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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:34 pm 
Once the link is established, the link doesn't 'jump' Ages. That can only happen with significant alteration to the Kormahn. Take Riven as an example. Gehn wrote an Age that was one huge island. The Stranger linked to an Age of 5 islands. Same Age.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:35 pm 
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I'm moving this thread into the Spoiler Free Discussions sections as it's not a "real world" technical matter.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:33 pm 
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I always thought of the initial link-in point as the "heart" of an Age, an inherent location that is a natural consequence from writing the descriptive book (is that what you call kormahn? I think so). You would not necessarily be able to choose the spot, it just follows naturally.

It would not be a great leap of logic to think of that point not just as the metaphorical heart of the Age, but as its physical center as well.

I can see how this would seem to be illogical if you consider every Age to be a complete universe like ours and the accessible part of it a mere location on some planet, but I think the idea is that an Age can be any place, large or small, and does not necessarily need to work like our universe at all. (After all, linking itself is already somewhat magical in nature, why would the place you end up in be mundane?)

Now we humans live in an 'age' where planets revolve around suns and everything basically moves around all the time. So an absolute point that is not moving relative to our universe would appear to move (at great speed!) relative to earth. Yet at the same time "earth" is my entire Age and a spot on its surface doesn't move relative to the rest of my Age; the stars and everything else is merely a backdrop to my Age. This is how I think you should treat the Ages in Myst, mini universes with their own local context.

I really liked the concept of writing a link book in the place that is to become its target location. URU seems to have changed those rules (for convenience I guess).

But there are so many questions... like, can you take a descriptive book into the age that it describes?

Or, is writing an act of creation or discovery? Does a descriptive book narrow the possibilities as much as possible and is an existing age then selected at random from what remains? Or does a descriptive book define as much of the rules as possible and is an age then created, filling in the blanks at random (but consistently)?

Vice versa, does destroying a book destroy the age or merely make it inaccessible? Concretely, were I to strand someone on an age and then destroy its descriptive book, would the person be erased or continue to live in exile?

Questions, questions...


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:41 pm 
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angelo71 wrote:
Vice versa, does destroying a book destroy the age or merely make it inaccessible? Concretely, were I to strand someone on an age and then destroy its descriptive book, would the person be erased or continue to live in exile?

Questions, questions...


I think that's how the D'ni created Prison Ages.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:30 am 
angelo71 wrote:
I always thought of the initial link-in point as the "heart" of an Age, an inherent location that is a natural consequence from writing the descriptive book (is that what you call kormahn? I think so). You would not necessarily be able to choose the spot, it just follows naturally.


Yes, this point is a natural consequence of Writing, but I think you can put this point where you want it. This is why so many link-in points are in caves, or on structures made after the initial link.

angelo71 wrote:
I can see how this would seem to be illogical if you consider every Age to be a complete universe like ours and the accessible part of it a mere location on some planet, but I think the idea is that an Age can be any place, large or small, and does not necessarily need to work like our universe at all. (After all, linking itself is already somewhat magical in nature, why would the place you end up in be mundane?)


It is necessary that any Age we link to have our same laws of physics, else we could not live there. Change them too much, and you are destroyed upon linking. This is why the D'ni had such strict rules. And linking is stated somewhere to be a technology.

angelo71 wrote:
Now we humans live in an 'age' where planets revolve around suns and everything basically moves around all the time. So an absolute point that is not moving relative to our universe would appear to move (at great speed!) relative to earth. Yet at the same time "earth" is my entire Age and a spot on its surface doesn't move relative to the rest of my Age; the stars and everything else is merely a backdrop to my Age. This is how I think you should treat the Ages in Myst, mini universes with their own local context.


There is no such thing as an absolute point. At any point anywhere, everything else appears to move. But yes, Ages are usually treated as one entire planet, and I think that an Age should also include the rest of the solar system. This allows Todelmer to be the moon of the Pod Age.

angelo71 wrote:
But there are so many questions... like, can you take a descriptive book into the age that it describes?


Yes, using a linking book.

angelo71 wrote:
Or, is writing an act of creation or discovery? Does a descriptive book narrow the possibilities as much as possible and is an existing age then selected at random from what remains? Or does a descriptive book define as much of the rules as possible and is an age then created, filling in the blanks at random (but consistently)?


Discovery. You do not ever create an Age, just the link to one. All Ages pre-exist. A descriptive book is Written, and when you link, you are taken to a random Age which fits the description. Changing a book subtly still links to the same Age. Change it massively, and the link 'jumps'.

angelo71 wrote:
Vice versa, does destroying a book destroy the age or merely make it inaccessible? Concretely, were I to strand someone on an age and then destroy its descriptive book, would the person be erased or continue to live in exile?


All Ages are eternal. You can only alter the book to make it uninhabitable, and destroy the book to make it inaccessible.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:28 am 
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Thanks Dlord, that does. I've already been hunting the web for definitive answers as well. The complete set of games seems to be somewhat contradictory when it comes to this though. OOC this is probably because the Cyan people were figuring it out as they went along ;) For example, it appears to be possible to "write something into an age" or at least change the age in subtle ways by changing the descriptive book. This would imply that the contents of the book affect the age and vice versa. That in turn would appear to contradict the "found" theory and support the "created" theory.

A different way of looking at it is to use a form of Ockham's Razor here. The "found" theory needs more assumptions and rules to explain everything than the "created" theory does:

If you think of an age as the physical manifestation of the descriptions in the book, existing only as long as the book does, changing along with the book, this is all the explanation you need, and you can predict many scenarios in a consistent way. The most obvious is that by definition it becomes impossible to reach the same age with two descriptive books.

But if you think of an age as pre-existing and the book merely being a kind of search filter (basically you're doing an "I'm feeling lucky" google with as many keywords as possible) then that in itself is not enough to answer many questions, and you need extra explanations: why can you change an age subtly if the book only finds it? And why can you only subtly change an age and not radically? Why can you never ever have two descriptive books link to the same age?

The point is not that these questions can't be answered (they can) but that they need more assumptions than the "creation" theory does. Unfortunately the theories don't have the same predictive value so Ockham's Razor doesn't apply.

Using canon doesn't help either; if I'm not mistaken there are journals and books IC that describe someone being "erased" by destroying the descriptive book of the age they're in, but there are also books talking about exile in the same manner... Thing is, as long as there is no definitive proof all we have is what we can observe and that doesn't help us decide either way.

Dlord, I'm assuming that you're so certain because someone from Cyan said so. Well that ends all discussion of course. Their word is law. But that law HAS already changed over time.

By the way, there is only proof possible for one of the two theories: someone leaving an age after its descriptive book is destroyed would prove that ages are found, not made. The opposite (age is destroyed with the book) is unobservable or at least by definition no witness can survive it (apart from us, the players, in an alternative ending to some game).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:52 am 
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It has been made clear many times by Cyan that writing an age does not create it. Unfortunately a lot of the old websites where all these informations were have been lost.
But luckly someone saved the D'ni Desk Reference that contains a lot of the informations about D'ni Canon and the games. You should read this page if you haven't already.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:16 pm 
My knowledge is largely from the games and books. I make compromises wherever there a contradictions, but they are simple things, most of the time. Such as, what do Atrus' prison books do?

And I can answer the question about two descriptive books for one Age. You Write the first book, and it links to a random Age. You write an identical second book, or perhaps add to it based on observations from the Age. You link. Now, it selects an Age based on what you wrote. The multi-verse theory states that there is an infinite number of universes, where every possible scenario is played out. This is the theory that Writing employs. Now, if we want it to link to one Age out of an infinity of identical Ages, the chances of this occuring is given by 1/infinity. This is 0. Therefore, logically, it is impossible to Write two descriptive books for the same Age. It will always be a different one.


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