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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:54 pm 
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I don't think any part of the Sharper's Journal Issue was OOC. Reading his Journal was a completely IC activity. Someone brought it up, and Sharper responded IC. Vormaen mentioned it to Sharper in a way that implied that it had already come to Sharper's attention that people were reading his journal. The fact that he stopped writing in it wasn't a cop-out on Cyan's part....it was a natural, IC response on Sharper's part--one of the few kinds of story continuity in Uru this year, however small it was.

Obviously Sharper didn't know everyone was reading his journal. I was never exactly sure if he knew ANYONE was reading it. After all, it's not as if he had a security camera in there ;) Perhaps it would have helped if there had been a journal entry something to the extent of "The contents of my desk are somewhat askew from how I remember leaving them. I could almost swear someone else has been here. I really don't want anyone else reading this journal; I'd get in a lot of trouble with the DRC if they found out about this stuff. I'll have to keep a closer eye on this office for a while...." Maybe something like that would have helped reinforce in everyone's minds the fact that our reading his journals is a secret. Just a thought.

I agree that it was tragic that he stopped writing in his journal. I hope the person(s) who spilled the beans felt/feel very foolish, because reading his journal was one of the best story avenues in Uru. I hope we see more journal-type stuff in the future, whether it's continually updated journals, or static, already-finished ones (hopefully some of both). Journals were always a vital source of story in the Myst games, and while Uru is a different creature, it IS similar enough that I feel journal reading as story can have a vital place :)

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Last edited by [email protected] on Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:54 pm 
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semplerfi wrote:
Was the Sharper character so lame he did not know his journal was being read?

I wouldn't call him lame, but I do think that he didn't know that literally everyone was reading his journal. I assume he knew that some were reading it, but not that the whole community had been reading it for a few years without him knowing it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:32 pm 
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semplerfi wrote:
Marten wrote:
Exactly how is that an OOC question? Please explain.

No I am not referring to Vormaen’s conversation.

Marten, since your are the resident expert here and I am obviously not, so how is it not OOC?

From day one we have been able to read Sharper’s journal. This is a game of exploration. Was the Sharper character so lame he did not know his journal was being read? This is just another example of the IC vs OOC clash not being handled by Cyan very well. Where is it written by Cyan that in-appropriate questions by any one explorer will be dealt with by the removal of in-game information sources for the whole community of explorers? Rather ‘Boot Camp’ if you ask me.


As Marten said, Sharper's reaction is what you would expect to happen in real life. I realize that there are people who do not enjoy to role-play and treat Uru as it is, a game. But the Cyan controlled characters always have (and I would assume, always will) remain IC, without exception. Someone asked Sharper to write in his journal again so that we could all break into his office and read it; how would you react if that was real life? Would you wait until 5 more people asked? 20? 100? The point is, in the real world, one person can ruin something for everyone else and because the Cyan characters are role-playing, that's what happened in Uru.

When Uru was first released, the DRC and company didn't know we had access to the Ages, therefore Sharper assumed his office was secure. We were given access by Yeesha and, presumably, the Bahro when they left the linking books in our Relto. Even after Sharper started to split with the DRC and took Yeesha's journey, he may not have realized that we had figured out his "safe". I always kind of got the vibe that Sharper didn't think much of the explorers, that we were inferior. Maybe he was too arrogant to think that someone might find his office on Ae'gura.

I'm definitely not an expert, but that is why I think it was a completely IC move and that Sharper isn't "lame".

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:41 pm 
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I hope the person(s) who spilled the beans felt/feel very foolish, because reading his journal was one of the best story avenues in Uru.

Now that is a great way to teach new, paying, as young as 10 years old, explorers. Break an un-written rule and you are labeled foolish.

Is Justin, paying customer, even here anymore? I would think not after being burden with the guilt of his actions and the loss they have put on the fee paying Explorer community.

lame synonyms: bruised, crip, crippled, defective, deformed, game, gimp, gimpy, halt, hamstrung, handicapped, hobbling, hog-tied, limping, pained, raw, sidelined, sore, stiff, faltering, faulty, feeble, flabby, flimsy, inadequate, ineffective, inefficient, insufficient, poor, thin, unconvincing, unpersuasive, unpleasing, unsatisfactory, unsuitable

[edited once to add}
Ah come on. His journal was lying out in plain site. Sharper the great white hunter tracker did not notice the packing from his aquarium disturbed? His book compartment left open under the aquarium? The only way to gain access to his office for the first time.

By taking Yeesha’s journey he would know explorers can go where they could not before.
[/edited once]


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:55 pm 
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Oy. When I said I hoped whoever spilled the beans felt/feels "foolish", I said "felt/feels" not "realizes that he is and always will be". There's a difference between doing a foolish thing and being a foolish person, just like there's a difference between doing a bad thing and being a bad person. I didn't mean that that person should be eternally labeled as the foolish person who ruined Sharper's journal for everyone, and that we should all ostracize him from the community. I just meant that it was clearly a mistake, and I hope they realize it as such.

As for Sharper not noticing, his journal was in plain sight in a hidden office; and IIRC, the secret compartment closes after you link. As for the aquarium packing, I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean. Could you clarify?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:07 pm 
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As for Sharper not noticing, his journal was in plain sight in a hidden office; and IIRC, the secret compartment closes after you link. As for the aquarium packing, I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean. Could you clarify?

The packing from the aquarium crate is moveable. It is disturbed by going for the Relto page. The book compartment is left open in my game or is this another un-dealt with bug that totally skews perceptions?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Justin is still around, I saw him online just the other night. He was giving vid conniptions.

But... I think semplerfi has a good point here. Let's look at how it fits into the metagame, the OOC world. It's easy say, "How great that in Myst Online, we can see that our actions can have consequences through situations like this one"... except for one problem... the consequences lessened the game experience. We already had players complaining, OOC, that there weren't enough new journals to pour over... and Cyan responded (even if "ICly") to this situation by ceasing updates to the last permanent in-game mechanism we had for catching up with the story.

So even though the response from Cyan made sense from an IC perspective, it was a bad way to respond. I like Erik's proposal a lot more. He submitted a feature request that Sharper remove the journal for a time, then bring it back in a new location, after explorers confront him about it. This is a constructive way to implement consequences into the story, rather than the destructive "No more entries for YOU!" response we've received thus far.

Previously, Axel said:
Axel wrote:
Ok, so it seems we have at least one concrete, reasonable suggestion for Cyan so far: a Season One Post Mortem


If I may be so bold, I propose that our second concrete suggestion is a new rule: Consequences should enrich the game experience, not lessen it.

PS: There's styrofoam packing material from Sharper's aquarium right next to it; it's difficult not to bump into it. That's what sempler meant about "How could the great hunter not notice?!". :) It's an interesting question. Maybe he thought it moved because Shroomie burped loudly? Or maybe the "instancing" rule is what matters here; it's been embraced as part of the IC story (even though some feel that was a mistake). But, this is a topic for a whole different conversation, I think.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:10 pm 
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I don't seriously believe any IC explanation for Sharper's journal shutting down. Cyan has never worried too much about breaking IC plausibility in order to make Uru work the way they want.

(A linking book can't come with you? Now it can. Can't link from an Age to itself? Now you can. Thousands of identical neighborhoods in one city? Don't sweat it.)

If they had wanted journals, they would have continued with journals -- either Sharper's, or somebody else's. And some IC explanation to match. I can think of half a dozen off the bat.

It was a game design decision. Not a decision I agree with, and I hope they reconsider it next year. But a decision.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:15 pm 
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Marten wrote:
I propose that our second concrete suggestion is a new rule: Consequences should enrich the game experience, not lessen it.

I totally concur. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:28 pm 
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Interesting discussion in the latter part of this thread about the storyline in journals, books and other means. I didn't pick up from the thread if by consensus here most Uru Live players are interested in the story. Or I didn't read enough of the thread as I should have. Maybe there is a poll I should search for in the forums that asks if players care about the story vs other elements. I'm slowly reading more books on pedestals in the city Library and other buildings and in other ages.

My Gametap subscriptions end in three weeks and I won't return due to too few players in the cavern for my tastes. I like the socializing, helping out and special events. Although a side note on invitation only events. I tend to shy away from them only because I think I would feel crushed if I was not accepted to an invite only gathering. I haven't even sent in any requests for any of the invite only ones. But back to getting me and others back into this game if or when we leave it. Maybe I should send tickets or something else to drive decisions that will get more people in the cavern.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:28 pm 
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semplerfi wrote:
Marten wrote:
I propose that our second concrete suggestion is a new rule: Consequences should enrich the game experience, not lessen it.

I totally concur. :wink:

I would amend that slightly: Consequences should enrich the game experience for all even though they might "harm" the individual who triggered the consequences. By "harm," I mean the explorer may experience an adverse IC reaction to their actions, as long as these consequences are reasonable and anticipated by the explorer.

I don't want a cavern that's all nice and happy, but neither do I want one in which the many suffer for the actions of a few. (Aside: This is what bothers me about some of the IC/Cyan statements about the Guilds: Cyan is expecting us to "get along" and be nice and happy while we organize them, or else . . . ) I believe that explorers should face the possibility of adverse IC reactions to their IC actions, otherwise it is hard to generate any dramatic tension for player involvement. On the other hand, I would want that possibility hard-wired into the game, rather than in the hands of a NPC. As for why the latter, I won't bore you with my rather fevered reaction to Sharper and the Egg Room back in Prologue.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:32 pm 
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I have been a die hard Myst Fan sence the beginning, the very begining! when URU was called,
DIRT. then later changed to MudPie. What I think totaly fudged the game up is a bad case of
Peter Princaple, Through out the years sence URU has been devoloping many differant people have been hired by Cyan to work on URU and that right there was the starting point. Back when Cyan was with UBIsoft, UBI made Cyan create a magaload of future content later to be added to URU. prof of this is
in Phil's relto his 'full' bookself, these books all have for the most part compleated ages to go along
with them!!! Now jump ahead a bit to UntilURU, Thing were starting to actualy HAPPEN! WE were
starting to make our own AGES! etc. we had 'Plugins' all made by the Explorers! and then
GT took up URU which everyone was joyous that FINALY! URU would awake again officaly.
We all thought that everything we had already done in UntilURU was just getting transfered to the new
awakining over at GT. And I for one also thought that this encarnation of URU was starting out with
ALL the content we ALL or should I say most had already seen and solved, incl Tpots stuff but not M5 content. MouL I thought was starting off where Tpots left off, along with all of the UU stuff also.

How wrong I WAS! Someone eles was running the show this year IT WAS NOT CYAN!
How could it be? auwnstly this last year was everything Cyan wasn't!!! almost malishous in the
way they treated us all in the cavern during the Deception episode! and then a ho hum don't give a
hoot attitude there after. Then to top it all off with the biggest slap in the face asp. to all of us
Myst die harders, the way they finished up the year with basicly the SAME message they used in Prologe, We have ran out of funding~! which lead to the 1st cancallation of URU,
Will history repeat its self? I hope not. but I think it will die one more time before URU is finaly ready
for prime time. Why, because they have to totlay rewrite the whole game incl all the old content etc.
because of the phyX engine change, which IMO is what has been cause 'This time around'
for the most part and the code not being written for all the social things Rand wants for his Grand 'Vision'
of URU Ages Byond Myst.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:56 pm 
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In Erik's suggestion, there is still a "harm" of sorts... and it affects all players, not just the one player. The journal would go away for a while, possibly a longer while each time an explorer committed a faux pas. (Click the link above! Read it, I regret giving a summary because it's really in more depth than I described.) However, this is a harm that "enriches the game experience" because the penalty doesn't really subtract from the game over the long term, only for a short while.

Though I wouldn't be surprised if some people disagreed with my position; I distinctly remember JWPlatt's irritation when the DRC forums went away for a while and nobody was certain if they would return.

And to counter your claim, Z: If penalties are handled in a private manner, then it is only fair that there should also be private rewards.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:56 pm 
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Just wanted to throw in a side note about Sharper not noticing ppl reading his journal and not noticing ppl walking thru his office.... I know you all have been playing this game for a while.... you do recall of coarse that Telly and Sharps office are INSTANCED. They are not the actual place Sharper goes when he goes there, So of coarse he's not going to notice things moved around.

Now how the journal updates itself across instances i have no idea.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:59 pm 
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I don't think it's possible for a single player to "ruin" the experience for everyone. If so, that's bad design. I literally cannot imagine how the person who said something to Sharper made a "mistake". I cannot wrap my mind around that. I like to think that in no way would Cyan "punish" the players for something that any person does in game, by restricting content. If that's so, then I'm really, really unhappy. Perhaps it's more the case that Cyan didn't want to write the Sharper journal anymore - they wanted to take the story in a new direction. The cessation of the Sharper journal was in in-game reason to do this. If so, that makes sense. I like to think that's how it works, because the alternative is just too disrepectful to the players to imagine.

Yes, yes, yes, consequences should enrich the experience for everyone. The developers should assume that players will ask in-game characters anything and plan accordingly. It's a game and also a made-up story. I'm not saying the game and story shouldn't be plausible, but that's the job of the game developers - to enrich the story and game playing experience for everyone, no matter how the players react.

So Justin, if you are still around, you weren't foolish at all - I applaud you! In no way did you make a mistake, not one little tiny bit.

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Last edited by mszv on Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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