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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why sandboxes tend to be small budget indie games

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  Khebeln

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/29/04
Posts: 665

Leader and founder of the Excessum Gaming Community

11/10/12 1:36:44 PM#41
Originally posted by MMOExposed
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Apraxis

But because a good procedural world generation is a project on its own, a lot of sandboxes handcraft their world, and that is also a lot of first type hard work, and not just the world, the inhabitants, the cities, the landscape in general and almost everything, what is in your world, and with what you can toy around. With other words, all the animation, graphic, art, sound everything not programmed is the first type of  work.. and there is a lot of it. Ok, if you cut a lot of it out, you get what i said before a empty world.

A sandbox isn't just a theme park without quests.

Than what is Darkfall?

Persistant FPS with full loot and bad graphics.

I have some hope for Archage tho. Only promissing sandbox game other than Eve.


(Retired)- Anarchy Online/Ultima Online/DAoC/Horizonsz/EQ2/SWG/AC1&2/L2/SoR/WoW/TMO/Requiem/Atlantica Online/Manibogi/Rift+(SL)/Lol/Hon/SWTOR/Wakfu/Champions Online/GW/Lotr/CO/TcoS/Tabula Rasa/Meridian 59/Vanguard/Shadowbane/Fury/SotW/Dreamlords/HGL/RoM/DDO/FFXI/Aoc/Eve/Warhammer Online/Gw2/TSW/Tera/Defiance/STO/AoW/DE/Firefall/Darkfall/Neverwinter/PS2

  SabbathSMC

Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/05
Posts: 228

11/10/12 1:40:23 PM#42

I think for these games to make it, they are not going to work as a sanbox and i hate themeparks. Most of the sandparks just dont have enough content to keep you interested in it long enough to make the game company any real lasting money.

To me a themepark is a game where you are lead around by the nose from one area to the next and if you try not to follow it in that way your not going to be able to advance in the game.

A sandbox is like a freeroam. Go where you want and do what you want and is basicly skill driven.

My best examples of a Themepark is WOW or STO both popular games and both themeparks.

My best examples of sandbox is Wurm or Xyson. Both pretty good games but just not enought o hold you there for long.

Missing story line and quest.

 

Where as you have Ultima Online (yes its still going) and SWG that is now dead. I consider both of these games Sandparks.

They let you freeroam with lots of content that is made by the developers as in quest and story line.

What developers are missing in my book is more Sandparks not sandboxes or Themeparks.

What type of game we really need is like Wurm online (crafting animal training and breeding combat) but with decent cities and dev created quest.

I'm still in wonder over why SWG died by far the best AAA game ver made. yeah yeah i know they ruined it with a series of patches, but that game was bad ass until that point.

 

PVP should be optional and here is why. I have alot of friends that game, not all of them will even attempt to play a game with pvp, while i enjoy pvp i also dont want it full time, i enjoy going out and questing chopping trees or what ever else the game might offer without having to watch my back every second.

I think camelot had it right here with massize zones that full pvp was allowed and the rest of the game was themepark i would sub that themepark for sandpark and make the game great.

 

just my measily 2 cents on this age old debate.

We do have a game coming to America at some point that fits this bill. I will wait until then.

one of the important things people forget is the more money a company brings in the better they can make the game for all.

While you have the pvp junkies screaming only FFA you really need to cater to both types to get the full flow of money coming in that a game needs to become great.

played M59,UO,lineage,EQ,Daoc,Entropia,SWG,Horizons,Lineage2.EQ2,Vangaurd,Irth online, DarkFall,Star Trek
and many others that did not make the cut or i just plain forgetting about.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12450

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

11/10/12 1:58:37 PM#43
Originally posted by MMOExposed

The reality of the issue goes over many people's head.

Its not about how Themepark or Sandbox a MMO is. It's all about how interesting the feature list is to the MASSES.

The term Sandbox isn't what turns people off about a Sandbox MMO.

what turns people off is the way Developers tend to always have the same unpopular features in Sandbox.

  • *FFA PvP just is not popular no matter how much you try. So stop trying this.
  • *Full Loot just is not popular. So stop doing it already.
  • *Aim based controls, just isn't popular. Stop doing it!
  • *Playing as a vehicle, just isn't popular. Don't do this.
  • *lack of PvE developer made content, just isn't fun in the long run. Stop doing that than.

 

Man this list goes on. But usually most of these can be found in any so called Sandbox MMO. But people wonder why that genre isn't popular right now. Change many of these listed here in your sandbox and you can expect much growth.

but of course, most sandbox MMO developers will never do that and stay in their little box of mind.

I'd go the other route. I don't think devs should stop doing those things, rather they should target their audiences better. For example, EVE Online has always been upfront about what it is to set the proper expectations. You can't get much more upfront than this: http://trial.eveonline.com/en/eveishard.aspx

What happens with a lot of these sandbox MMOs is they pitch to a much broader audience than their game is actually designed for. I can't begin to guess the thinking behind that because if you sell your game to five types of players but it is only designed to appeal to one type, then you end up with four times as many people talking about how your game sucks than there are that enjoy it. Had they targetted the one group specifically, they would ahve gotten one-fifth the initial people, but they also would have a stronger community, less negativity and no 'mass exodus' to deal with. At that point, as new content comes in, proper targeting is done, and the existing playerbase evangelises the game.. well, the game and its community both grow!

Those things are what need to be changed - the way in which the games are pitched (and that includes dev interviews and exec comments as well as marketing) needs to be dialed back to reality.

 

 

 

 

"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

  SabbathSMC

Novice Member

Joined: 1/10/05
Posts: 228

11/10/12 2:01:32 PM#44
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by MMOExposed

The reality of the issue goes over many people's head.

Its not about how Themepark or Sandbox a MMO is. It's all about how interesting the feature list is to the MASSES.

The term Sandbox isn't what turns people off about a Sandbox MMO.

what turns people off is the way Developers tend to always have the same unpopular features in Sandbox.

  • *FFA PvP just is not popular no matter how much you try. So stop trying this.
  • *Full Loot just is not popular. So stop doing it already.
  • *Aim based controls, just isn't popular. Stop doing it!
  • *Playing as a vehicle, just isn't popular. Don't do this.
  • *lack of PvE developer made content, just isn't fun in the long run. Stop doing that than.

 

Man this list goes on. But usually most of these can be found in any so called Sandbox MMO. But people wonder why that genre isn't popular right now. Change many of these listed here in your sandbox and you can expect much growth.

but of course, most sandbox MMO developers will never do that and stay in their little box of mind.

I'd go the other route. I don't think devs should stop doing those things, rather they should target their audiences better. For example, EVE Online has always been upfront about what it is to set the proper expectations. You can't get much more upfront than this: http://trial.eveonline.com/en/eveishard.aspx

What happens with a lot of these sandbox MMOs is they pitch to a much broader audience than their game is actually designed for. I can't begin to guess the thinking behind that because if you sell your game to five types of players but it is only designed to appeal to one type, then you end up with four times as many people talking about how your game sucks than there are that enjoy it. Had they targetted the one group specifically, they would ahve gotten one-fifth the initial people, but they also would have a stronger community, less negativity and no 'mass exodus' to deal with. At that point, as new content comes in, proper targeting is done, and the existing playerbase evangelises the game.. well, the game and its community both grow!

Those things are what need to be changed - the way in which the games are pitched (and that includes dev interviews and exec comments as well as marketing) needs to be dialed back to reality.

 

 This is probably not going to happen because the more they sell from the start they are hoping the more they keep. While i agree completely with what you are saying i just dont see it happening because of the greed to get the most money off the bat.

 

 

 

played M59,UO,lineage,EQ,Daoc,Entropia,SWG,Horizons,Lineage2.EQ2,Vangaurd,Irth online, DarkFall,Star Trek
and many others that did not make the cut or i just plain forgetting about.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5764

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/10/12 2:02:22 PM#45

No, Quiz, I think you make your point fit your analogy. It is not as simple as that. Why sandboxes are made by indie developers? -Because they are a significantly smaller market niche. And small niches are not attractive to the big developers and small developers can hardly ever compete with the big ones. Like Jeff Strain said in a speech few years back, "you can't out do WoW with less than half the budget" - you shouldn't even try. So you go and capture some other audience.

You can view it like an ecosystem. One herbivore eats all the plants effectively leaving little to nothing to the other species. These other herbivores need to find some other plant to eat, some other source of food, to survive. Its how nature works and its how market works too.

Also, if you can't outdo something, you compete with price. If you can't compete with price, you differentiate your product -> go for a different niche.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  User Deleted
11/10/12 2:08:48 PM#46
Originally posted by Deathenger
If a company could do exactly what EvE has done except in a traditional fantasy setting , everything else would pretty much be blown out of the water.

Im talking.about the entire game. Combat depth, crafting, market, social, the whole shabang.

 

I dont know what those elements are, care to elaborate on what makes Eve so good?

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5764

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/10/12 2:10:50 PM#47
Originally posted by Zylaxx
Originally posted by Deathenger
If a company could do exactly what EvE has done except in a traditional fantasy setting , everything else would pretty much be blown out of the water.

Im talking.about the entire game. Combat depth, crafting, market, social, the whole shabang.

 

I dont know what those elements are, care to elaborate on what makes Eve so good?

Atleast not combat depth, thats for sure.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Apraxis

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1513

11/10/12 2:12:30 PM#48
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Apraxis

But because a good procedural world generation is a project on its own, a lot of sandboxes handcraft their world, and that is also a lot of first type hard work, and not just the world, the inhabitants, the cities, the landscape in general and almost everything, what is in your world, and with what you can toy around. With other words, all the animation, graphic, art, sound everything not programmed is the first type of  work.. and there is a lot of it. Ok, if you cut a lot of it out, you get what i said before a empty world.

A sandbox isn't just a theme park without quests.

Well.. that is true. But a mmorpg with quests is not a sandbox, just because it have quests. Quests could be in a sandbox, they could even made sandboxlike. The same is more or less true for anything else.

My point is, that you have to deliver a full fleshed out world for a AAA mmorpg. With nations, history and story, sandbox or themepark.. and it doesnt have to do with it.

See it as that. Think about a full world. Where everything would work and evolve even without player(simulation). Nations would wage war. Merchants would trade. Craftsmen would produce stuff and so on. Now make it sandbox. With other words that all elements, or almost all elements are creatable, modifyable, interactable and destroyable. And then let the players in. And the player can now change the world, take the position of any npc, can create a new nation, destroy the old one or what ever they want to do.

Is that a sandbox or not? Of course, it is.

But, for being a game, and not just a sandbox it is better to have a very detailed world. This will the sandbox not stop to be a sandbox, as long as you can change everything in it. But it will become a better game.

And after all, we are talking about sandbox mmorpgs.. with other words sandbox games, and not about Second Life.

The idea about features solely useable for themeparks and sandboxes is ridiculous. Because it is not so much the features which defines something, it is much more how you implement said feature in the world. If this feature can exist in a sandbox world(with other words with changable content) it will fit in very well.

As i said somewhere else, what for me defines a sandbox is

If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

Back to Quests. As example. In some country/city a lot of trees got over the last weeks/month harvested and the landscape becomes to get barren. The npc major(could be a player too) then handles out the Quest, to plant trees and recultivate the landscape. If there are enough trees again around, the quest will disappear.

Or

A wandering ork tribe gets bigger and bigger and attacks different nearby towns. Would it not be rather logically that the lord of the land would hand out a Quest to hund down those orks and protect the nearby towns? After the ork tribe is vanished or banished the quest will disappear.

And so on... there is a lot of things possible in a sandbox mmorpg. And its not about a feature called Quest, it is about how you will implement it. At the same time could be those Quests be created by players for some requests they have to handle. The Quests in itself could be able to be created, modified, interacted and destroyed, to come back to my sandbox definition.

It is rather simple to deliver a empty world, deliver a few sandbox tools, and say the player.. come on, play with it. But that does not make necessarily a good game.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4498

11/10/12 2:40:06 PM#49
Originally posted by Apraxis
If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

 

I tend to agree that this is a core concept and it's what often divides the philosophical approach to MMO design: Do you want to give everyone an opportunity to experience all of your content in an egalitarian fashion or is it a first-come-first-served world?

 

If you can change the world, those coming after you will never see the world as you saw it, they'll see your leftovers. If you kill Harry the ultimate troll boss who wields The Club of Tremendous Smashing, he'll saty dead, you'll get the club and no one else will be able to meet Harry or take his club.

 

I sort of think I want to play in that world and take my chances but I'm in a minority I think. The more changeable a world is the more it tends to become an elite club for early adopters...noobs need not apply 3 months after the game is released...

 

Unless there is a comitment on the part of the devs to continue developing new content just as fast as we consume the old content so that the next guy can meet Harry's other brother Harry who has The Club of Horrible Maiming and this will be every bit as rewarding as what you saw...but in a way, that is just a small distinction from having the original Harry reset for the next player.

 

Same thing with the concept of building a kingdom and becoming the king. I think we all want avoid seeing the world "reset" for the next guy...it does ruin the credibility of the world. But I also think we all want to be the king who eats the main course and not the serf who gets the leftovers.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/10/12 4:29:42 PM#50

They certainly have more of a chance, starting small and quiet, than major titles (from any publisher) are ever given.

Perhaps it's because the expectations aren't quite as massive..

On the other hand, I listen to sandbox players arguing over minutae and sometimes conclude there is no difference.  Any new title, any pubisher, we'll rip them all apart just as a matter of course.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  RefMinor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3547

Hipster

11/10/12 4:52:49 PM#51
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Apraxis
If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

 

I tend to agree that this is a core concept and it's what often divides the philosophical approach to MMO design: Do you want to give everyone an opportunity to experience all of your content in an egalitarian fashion or is it a first-come-first-served world?

 

If you can change the world, those coming after you will never see the world as you saw it, they'll see your leftovers. If you kill Harry the ultimate troll boss who wields The Club of Tremendous Smashing, he'll saty dead, you'll get the club and no one else will be able to meet Harry or take his club.

 

I sort of think I want to play in that world and take my chances but I'm in a minority I think. The more changeable a world is the more it tends to become an elite club for early adopters...noobs need not apply 3 months after the game is released...

 

Unless there is a comitment on the part of the devs to continue developing new content just as fast as we consume the old content so that the next guy can meet Harry's other brother Harry who has The Club of Horrible Maiming and this will be every bit as rewarding as what you saw...but in a way, that is just a small distinction from having the original Harry reset for the next player.

 

Same thing with the concept of building a kingdom and becoming the king. I think we all want avoid seeing the world "reset" for the next guy...it does ruin the credibility of the world. But I also think we all want to be the king who eats the main course and not the serf who gets the leftovers.

I don't think you have played sandboxes, the content is not quests to kill Harry, the content is interactions between the players, killing a troll is just a task to earn cash or gain resource to fund those interactions.

Kingdoms rise and fall, the newer players become part of keeping the kingdom intact or toppling it with their own.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5764

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/10/12 5:50:15 PM#52
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Apraxis
If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

 

I tend to agree that this is a core concept and it's what often divides the philosophical approach to MMO design: Do you want to give everyone an opportunity to experience all of your content in an egalitarian fashion or is it a first-come-first-served world?

 

If you can change the world, those coming after you will never see the world as you saw it, they'll see your leftovers. If you kill Harry the ultimate troll boss who wields The Club of Tremendous Smashing, he'll saty dead, you'll get the club and no one else will be able to meet Harry or take his club.

 

I sort of think I want to play in that world and take my chances but I'm in a minority I think. The more changeable a world is the more it tends to become an elite club for early adopters...noobs need not apply 3 months after the game is released...

 

Unless there is a comitment on the part of the devs to continue developing new content just as fast as we consume the old content so that the next guy can meet Harry's other brother Harry who has The Club of Horrible Maiming and this will be every bit as rewarding as what you saw...but in a way, that is just a small distinction from having the original Harry reset for the next player.

 

Same thing with the concept of building a kingdom and becoming the king. I think we all want avoid seeing the world "reset" for the next guy...it does ruin the credibility of the world. But I also think we all want to be the king who eats the main course and not the serf who gets the leftovers.

I don't think you have played sandboxes, the content is not quests to kill Harry, the content is interactions between the players, killing a troll is just a task to earn cash or gain resource to fund those interactions.

Kingdoms rise and fall, the newer players become part of keeping the kingdom intact or toppling it with their own.

I... think you should re-read his post.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  RefMinor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3547

Hipster

11/10/12 6:12:48 PM#53
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Apraxis
If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

 

I tend to agree that this is a core concept and it's what often divides the philosophical approach to MMO design: Do you want to give everyone an opportunity to experience all of your content in an egalitarian fashion or is it a first-come-first-served world?

 

If you can change the world, those coming after you will never see the world as you saw it, they'll see your leftovers. If you kill Harry the ultimate troll boss who wields The Club of Tremendous Smashing, he'll saty dead, you'll get the club and no one else will be able to meet Harry or take his club.

 

I sort of think I want to play in that world and take my chances but I'm in a minority I think. The more changeable a world is the more it tends to become an elite club for early adopters...noobs need not apply 3 months after the game is released...

 

Unless there is a comitment on the part of the devs to continue developing new content just as fast as we consume the old content so that the next guy can meet Harry's other brother Harry who has The Club of Horrible Maiming and this will be every bit as rewarding as what you saw...but in a way, that is just a small distinction from having the original Harry reset for the next player.

 

Same thing with the concept of building a kingdom and becoming the king. I think we all want avoid seeing the world "reset" for the next guy...it does ruin the credibility of the world. But I also think we all want to be the king who eats the main course and not the serf who gets the leftovers.

I don't think you have played sandboxes, the content is not quests to kill Harry, the content is interactions between the players, killing a troll is just a task to earn cash or gain resource to fund those interactions.

Kingdoms rise and fall, the newer players become part of keeping the kingdom intact or toppling it with their own.

I... think you should re-read his post.

I have... And my post stands as is.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4498

11/10/12 8:08:31 PM#54
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by Apraxis
If you can create, modify, interact and destroy persistent objects in a persistent world. And ideally every object would behave like that. But that is of course not possible, or at least rather hard to do. No only the amount of it.

 

I tend to agree that this is a core concept and it's what often divides the philosophical approach to MMO design: Do you want to give everyone an opportunity to experience all of your content in an egalitarian fashion or is it a first-come-first-served world?

 

If you can change the world, those coming after you will never see the world as you saw it, they'll see your leftovers. If you kill Harry the ultimate troll boss who wields The Club of Tremendous Smashing, he'll saty dead, you'll get the club and no one else will be able to meet Harry or take his club.

 

I sort of think I want to play in that world and take my chances but I'm in a minority I think. The more changeable a world is the more it tends to become an elite club for early adopters...noobs need not apply 3 months after the game is released...

 

Unless there is a comitment on the part of the devs to continue developing new content just as fast as we consume the old content so that the next guy can meet Harry's other brother Harry who has The Club of Horrible Maiming and this will be every bit as rewarding as what you saw...but in a way, that is just a small distinction from having the original Harry reset for the next player.

 

Same thing with the concept of building a kingdom and becoming the king. I think we all want avoid seeing the world "reset" for the next guy...it does ruin the credibility of the world. But I also think we all want to be the king who eats the main course and not the serf who gets the leftovers.

I don't think you have played sandboxes, the content is not quests to kill Harry, the content is interactions between the players, killing a troll is just a task to earn cash or gain resource to fund those interactions.

Kingdoms rise and fall, the newer players become part of keeping the kingdom intact or toppling it with their own.

You're missing the point. It's not about questing. Harry and his club is just a simple example. Substitute that for building your castle in the best castle-building site or being the first to find "the item of ultimate rareness" or the first to discover the conveniently-located mine with buckets of gold...whatever. If the guy that comes behind you can't do the same thing you just did, you have a huge advantage by getting there first.

 

Yeah it's all about interactions between the players... and the ones who got there first have the upper hand. It ain't exactly an even playing field when people start at different times. I'm assuming you have ffa PVP with full realistic looting in your ideal sandbox... give me a one week headstart and then come take my stuff. It should be fun.

 

 

  BeefMach1ne

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 32

11/10/12 10:18:34 PM#55

Man if I see one more person say sandbox = FFA PVP + Full loot etc. I'm gonna go insane ( not really but, cmon already!)

There is a way to make a sandbox for the carebears too! You guys can be safe and cuddle with your items at night and it can still be sandbox!

I'd like to see a game without NPC's at all..  Or more realistic dynamic NPC's  to fill in until players  take over.   That means.. all shops , banks, trade posts, auction house, quests , etc.  will be handeled by players.  

 

So the crafter says "Wow I need like 20 dragons teeth so I can craft this sword of dragon's flame, Well let me create a quest for it".   The "Hunter" looks on the town quest board and sees the crafters quest... the reward looks very good.. he takes the contract and now he is the only one( or his guild / group which he can choose to split the rewards with) who can complete it unless the contract is broken. 

 

Quest's will become meaningful... ( You actually are helping someone else out in the game world. Making a real impact depending on the nature of the quest quest as well).

 

Crafters don't just make litttle trinkets. They supply the fighters with all the gear that they need to do  in battle ( no npc shops remember) Gone will be the days of equipment dropping instead materials drop and you have to hand them over to a crafter to get that sword made.  Crafters can specialize in different areas ( think  Architects , metal workers, wood workers etc).

Become well known in a certain player created town? Have you been helpful to many people? Maybe they get together and craft a statue in your image and erect it in the heart of the town? 

 

None of this cool sandbox stuff requires PVP, Full loot, or any of the other stuff people cry about when they hear the word sandbox. 

 

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

11/10/12 10:54:35 PM#56
Originally posted by BeefMach1ne

Man if I see one more person say sandbox = FFA PVP + Full loot etc. I'm gonna go insane ( not really but, cmon already!)

There is a way to make a sandbox for the carebears too! You guys can be safe and cuddle with your items at night and it can still be sandbox!

I'd like to see a game without NPC's at all..  Or more realistic dynamic NPC's  to fill in until players  take over.   That means.. all shops , banks, trade posts, auction house, quests , etc.  will be handeled by players.  

 

So the crafter says "Wow I need like 20 dragons teeth so I can craft this sword of dragon's flame, Well let me create a quest for it".   The "Hunter" looks on the town quest board and sees the crafters quest... the reward looks very good.. he takes the contract and now he is the only one( or his guild / group which he can choose to split the rewards with) who can complete it unless the contract is broken. 

 

Quest's will become meaningful... ( You actually are helping someone else out in the game world. Making a real impact depending on the nature of the quest quest as well).

 

Crafters don't just make litttle trinkets. They supply the fighters with all the gear that they need to do  in battle ( no npc shops remember) Gone will be the days of equipment dropping instead materials drop and you have to hand them over to a crafter to get that sword made.  Crafters can specialize in different areas ( think  Architects , metal workers, wood workers etc).

Become well known in a certain player created town? Have you been helpful to many people? Maybe they get together and craft a statue in your image and erect it in the heart of the town? 

 

None of this cool sandbox stuff requires PVP, Full loot, or any of the other stuff people cry about when they hear the word sandbox. 

 

THis is what ive been telling the masses of misinformed for years lol. Stupid misconceptions by people that have no clue is what harms sandboxes. Well that and the kiddies want console rpg's as mmo's :/

Many sandbox games i have played i never needed or was forced into pvp. Only by choice, the true meaning of sandbox - freedom, choice, social, and enjoyment. Dont see why so many are against a true sandbox, unless they have no clue what it is and heard sandboxes are only ffa full loot pvp all the time.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 4498

11/11/12 2:39:05 AM#57
Originally posted by Onomas
Originally posted by BeefMach1ne

Man if I see one more person say sandbox = FFA PVP + Full loot etc. I'm gonna go insane ( not really but, cmon already!)

There is a way to make a sandbox for the carebears too! You guys can be safe and cuddle with your items at night and it can still be sandbox!

I'd like to see a game without NPC's at all..  Or more realistic dynamic NPC's  to fill in until players  take over.   That means.. all shops , banks, trade posts, auction house, quests , etc.  will be handeled by players.  

 

So the crafter says "Wow I need like 20 dragons teeth so I can craft this sword of dragon's flame, Well let me create a quest for it".   The "Hunter" looks on the town quest board and sees the crafters quest... the reward looks very good.. he takes the contract and now he is the only one( or his guild / group which he can choose to split the rewards with) who can complete it unless the contract is broken. 

 

Quest's will become meaningful... ( You actually are helping someone else out in the game world. Making a real impact depending on the nature of the quest quest as well).

 

Crafters don't just make litttle trinkets. They supply the fighters with all the gear that they need to do  in battle ( no npc shops remember) Gone will be the days of equipment dropping instead materials drop and you have to hand them over to a crafter to get that sword made.  Crafters can specialize in different areas ( think  Architects , metal workers, wood workers etc).

Become well known in a certain player created town? Have you been helpful to many people? Maybe they get together and craft a statue in your image and erect it in the heart of the town? 

 

None of this cool sandbox stuff requires PVP, Full loot, or any of the other stuff people cry about when they hear the word sandbox. 

 

...the true meaning of sandbox - freedom, choice, social, and enjoyment. Dont see why so many are against a true sandbox, unless they have no clue what it is and heard sandboxes are only ffa full loot pvp all the time.

You forgot happiness, world peace and the end of global warming. The problem is that neither you nor I nor any one else has the same exact definition of "sandbox." Everyone sprinkles the definition with their own favorite features and deletes the ones they don't want.

 

For example, mine must include ffa PvP because it's my choice to have the freedom to gank you and that is how I and my guild mates socialize... and we enjoy it...I'm only exagerating a little bit but maybe you get my point?

 

FFA PVP MMOs may not be a requirement for a game to be certified "sandbox" (or is it annointed? I forget) but they certainly have more freedom of action possible. The ones with sheltered no PVP areas or "flagging"... or other artificial prohibited actions or restricted zones, are the ones that are more limiting, i.e. less open, more "on rails" less sandboxy... or do you want to dispute that point too?

 

There is no "true defintiion" of sandbox that I buy as the last word on the subject. I just see a lot of would be game designers imposing their ideal ruleset and calling it "sandbox."

 

Ideally a sandbox MMO just gives us a simulation of a (fantasy, scifi, western... wahetver) world that is so complex, complete and well thought out, that it will respond realisticaly to what we choose to do in there. Interesting things would happen there not because they're pre-conceived but through "emergent gameplay" as a consequence of our interaction with the realistic simulator... or so we hope. It's just as likely that a lot of boring stuff would happen instead.

 

This is the Holy Grail of MMOs but people love to throw the term around as if it had already happened in their favorite MMO...it hasn't. Some MMOs are more open ended than others but none of them has ever been a "true sandbox"... not by my definition anyways. No one is that good at simulating a complex world... yet.

  jpnz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

11/11/12 3:19:32 AM#58
Originally posted by Iselin
 

/snip

This is the Holy Grail of MMOs but people love to throw the term around as if it had already happened in their favorite MMO...it hasn't. Some MMOs are more open ended than others but none of them has ever been a "true sandbox"... not by my definition anyways. No one is that good at simulating a complex world... yet.

This post is amusing as it shows how game developers have no issue on the word 'sandbox' while the rest of the gaming culture does.

From a game-dev point of view, 'sandbox' means a way of thinking. This is why 'sandbox features' does not make sense to them.

Marketing / PR have used the word 'sandbox' and 'open-world' together and tried to merge them, but from a game design point of view, there is a clear definiton on both words and they are different to each other.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Calerxes

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/06/09
Posts: 1660

11/11/12 9:31:40 AM#59

I agree with the idea that many an MMO fan doesn't really understand the terms Themepark and Sandbox in their purest terms, most MMO fans who are tired of modern MMO's want open world, complex systems (interdependency, control over portions of the world, more freedom etc..) deep gameplay, which is not the preserve of the Sandbox but just game systems that can be applied to any MMORPG. If you move to far towards the extremes the pure end of these two concepts you start to lose the modern disgruntled MMO player. Pure Sandboxes are just games with tools to create what you want ie Wurm, Minecraft, Xsyon how far they succeed in allowing you to do anything and everything is how close they get to being pure sanboxes. Pure Themeparks are obviously the complete opposite of that and have a highly guided, restrictive gameplay experience that is finite as there are no systems to facillitate the freedom & complexity needed to make these games have longevity like Sandboxes, these games are of course the big budget MMO's we see today WOW (WOTLK era onwards), SW:TOR, GW2 etc.. 

 

What is needed is a mixture of both and the closest I think to this is Vanguard, it has deep complex systems in adventuring, Diplomacy, Crafting, Faction systems, freedom to basically go where you want, a huge world to play in, interesting lore and stories, boat/ship building, Housing, old school rpg stat progression, and they had other things that never made it into the game like Guild warfare and Guild towns so you could own a piece of Telon. This is a massive amount of systems and content, no wonder it was nowhere near complete at launch but it has longevity, freedom and complexity that modern Themeparks lack but doesn't fall into the trap of feeling like a world simulation and having FFA PVP, its still a game at its heart but doesn't remind you of that at every step. You can immerse yourself in the world because you don't know whats around the next corner, its has dangers and feels like an adventure when you log in, the posibilities though not endless are far off in the distance.

 

So for me its about building a world that allows a good sense of freedom to be who you want and where you go without guiding you at every turn, systems that allow freedom as in graded crafting like SWG & Vanguard & viable alternatives to combat, interderpendency to facilliate good social bonds, original systems like Creature Handling/Taming, Diplomacy, collections, housing, freedom to customise you character in looks, skills and stats, at its heart it is about multiple ways to grow you character rather than a treadmill of combat and gear (cosmetic or stat lead). Some of these things are easy to implement like collections, creature taming & pet systems but add a layer of immersion and longevity to a game. Though the underlying thing for me its has to be set in a believable world with lore and stories, facilitated by quests, tasks and jobs, to be discovered and made by its inhabitants.

 

None of what I have said is exclusive to Sandbox or Themepark its just a slinding scale as how far you go one way or the other, Sandpark or Themebox as you will. At the end of the day many disgruntled MMO'ers IMO just want a world full of freedom, longevity & possiblity with the sense of not knowing whats a head of them, in modern AAA MMO's this is not happening its all predictable and shortlived.

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.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/11/12 9:55:56 AM#60
Originally posted by jpnz

This post is amusing as it shows how game developers have no issue on the word 'sandbox' while the rest of the gaming culture does.

From a game-dev point of view, 'sandbox' means a way of thinking. This is why 'sandbox features' does not make sense to them.

Marketing / PR have used the word 'sandbox' and 'open-world' together and tried to merge them, but from a game design point of view, there is a clear definiton on both words and they are different to each other.

Well, to be fair, game developers don't have time for the type of sophistry and pedantry we routinely waste our time doing.

After all, we're mmo players, on a forum...free time is what we're best at burning, as that combination implies.  Finely splitting every hair to molecular thickness :)

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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