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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:11 am 
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I'm not normally one to step into the spot-light, and I'm not normally one to speak up on a contentious issue. I'm a relatively easy-going and tolerant person. But I've been standing on the side-lines of the ADM-issue, and I can't stay out of it anymore. Sydney Austin's belligerence has gone too far, and it went too far long ago. I try to stay In-Character as much as possible (though I don't make a big deal about people being Out-Of-Character), but this goes far beyond the In-Character scope of Uru. In the Out-Of-Character forum on the ADM web-boards, Sydney Austin posted this message (slight spelling & punctuation-corrections added):

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"Yes maybe my character of Sydney may not the perfect person. Who wants to play with a perfect character that is boring? She has flaws. I created her and the Movement to try to get a story line going and to get more people involved in the game. Hey wow, look, its working! I had over 100 people in the ADM Bevin last night. Do you see the response I am getting from various threads? I have made movement members and explorers pumped up (good and bad). They are playing more in IC. They are creating websites (antidrcmovement.org). They helped write my speech. A lot of people are getting involved. More are coming to URU. Are you bored anymore?! Do you think maybe Cyan is waiting for some of us to push the story ahead? You can choose to ignore me and Sydney if you like, or you can join me and see where this goes. You can even help me change my story if it gets you the player and explorer more involved.

Lets have a blast!

Your Friend
Vicki Austin (Sydney)"
--------------------------------------------------

I was absolutely *appalled* when I read this! I, for one, am here to publicly denounce the Anti-DRC Movement. My comments are below, along with a few fitting verses from "Words" by the Watcher (only because they fit the situation--not because I actually think the ADM is what these
verses were originally referencing):


"I created her [the character Sydney Austin] and the movement to try to get a story line going and to get more people involved in the game."

It would be bad enough if someone was being as abrasive and belligerent as Sydney Austin has been because they *actually* thought the DRC were corrupt, power-seeking tyrants. But to raise this kind of fiery abyss *merely to create in-game story* is despicable!!! Contention only serves to fissure
a community, not to unite it. And this community has seen first-hand the effects of contention in the history of several of the Myst/Uru/D'ni web-boards.

"Minds are soft, hearts are callused. In the new place chaos reigns." --Words 2:10-11


"Are you bored anymore?!"

Yes. I'm quite bored with "Sydney Austin" and her antics. So is a great deal of the community. In fact, we're beyond bored--we're sick of it! We're sick of the fact that every time we come into Uru, virtually all we find story-wise is contention and politics--the last things this community needs!


"...to get more people involved in the game. Hey wow, look, its working!...More are coming to URU..."

I come into Uru quite regularly, and I've seen little or no increase in the number of people, or at least no increase in the increase of people. Sydney's/Vicki's little movement isn't helping Uru, it's only hurting it. Not only are people sick of finding nothing but contention in Uru, some are even not coming in as often anymore because of it!

"Poison fills the hearts of many" --Words 1:115
"A new one reigns. To send them away; To push away; To divide." --Words 4:29-31


Sydney/Vicki wants more story? Fine. We all do! And though I understand that Cyan's pressed for time, resources, and money, I share everyone's impatience at wanting more story and content. And I'm fine with players wanting to start their own story-lines--that's how the Great Tree started--but there are limits. And this Vicki Austin has crossed them.

"The patient find solace in the wait. While the restless follow the path of folly. Follow the patient path." --Words, 2:78-80
"The future is always revealed to those who wait. But the proud have no patience. Because of pride, the destruction will come." --Words 4:81-83


Sydney/Vicki thinks she's actually accomplishing something? As far as most of the explorers present were concerned, she made an absolute "donkey" of herself at the gathering with Cate Alexander in the Meeting Place's Bevin on Thurs, April 26th. Explorers left and right were telling Sydney to calm down and let Cate talk, yet Sydney continued to ramble on with her standard abusive accusations.

"All of them look over you. And they do not see the right path." --Words 5:74-75


I'm all for new story--even fan-created story. But such contentious avenues will only hurt Uru more than help. Uru is in a precarious position:

1- Cyan may have gotten funding from GameTap, but they're still only working with about half the

employees they had before.
2- Cyan doesn't have nearly as much content prepared in advance as they did in the days of

Prologue.
3- GameTap may be more pro-Uru than UbiSoft, but they're still a Producer, and have to make their

decisions based on the financial success of Uru.
4- Uru is far from the "top-of-the-charts all-the-rage" game like World of WarCraft--Uru won't last if we can't get higher numbers.

Uru Live has been given a second chance--but I'm still worried about it, and I know many others are as well. Uru already has few numbers, but with the lack/ill-frequency of new story & new content, there's a significant danger of losing some of the people we already have. Creating a
contentious, belligerent, political environment only fuels that fire. Uru means "Grand Community"--but contention will only fester, not foster. And it's absolutely terrible that this Vicki Austin has purposely created this contention through her "Sydney" character & the ADM merely "to try to get a story-line going".

"Seek knowledge and you will find evil. Seek wisdom and you will find knowledge. Seek truth and you will find wisdom. Seek love and you will find truth." --Words 5:90-3


Sydney/Vicki Austin: Do the Uru community a favor and GET LOST.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:19 am 
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The idea an drive behind it is noble, but the storyline/events it spurs are not.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:20 am 
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If I thought this would bother Sydney all that much, I would probably look to make some official GOO statement taking issue with various parts of this post. ("GET LOST" comes to mind.)

Instead, I'll just point out that, despite how unengaging you find this whole mess to be, you seem to be engaged enough to have written this post.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:40 am 
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Go story...any story!

But I will read that chatlog, if one exists. Didn't know Cate was finally going to show! See - Sidney got some results...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:00 am 
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Jinglish wrote:
See - Sidney got some results...

So does a four-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of a crowded supermarket. The ADM isn't "story," it's simply more of the self-aggrandizing quasi troll behavior that the NPCs have been encouraging. DRC politics makes the perfect environment for the Sydneys of the online world -- it promotes their growth like mold on old cheese.

Sydney isn’t the cause, Sydney is a symptom. Unless and until Cyan raises the bar on the writing and performance of its NPCs, you’re going to see an endless parade of Sydneys filling forums and cavern.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:04 am 
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I would lay Sydney's popularity at the feet of the explorer community, not at Cyan's. At the very least, it's a joint effort.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:07 am 
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When someone soaks a pile of rags in gasoline and tosses in a lit match, it's a bit specious to blame the looky-loos for gawking at the flames. The Sydneys of the Uru world are as much a Cyan creation as Nick White, only by proxy. The names may change, but "Sydneys" in one form or another will continue to be the popular stars of Uru so long as Cyan fosters juvenile melodrama as entertainment.


Last edited by tkwiggins on Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:43 am 
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Are you saying Cyan has been delivering to us a sub-par/juvenile story, or a mainly good story that contains a few bad facets, or are you saying that Cyan is not actively enforcing the law regarding such behaviour?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:51 am 
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Yali wrote:
Are you saying Cyan has been delivering to us a sub-par/juvenile story, or a mainly good story that contains a few bad facets, or are you saying that Cyan is not actively enforcing the law regarding such behaviour?

I’m saying that since February, Cyan has been using the magnificent stage of its own epic Uru mythos to perform banal, trivial and juvenile melodrama with its NPCs. The timeless character themes of Atrus, Gehn and Yeesha have been replaced by the office politics of Nick, Doug and Cate; the discovery of an alien civilization usurped by plots that play like 1960s sitcoms. The Sydneys of the world are exactly the sort of audience-participants such fare solicits -- and gets.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:04 am 
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tkwiggins wrote:
When someone soaks a pile of rags in gasoline and tosses in a lit match, it's a bit specious to blame the looky-loos for gawking at the flames. The Sydneys of the Uru world are as much a Cyan creation as Nick White, only by proxy. The names may change, but "Sydneys" in one form or another will continue to be the popular stars of Uru so long as Cyan fosters juvenile melodrama as entertainment.

It would seem (regardless of the validity of this most recent chatlog) that Nick has been attempting to incite Sydney to challenge the DRC, albeit through more rational means than much of what we've seen. That still doesn't excuse the explorer community for reacting to it with a host of angry posts, a relatively minor show of support, and what is essentially a counter-movement. You can trace the causation for these events back as far as you like, but that isn't going to absolve the community of their role in this; if people want it to end, they have to ignore it. And they aren't; they're fanning the flames.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:06 am 
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Getting angry that Sydney Austin is causing contention in the community is ok.

Getting angry because you think her actions are jeaprodizing Uru Live, and thus shooting her down, is not ok.

If Uru Live is too fragile to support fan-base division, then it's going to die anyway, regardless of how hard you try to police the game of new storylines and contention. It's not your job to keep Uru Live running; that's Cyan's territory. This isn't UU, it's Uru Live. It's not our place to try and keep everyone in line just so the game will last longer.

THAT BEING SAID...

I, too, disagree with the direction the ADM is going. Why? I will say this once and only once:

THE ANTI-DRC MOVEMENT IS NOT A STORYLINE. A storyline has a plot, events, conflict, resolution, characters, a story-arc, etc... Now, unless Vicki/Sydney can come to us with evidence that this exists, the ADM isn't a story. It's an occurence. A tantrum in a public market, as tkwiggins put it. Unless the tantrum is part of some deep plot in a storyline, it's just a tantrum. This whole ADM thing is revolving around a series of complaints, threats, and rallies. That isn't a storyline. Following the ADM story is like reading a long list of complaints on both sides. That's not "fun". It doesn't alleviate "boredom", and it sure as heck doesn't boost Uru Live's numbers. She overestimates her influence. Anti-DRC rallies aren't a story. Unless those can be chained together for a purpose, a plot, a story, it's all just spew.

Getting people riled up over something doesn't constitute a plot, and doesn't make it good.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:25 am 
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Kolian wrote:
That still doesn't excuse the explorer community for reacting to it with a host of angry posts, a relatively minor show of support, and what is essentially a counter-movement. You can trace the causation for these events back as far as you like, but that isn't going to absolve the community of their role in this; if people want it to end, they have to ignore it. And they aren't; they're fanning the flames.

I clearly see your point.

My point is that the history of Cyan product in general, and the Myst series in particular, implies the players may expect a certain quality of entertainment. Instead they're getting manipulated like rats in a Skinner box. The emotional dynamic of the audience response is wholly predictable and essentially identical to that in Prologue. Cyan NPCs are again setting player against player, utilizing the same techniques as in Prologue, and to the same ends: instead of shoot-‘em-ups, we have shout-‘em-downs.

Of course, none of that means the game won’t be extremely successful. Nobody ever went broke broadcasting reruns of Jerry Springer.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:33 am 
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I will agree that Cyan is doing this.

The problem then becomes our response.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:59 am 
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Kolian wrote:
I will agree that Cyan is doing this.

The problem then becomes our response.

Bingo. But what the response should be, truly has me stumped.

After reading dozens if not hundreds of thoughtful suggestions and ideas from concerned fans on this and related subjects over the last months, I see the NPCs continue the same shtick. The visuals and sound design are as awesome as ever, but without an ongoing, viable story context, they're increasingly losing their meaning for me.

What do we do, armwrestle Cyan for the vision of their own product? I'm beginning to wonder if those of us who were captivated by the depth and resonance of Myst, Riven and URU:ABM, and who find the DRC "story" about as involving as watching paint dry, shouldn't just turn around and walk away. Heck, I had great fun with this stuff for over a decade; maybe it's time for the current storytellers and their current audience to have their turn with their new "Uru Lite." *shrug* With every new, tedious chatlog, it becomes increasingly difficult to care.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:07 am 
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And, understand my feelings: it's not that I think ADM is great or even good. It's just something. Cyan seems to want us to do something back but we don't have many/any good tools to do it.

Would Cate have come down today without the prod from ADM? Maybe...but we don't know that. We didn't get much new news, really. If Cate's been listening to the cavern, she knew what she was walking in to ;)

But at this point, I'm grateful for ANY NPC presence, as the past weeks have been so thin.

I agree with Mr. TKWiggins - the current characters are not on a par with what we're used to. (A little more Yeesha, a little less DRC - that'd be ok by me.)

Unfortunately, given the personalities that Sydney and Ethan are playing out, the dialogue sounds like it was kinda unpleasant for the others who were trying to ask questions.

So, I'll look forward to hearing more from Sharper...if they are saying he's back, maybe we will get some new Cyan-directed plot soon...

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