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Theme Park vs Sandbox, What Do The Players Think?


Hendrickson

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The sandbox MMO is a niche within a niche market and there is a reason for that.

 

The reason for this is simple. Griefing. Going back to good old UO most gamers just can't deal with sandbox life.

 

I've played EvE for years. I have the resources and the corp behind me to make another players life miserable just for lulz. My buddies and I can grief you to the point you wouldn't be able to play beyond sitting in a space station. And I'm one of the nicer people on Eve!

 

But that's sandbox life. Bad, terrible things will happen to you. Other players will try to take everything you have on a daily basis and no dev or mod is going to help you. A careless player can lose weeks, months even years of progress if they are REALLY careless and no one is going to help you get it back. That's a reality the casual gamer can't stomach.

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I think Guild Wars 2 is going to be an MMO that is a mix of Theme park and sandbox, its probably more towards the Theme park, but a good amount of sandbox. It is going to have a dynamic world that changes based on what happens with the dynamic events. Players can go where ever they want, even though there are levels, players are either brought up or brought down in levels to match the levels of the zone they are in, but still have the same skills as their real level allows. So if you friends are higher level then you, you can go play with them in the higher level areas and you won't be useless, just less skills, or they can come down to your level and not one shot everything and make easy mode.
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Nothing in what you have linked says SWG had less than 1000 subs, it says they still had 200,000 whilst losing 10,000 per month (at it's peak).

 

Yet it still did better subs over time-wise than AoC and DDO (and many others) until they went F2P which is a completely different model.

 

So I don't really see your point.

 

no it didn't AoC had 750k subs at it's peak. SWG only had 200k at its peak and lost them at a rate of 10k a month.

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But that's sandbox life. Bad, terrible things will happen to you. Other players will try to take everything you have on a daily basis and no dev or mod is going to help you. A careless player can lose weeks, months even years of progress if they are REALLY careless and no one is going to help you get it back. That's a reality the casual gamer can't stomach.

 

And then there's the flip side. I played EVE for 5 years (and still sign on occasionally for a space faring fix), and have NEVER died. Not once, lol. I can't even say that about SWTOR! EVE pretends to be all bad-assed, but there's an aweful lot of bravado that goes along with it.

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And here's another vid of ArcheAge with underwater exploring. I think they might also be planting kelp, but I don't speak Korean, haha.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL3hL63OEkI

 

 

 

Certainly an

looking game.

 

Which is what I find strange, a game with the best bits of SWTOR and the best bits of a game like that (or SWG) would be an amazing game.

 

There's no reason most of what SWTOR is couldn't function within a more adaptable world, just the amount of work involved.

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no it didn't it had less then 1,000 people.

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/06/15/ex-star-wars-galaxy-designer-talks-nge/

 

the failure of SWG is well documented.

 

That "apology" is still a fun read today :p (note: read the unedited version on mmorpg.com).

 

As pointed out, doesn't say "had less then 1000 subs" anywhere. They had around 200k and were losing 10k a month.

 

Best part of his "apology" is how they were all so in awe of the point-and-click control scheme (which was horrid) and how he claims they were trying to create something "new and unique" when they actually had something unique which they ruined to change it into something generic :p

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Last time I checked, UO was still runnin', and there ain't none sandboxier (except maybe Eve).

 

sandbox or PVP?

 

 

UO isn't really what I would consider a sandbox MMO. it has player house and the such but still all the content is developer based not use created base like EVE, SWG, Asherons Call or something like that.

Edited by jarjarloves
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The sandbox MMO is a niche within a niche market and there is a reason for that.

 

The reason for this is simple. Griefing. Going back to good old UO most gamers just can't deal with sandbox life.

 

I've played EvE for years. I have the resources and the corp behind me to make another players life miserable just for lulz. My buddies and I can grief you to the point you wouldn't be able to play beyond sitting in a space station. And I'm one of the nicer people on Eve!

 

But that's sandbox life. Bad, terrible things will happen to you. Other players will try to take everything you have on a daily basis and no dev or mod is going to help you. A careless player can lose weeks, months even years of progress if they are REALLY careless and no one is going to help you get it back. That's a reality the casual gamer can't stomach.

 

 

Not necessarily true. It's very well possible to have a sandbox MMO with optional PvP, for example through factions (remain neutral, don't get attacked...)

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no it didn't AoC had 750k subs at it's peak. SWG only had 200k at its peak and lost them at a rate of 10k a month.

 

It peaked at around 350,000. But then that was in the pre-WoW days, at that point it was the 2nd most successful western MMORPG ever.

 

The post WoW MMO world is a very different place.

 

 

AoC claimed to have ~700,000 at its peak (just after launch), but that was just accounts created, which is more analogous to boxes sold at that point.

 

None of which really proves anything about anything, but there you go.

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It peaked at around 350,000. But then that was in the pre-WoW days, at that point it was the 2nd most successful western MMORPG ever.

 

The post WoW MMO world is a very different place.

 

 

AoC claimed to have ~700,000 at its peak (just after launch), but that was just accounts created, which is more analogous to boxes sold at that point.

 

None of which really proves anything about anything, but there you go.

 

work is blocking mmo charts for me but here you go let me know what you find

 

mmodata.blogspot.com/

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That "apology" is still a fun read today :p (note: read the unedited version on mmorpg.com).

 

As pointed out, doesn't say "had less then 1000 subs" anywhere. They had around 200k and were losing 10k a month.

 

Best part of his "apology" is how they were all so in awe of the point-and-click control scheme (which was horrid) and how he claims they were trying to create something "new and unique" when they actually had something unique which they ruined to change it into something generic :p

 

the 1000 subs comes from the past few years when they couldn't even fill 1 server.

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Not necessarily true. It's very well possible to have a sandbox MMO with optional PvP, for example through factions (remain neutral, don't get attacked...)

 

Yep. That was my point above. You can play EVE without ever dying. I did it.

 

This notion that Sandbox = ffa pvp is bogus. Look at Minecraft. One of the most successful Sandbox games to date, and the option to have PvP or not can be implemented by each individual public/private server.

 

Second Life is another example of Sandbox w/o PvP.

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Certainly an
looking game.

 

Which is what I find strange, a game with the best bits of SWTOR and the best bits of a game like that (or SWG) would be an amazing game.

 

There's no reason most of what SWTOR is couldn't function within a more adaptable world, just the amount of work involved.

 

 

Not sure what bits of SWTOR you'd consider portable to a game like ArcheAge. To me, it'd be like mixing ketchup and ice cream...both good in their own context (at least to me), but mixed? Prolly not so tasty.

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work is blocking mmo charts for me but here you go let me know what you find

 

mmodata.blogspot.com/

 

Says AoC spiked at 700,000 very quickly, but then was down to >100,000 within just over 6 months where it stayed till I guess it went F2P in 2010.

 

SWG went to 300,000 stayed flat for 2 years then declined steeply too 100,000 over the next 2 years before levelling to a slower decline over the next 4 years. At the last point they have at the beginning of 2010 it was just over 50,000 subs.

 

 

Second life and EvE seem to be the only one that have gained and kept subs post-WoW according to that site, all the rest have peaked and dropped (usually sharply). (LOTRO too, but not sure whether F2P is on that or not)

Edited by Goretzu
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Not sure what bits of SWTOR you'd consider portable to a game like ArcheAge. To me, it'd be like mixing ketchup and ice cream...both good in their own context (at least to me), but mixed? Prolly not so tasty.

 

 

Well I've no idea what the levelling or skill system would be there (personally I don't think an EQ1 system is intrinsically un-sand box, nor a SWG or UO style intrinsically sand box) so it's hard to say.

 

But retaining the central story and voice acting and questing of SWTOR, but with more open world stuff and options that are much less linear (more sand boxy depending on your point of view).

 

 

It's like when good instanced PvP and ORvR both work, the base systems can be the same and the choice of what to actually do is then up to you.

 

 

There's (to my mind) no discreet line between theme park and sand box, just a load of artificial constructs that people seem to make up to limit both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or to use your analogy, the game would be a supermarket where you could buy ketchup or ice cream when the mood struck you, with no artificial limitations to when or what you could buy.

Edited by Goretzu
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There's (to my mind) no discreet line between theme park and sand box, just a load of artificial constructs that people seem to make up to limit both.

 

 

Or to use your analogy, the game would be a supermarket where you could buy ketchup or ice cream when the mood struck you, with no artificial limitations to when or what you could buy.

 

I agree...it is a spectrum. Definitions are useful, though, and I was curious what elements you'd port from SWTOR to a sandbox game .

 

I believe ArcheAge will have quests--not sure of the strength of a central story though. That aspect seems lost in the enthusiasm over its sandbox elements.

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Darkfall

Mortal online

Xsyon

 

 

I would also add to this Minecraft. There are Minecraft servers that have hundreds of players on them. Game has had over $4 million US in sales. One guy developed it, I might add...not a few hundred like SWTOR.

Edited by Cerion
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Yep. That was my point above. You can play EVE without ever dying. I did it.

 

This notion that Sandbox = ffa pvp is bogus. Look at Minecraft. One of the most successful Sandbox games to date, and the option to have PvP or not can be implemented by each individual public/private server.

 

Second Life is another example of Sandbox w/o PvP.

 

If you played Eve without dying you played it completely wrong.

 

There is no flagging in Eve, you are in essence, perma flagged for pvp and are therefore, never safe. There are three types of space you can fly in each with a varying degree of concord (police) support ranging from high security to no security. Even in high security space, you are not safe. If a person wants you dead and they have a ship with enough alpha to kill you before the police get there, your ship will be popped and if you are lucky, they might let you keep your pod.

 

There are people in Eve who enjoy nothing more than to catch new players in High Sec. and destroy them, repeatedly. I am a 6 year vet with 4 accounts one of which, is solely for destroying high value targets in high security space. If you run into me in .6 and below you will most likely lose your ship. If you make the mistake of dropping into .4 space or below, you will lose your pod as well.

 

Eve is packed full of players just like me. Long time vets with skills that have been capped for literally years just waiting to grind new players into gristle.

 

The reason posts like the one above always use "played" in the past tense when they are referring to Eve is because the average new player lasts about 3 weeks. Just long enough to get a ship worth destroying.

 

Is it a sandbox? Yep and it's full of bullies ready to pound your face into the sand and take your lunch money.

 

The average mmo player today lacks the veracity and the patience to participate in activities that result in true losses. They also lack the creative thinking required to make meaningful contributions to sandbox world. This is why sandbox games will always be niche games and never garner the sub numbers that theme park games will.

Edited by Sparklehorse
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I would also add to this Minecraft. There are Minecraft servers that have hundreds of players on them. Game has had over $4 million US in sales. One guy developed it, I might add...lol not a few hundred like SWTOR.

 

Minecraft is not an mmo.

neither is World of Tanks (just wanted to throw that out there)

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I agree...it is a spectrum. Definitions are useful, though, and I was curious what elements you'd port from SWTOR to a sandbox game .

 

I believe ArcheAge will have quests--not sure of the strength of a central story though. That aspect seems lost in the enthusiasm over its sandbox elements.

 

I'm not sure I even care if a game has "quests" anymore, at least not in their most recent incarnation. All they ever are is some NPC asking you to go grind mobs. Just up the XP from grinding, make sure the combat is fast, fluid, and responsive, and let me do the rest.

 

Or better yet, remove levels, and remove the need for questing. Let players pick a certain number of skills, and advance the skills as you use them. Let people go craft, solo hunt/explore, pvp, whatever on their own right from the start, rather than run them through a boring leveling treadmill everyone is already well familiar with and remain ambivalent toward at best, if not outright despising it.

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