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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 4:15 am 
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FYI, if you use [/quote] in place of [end quote] you'll have the quote area if you want it. ;)

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:15 pm 
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Babylon wrote:
1. how far in advance is the download going to be available before the action starts as the servers become very very slow when everyone tries to log in and uploading the new content at the same time. I have had it take a few hours when it takes 5 mins if its quiet.


We hope to "preload" the servers a few days in advance.

Babylon wrote:
2. have you solved the problem of the severe lag when everyone is online around a character? the problem with the one week release is that it could make for a miserable week when everything is coming out and were all stuck in the black screen of death or the lag is so bad you cant move.


We are always working on lag related issues. We expect some problems but we are working on making the episode as enjoyable as possible.

Babylon wrote:
3. I'm sure this has been asked but will the announcements of the releases come through a message on the KI or on the forums?


Cyan won't come out and say when any of the releases are. Just know the Episode starts May 19th.

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Last edited by greydragon on Thu May 10, 2007 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 11:13 pm 
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Thanks for the info Annacat. I appreciate that help. :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:34 am 
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I'm going to shoot my mouth off for a bit. This is my understanding of things, and if I'm horribly wrong... my apologies. And... I hope I'm wrong about some of these things.

I've got to say... I think this whole thing is a pretty terrible idea.

If anyone wanted to be surprised by the expected character "death", well... that's too bad. It's pretty impossible to avoid that sort of information... all of the standard news places have it happily placed among the usual news of "new age on the way" and the like, and even if you avoid news completely... it's burned it's way around the cavern so fast that the only way to avoid it is to not play at all.

Besides, isn't this only going to make the cries of "WHERE IS THE NEW CONTENT?!" louder? If we get something once a month, then there's a three week dry spell between anything happening... that's going to lead to even more frustrated people than before.

Clearly cut out episodes, spoileriffic previews, three week droughts of content... and why? Rather than encourage players to check in at various times throughout the month, it'll probably just lead to players checking in at specific times, then not being seen again until the next month's rollout. Won't this discourage numbers, rather than raise them?

*sigh*

I've always said... I'll be in the cavern until the last stone falls. But with this news, I'm afraid that we're going to be kissing our dream of a living breathing Uru goodbye.

Uru is amazing because it's different... but steps like this are slowly leading it to the paths of every other game. And to be honest... without the things that make Uru an entirely different sort of game, it's not going to stack up that well to other games.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 4:15 am 
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I'm not going to address Vid's irritation with the spoiler aspect. I've already expressed my opinion on that issue earlier.

But I'd like to counter several of Vid's other points.

Re: "Isn't this going to make the cries of "WHERE IS THE NEW CONTENT louder?" - For those who don't understand the schedule - basically, new players coming in during the three weeks - there will be a learning curve. We'll have to explain when the next "episode" begins so newcomers will know when to expect things happening.

Re: "Won't this discourage numbers, rather than raise them?" - For those three weeks in between new content, login numbers may indeed be lower. BUT... as long as people come back for the week of content, that is still better than a continual dropoff in people getting fed up with the slow dribble of content.

During the week of content, if this experiment flies... I think we'll see much higher numbers of players during the content week. I have a lot of confidence in that because I've heard from other people who simply cannot afford to spend a lot of time in the cavern, and want to make the time they are there "count". I've heard from peple who, if they can't be certain events will be happening when they can play... don't have the heart to bother playing at all. For these time-squeezed persons, the episodic plan is divinity from heaven.

Now a few words on what "numbers" mean, because I think there's a misunderstanding people have about it.

If I play Uru for one day a month, or every day in a month, I expect that it's not a huge difference to GameTap. They've got my monthly fee, and if I seem happy and I'm not cancelling the service and I express occasional interest in Uru... everything is peachy. As long as I'm in Uru once a day in a given month, it should count - I'm showing interest in that game. Devotion to playing more frequently might signal the level of importance Uru has to me overall, but 50%-70% of the formula will be just that I play it at all.

So what really matters is the total number of unique GameTap accounts that access Uru each month. If an episodic format produces the sort of excitement and guaranteed "return on investment" that the time-crunched crowd desires, and those people start showing up during the week of content (instead of showing up ZERO times a month because they are here for the story, not for sparkles), then the number of unique players per month will rise during the content weeks.

Also bear in mind that Gametap is involved in this change from Cyan and is supporting it. That suggests that they'll look at "numbers" accordingly.

And here's a bonus! As a side benefit, those who don't want to get involved in the story and want to stay OOC and just explore will have three weeks of peace between content weeks. Except for fan stories, of course. :)

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:39 am 
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"We'll have to explain when the next "episode" begins so newcomers will know when to expect things happening."

If Gametap is on the ball, they'll include that information on the Uru "card" in the Gametap interface.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 6:00 am 
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Also, now that I think about it:

The newcomers are the people who care *least* about the next update. If you tell someone on his first day, "New episode on the 19th!" he's likely to say "New episode? I haven't seen anything yet! I just got this KI thing! I've barely looked at the City! There are linking books everywhere! What are these 'markers'? Pods! Green pages! Brain overload!"

Once he's had a few days to look around, blast through some puzzle Ages, and see the scope of the Cavern, *then* he'll start to wonder about the expansion rate and the story events. And hopefully, by then, he'll have talked with some Greeters and he'll have a chance to *ask* those questions.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 2:28 pm 
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Thanks GD, sounds good!!!1



Belford, what about those of us who cant launch through gametap in europe who access it directly?


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:29 pm 
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I think I am already seeing a differentiation of players - not as many online regularly, no crowds, newer players speeding about the fairly deserted city collecting markers. Smaller dance crowds at the late night fountain gettogethers. Now we have to see what the episode release will bring.

Door opening groups are slightly more difficult to gather spontaneously online but it is still going on. GoG seems less crowded generally.

Sometimes when I get on, the city and bevins seem sooo empty. I was not even sure at first I would like having all those others in the cavern but I soon came to appreciate and seek out the contact with other explorers. Now I miss the wide variety of geeks freaks oldsters and hanks with whom to start up a spontaneous chat.Not to slight the ones I am spending time with because the chat logs go by slower and there is time to cogitate and respond. Less frenzy in the off hours which I am sure will pick up in the "sweeps."

See you all in the off or in the on hours.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:37 pm 
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"Belford, what about those of us who cant launch through gametap in europe who access it directly?"

They won't see the GT card info, obviously. (Same goes for Mac users.0 Sorry, I have no perfect answer.

Maybe there should also be a one-line announcement in the client's startup window. (The banner line that Cyan can set.)

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:58 pm 
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vidkid7 wrote:
Besides, isn't this only going to make the cries of "WHERE IS THE NEW CONTENT?!" louder? If we get something once a month, then there's a three week dry spell between anything happening... that's going to lead to even more frustrated people than before.

Clearly cut out episodes, spoileriffic previews, three week droughts of content... and why? Rather than encourage players to check in at various times throughout the month, it'll probably just lead to players checking in at specific times, then not being seen again until the next month's rollout. Won't this discourage numbers, rather than raise them?


To be honest, I think the idea of this is that during the week of content, we're not just getting one new age. From what I got of it, it's going to be more like what we got witht he Pod Ages. Since they were all connected, in this new "episode" style format, rather than getting one to two a month, we would have gotten all four during the content week. So with each "journey" of yeesha's that we get, we'll get all the ages needed to complete the journey in a single weeks time, which will allow us to either stretch out the content for the other three months, or do it all at once and sit around with nothing else to do for three weeks. Adding into that the visitation by DRC members, relto pages and bahro stones throughout the week of content. Basically they'll give us enough that can satisfy us for three weeks if we wish to stretch it out.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 5:56 pm 
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Since they were all connected, in this new "episode" style format, rather than getting one to two a month, we would have gotten all four during the content week.
I think that's too ambitious. I don't think that an age can be developed and tested that quickly. We might have got Negilahn and Dereno in one episode and Payiferen and Tetsonot in the next, but I'd very much doubt anything on the scale of all four.

As I see it, we're getting the release (two ages over two weeks) condensed into one week.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 7:53 pm 
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So an example being... this previous build...

Week 1: Payiferen
Week 2: Great Zero Recalibration Center
Week 3: Tetsonot
Week 4: Descent

And now we'll see these all come out over the course of that one week, instead of nicely spaced out throughout the month. I know I'm being very negative, but considering the responses that having new areas appear once every week or so often received, I'm still really worried what the result of having all of the areas appear together will receive.

I'm trying to be positive. I really want to be. I've been trying to stand behind this one way or another since I first heard of Mudpie in 1999 or 2000, but something about this move... it makes my skin itchy.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 8:08 pm 
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If once a month, we get a new age that has an amount of "gameplay value" that's remotely close to that of one of the 4 ages from ABM (or Myst, or Myst 3) then I will be happy. I want to explore and solve puzzles, and one age a month is fine, as long as it has puzzles!


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 8:16 pm 
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Wait a minute - Nick White was fired?! :shock:

Man, I so totally need someone in the cavern to start a newspaper. I'm so lost...

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