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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Sandbox vs Themepark Discussion Thread

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470 posts found
  Bladestrom

Elite Member

Joined: 4/04/11
Posts: 3362

8/26/11 4:24:26 PM#101
Originally posted by Lucioon

We the gamer was the ones that started labeling the MMO as an Sandbox or Themepark. Before the labeling it was just MMO

Lets get back to it being just an MMO, mix both features however you want, I believe we just want a game that caters to most if not all players and provide us with a living, breathing virtual world that we can call home for a few hours a day without any worries. And having the ability to act out our murderous rage by killing virtual bunnies or ogres without having to go to jail.

So go and find those funds that you need, and lets do it !!!!

mm ok, you may want to read though the thread perhaps :)

rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW (1000 hrs on main mage)> oblivion > LOTR (480 Hunter) > Rift (230 hours mage) > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(900 elementalist), Wildstar

Now playing GW2, AOW 3

  pharazonic

Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/11
Posts: 900

8/27/11 4:12:34 AM#102
Originally posted by Lucioon

Lets get back to it being just an MMO, mix both features however you want, I believe we just want a game that caters to most if not all players and provide us with a living, breathing virtual world that we can call home for a few hours a day without any worries. And having the ability to act out our murderous rage by killing virtual bunnies or ogres without having to go to jail.

So go and find those funds that you need, and lets do it !!!!

LOL, I had to double check if I made this post - these are exactly my thoughts! I think the truly next gen MMO will have these features.

"Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."

I need to take this advice more.

  malackbar

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/11
Posts: 7

8/29/11 9:16:19 AM#103

I'm a sandbox all the way type of gamer.  I do love having the option of doing a theme park if I want to, but I think that most theme parks are conected to more group play, and I am biased against group play.  I would love to see more attension payed to creating a solo theme park in our MMO's.

  ArcaSpiff

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/07
Posts: 99

9/06/11 5:24:40 AM#104

an interesting spin on the sandbox vs themepark discussion. http://www.roboawesome.com/?p=19663

  SpottyGekko

Elite Member

Joined: 9/26/04
Posts: 2940

9/19/11 4:15:47 PM#105

I believe that sandbox-gameplay only appeals to a niche audience, but as the total audience for MMO's is continually growing, so does the size of the niche that would potentially play sandbox-games. At some point, some developer will throw real money and effort at a sandbox title.

CCP's World of Darkness MMO might be the catalyst that's needed to start the new trend.

  ThomasN7

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6656

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

9/19/11 4:20:21 PM#106

I can deal with theme park games as long as they are fun but the genre needs a great sandbox mmo. It is pretyt great to be able to do what you wan tin a game rather than npcs telling me where to go.

  Gylfi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/06
Posts: 681

9/26/11 2:31:48 PM#107

 

i doubt mixing is possible. Elements from one type will steal content from the other one.

For example if there's quests then you don't need to explore, cause they tell you where to go, quests also give you money and weapon, so you don't need to craft and trade. Quests also tell you about lore and the history of the place, so you don't need to perouse, i dunno, books in libraries, or search for clues around the gameworld. And so on they take freedom away from you and the -you're the artifex of your own history- feel just vanishes.

Unless at the beginning of the game you can choose what "version" you want to play, the one with a story you have to follow or the one where you're on your own, i doubt the two things go well together.

  Gylfi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/06/06
Posts: 681

9/26/11 2:36:00 PM#108
Originally posted by malackbar

I'm a sandbox all the way type of gamer.  I do love having the option of doing a theme park if I want to, but I think that most theme parks are conected to more group play, and I am biased against group play.  I would love to see more attension payed to creating a solo theme park in our MMO's.

meh grouping is fine, socializing and co-operating etc. But as long as it's your own choice and the group has to discuss and agree on what to do, not fixated objectives decided by some bozo.

  Bhazir

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/04
Posts: 321

9/27/11 3:36:31 AM#109
Originally posted by Gylfi

 

i doubt mixing is possible. Elements from one type will steal content from the other one.

For example if there's quests then you don't need to explore, cause they tell you where to go, quests also give you money and weapon, so you don't need to craft and trade. Quests also tell you about lore and the history of the place, so you don't need to perouse, i dunno, books in libraries, or search for clues around the gameworld. And so on they take freedom away from you and the -you're the artifex of your own history- feel just vanishes.

Unless at the beginning of the game you can choose what "version" you want to play, the one with a story you have to follow or the one where you're on your own, i doubt the two things go well together.

Sorry, but I disagree with this.

Yes quests can point you to the next town or area appropiate for your level, but still don't cover the whole gaming world. Quests could even be used for incentive to explore, put some questgivers in far away corners that are far away from travelroutes. Couple this with the lore and also add books next to it and you get even more reason to explore for those that are loremonkeys.

The rewards don't always have to be equipement, but just some money. This doesn't take anything away from crafting and would even help the economy as those people that like to run quests/missions can get funds that way to spend on the market to get their equipement that is crafted by other players.

A well crafted questsystem could be implemented in sandbox games to help it grow and make it easier for starters to get into the game without taking away the freedom a sandbox gives you. It would just be another tool provided by the developers.

bhazir Xfire Miniprofile
  Arebuxum

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/11
Posts: 44

10/01/11 1:27:34 PM#110
Originally posted by Phelcher
A lot of nonesense...

Themepark = mmo built upon cheap server technology that requires zones, zone walls & artificial land.

Sandbox = open world design with sophisticated server technology, that offers 360• content.

Themeparks have cheap server technology?  I beg to differ.  We can all agree thst WoW is a themepark, do you think WoW is run off cheap server tecnology?

I also don't think that Sandbox games are are developed using complicated/sophisticated server technology.  Most of the companies developing Sandox-type games are indie companies with very small budgets.  If anything, I would bet that Sandbox games generally are run using sub-par server technology, with the exception of Sandboxes that have been out a while.

Good try but those are two very broad, very wrong defitnitions of what a Sandbox and Themepark is.

  eyelolled

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/13/10
Posts: 3088

I am more than some of my parts

10/01/11 1:41:38 PM#111

I've always been under the impression that a sandbox was the style of game that used more player-driven content. Like a kid in a sandbox, he decides the story and is merely given some "toys" to play with.

Where as a themepark was the style of game where a player had choices of what to do, but the choices were predetermined by the developer. Like a kid at an amusement park, he gets to pick what ride he goes on, but can't change the dynamics of the ride.

 

I don't see how map size makes a difference. Both could have huge maps

I don't see how instancing makes a difference. Both could have instances

I don't see how server/coding quality makes a difference. Both can be great or crap.

All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

  Suraknar

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 813

*Everyone dies, not everyone really fights*

10/04/11 5:08:38 PM#112
Originally posted by eyelolled

I've always been under the impression that a sandbox was the style of game that used more player-driven content. Like a kid in a sandbox, he decides the story and is merely given some "toys" to play with.

Where as a themepark was the style of game where a player had choices of what to do, but the choices were predetermined by the developer. Like a kid at an amusement park, he gets to pick what ride he goes on, but can't change the dynamics of the ride.

 

I don't see how map size makes a difference. Both could have huge maps

I don't see how instancing makes a difference. Both could have instances

I don't see how server/coding quality makes a difference. Both can be great or crap.

I would agree with this, it sumarizes the fundamental differences of the two types of MMO Design very well.

And I would like to add, that a Sanbox game is more prone to create bonds and have a Community spawn inside it made out of the players than a Themepark inherently.

Today we talk about communities of certain themepark games but in reality these do not exist. What exists is a fan Base that roams forums, but inside the game's world there is no community to be found, and it is inhernetly normal. When you go to a Themepark you go there with friends or with familly you all go on the rides and have fun, but none is there to create bonds with all the other people in that themepark.

You are having fun amongs other people not with other people.

And to me, an MMO or MMOPRG should be first and foremost about playing with other people, as opposed to a Single Player RPG which is about the Player and the Environment.

just like in a Sanbox playground, someone may build a Castle another a farm they can at one point talk to eachother establish a connection and a relation with eachother build roads and bridges connecting the Castle to the farm and that devellopment of their relationship consitutes their Story. It is a naturally occuring Story based on the actions and Interactions of the players within that environment. And then some, as the players now can use their imagination too and make up new stories and adventures and share those with others all together having fun.

Sandbox games are the best type of MMO for Story making and story telling too in my opinion.

So thus far,

- Tools to influence and shape your environment in the virtual world

- Real Communities forming.

- Greatest Stories happening.

Then you have another aspect to all of this, a good Sandbox game should also ofer the opportunity to the player to choose between the shades of Good and Evil.

A themepark game cannot do this, it is why more often than not the "evil" is represented by NPC's and all players no matter the faction are forced to be the Good guys. So themepark games have removed the Vilain from the equation.

But here is teh caveat, by removing the vilains it also removes the heroes. Without Vilains you cannot have Heroes.

But in a Sandbox game you will always have those that will take a Virtuous stand to protect the weak and the innocent against real Vilains (other players) not some scripted Ubber Buffed Boss mob that has no real soul or a thought process.

I will not say that there is not a restrained possibility for heroism in themeparks, because some feature PvP and that is where some opportunity for Heroism can exist, still as you may note already, it is still happening within a context of player interaction and not within a context of player vs environment, because that sort of Heroism is artificial and meaningless, it flies for the some few hours that one plays a Solo RPG game but not within an MMO environment.

And thus, even the opportunity to be a hero, is something only inherently available to Sandbox Games in its general grand form form.

Playing a Sanbox Game is like living an alternate Life, playing a themepark game is like walking in and out of the Amusement park.

Really...how can we even be discussing a comparison between the two, in front of a Good sandbox Game all Themepark games pale in comparison.

Yet, here we are discussing such a comparison, why? Well that may require a whole discussion on its own, I personally think it is because Themepark games are easier Cash Cows to make. So the answer is really beyond the scope of Gaming mechanics and Design, it is simply a choice of many Devellopers due to Financial Greed in the name of  Business.

No one really cares about the players because we are all stupid enough to buy MMOs when they release - either because of the company that made them or because of the Ip they based on or because of the flashy graphics bells and whistles or the artificial promises etc...basically for marketing pitches, or simpy because we hope just hope that the next one will be the one that will give us long term fun - even if we quit these 3 months later, that initial purchasse is enough to keep the wheel turning...business as usual.

I personally have stoped runing to buy the next MMO, I am doing my quest to find the one that will satisfy me amongst the F2P realm, and untill I see genuine change in the genre from this industy I am not spending anymore for empty promises.

Enough disapointment.

The only one I am willing to pay for is GW2, while it is a Themepark as well, at least it tries to innovate and change many of the boresome and limiting parts of the Type, and for that I want to experience it and will be rewarding their effort as a Customer.

- Duke Suraknar -
Order of the Silver Star, OSS


ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard

  Nerf09

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/04
Posts: 3008

10/07/11 5:44:15 PM#113
  crotchrocket

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/08/11
Posts: 1

10/08/11 10:11:06 PM#114

I'm a sandbox MMO fan stuck in a world of Themepark MMOs.  SWG is / was my all time favorite MMORPG (yes, I know it failed hard).  I would love to have gotten in on the front end of EVE Online, but it takes to much time and effort to pick it up at this point and I would NEVER be able to compete with the players that have been building their fleets for years.  For some reason I have to get in on an MMO from the start to be satisfied.

 

Don't get me wrong; I loved WoW.  Played it for four solid years and had TONS of fun.  But it never really gave me what I got out of the short years of SWG.

 

SWTOR is WoW with a Star Wars costume on, so I will not find any satisfaction playing that game.  Hopefully something will come along soon... but I'm not holding my breath...

  thepoptart

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 62

10/09/11 12:35:41 AM#115

Sandbox: A developer creates a game with a whole bunch of tools, equipment, materials, etc., for players to use and change the world (however much the developers will allow.) with.

Sandbox pros: Content is player driven, therefore you can't actually run out of things to do. Got bored of adventuring, time to turn that clearing to a shop.

Sandbox cons: Well, you need a good, sizeable community. Otherwise there's no content, even if there are people. And with freedom comes the whole dirty bastards deal with murderers and thieves running around. That's kind of neutral though.

 

Themepark: The developers guides you through a journey that has various tasks scattered along the way. Everything is hand made, and everything you do and experience has been planned throughly.

Pros: Like I said, everything is hand-made. Everything you do has been thought of, and developers can guess every action you would take. While that sounds bad, it means they know if you're gonna have a fun experience.

Cons: Things can get too linear, tasks get repetitive, things are real static unless you get that next expansion although I guess that's kind of unfair to say since that can happen with sandboxes too.

 

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

10/27/11 9:03:08 PM#116

Posting this from another thread (since I did not know this one was here until it was pointed out that the other is likely to be locked because of the existence of this thread) - http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/330515

Originally posted by VirusDancer
Originally posted by sagil

There are different factors in a game that stands out to a particular gamer.

Themepark gamers like the "coolness" and "explore for benefit" options. While sandbox gamers like to "socialize" and everything that is bonded with it, like "fear", "friendship", "player made rules" and "reliableness". This makes sandboxers like realistic graphics while themeparkers can have cartoon or movie-like graphics.

It's not true that sandbox interact with the world. It is themepark games that do that. Sandbox games interact with the worlds social part, while themeparks interact with the worlds story structure.

Themepark games rely heavily on myths and registered trademark stories. Sandbox can do this too, but it would essentially make it a bit themeparkish.

What are we really searching for in a game?

Well, I for sure am searching "coolness", "explore for benefit" and all the socializing aspects. So I can not wait for a turning tide in the evolution of mmorpgs.

What do you think?

What do I think?  Hrmmm, I think that people generally have different ideas, concepts, and definitions for what constitutes a themepark and what constitutes a sandbox...

...partially I say that, because I do not agree with your terms...lol...in the least.

I suppose it would behoove me then to offer my descriptions of the two types (and also point out something interesting that is often overlooked in the discussions, imho).

  • Themepark
    • Much like an actual themepark, the player travels around the themepark to participate on the available rides.
    • There is very little a player can do that is outside of this.  There may be side-attractions, much like you might find an arcade - shows - etc, as you would at a themepark . . . but the gist of it is about going on the rides that have been provided.
    • As time has passed, themepark games have taken on more of a game lobby approach.  Oddly enough, this fits in well with the analogy of actual themeparks.  Much like people at a themepark may stand in line to wait to go on a particular ride, players in themeparks are waiting in queues to participate in some particular instanced "ride" in the game - whether PvP, a dungeon, etc.
    • Much like actual themeparks offer a variety of..."merchandise" a visitor to the park can acquire, themepark games tend to focus on "gear" acquisitiion or the like.  Whether it is actual gear progression or acquiring achievements/fluff/etc - that is the focus.
    • While there may be certain rides such as bumper cars or the like, generally speaking - there really is not much of a competitive setting in a real themepark.  There may be the thing amongst friends or a group to see who rides which ride first or who rides said ride the most...much like you see in a themepark game.
    • Like an actual themepark, some people could go there day after day riding the same "rides" while others will look to visit other "themeparks" to meet their entertainment needs.
    • No matter what you do...at the end of the day...the themepark is the same as when you go there.
  • Sandbox
    • Unlike the actual sandbox you might have had in your backyard or at the local park, sandbox games generally come pre-loaded with some thematic elements.  In an actual sandbox, you might have played war one day - some fantasy game another - space another - etc, etc, etc.  Generally speaking, the sandbox game is going to be themed.
    • While there may not be the "ride" mentality of themeparks, sandboxes are often populated in some fashion.  So you do not have to create your adventures from scratch.  You do not have complete freedom - but you do have freedom in the sense of crafting your adventures around what has been themed.
    • Since there are not "rides" that you travel around to, you really do not have that "destination" set - thus, they allow you to focus more on the journey.
    • Unlike the "themepark" ...at the end of the day...it is possible that the world has changed because of what you or somebody else did.
While those are only some of the attributes that come to mind when thinking of the two, I generally feel they give the gist of my thoughts on them.
 
One of the things you mentioned....socialization...I believe exists in both sandboxes and themeparks.  Some of the items I mentioned above, also can exist in both.  There are people that say to Hell with the "rides" in themeparks and stop to smell the roses (or depending on the game, at least stop to try to smell the roses).
 
That being said, I mentioned I was going to bring up something that I felt is often overlooked in discussions between themeparks and sandboxes.
 
Hybrids.
 
In reading through a lot of posts on themeparks vs. sandboxes, etc - the curious thing that I've gotten from them is that many of the players that profess a preference for one of the other - in describing their preferences, appear to be looking for the hybrid themepark-sandbox.  They actually do not want an either-or.  They want elements of both.
 
There had been a discussion on here recently about directed sandboxes, I believe.
 
Still, in looking at some of the games out there - EVE, AO, SWG (at least pre-NGE), and some others - I think there are several hybrid games out there - and I wish there were more.

Just my thoughts on the matter...

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  sagil

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 294

10/28/11 12:33:56 AM#117
Posting my thoughts in green.
Originally posted by VirusDancer

Posting this from another thread (since I did not know this one was here until it was pointed out that the other is likely to be locked because of the existence of this thread) - http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/330515

Originally posted by VirusDancer
Originally posted by sagil

There are different factors in a game that stands out to a particular gamer.

Themepark gamers like the "coolness" and "explore for benefit" options. While sandbox gamers like to "socialize" and everything that is bonded with it, like "fear", "friendship", "player made rules" and "reliableness". This makes sandboxers like realistic graphics while themeparkers can have cartoon or movie-like graphics.

It's not true that sandbox interact with the world. It is themepark games that do that. Sandbox games interact with the worlds social part, while themeparks interact with the worlds story structure.

Themepark games rely heavily on myths and registered trademark stories. Sandbox can do this too, but it would essentially make it a bit themeparkish.

What are we really searching for in a game?

Well, I for sure am searching "coolness", "explore for benefit" and all the socializing aspects. So I can not wait for a turning tide in the evolution of mmorpgs.

What do you think?

What do I think?  Hrmmm, I think that people generally have different ideas, concepts, and definitions for what constitutes a themepark and what constitutes a sandbox...

...partially I say that, because I do not agree with your terms...lol...in the least.

I suppose it would behoove me then to offer my descriptions of the two types (and also point out something interesting that is often overlooked in the discussions, imho).

  • Themepark
    • Much like an actual themepark, the player travels around the themepark to participate on the available rides. Yes, I agree, it is like a puzzle game with sandbox controls and features.
    • There is very little a player can do that is outside of this.  There may be side-attractions, much like you might find an arcade - shows - etc, as you would at a themepark . . . but the gist of it is about going on the rides that have been provided. There may be lots of things to do for people that like different rides. Different rides = different moods.
    • As time has passed, themepark games have taken on more of a game lobby approach.  Oddly enough, this fits in well with the analogy of actual themeparks.  Much like people at a themepark may stand in line to wait to go on a particular ride, players in themeparks are waiting in queues to participate in some particular instanced "ride" in the game - whether PvP, a dungeon, etc. This is a themepark evolution. We are now directed to a ride without going through disneyland several thousand times.
    • Much like actual themeparks offer a variety of..."merchandise" a visitor to the park can acquire, themepark games tend to focus on "gear" acquisitiion or the like.  Whether it is actual gear progression or acquiring achievements/fluff/etc - that is the focus.
    • While there may be certain rides such as bumper cars or the like, generally speaking - there really is not much of a competitive setting in a real themepark.  There may be the thing amongst friends or a group to see who rides which ride first or who rides said ride the most...much like you see in a themepark game. I agree. This is the "who won the shoot the clown" part and who found it first.
    • Like an actual themepark, some people could go there day after day riding the same "rides" while others will look to visit other "themeparks" to meet their entertainment needs.
    • No matter what you do...at the end of the day...the themepark is the same as when you go there. Sometimes themepark environments can get overhauled. Like Cataclysm.
  • Sandbox
    • Unlike the actual sandbox you might have had in your backyard or at the local park, sandbox games generally come pre-loaded with some thematic elements.  In an actual sandbox, you might have played war one day - some fantasy game another - space another - etc, etc, etc.  Generally speaking, the sandbox game is going to be themed. Yes. We can not play Gods in a sandbox, but maybe in the future. You never know.
    • While there may not be the "ride" mentality of themeparks, sandboxes are often populated in some fashion.  So you do not have to create your adventures from scratch.  You do not have complete freedom - but you do have freedom in the sense of crafting your adventures around what has been themed.
    • Since there are not "rides" that you travel around to, you really do not have that "destination" set - thus, they allow you to focus more on the journey. Increasing the "fear" attribute I talked about. You are never safe anywhere except capitals. This is where socialize come in and what themepark games lack. Because people just grind and kill someone for reason or no reason at all. Which makes it pretty pointless to pvp. Everyone is too busy grinding or going to raids that they don't have time to talk to you. These games often breed "rude socializers".
    • Unlike the "themepark" ...at the end of the day...it is possible that the world has changed because of what you or somebody else did.
While those are only some of the attributes that come to mind when thinking of the two, I generally feel they give the gist of my thoughts on them.
 
One of the things you mentioned....socialization...I believe exists in both sandboxes and themeparks.  Some of the items I mentioned above, also can exist in both.  There are people that say to Hell with the "rides" in themeparks and stop to smell the roses (or depending on the game, at least stop to try to smell the roses).
 
That being said, I mentioned I was going to bring up something that I felt is often overlooked in discussions between themeparks and sandboxes.
 
Hybrids.
 
In reading through a lot of posts on themeparks vs. sandboxes, etc - the curious thing that I've gotten from them is that many of the players that profess a preference for one of the other - in describing their preferences, appear to be looking for the hybrid themepark-sandbox.  They actually do not want an either-or.  They want elements of both.
 
There had been a discussion on here recently about directed sandboxes, I believe.
 
Still, in looking at some of the games out there - EVE, AO, SWG (at least pre-NGE), and some others - I think there are several hybrid games out there - and I wish there were more.

Just my thoughts on the matter...

 

  Valkaern

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/03
Posts: 513

10/28/11 12:48:49 AM#118

I'm certainly looking forward to any future sandboxes (Archeage hopefully, maybe even Dawntide will pull itself out of the gutter and turn into something playable, but seems unlikely).

 

I'm personally so sick of how similar and predictable Themeparks are.

 

Regardless of what you do, you end up in the raid farm end game spending night after night in one (more if on farm status) room, memorizing the silly dance steps to defeat the unchanging script to obtain gear to make the next silly dance possible to get gear to make the next silly dance possible, the difficulty determined by the weakest links or those who didn't memorize the youtube walkthrough for that boss. Predictable, bland, played out. That's not an adventure.

 

I'd bet after one *well* made sandbox showed it was a viable business option, we'd see more and more springing up - obviously mimicking the one to begin the trend in every way.

 

The trouble currently is, the only attempts at sandboxes in recent years have been small indie studios who simply can't, or don't, deliver triple A quality, which I'm guessing impacts how some perceive sandboxes. 

 

I think the themepark aspect is pretty well covered with WoW, Rift and the other clones, hopefully someone creative goes for the untapped sandbox approach soon.

  User Deleted
10/28/11 12:50:44 AM#119

See Sig.

 

I think the first "Western" AAA MMO to develop a classless skill based *PvE* Sandbox will have a mega hit on their hands.

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

10/28/11 2:30:24 PM#120
Originally posted by Bhazir
Originally posted by Gylfi

 

i doubt mixing is possible. Elements from one type will steal content from the other one.

For example if there's quests then you don't need to explore, cause they tell you where to go, quests also give you money and weapon, so you don't need to craft and trade. Quests also tell you about lore and the history of the place, so you don't need to perouse, i dunno, books in libraries, or search for clues around the gameworld. And so on they take freedom away from you and the -you're the artifex of your own history- feel just vanishes.

Unless at the beginning of the game you can choose what "version" you want to play, the one with a story you have to follow or the one where you're on your own, i doubt the two things go well together.

Sorry, but I disagree with this.

Yes quests can point you to the next town or area appropiate for your level, but still don't cover the whole gaming world. Quests could even be used for incentive to explore, put some questgivers in far away corners that are far away from travelroutes. Couple this with the lore and also add books next to it and you get even more reason to explore for those that are loremonkeys.

The rewards don't always have to be equipement, but just some money. This doesn't take anything away from crafting and would even help the economy as those people that like to run quests/missions can get funds that way to spend on the market to get their equipement that is crafted by other players.

A well crafted questsystem could be implemented in sandbox games to help it grow and make it easier for starters to get into the game without taking away the freedom a sandbox gives you. It would just be another tool provided by the developers.

I agree with Gylfl that sandbox and themepark are (mostly) exclusive of each other.

True quests do not have to push players to the far reaches of the world, but they give incentive to not explore, because why explore when you could be achieving more in the game by doing quests given at the local hub?  By giving better rewards in the 'hidden' quests?  No, because if there are quest givers out in the middle of nowhere, even if 'hidden', players will quickly compose where these quests are using the internet.  They will probably just be annoyed by the extra walk to the hidden 'better' quests.

In the end you have to make the decision:  What will give better rewards, quests/looting or crafting?  The compromise solution is that you must quest/loot to get pieces that can then be crafted together with mined resources in order to make the best gear.  But this is arguably what sandboxes (should) do anyways.  For example, SWG's famous bounty hunter jet pack.  A VERY expensive item that required highest class resources, master expertise in armorsmithing, and some very rare loot pieces.

 

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