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Themepark MMOs are incredibly boring compared to Sandbox MMOs

Posted by TheExplorer Tuesday April 6 2010 at 8:37PM
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So, this came up from


read the first few pages of the thread if you want. But to sum it up, this guy reviewed most games from level 1-10 and people are replying that he has no basis to make a review.


If I'm not enjoying the game from the beginning then why do I need to torture myself to get to "end cap" to see the "real" game? WTF? Why can't the WHOLE GAME BE THE REAL GAME


Thats why I hate themepark MMOs so much, its always the "end" game that is the "best". Sandbox style MMOs (UO, Pre-ruined SWG, Asheron's Call, Saga of Ryzom, Vanguard and the few other sandbox MMOs) hooked me right from the beginning.


So yes, you can judge a game from level 1-10 because if a game doesn't start to level 60 or 80 or whatever, then it isn't worth playing, why torture yourself through the "fake" game. A sandbox game hooks you from the start. 

hamps writes:


Agreed. And amazingly, sandbox MMOs are the only MMO type to even play off of the strength that the genre offers -- thousands of players in one world. They provide the tools and a foundation for the players' actions to have consequence in a persistent world. They are the only MMO type where that cliché bullet point on the back of the box that says, "STAKE YOUR CLAIM IN THE WORLD!" actually means something.
I absolutely hate themepark MMOs. They have no persistence and no consequence. They are literally the antithesis of the definition of MMO.
In a themepark, your hand is held the entire time as you're funneled down a set path of varying scenery. There is no thinking or even a need to interact with other players. You can just sit down and be entertained.
In a sandbox, the fun is left up to you to create. The problem with this is that it can only be either incredible or boring, depending on the person. Through interaction with others, the player creates his/her own entertainment. This isn't something that can be controlled. It's unique to each player. Their emergent experience was built by them and catered towards exactly what they enjoy doing. That's why the people who do love sandbox MMOs love them to death.
But if the themepark's experience is so shallow, why is it the one that's so popular? My only rationale for why the sandbox type MMO is the niche type and why the themepark type has inundated the genre is that we, the players, are idiots. It’s much easier to just sit down and be entertained than it is to create your own fun.
So it’s not the sandbox’s fault, it’s the person sitting in it. How do you go about fixing what isn't the game's problem? It's the players' that aren't taking advantage of the sand they're given. You provide better tools I suppose. I don't know for sure, I'm not a developer. I have ideas, but until a sandbox MMO gets that right the only remaining successful saving grace of this niche sub genre is EVE, which as we all know has a barrier of entry as tall as Blizzard's mountain of money.
Wed Apr 07 2010 5:02AM Report
Adamai writes:

ive played eve online now for the best part of 5 years, and all i can say is wow what a game. it brings freedom to the online world. your not limited by rules or boundries. you can be who you want, do what you want, go where you want, for what ever reason you can dream up, it offers polotics dimplomacy team work, it has the largest active comunity of players ive ever seen that actualy interact with each other and that are genuinely interested in what each other is doing. not just because they are nice people but because it would be perilous not to.

you get your self a good base member count of 10 loyal honest players in eve who are commited to that sort of game play and actually wanting to do well in eve, and you can be one of the big boys.

lots of people will sit there and moan about not having enough skill points or looseing their ships and having to replce them. but if you set your guild up propperly so they benefit the members and have strict rules and polocies that all members must adhere to you can aleviate about 90% of the fear factor in eve.  its no longer just you and your ship and your personal losses. it becomes a corporation of members who strive for the same thing.  you will not longer be a loan wolf you will have friends who will work with you for you to help you, and in return all you have to do is offer the same commitment to them.

eve-online is very much about the team, sure you can go solo in eve but you'll never ever have as much fun as a dedicated well bonded group of players who understand commitment to each other and loyalty.  ive been there and experienced it and it rocks! 

screw wow screw lotr screw daoc screw all those other mmo's they dont offer you anything but a lvl by lvl grind of the same boring reward lacking hack and slash game experience. and you all do it for is to be able to pvp with some kind of  survivability when you reach max level.

youll play for about 4 months probably rank up a bit in pvp and then swap game, this has taken you all of about a year some people will hold out for 2 years doing this same repetative boreing crap..  eve has held my imagination for 5 years now and it still does. the possibilities are endless..


i vote sandbox  mmorpg's are the best all the way..

swg was anothe4r great almost sandbox style mmorpg.


and i dont think eve has any barriers. all it does is insist that you take the tutorial and follow it like the catholic church would have you follow the bible.

skipping the tutorial in eve will cause you more trouble than the tutorial is worth. also most of the players in eve who have stuck it out for the first few weeks will insist you go through the tutorial. it basically tells you how to play the game.

as for galactic domination,wel thats where your imagination comes in and a bit of a cunning thought ;)

best game ive ever had the joy of playing. ccp knows this which is why its the most exspencive game to play online. 14.99 a month GBP  compaired to other games 9.99 per month GBP

Its one server with over 60thousand players online at any one time. it can be as little as 16k players online at once, but thats only because of down time and server maintenence. all those players trying to carve out their slice of the pie.

you cant carve your slice by your self, you must have allies.

alliances are the way forward in eve. start solo get your battle cruiser get your tank sorted and some ok weapon skills. dont mess about mix and matching weapon types. picj a race stick to it. join a corp that you feel is going somewhere. ignore these fun boy corps that just say casual laid they are going absolutely no where and you will not experience the sandbox feeling in one of those. instead find a good corp with plans, a corp thats aspireing to be more than just a corp. seek out the wanna be empires. dont join a massive alliance, as you will be missing out on the best part of eve. eve is about climbing that ladder to power and being part of success not rideing or   reveling on some one elses success.

hell i love eve to bits, ive played well over 50 mmo titles and eve is top of the chart for me. sandbox for the win.

Thu Apr 08 2010 1:15PM Report
Adamai writes:

oh yea and one more thing, if you get to that level in eve, you can play eve for free by buying plex. its basically and ingame version of a game time code you can buy for ingame money.  i havnt paid to play eve now for like 4 of the 5 years. its totally free for me lol.

each plex can cost between 300k -500k isk each, that will get you 30 days of play, once you have got your self to the level to make that kind of money, takes about a year. you'll be able to earn 300k a day easy.

i was comfortable earning just under 1 billion isk per week, but thats because i was lazy i would go money makeing  for about 4 out of the 7 days to get my isk. reason i wanted so much was because i used to do all my money makeing in a carrier. if i lost it through a stupid mistake would cost me about 1.5 billion maybe a little more ingame credits. it would take me a long long time to replace that if i didnt have the carrier. so planning and preperation is key.

and for anyone who reads this that might be playing eve soon.

DO NOT FLY WHAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO REPLACE WHEN YOU LOOSE IT ;) oh yea and always insure your ships for maximum insurance.

my corp used to insure all our players ships for free, but thats because we used to make them. so all it cost us was time really not money.  our player got free carriers dreadnaughts lol battle ships free fittings all t2. the corp used to bye all the players unwanted mats.

well when your burried deep in 0.0 space and the nearest npc market hub is about 45 jumps away. its nice to have a corp that will buy all your unwanted junk from you. we paid about 15% less than npc hubs.  but yea eve online is easily the best game on the market at the present. its not for the feint hearted though, its exciteing and will occasionally make you feel like your having a heart attack ;)

Thu Apr 08 2010 1:27PM Report
stayontarget writes:

If the pvp mechanics are done correctly, even a themepark game can be exciteing (L2).

Thu Apr 08 2010 3:05PM Report
stayontarget writes:

The odds are great the reviewer in that link would not be able to handle a full open world pvp game.  and would come away from the experance on the negative side and would say as such on the forum boards.

People just don't like the same things in life so why try to force it down there throats.  There is more than enough people to go around for diversity in games.

Thu Apr 08 2010 3:12PM Report writes:
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