This will be my 3rd attempt this week, to write something.
I've been having some kind of writers block, ok I'm no writer, as many who freak-went this blog well and truly know :)
It was more of trying to stay on topic, so lets hope this time I don't jump around to much.
Well lets get started.
Theme Park MMO's -
These MMO's focus on leading you from quest to quest. WOW is a great example of this, it takes the player from 1 quest to the next. The outlay is somewhat rigid, in that your just along from the ride. Hence the name Theme Park.
They do try to make the game play flow in a curtain way, and in most parts this is normally a very enjoyable process. All the the content within the game is made for you, and you as a player have very few tools at you disposal to bring in new game play elements.
Sand Box -
This is the polar opposite to the Theme Park type of MMO. Though you may have some quests, they do tend to be more space out. SWG is a prime example of this type of Sand Box game.
These tend to give the player a greater amount of freedom within the world. They do let you create your own content, and in most cases encourage this to a great extent. They will give you tools to use in-game to make your own quests, and tend to have a more open world feel.
So what has this to do with TOR you may ask ?
Well for 1, TOR has been described as a Theme Park MMO, with Sand Box elements.
While both types have there good points, they equally have bad points. Theme Parks while good at getting the player from 1 point to another, have very little in the way for you as a player to find something new.
A new elite mob for example, or a hidden quest, by the time you reach max level there is very little else for the player to find. Which forces you to follow the ride with raids.
Theme parks on the other hand, let you go out into the wild and find yourself lost within the world, with little structure around you. Which can be pleasant, but they tend to leave you wondering what to do next.
I am hoping that TOR has a good mix of both. I'm not sure how many games have tried this in the past, but nothing really stuck out much other that the latest updates that plagued SWG.
What I would like to see is, the Theme Park, which takes you the player along from the ride, with that open world feel. Sure I want to have the best of both, and get rid of all the stuff that many hated about both those game types.
For me the larger worlds would be, 1 part Theme Park and 2 parts Sand Box.
This would give the players a chance to level and get loot, that will take them to the max level. And then they can do all that raid stuff is they so wish.
I would also like to be to leave the Theme Park at any point, and find some hidden gems within the world. Finding an undiscovered cove that has some elite mob, that is away from the traffic of those many questers. Some where I can sit/chill and chat, with a nice back drop, at any point when I wish to get away from the daily grind.
To find a hidden quest, that opens up a hole new and totally unnecessary quest chain, that lets you dive deeper in the world that you are playing.
These types of things, are all important to me. I do not want to be held by the hand all of the time. Then trust on the the next ride within the chain.
Just give me the chance to just get out of that rat race and do what ever I feel like, even if that means lying on my back in an open field and watching the stars go by. Nothing can replace these things once you have experienced them in an MMO. They may sound trivial to some, but just for a few moments you can escape, and just enjoy being is this fantasy world, without the need to kill someone or something, raid or what ever else you find in every Theme Park.
Also give me the opportunity to deck out my ship, and a possible crafting skill that I can make things to place there-in, wouldn't go a miss.
Most everyone likes a good theme park ride, but too much leaves you feeling sick, and you can always use a timeout, just to watch the world go by.
This is the type of world I hope TOR brings to the table, something that can cater to both sides of the fence.