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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:01 pm 
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Axel,

Seeing as you're sticking around to finish out this conversation, and you're an eloquent writer with well-thought-out concerns, could I convince you (and others in this discussion who haven't done so yet) to write a real letter expressing your thoughts and expectations?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:02 pm 
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First, thank you all for keeping this thread constructive and meaningful, both on the positive and negative sides.

Second, I think my earlier post sounded like a solid push on the negative side. I should have been clearer: I am optimistic about the future of Uru. I have specific disappointments (as we all do, clearly). (Unfortunately for Cyan, we don't all have the *same* specific disappointments! But this thread is doing a good job of picking out the common areas.)

I will now try to jump up a level...

The meta-problem with Uru is Cyan's level of communication. Some people have already posted eloquently about the communication issue. But it affects everything else.

*Every* problem and suggestion in this thread is familiar. KI improvements, in-game story journals and content repeaters, integration with D'ni history, small changes in Ages, bug fixes, the episode schedule, multi-player vs solo puzzles, player-created content -- all that has been common currency in the player community for six months. (Or going back to Prologue, in some cases.)

But we don't know what *Cyan* thinks of all those suggestions. We've had almost no reaction from them about any of it. (Except for the big May announcement of the episode system.)

Cyan, as I keep saying, are not idiots. They have been considering the same problems for as long as we have -- and the same solutions. They have some kind of plan. I can say with blithe certainty that their plan involves changing some stuff in Uru Live, and keeping other stuff the same.

But we have no grasp of that plan. It's not even hidden behind a curtain -- a curtain would at least give us a sense of *size*. We don't know whether they're contemplating ideas that would turn Uru upside down, or ideas that would come across to us as trivial bandaids. We don't know what problems they think need to be fixed. Or what they think *are* problems. Are the episodes a problem or a solution? What about live events? Etc.

That's what leaves us in this state of blank tension, where some players are intensely hopeful and others are giving up.

Is this new? Of course not; we were here a year ago, when MOUL had just opened up, before the February "launch date". And some players were saying "this sucks, it's buggy, nothing new is going on"; others were insisting that any minute now the story would take off like fireworks.

The difference between then and now is that now we've seen a year of Uru. The truth was (unsurprisingly) somewhere in between "nothing" and "fireworks"(*). But with the number of undeniable disappointments and problems we've experienced, I don't think Cyan should still be relying on artistic silence. A year ago it evoked more optimism than pessimism; now it's doing the reverse.

Now the flip side:

Much as I'd love news about season 2, I can't blame Cyan for keeping it quiet. Gossiping about a deal before it's solid is suicide. (I once blew a job offer that way. Opened my mouth before all the details were in. Poof.) Further: there is real value in making a big announcement that covers everything, rather than dribbling out hints one at a time. A big announcement creates excitement. Hints create frustration and suspicion.

I recognize that Cyan is in an impossible position when it comes to communication. Any hint they drop is taken as a promise, and then amplified by a factor of six. Then we players look at whatever they *didn't* hint, and assume it's an admission of blatant failure. We construct elaborate guesses based on the slightest turn of phrase in a bug report response.

I could blame us for this dynamic, and I could blame Cyan -- they created an information vacuum, and we try to fill it up. I'd rather skip the blame and ask what Cyan can do to fix it. Development blogging? Weekly posts by GD? Getting that newsletter out on time?

Not necessarily *today*, as I said. But if the entire next year plays out in the kind of silence that we've had so far, Cyan will be in trouble. Because it's making the problems worse, and it's *not* making the good surprises any better.

(* Technically we got the fireworks exactly a year ago, and I hope to see them again by New Year's. But that's not important right now. :-)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:23 pm 
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Excellent post, belford. Exactly what I would have said (if I were that eloquent with words).

Marten wrote:
Axel,

Seeing as you're sticking around to finish out this conversation, and you're an eloquent writer with well-thought-out concerns, could I convince you (and others in this discussion who haven't done so yet) to write a real letter expressing your thoughts and expectations?

And, also maybe put some of the excellent constructive suggestions over in the Suggestion Section? (I believe Cyan may read that section more thoroughly than this one.)

Sophia wrote:
I am afraid we do a lot of the steering ourselves... if we talk ourselves into doom and gloom, it might just become yet another self-fulfilling prophesy... I for one stay positive and do not allow myself to be influenced by speculation. Until we get official news, I shall not make any conclusions one way or the other.

Agreed, Sophia. We need to remember that it's most important to keep the faith when it's the very hardest to do so! I guess I'm still very much the little girl who clapped her hands to show I believed in Tinker Bell. I still believe in Cyan and their vision for Uru, and I believe most of you do, too.

/me claps her hands for Cyan.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:36 pm 
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I don't know about you,but I didn't expected that much.I wasn't holding my breath for things going to blow around,suddenly all DRC,yeesha,and other characters appearing,saying "come with me other worlds,come with me to other worlds,come with me to...".This is why I wasn't dissepointed.

However,if Cyan Worlds were in the situation they were in uru ABM,I WOULD expect bigger things.

Now it's all up to how much money Cyan Worlds will get for MOUL.Lot's of money=expecting better things,both content and story.Less money or as now=not expecting much,both content and story.

As I said,I was very happy with MOUL because I understood Cyan Worlds and expected not much as in uru CC.I mean,the small journays,for me,were great little things to do,and the story was very surprising.

Most of the time I couldn't play MOUL,and I can't play it now too.But in month or 2 I could,it was great.I got to be in...2 or 3 of marie's visits,cate alexander gone,bahros around the arch,and soe more.I really enjoyed while I could play,and I hope I will get beck soon.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:30 pm 
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I agree with all that has been said here. I was wondering if I have missed something. Have they said for sure they are coming back? Have they said when?
I am trying to come in and read what has been posted, but I am sure I miss some. The last I heard we were all waiting and hoping they will return.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:07 pm 
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Last edited by semplerette on Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:58 pm 
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<sigh> And, this thread was staying so positive ...

To clarify: the letter Marten is suggesting we write is to GameTap telling them what we want so they'll give Cyan the resources to give us what we want!

As for the lack of communication at this particular time, I think belford's post addressed that quite sufficiently.

I believe Cyan does listen to constructive criticism and suggestions. I've seen evidence; I won't bore you with the details.

ziidee wrote:
I agree with all that has been said here. I was wondering if I have missed something. Have they said for sure they are coming back? Have they said when?
I am trying to come in and read what has been posted, but I am sure I miss some. The last I heard we were all waiting and hoping they will return.

Yes, we're all still waiting for an official announcement about Season Two, but we're assuming that Cyan is still in negotiations with GameTap over the details, and therefore can't release any information at this time. In the meantime, many of us have choosen to remain optimistic, and write letters to GameTap in hopes of bolstering Cyan's position. Hope that answered your question. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:53 am 
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This thread is fine, however it turns out, as long as people are respectful of everyone's opinion, and I see we all are - respectful, that is. And yes, we are still waiting to see any details about the second season.

Axel and I go back to an Uru beta years ago (2003?), different publisher, slightly different online game, but still an online Uru. Axel, I hope you stick around! I hope everyone else does too. I want to meet everyone in-game and I want to read your posts!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:55 am 
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Last edited by semplerette on Wed Feb 11, 2015 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:30 am 
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:P Thank you all for your replies. Lets keep our fingers crossed. I have been playing the Myst games since "Myst" first came out myself. This is my first online game. I have enjoyed the adventures. I hope maybe if it does not work out with Gametap, Cyan might try Uru on their own.

:idea: Have a Happy Happy New Year!!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:33 am 
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It's funny. I have probably spend more time with Uru after cancelling my account two days ago than I have all year playing it. I am definitely going to stick around as well. I am really enjoying all the discussion here, and following up on what other people have written in other threads. I will also gladly re-subscribe in a heartbeat if I see signs of positive change on the way. For now, I just need a break, since I simply cannot justify supporting the way things are going for Uru any longer.

Simplerfi's post about Defenders of Mediocrity for Disney products has kind of summed up how I have been feeling about Uru for a long time now. Yes, that is a harsh statement, it's even a harsh term for people who just love Uru with a (blind?) passion. I also don't want to call Cyan mediocre. They have done amazing things, and have been a great inspiration, apart from also being positively amazing to their community. The general sentiment is true though. For me, Uru has not turned out to be the satisfying experience that I had hoped it would be. And it's not that I have not given it all the breaks. Several years, and several hundred Euros no less. I bought every box they threw out there and was quick to subscribe. Compared to the maybe 50 Euros I paid for Riven and the amount of fun and satisfaction received from it, Uru is just way out of proportion. I want them to do a great job, and I want them to be successful as reward. If I pretend everything is fine right now, I would do them a great disservice.

I love the original vision. I love the idea of Uru. I also really love some of the content. Some things done for Uru are the best Cyan has ever produced. It is a true achievement. But I don't think just blindly defending it is a healthy thing, just like Simplerfi demonstrated.

What pains me most is that the fundamental problems have been there from the very beginning, they were part of the original design and were criticised even back then, as mszv, myself and many others will remember. Sometimes this community has been a bit overbearing in its defense of what we all love, and so I am really glad we can have this dicussion now in such a constructive manner.

I also emphatically applaud belford's post. It sums up to a large degree what I have been feeling about Uru since I first heard of ancient-history Mudpie. There has just never really been any open discussion about Uru with Cyan. Sometimes it felt like it was a ballastic rocket that once fired would follow its trajectory no matter what. And often that is a necessity of development. Otherwise, scope-creep will postpone a project to its grave. I'm a product manager myself, so I can relate to many of the internal and external pressures they must be experiencing with Uru. And for all that, I think it is important we give them an honest representation of how we feel about the game.

A second season cannot be discussed by them unless its a done deal. No questions asked. I don't agree with semplerette that our discussion is meaningless in the meantime, however. We can present options for positive change to them, that can meaningfully inform their designers when they set out to specifiy the next releases. That will happen weeks, if not months before development even starts and certainly months before anything hits Live. For all we now, they are specifying them right now. Ok, maybe they are making New Year's party plans. I mean next week ;)

I agree with belford that a really healthy step right now would be some more communication. Without any promises, marketing hype or great formality. A dev blog, or a Q&A, or maybe even just a post mortem on the first season, sort of what worked the way they wanted it to, what didn't work, what could be changed, I think you get the idea.

Following up on Marten's suggestion to write a letter, I found a post by RAWA on the DRC forum in one of his posts.

http://forums.drcsite.org/viewtopic.php?t=1881

As always, RAWA presents his point eloquently, calmly and in a way that really helps to soothe at least some of my pains about Uru. Although, he sounds a little more weary, and a whole lot less tongue-in-cheek than I remembered him. I guess many people haven't reacted with much humour in kind. I will just have to petition Colbert to add penguins to the ThreatDown list to prevent further injury.

Nevertheless that post is exactly the kind of communication I think would tremdously further the healing that this community needs in my eyes.

Circling the wagons is not the answer.

Parlay is :)


Last edited by Axel on Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 2:33 am 
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ziidee wrote:
I hope maybe if it does not work out with Gametap, Cyan might try Uru on their own.


That would be really cool, but GameTap is the only reason Uru is back at all -- Cyan doesn't have the resources to run it without funding from someone else.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:43 am 
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Axel wrote:
A dev blog, or a Q&A, or maybe even just a post mortem on the first season, sort of what worked the way they wanted it to, what didn't work, what could be changed


Ooh, a post mortem from Cyan. Yes. They should do that.

Great idea.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:35 am 
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belford wrote:

Ooh, a post mortem from Cyan. Yes. They should do that.

Great idea.


Andrew! That is just so weird. A couple of posts up I was wondering whatever happened to you because eblong was down yesterday, and here you are all over this thread. I seems that forum signatures share the same brain space that banner advertising does for me ;)

I was thinking that maybe you had given up and left as well. It is so great to see you around! Your ongoing Uru review has been such a great companion to my own musings about Uru.

[FanboyMode]
I think Cyan should play Spider & Web and re-discover the power of interactve story-telling!
[/FanboyMode]

Ok, so it seems we have at least one concrete, reasonable suggestion for Cyan so far: a Season One Post Mortem

I don't think just sticking that in the Suggestions group is good enough though. Does anyone have ideas how to properly present that to the right people at Uru HQ?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:52 am 
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Post mortem? :o :shock: Could you just, er, word that a tiny bit differently? :? :P :wink:


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