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Bring Back The Guilds?
Yes. 30%  30%  [ 59 ]
No 22%  22%  [ 43 ]
What Guilds Are You Talking About? 7%  7%  [ 13 ]
Only Some That Could Help People: (ex-The Writers, Linguists, Messengers) 24%  24%  [ 47 ]
Start Modern Guilds Only (Greeters etc.) 16%  16%  [ 32 ]
Total votes : 194
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:42 am 
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Let's consider the needs of the the game developers for a moment - as a theoretical exercise, at least.

Bottom line: Cyan needs to develop and maintain subscribers to the game. It is in their interest for players to stay online as long as possible to achieve goals within the game, and to do so Cyan needs to keep the game fresh and stimulating enough to satisfy a very large cohort of players. Let's face it - the avids on these boards, as swell a bunch as we are, do not constitute a large enough group to support Uru Live. The game needs to appeal to as broad a cross-section of the gaming public as it can to succeed, while hopefully still maintaining a flavor of the previous games in the Myst series.

Let's assume that Cyan are able to introduce a fully-tricked out Age every two months - an ambitious goal, but this is an assumption, so bear with me. How long do you suppose it would take the average player (or group of players) to complete the puzzles in such an Age? Days? Hours?
What incentive, then, does the average player have to log in on a daily basis? What can keep such a player's interest up long enough for him to want to pay a monthly subscription?

There need to be long-term, as well as short-term, quests, journeys and duties, in order for the game to succeed. Players need to feel they are a PART of this persistent online world, not just puzzle solvers or chatroom addicts.
Taking on a real "role" - becoming a member of a professional, intellectual, or artistic Guild - is one of the ways players can become more involved. People who otherwise would have nothing in common can find a sense of purpose in the goals and needs of the group.

Whether you or I LIKE this is irrelevant. I believe that some form of organized Guild structure is absolutely necessary to the survival of Uru Live. I am not saying it should be required to join a Guild, but the Guild system should be available.

I also believe - like it or not - that this WILL be a part of Uru Live, simply because it has to be.

EDIT: And I would LOVE an embroidered cloak and a pointy hat - where do I sign? 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:39 am 
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What the consumer wants, is what is in the best interests of the producer. This is the essence of capitalism, and true for every product made, including Uru.

It is always in the best interests of Cyan to but in Uru what the players want, and to leave out what they do not want, whenever possible.

True, Cyan cannot feasablely produce new fully polished ages as fast as we can solve them, no corporation could.

However, a legion of properly equiped fans could. If age creation tools are made available, every player can concievably produce new content, which in turn keeps the game going.

A great example this is the game Neverwinter Nights, which was releashed with a tool for producing creating new "game modules" which are essentially a full adventure in D&D terms.

Bioware releashed the game with one story told in four chapters, not much content, but using the tools they gave them, the player community created hundreds of their own modules, available all over the web.

Just look at http://nwvault.ign.com/ to see what a fan community can do if properly equiped.

Every MMORPG has pointy hats and cloaks, and I love Uru because it doesnt. Although I wouldn't mind having Atrus's yellow coat and goggles... But that's irrelevant.

Uru does not NEED guilds by any means, all Uru needs is us.

Tokai is absolutly right, guild business is just that, business, boring and tedious, it's a job. I already have one of those.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:23 am 
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Rieuco wrote:
What the consumer wants, is what is in the best interests of the producer...

Uru does not NEED guilds by any means, all Uru needs is us.

Tokai is absolutly right, guild business is just that, business, boring and tedious, it's a job. I already have one of those.


No Uru does not neeed guilds, but there is certainly a section of the community that would enjoy them. As long as they are optional and non intrusive to those who aren't interested, what is the harm?

And in response to the statement about guild business being boring and tedious, I think it is unfair to the people who don't find it to be either of those things. Have you ever heard the saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure"?

I am keeping my hopes up (with cautious optimism ;) ) that Cyan can come up with a guild system that guild enthusiasts can enjoy, but others can ignore. I will always feel that in Uru there is room for everybody.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:06 am 
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Deius, there is absolutely no harm in 100% optional non-intrusive guilds, as long as they don't restrict content from those who choose not to join guilds, which would be in a sense, coercing players to join the guild.

This is what I've been saying all along. There have been calls to make such guilds a core mechanic of the game, and joining one of them an inescapable part of the game. It is that highly intrusive guild structure, and the dangers of allowing the rise of high level elitism that I have been aruging against.

I see no danger in informal groups what-so-ever.

I don't mind if everyone running around me in Uru is in a guild, I just don't think it's fair to indepentent minded folks like me, to be forced into guilds, or to have a second class gaming experiance because we would rather not be part of a guild. That's all.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:50 pm 
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Now, I haven't read the entire thread, but several posts here and elsewhere about the theoretical Guild system have made me want to blow off a bit of steam.
Anyway, what I'm actually bothered and aggravated about (unusual for me) is the seemingly immense level of paranoia some people have about the Guilds. I see some sort of "the sky is falling"-attitude, like Guilds of any kind would immediately doom Uru, and the ranting about the elitism, exclusion and general evil that supposedly will follow. Of course there can be elitistic pricks, but they can come everywhere and should of course be dealt with accordingly. Other people vehemetly oppose the idea that, God forbid, not everyone will have absolute access to everything in the game, or the idea of ranks. In fact, what I absolutely feel that Uru needs is just that. That if you choose a Guild or a philosophical side, make some task or make a choice, you should have consequenses. For example, depending on which Guild you choose, you could have complete access to that Guild's part of the Guild Hall, but limited to the others. That would, IMO, be both fun and natural.

[/rant]


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:17 pm 
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Thanks for the blast of common sense, Carrot. ;)

I think a logical next question is, How limited? Will a guildmember be able to invite non-guildmembers into the holy of holies? Can players join the Writers' Guild one day to see the guildhall, then switch to the Performers' Guild the next to see theirs? Will there be an "open house" every few months so interested guild members can come see the perks of membership in person before deciding which, if any, to join?

I'm quite amenable to this kind of a setup, where everyone who is a Linguist has access to neat Linguist perks that might be accessed by the public via invites, open houses, etc. What I am opposed to, though, is direct, individual reward for specific individual tasks, and a ranking system that derives from it. For many of the reasons listed above, I think this flies in the face of what the MREDU universe is all about (the pleasure of exploration, discovery, books, puzzle-solving, artwork, etc.) and tries to turn it, even if subtly, into something it's not (a levelling based MMPORG). Yes, actions should have consequences. You pull a lever and a door opens; not, you pull a lever, and three cherries wins the jackpot. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:24 pm 
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This is something that's just occurred to me now, reading this discussion.

Uru isn't really a game. I'd mentioned this before in some other thread. But it does have some specific layers of play within it, moreso if guilds are included. They could be considered games in and of themselves, because they have different rules and different consequences for your actions. These layers don't have to come in contact (EDIT: I meant "conflict" here, but I'll leave the mistake here to make ireen's post make sense) with each other, and probably won't unless someone really really wants to rouse a rabble.

    Social interaction, or as some people have called it, the "glorified chat room". It's what Until Uru is, a lot of the time. This isn't something that's likely to go away.

    Puzzle solving, the Myst series staple. Ages will have puzzles to solve. I don't know on what frequency. But for the people who think Uru = Myst = solving puzzles left and right, this is for them.

    Exploration, learning things from observation, noticing details in Ages. Finding nooks and crannies nobody's been into. Taking KI shots. Being among the first to find new items, or see new areas. This is the essence of what Uru was, and will undoubtedly be important for Uru Live.

    The Guild system will give players tools for their actions to be played out on the world in new ways, actually giving them power over the environment. The guilds are opt-in, and you wouldn't have to join one if you didn't feel like it. Likely, if you don't feel like joining a guild, it's because you don't see yourself getting any use out of being a member.


This is saying nothing of participating in the plot (which can happen on all levels of play) and Age building (which only a few have the skills to accomplish). You can be a part of all layers of play simultaneously, or really focus on just one, depending on your interests. I think this is a really really awesome way to structure somethign that's ostensibly a game.

Hanging out in Uru won't make you subject to any of the heirarchy of the Guilds, and if you aren't a part of the Guild system it won't matter that Joe Shmoe is vice-chairperson and Jane Zane is a new member.


Last edited by Cycreim on Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:19 pm 
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My opinion is that a rebirth of guilds will most likely be inevitable and therefore resisting them too strenuously will only cause early on negativity. Clearly there are enough folks who want them and see them as valuable assets, and they did exist before the cavern was closed to some extent already, they were growing and thriving and many survived the long intermission to where we are today.

I understand the fears of many, verging on paranoia, sure... but definitely not without some history to back up those fears. We are cautioned by Yeesha, by past writings and history of the D'ni themselves and even by the modern physical evidence we currently have catalogued regarding various ages, their destruction and the Bahro.

Cultures on the surface have been built and destroyed by societies similar to the guilds. These societies brought both prosperity, enlightenment, inspiration, as well as the more negative class-segregation, racism and half a dozen other detrimental side effects and eventual destructive outcomes.

The fact is, humans are humans, no matter where they originate and all have the same potential for greatness -and- for downfall.

How we utilize the lessons passed down to us from the D'ni is up to us.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Cycreim wrote:
[snip]
But it does have some specific layers of play within it, moreso if guilds are included. They could be considered games in and of themselves, because they have different rules and different consequences for your actions. These layers don't have to come in contact with each other, and probably won't unless someone really really wants to rouse a rabble.

[snipped the list of layers]

This is saying nothing of participating in the plot (which can happen on all levels of play) and Age building (which only a few have the skills to accomplish). You can be a part of all layers of play simultaneously, or really focus on just one, depending on your interests. I think this is a really really awesome way to structure somethign that's ostensibly a game.

[snip]


I am not sure if I understand you right, Cycreim. Some of what you say seems contradictory to me.
Do you think the layers coming in contact with each other would lead to "rabble rousing"? That they could be experienced simultaniously, while at the same time being clearly seperate in the player's head?

If so, I disagree.
If you think about two core principles, ARG and story (both backstory and present-day live story), you need suspension of disbelief.

To me that happens when something feels "real", plausible. What makes that happen (and Uru has already partly suceeded in that) is that everything, all layers are part of the ARG story, complexy intertwined, in some ways logical, in some ways through allusions. Crossreferencing.
Therefore, when you experience only some aspects/layers (if you don't care for the others), you miss the depth of the story. If do everything, but treat layers as seperate, you don't connect the dots of the story.

Only if everything is connected and you experience it as such, you will become fully immersed. Not everybody might want that. But I do, it's the heart of my fun.

(Not sure if grasped what you meant, though, since you also mentioned the plot being in all layers.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:12 pm 
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Oh my gosh, I said "contact" at first when I meant "conflict"! Sorry for the confusion! D:

I meant that these layers aren't competing against each other, you just participate in whichever ones you want, and they all have their own rules and sets of consequences. Causing competition between them, i.e. "puzzle solving is better than guilds", you know, past a point of simple opinion, is silly. That's what I meant by contact. I mean conflict! Conflict!

Yeesh!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:10 pm 
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I can understand how anti-guild arguments might come off as paranoid and apocalyptic. This is not the case however.

I speak not about what will happen in the first week, or month of Live, but what such inclusion will (in my opinion) mean, in the long term.

I honestly feel that what going down this road will do, is the same as throwing away, a lot (but not all) of what makes Uru unique in exchange for the aforementioned pointy hats and embroidered cloaks... Things that are flashy and cool for a brief time, but will in time, as people get used to them, become boring.

If I argue my points a bit too passionatly, that is only because of the passion I have for seeing Uru succeed, in the long term, not as another "firecracker MMORPG" that follows the usual path, and takes off with a surge of enthusasium, stalls in mid air once a newer shinnier game comes out, and goes out with a tiny puff of smoke a fizzle of light, and an echo of dissapointment accross message boards.

If Uru Live premiers with guilds, where we all run around in robes and pretend to be D'ni, I would still play it, to at least try it, but it wouldn't be the same game that convinced me that a Myst MMORPG could work.

I just think that a non or limited guild system offers a much better chance for the long-term survival, and success of Uru, as well as offering game play that is superior in the long run.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:24 pm 
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Rieuco wrote:
I honestly feel that what going down this road will do, is the same as throwing away, a lot (but not all) of what makes Uru unique in exchange for the aforementioned pointy hats and embroidered cloaks... Things that are flashy and cool for a brief time, but will in time, as people get used to them, become boring.

If I argue my points a bit too passionatly, that is only because of the passion I have for seeing Uru succeed, in the long term, not as another "firecracker MMORPG" that follows the usual path, and takes off with a surge of enthusasium, stalls in mid air once a newer shinnier game comes out, and goes out with a tiny puff of smoke a fizzle of light, and an echo of dissapointment accross message boards.

If Uru Live premiers with guilds, where we all run around in robes and pretend to be D'ni, I would still play it, to at least try it, but it wouldn't be the same game that convinced me that a Myst MMORPG could work.

The problem that a guild system will help to solve, is the lack of Stuff To Do(tm) in between the coming of new Ages. As it has been noticed, people will most likely be able to solve a new Age in, say, a week or two. What would you do in the coming two weeks, before a new Age is delivered (and this is looking at it very, very optimistically)? In the current incarnation of Uru there's chatting, Ayoheek and the Wall. Oh, and marker missions. That's it. Other MMORPGs on the other hand can definately sustain themselves without new content constantly flowing in, because they are not built on the one-off gameplay a puzzle is. Guilds would be rather natural, for me at least, as a starting ground for different tasks, missions and whatever might be implemented. The in-group feeling would also be a bonus (I speak of my experience in MUDs, where you often had permanent guilds created by the developers).

Secondly, I'd like to adress something I've noticed. You and many others seem to not like the idea partly because other games have a similar structure. We must be cautious not to dismiss something merely on the point of being original, rather than seeing whether the idea is productive and useful to the game.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:13 am 
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There is more than one way to solve the lack of stuff to do problem.

Sure, you can join a guild, and run around doing repedative tasks to increase skills, which would seem a bit tacked on to the game...

But, if (as I mentioned previously) they give us the tools to make new ages, the community could easily provide plenty of new territory to explore. I cited the example of Neverwinter Nights, which within months of the release of the game aquired hundreds of player added adventures to play.

Thats not all, other games could be added in. How hard would it be to put some chess boards in the cavern?

Yes, guilds are one way to bridge things between updates, but they're not the only way, nor do I think they are the best way.

I'm not saying it has to be one way or the other, I'm just saying that citing guilds as the only solution to the problem isn't right.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:23 am 
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I totally agree that more mini-games should be added. Ayoheek is a pleasant pastime, and allows for social interaction as well as adding an element of healthy competition to the proceedings. :wink:
I'm not so sure about the Wall, since it was always so severely bugged, and because it allows you to set the barriers in such a way as to make it impossible for your opponent to be able to reach the top - a failing in game design that I find puzzling from a company that is supposed to be genius at designing games!
In my opinion, laying out the barriers on the Wall in this way should have immediately re-set the control panel.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:44 am 
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Is not Uru Live a game? Let’s not forget how it all started – we had the original Myst, followed by a related series of other home games primarily because of the demand and success of the Myst theme. Then there were whispers of ‘Online Myst’ – imagine – playing Myst online and interacting with other players – what a fantastic idea. Referred to as ‘Mudpie’ while it was still on the drawing-board, it was renamed ‘Uru Online’ for the testing stage (beta, and Prologue), and a lucky few actually got to play online before the plug was pulled – reportedly because of lack of funds. It never really got a chance to come to fruition. That said – my point is – it’s Myst Online! An online game of Myst! Albeit this time the players are Explorers.

It has been an enjoyable experience playing each consecutive game in the series – including online Uru (Prologue), watching the barriers gradually breaking down to reveal more and more of the history of the D’ni people. And with Uru Live, we will no doubt learn more as new content is added. For us mere mortal Explorers to try and emulate the once proud D’ni by adopting their Guild System, and copying their garb appears to border on fantasy. Does this play-acting only happen when you are down in the Cavern? What happens when it’s tea-time and you have to come up to the surface? Do you bring your pointy hat and cloak with you?

The game is supposed to be in real time, even the DRC periodically visit ol’ Terra Firma occasionally. And of course there’s Sharper – not being one to miss his football on the surface. The point I’m making is – we are not D’ni. And I rather like the more credible scenario where we assist in a somewhat romantic and adventurous archaeological dig – that takes us to different dimensions (small ‘d’). I don’t need to visit the Metal Workers Guild - when I can visit the surface and call in at the nearest hardware store.

Cyan in their wisdom may give Explorer’s license to group together in their own ‘hoods – in any kind of sects they choose – it will happen anyway – it happened in Prologue, and it will happen in Uru Live (you could see a movement beginning to stir against the DRC while I was there – but I suspect this was due to a lack of something to do – i.e. – waiting on the next content release).

Creating Guilds, lodges, discussion groups and some of the other distractions I’ve read in this thread sounds a good idea for keeping online escapes like Until Uru alive. Frankly, I don’t see where these ardent enthusiasts for the Guilds will find the time to successfully run them - with any semblance of order. Especially in a progressive ongoing adventure like the one we envisage in Uru Live. Advertising the argument of a ‘gap-filler’ is a definite nail in the coffin. There aren’t many of us that can afford U$10 a month to strut our stuff in a pointy hat.

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