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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Theme Park(new gamers) vs Sandbox(oldschool gamers)

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  Palladin

Novice Member

Joined: 11/25/10
Posts: 434

 
OP  3/10/12 1:34:05 PM#1

I think todays issues are more about this than anything else. Many of us old school gamers frm the 80s grow up in a day and age pre PC when you wrold told by your parentss "get the &*(& outside and play> So we did and we found ways to entertain ourselves. So when games systems and PCs came out games were more about finding ways to entertain yourself.

 

Nowadays kids "expect" to be entertains they do not know how and do not try to entertain themselves. They grow up in the age where the TV, phones, ipads, MP3, game consoles do all the entertainment for them.

 

My question would be this:

What is the core issue?

My answer is this:

We have 2 competing game styles communities that do not mix well.

Theme Park vs Sandbox(I personally I am of the later breed)

Themepark games "in general" donot allow players to impact the world

Sandbox games do allow players to impact the world and is the central theme of the game.

Is it possible to mix the two styles of play? I say yes.

 

A good example of mixing the  two styles is Fallen Earth. Clunky and issue ridden as it is it works well enough for a f2P game.

 

I look for games that will give me what I want but not exclude other game styles. I want more social interaction in my games not exclusion. In my opinion all game styles are valid but I am only concerned whith what I WANT.

WHAT I WANT:

1) more people ingame..jam the newb areas with people make the game run smoth( one world not 50-1000 servers)

2)Choice of things to do not a train ride through the park

3)Huge land mass that is wide open so i can explore all around it not some path to walk down(like in Aion)

4)PVP I am not hardcore so it should not be full world

5) Player owned teritory.

 

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  MMOarQQ

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 659

"Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain."

3/10/12 1:36:20 PM#2

ArcheAge will save us.

Maybe...

  ColumbiaTrue

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 48

3/10/12 1:43:29 PM#3

The core issue centers around three Cs:

 

  • Content
 
  • Community
 
  • Choice
 
CONTENT
The content in MMORPGs is familiar, even too familiar. It is very standardized. But it does not need to be this way. The solution to this another C: creativity. We need more creative content; content that changes, is dynamic, and evolves. The way to achieve this is through providing tools to players to change content.
 
Solution: Creative Change through Player Tools
 
 
COMMUNITY
Players do not respect each other - because they do not have to. I believe in solo content. I believe in an abundance of creative content, but the communities are not organic. The groups are not organic. Everything is predetermined and we are "stuck" with this group to get through this dungeon. We are stuck with a guild to get through raids.
 
There are better and different ways to achieve interaction in games and interdependence (while preserving soloing and rugged individualism/independence).
 
Solution: Different Ways of Relying on and Interacting With Each Other Than Grouping/Raiding
 
 
CHOICE
Players really have no choid about what to do. You beginning in area A. Reach level 10. Go to level B. Reach level 20. Eventually you are raiding Tier 1, then Tier 2, then Tier 3.
 
Players should have choices about how to play, where to play, etc. Players can be "productive" in different ways other than a linear leveling and raiding scheme. 
 
Players could have choices as to raiding, leveling, building a community, crafting, etc. The choices, with the right tools, could be limitless in a virtual world.
 
Solution: Expanded Choices to Experience the Game World: Developer, Warrior, Dungeon Creator, Item Designer, City Mayor, Etc.
 
 
 
 
 
*   *   *
Fourth C:  Creativity
MMORPGs are in a creative dark period in which developers, gaming investors, etc. are absolutely convinced that the rules have been written and well established. The entire concept of MMORPGs could be radically changed for the benefit of all gamers by providing players the tools to impact the MMORPG worlds they spend so much time in. The MMORPG model today is a linear, flat, rather boring world that changes only when developers decide to change it. Give players the choice (and tools) to change the MMORPG world. Rules and parameters must be established of course. But let them not only design and create player cities - but player dungeons. Unique dragons. Encounters. Items. All of it (with limitations).
 
 
The future of MMORPGs ought to incorporate player empowerment and player impact. The vision and hope are there. Now we just need our triumph.

"The truth is EA lies." - Youtube User

Sim City. Everquest. Civilization. Dungeon Keeper. Vampire: The Masquerade. These are the games that I love and cherish.

  toddze

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2203

I am not a hater, I call it like I see it.

3/10/12 1:57:49 PM#4

I agree with your example of how kids are raised now as well. Kids expect to be entertained now, and that translates to every part of their life.

When I was a kid i grew up on a farm, i didnt have cable tv, we had an antenna. The only cartoons I got were saturaday morning on fox. As for toys I only had a few ninja turtles. That was it, the rest of my entertainment came from my imgaination. Hell I had to make my own sandbox on the side of a sandy hill. Id go out and TRY and build my own little forts. I had to build my own play swords out of wood. being on a farm I had all of the tools I need to make my own fun. I would not trade my childhood for anything. Its translated into adulthood. I dont need someone showing me whats fun, because I know how to make my own entertainment. 90% of the time what other people thinks entertainment, I dont. To this day I still dont watch much TV, it seems like every year I watch less and less. The crap on TV just gets stupider (if thats a word haha) and stupider.

I hear people talking at work about the younger generation being self entitlists. All I can do is grin to myself because its true this has been a major debate in the MMO genre for a long time now. When I hear people not even remotly associated with the MMO genre talking about this upcomming generation being self entitlists it just rings a bell thats so true. That self entitlist generation will be the future of this county one day. We already see where this country is headed, and its not pretty.

Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
Now Playing: N/A
Worst MMO: FFXIV
Favorite MMO: FFXI

  evicton

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/21/11
Posts: 399

3/10/12 2:27:27 PM#5
Originally posted by toddze

I agree with your example of how kids are raised now as well. Kids expect to be entertained now, and that translates to every part of their life.

When I was a kid i grew up on a farm, i didnt have cable tv, we had an antenna. The only cartoons I got were saturaday morning on fox. As for toys I only had a few ninja turtles. That was it, the rest of my entertainment came from my imgaination. Hell I had to make my own sandbox on the side of a sandy hill. Id go out and TRY and build my own little forts. I had to build my own play swords out of wood. being on a farm I had all of the tools I need to make my own fun. I would not trade my childhood for anything. Its translated into adulthood. I dont need someone showing me whats fun, because I know how to make my own entertainment. 90% of the time what other people thinks entertainment, I dont. To this day I still dont watch much TV, it seems like every year I watch less and less. The crap on TV just gets stupider (if thats a word haha) and stupider.

I hear people talking at work about the younger generation being self entitlists. All I can do is grin to myself because its true this has been a major debate in the MMO genre for a long time now. When I hear people not even remotly associated with the MMO genre talking about this upcomming generation being self entitlists it just rings a bell thats so true. That self entitlist generation will be the future of this county one day. We already see where this country is headed, and its not pretty.

Anyone thinks age has anything to do with the arguement of themepark versus sandbox is just flatout wrong. Its a personal choice. Most studies that have looked into this has targeted the average wow players age at 30(US numbers chinas players tend to be younger and EU is more spread out). Now these surveys aren't fact and atleast one of them admitted no minors were polled. I myself am 31, i like both themepark and sandbox style games. I could care less about some feature list that a game needs to have to fit into a certain category. I think were are at a point where we are going to see more and more sandpark games. And to me getting the best of both worlds will far greater then having a 'pure' style game of either sub genre.

 

Some links to study that shows this debate has little to do with age...

http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/12/22/the-wow-factor-page-2/

http://blogs.parc.com/playon/2012/02/01/phase-ii-participant-overview/

http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/archives/000550.php

 

  gimmesome

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/11
Posts: 368

3/10/12 2:29:57 PM#6
Originally posted by toddze

I agree with your example of how kids are raised now as well. Kids expect to be entertained now, and that translates to every part of their life.

When I was a kid i grew up on a farm, i didnt have cable tv, we had an antenna. The only cartoons I got were saturaday morning on fox. As for toys I only had a few ninja turtles. That was it, the rest of my entertainment came from my imgaination. Hell I had to make my own sandbox on the side of a sandy hill. Id go out and TRY and build my own little forts. I had to build my own play swords out of wood. being on a farm I had all of the tools I need to make my own fun. I would not trade my childhood for anything. Its translated into adulthood. I dont need someone showing me whats fun, because I know how to make my own entertainment. 90% of the time what other people thinks entertainment, I dont. To this day I still dont watch much TV, it seems like every year I watch less and less. The crap on TV just gets stupider (if thats a word haha) and stupider.

I hear people talking at work about the younger generation being self entitlists. All I can do is grin to myself because its true this has been a major debate in the MMO genre for a long time now. When I hear people not even remotly associated with the MMO genre talking about this upcomming generation being self entitlists it just rings a bell thats so true. That self entitlist generation will be the future of this county one day. We already see where this country is headed, and its not pretty.

Right there, in that highlighted text. Couldn't have said it better myself. It is the very reason and driving force behind my interest in mmorpgs in the first place.      It's what makes me so unhappy about what has become of them as well. 

This genre was special because it gave the players the ability and freedom to create their ideal "fun" instead of a prefabricated one that had to be sold to them.     Now it's really more of a buffet of shiny titles that 'remind' players of what MMORPGs used to be, while at the same time, distracting us with big franchise titles, cheap and shallow gimics, and constant hack'n'slash action.   

The new generation of gamers don't find this boring, so it passes as fun.    A fun that everyone is expected to concede to and enjoy, regardless of taste. 

*sigh*... Back to EVE.  Again.     [yeah, most of the time, EVE is not the typical 'fun-pewpew-headshot-highest-crit-dmg-omg-pwnt" fest, but it sure is the only real mmorpg available right now, unfortunately.]

 

 

  gimmesome

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/11
Posts: 368

3/10/12 2:44:33 PM#7
Originally posted by evicton
*snip*
I think were are at a point where we are going to see more and more sandpark games. And to me getting the best of both worlds will far greater then having a 'pure' style game of either sub genre.

 

I agree with this to an extent, as idealy, it would be great to have "everything", however, it also seems a bit like saying one could desire anarchy and dictatorship at the same time (to me).

When you take what themeparks offer in comparison to what sandboxes offer, the two core values don't mix well, as one provides a strict, regulated and structured character, story, progression, combat, and environmental system that cannot be affected by the players while the other provides systems in place to let the players affect pretty much those same areas of gameplay.  

 

There are some games already out that try to hybrid the two, and I think it's a worthy goal, and more games should try to elaborate on that, but ultimately, imo, the ideal sandbox game would offer enough themepark elements anyway, there wouldn't really be  much of a need for a true 'themepark only' mmorpg anymore.  Already, in some sandbox titles, there are themepark elements in place for the players that CHOOSE to play that way, and would rather follow a predetermined route to reach a certain goal instead of creating their own unique experience.     If done on a bigger scale, with lots of money thrown at it, we could easily see a high quality themepark experience WITHIN a high-qual sandbox game as simply one of the many choices of how to play...

my 4 cents.

 

 

  Unlight

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 2586

3/10/12 3:02:37 PM#8

I'm not sure the premise of the OP has a lot of validity.  "Old-School" gamers cut our teeth on the most linear of games.  What do think were appearing in arcades in the 70s and 80s?  They certainly weren't sandboxes.  And then, when computer games started appearing in homes in the form of gaming consoles, they weren't a whole lot better.  Mostly they were licenced copies of what was already playing in the arcades, soon to be followed by far more derivative stuff that could be knocked off cheap and placed in a box.  Again, nothing sandboxy here.  The games available on computers at the time weren't even being played in homes because computer prices were still well outside the budget of most families.

Being "old-school" just means we still remember the value of a quarter and we can remember a time when terms like "sandbox" and "theme park" would never be used to describe a game.  Our only concern was how to get the most time for our 25 cents and if our initials had been bumped from the top since the last time we looked.

 

  gimmesome

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/11
Posts: 368

3/10/12 3:14:59 PM#9

@Unlight, you bring up a very valid point.   And might I say, I got a very pleasant and warm feeling inside reading your well detailed expression of typical 'old school gaming'  :-)

 

The only countersight I really have at all is that I think the OP was referring to old-school MMORPG, not gaming in general.   In which case, there was far more emphasis on "here's an adventure.  experience it how you see fit." mentality rather than today's "here's a map with these quests you do in this order with these abilities you'll get every X levels until you get to Z raid/dungeon/pvp grade and then you get Y gear, and then wait until we release tiers X, Y, and Z 2.0.  Oh, and yeah it's an adventure, so, you're ..uhh.. epic. because you're wearing this gear and this gear is the only way to be epic. pay no mind to the 100 identical players next to you all glowing the same color." experience

  Palladin

Novice Member

Joined: 11/25/10
Posts: 434

 
OP  3/10/12 3:20:01 PM#10
Originally posted by MMOarQQ

ArcheAge will save us.

Maybe...

I've not seen anything that convinces me of this. I don't expect it to ...besides I really do not like fagoty character models the Asians tend to put in games.

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  Skuz

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1041

"If you can''t laugh at yourself there''s always someone around to show you how it''s done!"

3/10/12 3:29:11 PM#11

There's only 1 single game I can think of in my experience that could remotely be classed as Sandbox & that was Ultima Online, EverQuest, the game I left UO for & spent 8 years in was Themepark...& yet...it had some elements that made it much more a "virtual world" than UO & made it, to me, feel more of a sandbox.

It's become my growing opinion that the mythical sandbox game most envisaged was most closely represent by SWG pre-cu. However I don't think a single game has ever, in reality, been an actual sandbox game, they've all had elements mixed in from many influences, this could be the case that a "purist" sandbox game exists only in the commentators imagination, it simply hasn't been made yet.

Closer to the truth I suspect is that each and every one of use, who has had any kind of experience of the MMO Genre has played many games & each of us has over time thought about how they would do things differently in each of those games, patted themselves on the back for being clever & added it to the pile of good ideas that didn't see the light of day that we each store in our brains. This then ferments into a composite "perfect game" - different for each of us, that "should" get made.

In closing my commentary I think that the solution to the problem is winning a billion dollars on a lottery & investing it into building our very own MMO, then the itch will get scratched & one person will live happily ever after.

If an actual sandbox game exists, then why aren't you all playing it?

 

  Ecoces

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/25/11
Posts: 839

3/10/12 3:35:39 PM#12

well if you played EQ1 and loved that game don't lump yourself in as a sandbox player. EQ1 was a themepark i don't know why people say its a sandbox.

  gimmesome

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/11
Posts: 368

3/10/12 3:39:17 PM#13
Originally posted by Skuz

In closing my commentary I think that the solution to the problem is winning a billion dollars on a lottery & investing it into building our very own MMO, then the itch will get scratched & one person will live happily ever after.

If an actual sandbox game exists, then why aren't you all playing it?

 

HAH!   Well,

1)   I'm playing a sandbox right now.  posting this reply using the EVE browser while I am in travel.

2),   Considering that many if not most of us PC gamers spend good money keeping our rigs up to date (somewhat at least :P) it's kind of bittering to go back to games as graphically and overall technically dated as UO.   SWG pre-nge sadly is no longer available, and that was probably the best sandbox there's ever been in this genre.  

3)   Another game I play that is wonderfully sandboxy is Skyrim.   But, as we all know, that is single player only, and does not offer the community/living world aspect that a sandbox MMORPG would.

4)   you can bet your arse that if a billion fell into my lap, i would do a lot of things in life, but one of them for damn sure would be to build my 'perfect virtual sandboxy world' -- till then, I'm just hoping that I don't die before this themepark craze drops down to backburner status the way sandboxes have.  

  phantomghost

Elite Member

Joined: 11/05/11
Posts: 656

"Kill me, my man kills you, that's how you lose."

3/10/12 3:45:52 PM#14
Originally posted by Ecoces

well if you played EQ1 and loved that game don't lump yourself in as a sandbox player. EQ1 was a themepark i don't know why people say its a sandbox.

It was more of a sandbox.

 

You had to obtain gear, spells, and skills to play your role.  You had to learn your role which was defined by the class you chose to play.  Each role could have minor changes.  Maybe you would focus your war as a tank maybe as a dps... depended on what was needed.

 

You had consequences.  You could attack (on purpose or by accident) a friendly npc.  If you died you loss xp, you had to go on a corpse run.

 

You never had a direct path to follow.  You had variety of things to do.  If you did not want all of your spells you would not go farm for them.  It was not just a simple, go to a trainer and he teaches you everything, the only option for you is, do I buy it or not.

The game was not laid out so that you could run from a low level zone and never have to cross through a high level zone to get to another low level zone.  If I wanted to level somewhere at level 25, I may have needed to run through a level 50 zone to get there.

You did not follow  quests that lead you from one zone to another.

 

If you believe EQ is a themepark MMO, you do not know anything.

 

I am not saying it was a pure sandbox mmo, but it certainly was not a themepark mmo.

 

 

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  Ikeda

Elite Member

Joined: 10/07/10
Posts: 2098

3/10/12 3:51:39 PM#15

How does one dictate new and old school and then try to slap a completely SEPARATE label by saying Theme park and Sandbox?

 

Depending on the game, both existed EVEN back then.  UO was more sandbox'y.  EQ was more Themepark.

As an old school gamer, I like both but I tend to enjoy the rides on he Themeparks more than the wastes of sandboxes.

Not to say some sandboxes aren't fun.  I just don't like being left to my own devices entirely.

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  ChuvarHrama

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/18/07
Posts: 95

3/10/12 3:53:45 PM#16

These hipster gamer threads are boring... 

Go back to ur oldschool games and stop whining.

  Skooma2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/08
Posts: 686

3/10/12 3:55:36 PM#17

A point I like to point out in the themepark/sandbox discussions is, the game is only a sandbox for those who are in the game at the beginning.  If you come into the game much later, it is no longer a sandbox.  It is a themepark created by those who came before you.

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  Palladin

Novice Member

Joined: 11/25/10
Posts: 434

 
OP  3/10/12 3:56:09 PM#18

Currently the game I think fits the bill most( at least for me) is Fallen Earth...it has alot of issues though but since it is F2P I can deal till something better comes along.

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  Cuathon

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/24/04
Posts: 2254

Draw Something is now an MMO. God has forsaken us.

3/10/12 4:00:06 PM#19
Originally posted by Skooma2

A point I like to point out in the themepark/sandbox discussions is, the game is only a sandbox for those who are in the game at the beginning.  If you come into the game much later, it is no longer a sandbox.  It is a themepark created by those who came before you.

This is not at all the case. Ever been to the beach?

Dumb analogies aside however many people have arrived before you you can still materially alter the world in ways themeparks do not allow. That is what sandboxes are.

  Ecoces

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/25/11
Posts: 839

3/10/12 4:09:13 PM#20
Originally posted by phantomghost
Originally posted by Ecoces

well if you played EQ1 and loved that game don't lump yourself in as a sandbox player. EQ1 was a themepark i don't know why people say its a sandbox.

It was more of a sandbox.

No it wasn't it was a pure themepark game. take the rose colored glasses off.

 

You had to obtain gear, spells, and skills to play your role.  You had to learn your role which was defined by the class you chose to play.  Each role could have minor changes.  Maybe you would focus your war as a tank maybe as a dps... depended on what was needed.

you do that in WoW.

 

You had consequences.  You could attack (on purpose or by accident) a friendly npc.  If you died you loss xp, you had to go on a corpse run.

that doesn't make it a sandbox at all.

 

You never had a direct path to follow.  You had variety of things to do.  If you did not want all of your spells you would not go farm for them.  It was not just a simple, go to a trainer and he teaches you everything, the only option for you is, do I buy it or not.

The game was not laid out so that you could run from a low level zone and never have to cross through a high level zone to get to another low level zone.  If I wanted to level somewhere at level 25, I may have needed to run through a level 50 zone to get there.

more rose colored glasses the zones were laid out, sure there were more branches but you still had to follow a specific path of zones in order to level.

You did not follow  quests that lead you from one zone to another.

 

If you believe EQ is a themepark MMO, you do not know anything.

EQ has everything WoW has except WOW took out the tedium that EQ1 had. rigid classes, can't impact that world, no player housing, nothing to do at the endgame but farm gear. no real player choice. sure maybe it didn't hold your hand as much as say WoW but that doesn't make it any less of a themepark.

pure themepark

 

I am not saying it was a pure sandbox mmo, but it certainly was not a themepark mmo.

 

it was the first themepark MMO. compare EQ1 to games like UO, EVE and even darkfall then compare it to say WoW and Rift and you will find EQ1 is more similar to WoW and Rift than EVE, UO and Darkfall.

that should tell you its a Themepark

 

 

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