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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: Sat May 13, 2006 4:24 pm 
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I'm kind of in the middle when it comes to this....

on one hand it would help (as far as the guild of writers, etc. goes) but on the other hand, the last thing we need is a popularity contest.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:33 pm 
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Hmmm... a hard decision indeed...
I`d like it since it would give the cavern more of a feel of business, instead of people just wondering around and talking. But there are plenty of downsides.


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:37 pm 
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Some new info about the actual guild system in Uru Live straight from the UU Town Meeting With Moke:

Quote:
    Q: Is there any chance of meeting, or perhaps becoming, ResEngs?
    M: I'm not sure. Ryan Miller would be a better person to ask, if you can drag his bones into one of these things. I know we will be supporting a pretty sophisticated Guild system, which will have many roles for whoever wants to participate.

    Q: I'd like to know more about the Library. Will it have Books (linking), or books (reading) or both... ? How many there? And, will they have a classification of some kind?
    M: Yes, I believe the Library will have both Linking Books and reading books, as many as we can make over time. I'm not sure how many that will turn out to be. Hopefully, a lot! I'm sure we can come up with a way to classify. Or maybe, the Guild of Librarians?

    Q: Which of the current Guilds will you be keeping, if any?
    M: I'm not sure we have the right to speak for any of the current Guilds. We want to support everyone's idea of a guild - within reason - and we will help establish a few important Guilds, as well. So, I guess, all the current Guilds will continue in some form, and others will be added.

(From the http://www.mystembassy.net/drcliaisons/?q=node/58)

So, in a very literal interpretation of Moke, the Guild System will be "supported", complex, and optional for those who do not wish to join.

Sounds like a great idea to me.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Could someone give me a link to the Age Builders group?

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 8:08 pm 
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Here You Go:
http://forum.agebuilder.org/

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 5:11 pm 
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I highlighted some crucial parts, green is "good", red I view as "problematic":
Moke wrote:
Q: Is there any chance of meeting, or perhaps becoming, ResEngs?
M: I'm not sure. Ryan Miller would be a better person to ask, if you can drag his bones into one of these things. I know we will be supporting a pretty sophisticated Guild system, which will have many roles for whoever wants to participate.

Q: I'd like to know more about the Library. Will it have Books (linking), or books (reading) or both... ? How many there? And, will they have a classification of some kind?
M: Yes, I believe the Library will have both Linking Books and reading books, as many as we can make over time. I'm not sure how many that will turn out to be. Hopefully, a lot! I'm sure we can come up with a way to classify. Or maybe, the Guild of Librarians?

Q: Which of the current Guilds will you be keeping, if any?
M: I'm not sure we have the right to speak for any of the current Guilds. We want to support everyone's idea of a guild - within reason - and we will help establish a few important Guilds, as well. So, I guess, all the current Guilds will continue in some form, and others will be added.


There are so many good posts in this thread (mostly I agree with Domareh and Zardoz) I'll try to make mine short and not too repetitive as to what's allready been said.
Anything optional, easy to access and easy to leave and non-exclusive (like you can be a member of more than one guild) sounds good to me.
Anything that points towards "complex guildiness" in a way that it will make up a lot of the gameplay (like "sophisticated" and "in some form", not just the old form, which we basically have now: sites/forums, hoods and shirts) doesn't sound like I will like it. Even if such "guildiness" is optional, if it is implemented strongly/complexely in the game, I am afraid that part of the gameplay will eventually dominate the game.
Just to use the above example: A guild classifying books (e.g. player created content) in terms of catalogueing it, inventing a structure around it and so on is cool; a guild "classifying" these things in the sense of "quality control" results in the "wrong" kind of social dynamics. (I certainly don't want to visit crappy ages either, but I don't want others - except maybe Cyan - to decide for me what is "aesthetically worthy" player created content).
The "wrong" social dynamyics I mean are: who-is-to-decide-what-and-why-may-they-do-so, elitism, greed, pride, yadda yadda.
I'd say keep it as simple as possible and make sure it's all extremely flexible, transparent, diaphanous, permeable, bah blah blah.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 8:08 pm 
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I hadn't considered whether the guild system, however well intentioned, might become disproportionately vital to the cavern experience... that's a really great point. And not something that's easily predicted or managed. There's every indicator, IMO, that Cyan (and Turner) want to make UruLive into a very different kind of MMP environment, one that finds a way to create community not based on competition and rank, but rather based on cooperation and discovery. On these terms, I'm ecstatic to see how things work.

I do expect that people will come to UruLive with expectations of a standard MMPORG. I do not play them myself, but it seems that that's the emphatically predominant paradigm for this kind of online gaming out there -- excessive "guildiness" (great word! :lol: ) strikes me as one of its characteristics. One big question in my mind is how UruLive will actively challenge the MMPORG expectations of its users. Will it cater to the paradigm and try to embrace as wide a user-base as possible? Will it stick staunchly to its trailblazing guns and let users figure out for themselves that this is not just another MMPORG (which could result in some bad, bad press)? Or something in between?

Regarding book classification, I read Moke's statement as more along the lines of what Vivarium of D'ni's D'ni Decimal Task Force is doing, a reference system whereby both Cyan and age builders can keep track of Ages as they come into being, and whereby us explorers can find them on the shelves of the Great Library! 8) Your caution, though, is I think exactly on target... there's a distinction between classification and evaluation (though where exactly the line gets drawn is tougher to answer).

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 1:01 pm 
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This is a great thread, with some really great points. Consider this post partly a sympathetic summation along with some additional perspectives...

We need to grow up.

As the Until Uru community, we have essentially been crashing (no pun intended) at our parents' place for the past two years. Before that, with Prologue, we were temporarily kicked out before we were ready. We eventually moved back in and, now, we have matured enough and the time is right to finally leave the nest. It's time to go out into the 'real' world of Uru Live, as we have been destined and prepared to do by Cyan, with instruction through its games and support, and the DRC, through the access to the cavern and all things D'ni they've allowed us. We've learned, excelled, reached about as far as we could in this environment, and now it's time to move on.

Things will be new, things will be diffferent, things will change - and it is very necessary to approach this not fearfully, grasping at the past, but boldy, embracing the future. Plus, I suspect that what we deem worthy to bring with us will be required to be pared down to what we can fit into a mere backpack before we link out for the last time, so we must force ourselves to remember what is truly important when we embark on this fresh venture together.

We can now see clearly that the issues the DRC raised through their request for the Liaisons was a test. It was a test of our wills, our willingness, and of our ability to handle different and unfamiliar situations, both individually and as a community. In the end, as mentioned, it has brought us a closer and more immediate contact and dialogue with those who have a hand in decisions that affect us, allowing us further ability to shape our shared fates. Also, slowly, it has shifted the focus of things back to the cavern, to Uru, instead of allowing issues and discussions to be fractionalized and impersonalized across the surface world's wide web. Realizing these positives is important for, as tumultuous as matters had gotten, frankly, it was only the beginning, only a taste of what's to come.

Until Uru was a state, a stop-gap measure put in place on the fly to preserve what it could in the face of outside events -Until Uru was NOT what was intended. Alas, what was planned and in place, Prologue, simply wasn't enough, for whatever reasons. So, we are faced with an amalgamation of old and new which may strike us as somewhat unfamiliar, but which may be completely necessary, so as not to have our seemingly unfortunate history repeat itself.

Guilds, for example, serve two purposes. One, as stated, due to their inherent familiarity on the surface world, they hold the possibility of bringing in bodies -and Uru Live needs bodies, like, desperately. Two, that relatively massive amount of bodies would need structure -guilds provide structure. Though it may've seemed like a hard life for us, we have actually been spoiled , existing underground with our low numbers, shut off from the rest of the world and enjoying the freedom and closeness that brought. So, what we have in place, what we've done in the meantime, suits us to a fair degree but, for the most part, would not accomodate a large influx of fresh blood, and especially a percentage of which that undoubtedly wouldn't be part D'ni. Interpersonal difficulties can arise even within our obsessed, though close, little band. Imagine timesing that by a hundred, a thousand, tens of thousands, etc -you get the idea. The point is to keep things and people organized within a framework that suits everybody, taking into account the inevitable preconceptions, no matter if you've been here since the beginning or if you're considering your first link.

Games that have utilized guild formats successfully are nothing to be sniffed at. Again, as stated, the amounts that are subscribed to or buying into these flights of fantasy only serve to prove that these models work, which is something undoubtedly not lost on Cyan, the DRC, or their backers. Fortunately, the D'ni sense and implementation of guilds predates the current perceptions. At their best, which has been noted, they definitely can work to promote sharing and community over rivalry and factions. They can bring together like-minds and encourage the pursuit of discipline in all the various Crafts, while keeping idle hands from becoming the devil's workshop, so to speak. Guilds will also be integral to the 'storyline' in as much that they simply exist -which is a natural progression for D'ni and Uru, history-wise, considering. Any incentives or 'leveling' along the way are also logical, with basic examples of these easily found within the plethora of professions of the surface world, including other D'ni equivalents of things, such as guild halls and the like. Whether focused on one or many skills, any progress bars or ranks will merely stand to acknowledge where one is at along each chosen path at any given time.

Meanwhile, those that aren't so inclined will still have their exploration, their social structures, and other fun stuff (and, hopefully, Hoods will still exist and be seperate from guilds). Though, as creative and active as the D'nizens of Uru are, it would be surprising if most didn't somehow gravitate towards one or another slightly more 'established' pursuit, at least occassionally. Additionally, any activity of the guilds would only enrich the experience for those within other guilds, or for those intentionally outside of the mix altogether, as any discoveries made or abilities, etc acquired would be on display as they filtered their way into the populous' general makeup and awareness, much like do Slider's new cone tricks or the discoverys of heretofore unknown Age bugs. This probably needs no mention but, in Uru, Proud or Least or somewhere in between, everyone makes a footprint -everyone in Uru IS Uru. This is evident in the way a D'noobie is assisted upon their entrance into the cavern, in the many hats we all wear when events are organized, the way we strive to quell a drama before it spreads, and even just when we get together to chat amongst ourselves. This will not be lost if we don't let it be, even if there will now be more to see and do. The venue only may be different.

Moving away from home can be difficult, to be sure, especially after living a familiar, sheltered life for so long. Going into the 'real' world, seeking out a profession, and mingling with new and different people may seem scary, but it's all in how we perceive it, and it's all a necessary part of life. Personally, I have faith in us, and that's the quality that's going to ultimately get us through.

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 2:29 pm 
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Nicely said! Your point about games with guilds being a formula that works, and this being something Cyan/Turner are very aware of, is dead on, I think. They're no dummies, and, to prevent history from repeating itself, will be really paying attention to numbers, I suspect.

What I'm afraid of is UruLive "maturing" into a convention. It'd surprise me if it did -- Moke's comments on a monetary system (If we have it, it'll be like nothing you've ever seen) is the same attitude I'd like to see brought to the guild system. Cyan is, if anything, innovative, and it just seems out of character for them to graft a traditional guild system into their pride and joy...

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 3:01 pm 
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While eloquent, Thend, I’m concerned that your defense of guilds is a little short on details. Yes, I know Moke has described it essentially as “optional,” but let’s just focus on what it would take to pull off a guild system fully integrated into Uru Live.

The first question to ask is, Where would these Guilds come from? Cyan has worked hard at creating a backstory for every element of Uru, even down to the invitation from Zandi that explains your initial presence in the game. So how does one explain the presence of new guilds when Uru Live 2 opens? Again, let’s imagine that guilds play an important role. Does the DRC decide that the explorers need to be organized, and so it creates a guild system that explorers can join? An even more radical thought would be, Does Uru Live 2 involve a “reboot” of the game, with an entirely new backstory leading to the player’s arrival?

A second set of questions involves the guilds themselves. Here is the list of the ancient D’ni Guilds:
  • Major: Analysts; Archivists; Book-makers; Cartographers; Caterers; Chemists; Engineers; Healers; Ink-makers; Legislators; Linguists; Maintainers; Mechanists; Messengers; Miners; Stone-masons; Surveyors; Writers
  • Minor: Artists; Actors; Musicians; Sculptors; Burial Workers Architecture Bankers; Illusionists

Guild of Analysts? Exactly what will they do in Uru Live? And the Guild of Chemists? Well, okay, maybe we’ll have modern guilds. And so . . . The Guild of Cone Herders? The Guild of Tent Walkers? Help me out, here, I’m struggling to come up with ideas. But regardless of their exact identities, what’s the backstory? How did we go from an unorganized rabble of uninvited explorers to a sophisticated society with a complex set of institutions (guilds)? This points once again to a reboot of Uru Live.

Finally, let’s say Cyan figures out a sensible backstory and set of guilds - what exactly do guild members do? Here’s what Thend suggested:
Quote:
They can bring together like-minds and encourage the pursuit of discipline in all the various Crafts, while keeping idle hands from becoming the devil's workshop, so to speak. Guilds will also be integral to the 'storyline' in as much that they simply exist -which is a natural progression for D'ni and Uru, history-wise, considering. Any incentives or 'leveling' along the way are also logical, with basic examples of these easily found within the plethora of professions of the surface world, including other D'ni equivalents of things, such as guild halls and the like. Whether focused on one or many skills, any progress bars or ranks will merely stand to acknowledge where one is at along each chosen path at any given time.

That may or may not interest people (it really does not interest me), but there’s one thing we can all agree on: No way does it describe the current incarnation of Uru Live. To be blunt, there’s just not very much to do in Uru Live, so there’s no basis for pursuing a Craft or leveling or anything else around which a Guild could be built. To fulfill this sort of vision, Cyan would have to be working feverishly on creating a whole new interface (unless mining becomes a Craft you can pursue by kicking the ore out of the mine) and, yet again, a whole new backstory. With a slimmed down organization, I just can’t believe that this is where they’re putting their resources.

So, what sort of guild structure would appeal to me if I were King of Uru Live? (I put it this way because I don’t pretend to believe that this would be the “best” way to do things.) For me, the Guild of Cartographers and the D’ni Linguistic Fellowship are the perfect models (with one exception). Each is a voluntary, self-organized group, that brings like-minded people together to explore a certain element of Uru. To incorporate these groups into the game, I would first respectfully but firmly ask the “Guild of Cartographers” to change its name. My system would allow for more than one group in most cases, so they would not be allowed to call themselves “The Guild.” A Guild of Liaisons would be an example where I would enforce only one guild, but as in this case, I would require those Guilds to be open to public control or at least public scrutiny.

I would then create ways to have these sorts of groups incorporate their “crafts” into the game. Viewscreens and customizable books would be one possibility, where players could download images created by groups and then display them in their Relto or neighborhood viewscreens, or have them appear in a book dedicated to guild-like subjects. Thus, I could create a book of maps with images created by the Cartography Club, or I could have D’ni language lessons appear on my viewscreen for study.

Being King, I would probably require some form of application procedure (a charter), but the requirements would seek only to enforce some minimal level of organization (to avoid millions of one person “guilds”) and a basic set of rules of conduct (to give me the ability to revoke the charter for bad behavior). Part of the application could include designs for member clothing, or I would ask my Guild of Cool Shirts to help them out. If a group wanted to incorporate “leveling” into their organization, I would allow them to have “merit badges”, so to speak, again of their own design or with my help. What I would not allow them to do is have any power over others, even over rival groups. For those who worry about competition and rivalry, I point to the example of the Palio in Siena, which is a wonderful example of how rivalries can add richness not conflict.

As I said above, I find the idea of formal Guilds to be uninteresting, but more importantly, problematic. I don’t see the backstory and the game structure to support them. Having Uru Live open to voluntary, explorer-supported groups would add a lively element to the game.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 4:08 pm 
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Quote:
Does Uru Live 2 involve a “reboot” of the game, with an entirely new backstory leading to the player’s arrival?


This strikes me as somewhat unlikely. I'm sure it won't be exactly the same, but I also don't see them ditching the main story elements. (For example, at the DRC town hall meetings the DRC shows no indication of massive changes and seems to be moving along in real time and planning to come back, they're updating the DRC website, and they're still being mysterious about unresolved elements from the previous plot.) Honestly, I would be disappointed if they did change things completely and left the previous plot hanging.

I also don't think they'll ditch "you are you" and make us all D'ni. That would require more supension of disbelief than any previous Myst game (where you can imagine yourself any way you want) and would also require an extensive knowledge of backstory to be workable, unless we all had amnesia or something. I'm a long-time Myst fan, and I'm pretty sure I don't know enough about D'ni to pull it off, let alone the new or casual player role-playing a D'ni person. Plus that would really be role-playing full out, not ARG at all.

So yeah, even if the starting premise changes somewhat, I think we'll still be in the DRC plot, and we will still be... well... us. :)

But your question of where guilds come from in this system is a valid one. I can see a couple of possibilities. First of all, the DRC could use it as a convenient label for groups they assign tasks to, like, "OK, Anna Catherine, you study folklore, so go be in the Guild of Folklorists and get cracking on that D'ni lore!" It wouldn't, in that case, be any different from the Folklore Team or People Over There Working On That Thing-- just a more D'ni-ish name for a basically surface concept. Of course, that isn't anything like "sophisticated."

The guilds could also come with an alternate system of restoration, an actual rebuilding of D'ni, rather than just an exploration of it. This could be brought about by Yeesha (although it really doesn't seem like her cup of tea, so I sort of doubt it, but I don't presume to know her preferences,) the Releeshahn contingent, or one of the random D'ni people that always seem to be kicking around-- Esher, Kadish, someone else D'ni but a little nicer, etc.

That could actually be interesting to have to different paths: research or rebuilding.

I'm glad participation in guilds will be optional, and I just hope that those who choose not to participate don't start to feel like outsiders, or like they aren't really "playing right."

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 9:23 pm 
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Quote:
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.

- G. K. Chesterton

That is the quote Rand used as a header to his May 8th 'Personal Message'...

The challenge is inclusive -and isn't that what Myst and Uru have always integrally been about, meeting challenges?

Cast your opinions, definitely, for they all matter, but don't lose sight of the overall picture while doing so. What Cyan and the DRC do, 'right' or 'wrong', successful or not, they do for a reason. We appreciate the attention they give us, and vice versa, but they have seperate concerns which also draw their attention. To this degree, that part of the path they must walk alone and, if we are to truly support them, we must ultimately trust and follow their lead.

Everything up until now has been built upon sandy ground, and the tide is finally coming in. Relocating to a more solid foundation, in order to more reliably weather any future storms, may have things seem as if we have somehow become as immovable as the ground our structures will be set upon -but this need not be the case. You will still be You, as it has always been, and you will still do what you do, albeit possibly in different ways.

If we could single-handedly determine the future, we'd be gods, not kings. One need only look at D'ni history to realize what happened to those that would wish or think themselves to be gods. The best we, any of us, can do is to make the best of the situations we choose to be in, and this is not meant in a cliched way. For example, what's come before, the last two years, could have been only a repetitive and boring experience but, due to the contributions of those within our environment, it wasn't, it became more than the sum of its parts. What's coming is no different, in that respect, and it holds at least as many possibilities.

I'm not concerned about how things will fit into the 'storyline'. It's real important, sure. Again, though, I trust the principle 'characters' which, for their part, are as much 'fans' as we are. Besides, as a community, we've been retconning in retrospect for Ages now -it's just what we do. Like, saying the DRC, having unearthed a mother load of linking books and Age-writing texts, deems it necessary to logically revitalize the D'ni guild system, thus including and managing the interested and growing number of explorers in order to speed up the progress of excavation and incite new discoveries that even they come to realize as important (as has been inferred previously in this thread). It's just that, at this stage, things are still so speculative that we cannot say for certain just how everything will eventually fit together and work -just don't doubt for a second that they will.

We can certainly influence what's going to happen, but not necessarily be able to stop it. So, as Uru Live's tagline says, we must simply somehow 'Find a way...'

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 5:19 am 
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Interesting rhetorics, Thend, did I miss somebody running for presidency? ;)

I am by no means an expert in A) game marketing, B) game theory, C) storytelling in an ongoing realtime game.
As a consumer/fan I trust developers and publishers to a degree that they know more about it than me. And while I do think Cyan is planning a lot we can't even imagine right now and it will blow our minds and all, I also get the impression they are listening to what we are saying, are interested in our input. And - I concede - it may not be the wisest choice to listen to us hard core purists, but they are listening just as well.

What I do know, is what has "worked" for me in terms of being immersed, intrigued, exited in a good way and what didn't so far.
Anything that feels "mimicing pseudo-medieval structures for the sake of a pseudo-medievalish fantasy world feeling" (using the word Guild, even if D'ni Guilds are meant, applies) doesn't work for me. Anything that keeps me occupied with learning about game structure /gameplay and not learning about game content / game story doesn't work for me. Anything that keeps me from interacting and cooperating with other players in an easy and same-eye-level way, instead making me have to deal with hierarchies, complex group procedures, privileges and so on doesn't work for me.

While I realize Prologue wasn't as Live was originally intended, in some ways it took the "middle road" (running and jumping to get to Relto Pages, "questing" for Markers), and that didn't work well for me. I know that kind of activity pleases many, and as long as I can get enough story to live and to explore, that's ok. My concern is if the "middle road" is the right path to follow. I am looking for the unique road.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 3:00 pm 
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I don't think anyone here is saying that Cyan must do what we want, and if they don't we'll cry or boycott or anything.

Cyan has, however, set up this forum so that we can express our opinions, and they have repeatedly asked for our views on what we would like to see in Live. They can choose to do with that what they will, and they will make the choice ultimately, but it is no sin for us to express what we think would work best, nor is it disloyalty or lack of trust or something.

We do trust Cyan, and Cyan is an amazing creative force, but at the end of the day they have to sell a game, and people's opinions on what might or might not work best only helps with that.

Cyan can't know what the players want unless we say it, and whether or not they choose to go in that direction, I don't see how hearing people's questions and concerns is anything but a benefit to them. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 5:14 am 
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ireen, Annacat, you've both said just what was on my mind, in terms of trusting Cyan's innovation, creativity, and care for the community. Not everyone's going to be 100% happy with every decision Cyan makes about every bit of UruLive... but many people will be pleased, or intrigued at the very least, by many of those decisions. I imagine there will be other options and other opportunities for those who aren't, and, just like Anna says, one of the functions of this forum is to speculate and wonder and wish-list about what those options and opportunities might be, in addition to rampantly imagining this complex-but-totally-optional Guild system.

Which I would now like to do. :P

I wonder, in order to make it work story-line wise, whether the Guild system can be put in the hands of the community? So that it is, in fact, a grassroots resurrection, and not an artificially imposed structure from above? It's a scenario ripe for contention, given what went on over liaisons, election methods, and all that (which I did not touch with a 10 foot pole!)... but it's one way to answer the storyline question, and to address the concerns we're all voicing here. On the flip side, Cyan wouldn't have a ton of control over it, and Moke's "complex" comment sounds like they already have something in mind.

Still, it'd be in keeping with the "you are you" concept... and would fly in the face of MMPORG convention... and kick up the biggest hornet's nest you've seen this side of the Great Zero line... :twisted:

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