I was one of those UO players started when second age came out and played until 9yr anniversary pack, did’nt play continuously though, subscription on and off. Also played SWG until SOE decided to let players to start game at level 1 jedi. DAoC had different characteristics from the UO or SWG but I enjoyed RvR feature of it.
I was in beta testing of WoW but played only for a couple month, didn’t like that at all. Saying these just to show what type of player I am.
So when I heard about AO, hardcore sandbox MMORPG, also some people said a game like UO, I wanted to see it by myself.
To be honest, AO doens’t feel like UO at all.
Said ‘sandbox style and not forcing players to do PvP’, however, if you go into red/black zone, you WILL DO PVP.
Maybe UO is considered hardcore mmorpg now but when I played UO it wasn’t such thing, just an mmorpg with good consistency. There wasn’t a lot of mmorpg to compare anyway.
Outside of guard zone, you could have been pked, you had to risk yourself for anything. So you tensed up when you met a stranger on the road but many players still roamed around without intention of pking in full pvp area.
In this hardcore sandbox game, all you can do is choose not to go to red/black zones. If you want access to high tier resources, you have to accept pvp. Well, you still can choose not to fight red name players, if you will, and just die.
If sandbox style is what AO is going toward, there should be no goals in the game. But in AO, PvP/GvG is already set as the top content.
I think having the safe zone is good idea but it needs to be better than what it is now.
Currently, the safe zone exists to support the rest of the game. The real part of the game. The reason why I am saying this is, there is not much thing to do in safe zone.
And that is how this game is designed. You will get more fun if you participate in PvP and less fun in safe zones.
1. Furnitures in UO for example are basically useless albion online items. But players still wanted those to make their homes look nicer. Later house designing became available, added more fun to that non-combat activity. Safe zone needs to be the place that even high level players wants to come back do some non-combat activity. Not just low level players working hard to support end game content.
2. Resources in the safe zone are not the main resources for crafting in AO. They are necessary only to make higher tier resources and to make a job less burdensome for high level players. So they come back to new players and trade with them. This needs to be the other way around.
Low tier resources should be the main resources and high level players still want them because they are important. You cannot make something so valuable when you gave it only small value. And if you force players to accept that the job becomes tedious.
3. We should have guard patrols in safe zones and make entire area of the game full PvP. If players want to pk new players, let them do that at own risk of being chased by guards.
Green zone should have frequent patrols of city guards. Yellow zone maybe have less patrols. In red/black zone let the guild who owns the territory to place patrols so the players in the area can live peacefully and pay tax to the guild.
If AO is sandbox style game, PvP should not be limited by the system design.