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sandbox/thempark and how it relates to swtor

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
sandbox/thempark and how it relates to swtor

Shingara's Avatar


Shingara
07.24.2012 , 06:22 AM | #1
Now before anyone jumps up and down i just want to make clear this isnt asking or suggesting anything for swtor. This isnt about recreating another game within this one or altering this game in any way shape or form.

What im wondering is that i myself have played mmos and before that rts, fps, stand alone rgs and simulator games for atleast close to 3 decades and im assuming that others have too even if not to the same degree. What do you think the lessons learned from different aspects of sandbox/themepark gameplay could be seen within swtor. Be it playerhousing, player created quests or basically anything else you can think of that relates to games in general along sandbox/themepark aspects.

What have you seen in other games that you have played that worked ok but had side effects, if they were to come in how would you like them tobe done. What have you seen that damaged a game and what features have you seen come into games that just did not go far enough and was left on the sidelines.

And if you saw them coming into the game how would you like them to be implimented or restricted from the game.
Health Warning - Thread May Contain Nuts.
First, you can continue as a subscriber, which gives you unlimited access to all game features and future Game Updates at no additional charge. http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20120731

DarthMaulUK's Avatar


DarthMaulUK
07.24.2012 , 06:39 AM | #2
I think sandbox MMOs such as SWG came at the wrong time. They were too ambitious, had a huge learning curve and required PCs at that time to have at least Transform & Lighting(T&L) - which was only found on expensive cards despite Nvidia offering a confusing line up of budget cards.

Fast forward 2004 and World of Warcraft. Structured in its approach, didnt require a mid range PC to play and offered a clear direction for the gamer in progression.

Fast forward 2012 and many gamers have become bored with the themepark MMO. It relies too much on developers to churn out regular updates and this is something most simply cant do. Players rapidly lose interest and unsub. They may/not come back when theres some 'new' updates but even rehashing the same old crap, giving it a different colour doesnt always help.

I think had Bioware flexed some creative muscle and offered a mixture of both, then it probably wouldnt have lost 700,000 players in under 5 months. Their decision to use the Hero Engine, was a bad mistake as its simply too demanding and clunky and requires a pretty good spec PC to get some stable FPS.

Every step of the way, SWTOR is littered with design flaws as they clearly focused way too much on copying World of Warcraft and thinking that 'Story' would be enough to keep people here.

If SWTOR did have some sandbox elements, players could have been free to do what they like until some new content arrives - without the need to be whisked away to some shame hole instance for a pvp fix(for example).

Shingara's Avatar


Shingara
07.24.2012 , 06:43 AM | #3
I think you hit on a good point, alot of games that try to verge to far to the sandbox side in the past were fighting the technology. They sacrifice on the graphics and animations like swg suffered because really in concept original swg was a great game that was hugly miss mamanged and they just didnt have the tech server side and back then players didnt have the tech client side to do something so ambitious. Similar thing with war, great game bad tech.
Health Warning - Thread May Contain Nuts.
First, you can continue as a subscriber, which gives you unlimited access to all game features and future Game Updates at no additional charge. http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20120731

Aricus's Avatar


Aricus
07.24.2012 , 06:46 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Shingara View Post
I think you hit on a good point, alot of games that try to verge to far to the sandbox side in the past were fighting the technology. They sacrifice on the graphics and animations like swg suffered because really in concept original swg was a great game that was hugly miss mamanged and they just didnt have the tech server side and back then players didnt have the tech client side to do something so ambitious. Similar thing with war, great game bad tech.
Yep I agree with your point the and poster's above. I really wish a major developer would do a Sandbox MMO a good one. I would play EvE but it's just not my type of theme.

macumba's Avatar


macumba
07.24.2012 , 07:02 AM | #5
I very much agree with DarthMaulUK and posted my opinion often in a similar way.
What I really do not understand is why certain system simply replace other systems. so you have themepark style activities in your mmo, why does that have to be exclusive?
Just because you're not paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Shingara's Avatar


Shingara
07.24.2012 , 07:19 AM | #6
good point mac, alot of features actually supliment instead of detract but are outright written off as game damaging. One of the things that made me think of this is due to them saying in the recent lay off response that they have a dedicated team who are going to add more content and more ways to play.
Health Warning - Thread May Contain Nuts.
First, you can continue as a subscriber, which gives you unlimited access to all game features and future Game Updates at no additional charge. http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20120731

Hunny_Bun's Avatar


Hunny_Bun
07.24.2012 , 07:25 AM | #7
It's easier to make a theme park game and then add sandbox features than it is to release a sandbox game and then realise people need direction.

So hopefully we're on the right track

Shingara's Avatar


Shingara
07.24.2012 , 07:27 AM | #8
I think rift are going in that direction right now and sto did with the foundry, shame they never really had a themepark game to start off with.

I liked the foundry mission creater though and phasing allowed it to work well, playerhousing in concept in swg was great, the way it was implimented though so planets were just littered was the drawback. Did anyone play eq2's player housing an explain how that worked or any other form of player housing.
Health Warning - Thread May Contain Nuts.
First, you can continue as a subscriber, which gives you unlimited access to all game features and future Game Updates at no additional charge. http://www.swtor.com/info/news/blog/20120731

Valkirus's Avatar


Valkirus
07.24.2012 , 07:41 AM | #9
The single best crafting system of any MMO I have played has to be UO. It was done in such a way at the beginning atleast, a player could devote himself to perfecting his craft and it was possible to rise up to such a high level, they could make the very best weapons and armor the game had to offer. And it was logically done, in the sense a Blacksmith for example could "repair" any plate and mail armor.

I boggles my mind how other MMO's can let a player become a master at his craft, yet lack the skills to even repair his items? And if my memory serves me correct, I think as weapon or armor lost it's best quality, it also lost some of it's effectiveness. Such as armor protection value and weapon damage., etc

What this type of approach did to the game in my opinion was create a real player driven economy. Where a high level crafter in his profession was held in high requards for his products by the player base. Another thing UO did really well was allow the player to have boats and travel freely around the world and use his boat to secure goods on. Horses also could be mounted for combat and there was the knowledge they could be killed too.

If they took the modern graphics we have nowdays and someone made another MMO like UO, with all it's features, I would buy it and pay a sub in a heartbeat. However, they would have to not make the stupid changes Origin did to UO about a year after it's release. And that is a long story, but led to reasons I quit.
Trust is something which is earned.

Fardarter's Avatar


Fardarter
07.24.2012 , 07:43 AM | #10
SWTOR is too linear. It is a theme park on steroids. Playing SWTOR is like watching a movie, after seeing it a few times even if you love it, you know whats coming in the next scene. If people really like a movie they pay once for the blue ray or dvd and can watch it when ever they want. The don't pay a monthly subscription to do so.

SWTOR could get away with it if they added content very rapidly, but to date there haven't been any new story/character quests added to the game. ( Not surprising, I sent feedback in beta voicing concerns that the story elements take so much resources to create how can they possibly add content for all classes in a timely manner? Turns out they can't)

On the other hand a sandbox is a blank canvass, player determine what they want to do in the game world. If the developers do a good job in creating the world and give players lots of tools to shape the world much of the content will be created by the players themselves. ( A great example is in LOTRO where players can learn to play instruments, players have music festivals at Weathertop where full out bands get together and jam out! A great example of developers giving player tools and letting them run with them)

You can have both elements in a game, EQ is a great example of a game with sand box and theme park elements. WoW came along 5 years later and dumbed it down significantly and very successfully making it appealing to a very broad range of gamers.

The story isn't the problem with SWTOR. The problem with SWTOR is you simply can't play the game without it. You are forced to play SWTOR the way the devs tell you to. I think MMO players in general hate that notion. Players want the option to walk their own path.

SWTOR can still be saved, it just needs to open itself up some. It will cost money though and I am not sure EA will be willing to spend to get the game there at this point. Remember many aspects of the game were cut due to budget concerns so it was an issue even before launch and before the exodus of players. I am rooting for the game to rebound. In order to do so I think many changes need to happen.