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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do Sandboxes Overwhelm You With Choices?

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135 posts found
  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3740

RIP City of Heroes!

5/03/13 12:07:30 PM#41
Originally posted by Phry
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Dahkoht
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by veritas723

One of the greatest strengths of a good sandbox MMO  is the freedom to have fun doing nothing,  that's the one choice I always wish a lot of other mmos had.  

Doing nothing is not fun for me. Given the prevalence of combat centric games, i doubt many would find it fun to do nothing.

 

 

Minecraft would like a word with you, it's sold a few copies.


 

 

1) Minecraft is not about doing nothing .. it is about building stuff.

2) Minecraft is not fun for me. Selling a lot of copies has nothing to do with whether it is fun for me. I didn't buy a copy, did i?

over 20 million copies aparently, thats kind of impressive for an indie developer working from a garage

it is a great sandbox game, and yes, i do have a copy

 WOW sold a ton of copies.  How would you say that game is based on sales numbers?  Do you apply the same rules?

  Onomas

Novice Member

Joined: 7/05/11
Posts: 1160

Sandbox is your only hope for a decent mmo ;)

5/03/13 12:08:45 PM#42

No thats a silly question. More choices = more options and casual game play. Not being forced to do one thing here or there but take your time and do multiple things. To go off on a mission and decide to take a detore to go explore a mountain pass or a cave, to just stop and start gathering materials and craft on the spot for a passer-by player, to skip your story all together and venture off on your own path and make your own future......................

 

No, simply no.................. one of the things that bug me about the newer games the most, they take your choice out of the equation just so you can have a 3 week long cool story that dries up and the game dies.

Who doesnt want more options and choices? Not any real mmorpg gamer, perhaps the fps and console rpg gamers would like less.

  TsaboHavoc

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/11
Posts: 340

5/03/13 12:19:31 PM#43
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Axehilt

Nobody who played Glitch would claim the game "overwhelmed" them with choices.  "Empty" and "nothing to do" would be the words they would use.

You can't create an empty world with nothing to do and expect players to like it just because you slap a "sandbox!" sticker on the box.

So sandboxes underwhelm me with lack of choice.  I want a game filled with interesting possibilities, and they simply provide some terrain (or star systems) to move through very slowly and whatever tools they provide for me to manipulate that world are typically dull (if not outright tedious.)

Which isn't to say sandbox is a bad idea.  Just that you have to approach it more like Terraria or ATITD or Puzzle Pirates, where the world is manipulatable and that's what makes it a sandbox, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is enjoyable: it's a game.

There is no sandbox where choice overwhelms currently.  If you took Terraria and added 20 features which were all available from the beginning of the game, you would have a sandbox where choice is overwhelming.  But too much choice isn't the typical sandbox problem.  The typical sandbox problem is they're empty.  If there's barely any game, there's barely any choice.

 This.  Sandbox idea is great.  In practice there really are very few meaningfull choices.  It comes down to a few tasks repeated thousands of times.  Very few gameplay options.

 

am i the only one seeing the irony here....

 

u just described a ... them..p..a.. urg..

  MMOman101

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/05/08
Posts: 1212

5/03/13 12:33:42 PM#44

I have not seen anyone come right out and say it, although many have hinted at it.

Choice is not the problem.  The problem is context.  Many games have a hard time setting a context.  Choice without context is not fun, for many I would guess.

SWG had built in context.  It was a well known IP with a lot of lore.  It also had many "theme park" elements. 

The next big MMO will be a hybrid.  Something that gives multiple layers and options for player progression and packs it all in an enviornment with context.  The game has to be fun too. 

I have always felt SWG was a hybrid. 

What would be nice though is if someone would come to conclusion that sandbox does not have to equal PVP and certianly does not have to equal full loot PVP.  So many of the sandbox games out there try yo use PVP as copntext.  The problem is that is not enough, for many gamers.

Games will need to have mulitple layers of progression in as many different spheres as possible if they want to hold large sub numbers for a very long time.  Giving players many things to do does not have to mean that there is no context.  

  Jaedor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 961

5/03/13 12:37:35 PM#45


Originally posted by AlBQuirky
Kind of...

It can be daunting not knowing what a game "allows", what to expect, and not have any real direction. Sometimes, it is nice to have a nice gentle push in a direction to get started.

Once the feel of the game is figured out, then the many choices are welcome.

Does that makes sense?


Exactly this.

  User Deleted
5/03/13 1:08:48 PM#46
Originally posted by MMOman101

I have not seen anyone come right out and say it, although many have hinted at it.

Choice is not the problem.  The problem is context.  Many games have a hard time setting a context.  Choice without context is not fun, for many I would guess.

SWG had built in context.  It was a well known IP with a lot of lore.  It also had many "theme park" elements. 

The next big MMO will be a hybrid.  Something that gives multiple layers and options for player progression and packs it all in an enviornment with context.  The game has to be fun too. 

I have always felt SWG was a hybrid. 

What would be nice though is if someone would come to conclusion that sandbox does not have to equal PVP and certianly does not have to equal full loot PVP.  So many of the sandbox games out there try yo use PVP as copntext.  The problem is that is not enough, for many gamers.

Games will need to have mulitple layers of progression in as many different spheres as possible if they want to hold large sub numbers for a very long time.  Giving players many things to do does not have to mean that there is no context.  

I agree with much of your post.  I also think the key of a sandbox MMO is to show new players what they can do.  Right now a large part of the MMO community has never played a Sandbox MMO.  Many players will be lost when it comes to these games, so it will be on the shoulders of the old school MMO players like myself (I have played UO for 4 years, SWG for 2) that have Sandbox MMO experiance to teach the new players about these games.  

  DAS1337

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/28/07
Posts: 2382

5/03/13 1:15:23 PM#47
Originally posted by lizardbones

Yet another interesting discussion over at Massively.com, but they don't have a forum format for the interactive experience you can get here.

Do Sandboxes Overwhelm You?

To Summarize:
Sandboxes offer a lot of choice, and often they have very little direction on what to do. Does the lack of direction and number of possible directions to go overwhelm you?

This is a simple question, but I expect the answers aren't so simple.

If I can think of a good set of poll choices, I'll add a poll. That is assuming we can avoid getting the thread locked by descending into a sandbox vs theme park argument.

I know overwhelming is different than just not being whelmed at all.  The last time I felt remotely overwhelmed by a sandbox game was Ultima Online.

  User Deleted
5/03/13 1:21:17 PM#48
Originally posted by DAS1337
Originally posted by lizardbones

Yet another interesting discussion over at Massively.com, but they don't have a forum format for the interactive experience you can get here.

Do Sandboxes Overwhelm You?

To Summarize:
Sandboxes offer a lot of choice, and often they have very little direction on what to do. Does the lack of direction and number of possible directions to go overwhelm you?

This is a simple question, but I expect the answers aren't so simple.

If I can think of a good set of poll choices, I'll add a poll. That is assuming we can avoid getting the thread locked by descending into a sandbox vs theme park argument.

I know overwhelming is different than just not being whelmed at all.  The last time I felt remotely overwhelmed by a sandbox game was Ultima Online.

I hope in EQNEXT or TITAN they will have sandbox elements like UO did.  I loved Teasure Hunting.  That was something I use to enjoy doing for hours.  Not the type of THunting you go to a rune lib and port to the Tspot but to get on a ship and locate it with a sextant.  lol

  Wakygreek

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 4/30/08
Posts: 1244

Reason is a necessity

5/03/13 1:23:53 PM#49
I would rather have the choice and not use it then to not have the choice and wish it was there.
  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3288

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

5/03/13 2:07:25 PM#50


Originally posted by Wakygreek
I would rather have the choice and not use it then to not have the choice and wish it was there.

Exactly my thoughts on that! Let *me* decide instead of deciding for me :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2326

5/03/13 3:21:29 PM#51

Often, no, because the choices presented are clear enough that I can understand what they mean and if it is something I would enjoy. However, sometimes such choices have no clear presentation nor a tutorial or willing player to guide me. If I have to go too far out of my way to learn what they mean then the game isn't doing a very good job with those choices.

There isn't such a thing as too many choices for me but too many bad choices can be viewed as very few good choices. Still though, deciding on a choice that I both like and that works more effectively in a playstyle or is less ideal to present a greater challenge, is it own meta game. Such an example would be the opportunity to create your own character build when choosing from a large list of skills. If 20% of the skills are broken and 60% are clearly not as good as the rest would be a bad use of adding more choices. But that is getting a bit off topic...

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

"blocked nariusseldon since forever"

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/03/13 3:55:12 PM#52

As much as I like to point to Minecraft as an alternative path MMOs could have gone down, I think it does demonstrate the disconnect that can happen between what is possible and what people actually end up doing.  There are some spectacular projects that people have undertaken, but I suspect that most players just putter around for a while before getting bored.

The problem is in positive reinforcement: do a task, get a cookie.  In sandboxes, the positive reinforcement usually comes in the harvesting mechanics rather than the quest mechanics (swing pick, get stone).  When people start getting creative, the drive is self-motived.  It's not that there are too many choices, it's that people find themselves missing the reward cookies.

I feel the solution is to have more structure in the sandbox: in addition to raw freedom, offer some quest-like content, such as randomly-generated challenges or tiers of more complex crafting.  If you look at successful sandboxes such as EvE, you can see that these sorts of things are present ( missions, manufacturing ), but I think there's still a lot of room for improvement.

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4850

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

5/03/13 4:33:13 PM#53
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Axehilt

Nobody who played Glitch would claim the game "overwhelmed" them with choices.  "Empty" and "nothing to do" would be the words they would use.

You can't create an empty world with nothing to do and expect players to like it just because you slap a "sandbox!" sticker on the box.

So sandboxes underwhelm me with lack of choice.  I want a game filled with interesting possibilities, and they simply provide some terrain (or star systems) to move through very slowly and whatever tools they provide for me to manipulate that world are typically dull (if not outright tedious.)

Which isn't to say sandbox is a bad idea.  Just that you have to approach it more like Terraria or ATITD or Puzzle Pirates, where the world is manipulatable and that's what makes it a sandbox, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is enjoyable: it's a game.

There is no sandbox where choice overwhelms currently.  If you took Terraria and added 20 features which were all available from the beginning of the game, you would have a sandbox where choice is overwhelming.  But too much choice isn't the typical sandbox problem.  The typical sandbox problem is they're empty.  If there's barely any game, there's barely any choice.

 This.  Sandbox idea is great.  In practice there really are very few meaningfull choices.  It comes down to a few tasks repeated thousands of times.  Very few gameplay options.

 

am i the only one seeing the irony here....

 

u just described a ... them..p..a.. urg..

 Thats the way it should be, but isn't today.  Compare WoW and Ryzom.  Ryzom had dozens of crafting and fighting skills, but in actuality you are doing the exact same thing for each of them which translates into 2 gameplay activities copied dozens of times.

Wow has several styles for each character (some of which have very different styles, e.g druid) and several different types of characters all with the own gameplay.  It also has several different crafting abilities that are all very different from each other.

So in effect WoW has more gameplay options than Ryzom, even if you don't count the individual ways of leveling.

Constantly repeated tasks is more end-game which is lame as well.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Torik

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

5/03/13 4:40:30 PM#54
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Axehilt

Nobody who played Glitch would claim the game "overwhelmed" them with choices.  "Empty" and "nothing to do" would be the words they would use.

You can't create an empty world with nothing to do and expect players to like it just because you slap a "sandbox!" sticker on the box.

So sandboxes underwhelm me with lack of choice.  I want a game filled with interesting possibilities, and they simply provide some terrain (or star systems) to move through very slowly and whatever tools they provide for me to manipulate that world are typically dull (if not outright tedious.)

Which isn't to say sandbox is a bad idea.  Just that you have to approach it more like Terraria or ATITD or Puzzle Pirates, where the world is manipulatable and that's what makes it a sandbox, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is enjoyable: it's a game.

There is no sandbox where choice overwhelms currently.  If you took Terraria and added 20 features which were all available from the beginning of the game, you would have a sandbox where choice is overwhelming.  But too much choice isn't the typical sandbox problem.  The typical sandbox problem is they're empty.  If there's barely any game, there's barely any choice.

 This.  Sandbox idea is great.  In practice there really are very few meaningfull choices.  It comes down to a few tasks repeated thousands of times.  Very few gameplay options.

 

am i the only one seeing the irony here....

 

u just described a ... them..p..a.. urg..

You just pointed out the reason why themeparks can feel more 'sandboxy' then some of the games specifically designated as sandboxes.

  Torik

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

5/03/13 4:44:06 PM#55
Originally posted by Phry

Its not that sandbox games like Eve overwhelm players with choices, as such, its just that so many games now are so linear that players are used to having a few choices about their path, but no matter which one, there is a clear path to follow that leads to a set destination, and with very little in the way of variation in the points between them. Players coming to Eve for instance, from World of Warcraft probably think things are very slow in Eve because they think in Eve, that character progression is related to the skills they have, and that everything in the game is trying to kill them, especially other players... which is sort of true, but not really

Sandboxes and Themeparks are like wild horses and merry-go-rounds

I actually came to WoW from EVE and loved the game because it had so much more variation than EVE.  EVE focuses its choices in areas that I do not find appealing so it actually has very few viable paths for me.  Thus WoW provided me with more gameplay paths.

  nariusseldon

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Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20139

5/03/13 5:54:39 PM#56
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by Wakygreek
I would rather have the choice and not use it then to not have the choice and wish it was there.


Exactly my thoughts on that! Let *me* decide instead of deciding for me :)

 

Deciding on a bunch of uninteresting choices is not fun for me.

 

  Cecropia

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Joined: 3/06/09
Posts: 3285

Poacher killer.

5/03/13 6:04:08 PM#57
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by AlBQuirky

 


Originally posted by Wakygreek
I would rather have the choice and not use it then to not have the choice and wish it was there.


Exactly my thoughts on that! Let *me* decide instead of deciding for me :)

 

Deciding on a bunch of uninteresting choices is not fun for me.

 

That wouldn't be fun for anyone, obviously. Having lots of interesting choices to make is a lot of fun for people looking for more than a whack-a-mole experience.

 

 

 

 

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  crasset15

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Joined: 12/12/12
Posts: 176

5/03/13 6:27:43 PM#58

Generally I'm not annoyed at all by having a million choices in an MMO. I'll just pick one that sounds fun and do it.

What does annoy me however, is when games start shoving tasks in your face which you didn't ask for, or desperately try to direct you in an open environment. Most MMOs don't do this, but games like skyrim do and it annoys me a lot.

- you hear a rumour in whiterun without talking to anyone, about some dark brotherhood kid, it gets added to your task list.

- you enter the bar in whiterun, you get a task for drinking contest, whether you accept it or not.

- you enter markarth, you see a murder, and without asking for it, another quest gets added to your journal.

- hear another rumour about some museum in dawnstar, another task.

- pick up an unusual gem, another task which you didn't ask for.

- some guy mentions something about companions, you get a task to go talk to them.

- you read a book about red eagle and get a task to find his sword, without any chance to decline it.

This list goes on and on. Bethesda must be paranoid about people missing a piece of content.

This kind of thing overwhelms me. I managed to collect nearly 20 different tasks, none of which I agreed to take, while trying to do just the main quest. Maybe it is a problem with me. I don't like having 20 different tasks in my journal at the same time. It becomes a chore to get rid of them.

  Quirhid

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Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

5/03/13 6:28:35 PM#59

Like many have already said, its not that I've ever been overwhelmed with choices but rather I haven't found any interesting ones.

I also would like to point out that often sandbox fans exaggerate the number of choices and possiblities when reality is usually very crude and clumsy. I have enjoyed plenty of sandboxes outside of the MMO sphere, but MMO sandboxes have left me quite cold. Generally, they are just bad - as games and as sandboxes.

You can do pretty much anything in any game, but what matters is:

  • Is it interesting?
  • Is it fun?
  • Is it viable?

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

  Squeak69

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Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 972

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

5/03/13 6:30:33 PM#60
Originally posted by Torik
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
Originally posted by Axehilt

Nobody who played Glitch would claim the game "overwhelmed" them with choices.  "Empty" and "nothing to do" would be the words they would use.

You can't create an empty world with nothing to do and expect players to like it just because you slap a "sandbox!" sticker on the box.

So sandboxes underwhelm me with lack of choice.  I want a game filled with interesting possibilities, and they simply provide some terrain (or star systems) to move through very slowly and whatever tools they provide for me to manipulate that world are typically dull (if not outright tedious.)

Which isn't to say sandbox is a bad idea.  Just that you have to approach it more like Terraria or ATITD or Puzzle Pirates, where the world is manipulatable and that's what makes it a sandbox, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is enjoyable: it's a game.

There is no sandbox where choice overwhelms currently.  If you took Terraria and added 20 features which were all available from the beginning of the game, you would have a sandbox where choice is overwhelming.  But too much choice isn't the typical sandbox problem.  The typical sandbox problem is they're empty.  If there's barely any game, there's barely any choice.

 This.  Sandbox idea is great.  In practice there really are very few meaningfull choices.  It comes down to a few tasks repeated thousands of times.  Very few gameplay options.

 

am i the only one seeing the irony here....

 

u just described a ... them..p..a.. urg..

You just pointed out the reason why themeparks can feel more 'sandboxy' then some of the games specifically designated as sandboxes.

why is he talking so slow, oh wait you must be like a tourist or something who thinks talking slower will make you saying it wrong make more ence.

anyway, i reallity theme park often give the exact same amount of choices that a sand box dose, it just also give a story you can follow to.

lets review, what peple claim a sand box should be is.

ability to roam anywhere freely ( open world)

crafting

player based economy ( no matter how messed up)

buil;ding ( ok this is one i think is required in sandbox for some reason other dont agree)

hmmmm looking at this list and i know ill get hanged for this, dousnt that descibe WoW minus the building aspect.

just saying alot of those "theme park" MMOs you can do this stuff in, heck i tend to do most of this stuff in them, my faverite kind of MMO is one that has both good story elements and sand boxy style game play o the side.

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

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