Ahh, I've got it now.
I realized a difference between Red Dead Redemption's sandbox play and my experiences in LOTRO, a MMO.
BTW LOTRO has gone free to play. So come on in the water's warm!
So Red Dead Redemption is the best sandbox game I have ever played. I always have loved the idea of being able to do what one wants in an open world but have never been able to get behind or "role play" a gangster in GTA's and for some reason it did not work in Just Cause either which was superheroes. I always got a little bored after about 3 hours into the game.
I absolutely love Red Dead Redemption and yet that bored feeling is coming on? Why?
I figured it out.
In RDR, (1) you have to wait until the mission you may want to do comes available again. SPOILER.....After Bonnie gets hanged, I really wanted to follow up with that story line, but I can't. Also, I had to redo that mission like 4x before I finished it, because "I ain't so good with a six shooter." I was like well in LOTRO I would just get to finish the story line without redoing it 4x over. Now some would say, that is why MMO's are boring it takes no real skill. And they are right (I am not talking about raiding, that is a different story). I guess I like it having no real skill. I like being able to "role play" my way through the story without repeating the mission. It breaks the illusion that I am a "real" cowboy, which is awesome fun.
Also, the side "crafting" goals, becoming a sharpshooter, skinning animals, collecting flowers. I keep wanting to be able to make a cool potion or an animal skinned cloak I can wear. Now that would be cool. So, those "crafting" goals, sure you get an achievement, but I like it when it then becomes something I can wear to the world in multiplayer, and it says to the world: "This dufus spent 100 hours picking flowers so he could have this cool bandelero".
As for multiplayer, I like Borderlands much much more because again, I am not the quickest on the draw so in RDR I just run around aimlessly looking at all the dead bodies my friends just shot only to then be shot by the enemy I cannot even see. In Borderlands, because it is co-op and the enemy are NPC's, no matter how bad I am, I am still part of a team. Now, RDR is getting a co-op version so I am sure that will be cool.
Now, I started out saying I love this game and I do. I am so into the main character John Marston. Very good voice acting, very cool plot line and story arc. I like that you get to play a rough and tumble bad guy that is good. Even the side missions with Irish, Seth, the Sheriff, and Wes are fun and again great voice acting. Basically if they made a cowboy MMO on the xbox I would jump into right away.
Speaking of that some people on the LOTRO forums who are upset over the f2p option of LOTRO are mentioning checking out: Fallen Earth, A FPS Shooter Role Playing MMO set in Post Apocalyptic Earth. Hmm that could have legs.