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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:52 am 
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ChloeRhodes wrote:
Tweek wrote:
I'd love to see something more DIRT like for Uru, start small and work outwards expanding it where needed.


Preaching to the Choir Buddy. Preaching to the Choir.

My greatest dream for Uru is that Cyan can/will open source things like Descent and the Cleft so that we can actually go back to the original idea and start out not in Relto, (i could care less at this point wether it was even still a part of the game) but in the Cleft and travel down through Descent, through the tunnels straight into D'ni like we should have all those years ago.


Amen. My ideal vision of OSMO (or a fan project based on the source code) is one that follows that basic original model for DIRT. Single player descent into and exploration of the ruined city of D'ni and her Ages.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:13 am 
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I can list, just of the top of my head, the three major things that went wrong with Uru (Story wise not marketability) from conception to reality:

1. The Path to D'ni


I'm talking about abandoning the concept of starting out in the Cleft and traveling from the surface, into the Great Shaft, through the tunnels and into D'ni. That concept never, NEVER should have been scraped for going from the Cleft, into Relto, and then to D'ni. Which brings up point number 2:

2. Yeesha Magic


I hated the Yeesha magic. It was silly and pointless to put Bahro powers onto Yeesha. I can handle the Bahro. They fit into the storyline and would have worked out perfectly if done right. Yeesha on the other hand, and the concept of her as "The Grower" and having the magical ability to link at will, to travel through time etc put's more mysticism (no pun intended)into linking than it really needed. A more realistic approach to Yeesha's abilities would have to challenge the notion of what the average D'ni writer could do. Remember the Guild's of D'ni put rules and restrictions on the Art of Linking to limit it. It would have been much more believable if ALL D'ni writers could do what Yeesha was able to do with writing ages, if they'd tried. That should have been Yeesha's story. That she could do what her father could not because she didn't put limitations upon the Art. That she broke the rules that the D'ni put on it. She experimented and tested the boundaries of linking till she found that she could write Age's that broke the rules of time and space. This would have been more believable than some silly notion of her being this prophetical "Grower of Ages"

3. The Bahro
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely loved the Bahro. Loved them. But their place in the story was not nearly fleshed out as it needed to be. The Bahro were the prime way to explore HOW the Art actually worked. Remember the D'ni enslaved the Bahro for over 10,000 years. With the Bahro and their ability you could explain how the D'ni/Ronay learned how to link. That they acquired the knowledge, and the ability from the Bahro. And that the Ronay, and later the D'ni, hated the Bahro for that ability. They considered them the least not because they were beasts, but because they didn't need to write in books to link to ages. They were jealous of the Bahro's abilities, and that the Bahro were multi-dimensional creatures by nature. So the Ronay, not the D'ni, enslaved the Bahro and harnessed their ability to link. They used them, and then enslaved them because they were so grandiose to think that the Bahro, as beasts and animals, were not civilized enough to appreciate the gift of linking. It was the enslavement of the Bahro that gave the Ronay the ability to link. That enslavement traveled with both groups of Ronay refugees to their respective new ages.

I could go on but that's the three big ones right off the top of my head.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:02 pm 
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ChloeRhodes, it's astonishing how much what you're saying agrees with what I've thought and wrote on this in the past. I still think a lot of the very basic elements of the story were good, but the end realisation was a little muddled - which is not so surprising, considering all the real world difficulties Cyan had in bringing that story to us. That's why the prospect of open source excites me so much, I want to see what the fans would do with the basic elements of Uru to re-tell things in their own ways.

Wait, this isn't supposed to be a serious thread, is it? :P


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Quote:
1. The Path to D'ni


True.

Quote:
2. Yeesha Magic


IMO yeesha magic should be gone... we got 3 books and 4 games which established a set of rules, breaking makes things really out of place. I wouldn't mind "the grower" things as long as it's about knowledge and not odd powers.

Quote:
3. The Bahro


If I was in charge of things I would 1) make the bahros simple outsiders (age dwellers) without the ability to link at will and all that (to tie it better with... well, with the knowledge we got from the rest of the series) and 2) make the bahro slavery a bit more underground, so it will tie in better with the fact no one in the rest of the games and books mentions a thing about them.

Yeah, I know Uru is not a Myst game but a spinoff, but I think that it should be a spinoff in the time the story takes place and the presentation, and not puzzle or story style.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:42 pm 
One major problem that I found, aside from Chloe's three (with which I broadly agree) actually arose from the very realistic approach Cyan adopted to the dissemination of information. I think it could have been adjusted a little while still retaining the realism. I'm talking about the lack of distinction, in all the clues and hints and snippets and allusions we were given, between what is fact and what is hearsay. In real life this is a big part of what makes living in the world today so confusing--we're bombarded with "facts" backed up with "evidence" but most of us have no practical way to sort through it all and find the kernels of truth among the chaff of disinformation, error and speculation.

In a game, on the other hand, for people to play it knowledgeably there has to be a bit more of a distinction; realism has to be compromised at least to a degree. Almost all of what Chloe recounted about the bahro above was simply hearsay, from a source (Yeesha) known to be unreliable, backed up with no documentary or other evidence whatsoever. The surviving bahro could not give us the facts themselves. And yet this information was treated by most players with just as much faith as the information contained in the original game manual, questioned only by a few* whose doubts were largely ignored. It seems to me that this distinction could have been played up a little, especially when we got to the war storyline--if Cyan wanted us to accept this without question they could quite easily have provided something besides the unsupported testimony of Sharper and Phil, neither of whom, for various reasons, can be accepted as reliable witnesses any more than Yeesha. A history of hostility between the bahro could have been documented by the D'ni, or someone like Kodama or Engberg could have come up with corroborative detail. This didn't happen, and that placed the veracity of the information in question. Especially when it made no sense. :P I even wonder sometimes if Cyan themselves weren't sure what possible paths they wanted the story to follow. I certainly hope they intended the story to be questioned. The phrase "What do you see, Atrus?" springs to mind.

This may seem like raking over old sores, but it's a point that should be borne in mind by anyone trying to construct a storyline for open source Uru, if indeed storylines are required, and I think they are. You can say that you want the players to make the story themselves, but that's just avoiding your responsibility; in the end, if the players are to have a satisfying experience, it's you who has to give it to them. There are always two kinds of information in any story, reliable and unreliable. This can be a tremendous asset to a storyteller, or if mishandled it can lead to confusion, discord and ultimately loss of interest. So, when building your Age's history, be very clear yourself on what is solid "fact" and what is (possibly) misleading "non-fact," and provide clues accordingly.

*Yes, including me. But I'm mostly over it now. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Wow, a lot happened after I stopped following the story.

I'm fine with the Yeesha magic. What I wasn't fine with was having to go somewhere else to get the story. I assume a lot of this story must have come from the live events. It wasn't in the game I experienced. The last part of the story I was aware of was the quests Yeesha had us do which gave us some talking from Yeesha, the animations that played after you solved an age. There was also some story in one of the solo player age packs (sorry, can't remember which one). After that, there was no story for me, since it wasn't in the game, as far as I could tell. For me, live events didn't count -- too crowded and too restricted with regards to time.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:42 pm 
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I myself thought the "Yeesha Magic" was a little weird...a good deal of it can be justified by the fact that she is an extremely skilled writer and can do things that the D'ni never figured out (like Relto pages, being able to keep your Relto book with you at all times, even when you link using it)...however, there's still the stuff that cannot be explained through writing, like the Shell link portals and having a hologram of a linking book actually link the player. I suppose it could be said that it's actually the Bahro doing this, but that doesn't entirely fit with the idea of freeing them in Myst V--how would they have the ability to do stuff in Uru if they weren't freed yet? Myst V does show a lot of what the Bahro can do, but that's the bahro, not Yeesha. Since Yeesha isn't a bahro and doesn't hold the tablet, it's still unexplained as to where this is coming from.

I wish the descent could have been through the great shaft. It would have been cool to see what was described in the books. We get a little bit of the in Myst V, but it's not the same. It would've been cool to follow the exact same path that Ti'ana, Atrus, and Gehn all took.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:25 am 
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Zander. I conclude that Yeesha was doubted by players of URU. The game told us to trust her words as deeper thruths. Some players casted doubt on this. This doubt entered into the game and goes to show that players did have considerable consequense on how the game story was percieved, and utimately acted upon by other players.*
As for Yeesha magic, I can't find any. She uses her knowledge unbound by tradition, heritage and scripture. Lawless (I prefer unlawful) is what I call it. Not magic.
Unlawful use of the these powers was the root of d'ni destruction. And they allways knew that unrestricted use of the powers to write was dangerous. Just as unlawful use of our powers has brought us to the brink of self destruction.

*I was not there during any of this so my opinion is more that of an evangelist.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:34 am 
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Just a few random points:

Granted, we only have Sharper's word on what happened in Teledahn - but wasn't the bahro enslavement an illegal activity? So, we can't blame all the D'ni. I doubt the Ronay ever knew the bahro.

If we look at Myst V, I understood Yeesha got her so-called "magic" (it was treated more like a skill or maybe a knack) from her friend Calam (not sure of spelling, here), not really from the bahro (although I suppose they could've taught her some things).

As for scrapping the journey through the Cleft: I think that in order to make a multi-player game here, you'd want to get the players together in a common place (e.g. Bevin or Ae'gura) as quickly as possible. I think this is why Uru Live started out at Relto, with the option of going back to the Cleft. I'm just guessing here, but I think it was probably too expensive (at the time) to give players access to the Great Shaft.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:03 am 
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TOOO wrote:
I'm just guessing here, but I think it was probably too expensive (at the time) to give players access to the Great Shaft.

Not to mention the long and tedious walk :)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:23 am 
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:D I've read the update RAWA has posted and it has put a smile on my face to know that Open Source is not a sad, faded dream. I can't wait until they someday make it reality, hopefully sometime in the near future!

As for the concept of "The Path to D'ni", "Yeesha Magic" and "The Bahro", I honestly just like it the way it is. I don't particularly love anything about Yeesha, but I don't want her out of the picture or her powers diminished either. I feel that if in open source anything in the storyline or main gameplay was to be changed then a bit of the magic of the game would shrink a bit as well. Well, except for Relto. I wouldn't mind if THAT disappeared... :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:32 am 
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Thanks Cyan for the Update :)
Best wishes -hope you'll manage to get your head over the surface. Thank you very much for not giving up. I'll look forward to that sunny day where you launch open source


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:31 am 
Rudolfson wrote:
Unlawful use of the these powers was the root of d'ni destruction.


I don't see how that follows. It's repeated all the time when explorers get together to discuss these things, but we actually have an account of the destruction of D'ni, and breaking the rules of Writing had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Neither did enslaving the bahro--who don't appear in the account at any point. (There's mention of some beings called "bahro," but I believe it's generally agreed that those are different ones.) D'ni was destroyed (IIRC) because (a) Aitrus married a surface dweller, (b) Veovis didn't like it, (c) the D'ni prison system was crap, and (d) there was a lunatic, A'Gaeris, ready to take advantage of Veovis' disaffection to (e) exact his own twisted revenge. You can sraw morals from that about Veovis' prejudice and D'ni complacency, but the actual chain of events is what's important, because without that chain of events D'ni could have enslaved a thousand species and broken every law of Writing in the Rehevkor, and still been around today.

This actually illustrates my point. A moral drawn from a story--pride goeth before a fall--is transmuted by constant repetition into a factoid and seemingly taken as truth by those who do not know, or choose to forget, that the actual facts are different. It's hard not to see this as a weakness in Cyan's storytelling. In any case this tendency among players is something that future Age Writers should bear in mind, and use either very deliberately and carefully or not at all.

TOOO: illegal by whose standards? Immoral by our own lights, certainly, if we believe what we hear; but maybe the bahro's presence was toxic to D'ni, and we just haven't had enough contact with them to feel the effects. Maybe they persistently flew around doing their business on people's heads. Maybe they just would not stop fighting in every Age they went to, carelessly killing other life forms including non-bahro people and wrecking property in their insensate need to eviscerate each other, till the D'ni got tired of the loss of life and property and stepped in as a simple matter of self-preservation. We don't have all the facts, and that's a shaky basis on which to make judgment calls.


Last edited by zander_nyrond on Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:59 am 
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Zander: please re-read Sharper's journals - and Yeesha's messages in the bahro caves.


They were enslaved, for the same reasons anyone is ever enslaved: cheap labor.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:18 am 
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zander_nyrond wrote:
Rudolfson wrote:
Unlawful use of the these powers was the root of d'ni destruction.


I don't see how that follows. It's repeated all the time when explorers get together to discuss these things, but we actually have an account of the destruction of D'ni, and breaking the rules of Writing had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Neither did enslaving the bahro--who don't appear in the account at any point. (There's mention of some beings called "bahro," but I believe it's generally agreed that those are different ones.) D'ni was destroyed (IIRC) because (a) Aitrus married a surface dweller, (b) Veovis didn't like it, (c) the D'ni prison system was crap, and (d) there was a lunatic, A'Gaeris, ready to take advantage of Veovis' disaffection to (e) exact his own twisted revenge. You can sraw morals from that about Veovis' prejudice and D'ni complacency, but the actual chain of events is what's important, because without that chain of events D'ni could have enslaved a thousand species and broken every law of Writing in the Rehevkor, and still been around today.

This actually illustrates my point. A moral drawn from a story--pride goeth before a fall--is transmuted by constant repetition into a factoid and seemingly taken as truth by those who do not know, or choose to forget, that the actual facts are different. It's hard not to see this as a weakness in Cyan's storytelling. In any case this tendency among players is something that future Age Writers should bear in mind, and use either very deliberately and carefully or not at all.

TOOO: illegal by whose standards? Immoral by our own lights, certainly, if we believe what we hear; but maybe the bahro's presence was toxic to D'ni, and we just haven't had enough contact with them to feel the effects. Maybe they persistently flew around doing their business on people's heads. Maybe they just would not stop fighting in every Age they went to, carelessly killing other life forms including people and wrecking property in their insensate need to eviscerate each other, till the D'ni got tired of the loss of life and property and stepped in as a simple matter of self-preservation. We don't have all the facts, and that's a shaky basis on which to make judgment calls.


My point was rather that there are no "rules of writing". The rules are imposed, after realizing pitfalls, culturally or otherwise, as moral or religion to avoid unlawful use, such as that that was employed by that dude that seduced Veovis. Read it thus and I think my statement about 'unlawful use led to destruction' holds true. As it indeed does of our own time.
Yeesha employs no magic. She simply realize the truth, that there are no rules to writing, thus entering a very dangerous landscape.

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