  It's a virtual guarantee.  What this thread points out most to me is how much variation exists within what people consider sandbox gaming and how, even with at least a handful of credible sandbox options on the market, many people who hunger for sandboxes refuse to play them.


To answer the OP's titular question: there are no seamless sandbox-ish MMORPGs anymore because they have tended not to fare as well in the market as themeparks.  There are lots of reasons for this: bad development leading to unpolished games, an emphasis on FFA PvP that drives away potential customers, a general playerbase who seems to prefer being the hero of their own story rather than an extra in a world's story, a slooow and often aimless start that leaves new players shrugging and moving onto something else, sheer familiarity of the themepark systems and gameplay which sandboxes have tended to lack. 


For me, sandbox play offers a player the most opportunity for long-term (months and years of) engagement but it's not just a matter of ticking off a bunch of feature boxes to make it work.  To have success of the EvE kind, a game needs to do things differently and have an even better implementation.  The worst thing a dev could do is try to recapture the mythical sandbox past, considering there is only 1 game of its type that has managed to earn and keep AAA status and popularity among a throng of successful themeparks of the same generation.


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

5/14/13 9:07:54 AM#39

* The success of existing sandboxes is relative. SWG never reached even half the level that SOE expected of the game. Eve took a good twelve years to become the game it is today. From the perspective of a developer, who needs to convince investors that they know what they are doing, neither of these is a success case.

* The games that a developer wants to write may or may not need to be a sandbox. I can't be sure about this, but I suspect that the people who design and develop games do not start with the idea of building a sandbox or a theme park. Not on a regular basis anyway. They want to write a Wild West Thriller, or a Zombie Survival game, and from that point the theme park elements or sandbox elements will dominate.

* Developers may start with the idea of a sandbox or virtual world, but realize there are issues that are not easily resolvable without a constant human presence. In a theme park you'll have players breaking the rules, but they generally do this by exploiting a flaw in the game. With a sandbox game, players do not have to exploit flaws in the game to break the rules and it requires a human to step in a fix things. This is in addition to the usual exploits that theme parks have.

That's really all I can think of. I think it mostly comes down to the games that developers want to write just don't need to be sandboxes. Whatever the idea they have isn't a sandbox idea from the start, so it's not a sandbox game when it finishes. I think investors are going to have an impact, but investors invest in developers, not games. If a developer can show they are a good developer, then there's no reason an investor wouldn't invest in a developer working on a sandbox game. I think the least likely scenario is a developer thinking about doing a sandbox and then deciding it's not worth it.

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5/14/13 9:11:17 AM#40
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