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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:58 pm 
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I'd have put this in a forum more suited for "General Discussion," but since there are spoilers for Myst V and MOUL here, I figured I'd put it in the Spoilers section.

I'm sure a lot of us have wondered what it would be like to be able to explore the ages from Myst V in Uru. It would indeed be pretty great, and in fact, certain fan shards have developed ways of making this possible by way of technical trickery. But even there, they're not perfect ports - converting the content in such a way that it's appropriate in Uru is a tough process to be sure. It's made me wonder: To what extent would Myst V content be appropriate in MOUL? What makes sense and what doesn't?

One important point that should be made is that if this is done, it needs to be done in such a way that it does not spoil the experience of playing Myst V. In fact, I bet this, next to the general time/effort it would take to convert the content for Uru, is why Cyan didn't bring in more of the Myst V content into Uru - K'veer aside. This may seem like a minor or nitpicky point, but I think it's very valid and incredibly important. We should be willing to sacrifice some explorability in order to keep Myst V worth playing and re-playing.

Another important thing to keep in mind would be how appropriate that content would be as Uru Live content. There's the more general question of what makes sense canonically, in the established world of Uru Live, but even on a bigger scale, what makes sense thematically in the MMO that is Uru. Exploration in many of the Myst V ages depends on lots of puzzle solving, and requires specific game mechanics that are incompatible with Uru.

With these two points in mind, let's go through each of the Myst V ages, and I'll give my take on how appropriate each would be in Uru. Please note that I'm not suggesting that the powers that be actually release Myst V content into MOUL - I just want to have a discussion about what would theoretically make sense. (That being said, Cyan, if you were planning on surprising us at some point, I hope you're listening. ;) )

K'veer
Already got it, and with a sweet new stained-glass window and music track at that. Great. :)

Great Shaft
Absolutely. We've already got a version of it, where Tomahn II is the only area accessible. Theoretically we could just expand outwards from there, remove the Yeesha journals, and place the Descent content (Relto page, Dr. Watson journal) in the correct place in Tomahn II, have all the links to Descent redirect to Tomahn II and we're good to go.
Seemingly, the only tricky part would be the elevator/buttons/floors, which in Myst V, need to be pressed in order to gain access to other areas of the Shaft. HOWEVER, no clickables are actually necessary in the Great Shaft - we wouldn't even need the floor raised - as long as all doors are open, and as long as we have...

Direbo
Yes, BUT, as a garden age, and a nexus for The Great Shaft, NOT as a nexus for the Myst V ages. Following the example set by K'veer, the Bahro bubbles/pedestals should be flat-out removed - maybe even replaced with Relto/Eder style benches as an added bonus. :) But the linking books to the Shaft should be left, and the gates should be open, making Direbo a good way of getting through the various stages of the Shaft.

Tahgira
Sort of, but I actually vote no on this one. Yes, the age is explorable enough without needing to solve many puzzles, which is nice, but I frankly just don't see the age making sense in the context of Uru. It just doesn't seem like an age that needs to be there.
Now, I have a hunch Tahgira is a total conversion of Beyond Gira, an expansion of Eder Gira Cyan was planning on releasing in Uru Live way back when - there's a track on the soundtrack, and even concept art, if you know where to look (notice the trees? They're the same as Tahgira's. That, plus the name is where I'm getting my hunch). That would obviously be something neat to see in Uru, but I'm just not seeing Tahgira as something that makes sense in context.

Todelmer
Partially - exploration of this age really depends a lot on the Myst V game mechanics and on a lot of puzzle solving, so releasing the age as-is doesn't make much sense to me. But you know what does?
The space pod. It's just too perfect. Todelmer is a pod age, and if all we were to get was just that pod at the end, I would be more than happy. It would go perfectly in that fifth pedestal where the other four Pod Age books are in the museum. (Though I gotta say, the pod ages should really be merged into one book on the Relto bookshelf instead of four. Then the two books on the bottom shelf could actually be squeezed into the top shelf.) Remove the Tablet Keep, slap in a Nexus pedestal, and we're good to go - nothing else needed!

Noloben
Sort of. Does it need to be there? Probably not, but it has a few things going for it: It's been mentioned very frequently in the game itself - of note is that sticky note in Sharper's office - so it would make sense in the context of Uru Live to have the age there - say, perhaps, by putting a book in Sharper's D'ni office. But since the age is pretty puzzle heavy and pretty dependent on Myst V's game mechanics to solve and fully explore, maybe only part of the age. Let's leave the magic of the actual puzzle solving to Myst V itself, and just have the most basic exterior locations explorable. Since physically the age is quite small, we'd still feel like we're getting to explore all of it, even though technically we wouldn't have access the lab inside.

Laki'ahn
No. I feel like this age is puzzle-heavy to the point where I doubt it would even be enjoyable exploring outside of the context of Myst V. In fact, I always thought Laki sort of existed as a representation of Esher's character, and helped give him a little backstory, so it serves a specific purpose for that *story* that wouldn't really fit in Uru. So as far as I'm concerned, Laki can stay in Myst V where it belongs.

Myst
Of course - we've got access to the library already, after all, and I, for one, have been dying to see the day when that stone barrier goes down and we can walk on the island itself. That being said, is Myst V's incarnation of the island appropriate for Uru? Not entirely. The player only ever sees it in the "bad" ending, and so the age is intentionally given a dark and dreary tone. I don't think that'd be appropriate in the context of MOUL.
But, I think with a few minor adjustments, it'd be fine. I still think it's important to show the island in its run-down and decayed state, but the island should feel mysterious and not sad. Here's the adjustments I would make:
- Turn the rain/lightning off. Not only is it dreary, but it also reduces visibility, and makes a lot of excess noise. So remove those weather effects, and remove all the sfx files related to the rain.
- Increase the global lighting slightly. Everything is so dark. Since the lightning has a noticeable affect on the global lighting, I'm assuming it'd be possible to brighten things up a touch without making any real big changes.
- Replace Myst V's Myst music with Uru's Myst music. The age, as we've adjusted it now, is still brooding, but it now has more of an air of mystery to it, and is less disheartening/depressing. Likewise, the music we've already got for the Myst Library in Uru is mysterious and a bit dark, but not necessarily sad. It matches our new tone perfectly, and it's already been established as music representing Myst, so we might as well keep it.

Once these changes have been made, the only thing we have to do is to take the collectibles from the library in MOUL (sparky, clothes, Relto page) and move them to the same spot in the new library - although, if we want to get creative and scatter them around the island a bit more, there's always that. :) Also, the Slate pedestal should be removed, but that should go without saying.
Also, I really think Myst should be a public age, rather than an instanced one, like the current Myst Library is. I imagine with Uru's current levels of traffic, that wouldn't be an issue. Actually, I feel this way about all of these locations since no "changes" ever need to be made to these ages in a way that would make playing them with others problematic - but I feel particularly strongly about Myst Island in this case, due to its history. I imagine people will want to visit THE Myst, not "a" Myst.
(Side note, I'm actually all for removing the instanced versions of Ae'Gura and the garden/pod ages from MOUL entirely and just replacing *any* age that doesn't require any changes be made to it with one single public instance. {Except Nexus, of course, but it doesn't seem like that's actually supposed to be an instance even in-game.})

Releeshan
Not really necessary, but it's small, and it's cool - could easily be worked into, perhaps, K'veer, or anyplace else, really. However, it would need a few small changes made to it in order for it to work as an Uru age, as those of you who have used exploits to explore the age more will surely know. First, it would need a whole new skybox - the backdrop may seem fine in Myst V, but look even a little bit past the intended camera area and you can see it's actually quite a mess. Second, some sort of barrier or gate would need to be placed in front of the stone staircase leading downwards - if you've ever tried to do it, you'll know your avvie basically just falls into the abyss.



Anyway, those are my thoughts, and I've hoped you enjoyed reading them! I would love to hear feedback from you guys, and any other ideas you might have. Pipe-dreamy though it might be, people have been talking about wanting to explore Myst V ages in Uru since, well, Myst V came out. Forever, really. But when you get down to it, how appropriate that would even be to begin with is actually fairly complicated, and worth discussing, I think.

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Last edited by Maurus on Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:57 pm 
I believe the current theory on Descent is that it's an artificial copy of the Great Shaft made by the Bah'ro for Dr. Watson.

Nitpicking aside, I second your whole post.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Alright, there are points I agree with and some I am against.

Great Shaft
I agree about the shaft. (heck, it would even be nice if you could get into the Caldera from the Cleft). But if we had the shaft, it should have the working elevators/doors/floor.

Direbo
I suppose Direbo would be nice, but not as a sort of transportation throughout the shaft.

Tahgira
I agree about Tahgira. Since its a prison age, I don't really see the need for it.

Todelmer
While the pod would be nice, you have to look at this from a new explorer's point of view. Here the Todelmer pod is in the midst of the other pods and unless we add a portal (and another wedge), it would just be too confusing for new explorers who might spend days there and find no portal. I think it would be better off if it was placed in the library or something where new explorers might not be confused.

Noloben
Now remember Noloben has changed drastically since the end of Myst V. It has been a fighting zone for the Bahro and their war, so the place currently is probably not what we saw in Myst V.

Laki'ahn
Actually, I think Laki'ahn would be a great age for Uru. I mean if you unlock the doors to the trade house and don't permit access to the Arena itself (just the stands) It opens up quite a bit of the Age. Swimming could allow you to access Fighter Beach, so you wouldn't have to go through the maze. I think it would fit well into Uru (or at least as much as the other ages would) because it shines a light on a different aspect of the D'ni.

Myst
I don't think we should get rid of the rain entirely as it helps set Myst's tone. Myst is supposed to now be a sad place, its mystery that drew you in in the first game is gone. Perhaps have a rain cycle like Eder Kemo's?

Releeshahn
No, just no. If we are ever going to have Releeshahn, (which I am greatly against) it should be something better than just the balcony. Not to mention I don't think it would really fit. Uru is meant to in part tell the story of the DRC, not the D'ni survivors.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 12:01 am 
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DLordofTime wrote:
I believe the current theory on Descent is that it's an artificial copy of the Great Shaft made by the Bah'ro for Dr. Watson.
Is that really where we are now? Ugh... ever since TPOTS, it's been waaay too "a wizard did it" up here in the Myst universe, let me tell you. :lol:

Vector Cramp wrote:
Great Shaft
I agree about the shaft. (heck, it would even be nice if you could get into the Caldera from the Cleft). But if we had the shaft, it should have the working elevators/doors/floor.

Direbo
I suppose Direbo would be nice, but not as a sort of transportation throughout the shaft.
In Deep Island Shard, you can jump into the volcano and it links you to the Caldera part of Descent. I think it's a bit of a stretch, but it was a cute way of working it in. This wouldn't be appropriate in any kind of official capacity though - it's cool, but the only way this would feel natural would probably be if they were one single age file - yipes. Can you imagine the loading times? :P
And yeah, I wasn't implying we should just leave the elevators stagnant - they're always preferable, I'm just saying if it proved to be too difficult to easily port to MO:UL, we could get around it if we had access to Direbo. I'm not implying Direbo's only use should be as a transportation hub for Tiwah - it's a nice garden age in and of itself - I'm just saying that ability is there should it be needed.

Vector Cramp wrote:
Todelmer
While the pod would be nice, you have to look at this from a new explorer's point of view. Here the Todelmer pod is in the midst of the other pods and unless we add a portal (and another wedge), it would just be too confusing for new explorers who might spend days there and find no portal. I think it would be better off if it was placed in the library or something where new explorers might not be confused.
Hadn't thought about that. I'm sure there's a way some sort of clear indication could be given that the pod *didn't* feature a reward like the other four. On the other hand, if one *was* added, I guess a fifth wedge could be added to Relto - but since that would require remodeling all the other wedges, which seems unnecessary, maybe something simpler - like maybe a "donut hole" in the center. :)

Vector Cramp wrote:
Noloben
Now remember Noloben has changed drastically since the end of Myst V. It has been a fighting zone for the Bahro and their war, so the place currently is probably not what we saw in Myst V.
Another good point I hadn't considered. I'm assuming touching up the age to show those scars would mean unnecessary amounts of work, which I'm assuming wouldn't get done (unless some motivated modelers were to get it done anyway and beat my expectations). There's always a way it could be explained, though. Like maybe IC this is Sharper himself releasing the age to the public, and since it's a place he called his home, maybe he put in the extra effort to patch up the damage that had been done on Noloben. Again, this is just an IC excuse for "we didn't want to model all the damage," but it's something.

Vector Cramp wrote:
Myst
I don't think we should get rid of the rain entirely as it helps set Myst's tone. Myst is supposed to now be a sad place, its mystery that drew you in in the first game is gone. Perhaps have a rain cycle like Eder Kemo's?
I sort of figured the dark, cloudy sky would still take care of that by itself, my desire for a slightly less-depressing Myst notwithstanding. It's not even a mood thing, it's just personal taste - I mostly dislike the rain and thunder just because it's distracting - like I'm trying to take in the experience of being on Myst Island, and there's all this white stuff flying around on my screen and loud thunder sfx in the background.
Although, I actually quite like the idea of an Eder Kemo style rain cycle. :)

Vector Cramp wrote:
Releeshahn
No, just no. If we are ever going to have Releeshahn, (which I am greatly against) it should be something better than just the balcony. Not to mention I don't think it would really fit. Uru is meant to in part tell the story of the DRC, not the D'ni survivors.
I see where you're coming from. I'm not suggesting it's something that *should* be released in Uru, I'm just saying it *could* be done since it's a small age with no puzzles to worry about, and it could be justified IC - for example, Doctor Watson could say "I've established contact with the D'ni survivors (which he did); I'm making a link to Releeshan available, but they've asked me to make sure their civilization below remains undisturbed, so I'm only going to make a link to a small balcony available and will be closing off access to the city proper. Please understand this is the best I can do."
But ultimately, yeah, I gotta agree with you - at the end of the day, it's not really worth it at all, since it's just a tiny balcony, and whole sections of the age would have to be remodeled to make it even presentable in Uru anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:51 pm 
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Maurus wrote:
DLordofTime wrote:
I believe the current theory on Descent is that it's an artificial copy of the Great Shaft made by the Bah'ro for Dr. Watson.
Is that really where we are now? Ugh... ever since TPOTS, it's been waaay too "a wizard did it" up here in the Myst universe, let me tell you. :lol:


I don't think that's a common belief--- not to hijack the thread, but there seem to be two factions of 'IC' around Uru:

One believes you're supposed to 'pretend its all real' and generally ignore anything that might be a canonical indiscrepancy, 'glitch' or restriction in the function of graphics via the willing suspension of disbelief.

The other believes you should pretend its all real, but still take into account, any canonical indiscrepancy, 'glitch' or restriction in the function of graphics that can be seen, and come up with radical, allegedly "IC" theories to explain how it's part of the story.

I don't believe for a moment, that the creators of Uru intended for us to believe that Descent in Uru is a copy of the Great Shaft.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Might just throw in my theory about the eder tomahn in Uru:
I'd suggest that the one in Uru is not visited in Myst V - you rush past it in the first elevator. Why?
1. You can only see one pair of elevator rails in Uru, which doesn't have any call controls.
2. The eder tomahn today is still the same as in 2004, and I doubt the Bahro would clean the place up for Watson to take the Quest, and then put all the rubbish back.
3. In Myst V, you never really get to see the whole elevator ride down. There is a sudden camera switch, probably to leave out most of the ride.
4. Supposedly the eder tomahn in Uru is halfway down the shaft. Now Esher said in Myst V that the shaft was three miles deep. The second elevator only travels a reasonable distance though, not one and a half miles. So I suggest that the Uru one is indeed halfway down, and that the first elevator travels a longer distance than the second one.
5. The area skipped over may also not have had the supports in Myst V either. Okay, in Uru you don't see the struts at the bottom, but that's easier to "overlook" and/or declare artistic license than quite obvious ones right in your view.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:13 pm 
Yet Descent is still visually quite different, even from the Eder Tomahn.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:14 pm 
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DLordofTime wrote:
Yet Descent is still visually quite different, even from the Eder Tomahn.


I believe there's a claim that Dr. Watson was the 'stranger' who experienced the events of Myst V, and the game is a 'dramatization' of his experiences, created by Cyan.

There is room, then, to assume when Cyan created Myst V they took liberties with the appearance of the Great Shaft for gameplay purposes- so it doesn't exactly resemble the 'real' Shaft we link to, in Uru.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:53 pm 
Dr. Watson confirmed it himself.

I suppose it's possible that Descent is the real shaft... *shrugs*


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:18 am 
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Okay, here's my two cents into this:

Descent:

Unless you're going to correctly integrate Myst V's Descent into Uru. It shouldn't be done. By integrate correctly I mean you need to remove the stuff that was added in for Myst V. If you take a walk around Myst V you'll see what was added in during production of Myst V. First there's the Eder Tomahn's. Believe it or not, they shouldn't be there. It's clear by looking at them that they were added in sloppily (Sloppily by Cyan standards is still quite good though.) For a prime example take a look at the one off the Generator Room. Pay some close attention to that doorway and you can see that a simple hole was cut into the geometry to make room for the Tomahn there. This is also true of the one in the last node. Why on earth would you have a Tomahn off a node. Tomahn's are a place of rest. So if they're supposed to be there why are they so close together? Unless of course, originally, they never were supposed to be. I'd also add, if that node Tomahn was originally supposed to be there, How on earth were you going to go anywhere as that door is the only way toward the D'ni cavern? Take a look at Atrus map, then compare it to that node. It's clear that the path to D'ni was off that node, and that door specifically.

Next there's the support struts in the Great Shaft itself. These were clearly added in during Myst V as they are not present in Uru. Myst V takes place canonically in 2005. So did the DRC put the struts up only to tear them down two years later? No. Myst V is an interpretation of Watson's quest to free the Bahro. Thus the ages and areas that appear in it are an interpretation of what he saw. There's a whole load of other stuff I could get into with this age, but it'd take much longer than this post should be, so I'll move along:

Direbo:

First, this was an age meant for resting as you traveled down the pathway to D'ni. It needs it's own Pedestal somewhere in Descent. Not on every Nexus terminal you come across in the Shaft. Nexus Terminals are for Nexus books, not for a linking book to an age like Direbo. Second, the Bahro Bubble needs to go, obviously. You could add in some garden style benches and a Tree on one of the islands as the original concept work had intended. The age is supposed to be a rock garden, with a tree representing the Great Tree of Possibilities.

Todelmer:

Here's another age that needs alot of work. First. If you take a look at some of the early concept and production art for this age, its quite clear it's not supposed to have a night sky. In fact, it was a green day time sky originally. The idea of telescopes is that your supposed to be able to view the stars from far away. Not just look up and see everything in such great detail.

Laki:

With the exception of getting rid of the Bahro Bubble, this is an age that doesn't need to be touched all that much. It'd make for great multiplayer usage, and you could even still have the sandstorm if you wanted. You'd just need to add something to call the Bahro to Laki to call up the storm. Like say, a journey cloth with the Wind Symbol on it. Bahro shows up, makes the wind come and presto you have your age.

Noloben:

This is another age that should go back to basics. If you look at Noloben now and compare it to what it was in the early concept art it's much much bigger that it was meant to be. In fact it changed so much during production for Myst V, that they changed it's name to Siralehn, and only changed it back to make it fit in with the canon. So, let's go back to that early Noloben view. Just a small alcove on the beach with a hut that Esher stayed in before finding the mainland, shall we?




If I've left an age off of here, it's because I don't think we need to see that in Uru. With maybe the exception of Myst. Cause....well it's Myst.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:51 am 
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ChloeRhodes wrote:
Okay, here's my two cents into this:

Todelmer:

Here's another age that needs alot of work. First. If you take a look at some of the early concept and production art for this age, its quite clear it's not supposed to have a night sky. In fact, it was a green day time sky originally. The idea of telescopes is that your supposed to be able to view the stars from far away. Not just look up and see everything in such great detail.

Noloben:

This is another age that should go back to basics. If you look at Noloben now and compare it to what it was in the early concept art it's much much bigger that it was meant to be. In fact it changed so much during production for Myst V, that they changed it's name to Siralehn, and only changed it back to make it fit in with the canon. So, let's go back to that early Noloben view. Just a small alcove on the beach with a hut that Esher stayed in before finding the mainland, shall we?


Um, I don't exactly see why we need to go back to the original concept of the Ages. It is concept art after all and not the final product. If you look at the concept art for Tomahna in Myst IV, Edanna in Myst III or even Eder Gira in Uru, they look very different than how they actually appear in the game. And if we're going back to basics, why not bring Laki'ahn back to its original idea which is also different?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:18 am 
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Vector Cramp wrote:
ChloeRhodes wrote:
Okay, here's my two cents into this:

Todelmer:

Here's another age that needs alot of work. First. If you take a look at some of the early concept and production art for this age, its quite clear it's not supposed to have a night sky. In fact, it was a green day time sky originally. The idea of telescopes is that your supposed to be able to view the stars from far away. Not just look up and see everything in such great detail.

Noloben:

This is another age that should go back to basics. If you look at Noloben now and compare it to what it was in the early concept art it's much much bigger that it was meant to be. In fact it changed so much during production for Myst V, that they changed it's name to Siralehn, and only changed it back to make it fit in with the canon. So, let's go back to that early Noloben view. Just a small alcove on the beach with a hut that Esher stayed in before finding the mainland, shall we?


Um, I don't exactly see why we need to go back to the original concept of the Ages. It is concept art after all and not the final product. If you look at the concept art for Tomahna in Myst IV, Edanna in Myst III or even Eder Gira in Uru, they look very different than how they actually appear in the game. And if we're going back to basics, why not bring Laki'ahn back to its original idea which is also different?


Noloben and Todelmer were heavily adapted in Myst V. As in they took the stuff they made for Uru, and changed and worked it into Myst V. These were areas that were already modeled, textured, and had images of them released to the public for consumption. They were, in affect, the final product that was to be in Uru. Todelmer was quite far into the pipeline. Far enough that a linking book and image of the age were shipped with To D'ni and POTS. It was between Phase 4 and Phase 5 development when production of Uru content shut down. Noloben was far enough in production that a teaser was released of the age to the public.

And no, Laki was not all that different. I suggest taking a look at the concept art for Laki'ahn and comparing it in game with what was released. The Arena. Cage, Fighter hut etc etc were all conceptually identical to the art that's been released.

I understand that this thread is about Myst V content in Uru. And I have no issue with some of the Myst V content coming back into Uru, because well...it belongs in Uru. It was built for Uru, designed for Uru, and was merely redesigned and reworked for Myst V. But the stuff that should be brought over is the stuff that was designed for Uru. Which is why I didn't include Tahgira. Tahgira, as cool as it was in Myst V, had ventured far enough graphically from Eder Gira II that it became an age all of it's own. You can't really look out into the distance of Eder Gira and imagine Tahgira having any place in that age anymore. Noloben you can because it looks very similar to those first official photos of Noloben. But I don't need that Noloben or that Todelmer in Uru. I'd rather have what was intended for Uru, meaning it needs to be reworked and redone to what it was originally conceived as.

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