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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Calumon, I didn't mean to come across as ignoring your point about the markers. I find the behaviour of the markers in Minkata interesting, and obviously intended, but since the creators aren't around to ask any more, I'm not sure what to make of it. Clearly markers are meant to be available to the Surveyors as training aids, but I would expect that using them to help find the kivas would have resulted in a lower score for the test.

Marker behaviour
[spoiler]Either the markers are duplicated in both day and night as they are dropped, or they are moved across at the same time as the people. It's already proven that everyone gets shifted "in place" from one to the other when any one person touches a stone, behaviour that's very different from Ahnonay. And there's no separate "Minkata Cathedral" to act as a way station between the different states of Minkata.

I'm of the opinion that, although the linked Minkata ages are congruent, they aren't mechanically swapped over. The mechanics are in the form of skyhook-hung sun projectors and the moving constellations. We can prove that these are within the bounds of the age's dome by running past them to see them from the back. They are not at astronomical distances.

In any case, Ahnonay's behaviour is in response to linking books, wheras Minkata's "age-swap" is worked using bahro stone artifacts, solidly mounted into the structure of the age.[/spoiler]

Bahro modifications to a D'ni age
[spoiler]You say that Minkata was designed as a Surveyor training aid then later modified by the bahro who added the stones, and presumably therefore the whole night instance, whatever it is. We already know that the daytime age is quite small, about four miles across, and contains fixed sun projectors (for reasons both astrophysical and practical - we can see them). So it could be that the nighttime version is a modified copy of the age, made by the bahro and linked by the stones. Not a trivial accomplishment at all within the Myst-verse, but stopping short of time travel.

If the link really is between early (sunlit) and late (starlit, with the bonehenge circle broken) then I can't understand how markers dropped in the future (night) appear in the past (day) age. Similarly, Dusty's position is preserved across the jump, no matter if you kick him around in the day or the night.[/spoiler]

I'm really wary of the use of time travel as an explanation, because it's too powerful. Break causality and none of our problem-solving methods work any more.

Todelmer - similarities and differences to Minkata
[spoiler]Todlemer, in End of Ages, is another place where time is apparently affected by the bahro. In this case it's only accelerated forward, so causality is preserved. There is strong evidence that you do travel astronomical distances in completing Todelmer, ending up on the satellite as you do.[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
Todelmer - similarities and differences to Minkata
[spoiler]Todlemer, in End of Ages, is another place where time is apparently affected by the bahro. In this case it's only accelerated forward, so causality is preserved. There is strong evidence that you do travel astronomical distances in completing Todelmer, ending up on the satellite as you do.[/spoiler]

In Todelmer, Myst V,

[spoiler]Bahro hasen't got the "Rosetta stone" ; now, they got it... :wink:[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
Charura, I take my handle from the "Wacky Races" and "Dastardly and Muttley" character, yes. I have done ever since a DEC sales rep used it because I had a tendency to mutter when unsure of myself. It was an excellent encouragement: I don't mutter any more and I'm usually sure of my position :)

The Guild of Greeters walkthrough (Spoilers!) is one place that describes Minkata as a training age for Surveyors. I read up on Minkata before making the post at the start of the thread.

manloc, the reference is to the old song by America. Although it is also true that the Horsehead Nebula is in Orion and close to the belt from our terrestrial point of view.

tommyap, the sky colours vary between day and night: in the daytime the bright sunlight scatters off the dust in the air to produce a red cast to the sky around the horizon. In the night, the wind seems to be less so there is less dust flying, and there is much less light, only starlight, no moons. So colour vision is pretty much shut down, and everything is blue-grey.


Apparantly you did not notice the day-sky shifting from blue to red and back again, no problem.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:06 pm 
I've noticed weird colour changes, but (OOC) as far as I am concerned, it's a graphical error, since it's only in certain directions.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:00 pm 
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Muttley wrote:
Calumon, I didn't mean to come across as ignoring your point about the markers. I find the behaviour of the markers in Minkata interesting, and obviously intended, but since the creators aren't around to ask any more, I'm not sure what to make of it. Clearly markers are meant to be available to the Surveyors as training aids, but I would expect that using them to help find the kivas would have resulted in a lower score for the test.

Marker behaviour
[spoiler]Either the markers are duplicated in both day and night as they are dropped, or they are moved across at the same time as the people. It's already proven that everyone gets shifted "in place" from one to the other when any one person touches a stone, behaviour that's very different from Ahnonay. And there's no separate "Minkata Cathedral" to act as a way station between the different states of Minkata.

I'm of the opinion that, although the linked Minkata ages are congruent, they aren't mechanically swapped over. The mechanics are in the form of skyhook-hung sun projectors and the moving constellations. We can prove that these are within the bounds of the age's dome by running past them to see them from the back. They are not at astronomical distances.

In any case, Ahnonay's behaviour is in response to linking books, wheras Minkata's "age-swap" is worked using bahro stone artifacts, solidly mounted into the structure of the age.[/spoiler]


The thing about the Markers is that they don't care about *time,* since only the physical coordinates of an age were given on creation of a marker. The KI's are all connected to a Lattice Server, which contains all of the shared data between users. So with regards to Minkata's timeline as a separate age/universe, the KI+Marker system is in another timeline of its own, and doesn't care about the when of the ages it's showing markers in.

Also, the Markers were strictly a Maintainer exclusive item during most of D'ni's history. Even with the KI's beginning to be handed out at the time of the fall, I really doubt that the Markers were used in Surveyor training. It probably was considered cheating by the Guild Masters. Also, we ourselves didn't have access to the custom missions when we first gained access to Minkata, the missions were activated for explorer use the following month.

The phenomenon of Markers moving across an age is observed in other places too. We have the Cleft, with it's two "versions," that markers move across with, with only a slight "shift" in placement as if the two versions are on different coordinates. And then there's Gahreesen. Markers move with regards to the inside of a building regardless of its motion, yet markers placed on the outside don't move with the buildings. Is there a difference between mechanical motion and planetary motion?

Ages like Eder Gira and the Pod Age have very noticeable day/night cycles, and yet the Markers don't drift away there. What about ages like Teledahn who have impossibly observed rotation speeds? Other ages also don't have day/night cycles that we can observe. What about Tsogal? A sun like that should have fried the planet by now.

We simply can't claim Minkata to work like Ahnonay without taking into consideration the other ages with similarly observed 'time lock' phenomenon.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:28 am 
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Calumon, your knowledge is considerably deeper than mine and I must defer to you. I had no idea you were so well versed in the deep backstory, far more than I've ever known. I was starting from observation of the behaviour of the ages, and modelling that behaviour using present-day knowledge as far as possible.

Please forget the comparison with Ahnonay. I'm sorry I brought it up now, it seems to have become a bone of contention.

Size
[spoiler]My observations tell me that Minkata is relatively small (I can run across it and fall off the edge).

The celestial skymarks, the suns and the constellations, are contained within a hemisphere. We can run past them before we fall off the edge.[/spoiler]
Night and day
[spoiler]Day and night sides are linked, and most objects retain their relative locations and appearance between the two. Exceptions are bonehenge (which becomes ruined, so you can get to the stone), the sparklie in Kiva 2 and the spiffy hiking boots in Kiva 4. You can regard this transition as a timejump forward/backward or as a link between two similar instances of the same age. I don't have enough information to be certain.[/spoiler]
As far as navigation in the age/ages goes (which was the reason I started this thread), the skymarks can be used within the central region (where you can still see yourself). In the further reaches of the age, you need to take account of the fact that they are not astronomically distant but are inside the hemisphere that contains the age. If you take that into account, you can still use them to estimate where you are and which way to run to get back towards the central region.

The constellations and the big spiral galaxies can be used to fix your position in nighttime Minkata when you go back to explore having completed the age. There are other fixed landmarks (bones, flags, pockmark configurations) that can be mapped and used to localise yourself.

Whether the suns and constellations are physically hung from the dome or simply projected there by some sufficiently advanced technology is something I can't be sure of. They behave as though they are floating within the hemisphere.


Breaking the fourth wall.
[spoiler]Breaking through the fourth wall, the markers may not care about time, but I do. I think that the authors of the Myst ficton would not use the easy get-out of time travel to explain some simple transformations. Very few fictional universes survive the introduction of time travel. Like transporters/replicators in the Star Trek universe, you become consumed with finding reasons why you can't use the "make it didn't happen" button and it destroys any tension.[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:54 am 
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[spoiler]Breaking through the fourth wall, the markers may not care about time, but I do. I think that the authors of the Myst ficton would not use the easy get-out of time travel to explain some simple transformations. Very few fictional universes survive the introduction of time travel. Like transporters/replicators in the Star Trek universe, you become consumed with finding reasons why you can't use the "make it didn't happen" button and it destroys any tension.[/spoiler]


[spoiler]Breaking the 4th wall. In one of the Myst books (I forget which) it was stated that each individual age was confined to it's own unique universe, as linking between two points in the same age goes against the D'ni rules, it was therefore assumed by the D'ni that it was impossible for those two points to be any points in the same Universe unless the distance between them was really, really far apart! Potentially so far apart that they could be considered wholely separate universes!

So if each "Age" is it's own universe, with their own unique timelines, what's to stop one from linking through time by finding universes that have different flows of time? The real trick is making sure you land back in the right universe again.

Going by the Branches of the tree theory of D'ni link mechanics, that's near impossible to tell if you're in the right Universe or not! The differences could be as subtle as an atom! For all we know, the Stones in Minkata aren't time stones, but instead could be normal linking stones that take us from one instance of Minkata to another? The visual impression would be 'time travel', just like Ahnonay, but nobody could confirm it for sure!

That would explain why the Markers stay constant across Minkata but not Ahnonay! If they're separate ages, but similar enough that the KI system can't tell the difference, then the markers would appear where they should. [/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:31 am 
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Location: Hanging around with mermaids. And still looking for the elusive Funky Bahro.
I have my own theory about the "bahro stone" in Minkata.

[spoiler]I think it may also be some kind of war memorial - probably placed by Yeesha's bahro. After all, it also has that strange symbol Nick White found in Negilahn, and - in my opinion, anyways - the symbol represents the Bahro War itself, at least from Yeesha's point of view.

Also, notice in the night part of Minkata, all the stars (except for the galaxy) move, not just the constellations. By activating the bahro symbol, you are causing time to move rapidly forward, just like in Todelmer. Also, judging by the condition of the "cage", I think the night version is a future version of Minkata.

There must be an interesting story behind the origin of the bones in Minkata. Maybe they're Urwin bones?[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:22 am 
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The constellations.

[spoiler]My observations in Minkata show me that when the constellations move, they do so as if they were projected onto or hung from a cylindrical screen inside the age. Remember you can run out past them and view them from behind? Viewed from out there, with a companion to trigger the movement, the motion makes it clear that they are internal to the age.

The deep sky, including the galaxies, is projected onto the outer dome of the age, and doesn't move when the constellations do.[/spoiler]

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:34 am 
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TOOO wrote:
I have my own theory about the "bahro stone" in Minkata.

[spoiler]I think it may also be some kind of war memorial - probably placed by Yeesha's bahro. After all, it also has that strange symbol Nick White found in Negilahn, and - in my opinion, anyways - the symbol represents the Bahro War itself, at least from Yeesha's point of view.

Also, notice in the night part of Minkata, all the stars (except for the galaxy) move, not just the constellations. By activating the bahro symbol, you are causing time to move rapidly forward, just like in Todelmer. Also, judging by the condition of the "cage", I think the night version is a future version of Minkata.

There must be an interesting story behind the origin of the bones in Minkata. Maybe they're Urwin bones?[/spoiler]

/thumbsup2 :)

Muttley... Sometimes the easier is the better! :wink:
Sometimes itisn't... :D
Your turn to believe what you want. :)
But I think you're not always asking yourself the good questions... Here. :P

Just my thinking.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:40 am 
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Done some reading up of the Heritage documents. Fills in some of the blanks.

The symbol looks to me like a stark reference to a population split into "white-hats" and "black-hats" with a rift between them. Since it appeared along with the start of the bahro civil war, it is most likely associated with that event.

What it's doing on Minkata is harder to decide. The documents make it clear that the stones were not there before the age was released, as they were a surprise to the DRC. It's not clear if the night side was there or not before the release, but since the only way to get to the night side is to touch a stone, I suspect not.

The feeling generated by the stones and their effect on Minkata is one of loss - day turns to night, the bonehenge is ruined. But in order to complete the age's tasks, all five symbols have to be collected. A reminder perhaps that both sides suffered, and healing can only happen if they are all present. So I feel that it is a memorial of some kind, to the loss and to the fact that reconciliation is still not accomplished.

In my readings, time travel has turned up more than once. I still don't think we're seeing time travel in Minkata, but that's my opinion.

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 Post subject: Welcome Mr. Muttley!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:06 am 
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Shorah and welcome Muttley!

I'm glad you found the Heritage Documents! :D They are a wonderful resource; I found myself having many "aha" moments regarding the D'ni and Restoration history as I helped to transcribe them. Just in case you haven't already figured it out, Calumon (DimensionTravelerCalum or Cal), was there when it all happened. I truly envy him...

I wanted to mention an unspoken (and often unrecognized) dynamic that presents a challenge for us in discussing the deeper significance and wherefores of the Ages. It has manifested from time to time in the discussions here (a good example is the Uru Photography thread and its companion thread A Commentary on "Uru Photography"). We each come to the Cavern with our own frames of reference and our own interests and quests. Because so many of us are starting from a different reference point, it can sometimes lead to conflict, misunderstandings, and animated (passionate or even discourteous) commentary.

The linked threads above are a good example of a similar topic to yours here, where some explorers were documenting Teledahn and theorizing about what they noticed. Many explorers found this interesting, while some others found it objectionable. So it seems that some folks are more sensitized to those of us who venture "off the beaten path". There is no clear understanding or definition of where one might be crossing the line between Age limitations, Age glitches and Age research. We each seem to have our own sense of those boundaries (which I suspect is formed through our frames of reference and our own quests for understanding these Ages), but these boundaries can vary dramatically from explorer to explorer.

For myself, my ongoing interest is in gleaning what I think of as the "backstory" to the Cavern and Ages. So my own Age exploration and research is focused on finding the bits of the story puzzle here and there that might flesh out the picture we already have. Along the way, I have found kindred spirits and countless questions I'd never considered before. As with much of life, the more I explore, the more questions I have.

For me, your conversation here about Minkata is a mix of IC and OOC (In Cavern and Out of Cavern) perspectives. I realize that for you it is purely IC and so finding a common ground for a conversation might be my first step. I find your thoughts here most interesting! :!: At the same time, I wouldn't wish to derail or discourage you. In my own experience, thinking outside the box can be most fruitful, even if the ideas that take me there are later discarded. Getting outside of the box is a very rewarding experience in and of itself! :D

I do hope that you will be in Cavern tomorrow evening for the anniversary celebrations; perhaps I will run into you there? (And I am sorry about the loss of your Aussie hat. :sad: I have one of my own at home in the Cleft which I use in my surface explorations; I am very fond of it!)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Ainia, my observations have been made using my own IC eyes and feet. No tricks(1). They can be reproduced repeatably without any use of magic tricks. To my mind that makes them indicative of how the age itself works.

Teledahn digression
[spoiler]The Teledahn discussion is compromised by the use of flymode to take the pictures. Anything discovered using flymode, or with magic tricks using bot help, cannot be regarded as proof of an ages behaviour. It should be considered as an illusion brought on as a side-effect of the use of magic :) However that discussion does bring up the very real point that the "sun" moves too fast for an astronomical explanation. The map with the sun's course plotted is a dead giveaway. Plus the fact that solar power collectors consume power to keep themselves pointed at the sun, they don't generate power by locking onto it. The explanations aren't available to us, leaving guesswork. It could be an interesting story, should anyone decide to write it.[/spoiler]

OOC notes
[spoiler]If we look at the way the Minkata age has actually been realised it's obvious that the suns/constellations are projected onto a skydome surface inside the age boundary. But it would have been easy to prevent the avatar from running past that inner surface: just put a wall inside the dust storm or force the avatar to link out. That was not done, so the way an explorer understands the age has to take into account the observed phenomena.[/spoiler]

IC remarks
[spoiler]The moving constellations are the things that scupper any astronomical explanation for the age. The patterns formed by stars in the night sky are entirely dependent on your viewpoint. The stars themselves may be at vastly different distances and moving in different directions, so explaining the stately constellation moves by anything other than "they're hung from the ceiling" would require a more difficult thesis than I can conceive of. Time travel alone doesn't help at all, and that's a statement you don't come across very often.

The unmoving triple suns are also astronomically impossible, they would dance around each other, performing a physical demonstration of the three-body problem even if their centerpoint remained in the same part of the sky (which is what would happen if this was a world that was tide-locked to the sun/suns).

No, in both cases these are artefacts that we as observers with no privileged access can see and verify for ourselves. I would guess that surveyors in training would be expected to notice this and use it to map the age. Though I'd expect them to use sticks and bits of string as well.[/spoiler]


I've been playing Myst and its sequels ever since they came out, however I've not read the books, and I didn't partake in the pay-to-play episodes. So I expect to visit the cavern for the celebration, if only because there have been hints of possible Cyan appearances. Most of the scheduled events so far are at times unfriendly to Europeans, though - in the UK we are eight hours behind KI time.

I read of your expeditions in search of the real location of the surface features that appear at the start of Uru with admiration and some jealousy. I've mountaineered a little in Europe and quite a lot in the UK, but we don't have anything like the scenic vastness you have on your doorstep.




(1) no unpleasant bending. Wrestle poodles and win! (Quiet Mr. Apollo, how did you get in here? Get back to 1969.)

"Five years ago I was a four-stone apology. Today I am two separate gorillas" Poor old Charles Atlas.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:21 pm 
Just a point about the suns...
[spoiler]Do the three shadows projected by the suns ever change direction when you move?[/spoiler]
Could have interesting implications...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:43 pm 
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DLordofTime wrote:

Just a point about the suns...
[spoiler]Do the three shadows projected by the suns ever change direction when you move?[/spoiler]
Could have interesting implications...


[spoiler]Not measurably. You lose the ability to see shadows because of the increasing density of the dust long before they would become unreliable as angular references.[/spoiler]

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