How much sand in the Sandbox

I made a post recently, and been thinking a lot since then.

Sandbox What is a sandbox game? I think it’s when devs create a world and tools and it’s up to players to come up with ideas on how exactly they prefer to use tools in the world. Missions however boring they may look are perfect example of sandbox gameplay to me. When someone accepts a mission there is plenty of choice, you can blitz, you can clear everything salvage and loot, you can mine in mission pockets, you can be scanned down and mission objective can be stolen from you, you can buy mission objective and never leave a station, you can solo or fly in gang, etc etc. A world and tools, and freedom of choice how to act. And the tools being professions, ships and modules.

Themepark The opposite of sandbox, a themepark gameplay, is when there is a certain way a player is supposed to play the game, and I think Abyssal Deadspace is really a themepark at is core. You dive in and the only way you get out you kill everything coming at you. Procedural creation of backgrounds looks great but has nothing to do with the world as in sandbox world, it doesn’t affect gameplay at all and it could. Randomness of spawned packs does not either, in fact it narrows down viable choice of ships and modules. That Eve down under presentation screen How could @CCP_Fozzie present it with a smile, even laugh about it? 64% of all AD sites are done in Gilas. So one can say there is one tool. One way to do the sites properly. One way to get the reward.

How I see it could be fixed? By adding more tools.

  1. Different ways of opening warp gates Why is it necessary to kill everything in a pocket. I understand when it’s Triglavians In the pocket, say they lock the gate. But when it’s Sleepers or Drifters, they are invaders just like we are, and the fact they are there means they killed Trigs and gates should be open. Hacking while under fire is one of the ways sleeper data and relic sites are done. One could hack AD Gates to skip a pocket, hack Bioadaptive cache for loots.

  2. Different ways of getting rewards All the loot now is in a single wreck, BPCs, materials, modules, everything. I think it is the pinnacle of lazy design. Salvaging could be a thing. In fact I did salvage every biocache wreck for a week or two and I feel betrayed. Mining and gas harvesting could be a thing too. Go in with mining lasers and hack module, tank whole pocket, then hack the gates. Structure bashing. Crossing the border. Many things could be done beside or instead of just killing rats.

New ways of interacting with gates and biocaches will be added in the next patch. Which is a good thing. Not sure if it’s an event only or a permanent thing though.

And it’s not only the Abyss that looks themepark to me.

16.11.2017 Lifeblood

  • Guristas and Blood Raider FOBs They fixed those several times as players kept finding new tricks to solo them. They actually cut all the tools players came up with, until people stopped running them.
  • Resource Wars There is only one proper way of running these sites. It’s like mining missions but worse.

15.11.2016 Ascension

  • NPC Mining Operations The only way you interact with NPC miners is you kill them. You are only rewarded if you kill hauler too. There are 2 ways of doing it, alfa in belt or scan down with combat probes. But I still think its too themepark activity.

08.03.2016 March 2016 release

  • Drifter Hive Sites You can only do those in group. You can only go in expendable ships because of Drifter DD weapon. There are only 5 sites, each of them is the same every time.

11.11.2014 Phoebe 1.3

  • Limited Sleeper Cache The sites themselves are fine, they are challenging and fun, but they are supposed to be done in Astero only. Covops or T1 frigates with paper thin tank cant afford a single mistake. (Standard and Superior sites are fine, there is a variety of ships that work)

19.11.2013 Rubicon 1.0

  • Ghost sites The sites themselves are fine too, challenging, fun, fast. But the fact they provide both implant BPCs and materials is kind of lazy design in my view.

I only mentioned examples which I consider themepark gameplay. There were sandboxy things added within that period of time also, so it’s not all that bad. But it still is pretty bad.


I like to think before I post. It helps me find the right forum section for posting ideas, which in this case could have also been Features & Ideas discussion.

On the topic… Most of the time do suggestions, which try to change fundamental aspects of the game not go down well. Increasing complexity is also often the wrong way and players are more open to making content easier. Any large change then has to be introduced as something new and additional. And only when it has caught on and led to old content becoming unpopular and unused does it become safe to abandon the old content. There are then always some players who like what oneself might not like and changes need to respect this. It often means one cannot simply conclude from one’s own perspective to that of others or even to what would be best for the entire game. It’s not one’s own game, but it’s everyone’s game.

1 Like

Yes EVE is ■■■■ getting more ■■■■ by the year

Yet, there is still enough sand in the box to for many people to throw it into your face and watch you frantically and screamingly try to get it out of your eyes.

If only they were not as annoying for the rest of the system. If they are in your system, you have to either destroy them as quickly as possible, or you can move out for 7 days. It would be a pain in the back if they were not possible to solo or dual box.

It’s not sand in the sandbox.

It’s lube.


Forget the lube, I’m going in dry

Drifter Hives actually have a range of options. Don’t confuse the only group reliably running them (using not cheap disposable ships) using a fixed doctrine as there only being a single way to do them. It’s just a way that works well for a public group.

Not to disagree with the principle of your post. just to correct a detail.

1 Like

A sandbox game eventually settles down into a themepark game where we’ve made some of the rides, like the “What happened to all my corp assets?” ride that made EVE famous.

1 Like

Classic dystopian thinking. It reminds of the idea that one day we all will be eating pills instead of proper food.

Apparently not enough.

You don’t like all the new PVE and that’s fine. However, you don’t need to hide or rationalize that by trying to squeeze it into the sandbox vs. themepark notion.

EVE is neither, although it has parts of both. EVE is actually an attempt to be as sandboxy as possible, considering the continuous character of the game and the goal to keep it challenging. The sandbox is limited in depth and thus has largely been solved several times. At such points, CCP comes in with god-like interventions, reshaping the rules and mechanics in order for people to be challenged again.

1 Like

Ackchyually, I didn’t say I didn’t like new PVE. In fact,

  • I hunted Gurista NPC miners for several months and really enjoyed it. (got around 10 bil in harvester drones and orca/rorqual skins)
  • I tried RW for a week and I really liked the gameplay.
  • I explored Drifter WHs a lot and mapped them with tons of bookmarks in attempt to find spots to slowboat into Hive pockets.
  • I tried every size of Sleeper Caches. Love hidden cans mechanic.
  • Still do every Ghost site I happen to scan. 20-70 mil for 2 minutes of hacking (highsec).

But they are all so shallow and unrewarding, not ISK wise, ISK is good, but not impactful and isolated from the rest of the game. NPC miners mostly drop SKINS, no one buys them anymore. RW reward, I don’t even want to talk about it. Sleeper Caches are blue loot isk faucets, that’s so stupid.

1 Like

You do say things, which contradict themselves for most readers. This here only being the latest. Hardly anyone says they like shallow and unrewarding content, but they say the exact opposite. So you’re either contradicting yourself, or you belong to those few people who like shallow and unrewarding.

You then speak of fixing it, or how it’s pretty bad. Again, what’s to fix or how’s it bad when you want to say you like it?

Another contradiction I found is to ask “Why is it necessary to kill everything in a pocket” and then in the next paragraph complaining about how loot in a single wreck was lazy. Not wanting to kill everything is lazy, is it not? So you want lazy and then again you don’t.

I’d say your main problem here is that you fail to take one position and stick to it for your argument. You will have to make up your mind or you will always be sitting between chairs in your arguments.

Deliberately posted in GD, exactly because I think suggesting changing 5 years worth of stuff is pretty much hopeless. But newer things they will add might be more meaningful, impactful, connected to existing world.

You know its instant gratification vs meaningfulness. Instant gratification gameplay might be rewarding, ISK wise, but it doesn’t help keep people playing, methinks.

1 Like

Bounty payouts, one of the oldest reward systems in EVE, are the ultimate form of instant gratification. Players run anomalies literally for ISK/hour and counting ticks. Ship insurances are the same - it’s instant cash for a ship loss.

What’s your point?

1 Like

I do need ISK. At times I do play for fun, that in my case is mostly digging lore, exploring Drifters and such stuff. But I do stuff I called unrewarding here to get ISK. And I don’t think it makes my argument contradictory. You don’t always get to play the way you want. I could stop playing but I feel attached to the game. I like the world, the lore, the people. So I try to express and discuss what I feel would be better for the game.

I may like something and it still can be improved, no?

Putting everything in one can is understandable, considering timer. But what I suggested was, say you go for mutaplasmids and mods, so you kill rats. Or you go for Isogen-10, and you mine and hack your way out. The choice of way to play the AD, the choice of rewards. The tools.

Getting everything from same can is lazy and shallow.

1 Like

Well, CCP will be able to tell you exactly how many players loot their wrecks and how many don’t or even like to just blitz missions. I’m guessing it’ll be a mixed bag.

Having everything in one can is not going to bother much the players who collect all their wrecks and salvage them. Especially when the clock is running against them and they don’t want to lose everything, because they’ve tried the loot every single wreck. Those who already don’t loot much will be glad for it I suppose.

I’m also guessing it likely makes the programming for CCP easier considering how the Abyss is divided into different types and tiers. One can to rule them all …

You know, you don’t have to press Ctrl-A to select all loot, but you can drag’n’drop each item one by one into your cargohold when it feels too lazy and shallow for you.

Hahaha! That’s a good one :joy:

1 Like

Imagine you would have to kill rats then shoot a can in data and relic sites. Or you would have to kill rats then bash some structure to get ore on belts. Or kill rats and structure to get PI stuff.

That’s what you do in Abyss, you get different types of loot in the same can doing same thing over and over.

1 Like

No. You don’t do the same thing over and over again. If the complaints on the Abyss have any value then they show that they can vary quite in difficulty and in spawns and players don’t feel like they’re doing the same thing over and over again.

To then have a problem with different types of loot when it’s called a cache - it’s a can once it’s destroyed - only shows your ignorance on the content.

It may not fit your idea of content, but you’re not the first with such a problem, you won’t be the last, and all you have is a nonissue. I’d say you’re only hooked on the idea of everything needing to have conformance and cannot let go of it. EVE isn’t about conformance.

I mostly played PvP centric games like WarThunder, not many sand box mmos before taking an interest for EVE but among the mmos that claim to be a sand box in the currernt online gaming scene, EVE is one of the few that give a lot of options to the players to interact and change (to some degree) the environment around him, most “SandBox” mmos are just a nonsensical grind fest.
Im dnt know if EVE was a better overall game in the past cuz i wast there but compared with current mmo alternatives is great.

Very interesting topic.

1 Like