The Daily Grind: What do you look for in a sandbox MMO?

    
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Sandbox lovers must be in heaven lately with so many new choices arising in MMO circles. It seems as though most of the newer titles announced have widely embraced sandbox elements, even if integrating them with a more theme park structure.

And I’ve watched as a segment of the community has rejoiced over the resurgence of sandbox games, although I’ve also seen consternation and debate over how these MMOs are made. Should they have PvP? If so, how much? What about housing? What type of economy should it run? Should there be any developer-created story or should it be left fully in the players’ hands?

Good luck trying to get any consensus there because the only constant I’ve witnessed is how people will say, “I want New Game Online to be practically identical to Nostalic Old Game I Used To Play Online.” Whatever that may be.

So what do you look for in a sandbox MMO? And are there any upcoming or existing games that meet those criteria?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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likalaruku
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likalaruku

I should be able to destroy the world, harvest the world, & rebuild the world. (Skysaga, Trove, Minecraft Online).
I should be able to reach the tips of the mountains & the bottom of the sea, & hunt for treasures. (RIFT).
I should be able to fly, or at least have armor that lets me jump extremely high. (Trove).
Open PvP should not be forced upon players who don’t care to interact with others. (No ArchAge, no Black Desert)
Buy-to-play & microtransactions are fine, but I rotate too many regular MMOs to dedicate to one I would pay a $300-a-year subscription to.
Ability to move quickly & have some set goals & objectives instead of being completely open (No WURM Online, no Mabinogi, no Runescape).
The ability to just dick around with a variety of activities when not questing. (RIFT, GTAV Online).

merryleah
Guest
merryleah

Imagine a sandbox where the story was left entirely in the players’ hands, but the GMs and developers kept track of events and developments in the game locally and on a macro level, and would publish updates in the form of a narrative regularly. All players could see each week what new things or interesting things were happening around the game world — how the “story” was developing, so to speak —  and decide how they wanted to react or if they wanted to participate to change the course of the story.

TadSaine
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TadSaine

AGx i agree.  a person who wants to put in a lot of hours and ‘grind all day’ is a reward in an of itself that shouldn’t be minimized.  in theory, that player is gaining an advantage over someone who only plays an hour or two each day because they should be gaining a better understanding of how the game works.  i don’t think that contribution should be minimized. 

i hate the trend in MMOs of players being rewarded just for showing up.  it’s what you do in the game that should be rewarded.  while i hate skill progression that is based on time, i also dislike the idea of showing up being the reward – this is what happens when we give kids trophies in school just for trying.  but i digress…

i think the solution is dynamic game play.  give players options as to how they want to experience the game at all times.  for example, i think one way of doing this is by eliminating leveling, and replacing it with skill based leveling.  this allows players to customize their character however they want, when they want.

Theo454
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Theo454

TWAnderson Theo454 Apollymi shadowblender  Notice I said I solo more than half the time, I didn’t say I only solo. The friends I group with have limited playtime too, and more often than not, they are not available to group with, so I solo when they are not available to group with me.

FacelessSavior
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FacelessSavior

I’ve asked this question a few times to people who complain about having to deal with other players when they MMO. Never really gotten a definitive answer. Like, why are you trying to mold a genre that is clearly the opposite of what you’re looking for, into an abomination of itself?

TWAnderson
Guest
TWAnderson

Theo454 Apollymi shadowblender Why play an MMORPG if you only solo? :)

Maquiame
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Maquiame

Check out the mmo Revival.

Maquiame
Guest
Maquiame

Look into Revival its exactly this

Gylnne
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Gylnne

blackcat7k Well said, thank you.

melissaheather
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melissaheather

I’m eternally looking for something like Second Life that has more of a structured game to offer also.   A place full of cosmetics, avatar upgrades, emotes, physics, clothing, QOL stuff first and foremost.   But one with a reasonably-decent game world to adventure in and find things to do.  SL’s building tools and your ability to create and craft anything you can imagine is unequaled.  I’d enjoy those features for sure.   Once i created a very nice and working Luger for a German friend of mine in SL.   I made it from scratch using primitive shapes, dropped in a gun script, and voila, he had a Luger that could fire, eject shells, smoke trailed from the barrel, etc.   We need more games with building tools like that.   You can make anything you want in SL, upload your own textures, sounds, script it, make it do what you want it to do.