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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Sandbox Poll: Max Percent of "Paths" Completable?

20 posts found
  Devour

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/07
Posts: 956

 
OP  12/03/09 1:27:24 PM#1

So, yes, what do you all think the maximum percentage of "paths" should be completable on a single character within a sandbox game ( SWG-esque paths in which they are wildly differing and always end up with some sort of "master profession" )?

EDIT: That poll should have 50% and 100%, if you could kindly, would a mod edit it? :3

Maximum Percentage of Paths Completable on a Single Character?

5%
10%
25%
(login to vote)

  VowOfSilence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

12/03/09 1:34:36 PM#2

a sandbox game shouldn't have any "maximum"...

Hype train -> Reality

  Devour

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/07
Posts: 956

 
OP  12/03/09 1:48:28 PM#3
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

a sandbox game shouldn't have any "maximum"...

 

Why?

  VowOfSilence

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/09
Posts: 581

12/03/09 2:18:46 PM#4

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

Hype train -> Reality

  Ilvaldyr

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/08
Posts: 2163

12/03/09 2:32:45 PM#5
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?


Playing: EVE, Final Fantasy 13, Uncharted 2, Need for Speed: Shift

  Hyanmen

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 4951

12/03/09 2:45:32 PM#6
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?

I don't think that's a necessary restriction. If the upgrading of skills takes more than few hours to max, not many are going to be able to max more than few of them in reasonable timeframe. Some are going to be able to do it, but there wouldn't be that many per server. Every other player would be an expert of one or few skills which creates more variety by itself, since all the professions would be mixed together (some are blacksmith sword users, some culinarist sword users and so on).

I think a better restriction would be to make it so that you can't be everything at once. Maybe few professions based on the type (armor-type, crafting-type, weapon-type) but you'd have to switch them instead of just being able to do everything at all times. So, you could be heavy armor using tanner lancer, but not heavy-light armor using tanner-goldsmith great axe-whip user.

FF:ARR FATE grinding: People not having fun by doing something not actually intended to get to a point that doesn't really matter as fast as possible. Just so they can do the same thing over and over again to gain a piece of virtual loot.

  Tatum

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 1154

12/03/09 2:56:37 PM#7

I've never understood why most skill based games are capless.  Sure, you give the experienced players a constant advancement ladder, but you REALLY discourage new players from joining.  i just don't see the point when you could come up with some sort of "lateral" progression for capped characters.

  User Deleted
12/03/09 2:59:18 PM#8
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?


 

Not if it is handled correctly.  Take EVE for example - your skills are learned in a real time basis but the higher the level the skill the longer it takes - weeks for some skills, though there are skills that can be learned that help you learn quicker.  On top of that there are so many skills that it would take years to learn all skills to max level.  Setting up skill trees helps too - you have to max these skills before you can learn those skills.  To put it in fantasy mode - you would have to max a using a hammer skill first before you could learn to use that hammer to make a sword, maybe the skill comes from repairing armor or swords, but to actually make a sword or armor you would have to have "practiced"  and gotten the basic skills maxed first.  In real life no one starts making swords, they learn how to operate the forge - building strength by using the bellows to keep the fire hot.  They learn to hammer out dents in old armor, to get skilled in using the hammer and knowing how armor is put together.  Then they make basic armor, and eventually - way down the road, if they are good, the rich start paying for sets and the Blacksmith gains renown.  Same with combat - endless training on dummies before battle makes a good swordsman or mace man etc.  Thousands of dummy arrows fired at targets for an archer.  Reams of paper used before someone can make a proper scroll. 

If a game is set up that way, and the game encompasses all the skills - warrior skills and different weapons, or dual weapon use, rogue skills - stealing, stealth etc, mage skills, cleric skills - being in tune with a God/Goddess.  All of these things take time to be learned and practiced.(note I grouped things like classes to prove a point - good sandboxes do not have rigid classes).  Now add the crafting skills - from armor making to fishing to anything.  then let the game's economy be derived from the player made stuff.  Sure, early in the game there might be  a rare magic item, but then  let the players learn the skills to make that stuff.  Guilds arise, cities are formed, wars break out.  true sand box stuff.  Sorry - for the rant.

  Ilvaldyr

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/08
Posts: 2163

12/03/09 3:12:54 PM#9
Originally posted by elderotter
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?

Not if it is handled correctly.  Take EVE for example - your skills are learned in a real time basis but the higher the level the skill the longer it takes - weeks for some skills, though there are skills that can be learned that help you learn quicker.  On top of that there are so many skills that it would take years to learn all skills to max level.  Setting up skill trees helps too - you have to max these skills before you can learn those skills.  To put it in fantasy mode - you would have to max a using a hammer skill first before you could learn to use that hammer to make a sword, maybe the skill comes from repairing armor or swords, but to actually make a sword or armor you would have to have "practiced"  and gotten the basic skills maxed first.  In real life no one starts making swords, they learn how to operate the forge - building strength by using the bellows to keep the fire hot.  They learn to hammer out dents in old armor, to get skilled in using the hammer and knowing how armor is put together.  Then they make basic armor, and eventually - way down the road, if they are good, the rich start paying for sets and the Blacksmith gains renown.  Same with combat - endless training on dummies before battle makes a good swordsman or mace man etc.  Thousands of dummy arrows fired at targets for an archer.  Reams of paper used before someone can make a proper scroll. 

If a game is set up that way, and the game encompasses all the skills - warrior skills and different weapons, or dual weapon use, rogue skills - stealing, stealth etc, mage skills, cleric skills - being in tune with a God/Goddess.  All of these things take time to be learned and practiced.(note I grouped things like classes to prove a point - good sandboxes do not have rigid classes).  Now add the crafting skills - from armor making to fishing to anything.  then let the game's economy be derived from the player made stuff.  Sure, early in the game there might be  a rare magic item, but then  let the players learn the skills to make that stuff.  Guilds arise, cities are formed, wars break out.  true sand box stuff.  Sorry - for the rant.

EVE is an exception; it has an artificially built in restriction; i.e. the ship you're using.

Bring a proficient miner with heavy energy turret skills won't benefit you a great deal if you're currently flying a missile boat, for example. Past a certain point, EVE's progression system just gives you more options and more flexibility.

Would that work in fantasy MMOs? .. I'm not convinced that it would; though I'd be interested to see someone try.


Playing: EVE, Final Fantasy 13, Uncharted 2, Need for Speed: Shift

  Venger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/04
Posts: 1322

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12/03/09 3:28:41 PM#10

UOs skill limitation was good.  I wouldn't want everyone to be everything.  I like creating different character.  Part of the reason I can't get into Ryzom.  I believe that one you can master all the skills given enough time.

I liked creating my mace dexer, my tamer, my bard, my mage, my crafter, my fisherman, my treasurer hunter etc.  If everyone can be everything it would be so bland.  Sure I have to build the same skills up several times but that was the fun.

  User Deleted
12/03/09 3:31:56 PM#11
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by elderotter
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?

Not if it is handled correctly.  Take EVE for example - your skills are learned in a real time basis but the higher the level the skill the longer it takes - weeks for some skills, though there are skills that can be learned that help you learn quicker.  On top of that there are so many skills that it would take years to learn all skills to max level.  Setting up skill trees helps too - you have to max these skills before you can learn those skills.  To put it in fantasy mode - you would have to max a using a hammer skill first before you could learn to use that hammer to make a sword, maybe the skill comes from repairing armor or swords, but to actually make a sword or armor you would have to have "practiced"  and gotten the basic skills maxed first.  In real life no one starts making swords, they learn how to operate the forge - building strength by using the bellows to keep the fire hot.  They learn to hammer out dents in old armor, to get skilled in using the hammer and knowing how armor is put together.  Then they make basic armor, and eventually - way down the road, if they are good, the rich start paying for sets and the Blacksmith gains renown.  Same with combat - endless training on dummies before battle makes a good swordsman or mace man etc.  Thousands of dummy arrows fired at targets for an archer.  Reams of paper used before someone can make a proper scroll. 

If a game is set up that way, and the game encompasses all the skills - warrior skills and different weapons, or dual weapon use, rogue skills - stealing, stealth etc, mage skills, cleric skills - being in tune with a God/Goddess.  All of these things take time to be learned and practiced.(note I grouped things like classes to prove a point - good sandboxes do not have rigid classes).  Now add the crafting skills - from armor making to fishing to anything.  then let the game's economy be derived from the player made stuff.  Sure, early in the game there might be  a rare magic item, but then  let the players learn the skills to make that stuff.  Guilds arise, cities are formed, wars break out.  true sand box stuff.  Sorry - for the rant.

EVE is an exception; it has an artificially built in restriction; i.e. the ship you're using.

Bring a proficient miner with heavy energy turret skills won't benefit you a great deal if you're currently flying a missile boat, for example. Past a certain point, EVE's progression system just gives you more options and more flexibility.

Would that work in fantasy MMOs? .. I'm not convinced that it would; though I'd be interested to see someone try.


 

well, the point I was trying to make was that if done right no one would be able to max all the skills quickly and probably would not want to.   If you give enough variety and make the skill trees right  you will not end up with all players being the same at the end, or perhaps that the end where they will all be the same will be so far off in game time that few will ever get there.

  User Deleted
12/03/09 3:33:36 PM#12
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

I like that answer. :)

  User Deleted
12/03/09 4:15:33 PM#13

I don't have any percentage in mind but I will say I think you need strong clear limitations as to what your character can do and what can be used together.

The reason is I think that what your character does tells a lot about your character's personality, likewise what they don't do does as well.  And to me that is what roleplaying is all about, making a character, your character should be given the same thought as a character in a movie or a novel. 

When you have a no cap or a soft cap system your character does not seem like a character to me any more but more like a tool that you drive around to do different tasks you erase that characters personality the more "perfect" they become meaning the more they can learn.  So just it would be lame to see a character in a movie be a master swordsman and a magician at the same time, it would be lame in a game as well. 

You don't want one dimensional characters though, you want characters to specialize but also differentiate themselves as well, so the balance is tricky.

And as a side note, sword, shield and armor does not a knight make, likewise adding healing spells to that does not make you a paladin, these are specific character types with specific personalities that are attracted to them, both the skills and what you do need to be designed from the ground up to make that type of character, knight, warrior, rogue, paladin and shadow knight type of characters should not all have the same melee attacks for example.

  Devour

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/07
Posts: 956

 
OP  12/03/09 4:28:24 PM#14
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

Unless you get the ability to do that from wearing that equipment and being unable to change it quickly / high death penalty whilst carrying it ( see: EvE ), they're none of those things.

What makes you a knight or a blacksmith or a ranger is whether or not you ARE those things. If you are capable of DOING it, you ARE it. If you are capable of doing ALL of them, you are master of all trades, which quickly grows boring.

Remember the saying, "Differences in others is what makes them fun."

EDIT: Also, having the ability to be anything all the time makes the game kind of... Unsandboxy. The end result will always be the same.

  User Deleted
12/03/09 4:41:54 PM#15

I think "sandbox" is tossed around for players who really want a "free range" style MMO. 

Story-based MMO:  You are in a linear progression of cutscenes, quests, and adventures, going from Point A to Point Z as the dev's have pre-planned for you.

Free-Range MMO:  You are in a world.  You have a character which you can develop many ways as you choose to pursue, and you are free to step out in any direction to explore and adventure in the world.

The latter style MMO, I have found to be much more rewarding. 

The initial MMO's started out as Free-Range, then later MMO's tried to capture the larger non-gaming crowd with a philosophy that more hand-holding would be required to lure these folks in.  Hence, a bunch of Story-based MMO's that might temporarily serve new players but are unappealing to veteran players who demand more freedom and immersion in their gaming.

To get into the mindset of veteran MMO players and where they are right now, try to imagine an alcoholic who is all out of booze and who has to resort to fetching the aftershave out of the medicine cabinet for his fix.  If you can realize this, you can understand where many gamers are today, playing games like WOW, LOTRO, AION and such and hoping for a new quality Free-Range game to come out.

And it sure doesn't help when some of the contrarians you see on this and other forums criticize a new game for not having a "story".  I say, can the "story" and give us a "world."  If someone has to have a "story", then hand them a paperback novel and set them down in a corner.

The glory of MMO gaming is in being a character in an immersive world, not in being a puppet in someone's stageplay.

Adventure.  Explore.  Craft.  Make online friends.  Share gameplay experiences.  That's what it's all about.

 

  Midare

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/09
Posts: 45

12/04/09 2:00:15 AM#16

I actually like two sections to the stats, one of which has a maximum number of points a player can put into it, and one which people can continue to add points into indefinately... which thus allows for expansion of more content later on. [edit: By "indefinately" I mean maxing one field after another not endless skill bars.]

 

Limited would be base physical stats that players can tweak, things to make their mana pool or physical energy pool larger compared to the starting point. Ways to increase their underlaying hit points. Increase their Luck. Basically to give diversity to those stats a person "was born with". No one would be able to max out those skills and so there is a need to plan and decide how you want to allocate things there to your best advantage in so far as the role you want to play.

 

Unlimited would be things like professions, weaponskills, martial arts skills, thing slike that... not limiting people to 3 professions or what have you. In real life we're not limited to learnign only a few skill sets. People who apply themselves can learn to do many things, and I thinka  game should allow the freedome to try and juggle skills. Otherwise you have people needing to go "forget" skills to open slots if they decide that they don't relaly like being a Smith. Let them instead just stop training to be a Smith and focus in another area.

 

If there are enough of these other options it has several ways it can go... casual/normal players will pick ones they liek and slowly work to max out their chosen professions etc... while the obsessive/hardcore players will either plow through these one at a time and still get a fair bit of playing done ... or the HC will try to level all of them at once and thus be more in-step with the casual players simply by spreading themselves so thin.

 

Progression in professions or weapon/fightign skills could be slowed by putting them into their own development trees, as other mentioned. Where you need to learn one to unlock another couple options. Other mechanics can limit you from taking on too much... like the need to have certain tools with you to do your job, if there are tools (pick axes, prospecting dishes) taking up bag/bank space you won't want to be everything because all those tools take away space for collected resources or crafted items.

  User Deleted
12/04/09 6:18:53 AM#17
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by elderotter
Originally posted by Ilvaldyr
Originally posted by VowOfSilence

Because sandbox games are not supposed to put unnececary or artifical restrictions on players.
You don't pick any classes or professions. What makes you a ranger is shooting a bow, wearing armor makes you a knight, and blacksmithing makes you a blacksmith. Nothing is set in stone.

But are some restrictions not necessary?

I mean, what are you if you (and everyone else) is a blacksmithing armour-wearer with a bow?

In skill-based games (like UO), having absolutely no artificial restrictions would lead to every player being able to have every skill maxed. That would completely destroy any sense of variety by making every player essentially identical.

Isn't that the anathema of the sandbox creed?

Not if it is handled correctly.  Take EVE for example - your skills are learned in a real time basis but the higher the level the skill the longer it takes - weeks for some skills, though there are skills that can be learned that help you learn quicker.  On top of that there are so many skills that it would take years to learn all skills to max level.  Setting up skill trees helps too - you have to max these skills before you can learn those skills.  To put it in fantasy mode - you would have to max a using a hammer skill first before you could learn to use that hammer to make a sword, maybe the skill comes from repairing armor or swords, but to actually make a sword or armor you would have to have "practiced"  and gotten the basic skills maxed first.  In real life no one starts making swords, they learn how to operate the forge - building strength by using the bellows to keep the fire hot.  They learn to hammer out dents in old armor, to get skilled in using the hammer and knowing how armor is put together.  Then they make basic armor, and eventually - way down the road, if they are good, the rich start paying for sets and the Blacksmith gains renown.  Same with combat - endless training on dummies before battle makes a good swordsman or mace man etc.  Thousands of dummy arrows fired at targets for an archer.  Reams of paper used before someone can make a proper scroll. 

If a game is set up that way, and the game encompasses all the skills - warrior skills and different weapons, or dual weapon use, rogue skills - stealing, stealth etc, mage skills, cleric skills - being in tune with a God/Goddess.  All of these things take time to be learned and practiced.(note I grouped things like classes to prove a point - good sandboxes do not have rigid classes).  Now add the crafting skills - from armor making to fishing to anything.  then let the game's economy be derived from the player made stuff.  Sure, early in the game there might be  a rare magic item, but then  let the players learn the skills to make that stuff.  Guilds arise, cities are formed, wars break out.  true sand box stuff.  Sorry - for the rant.

EVE is an exception; it has an artificially built in restriction; i.e. the ship you're using.

Bring a proficient miner with heavy energy turret skills won't benefit you a great deal if you're currently flying a missile boat, for example. Past a certain point, EVE's progression system just gives you more options and more flexibility.

Would that work in fantasy MMOs? .. I'm not convinced that it would; though I'd be interested to see someone try.

 

There's obviously going to be restrictions within the game on how you can go about doing things. I mean you would not be able to blacksmith without a blacksmith hammer. You need the appropriate tools for the appropriate job and even though you need the right ship for the right job, no one is restricted access to it by some barrier like having to be a specific class set when you first create your character. If you really wanted to fly a titan, you can eventually fly a titan despite what race you are given you have the appropriate skills to handle the ship (and really all you need is the ship skill not even the necessary support stuff to technically fly it albeit not effectively). Every game is going to have some form of restriction in one way or another. Players have to follow a set of rules in which the game is made up of and every game has rules for the most part. 

  metalhead980

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 2699

12/04/09 6:42:08 AM#18
Originally posted by Tatum

I've never understood why most skill based games are capless.  Sure, you give the experienced players a constant advancement ladder, but you REALLY discourage new players from joining.  i just don't see the point when you could come up with some sort of "lateral" progression for capped characters.

 

Not if its done right.

Games like Eve and Ryzom have no cap but certain skills are only useful depending on what Ship or armor/weapon you have.

So a new player can catch up to a vet is the focus train or skill.

IN Eve you can focus train into BC and in 6-8 months be on the same level as a vet. Same goes for ryzom Skill up one damage mastery and maybe on healing and you couldnt tell the difference between a Vet and a 6 month old newb.

Skill trees should give variety to a player and let them play a bunch of roles just not a tthe same time.

Oh and the reason UO worked was do to the skilling down mechanic where you did have a set amount of skill points but you could always alter your template.

 

Edit: Shit! you guys beat me too it. I didn't read that far down the thread before posting. Sorry.

PLaying: EvE, Ryzom

Waiting For: Earthrise, Perpetuum

  Tatum

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 1154

12/04/09 10:21:27 AM#19
Originally posted by metalhead980
Originally posted by Tatum

I've never understood why most skill based games are capless.  Sure, you give the experienced players a constant advancement ladder, but you REALLY discourage new players from joining.  i just don't see the point when you could come up with some sort of "lateral" progression for capped characters.

 

Not if its done right.

Games like Eve and Ryzom have no cap but certain skills are only useful depending on what Ship or armor/weapon you have.

So a new player can catch up to a vet is the focus train or skill.

IN Eve you can focus train into BC and in 6-8 months be on the same level as a vet. Same goes for ryzom Skill up one damage mastery and maybe on healing and you couldnt tell the difference between a Vet and a 6 month old newb.


 

Yea, I'm familiar with both, and I definately wouldn't say they've done it the "wrong" way.  But, it's a just a personnal preferance.  That's the first thing I look for in a skill system, if it doesn't have some sort of cap I lose interest.  Thats just me though.

I think there are other examples of advancement that would be much better than leaving the system capless.  As much as players laugh at all of the "fluff" features in MMOs, they spend a lot of time grinding for things that are basically just status and/or appearance mods.

  Tatum

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/07
Posts: 1154

12/04/09 10:26:36 AM#20
Originally posted by CactusmanX

I don't have any percentage in mind but I will say I think you need strong clear limitations as to what your character can do and what can be used together.


 

Easy, make just make sure that attributes are significant and things will balance out.  A fighter needs good strength, dexterity, and constitution.  A caster needs good intelligence and wisdom.  Sure, you can mix the two, but your attributes will never let you master both.  In this sense, I think MMOs have gone FAR backwards.  Class and level are almost all that matters now, spec and especially attributes have been simplified to the point of being almost meaningless.