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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: Sun May 28, 2006 8:31 pm 
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I also am of the purist viewpoint. However, I would never have made the journey into D'ni if I had been completely stalwart in my original views. Even with the things that have challenged preconceptions, I've found that, within a field of a certain level of quality, there's practically nothing one cannot logically engineer to find one's way around previously-held assertions for the betterment of a wider awareness and understanding.

The addition of Guilds into Cyan's line of questioning was not random, nor was it completely speculative -and Moke's comments reinforce this. So, my taking the issue of Guilds to task in this manner is partly due to their inevitablity. Thus, easing their inclusion into the Uru mythos seems practical, rather than simply providing counterpoints to having them at all. It's a loaded issue much like the Liaisons, a challenge which we've essentially been asked to integrate, to the best of our ability as the Uru community, rather than to simply find reasons to rebel against -which is all too easy to do.

Personally, I don't see this element as something that is being grafted on, anyway. For example, when I heard that one of the people quoted in the now-infamous CNet article had actually LIVED within the cavern, like the rest of us, in order to fully understand our culture for a paper she was/is writing, I mentioned this to one of my contacts who is only now embarking on the Journey, who has an archaeological/anthropological background. He asserted that this was a regular course taken by those seeking a fuller understanding of a civilization (though usually a living one), to essentially walk in their footsteps, to immerse themselves by adopting their ways, in order to acquire a clearer picture of things than would be had by mere observation and/or book-learning. It seems to me that the DRC, asapparently professional and absorbed in the restoration as they are, as well as any would-be scholars among our explorers, would not only benefit from this approach, but actively seek it out. Also, if this method was abandoned simply because of a semi-popular notion that we may, in practice, go the way of the D'ni by making the same mistakes, then it shows a lack of faith in the exercise of the free will by our populace and in our ability to determine our own destiny, to the extent that we are able. With this criteria, might as well write-off the entire human race, then.

Uru Live ain't no party, it ain't no disco. There will still be fooling around, of course, but it's not going to be Until Uru. Instead of just more of what we've been doing in the meantime, we'll finally be finding out what we've been missing.

As for some of the specific elements,the 'evaluation' of developing Ages would not be based on either the arbitrary or the aesthetic, but I expect would follow more along the lines of the preset standards of the updated 'Phases' that the DRC had originally chronicled regularly on the front page of their site.

Also, I'd agree with the idea that Guilds would be more 'umbrella' institutions, each one with its own Hall, and public storehouses of specific information. Joining would reasonably not be necessary, as a status bar of one's individual progress in each would automatically reflect one's growing 'expertise' in the fields they were predisposed to and actively participated in. In addition, I'd suggest that if one DOESN'T want a fancy robe or any additional 'extras' involved with whatever profession, then it should be no big deal if someone else has them who HAS chosen to explore that field of study -but, put simply, if you want the perks, then do the work. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 9:44 pm 
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He asserted that this was a regular course taken by those seeking a fuller understanding of a civilization (though usually a living one), to essentially walk in their footsteps, to immerse themselves by adopting their ways, in order to acquire a clearer picture of things than would be had by mere observation and/or book-learning.


I'm not sure that I agree that D'ni is the ideal place for the application of the participant-observation model.

For one thing, there is no remaining civilization in the Cavern for us to participate in. Under the best of circumstances the researcher can never hope to fully integrate himself or herself into a culture. This is just understood, and it's an accepted method of field research in spite of the limitations, because every research method is limited. Without a living culture, though, I would question how possible or beneficial this would be at all.

Another problem is the participant-observer may tend to project his or her biases on the studied culture in a more systematic way than an observer might, since the it is the researcher's own eyes through which the culture is viewed, without the outsider's distance. This is typically balanced by informants who will set the researcher straight, but without a living group to balance our own impressions, I think the researcher would tend to view the culture through biases, assumptions, and prejudgments that would be difficult to dispell.

You are free to research however you want, of course, I'm just not sure I think this method is particularly effective to study the D'ni themselves (although it's a fantastic way to study the explorers. ;))

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:13 am 
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Good points.

Just two things to add to this line of thought:

In a general way, I suppose I am considering the types of folks who have 'lived off the land' intentionally, to get a feeling for their own or others' roots within that sort of past lifestyle. Doing so, IMO, can presumably give one a clearer sense of things the 'way they were', especially when one is taking themself outside of their own box with all its modern trappings to do so. If approached correctly, it could lead to a much deeper practical, if not spiritual, understanding.

Second, there is the slim possibility we could be 'guided' by actual D'ni, or at least those with way closer ties than we ourselves could ever hope to have. Say, visions or visits from Yeesha or even Atrus during crucial points in our societal evolution, encouraging us to make the 'right' choices, or at least shedding a clearer light on things from their unique perspective. On a side note, there is a likelihood that those who have responded to 'The Call' have, in fact, D'ni blood in them -perhaps there's the chance something may be 'awakened'.

I agree that the observer changes that which is being observed but, nonetheless, accepting that nothing's perfect, we may still strive towards perfection.

We'll see, of course, but I can imagine Cyan/DRC-created D'ni Guilds as logical steps towards undertaking the immense task of the Restoration that is before us. It seems without something of this nature that Uru could be in danger of becoming merely a museum piece, or an amusement park, as we move from being a community to becoming a society and/or culture.

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 2:51 pm 
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Hmmm... I see your point, Thend. I think you're absolutely right that doing as you suggest could help an individual gain greater personal understanding. From your first post I thought you had in mind a more systematic study of the D'ni carried out this way, and that's what I think won't work because we simply don't know enough about them to put it into practice. But as more of a tool for personal learning than for fieldwork, sure, sounds good. :)

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as we move from being a community to becoming a society and/or culture.


I would argue we may already be all of the above, but I'll save that one for another day. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 2:58 pm 
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Bringing in the Guilds
Bringing in the Guilds
We shall go rejoicing
Bringing in the Guilds

Actually, I can't stand Guilds because it reeks of roleplaying. I'd rather be myself.

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 3:35 pm 
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Great, now I'm going to have "Bringing in the Sheaves" stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks Corona! :shock:

;)

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 3:58 pm 
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"Rod, Todd, this is God."

Goliath - "I don't know, Davey."

Honestly, have you ever heard/used the word "sheaves" outside of that song? :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 6:21 pm 
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Here here, Thend. New features are naturally going to diminish the freewheeling social/chat experience we're seeing in Until Uru, and that's the whole point. Nobody is going to pay $10 a month for a graphical chatroom with pretty ages, backstory, and cones to kick, because as nice as those things are, they don't add up to a computer game.

I agree with Zardoz that devices like Guild "merit badges" which don't have an built-in function could be interesting, but I think it's important to add new mechanics ("structure") too. If the game doesn't enforce a few rules, then it's not a game at all. A game structure created and supported by the players is an interesting idea, and something I'd like to see in general, but not for Uru. Second Life, for example, is an interesting social experiment of that type, and it's also a big chaotic mess bearing little resemblance to a computer game.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:39 am 
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Based upon the many strong points that you have all made both for and against Guilds, I have summarized some ideas for a system that would be (hopefully) minimally offensive to the maximum number of people. This is only one explorer's offering, and I do not mean to imply that this would be the only way to make it work. I hope that this can spark further ideas and help people to find common ground.



Non-mandatory
Explorers have the option to participate, but do not lose out on content if they choose not to.

Non-hierarchical
No rank. Only Guildsmen, Guildswomen, Guildspeople, Guildsbahro ;), etc. Any minimal structure could be provided by Cyan, and could be done in such a way to fit in with the storyline of the game.

Non-exclusive
Guild-specific content would be available to all, regardless of membership. If the content interests an explorer, they can participate in the guild if they choose. If not, they can still fully access and enjoy the content on their own. For those who do wish to participate, the Guild would offer a venue to gather, discuss, cooperate, focus efforts...

Furthermore, Guild efforts result in content for the entire Uru community. The more people who help a Guild's efforts, the quicker the whole community benefits.

Multiple Guild Membership
Explorers could join as many or as few guilds as they wish, as well as leave/rejoin without consequence. The freedom would be in place to dabble in whatever might interest a person at any given time.

Discouragement of Personal Glorification
Reward (new content) rises proportionate to explorer involvement. Cooperation amongst many would yeild more results than an individual's personal gain.

Incentive
So what would be the purpose of the guilds if the content is available to all, regardless of membership? With a little ingenuity, tasks could be set up that would affect the storyline, and unlock new content. The amount or frequency could increase as cooperation increases. RAWA used the example of restoring the light-cycle in the cavern by affecting the bacteria in the water. The explorers focus their efforts on a task to bring about a result. Can this be done without a guild system? Of course. The point is that the explorer has the choice. All of this leads us to...

Universal Reward
One could conceivably avoid contributions to any of the guilds, yet still reap the rewards of all of them. Guild efforts would bring tangible improvements for the benefit of all.



I hope it's not unrealistic to think that a guild system could be established without the negative aspects that we hope to avoid. Who knows, perhaps an agreeable system might even turn out to be boring. Perhaps one needs a little healthy conflict to keep things interesting (though I suspect many in this community would welcome the absence of conflict). I've enjoyed the varied points of view here, and I look forward to hearing more ideas.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:49 am 
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No one can stop informal guilds from forming, and thus debate on the topic is pointless. I have no problem with anyone getting together and saying: "Hey, we're the guild of _____ now."

However, the idea of structured guilds integrated into the game engine bothers me. Even if you say joining a guild isn't required to play, if you make any aspect of the game dependent on guild membership, then in a way you are still demanding membership in order to fully utilize Uru.

For example, some time ago, someone suggested that a Guild of Writers should be established for those who want to create Ages.

Personally I find the idea that if/when Age creation tools become available, I'll have to join a guild in order to use them, quite distasteful. Further, I imagine that I would not be alone in being someone who has no interest in guild activity, and joined only to get my hands on guild resources. I don't want to play Uru that way, and I don't think anyone wants people playing that way.

That's just one example, with virtually any other guild, especially the traditional ones, there would be similar problems. People might want fancy reward clothing, or access to special areas reserved for the guild, ect.

I'm of the belief that everyone in Uru should be on a level playing field, which I also think would help bring in new players. Nobody likes being on the bottom of the totem pole.

Even if you strip away any privilage guild member recieve, it still creates more insular social groups. Essentially, it's the same as encouraging highschool students to form cliques. Once you're part of such a group, you are less likely to venture out and meet others, which would be detrimental to the social aspect of Uru.

Uru does not need guilds, and making them offical does more harm than good.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 2:25 am 
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And for their next trick, the Guild of Illusionists will lead us to believe that there is, indeed, a Guild of Illusionists.


:shock: :shock: :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 2:56 am 
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And now for the Guild of Repetitionists to ask the question yet again: Exactly what would the guilds do? No one has really grappled with the actual nature of the guilds, other than the few obvious ones such as Writers and Greeters.

So here's a challenge: Name 10 Guilds for Uru Live, and explain what explorers who join that guild would do. In your explanation, you have to be clear whether the activities would be integrated into game/story (and if so, how), or whether belonging to a guild would be 90% RPG-type interaction.

Discuss!


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 7:17 am 
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Ok, here are my spur of the moment ideas for few Guilds (no time for ten tonight, this post is long enough already). Most of these are probably bad ideas, but this is just an example of how Guilds could serve functions in the game. I'm assuming here that each Guild has a public office in the Guild hall, as well as special workshop areas that can only be reached through a "Guild" tab on the Nexus. You might also need Guild credentials to operate certain devices locked with a KI scanner. Each Guild would have a certain number of Guild Masters. Each Guild would have it's own slightly different formal robes, and a t-shirt logo.

Linguists

Using CC-style editable notebooks with a special D'ni font and keyboard mapping, the Linguists would translate any D'ni texts discovered and maintain a dictionary. Their office would also contain a machine which would allow recording and playback of short clips through the KI sound features, so that the verbal language could be explored. The Linguists would work with the Surveyors to catalog decorative text in the Ages.

Surveyors

Using special GZ markers, the Surveyors would explore, measure, and map each Age. The maps could point out the interesting features of each Age, and self-guided KI tours could be created spanning several Ages. Optional guide overlays could contain hints or solutions for puzzles. The KI could hold one interactive map at a time, and you would need to return to the Guild office to download new maps or updates.

Writers

The Writers would work on new Ages, obviously, using external tools. They could use Maintainer equipment and suits to create safe test links to Ages in development. After an Age is approved Level 5 by the DRC, it would be maintained in a Guild Library (to prevent confusion with D'ni Ages).

Performers

The Performers would work in Concert Hall, using the stage and equipment there to put on different kinds of shows. While on stage, KI text or voice chat would be amplified, and a wardrobe would provide some simple costumes and masks. From a control room, lighting and sound effects could be triggered, and KI images could be projected as scenery.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 7:47 am 
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Uru Live / Prologue HAD guilds... that is, neighborhoods. That is what guilds are in other MMOs... and Prologue WAS an MMO, despite its eccentricities. The way the power structure was arranged in Hoods was pretty much EXACTLY the way it works in games like World of Warcraft. There is a self-appointed Leader, who founds the neighborhood; there are officers, to whom certain administrative powers are granted by the leader; and there are members, who can only belong to one Hood and who are admitted by invitation from somebody given that privilege by the leader. I was a member of the Meeting Place Hood, led by Soosi, and eventually became an officer -- don't remember any more what the title was. And the process was exactly like it was when I became an officer in my WoW guild.

In Prologue, there was not enough time for neighborhood politics to develop. But they would have. I remember seeing the seeds of it before the shutdown: members who wanted to be officers, contention over trifling decisions. Soosi was a great leader but I remember visiting hoods where the leaders were heavily into micromanagement. I'll never forget the hood that had rules about cones. You had to line them up against the wall when you were done playing with them.

Games like WoW are rife with what is called there "guild drama". But I think this is inevitable, no matter WHAT structure is put in place, if ANY structure is put in place, or for that matter even if it isn't put in place but is left to emerge. The same would surely hold for any other sort of guild besides the neighborhood model... sooner or later, and managed better or worse. Not something to try to avoid, but something to embrace as an inherent part of social gaming, or more broadly, social activity.

I wrote a bit about Wow raid guilds in my blog http://srikandi.wordpress.com/ if anybody cares :p Like I said there, I believe that regardless of what kind of structure a social organization has, it will wind up with politics.


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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 9:53 am 
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Deius, I like your list of criteria.

Other than that, I am still very cautious, due to personal observations during Prologue, UU, and in the forums in general.

Human nature is that people like to join groups. Thats ok, that's even very nice, I do so myself. But I like to keep focussed on Uru content itself or any explorative/creative/active "work" around that content.
Other people get more warm fuzzies over their group or groupiness itself.
Just read the forums. Try counting groups and/or their sites/forums being mentioned (minus when they actually provide/do something). Lots of talk. Sometimes it sounds like the grinding of the PR machine of the groups is bigger than what is actually done or provided to the community at the end of the day.

Personally I'd rather focus on content and exploring/working on that with others. Not hear the community or its sub-communities celebrate itself/themselves constantly. To me, that creates ennui, leads to too much circular thinking/solipsism, is destracting from actual content, sounds pridefull and pushy of your own group and it's interests, therefore creates jealousy or feeling-of-being-left-out for others not in the group.

If aspects like the ones Deius mentioned, mostly Universal Reward, and Non-exclusiveness are NOT implemented, that will also encourage the behavior of the "reluctant-to-share-people" in this community.

To me, exploring Uru is closely connected to sharing info and views. I like to ask people what they know and what they think, and I like to share my views with others. Communication is everything.

Sometimes - and way too often for my taste - I run across people or read their posts, that seem to be reluctant to share. They are elusive or allusive, don't respond to questions, fail to provide sources, fail to explain something or fail to give reasoning.
They either just don't bother or acually don't want to share info. This behavior annoys me. I am worried that guildiness/groupiness, privileges ect may encourage that kind of behavior.


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