Prompted by the reminder that I massively ragequit Darkfall (account status: active), and reading this post on the Aventurine blog, reminded me of yet another reason why sandbox > themepark: over time a sandbox should get more/better content, while over time a themepark replaces it’s content.
If I don’t play Darkfall for a year, when I come back I’ll still have all of the content available to me, plus whatever was added in that year. The whole game should contain few bugs, some new systems should be added, and overall things should be better. And when I am back, I’ll still be joining in on sieges, going out to PvP, doing some PvE, crafting, all that in good old Agon.
If I miss a year of Rift or some other themepark, odds are good the level cap has been increased (ok, 2-3 years for WoW), people have moved on from whatever end-game was around when I left, and people are all focused on whatever is the current end-game. My crafting will be behind, half-completed rep grinds will be useless, and whatever gear I was working towards will quickly be replaced by quest-drop greens. Running any of the older group content will be done in novelty mode rather than in its intended form. Yes, hopefully whatever bugs were around are fixed, but considering the safe/polished state a good themepark is in anyway, that’s not a massive plus.