Sandbox MMORPG = content is more organic and player defined. Ton of game mechanics to encourage social interaction and dynamic content creation. The gameworld can be permanently changed. Second Life would be the purest example. Most pre-WOW MMORPG's were sandbox or had strong sandbox elements. Ultima Online and SWG (before Sony screwed it up) were typical sandboxes. Anarchy Online, Eve Online, all sandbox. Themepark MMORPG = content is developer mandated, mostly a linear path. Focus is on questing and the developer created story. Instanced questing like raids are common. WoW is the token example. SWTOR is the newest themepark. DC Online, Everquest, Final Fantasy, City of Heroes are typical themepark. To be fair, most games have elements of both even though they skew toward one. Fishing in WoW is a sandbox element even though it was themepark. Anarchy Online had questing terminals even though it was sandbox. After WOW The genre is changing due to the WoW effect. WoW became so popular and successful that every major MMO released after it is now themepark. Sandbox elements like player housing, non-combat classes, complex crafting, all gone. Social game mechanics, all gone, replaced by an auction house and empty pubs/cantinas. I'm enjoying what SWTOR did for the themepark by adding voice acting and cutscenes. But everytime I run though a pub or cantina, they're empty because no one has a reason to be there. Contrast this with the cantinas in SWG, which looked like this. Maybe one day some developer will put out a hybrid MMORPG with the best of both worlds but in the meantime, I think it's a shame that sandbox is disappearing. These games have gone from complex virtual worlds to linear quest systems where all you do in the end is raid, pvp, and wait for the next expansion. What do you guys think?