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 Post subject: The forums and the story
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:26 pm 
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There is an argument to be made about it being a pity that you have to go forums (here or elsewhere) to learn what's going on in the game. That there should be a way for people to access that information in-game.

Personally, I don't mind this. In fact, I like it. For me, visiting the forums is part of the experience of the game. I'd never be able to learn about the opinions and stories of so many others if it weren't for all the different forums. And while a lot of what's said on forums is (for some reason) a bit heated sometimes, most of it is still usable to me in some way. I learn something new, or think about things in a (slightly) new way, almost every time I visit (ghosting, mostly) the game's forums.

Yes, there could be ways to learn some of the information in-game, probably. An in-game newsletter, or members of the DRC leaving their journals in publicly accessable places. To me it's not absolutely necessary, though. I guess I consider it semi-IC that I go to the surface, to an internet connection to learn what plans others have, or to discuss things with people. Heck, I do this with my RL friends and they live in the same city, so why shouldn't I do the same with people I meet in the cavern?

Anyway, It'd be nice if there was a way to learn more of the ongoing story in-game, but as it is now, it's not messing with my enjoyment of the game at all.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:00 pm 
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I don't particularly mind, either. However, some people do. And I do think it unnecessary for EVERYONE to use to forums to really enjoy the game.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:07 pm 
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I think using the forums and the drcsite is great to get added content, to delve deeper in your understanding, but to make it necessary to know what the story is at all is a little much, IMHO. Just like how they have spoof websites made up for some TV shows (Primatech Paper website for Heroes, for example. Oceanic for Lost).

My experience with reading the story on the forums is one of two things:

( 1 ) If I were playing solely for the story (which a semi-large to large part of me is) then I could get it all on the forums and have no need to go in game. This can't really be solved, because people are always going to post on the forums, and I think they have to, maybe, to discuss things further.

( 2 ) I feel let down and wished I could have been there or that I could go see it now.

For those of you that love getting the story solely through the forums, great! More power to you. I am somewhat comforted that at least one developer at Cyan agrees with me that we need some way to be apprised in game of the story.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:43 am 
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While I don't entirely mind visiting the forums for the story, I do believe that there should be an in-game alternative, because there are a LOT of people who DON'T go to the forums. I'm sure there are people who aren't even aware the forums exist.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:10 am 
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Yeah, I have just started playing uru live (I played in the prologue, but have only just discovered the relaunch) and have also just started reading these forums.

With regards to discovering the "story" is there any place in particular you are all referring to? Or just to the little tidbits of info that pop up here and there in General and Gameplay Discussion?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:48 am 
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I'm one of the one's that get overwhelmed by forums. I tend to stay away from them because it literally becomes a job to catch up on all the posts made for the previous day/night. I just don't have the time or the patience for it. So I end up only reading the threads with titles that jump out at me or seem important. All the rest I just skip. Not to mention having to sift through each post just to find out what's going on, I hate it. They need to bring back the journals and have a journal with the story as it happens in our relto on the other bookshelf. Then it would feel more like a Myst game to me. I remember when I would be sitting, reading journals, peacefully, with the ambiance of age around me. I miss that.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:24 pm 
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I can't get onto my computer very often, so it’s nice to be able to find another computer with the internet and read and discuss what’s going with the game.
Without these forums I think allot of people would loose out on one of the big aspects that make Uru a community – the discussion.

Without the forums I think some people would have a hard time keeping up with people they know in-game.

I don’t think an in-game way of finding out what’s gone on is a good idea. Rand himself has said he wants us to explore, wants us to have to look for what’s changed, and, most importantly, ask our friends what’s changed.
The forums are a way we can do this, if we had a forum that could be accessed from somewhere in the cavern, maybe that could work the same way.
However if there was something like a newsletter or bulletin board, that would go against what Cyan want us to do.

So don’t expect it :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:41 pm 
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slightperil wrote:
However if there was something like a newsletter or bulletin board, that would go against what Cyan want us to do.

So don’t expect it :)


However, I think it would be a big mistake for Cyan, or any other game company for that matter, to tell us how to play this game. A good game needs to be tailored for as many peoples' needs as possible. At least, thats the way I see it. If you could find out new info in the game I see no hurt in it. You'll either use it or you wont. *shrugs*......at least thats the way I see it.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:56 pm 
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I'd actually like to see Cyan produce more information on their site.... journals and storylines from previous series games all alphbetized and searchable, as well as indexed and brought into an organized series of journals, digest, and background historical, cultural, and detailed reasoning. I'd like them to have it centralized within the Myst Online system rather than the fan based extensions spread throughout the web.

So many newbies are coming to this having never played the Myst series... duh.... so they might not know all the stories that have come before and are related to this new version and incarnation. Cyan is doing itself a disservice by not fleshing out the full background. I know there might be legal issues involved with copyright and other issues with UbiSoft, Inc., but it seems that the information of the story line is public domain by now and cannot be bound by any previous contractual agreements. I may be wrong, but Cyan and GameTap should flesh the site out more in details so that newcomers will have a better idea of what to expect. More knowledge is a good thing... :wink:


My favorite two online games both have extensive web sites organized for friendly user background storylines and other types of data:

Oblivion: http://www.elderscrolls.com/home/home.htm

Eve Online: http://www.eve-online.com/

If you look at their sites and compare to Myst you will immediately notice that both of the above have it all layed out and fully detailed background and foreground for almost every aspect of the stoyline. Before I joined Eve Online I read through it all and was able in my role to come up to speed very quickly and become a power of some force in the game. If I'd not had the website information available I'd have been like many others wandering in a zoo without outlet, not knowing what was truly going on.

I know that there is a minimal amount of information on the Myst Online site, but it is not fleshed out and in detail...

So, to me, a website fully fleshed out with foreground and background information and links to external fan sites is essential as an aspect of the gaming experience. It just makes common sense to want to be able to digest the framework of a game outside the matrix of the game itself, where you can have time to ponder, imagine, and muse over the details.... otherwise in the game your just too busy to worry about storylines and background history .... your in the midst of a moment of choices, and if you ponder too long you just might miss what is in front of your eyes... :wink:

morning thoughts of the wiz....

enjoy the ride, earthwiz

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Not an in-game message board really. And the don't need to spell out new things either (like, hey, look at Delin today! blah blah blah)

But at least some of the more public encounters with the DRC, perhaps, could be recorded in some way, maybe a holo recording where we could relive what happened.

For example, for the people that don't know or read the forums, how many know about Yeesha's visit, the ResEngs coming in a moment later, and Kodama investigating later. To me, this seems like it would be very important, plot-wise, and we should either find a journal Kodama has been keeping on the issue, or holo-recording, as I mentioned, or something to keep players who don't come to the forums apprised of the story. There are those in Cyan who would agree. How far they want to go with this, is another thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:46 pm 
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I think that sort of thing is something they are working on. They have mentioned about using the Library to document past events.

Problem is they don't have the resources just now to impliment all this stuff, just moding the forums required 3 new employees, what we are asking would take allot of time and work

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:21 pm 
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They could very well be working on something like that, and you all make valid points. It's just that.....I don't know. I know these forums are part of the Myst community and all. But I'd rather spend more time in the cavern than on the forums. That way I dont feel like I'm not supporting Cyan's hard work, which is the game itself. You say the forums are a good way to catch up on what all happened while you weren't in the game right? Well, think of that time you spend here that could be spent in the game, otherwise it's a vicious cycle.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:16 pm 
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To me it makes more sense to have a glaringly obvious suggestion IN GAME that lets users know these forums are here and what their purpose is. Maybe an onscreen announcement of sorts the first time a person creates a character or SOMETHING. I'd bet half the players don't even know these forums are here...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:23 pm 
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So here's a way to think about it. (I'm not sure if this leads anywhere.)

If you unsubscribed from Gametap but still hung around the forums, would you still be happy? If a newcomer became a forum regular without ever playing Uru, would he be satisfied with his participation in the story?

(I don't think anybody will answer "yes" today. The question is, could things evolve to that state? Or will the online game experience always be the irreducible core?)

Also: I don't see "time spent in the game" as a good in its own right.

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