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Elder Scrolls Online Forum » General Discussion » Why TESO wasn’t designed as a true sandbox MMORPG

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101 posts found
  Zaskar70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 22

Whatever blows your hair back...

 
OP  2/26/13 12:34:42 PM#1

If there is one thing that I’m certain of in the MMORPG genre it’s that true sandbox games don’t work

For the vast majority of the players that are out there.

I began my MMORPG journey in 1998 in what I still consider the ultimate sandbox game, Ultima Online.

Back in 1998 only 2 mainstream MMO’s existed, Ultima Online and Lineage and as far as anyone in the West was concerned Lineage didn’t exist because we didn’t hear about it, so for most western gamers it was Ultima Online or nothing.

Ultima Online was the great experiment, a free roaming, do anything, skill based world to explore. There were no quests to do, no guides, no tutorials, nothing to nudge you in any one direction. You chose your starting city and you were thrown into the world.

Ultima Online was a dangerous place to be, far more dangerous than any other MMORPG I have ever played since. Seeing another player while out exploring the world was a very tense moment, you could almost feel the tension between the two of you, it was this way because Ultima Online was a true sandbox in that anything could happen, you could lose everything you had on you, you could make a new friend, or you could choose to avoid one another.

There were no true safe areas in Ultima Online. The city’s were a lot safer than the wilds though you could still be robbed by a thief without ever knowing it or even killed outright before the guards could respond. A common macro in that game when going to a bank in town was “Bank, Guards!, Thief!” since the thieves would hang out at the banks to relieve you of your adventuring loot before you could deposit it.

Playing the game could be incredibly frustrating, for example on several occasions after jumping in my boat and sailing to a resource rich mining area on one of the coasts I would mine for hours only to have a couple guys sail into view, block me in with their boat before I could react and subsequently murder me. I would have to stand there on my boat which was now their boat as a ghost and watch as they looted my lifeless body, transferred all the ore it took me hours to mine to their boat, use my boat key which was now their boat key to deconstruct my boat to sell later. If they were nice they would rez me and gate me to some town, or more often than not just ignore my poor ghost until they sailed to a port and I could get off their boat and go to a healer to get rez’d.

People couldn’t really handle a true sandbox game back then, the crying and loss of subscriptions became so great that Ultima Online had to change to survive so they split the game in two and created Trammel, an exact mirror of the old world Felucca but with one twist, it was no longer a true sandbox for there was no player vs. player allowed, you could live in absolute security and thus the great experiment ended and the first true sandbox game had failed.

In my opinion if any AAA dev studio put out a true open world sandbox game today the tears would be endless and the screams of rage deafening.

Anyone who posts that they want a true sandbox game but wasn’t around to play Ultima Online before Trammel doesn’t really understand what they are asking for in my opinion.

  Rthuth434

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/12
Posts: 367

2/26/13 12:38:53 PM#2

...OR...

 

because for the millionth time a shot caller who use to be at Mythic did what Mythic does best, rehash their old work.

  User Deleted
2/26/13 12:39:37 PM#3
As much as I want to rally around your flag or whatever, I'm pretty sure they just said something like "we just wanted to create WoW with Elder Scrolls lore."
  ozmono

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/12/06
Posts: 1045

2/26/13 12:42:49 PM#4
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It is possible to have safeguards to almost whatever extent you wish. Look at eve, probably the most successful sandbox game, it has relatively safe zones and some themepark elements.
  PyrateLV

Tipster

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1118

2/26/13 12:43:05 PM#5
Originally posted by Rthuth434

...OR...

 

because for the millionth time a shot caller who use to be at Mythic did what Mythic does best, rehash their old work.

^^^^^

THIS

Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
Playing: Skyrim
Following: The Repopulation
I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  walltar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/09
Posts: 60

2/26/13 12:44:04 PM#6
Well Archeage will be sandbox, so all sandbox lovers could go play it. I would love TESO as sandbox, but i like both sandbox MMOs ( played EvE, UO, Darkfail) and themepark MMOs (AOC, SWToR, GW2) But most people dont like sandbox games so i dont see Big AAA MMO as viable option. They need to make money they are not charity, they are company, whose purpose is to maky money by making games.

  InporylemQQ

Tipster

Joined: 6/14/12
Posts: 167

2/26/13 12:49:13 PM#7
Originally posted by walltar
Well Archeage will be sandbox, so all sandbox lovers could go play it. I would love TESO as sandbox, but i like both sandbox MMOs ( played EvE, UO, Darkfail) and themepark MMOs (AOC, SWToR, GW2) But most people dont like sandbox games so i dont see Big AAA MMO as viable option. They need to make money they are not charity, they are company, whose purpose is to maky money by making games.

Archeage sadly atm don't have any economy or anything else that would make it anymore sandbox than the others. If someone is really looking for a true sandbox time to get back in time for 15 years. These days games are made for masses.

ArcheAge, Black Desert and Bless videos InporylemQQ Youtube

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19094

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

2/26/13 12:55:36 PM#8

-1 to the OP for failing to realize that having FFA PVP with full loot does not make a MMORPG a "true" sandbox.  Might have been true for the first sandbox MMO, but isn't required by any means to have a sandbox style MMO.

I consider EVE to be a good sandbox style game, and while you can kill people just about anywhere, there are some severe restrictions in certain areas that make it not only challenging but sometimes downright expensive to do so.

More importantly, EVE lets each player determine how much risk they are willing to take, which is so very important if one wishes to create a commercially successful PVP title in this day and age.

Look at SKYRIM, when you die do the NPC's loot your corpse?  Do you start over with no gear?  Yet people hold it up as a free form single player title.

We need to stop looking at UO as the only "true model", it died out even there when Trammel was created. Heck, even Aventurine has realized the value of providing safe zones in DF:UW, proving developers can learn after all.

Edit: One final note, I don't see TESO being developed in any sandbox fashion, at best it will be a DAOC hybrid with modern day theme park elements rolled in.

 

Arrogant, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  azzamasin

Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2739

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

2/26/13 12:59:20 PM#9
Originally posted by Rthuth434

...OR...

 

because for the millionth time a shot caller who use to be at Mythic did what Mythic does best, rehash their old work.

...OR...

 

Pure Sandbox games are horribly bland, boring and doesn't sell at all.

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  aleos

Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/07
Posts: 1895

Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.

2/26/13 1:02:45 PM#10
Devs dont know how to make a sandbox. so they make a themepark.
  Zaskar70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 22

Whatever blows your hair back...

 
OP  2/26/13 1:12:43 PM#11

Having FFA PvP and full loot is a big part of what makes a game a sandbox, without that a game can only be described as having elements of a sandbox experience.

My original post was not to debate what makes a sandbox game a sandbox game, it was to point out that most people would not enjoy a sandbox game.

But since I believe a lot of people are confused about what a sandbox game actualy is, it's a game in which you can do whatever you want within the game environment, good or bad and this would include killing other players and looting them.

Eve Online IS just like Ultima was, it has larger "safe" areas only because it's a space sim and space is massive. You can in fact be killed and looted in High Sec space, its harder to do but there are ways around the restrictions, just like there were in towns in Ultima Online.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19094

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

2/26/13 1:20:04 PM#12
Originally posted by Zaskar70

Having FFA PvP and full loot is a big part of what makes a game a sandbox, without that a game can only be described as having elements of a sandbox experience.

My original post was not to debate what makes a sandbox game a sandbox game, it was to point out that most people would not enjoy a sandbox game.

But since I believe a lot of people are confused about what a sandbox game actualy is, it's a game in which you can do whatever you want within the game environment, good or bad and this would include killing other players and looting them.

Eve Online IS just like Ultima was, it has larger "safe" areas only because it's a space sim and space is massive. You can in fact be killed and looted in High Sec space, its harder to do but there are ways around the restrictions, just like there were in towns in Ultima Online.

According to who?  The International Association of MMORPG Manufacturers and Developers?  The MMORPG Game Players Union?  By what official body do you claim this definitive characteristic of a sandbox style MMORPG is so declared?

If you follow these forums at any length you'll know there is no commonly accepted defintinon of what makes a "true" sandbox style game.  A title like WURM is mostly definitely a sandbox game, more so than most, but there's no PVP to be found as I understand it.

See, the thing is, you do not get to decide what is a sandbox and what isn't, only whether or not you'll play a certain title or not.

Some people would argue that having any sort of restrictions anywhere for any reason make it not a FFA PVP title, and such accusations are routinely hurled at DF:UW, EVE and others who provide some measure of risk management to their player base.

Your argument is specious.

 

Arrogant, Dismissive, Elitist, you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  PyrateLV

Tipster

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1118

2/26/13 1:26:31 PM#13
Originally posted by Zaskar70

Having FFA PvP and full loot is a big part of what makes a game a sandbox, without that a game can only be described as having elements of a sandbox experience.

Utter BS!

Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
Playing: Skyrim
Following: The Repopulation
I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  DavisFlight

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2585

2/26/13 1:32:40 PM#14
Originally posted by asmkm22
As much as I want to rally around your flag or whatever, I'm pretty sure they just said something like "we just wanted to create WoW with Elder Scrolls lore."

This.

Games like Eve and UO have more subs than most so called "sure shot success" themepark games.

But sandboxes don't work! Neither do WOW clones, as seen by the complete failure of all the WoW clones of the last 8 years.

  steelwind

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/04/04
Posts: 271

2/26/13 1:33:49 PM#15

If you define sandbox as "it must clone the original UO" then you are indeed correct.

Just because UO was the first sandbox doesn't mean it defines what it is. I think a lot of us define a sandbox game as a game where the players define and are able to change the world and make a lasting impact on it. Sandbox games gives players many things to do outside combat (one of the biggest lacking features of MMO's currently).  While PvP seems to be a constant with most sandbox games, FFA loot doesn't have to be nor do I understand how FFA defines a sandbox.

 

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6165

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

2/26/13 1:35:49 PM#16

I want a true sandbox, but full loot FFA PVP only if it's optional else it's not a sandbox game but yet a game where the developers force you to play a certain way. Which is not what a true sandbox should be like in my opinion.

There for my MMORPG love started with SWG even though I have played UO and even Meridian59. SWG gave me that experiance that unfortunaly never have been matched....to me..

But I will agree that I feel that a sandbox game how ever it may have been developed will not be a game for many of today's people into games, mainly cause I feel they lack the skill of patience, because most want it now and want it all and many even feel disappointed if they are not able to make use of 75 to 98% of the games content. They want a player run economy to be working flawless from almost release day. They will scream and shout that prices on sale are over-prices even after a few day's or even weeks of playing.

A sandbox game is about freedom to do what you want, how you want it and when you want it. Not how developers want you too play, but just developers given players the tools to shape or make a name in that world.

If I want my name on some leaderboard I already play multiplayer games for that. Do I want my name to be know within a virtual world I play MMORPG's but at the same time I could be that unknow quite person in a MMORPG world.

I do however feel strongly about when a known singleplayer IP turns into a MMORPG then I "wish" expect it to be closer to a virtual world/sandbox game because MMO's simply are not cappable of bring story the way it's done in singleplayer games simply for this tiny fact is that your story in most MMORPG do not influences the world or it's players, where in a singleplayer game your story truly effects the ingame world around you, that's what makes us RPG gamers feel so good as you feel and see the effects around you. So too me it's already a failed attempt if a MMORPG tries to do story in their game as they seem only able to do so in personal type of story's which often seperate's you completely from the over-all ingame world.

Now TESO doesn't go the sandbox route, but it seems to be trying to give us gamers a different experiance than that what we already love and play in their singleplayer series yet still in familiar visual settings. Which some would be more openminded, play the singleplayer series for what it's already great for and try to look at this MMORPG "trying" to give us something different yet familiar.

    

 

  Zaskar70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 22

Whatever blows your hair back...

 
OP  2/26/13 1:40:41 PM#17
Originally posted by Kyleran
 

According to who?  The International Association of MMORPG Manufacturers and Developers?  The MMORPG Game Players Union?  By what official body do you claim this definitive characteristic of a sandbox style MMORPG is so declared?

 

 

We could argue this all day and from a thousand different viewpoints. In my opinion most MMORPG vet's would agree that Ultima Online pre trammel is/was the model of what a true sandbox game was/is.

We could argue about perma death, ffa pvp with zero safe areas etc etc, but to my knowlege the closest thing to a true sandbox game that has ever been released and gone mainstream was Ultima Online pre trammel.

If there has been a different game released since 1998 with fewer restriction's, perma death ffa pvp with zero safe areas etc that went mainstream and I hadnt heard about it I would stand corrected.

To MY knowlege there hasnt been one since Ultima Online.

  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3542

Hipster

2/26/13 1:42:02 PM#18

Simply, they started making it when Devs still thought they could achieve success vs WoW by making a themepark with a twist, SWTOR, WoW with story, TESO, WoW with RvR etc.

More recently started developments show the genre swinging back to containing more sandboxy elements.

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15596

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

2/26/13 1:42:55 PM#19
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by asmkm22
As much as I want to rally around your flag or whatever, I'm pretty sure they just said something like "we just wanted to create WoW with Elder Scrolls lore."

This.

Games like Eve and UO have more subs than most so called "sure shot success" themepark games.

But sandboxes don't work! Neither do WOW clones, as seen by the complete failure of all the WoW clones of the last 8 years.

I guess we should be glad it's not a WOW clone then, instead they decided to try something else from the past.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  Zaskar70

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/13
Posts: 22

Whatever blows your hair back...

 
OP  2/26/13 1:47:33 PM#20
Originally posted by steelwind

  While PvP seems to be a constant with most sandbox games, FFA loot doesn't have to be nor do I understand how FFA defines a sandbox.

 

FFA PvP doesnt define a sandbox but is a part of it, just like the freedom to explore doesnt define a sandbox but is a part of it.

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