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Do we want to attract new players to MOOS?
Poll ended at Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:48 pm
Do you want MOOS to attract new players? 66%  66%  [ 60 ]
You do NOT want to attract new players? 7%  7%  [ 6 ]
Do you NOT care either way? 25%  25%  [ 23 ]
Only matters if MOOS is not cheap to run? 2%  2%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 91
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:50 pm 
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I'm gonna chime in again here and say that I'd say that one of the reasons Myst Online may have failed to attract more players did have a lot to do with technical reasons.

To expand on what I said previously, the experience simply would need to be convenient and free, and it would attract new people regardless.

I think lots of people will give a well-run, professional open source product a whirl. I mean, people will download Firefox, but not some complete one-off garp from SourceForge.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:56 pm 
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Teedyo wrote:
It would be nice if the poll choices actually made sense. It'd even be nice if the choices followed the list.

LOL agreed! I'm not really sure where my vote lies. But to answer the original question [i]Do we want to attract new players to MOOS?[/II] I would have to stand behind those suggesting that we help the game evolve in a way we are having fun, and other people join in that celebration, then so be it.

Lontahv wrote:
I personally don't feel comfortable when people have been kinda convinced into coming to Uru when it's not really their thing. You get things like: "Where do I get a gun powerup?" and "How can a change my instant-kill hotkey??!?". :P Not super high-priority right now (as Erik said).

I would have to disagree. If this person decides to stick around, once we tell them Uru is a non-violent game, I'm all for that. I'd rather help someone out than just dismiss them. I recently bought an Xbox 360.. and now I'm trying to find non-violent games ala Uru, and it is virtually impossible. It's ridiculous. So, if someone one the same journey stumbles across Uru I'd welcome them.


Herohtar wrote:
Part of a multiplayer game is having other people to play it with -- if we don't attract players we kind of lose that aspect.

I don't think attracting more players should be the goal, I would say the goal would be to attract the players we have LOST along the way with the many incantations of Uru Live, Until Uru, Myst Online, etc. It has been hard to keep up. I'm sure there are lots of fans of the Myst series out there that have no idea Uru was "aLive" after the first attempt crashed. But, in time hopefully, they will return. Open up. Share.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:21 am 
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Timing is everything.

As others have mentioned, both Uru Prologue and MOUL had technical issues which "turned off" some prospective players.

At first, I do not think that Open Source Myst Online needs to attract new players. I would caution against fan initiatives to advertise it (as a game) during the initial phase(s) of Open Source Myst Online. If we can attract some talented and knowledgable programmers (with their egos held in check), that would be good... but players? I expect the early days to be pretty chaotic, and I don't think we should risk alienating future players by trying to draw them in too soon.

As the project develops and problems with Myst Online are ironed out, as performance of the client is improved, population limits are raised, the KI is redesigned (as it must, to accommodate larger crowds in one space anyway), the fractured and inconsistent approach to instancing is addressed, and so forth... as these issues are dealt with, then I think we'll have something that we can cautiously demonstrate to others with the hope of drawing them into the Myst universe.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Ed Oscuro wrote:
If you can excuse some pointed language, consider this argument:

You are a part of the community.
Thus, you are an ambassador for your community.

Being a bad ambassador who uses langugage - however based in fact the opinions they express may be - which even give the appearance of not caring about playing well with others means that you are setting back the project.

You have a point there. It was not my intention to give that appearance, and I may have to watch my mouth with that in mind. Apart from that, being an ambassador for a community where people can freely state their opinion doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

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First off, you aren't improving the Uru experience of many people who are already here; we don't want that talk.

It's true that I'm not improving anything by talking. That's why I usually keep quiet, as you can tell from my post count. I prefer delivering implementations of improvements to talking about them (the talk can happen afterwards, it works much better when there's something tangible to base it on - otherwise I tend to waste way too much energy failing to make myself understood).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:56 pm 
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I hope that the "we all speak with one mind" think - I hope it never makes it here. I think it will help all players, current and future, if people are honest and express a variety of opinions, including some that aren't positive. That way we have a trustworthy site, and future players can make their own opinions on whether to play or not. I'd rather we have new players happy to logon and try it, but also cognizant of the issues, so they don't instantly leave after they find out more about the game.

On attracting new players - I think it really depends on how many former Uru players we can attract, from any of the incarnations. I'm not sure what the minimum playing number is (let's say per shard), so that it's a good experience and people are involved and enjoy the game. Multiplayer games that look like ghost towns can be creepy to play. When I play single player Uru and go in to the city and a neighborhood, It seems so weird, so wrong.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:58 pm 
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I don't think anyone is suggesting that dissenting opinions shouldn't be allowed. But I would hope anyone with those opinions realizes that we do need players to continue, and would present their opinions in a way that helps that. There are good ways and bad ways to offer negative and critical opinions. We're Myst players, by an large we're intelligent and literate, it should not be too difficult for us to choose our words carefully.

After all, when you're talking about linking books, words are everything.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:09 pm 
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Christian Walther wrote:
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First off, you aren't improving the Uru experience of many people who are already here; we don't want that talk.

It's true that I'm not improving anything by talking. That's why I usually keep quiet, as you can tell from my post count. I prefer delivering implementations of improvements to talking about them (the talk can happen afterwards, it works much better when there's something tangible to base it on - otherwise I tend to waste way too much energy failing to make myself understood).

OMG! “we don't want that talk” uses an ALL INCLUSIVE PRONOUN… It is not accurate! The idea of anti-diversity, censorship … ugrrrr!

Christian, you are too improving things. DO NOT listen to those that only want to hear what they want to hear. Trying to be PC and polite about “we don't want … so shut up” ideas is waste. A whole flock of writers and maintainers are going down the road basing decisions on needing to attract new players to the game. Whole discussions sprung up around how to change game flow to get new players into multiplayer sooner. If the community was against that, it would all be wasted work. If those feeling attracting new players was a bad thing were a significant number and had began adding arguments to the discussions (this thread was NOT intended to be that discussion), everyone would have had new thoughts and issues to consider with a different level of importance.

Very few here ‘do not want or think there is no need’ to attract new players, whatever their reason. So, while your sentiment was surprising to me, it did get me thinking and I asked. While 65 of 1165 (5.5%) is a small sample and far from conclusive, I think there is a clear majority that feels new players are needed.

Reality checks are needed from time to time. Free speech and dissenting opinions are always good things.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Marten wrote:
At first, I do not think that Open Source Myst Online needs to attract new players. I would caution against fan initiatives to advertise it (as a game) during the initial phase(s) of Open Source Myst Online...........I expect the early days to be pretty chaotic, and I don't think we should risk alienating future players by trying to draw them in too soon.

As the project develops and problems with Myst Online are ironed out, as performance of the client is improved, population limits are raised, the KI is redesigned (as it must, to accommodate larger crowds in one space anyway), the fractured and inconsistent approach to instancing is addressed, and so forth... as these issues are dealt with, then I think we'll have something that we can cautiously demonstrate to others with the hope of drawing them into the Myst universe.

Marten has said it here better than I did at the bottom of page 1 of this thread.
Let's not worry about pulling new players into Open URU until the dust settles on our initial reconstruction period.
First impressions are often the only impression a new player might get: once someone is turned off by technical hurdles that have not yet been overcome, if they're soured by the temporary factionalism that can occur before calm ensues, they may never return.
As Joey and others have said, positive word-of-mouth will draw the right people at the right time, and that may be enough in itself. When we sense we need, want, or can handle greater numbers, then let's talk about some form of a publicity campaign.
It's simply better that we take a wait-and-see attitude: let's build something that we know will leave the best possible impression before prematurely worrying about player numbers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:50 pm 
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What will be interesting to see is how may people who used to play an MMO version of Uru come back.

I think it's hard to tell, from posts on websites, how many people are going to make it back. It's not that people lie, I don't think they do. Things intervene, and what they thought they were going to do isn't what they end up doing.

After Uru comes back, we can see how busy the shards are. That will give us some indication on how important it is to attract players, whether returning or new players.

Right now I don't have any feel on how many players is "enough", so that the game is lively and doesn't feel deserted, in the public spaces.

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Last edited by mszv on Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:43 am 
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Words of wisdom from Marten, mszv and others. :)

I see a great deal of tippytoe-ing and cross purposes around here, but I sense an underlying agreement that "more people" are all very well, and we do want them, as long as they are not the Wrong Sort of people. (Forgive me, I've become blunt with age.) The Wrong Sort being those who will insist upon turning Uru into something we do not recognize. And truly, I don't see anything wrong with that sentiment. It is not exclusionary because people who want something else have plenty of something elses to choose from. We only have one Uru. (Not even that, at the moment.)

The sensitive part is that no two people draw the boundaries between Uru and not-Uru in quite the same places, and people are all nervous about that. All of that will take time to work out. I'm not worried. We all have more in common than you might think. Even those of us who moved to the big city. :wink:

I think the difficulty is that the question "Do we want to attract more people?" can easily be interpreted as asking if we want to make Uru attractive to anybody and everybody? I didn't read the original comment that surprised Nalates (I have some catching up to do :oops: ), but my take is that when people say bringing in more people is not a priority or no longer necessary, they're talking about the "anybody and everybody" kind of "more" people. (And I'm certain that is not what Nalates meant in posing the poll choices.) And when people say they do want "more people" they're talking about those who haven't found Uru yet, who may never even have played a game on a computer, but who will recognize it as home when they do find it, or at least explore it with relish on its own terms. In my heart I've always been sure they are out there and that there are ways to find them, if one uses a little bit of imagination and pays attention to the actual demographics of the Uru community. Fact is, we probably need them, starting with the Uru and Myst fans who haven't been on this road with us over the past year or several years.

And yes, it's kind of academic to talk about inviting people over before you even have a roof over your head.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:41 pm 
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There are several good points in the last few posts.

I disagree with the idea of putting off handling the idea of new players and starting to make changes now. However, I agree with putting off invitations, promotions, etc.

I also think the majority of us are clear this game is not to be targeted at everyone. At least that is the impressions I get reading the forums.

I am continually surprised that some think the question of whether one wants new players in game is a difficult question. I think most are following various threads here and have an opinion. I used the word ‘want’ to get opinion.

Consider. The feeling seems to be that people want a server up as soon as possible, which means it will be pretty much MOUL on day one. Then new content will come in that is currently in ULM and being written and tested now. Following that we will likely see some client side interface changes.

MOUL’s entry point was off the story line. Many would like to see a return to the Zandi greeting. If we use the Zandi greeting, we have new players isolated from other in-game-players until they have solved the Cleft. Those playing in other MMO/MMVW’s believe that is a disastrous first impression. Players coming from other MMVW’s seeing no one around will likely decide it is an unpopular game and likely leave. Plus having help available (greeters) is an important part of MMVW’s now.

Correcting that first impression means changes will be needed. One of those changes is probably adding greeters to the Cleft, making it multiplayer. This change is complex and requires some change to the game; the age, likely a few server side and certainly some client side. Whether it is needed really depends on whether we want to add new players. I think having the changes for new players in mind as any changes are made will reduce the amount of overall work to be done.

I see no way to know objectively how urgently we may or may not need new players. For now it is opinion. I think it is an early on priority and want new players. Whichever it is, we now know most feel we will need new players. But, do we get the server up as MOUL or delay putting up servers to get some changes made first? Is lag (read as overall game performance) or new player type changes more important?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
Is lag (read as overall game performance) or new player type changes more important?


I really doubt the people working on improving game performance (read: people very familiar with and/or interested in Plasma's internals) would be very interested in improving the initial experience of new players (read: people who ponder storyline changes, artwork additions, etc.), or vice versa.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
Christian Walther wrote:
Quote:
First off, you aren't improving the Uru experience of many people who are already here; we don't want that talk.

It's true that I'm not improving anything by talking. That's why I usually keep quiet, as you can tell from my post count. I prefer delivering implementations of improvements to talking about them (the talk can happen afterwards, it works much better when there's something tangible to base it on - otherwise I tend to waste way too much energy failing to make myself understood).

OMG! “we don't want that talk” uses an ALL INCLUSIVE PRONOUN… It is not accurate! The idea of anti-diversity, censorship … ugrrrr!

Christian, you are too improving things. DO NOT listen to those that only want to hear what they want to hear. Trying to be PC and polite about “we don't want … so shut up” ideas is waste. A whole flock of writers and maintainers are going down the road basing decisions on needing to attract new players to the game. Whole discussions sprung up around how to change game flow to get new players into multiplayer sooner. If the community was against that, it would all be wasted work. If those feeling attracting new players was a bad thing were a significant number and had began adding arguments to the discussions (this thread was NOT intended to be that discussion), everyone would have had new thoughts and issues to consider with a different level of importance.

Very few here ‘do not want or think there is no need’ to attract new players, whatever their reason. So, while your sentiment was surprising to me, it did get me thinking and I asked. While 65 of 1165 (5.5%) is a small sample and far from conclusive, I think there is a clear majority that feels new players are needed.

Reality checks are needed from time to time. Free speech and dissenting opinions are always good things.


Either you or the respondents are misinterpreting the poll. There's a big difference between wanting to attract new players and needing to. Cyan needed to attract more players when the game was commercial because they got paid that way. We want to attract people to Uru now because we want others to enjoy what we enjoy. :) From a business standpoint, Uru is currently dead and doesn't need anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:32 am 
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Nalates wrote:
While 65 of 1165 (5.5%) is a small sample and far from conclusive, I think there is a clear majority that feels new players are needed.


You do realize that "1165" is a complete nonsense number, right? The view count goes up every time someone visits this thread, whether they've been here before or not. When I came into this thread to view replies it went up. If I go from page one of this thread to page two it goes up again. When I post this reply it will go up another time. I just refreshed this page five times... it went up another five. Get the picture? :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:35 am 
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One of the dangers in not attracting new players is that we get more and more insular. Everyone knows the history, how the game works, all that. Most people have played the current ages through, at least once. Everyone is more or less, on the "same page". The people who stayed have accepted or least made peace with the style of gameplay (after you solve the puzzles, nothing to do, in my opinion), the lag, the technical issues. We may not like it, but if we stayed, we accepted it. We also know the story. This even applies to how we talk about Cyan - many of us talk about the people at Cyan in exactly the same way. This might make it hard for new people. New people will bring new opinions and views to the game. Some of them might think about things differently, and they might want some other new people to play with.

If it stays like this, I think it will get harder and harder to attract new players.

The current players are going to drop away, naturally. You won't manage to keep every single player who played the previous versions of Uru. If you don't attract new players - what is going to happen?

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