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Sandbox vs Themepark MMOs - What do you think?

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I think it is a fairly well done video. I have always preferred MMO's/Sandbox, and if the game allows me to build things then thats a definite plus for me (One of the reasons I left Eve Online was that even though I was industrialist what I was building wasn't my design).

 

One thing the video didnt mention, as its only something I've seen in DU and Second Life, is that guided/instant games can be built inside of the MMO so that if people want quick fights, car races, gambling match etc etc etc it can be built within the game and run by players for players, with no extra development burden on the main game developers (NQ and Linden Labs respectively).

 

If NQ can actually pull of the single shard/one universe goal then it will be the first game to be truely 'one', that will allow the players to segment into what they please - combat parks included.

 

So I think the video is pretty spot on, I just see DU as the game that will redefine what it is to be an MMO/Sandbox/Themepark

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I think we tend to look at this question backwards.  Instead of asking if it is better for an MMO to be a sandbox or a themepark, we should ask if it is better for sandboxes and themeparks to be MMO's. 

 

A sandbox definitely needs to be an MMO.  The places people visit and the action that happens there is all created by other players.  As the video pointed out, sandboxes can not survive if they lose their population.

 

It is not clear what a themepark gains by being an MMO.  Most themeparks rely heavily on various forms of instancing to create the kind of experience players want.  Some forms are so subtle and common that we usually do not think of them as instancing.  An example would be the NPC who gives the players a quest and rewards them when they are done.  Often there will be players being sent on the quest and others being rewarded for it at the same time.  Since all the players see the NPC and the other players, this may not seem like an instance, but the NPC is having very different conversations with different players.  Everyone knows this, but each player just ignores the others, because otherwise their quest would seem ridiculous.

 

Both sandboxes and themeparks provide enjoyable experiences.  Some people prefer one kind, others like both.  However, allowing huge numbers of people to play a game together adds a lot of difficulty that developing a single player game would not have.  If the enjoyment of a themepark depends on ignoring the other players, why should it be an MMO?  Could the same experience be presented better as a single player or small party game? 

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Very close but I would pick sandbox over theme park games any day and if you have a great community in a sandbox  game  they could always build a theme park atmosphere for those that like that style of game play :  Organization's like DICE !  Theme park games your usually guided down one path or story line and you cant deviate from that path or story line ! 

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Thing about themepark sandboxes: they can go either two ways: 1) they can end up really good like  [insert good MMO] or 2) they can end up like another destiny game. It all just depends on the amount of effort the devs put into the games. Destiny was just an over hyped cash grab that had the potential to be something awesome, but fell short in too many things. So there you go. My thoughts on it. I will now stare awkwardly into space and wait for you to respond. 

??

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I'll have to postpone watching the video (mobile and / or time constraints) but in general (solely referring to the thread title and topic w/o the video), my general stance is that I prefer Sandbox over themepark.

 

I will watch the video later and may comment on it specifically or separately, but for now this is my general view:

 

 

----------------

 

I started off in themepark MMORPGs. You could think I'd be used to them. But in fact, I am not. I never was. My first one was Star Wars Galaxies, granted, a combination out of some sort of themepark and sandbox MMORPG. I am always a fan of immersion or living or going through a story and interacting with others, and building something for yourself. I want an experience.

 

Themepark MMOs or MMORPGs usually had a few disadvantages that ruined that goal or wanted experience for me. Disadvantages because I saw subjectively "better" (more interesting) systems in other genres.

 

"Themeparks" were usually associated with grind and artificial-feeling levels and appropriate zoning (level areas). I had to go through some chores and grind just to get to a point where I could enjoy the game or have the gear or objects I wanted. For many, it's the challenge or fun. I, for one, often or almost always found it to be and feel artificial, with no real meaning to the game world. It's like a hamster wheel. Of course, life and sandbox games can also be a hamster wheel, but often with more twists or freedoms than 'themeparks'. In addition I often found the combat system to be clunky-ish, and the item sharing to be limited as you always had to "trade" through windows. In other games, you can just throw something on the ground so another can pick it up. Less 'restrictions'.

 

But maybe, in the end, I may simply favor or like a specific genre.

 

And that are sandbox games where you can shape or influence your surroundings, whether physically or on a wider community sense. That is what I like. Today I might not even touch themepark for RP, which I like to do on occasion. It's not worth the grind and time investment when I can have more from any time investment in modern sandbox-like games that are also usually more "dynamic" or have a better pace, or more options.

 

To recap, not saying themepark is bad - I simply dislike it and favor sandbox. More options and fun for me.

 

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"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."
 
"Leisure" is a poem by Welsh poet W. H. Davies, appearing originally in his Songs Of Joy and Others, published in 1911 by A. C. Fifield

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6 hours ago, Orius said:

Ah... customary to the rules of the internet, this post has veered off of its original topic 

Far from it. "What is this world if we cannot but stand and stare?" Applies to MMO Virtual Worlds as much as our own Reality. DU is going to be an enormous "Space Tourism" experience. I think that's half the vision that galvanized nearly 200m$ of backing to SC also.


It has everything to do with the subject of this post: The fact the video is very nice to look at, states that Themepark vs Sandbox are never defined then proceeds to not come up with a definition but a list of random features or anecdotally relevant cliches...

 

Odd that's not pointed out so far and you interpret the above as off topic!

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Here you go from the same video guy: The Death of Virtual World Design for Themepark Commercial Success this from the a "lead designer" on SWG at the time reasoning for the NGE. Notice the appeal to EGO? Notice the narrowing of the game experience in favour of "instant gratification". Further, the other notable thing: The devs told the players how they should be experiencing the game: It was not their world or creation!

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I definitely prefer sandbox too. But I think that the community around the game is another important point, I would prefer play a game with low quality but a friendly community rather than a "perfect" game with a grinding community.

 

There is a key expression for me in this vidéo: this guy said that a sandbox is a long term investment and a Themepark game a short term investment. I think it does not only reflect the evolution of the video game industry, but the evolution of the world through globalisation. In this way, the short term profit and the financial power, based on a ruthless competition has crushed any other way to manage the world.

 

Recently, I've realized how much the new MMORPGs, like Revelation Online for instance, look like to a day at work, competing harshly to be the first in the top list, to be the first to get the new stuff, to be the first to get everything and finally maybe paying a lot of monney and/or time to consume the content without even the pleasure to do it. It's more and more like an addiction, like social networks are sometimes.

Games like this are not "RPG" anymore, they are MMOthemepark, MMOArena or MMOcasino, and it brings more monney...

 

Finally, other players could be bot or AI at this point... What a paradox for a MMO!

 

Watch this vidéo.

Or read this about Tristan HARRIS and the Silicon Valley.

 

Maybe a MMO-RPG is just a nonsens.

 

Why? Because RPG is basically something about our human experience: me inside a story (like in a novel) or me interacting with other people (basic roleplay or board game) and that is what makes the experience valuable and interesting. And it's not possible to interact with everybody at the same time!

 

For me, that makes a MMO really worthy is the human experience, and this experience is strongly linked to the expression of our creativity and identity, finding a role or place in a bigger group. We find in it an alternative to the every day life, an "Oasis", just like in Ready Player One. Other people can find an oasis in their family, hobbies, friends or spirituality... Maybe after all, the sandbox MMO is the only MMO or MMORPG which makes sense?

 

So if I bring back something social, some knowledge or some wisdom from a game it's a good game. If I only play automatically or to get another level or another piece of stuff or only to don't feel alone, it's a bad or not so good game.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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Only sandbox-MMOs with player-made content and gameplay systems and mechanics that can be used and influenced by the players and that enables and requires player-interaction and that enables emergent gameplay give long-time motivation to me to play a MMO.

 

If You play a Themepark-MMO and go through the offered content and experiences its all over at the end and becomes boring fast. Especially, if no player-interactions are necessary. Then You can better play a single-player game.

 

So I just follow and play non-fantasy MMOs with sandbox elements, if possible on a single world or at least massive persistent universe and with a monthly subscription or B2P-model.

 

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It comes as no surprise that everyone here is a fan of "sandbox" games, lol

 

However, history has shown us that "sandbox" games just don't appeal to the vast majority of players. Everyone of us will have their own pet explanation for why that has been the case in the past, and why it will be "different" with DU.

 

But I don't think it will be any different at all, actually. To thrive in a sandbox, you have to be creative and self-motivated. You cannot sit back and just consume the entertainment provided by the devs. The vast majority of gamers want just that: they want to be entertained and given clear goals to attain. And it mustn't take too much time to get there...

 

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28 minutes ago, NanoDot said:

However, history has shown us that "sandbox" games just don't appeal to the vast majority of players. Everyone of us will have their own pet explanation for why that has been the case in the past, and why it will be "different" with DU.

 

But I don't think it will be any different at all, actually. To thrive in a sandbox, you have to be creative and self-motivated. You cannot sit back and just consume the entertainment provided by the devs. The vast majority of gamers want just that: they want to be entertained and given clear goals to attain. And it mustn't take too much time to get there...

This is why I'm glad DU is subscription based. It's already heading up a difficult hill. 

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37 minutes ago, NanoDot said:

It comes as no surprise that everyone here is a fan of "sandbox" games, lol

 

However, history has shown us that "sandbox" games just don't appeal to the vast majority of players. Everyone of us will have their own pet explanation for why that has been the case in the past, and why it will be "different" with DU.

 

But I don't think it will be any different at all, actually. To thrive in a sandbox, you have to be creative and self-motivated. You cannot sit back and just consume the entertainment provided by the devs. The vast majority of gamers want just that: they want to be entertained and given clear goals to attain. And it mustn't take too much time to get there...

 

Every game does not need to appeal to the vast majority of gamers.  There are a huge number of games that do try to attract them.  It makes more sense to appeal to those who are not finding what they want, instead of another game for the majority with nothing to make it stand out.

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9 minutes ago, NanoDot said:

It comes as no surprise that everyone here is a fan of "sandbox" games, lol

 

However, history has shown us that "sandbox" games just don't appeal to the vast majority of players. Everyone of us will have their own pet explanation for why that has been the case in the past, and why it will be "different" with DU.

 

But I don't think it will be any different at all, actually. To thrive in a sandbox, you have to be creative and self-motivated. You cannot sit back and just consume the entertainment provided by the devs. The vast majority of gamers want just that: they want to be entertained and given clear goals to attain. And it mustn't take too much time to get there...

 

Well said. DU is trying to get fans of multiple genres to all play the game together. (Yes please.) FPS fans can become fighter pilots and pirates and soldiers and engage in battle after battle, while engineers design ships and buildings, and builders do the building, and the economists crunch numbers and manipulate the market. Spies, assassins, explorers, farmers, thieves, diplomats, accountants... the list goes on. The issue is that each element on it's own pales in comparison to games with a dedicated genre. MMO's typically favor the hack n slash because that's where the money is, behold the hack n slash theme park MMO, everyone else exit stage left. Eve took a different approach and succeeded at being... Eve. If DU can find a way to appeal to, and satisfy, gamers across multiple genres, it would be a game changer.

The CONS of a sandbox MMO are the requirements: time, dedication, and money

 

The PROS of a sandbox MMO are its incredibly deep and rewarding gameplay across multiple genres.

 

Themepark MMO's don't really compare to what DU is trying to achieve.

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2 hours ago, AzureSkye said:

FantasyLand! Role play an eleven archer and collect 15 bear butts! Or be a Dwarven smith and fight the forces of  evil with escort quests! 

Make it an "adult themepark" and you can collect 15 bare butts instead ! ;)

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I initially enjoyed Elite Dangerous due to the open ended sandbox nature of the game.  However, if I take the liberty of tediously stretching a metaphor to breaking point, the ED sandbox was literally a mile wide and only an inch deep and as for working tools, only a small spoon was provided. 

There were scoops without handles, some didn’t even have a bottom edge, there were wireframe outlines of some toy earth-movers, a bit of paper that said, “this will be a bucket” and a photograph of a hose labeled “water”. 

Literally nothing was fleshed out properly and still hasn’t been after three years.

And I haven’t even mentioned the open ended endless repetitive grind that pervaded every single aspect and the only interaction was to shoot stuff. 

 

It was like a sandbox filled with tiny little repetitive FTP “amusement” parks. 

 

The reason I chose to jump ship is because DU promises to allow the players to actually communicate meaningfully and achieve something together. A real sandbox with real tools and an incredible level of openness. 

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On 4/12/2018 at 8:37 AM, NanoDot said:

Make it an "adult themepark" and you can collect 15 bare butts instead ! ;)

Bringing a new meaning to "escort quests," too

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