Housing, crafting, pretty plants in pots – yes Blenkinsop it has all the classic hallmarks of PvP

DayZ, Age of Wushu, Repopulation, Archeage(?). The depressing, unimaginative list goes on. PvP continues to stick to Sandbox play like tar this year. Tar or a leech.

Sandbox players do not need PvP.

PvP appears to need sandbox. Probably to procure a steady flow of victims. If there is one thing PvP games rapidly run out of it is fresh fodder. If they were any good, the fun of PvP would attract all the players they need …no? Here are two more of my hem hem occasionally accurate predictions:

The 2013 PvP(sandbox)  games with safe zones will do better than those without.  In the PvP(sandbox) games with safe zones, the safe zones will have more players than the PvP-enabled zones. Amiright? Darn tooting I am.

Sandbox players also do not need groups, villages, cadres, guilds or huddles. Another thing that is stuck to them like knee-jerk glue, is forced grouping. Not necessary to the sandbox part of a game.

It is PvP that needs these, to make it acceptably playable by providing some protection.

All sandbox players need is a sandbox, bucket and spade (translate: creation options) and a way to keep destructive players (and devs) off their stuff and out of their face. Sandbox players are also just as sociable as anyone else. There is no need to isolate them in a single-player genre. In fact showing off what you made/chose/earned/wrenched with your bare hands from the jaws of a dragon with the help of some friends (ie people you like, not forced groupees) is a big part of the fun.

Now which bit of all that is hard to grasp, o game studios? I wonder if EQNext will break the mold. I bet the pressure is on to “include a big pvp element”.

If you add up all the sandbox players ghettoised in the safe zones of PvP games, you get quite some “niche”. 250,000 plus wouldn’t surprise me.

Categories: Game Design and Creation

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