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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:38 pm
Posts: 1673
I've taken some time to think on all of this, and I'm honestly not as upset over these forums closing as I was Uru Obsession's closing.

When UO went, it was a slow and steady fall towards the bottom as the site was unable to recover. I'm sort of glad that Cyan's deciding to suspend the forums now while things are still generally in an accessible and easily archive-able format. Makes it easier for the day that, if it ever comes, Cyan could restore the forums to some historical viewing format.

The World and specifically the Internet itself is a constantly changing landscape. Mainstays from ten years ago are no longer prevalent, and slowly get phased out- things such as the code that runs this web forum.

In times like these I can't help but think of the cavern's history, and the many starts and stops of the restoration, and how, even now, things are slowly changing. A mindset is starting to shift to some degree.

It's not wrong to want to hold onto our history. It's not wrong to want to look back on it fondly, or with remorse. It's not wrong to look upon the past, see it vanishing, and fear the future.

As with all things, there's negatives and positives. Not all change is good, but not all change is bad. Sometimes it just is.

For Cyan, I see this as a good thing. You guys are focusing on what you need to do to live and survive, and I applaud that and I encourage that! Maybe it's as Atrus has said. Restoring D'ni as it was may be a bit of a fools errand. That place is gone, and the people who survived are now able to make a better life and a new chance for themselves. For you at Cyan, I'm hoping that this is but one of many steps towards a new start to building something new that isn't 100% reliant on what came before.

Acknowledging where we came from, while going somewhere new.

For the Community, it may be a good thing as well. There is a lot of emotional baggage with these specific forums, not all of it positive for some people, myself included. These MOUL forums never quite felt like home to me, not like UO did. Maybe that's part of why this doesn't affect me as much. In a way it feels a bit... more like the release of a burden.

A lot of us resist change, and I know I'm probably a bit of a hypocrite in that regard as well, writing all this while wishing some things wouldn't change what-so-ever. We don't want to see it happen sometimes, and we don't want to experience it. We want positive trends rather than negative.

But that change comes regardless of what everyone wants. Regardless of what everyone desires. Sometimes, we have to make choices that affect things in ways we don't want to because there is no other way.

URU as it is now is a product of choices made all the way back in 2002 and 2003, which resulted in the Offline URU even being a thing at all. I look back into the game's design history, and I see legacy concessions that were made to facilitate that choice that might not have been made otherwise in a pure Live Only version of URU.

But at the same time, I wouldn't be the person I am today without that offline version of URU. I wouldn't have experienced this Community, or grown with it, as intimately as I did, without the offline URU.

There's a lot more I can say about URU, but I think that there's one thing that I need to say about it in reflection to this forum closing.

What's happened, has happened. And if there is to be a future, we need to change for something different. "The Symbol of the Journey must change," as Yeesha said. I see Cyan making the start to those changes for URU. I see that there's plans in place to speed things along for the inevitable changes that are to come.

And as hopeful as I am to see those changes pan out and bring something new... I have to wonder if it's not time for something more drastic. An overhaul larger than maintaining and repairing what has already existed in the Cavern. How long do we hide within the shadows, cast by the remnants of what once was, mourning the past?

When I ran Heritage Night, it was with the understanding that we needed to know where we'd been so we didn't repeat the mistakes of the past. So that we could change into something newer and greater. Always something new. That was the dream I'd inherited for all of it.

It was a celebration of what was, but even then, I'd tried to innovate. I'd tried to bring in new voices again and again to keep it from wearing thin. Inevitably, it did, because things weren't changing as I'd hoped. I was stuck, stagnating, just the same as everything else. I couldn't accomplish that dream of building something new off of the same old events. It's a symptom of this dream we relive.

I've seen these forums at their heights, energy and creativity, and I've seen them at their lowest. When we mourn the loss of these forums, are we mourning the loss of that history, or are we mourning the loss of potential? I've seen as life surges, and then recedes. This Cycle again and again of Death and Rebirth and Death and Rebirth. And we wait, and we wait. Time and Again... We wait, for what? What are we waiting for to happen? What are we wanting *restored* exactly?

What is it we mean when we talk about "Restoration?" What do we mean when we speak of Restoring D'ni? What have we really expected? Even to this day I'm not entirely sure what it was I was expecting from all of this.

I don't think I was ever really into this whole "Restore D'ni" thing as an exercise of turning the ruins of D'ni into a replica of what the Cavern was when the D'ni lived there. What about Lighting the Lake? Was it even possible? Even if everything had gone as planned from Cyan's end, from the DRC's end, would lighting the Lake have even been a thing that we could have Managed?

Have we just been romanticizing these places, and these stories beyond what any of us could have made possible? Was what we were trying to Restore even really a THING in the first place that could be restored?

I see in our history, both fictional and real, that we've tried to do something that... I honestly don't think any single one of us has ever understood entirely. Yeesha, with freeing the Bahro and not knowing the lengths she would have to go through. Us, with fixating on restoring D'ni without ever really having a talk about what that meant. Esher, with his lofty goals of returning D'ni to as it was in a way that I don't think even HE knew what he was doing. Gehn, working to create a flawed recreation of D'ni as seen by the mind of a child. And Cyan, dealing with outside sources like Ubisoft meddling, and with Game Tap being sold out by their parent company.

As it was, only Atrus really managed to succeed in any of this, and in doing so he gave up on restoring the Cavern to its old existence, and instead he created something new. Somewhere new. He wrote a new future for the D'ni people, and they inevitably chose to leave D'ni to its ruins.

We speak of prophecy, and of the Desert Bird destined to help bring D'ni back to life again... But I think we've all misunderstood what that meant.

"Restoration" is the word we've clung to... but Restoration...

I think that the time of Restoration has passed us all by. I think now it's a time for Innovation instead. Atrus had the right idea. Sometimes, what has come and gone should be left to the pages of history. Understood, and acknowledged, but not resurrected. We ought to look to the future as something that, even if we don't see it as bright, it should be something we can MAKE bright on our own with our own hands.

The Grower Prophecy is something that if you're aware of it, you'll try to fulfill it if you think you are it. But here's the thing about that Prophecy. It's Vague. It's rife with Metaphor. It's the word "restoration." What does it *mean* to us?

Kadish claimed to be the grower, and faked his way to it. Yeesha claimed to be the Grower, and had the power to back it up... but it was showy. Flashy. Lighting the Arch for all of a few moments? Easy. Making it Permanent?? Not so much.

I think the solution isn't that there's any ONE Grower. There isn't any ONE person to fulfill that prophecy. Yeesha and the Bahro alike can provide means for any one of us to link without books or travel through time. We can bring light to the cavern with the pellets themselves.

In times like this, we may be losing what we used to have, but it's a chance for us to decide what we're going to make for all of us here now, and those of us far into the future.

Anna would Ask, "What do you See?" and to that I add:

"What Will You Do With It?"


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