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Theme Park vs Sandbox, What Do The Players Think?


Hendrickson

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Straight sandbox is too much for people these days so I think a combination of the two would work out best.

 

It's already been shown that you can take a wide open and expansive field of play, then create a cohesive narrative on it, taking the sandbox and bolting on a themepark as it were, with games like Skyrim. The quests should be available to those that want them, but are optional only and no more or less viable than any other method for gaining experience.

 

Housing shouldn't be handled exactly like SWG, but in a similarly hybridized approach. Think instanced neighborhoods, a collection of in-world houses contained within an instanced plot of land. Would work well for guilds wanting to form towns.

 

Character development should step away from the class/level system and go back to a profession or skill-based structure. More trouble balancing sure, but ultimately more freedom for the players. This should also include professions that are not strictly combat related such as merchants, crafters, and entertainers.

 

A lot should be gained via exploration. For those that like questing, there should be several quests that have to be "found". No breadcrumbs to them.

 

A system should be set up to allow for player-created content. Not the chronical system that was dropped in to SWG, but something more robust like the foundry system that STO uses which allows the author to create entire environments and script the associated events.

 

A planetary control system should be implemented for the PVPers to coax people in to world PVP with concrete rewards for those that enjoy that playstyle.

 

Factions should not be strict structures that players have to be a part of. Make room for players that would choose to remain entirely neutral to the greater political affairs of the given game.

 

Endgame can and should allow for the traditional Raid and PVP model, but also allow room to for players to form their own endgame activities, such as economics for traders/crafters and larger scale events for entertainers.

 

That's my take on it, anyway. Starting with a sandbox base and adding the narrative of a themepark overtop of it would be easier than trying to start with a themepark and put in sandbox elements.

Edited by Bluerodian
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I certainly wouldn't, Do you know how vast a galaxy is? The only way to travel is hyperspace and you can't turn corners in hyperspace.

 

That actually makes SWTOR better for that sort of game, not worse. :)

 

But you're saying you wouldn't like to be able to free-fly a ship in SWTOR because the galaxy is too big? I'm not sure I see your point tbh. :confused:

 

How would a smaller galaxy make it better?

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Sand Box - a style of game where the objectives are not predefined by the developer, you are given a world with some minimal predefined rulesets and you make your own game in it. Like a childs sandbox, which is just a box of sand, the actual game comes from the childs imagination and doesn’t have a set objectives.

 

Nothing you listed is sandbox, it's things from SWG you liked that you wanted in TOR.

 

 

Nonsense.

 

That's just a very rigid and fairly incorrect defination of "sandbox", by your definaiton Minecraft isn't a "sandbox" game.... are you really trying to claim Minecraft isn't a "sandbox" game? :eek:

 

JTL is/was "sandbox" (do you think it was "themepark"? :confused:).

RvR (and especially RvRvR is "sandbox").

House and ships you can decorate as you please is "sandbox" (not as "sandbox" as houses you can place as you please, but still "sandbox").

A indepth and more useful crafting systems is "sandbox".

 

Not to mention more Open World ideas (and Open Space ideas too).

 

Now SWTOR cannot be (and wouldn't want to be) a pure "sandbox" game, but it would benefit massively from having a lot of decent "sandbox" features added to it.

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That actually makes SWTOR better for that sort of game, not worse. :)

 

But you're saying you wouldn't like to be able to free-fly a ship in SWTOR because the galaxy is too big? I'm not sure I see your point tbh. :confused:

 

How would a smaller galaxy make it better?

 

If I understand the point correctly, it's that considering the only way to go from one system to another, regardless of distance, is through Hyperspace, the only "content" the game will rightly have is what is in a given star system.

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That actually makes SWTOR better for that sort of game, not worse. :)

 

But you're saying you wouldn't like to be able to free-fly a ship in SWTOR because the galaxy is too big? I'm not sure I see your point tbh. :confused:

 

How would a smaller galaxy make it better?

 

I'm not implying to have a smaller galaxy, the galaxy is what it is and it is 120k light years across with 400 billion stars (which would make the game impossibly big as in size of the client), and "free-flying" would make it so that it takes the rest of your life to reach the next star, I hope you understand how big this is. Maybe have a small quadrant designated for flight, have a fleet where you can board, defend or whatever, but certainly not the whole galaxy, would be pointless.

 

As to mattgyver, your summary summarises a completely wrong inference.

Edited by DiabloDoom
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If I understand the point correctly, it's that considering the only way to go from one system to another, regardless of distance, is through Hyperspace, the only "content" the game will rightly have is what is in a given star system.

 

But that's no great loss otherwise you'd just have vast amounts of deep space which been deep space has vast amounts of nothing in it.

 

Large space zones of systems (and maybe a deep space zone or two) connected by hyperspace routes means Star Wars works better with MMORPGs, than say Elite would (or at least by better it is certainly an easier fit).

 

So again I don't see the supposed drawback of hyperspace lanes in a SW MMORPG? :confused:

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I'm not implying to have a smaller galaxy, the galaxy is what it is and it is 120k light years across with 400 billion stars, and "free-flying" would make it so that it takes the rest of your life to reach the next star, I hope you understand how big this is. Maybe have a small quadrant designated for flight, have a fleet where you can board, defend or whatever, but certainly not the whole galaxy, would be pointless.

 

But that's not how it would be set up (did you play JTL?), it wouldn't be like Elite, Star Wars space mythos revolves more around something like Freelancer.

 

Why would you think it would be? :confused:

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But that's not how it would be set up (did you play JTL?), it wouldn't be like Elite, Star Wars space mythos revolves more around something like Freelancer.

 

Why would you think it would be? :confused:

Sorry no I never played SWG I was involved with another game at the time. But I just read what JTL is, sorry I was thinking with your initial post that you were implying that the galaxy should be open to fly around without hyperspace. I understand what you mean now, and yeah it's a good idea that I think BioWare should adapt it in the future, and no doubt they will as they already have space missions therefore have the basics of the code that would be used. Edited by DiabloDoom
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Sand Box - a style of game where the objectives are not predefined by the developer, you are given a world with some minimal predefined rulesets and you make your own game in it. Like a childs sandbox, which is just a box of sand, the actual game comes from the childs imagination and doesn’t have a set objectives.

 

Nothing you listed is sandbox, it's things from SWG you liked that you wanted in TOR.

 

The housing/crafting is pure sandbox. The houses were made from crafting and you couldnt buy a house from a NPC vendor it had to be made by a player. The mats also had to be from a player, You also had all levels of quality (houses were just maint costs basically) but gear was stats from terrible that anyone could make to the server best which was with ll the best mats and all the crits. The best part was that they all sold, from the bad to the best.

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Both.

 

I would love to see the option of creating a generic character and then in game your path leads you to your class rather than choosing at the begining. But that is just a pipe dream lol

Edited by kirorx
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Meh i want a little of both. although i no longer play WOW there were a few aspects of the game that i liked, such as the "single player dailies," the rep grind for vanity items, the argent torney my favorite. I love SWTOR but having things to do outside of FP's OP'S and PVPing are a must.
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Sorry no I never played SWG I was involved with another game at the time. But I just read what JTL is, sorry I was thinking with your initial post that you were implying that the galaxy should be open to fly around without hyperspace. I understand what you mean now, and yeah it's a good idea that I think BioWare should adapt it in the future, and no doubt they will as they already have space missions therefore have the basics of the code that would be used.

 

Well I wouldn't say that was impossible, although still sticking to the SW hyperspace "rules", but realistically something like suggest is both more technically achieveable and easier, and still covers most of the bases due to the way SW hyperspace works.

 

Just reskinning JTL with SWTOR space graphics would make a decent expansion, but hopefully Bioware could improve it much further.

 

Although I do think probably the current missions should stay in place as they are pretty decent levelling options (just they aren't great for long term play), assuming SWTOR is to get some space changes anyway.

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Armour is a difficult one.

 

It shouldn't be, but it always seems to end up being so......... like the Monk nerf in EQ1 (although in the end the Devs admitted they had made a mistake with that).

 

Which is what I think a lot of people confuse; themepark with simplicity for the Devs. Moving away from an AC and weight based system to a light/medium/heavy system probably has much more to do with making life easier for the Devs than any consideration of Themepark/Sandbox.

 

Although an AC + weight system (and an attatched encumberment system) would be a much more "realistic" option.

 

Ok, pointing it out this way I would have to agree. I agree with you and the guy above you. Iteresting to think about it, once you say ok you can wear anything, you just have weight and AC, it isn't a big step to you can do any skill, you just have to learn.

 

One big problem with people today and weight I see is they can't "Oh, Shiny!". What I mean is if you have weight, you can't pick everything up. You going to leave stuff on the ground. And why can't we drop stuff on the ground anymore? Why do we destroy it?

 

I guess I miss that stuff and enjoyed the start of skyrim. I didn't beat the game, but I couldn't pick everything up, I didn't pick a class, I just started.

 

But this leads to, well everyone is the same. Why because some min/max found qwerty was the best skill set. After many flame wars on the forums about qwerty vs dvorak the qwerty PvPers wiped the dvorak's who promptly became qwerty's and said everyone was the same. They all than quit because the game was boring and lacked the ability to be unique.

 

And as my rambling post goes, humanity will never let this question be answered. For as it is said, "You can't eat your cake, and have it too."

 

(I got the quote right for those who wonder order of it look it up: Wikipedia got it wrong

 

PS

This thread is turning into SWG or not as i believe others have stated.

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Ok, pointing it out this way I would have to agree. I agree with you and the guy above you. Iteresting to think about it, once you say ok you can wear anything, you just have weight and AC, it isn't a big step to you can do any skill, you just have to learn.

 

One big problem with people today and weight I see is they can't "Oh, Shiny!". What I mean is if you have weight, you can't pick everything up. You going to leave stuff on the ground. And why can't we drop stuff on the ground anymore? Why do we destroy it?

 

I guess I miss that stuff and enjoyed the start of skyrim. I didn't beat the game, but I couldn't pick everything up, I didn't pick a class, I just started.

 

But this leads to, well everyone is the same. Why because some min/max found qwerty was the best skill set. After many flame wars on the forums about qwerty vs dvorak the qwerty PvPers wiped the dvorak's who promptly became qwerty's and said everyone was the same. They all than quit because the game was boring and lacked the ability to be unique.

 

And as my rambling post goes, humanity will never let this question be answered. For as it is said, "You can't eat your cake, and have it too."

 

(I got the quote right for those who wonder order of it look it up: Wikipedia got it wrong

 

PS

This thread is turning into SWG or not as i believe others have stated.

 

 

 

 

You could always track a monk in EQ1 by the trail of copper coins they left on the ground. If you started a toon on a new server it was actually a viable way to make money by following a monk around a higher level zone. :D

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You could always track a monk in EQ1 by the trail of copper coins they left on the ground. If you started a toon on a new server it was actually a viable way to make money by following a monk around a higher level zone. :D

 

I LoLed

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You could always track a monk in EQ1 by the trail of copper coins they left on the ground. If you started a toon on a new server it was actually a viable way to make money by following a monk around a higher level zone. :D

 

Then you had the enchanters that would transform themselves into the closest object, including "monk-droppings" (dropped coin)... Then people would try picking up the enchanter becsue they looked like coin on the ground... good times. :)

 

it's little stuff like this that's gone from games these days. :-/

Edited by Ironcleaver
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Interesting article from "Hardcore Casuals"

http://syncaine.com/2011/05/16/everquest-the-first-themepark/

 

"I will say this upfront so we are all on the same page, the definition of a sandbox/themepark is more opinion than science. It’s more general approach than X+Y=Z. Its shades of gray, and themeparks can have sandbox features, just like a sandbox can have themepark features. Finally, a game being X or Y does not instantly make it ‘better’ than another.

 

Ok that last part is a lie, sandbox > themepark. The rest is true though.

 

In a previous post, I described why the original premise of Ultima Online was so exciting to me, being an RPG without the content coming to an end. To me, themeparks very much have an end, even if they don’t say it as directly as a single-player RPG does.

 

In EQ1, if you played enough, you eventually hit the level cap, had “Best in slot” items, and had slain the toughest big-bad. Until an expansion, you were basically done. That, to me, is the key difference of the sandbox vs themepark distinction.

 

In contrast, while you could easily hit the skill cap in UO, your character was only ‘done’ until you decided to switch up those 700 points, something that was done somewhat frequently. Likewise, while you might have a solid collection of the ‘best’ gear, the fact that gear not only broke but could also be lost meant you could never have enough. The same goes for gold. In most themeparks X amount of gold is ‘enough’, while in something like UO/EVE/DF, more is ALWAYS better.

 

Continuing the ‘never done’ theme, another key sandbox characteristic is how you view the world. In a sandbox, most regions of the world retain some value, and you end up going back for one thing or another. You are never ‘done’ with a city, zone, or dungeon. In a themepark, you out-level or out-gear content, and once you are done, that’s it (for that character).

 

On the other hand, difficulty is NOT a characteristic of either sub-genre. EQ1 was a difficult themepark, but it was still a themepark. That mobs could kill you, that you needed to group, and the fact that it took a considerable amount of time (as compared to themeparks of today) to reach the cap does not mean EQ1 is suddenly a sandbox. You still went from zone to zone, you still out-leveled content, and, again, you eventual maxed out in levels/items. Now the fact that it took so long and was difficult is another topic, but change all mobs in WoW to elites and add an death penalty, and how different is WoW from EQ1?

 

Another distinction between a themepark and a sandbox is how you approach goals. In a themepark, you have ‘hard’ goals, while most goals in a sandbox are ‘soft’ goals. In EQ1, you log in to go after item X, because item X is the best item for that slot for that level range. You do it, because, well, that’s what you do. In a sandbox, you go into a dungeon to farm to get more wealth (be it general farming for gold or specific item farming because that item has high value, either for you or for others), and you then use that wealth to further progress whatever over-arching goal you or your clan have.

 

This goes back to that finite vs infinite content thing; in a sandbox your goals evolve based not just on your actions, but the actions of those around you. You very much live in a virtual world, and when big events happen, they matter. In a themepark, what other players are doing really has little impact on your game. The big exception here were EQ1 rare spawns, which I would call a pretty sandbox feature (and is it any surprise that current-day themeparks have removed this feature?), but by and large the distinction holds.

 

In many ways, a themepark is ‘simpler’ to get into, because the ultimate goals are more readily available and controlled. The EQ1 devs knew exactly how long it would take the average player to hit the level cap, or how long it would take to gear up to advance through raid content. In a sandbox, the devs don’t control when a large war breaks out, or which areas the players deem high-value (they can attempt to influence this, but it’s never an exact science). The word ‘dynamic’ is overused, but here it applies.

 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, sandbox vs themepark is as much a player mindset as anything else. If you are not bothered that your content might end, if a certain amount of unpredictability is not required, if a hard-set path is an attractive feature, then you don’t view a themepark as ultimately flawed.

 

But I do. Those things ultimately go against what I want from an MMO, which is an endless world that entertains me rather than a set amount of content to share with others. Of course, themeparks have their time and place; they are good for bursts of contained content. Show up, view the shiny lights, sit and watch the show, leave. Very un-MMO, kinda shallow, but still entertaining.

 

Long term though, I’ll be in the sandbox, setting up my mines."

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It would be nice to get an official statement from BioWare regarding the inclusion of sandbox elements in a future release?

 

Personally, I enjoy both types of MMO design and feel that TOR could benefit greatly from adding sub-pillars to fill the gaps between content updates and repetitive daily activities.

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