Xsyon appears to be a pretty hardcore sandbox. I have spent many years playing and studying MMO games & players. I came to MMOs because of my interest in virtual reality in general, and games are this with varying degrees of realism.
I often go back and talk about SWG because I feel a real in-game community spontaneously erupted out of the imagination of its frustrated players. I'm pretty sure people weren't even using the term 'sandbox' much when SWG was in development, but one was created anyway.
Interestingly, the game being buggy and devoid of many theme park rides and quests, forced those lovers of Star Wars to create their own content. One thing SWG did brilliantly was hand you a whole lot of tools and player style diversity (combat, non-combat, science, nature-based, military, medical, entertainer/social, etc.), wrapped in a lore-rich universe, then get the heck out of your way. They didn't mean for it to be this way, but it was. In fact, I personally believe the devs bit off way more than they could chew when they created the game, which was the main reason it never lived up to being a whole game, and why it was ultimately dumbed down.
Despite the game's incompleteness, and I would say because of it, a very rich world came to life if you were on the right server (and it happened on several of them), and it was completely driven by the players and the myriad of tools the game offered. If I wanted to hang out in cities and primarily trade, entertain or socialize, I could. If I wanted to throw on a backpack and head into the wilderness as a creature handler, or Ranger, I could. War? Check. Deep crafting? Check. Player shops with NPC vendors? Check. Politics? Check. Science/Medical? Check. In fact, there were over 30 complete main paths through the game, with the ability to dabble in any skills you wanted at the cost of skill points. This made it possible to create many play styles that weren't foreseen by the devs. This page offers a nice overview of the original professions:
I could write a book about SWG and what made it work as a sandbox, but I will spare you. When I look at Xsyon, I wonder where the "game" is for me, or if the game's design will hand me enough tools to do much of what I want, then get out of my way. Let me say though that there is a fine line between getting out of the players way, and leaving them totally abandoned and confused ultimately resulting in the loss of subscribers.
My question to all of you is, where is YOUR game in Xsyon, and do you feel the tools you need are in place today or planned for the future? If not, what is missing? What will suck you personally into the game>