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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:39 am 
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Well, there ain't nothing wrong with wanting to explore on your own. And there is a lack of content, yes. We haven't had a new Teledahn, or Kadish Tolesa. I do hope that as the game ramps up, there will be more of that - I like that too. Hopefully, there will a greater diversity of experiences available. Then, we'll all be able to do all of the things we want to do with Uru. However, I just think that the game is there yet.

Do I think it can be at some point? Yes. I'm willing to wait. Of course, I am one of the fanatics. ;)

This is why I think that managing expectations are very important. If you come into the game expecting Myst, then you will be disappointed. But if you come into the game expecting Uru, maybe you can find a part of Uru you like ahead of time.

Maybe something will come up that you enjoy. Maybe it will be puzzles. Maybe it'll be something else - you said you sketch. Maybe the stained glass project for Tsogal might interest you.

Anyway, keep checking back. And if you have full GameTap, check out stuff like Sam & Max, in the meantime.

Hope to see you in cavern at some point :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:02 am 
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aallan wrote:
And this is where URU leaves me behind. I would rather explore on my own and solve/explore things on my own. A sense of self achievement.

Everything I've heard suggests Cyan still intend URU to cater to the single player market in Myst Online.

If you look at the total content now, by far the majority (all but a couple of small ages) caters to single player. Even Negilahn, which is being treated on the forums as a multi-player puzzle, appears to be designed to be playable solo. It is hardly surprising that the first couple of releases under Live (Eder's Delin and Tsogal) were multi-player ages - up till then multi-player puzzles were noticeable solely by their absence.

So, I'd suggest you hang in there, give Cyan some room to flesh things out a bit, and see how it all pans out - there's a lot of scope in "new content every month and a major age every few" for single player satisfaction.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Excellent post, BladeLakem *Cassie applauds loudly* MO:UL is in the early stages so it's impossible to know where it will go, and, as you said (sort of), it's defining itself as it goes along. It won't be for everyone, I'm sure, just as WoW or any other game isn't for everyone. It'll be fun to watch it grow and be part of it.


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 Post subject: Thanks Blade.....
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Thanks Blade for the input.... :)

If Uru:Live has done anything at all it has brought together some of the brightest and talented minds on the planet together in an ongoing experiment that truly has no beginning nor end, but is everpresent in its possiblities of exploration and challenge.

Jane McGonigal, one of the new breed of game developers, spoke about this very thing at the Serious Games Summit. In her talk, she challenged serious games to move beyond being simple resources that train or educate people to actual solutions to problems. And, of course, put Alternate Reality Gaming in the frame of games that are actually doing that.

She argued that Alternate Reality Gaming is in it's third wave. Real Life was the first wave and marked by a fascination by the way in which ARGs were embedded in our every day lives - email, phone, websites, etc. The second wave, Real World, came as we began to explore the world around us - meeting people to answer pay phones or play poker in a cemetery. We're now at a point of Real Impact. We can start to solve real world problems and alter our reality.

There are several reasons why we're at this point. First of all, our culture is more and more like an alternate reality game - the internet has invaded our everyday culture and we're collaborating on an amazing new level. Wikipedia, creative commons, open source - these are very much a part of our society. But not only that, our culture wants to be more ARGlike - a superhero ethic where we can save the world.

Even in Uru:Live we have the idea of a real company, Cyan, becoming part of an alternate history in which it was hired by the Zandi and partners to make games about a lost civilization. I see the whole series as part of an alternate reality vision which seems to correspond to a lot of the best in those maligned sub-genres, sci-fi and fantasy. We have the books written by Rand and Robyn Miller, and the several cd versions of the games in the series that correspond to the literary excapades.

And, from the beginning, many of the people who became Myst fans also played their part in the ongoing process of creation of the Myst universe. As James Joyce once said in his Big Black Book, Finnegan's Wake, "Countlessness of livestories have netherfallen by this plage, flick as flowflakes, litters from aloft, like a waast wizzard all of whirlworlds. Now are all tombed to the mound, isges to isges, erde from erde."

It we think of the two poles of storytelling in the twentieth-century then we come to both James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, the one a maximalist and the other a minumalist in both word and deed. I bring them up only because they brought what we have known as the written word of literature to its end. Beyond them, nothing.

Then came the mixture of technologies in the multimedia industry, a sort of syneasthesia aesthetic that suddenly revived the whole meaning of the ancient art of storytelling and brought it into a realm where people were no longer sitting alone in the perches reading a book, but were active participants in an ongoing story that had neither a beginning nor an end but a set of adventures that had no outlet other than the sheer enjoyment of discovering that we were both the story and the teller.

This is where the Alternate Reality Gaming suddenly came on scene. It has always been something that we've been moving toward, but has yet to be fully fleshed out and done in a complete manner. But, then, of course, those two wise sages of the late literature, Joyce and Beckett, had already been there, too. Joyce once said that he'd not written Finnegan's Wake, but that is was a tale told by everyone and no one. And when Beckett was asked about his clowns in his many plays he wisped, "Ah, the laughter of the gods, tis a pity have to kill them everyday by our lives." The point being that no one artist has control over the creation or material that he deals with, and that it is a collaborative effort and part of an ongoing struggle to make the alternate reality vision become the changed open ended vision of our own real lives.

If you are still a passive being who needs to be led by the nose through a maze of puzzles to be happy, then the Myst Series will always dissapoint; but, on the other hand, if you have come to the Myst realm of the alternate reality vision it participates in then you have truly become your own storyteller, because now you are one of the co-creators and movers in the game rather than a passive player and can now participate in this ongoing adventure as an equal with others to move and shake up the world.

One of the shibboleths that became a truism during my early studies on literature and criticism was the idea that many of the last great artists were trying to outwrite and displace the holy books of sacred literature. Many of the critics from structuralist and postructuralist schools of thought began to see that it was truly the need by people to displace a ruined vision of life that our daily lives had become with an alternate world vision. Isn't this in some way what Uru:Live represents: a sort of alernate reality where people can begin to mirror and understand the truths of our own social, cultural, political, and religious ideologies.

Some will always see Myst as just a game, and others will see it as an innovative use of the new media industry; yet, there will also be others that will see that it is just one more spark of that ancient light that allows us to get in touch with the deeper aspects of our own moral and spiritual vision. We have people who are from all walks of life, who come with many philosophical and cultural backgrounds. Each person brings a unique perspective and associated set of ideas and practices with them into the Uru worlds. Yet, like all things, we come together and unite in trying to understand and share our knowledge with each other in hopes of furthering our understanding of both the creative possiblities offered by this game, as well as the empowerment and aesthetic pleasure that the game brings to each of us.

your buddy in the zone, earthwiz

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Last edited by earthwizard on Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:42 am, edited 8 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:11 pm 
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"If you look at the total content now, by far the majority (all but a couple of small ages) caters to single player. Even Negilahn, which is being treated on the forums as a multi-player puzzle, appears to be designed to be playable solo."

In fact there's an interesting spread there.

Negilahn requires many people's efforts to *understand*. (Data points appear rarely, so it takes a lot of sightings put together to work out the pattern. We saw that with the portal, and it looks like we're just starting the process with animals.) However, *doing* any particular thing in Negilahn seems to be possible solo. (The portal certainly is.)

Delin and Tsogal can be *understood* by a single person. The first time I entered Delin (alone), I figured out exactly how it worked. But it takes several people to *do* anything with that information.

The Journey Ages, of course, can be solved beginning to end solo. But "solving" means more than one thing, and the contrast between Delin and Negilahn makes that clear.

So it appears that Cyan is making an effort to appeal to many different kind of player. And not just on a single "solo-group" axis.

There are other possible models beyond these. For example, the potential form of the Great Zero -- which we've never really seen played out -- where lots of players must do calibrations to achieve some goal. That would be solo solving, but with an accumulated group benefit.

Yet another model would be something like the Gahreesen Wall, or programmable marker quests. In this model, there is no "puzzle" until a player creates one. Then another player can work on it. Might be solvable solo, but it's still a multiplayer *activity*.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:55 pm 
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"Some will always see Myst as just a game, and others will see it as an innovative use of the new media industry; yet, there will also be others that will see that it is just one more spark of that ancient light that allows us to get in touch with the deeper aspects of our own moral and spiritual vision. We have people who are from all walks of life, who come with many philosophical and cultural backgrounds. Each person brings a unique perspective and associated set of ideas and practices with them into the Uru worlds. Yet, like all things, we come together and unite in trying to understand and share our knowledge with each other in hopes of furthering our understanding of both the creative possiblities offered by this game, as well as the empowerment and aesthetic pleasure that the game brings to each of us."

wow... just.... wow....

I agree that URU is a new form of gaming, an Alternate Reality. But the thing is, URU was cut before because it's user rate wasn't high enough. So even though URU delivered, it was cut. It's like an independant film, if no one watches it, it won't be picked up by Sony Pictures. So URU, to not be cut off like it was before, needs to create exciting new content and a Catalyst, and a major one. URU's been around for over 3 years, mostly with the same puzzles, so the Veteran URU player harbors a secret desire to find new Content. This is hard of course, due to programming, and it should take a while. So instead, Cyan needs to create a cataylst to distract us until new content is released.

Don't mark me as a hater, I want URU to live. But it needs this to happen to live.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Great write up, it is just too bad that many of this new gametap oriented myst community will never see it

Quote:
Platformless narrative. There has been a lot of talk about too much of the information about the game not being in the game itself. I don't think that's an oversight.

Yes, the game on GameTap is the core element in Uru Live. And you aren't required to check the forums, webpages, etc. But if you don't, you are missing half of the game. The story is being told in many different forms - in Cavern, on the DRC site, on these forums, in websites, etc. That is precisely the point - Uru is an expansive experience.


This is the number one complaint I see from most players is the fact they have to dig through numerous websites for information relating to the game that should by all rights be IN the game. Many players have limited time to play this game and if then you add all the extra time they must spend sifting through the various websites for information it becomes an unacceptable situation for them.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:25 pm 
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There are lots of web sites, but many of them are trying to collect and concentrate information from the many sources. You don't have to read every site (or every forum post) to learn the news.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:43 pm 
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I am having a wonderful time I have met so many nice people these past few weeks and found several old friends from Live. I have never seen such a helpful friendly group of people, the neighborhood communities are growing and thriving as is ours. *sigh* I just wish that I had more time to spend there.

I want to thank you Cyan, Gametap and all that have made this possible for us.
:D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:53 pm 
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I always sort of related it to keeping up with sports. I can't make it to every game. Heck, I can't see every game on TV. But I whip out the newspaper while I am drinking my coffee, check the scores, read a few articles and I'm generally caught up.

I can't make it onto Uru every day. I've yet to meet a single member of the DRC. So I check a forum or two on my break at work. I know what's happening. In that way, it's no more effort than keeping up with a webcomic or two every day.

I actually get onto Uru about once a week, and only spend a little bit of time actually in Cavern, unless there is something big going on. In some ways, it's a very casual sort of game play for me, except that I spend more time after work checking out forums and websites, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 10:08 pm 
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I haven't completely thought out how this applies to MO:UL, but here's my two cents:

The analogy that immediately comes to mind for me is the modern Renaissance fair. (I'm assuming that the two I've been to -- Scarborough Faire just south of Dallas and Texas Renaissance Festival just north of Houston -- are typical.)

It has, to dip into gaming metaphor, NPCs who interact with festivalgoers, whether the festivalgoers are in costume/in character or out; the interactions take the form of random encounters. There is also a story that the NPCs act out among themselves (I'll come back to this point) that plays out over the course of the day at different places around the festival. These events are usually marked as such in the program, so fairgoers who want story can follow it around the fair and get the whole thing. Others will only get bits and pieces of the story as their wanderings intersect the storyline.

But that's not the only thing you go to a Renaissance fair for. Maybe you like the chance to dress up in garb; maybe you like watching the entertainers; maybe you like the period craft demonstrations, or the period combat demonstrations. Maybe you want to try your hand at fencing or archery yourself. Maybe you just like hanging out with friends there, or people watching.

Or any or all of the above. It can be all of those things at once. MO:UL similarly has the potential to be many of those things at once. Some of that will be supplied by Cyan, some by us. Unlike at the Renaissance festival, we have (at least to a limited degree) the ability to interact in the actual story played out by the NPCs. We have the player-provided choir concerts, age tours, etc.; heck, there's nothing stopping people playing wandering troubadour in Ae'gura or in a Bevin (preferably their own, or at least one whose owners give them permission to perform :-) ).

Basically, what I suppose I'm saying is that Cyan needs to do more (yes, I know, they're working as fast as they can) and we could do more as well. It doesn't have to be just one kind of game. I've got more to say on this, but I've run out of time to write. :-)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:25 am 
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This is probably one of the best threads I have seen to date on this entire forum. I think this game is definitely groundbreaking and into totally new territory. I think more people need to start thinking outside the box in terms of what this game has to offer.

MOUL definitely makes an impact, whether you prefer to do things solo or whether you enjoy community. I always regarded myself as a loner, enjoying gaming solo but with MOUL, I have discovered an incredible community, along with a story of a lost civilization, puzzles and tremendous potential for discovery of new ideas on how we conceive gaming and community. I made many new and unexpected friendships that really mean something to me here. It is a joy to see people discover MOUL and "get" it.

In a world of "got to have it now" and instant gratification, MOUL unfolds slowly and wonderfully. I am willing to wait for the new content, there are so many other things to get involved with while I wait.... For those that constantly complain - how often have you helped new people, assisted in those multiplayer puzzles, gone to the various parties or events in the Bevins, or just Bevin hopped to see who you could meet or help out there....

I refuse to look at "what if" or "it should be." I look at forward progression and how I can play a part in making this a success by being positive (especially around new people). I hope my impact in all this is just being there, being supportive and assisting others in making the same discoveries I have and just simply enjoying myself.

I think the content will come, the story will develop but we need to be patient - allow Cyan to do what they do best and support them the best we can. Ultimately the rewards will be there for us. Unfortunately this is a "got to have it now" kind of world - patience has become a lost art and a month is now an eternity......We need the patience of the D'ni - after all they were around for quite some time....

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:31 am 
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Uru is a blank slate, but it is treated as an episode of Lost, and that's in the best case.

It is one thing to voice your support for a post such as this; it is another to tolerate it in practice.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:10 pm 
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IMHO it is high time to declare that the Myst - Uru universe has been split to two:

On one hand, there is the original Myst universe with the stand-alone games and the three books excluding ABM, with well defined storylines, and the whole could be regarded canon in itself.

On the other hand, there is the Uru universe based on and including only MOUL, with an obscure storyline played in the five basic Ages (the "Yeesha quest") and nothing more. The recent new ages seem only a playground that were created for the online explorers by Yeesha acting as an invisible dramaturge behind the stage (thinking IC). The DRC belongs to the scenery of the stage. There is no canonicity in Uru because there is nothing canon, an evolving and always changing online game cannot be canon. What is regarded to canon today might be totally different 6 months later, according to the developers momentary considerations.

I don't want to choose that which of the two is the better one. Both are fine ones. But they are very different. As we players are very different, too. Some of us prefer the Myst style, while others the community-based Uru style. The developers of Uru cannot satisfy fully both sides, it is not possible. Only part of the Myst-style players will wait months until a new classic-style puzzle age appears designated for the lonely explorers. Such puzzles like Negilahn recently activate only a minority of the players - everyone runs to see it, but on inspecting the forum, in fact, only a few dozen out of many thousands of players were active in deciphering the Negilahn time puzzle.

I cross my fingers for the future of Uru, however, I am afraid that if the "story-line" of Uru advances with the speed similar to that of a real archeolical excavation and restoration, only a handful of explorers will tolerate that.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Norfren wrote:
IMHO it is high time to declare that the Myst - Uru universe has been split to two:

On one hand, there is the original Myst universe with the stand-alone games and the three books excluding ABM, with well defined storylines, and the whole could be regarded canon in itself.


The Myst-Uru universe has *always* been split in two. From the very beginning they've stated that the Myst games were in their own little world from Uru, that they, and the books, are fictional accounts of real events, while Uru is the non-fiction realtime events.

The only confusion between the two, right now, is where the Uru expansions fit in (Uru realtime or Myst fiction). The events of Myst V, we've been told, happened between prologue and now, but not nessicarily as seen in the game.

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