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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:20 pm 
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Good post matthornb,
matthornb wrote:
Anyway, I stated that challenges and rewards ought to match, that if you pit the player against a really nasty puzzle, the payoff had better be big or they'll be disappointed/annoyed.(...)

The above I have to disagree with. Solving a nasty puzzle is elevating in itself and needs no big award beyond the satisfaction. A no reward (that is the pure achievement) is better than a silly reward. After all when I first played Myst with a friend, we solved our first ages without bringing something with us, because we had not yet figured out that we were supposed to. But to manage to get back to Myst from mechanical (our first stop) was so difficult that we thrived on the success. What? was that not enough. It was for us. Actually just getting away from myst was so tricky that it was a reward in itself to wander clueless around in mechanical etc.

Quote:
(...)
So you've got to figure out what to do and then do it. Ideally the solution has an "aha!" moment that makes sense, instead of, "Oh, I solved it. Somehow." (...)

This statement reflects on much of exile. A game that was not very rewarding, no "aha! this is how to do it" if it was played as a sequel to Myst and Riven. But tricky enough as a first experience with the saga. But anyway I think that in this statement you concord with my thought, that the greatest reward may be just to solve a difficult puzzle. As long as this is not just a loose end.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:25 pm 
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I wouldn't mind a more hands-off approach to the storytelling. "Hey, new Ages, go searching for mysteries!"

I felt, during the beta, that I had to yell to try to accomplish anything as far as influencing the story, and all I managed to do was infuriate people.

The way the story unfolded seemed to put too much power in the hands of Cyan Appeasers ( :wink: ) who would bend over backwards to say "yeah, everything's alright, absolutely" just to get to be a part of things. Maybe that's cynical, but the flurry of community organization can muffle dissenting voices.

And, I admit, the fear of having Uru collapse has conditioned people to be more accepting.

Which is not to say that I think the Guilds are a bad idea (especially after yesterday's great showing in the Guild Forum, where people are moving quickly to address one guy's lazy observations), or that I think Cyan is backsliding - on the contrary, I think the fan created content idea is one of the biggest ideas to hit MMOs in a long time.

Thankfully, I think mixing up the story is something that doesn't require an engine overhaul.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:35 pm 
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About reward: I agree that the lack of reward was annoying in MOUL newer journeys.One of the things that should be added to the journeys,when possible,are rewards: a shirt,a new place (even little),a speech.

About the lack of "player affect the story": the only ones wich truly affected the story were rils and reteltee.Their affect was interesting,but many people tried,and failed to affect the story.I believe that one of the better things in MOUL is the abilty to change the story.It was done well,but it should be on a more wide range,I suppose.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:22 pm 
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I think it's worse if, for example, two people get to affect the story and no one else does. When Uru was running, if anyone affected the story, it seemed to be completely arbitrary. I don't play games to experience office politics.

If Uru ever comes back with changes to the "official" part of the game - I'd like changes in the game to be the result of gameplay, not completely based on Cyan arbitrary picking a player to have a role. Here's an example of group gameplay affecting something. Let's say there are two different kinds of pellets, causing two different kinds of lighting for the lake, different colors. More pellets of one type cause one color, more pellets of another type, a different color. You have two groups of people doing pellets, each with different colors. The more colors from one group - the light looks one way. The more colors from another group - the light looks another way. You also need to make it clear when you are doing something like that - don't arbitrarily do something and then change it, just to see if you can make the players do something. If you do something like pellets again - you tie them to a reward, and you make the reward incremental, and you make it fair.

Sure, it's simplistic, but you get the idea. If you want to change something in the game, make it based on doing something, instead of the seemingly arbitrary way it was done.

With regards to episodes with Cyan content, as far as I can tell, that's gone. With Cyan's limited resources, I can't see them doing anything like an epsides anytime soon. I don't think that there are any writers and actors available to do episodes. I could not be happier.

If age creators want to do their own stories - that's fine by me. I would like story to be tied to gameplay, preferably not in real time. .

I also understand why Cyan went with episodes for live events. Cyan didn't have to resources to do something every day, multiple times, respectful of people in all time zones, and in multiple locations. It was even more annoying to logon on, and a little something had happened somewhere, and you missed it. Without episodes, I think that the Uru population would have gotten even sparse than it was. As it was, the small number of players logged on during the episodes, and then many people were extremely, and I'll use that word again - annoyed!

This version of Uru is going to be better.

--------------------
On game design and all that - there are books on the market, classes, programs. If you go to a GDC converence, you can get a discount (vendor booths). I looked on Amazon, and I see books on game design, though of course, if someone wants to write another one - that's great too! Personally, I think that puzzle solving should always be tied to something - an new collectible, unlocking a new age, a new story element. One should always do things for a reason. I don't think that solving a puzzle is reward enough, in this game. Now, if you are doing a crossward puzzle, it is, but I think that puzzle solving in Uru should always be tied to something other than the satisfaction of solving a puzzle.

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Last edited by mszv on Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:39 pm 
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The episodes,in my opinion,had 2 main problems (not like there weren't enough problems with the game already...we got more) :

1) the story came by too fast.Unlike prologue,they could not take the time to explain the story well to the players,which resulted in un-human characters (coming by,saying things,gone) fast events (marie coming,5 minutes later cate coming.too fast,not that fun),and too many players at one place (DRC member coming.prologue- 3 players at event,MOUL- 30 players at event).

2) in the gap between the episodes,there were NO players.Can't blame them,and it just made the cavern too empty.

The solution is clear,I guess.As I said many times,more "events" (3-4 DRC visits in a day,even just for playing 'heek),about 2 orgenized events in a month,date sent to explorers ("monthly age" release,DRC Q&A),and events happening more slowly,let the players understand things.It doesn't mean a whole reset to the story,just fix it from now on.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:27 am 
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I wouldn't mind if Cyan employees dropped in just as themselves, without needing to run out a script before showing up. No need for it to be ultra-polished, just showing up and doing stuff will be fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:18 am 
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I enjoy reading about what people think, and I'm interested in what people thought of the live events. Given that I disliked live events and I don't think they are workable (Zardoz' beautiful economic post comes to mind) - it's interesting to me when I read about how some people liked them. And yes, I disliked the live events in Prologue too - I never followed the live events in Prologue.

I just don't think that official live events apply anymore. I can't see "official" live events ever coming back. Per what Cyan told us, we have 2 people from Cyan, working on Uru - no new content. There's the nifty plan for players to make their own ages (not using Cyan story) - that's our new Uru. Presumeably, players could stage events - I remember the parties we had in Uru - they were fun! But - no new offical live events. Those days are gone, gone, gone, if you ask me..

Now if players want to make ages that reveal a story through gameplay, such as solving puzzles, or finding things - I think that would be wonderful. I'd love to experience that.

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Last edited by mszv on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:36 am 
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That is right,mszv,but let's say the game will one day,somehow,become popular and cyan worlds start developing for the game.Why not live events? I,and I believe many others find them interesting and great (if done well).There are also no such things in other games,as much as I know.

Myst have always been about living actors (please don't start with "uru is not myst :roll: " ) and even though some more NPCs would be nice,I would like to see more live events as well.

And I just had this idea that if MOUL will EVER be popular,and cyan worlds will be able to afford it,maybe they can do in the help screen a "MOUL news" button which will open a video window (like in the intro),and you will see what happend in MOUL last month.Something like: "video window opens) (MOUL logo) MOUL last month...(videos according to words rolling) blah blah he came blah blah this happend blah blah they announced blah blah it was released blah blah journey blah blah (videos stop) ...(MOUL logo) this was MOUL last month (video window close)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:05 pm 
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mszv wrote:
One should always do things for a reason. I don't think that solving a puzzle is reward enough, in this game. Now, if you are doing a crossward puzzle, it is, but I think that puzzle solving in Uru should always be tied to something other than the satisfaction of solving a puzzle.


Context is an interesting thing. I wrote my post in the context of rewards meaning relto pages and T-shirts. Out of context it could be interpreted to mean that no plot is needed to make a good URU puzzle satisfying. Just a difficult crossword to solve. Not so.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:38 pm 
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Sorry - Rudolfson - now I get it!

There are live events in other games. Pershaps Tweek can post here about the live events in WoW. There are also live events in LOTRO and Guild Wars, though they serve a different purpose.

I'm not as interested in live events, but I am very interested in what kinds of stories our ages creators can come up with - and perhaps the story will be revealed as I play a new age. I'm thinking about the Uru that we are going to get, not the Uru of the far future. I can't do that anymore, the potential thing. I'm looking at short term, what Uru is going to be. That's what I'm interested in.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:12 pm 
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mszv wrote:
Sorry - Rudolfson - now I get it!

There are live events in other games. Pershaps Tweek can post here about the live events in WoW. There are also live events in LOTRO and Guild Wars, though they serve a different purpose.

I'm not as interested in live events, but I am very interested in what kinds of stories our ages creators can come up with - and perhaps the story will be revealed as I play a new age. I'm thinking about the Uru that we are going to get, not the Uru of the far future. I can't do that anymore, the potential thing. I'm looking at short term, what Uru is going to be. That's what I'm interested in.


There is a list of world events on the WoW web site here: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/communit ... vents.html
One of my favorites is the Midsummer Fiery Festival. Spinning around the 'maypole' is lots of fun and it gives you bonuses to boot. :) It's all in how you play a game, not necessarily what's in it. I routinely do the equivalent of tent climbing in WoW, jumping on top of building awnings and such to do the awful Tauren cow shuffle dance. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:07 pm 
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Is there any other game which have live-events? celebration (as shown in SC link) are everywhere,but as much as I know there are no story events in other MMOs (like arthes,or whatever his name is,showing up and giving a scary speech or something).Anyone knows if there are any?

Just think of how good can MOUL be with live-story-events done better... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Better ... how?

Logistically speaking, you would need a large staff to hold large live events. What if a thousand people are on? How do you manage a thousand people into a coherent storyline? Other games have live events with either limited "seating" or are just generic in nature, such as, "Get a free pumpkin helmet on Halloween!" That's fine for a good laugh, but seriously...

I think special events like Cyan appearances or random possesion of NPCs is a fun bonus, but I don't see how Live events can work, unless they are organized by the participants themselves in small groups. Kind of like the group puzzles. Hm. Anyway...

Before any live stuff should even be considered, we need more NPCs that are dynamic and meaningful content. Something ... anything to interact with during slow periods or just to make the game richer.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:03 pm 
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perhaps if we run MORE on several shards, which we call could call 'superages' perhaps, where different shards could put the emphasis on different aspects - a social one, the solitary explorer, the episodic type, and so forth.

A suggestion to help everyone - is there any merit in this? I admit I can't yet see further forward thatn this, not how it would tie up events between different shards. Guess I'm just hinking out loud. :D

Eg. A major event could occur on certin shards to which intersted parties could migrate, where non interested persons could be on the others - something like that, maybe?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:04 pm 
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This thread is getting off topic, so I will create a new thread about in-game events, player interaction, etc. in the General Discussion forum. Please direct your attention there if you want to talk about live events.

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