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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:41 pm 
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...on the Restoration?

I don't know about anyone else, but the thought of years of gloomy, decrepit cavern just doesn't sit well with me. Piles of rock all over the place? Why can't I click on it, get a chunk...and then remove it? Eventually, over time, the stack of rock is gone.

Wouldn't it feel good, and generate excitement, if we, the explorers, cleared all that rock blocking access to the Library than waiting one morning for a mythical DRC janitor to whisk it all away?? Hmmm, 5 piles of 10,000 clicks sound about right? 40 people…10 hours a day…carry the 1….

What could I do with it? Well, there's a lot of holes and things need shoring up around town. Like that deathtrap outside the Gallery? How much rock would it take to fill it in? 100,000 for each? I guess I need more rock!

And how about that bar? Not only the entrance, but inside. We could start with more lights inside (making those temporary light stands from a box of parts with instructions in Korean? That's a worthy Myst puzzle!!). Maybe 5 areas of 50,000 clicks each to clear the rubble. And, voila! A respectable place to meet your SO after a hard day gardening in Eder Kemo.

And maybe the temporary lighting is a little harsh for a romantic dinner, and the generator noise is hard to talk over, so how about restoring power to the area? First, you'd need to pass training and testing to qualify as a Level 1 engineer in Gahreesen (puzzles, puzzles, puzzles; both representative - think simulation on a screen - and physical - lots of levers and switches - and did someone mention all the manuals are missing that explains everything??). Then you could work on the bar's local power system (why am I picturing one of those pipe puzzles where you have to get water to certain areas by turning the pipe corners?) and maybe it needs two or more people to balance the whole thing and not cut power to another part of the system. Of course, it won't stay running...either somewhere else will change and lose power, or the local grid will blow, and you'd have to put a call in for someone to repair it.

Maybe 10 successful Level 1 repairs lets you qualify for testing for Level 2 (where you successfully repair a maintainer's suit -- either for yourself, or for an New Age Explorer, you know, for when we start writing our own Ages) and then Level 3 (lattice engineer) and finally the Great Cataclysm where the Great Zero goes dead, all of our KIs malfunction, and it takes 10 Level 3 engineers working a three dimensional puzzle grid to restore it?

What a day of celebration for the Restoration that would be.



I love Myst. The wonder, the strangeness, the sheer exhilaration of exploration. And while URU hands us all that on a platter (with the bonus of NEW AGES EVERY MONTH!!!! -- Gosh, I loved Prologue! And marketing!), and the addition of community and multi-person puzzles and MORE!, I found something completely unexpected when I finished the off-line game and jumped online...and entered the city for the first time. This grand, ruined city.

Zandi had been right, I had been called. Oh, it was a cheesy and hauntingly Mystic way to start the story, drawn mysterious to a spot in the desert somewhere in New Mexico, but to stand on the Ferry Docks and just gape as people -- avatars -- ran around and jumped and linked in and out. In that moment, I really was called. Called to be a part of something greater than myself.

I found I wanted to make a difference. That something I did, something I learned, something I pressed or fiddled with made a change that anyone and everyone could see. I yearned for my avatar to lean over and pick up that bit of debris and take a moment and clean up this mess! and make it all beautiful again. I want to help the restoration. Put me to work!

I want to learn. I want to discover. I want to journey the path these wonderful, strange people who ended up in a cavern deep beneath. I want to be a part of the New D'Ni. I want to be a Maker, I want to write the story...I want it to be, even only partially, MY story.



But so far, I'm in someone else's story. I watch as other people decide what to open, what to release, what's working and what isn't. I look at ages other people wrote (and yes, I love to explore and see new things, but I can do that in almost any other MMOG) and follow like a lemming along the path laid out. I sit as weeks or days go by with nothing new and listen to people talk about their RL. I see the few DRC members (well, no, not see, since I can't be online 24/7 and in 400 places) pop in, say a few words and leave...and while I love a good soap, even role-play murder mysteries limit the characters to 20 or so and we have...thousands? In and out all the time? All over the place? Why bother even logging in, you get better coverage through various forums. Well, a few days after the fact.

So, I guess I wonder...is this all there's going to be? A Restoration that "restores" very little. A standard Myst, AGE-OF-THE-MONTH club. A rather banal soap opera/mystery played to a lucky few. A over-amped glorified chat room.

Wow, didn’t know I had all that in me. That’s my two cents. Discuss.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:56 pm 
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I have to agree. I don't know how many times I've been in the City and seen a pile of rubble and left the area thinking "Man, give me shovel or wheelbarrow! I wanna get that stuff out of the way!" I think that as explorers we have a resposiblity to clear up the area, with Ages as our rewards.

I'd also like to be part of a "maintainers" team-I wouldn't mind risking my (virtual) life to make sure ages are safe for use. Maybe with a bigger maintainer team, we could get more ages ready faster. Just a thought....

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:07 pm 
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One thing that's almost there is the Great Zero. By doing marker missions when they become accessible, you will be helping Laxman calibrate the machine. That helps with the Restoration.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:12 pm 
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protoomega wrote:
I'd also like to be part of a "maintainers" team-I wouldn't mind risking my (virtual) life to make sure ages are safe for use. Maybe with a bigger maintainer team, we could get more ages ready faster. Just a thought....


I'd love to be a Maintainer too. Count me in, if we get the chance. I'm all for checking out new Ages and unsecured parts of old ones.

I wouldn't mind helping clear out parts of the Cavern either, though I suspect that part of the issue is that even with funding, it takes a lot of effort to get the wheelbarrows, cones, and other maintenance supplies needed down to the cavern. Everything has to be linked down because the Great Shaft isn't functional yet. (In other words, OOC, getting that kind of cleanup set up in-game is complicated. Maybe they'll give it to us later?)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:35 pm 
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You will not see anything like that happen for a long time especially considering what just transpired with the DRC Liasons. At this point, there's just no way for it to work; they tried and they were left powerless and undirected by the DRC. I'm not sure why. The liasons had their say but I don't think the DRC has released a statement.

Although I know that Ae'gura is a large priority for explorers, it obviously is not a large priority to the DRC. Remember, they're not only working on ensuring our safety in the Cavern but they've also got no telling how many Age Books to be examined. They have to search every location to ensure that an explorer doesn't happen upon an unsanctioned Age Book. I mean, look what happened with Phil.

There's obviously a lot more going on than we know. I know that the DRC have taken on a few explorers to help with Ages that they're considering opening up but, at this stage, that's about it. And, don't bother asking. As far as I know, the DRC are picking and choosing from explorers that have already demonstrated proactivity in discussing with them issues that have been found in the Ages we already have access to.

In other words: I know it's frustrating but all in good time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:23 pm 
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I absolutely love this idea! This would give us somet6hing to do once we're finished with the other puzzles. It would also help build a sens of community and give the place more depth.

How do we make this happen?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:26 pm 
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I'd love something like this to become available. :) I'm not sure how feasible it would be to implement, but I would really like to be able to feel like I'm making an impact on the Restoration in my own way, that things are becoming better because of my contribution. It would go far in making players feel connected to the plot.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:30 pm 
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The idea of players doing work (as an in-game activity) is one of my favorite choices for "What will there be to *do* in Uru Live?" However, that would be a more traditional MMO-RPG game mechanic: players doing something repetitive in order to make a counter go up. Some people (in past discussions) have disliked that idea.

I think it could be made to be fun, and be in the spirit of Myst, but it would depend on the details. (Of course.) The activity should be at least somewhat mind-engaging. Working smarter should be more efficient than brute repetition. The returns should diminish past (say) 30 minutes a day per person, so there's no real reward for a six-hour rock-clearing session. It should be more efficient in groups, to encourage social activity. It should not (obviously) be the *only* thing to do in Uru -- although this is a tricky balance to achieve.

"A Tale in the Desert" is an MMO which has done a good job of creating these kinds of challenges.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:38 pm 
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Remember, they're not only working on ensuring our safety in the Cavern but they've also got no telling how many Age Books to be examined. They have to search every location to ensure that an explorer doesn't happen upon an unsanctioned Age Book.

There's obviously a lot more going on than we know. I know that the DRC have taken on a few explorers to help with Ages that they're considering opening up but, at this stage, that's about it. And, don't bother asking. As far as I know, the DRC are picking and choosing from explorers that have already demonstrated proactively in discussing with them issues that have been found in the Ages we already have access to.


I'm not talking about opening up new ages...I'm talking about some mechanism to improve the fully safe areas we already have access to. This is billed as a restoration, not only an exploration.

And while it's nice that the DRC is picking and choosing some explorers to "help", what about the thousands more that have yet to even meet a DRC member? I'm down here, too! Maybe I'm not the smartest, or the fastest, or the wordiest, or the most analytical or (cough) judgmental, but I have patience and perseverance. I am a grunt. I am the man picking up the trash on the side of the highway.

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However, that would be a more traditional MMO-RPG game mechanic: players doing something repetitive in order to make a counter go up. Some people (in past discussions) have disliked that idea.


I fully agree it is a time sink (grin), but since this particular MMO-RPG doesn't have "kills" or "experience levels" or anything else, it'd be nice to have something to work toward...like a better-looking city. To me, turning the Bar into a nice looking, hospitable area that everyone in the Cavern could enjoy, would be like raiding a phat boss in another game. I'd put my time -- and clicks -- into such a project. And I know it's certainly not for everyone (or even most!)...nor should it be a requirement that people have to participate in. But, most other MMOs have multiple types of activity to interest people. Not everyone crafts, raids, grinds for faction to have that cool title, forms groups or even adventures solo, but if you enjoy several, there's enough to keep you busy -- and feel rewarded.

So some people don't like to grind? Fine. Don't make them. Should only activities that everyone in the game enjoys be the only thing available?

And frankly? I don't think it's humanly possible to crank out enough new Ages to keep the faithful happy...look at the complaints earlier at nothing happening. I've found 21 markers...is that it for the week? Should I log in once a month so I can whip through the three day's worth of new content, then go to some other game for awhile?

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The returns should diminish past (say) 30 minutes a day per person, so there's no real reward for a six-hour rock-clearing session. It should be more efficient in groups, to encourage social activity. It should not (obviously) be the *only* thing to do in Uru -- although this is a tricky balance to achieve.


Who says there shouldn't be real rewards? If I want to spend 6 hours clicking away, that's six hours less someone else would have to! That's six hours closer to the goal! And it's hard to chat and move, so there really isn't a chance for social activity during the grinding...but the sense of community, even watching the avatar next to you working as well, can be a great benefit. So you meet MoonDog456 in a hood a few days later, gives you something to talk about.

But say access to the Library...and the rest of the Markers...were dependant on clearing that rubble with 50,000 clicks, no matter who does it, in whatever instance. Some would help, some would visit another age, some will get bored and read all the books in the Hall of Kings. Some areas might not need any explorer work to open or access, some would. It shouldn't be the *only* thing to do in URU, not in the least, but it'd be nice if it *was* something one could do.

Think of it as a true multi-user, fourth dimension myst puzzle. Instead on one person tripping this lever, solving this puzzle, reading this note and then dropping this light down a hole to access the next part of the age, you need 5 people for 6 hours, or 30 people for 1 hour or....

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One thing that's almost there is the Great Zero. By doing marker missions when they become accessible, you will be helping Laxman calibrate the machine. That helps with the Restoration.


And that's the first type of activity that I am talking about. How many of us need to do that to finish calibration? Where's the counter that ticks off one each time a person reports all 30 markers? Why aren't we pressuring more people to calibrate that thing so we can get it started? Or are we waiting for a DRC employee to come back from a coffee break and decide "well, they've stewed long enough...let's throw the switch!" To me, one way clearly gives the power (and the accomplishment) into the explorers hands, letting us write the story -- the other keeps it all with the DRC. And while I agree going to see live theater is pricey, that's not exclusively why I'm here.

Wouldn't it be cool, if some night, it's ready to be turned on, but to do so, there must be a person with a fully calibrated KI next to each of the 30 markers, pressing a button all at the same time? (KI group chat?) Or even 3 people at each marker? 100 people, affecting the course of the city. Not watching someone woman pop in, complain about a co-worker and pop out. Not passing on gossip to friends to further the storyline. Not reading someone's sekret diary. Not waiting for someone else to do something.

Who's supposed to be writing this story, anyway?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:14 am 
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It's an interesting idea - additions to gameplay - giving people new stuff to do in the cavern!

If I were you, I submit an enhancement request.

People are so creative here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:34 am 
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Cate just said that this was one of their long term goals, but "hard to implement."

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:23 am 
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Well, at least it's something to maybe look forward to. And, with the amount of positive interest this thread has drawn, maybe it'll be implemented a little sooner.

I'd even settle for some mundane chores like mopping/polishing some of the floors and artwork...after all this time things must be kinda dusty!

As long as we could get plenty of people involved, this would speed up the restoration immensly, saving the DRC some work.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:16 am 
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Not to threadcrap and go all OOC on ya, but don't hold your breath folks.

We don't even have (directly) functional arms, you're talking about a major rewrite of the game avatars capabilities. A relatively small enhancement to one of my company's programs takes MANY lines of new code and a potload of testing before release and I don't see how they could implement this.

Unless they have already been working on this for some time, my prediction is - not going to happen. Sorry, maybe next year.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:25 am 
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I don't agree, jaburg. I think, not only would this be awesome and funfunfun, but is more feasible than you might think at first. Maybe we don't need directly functional arms. There already exist animations for pushing buttons and pulling levels... Let us learn to operate cranes or, for a more low-tech idea, wenches and pullies. I like the power-grid idea, but I don't like the engineer testing idea... Levels, man. You even have the numbers in there. Let us stay away from that... Just make the puzzles open to anyone. They're a test in and of themselves. This, too, could be done with the current avatars' capabilities, I think.

Anyway, some ways to let us explorers clean up around the Cavern, shore up cave-ins and fill in/patch over holes would be awesome.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:26 pm 
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I like the power-grid idea, but I don't like the engineer testing idea... Levels, man. You even have the numbers in there.


Aaaaannnddd....

"Upgrading" your KI to find markers, finding 15 and turning them in to further "upgrade" your KI, to find 15 more markers to even further "upgrade" your KI so you can run through another type of marker isn't a form of "leveling"?

That would be a "no marker KI", then a "green marker KI" then a "red marker KI" then whatever those last markers are. So they don't use numbers, still a form of level.

And the blue and green doors in Gahereen? Shall I go on? So, Myst doesn't rely on XP, or stats, or skill levels...there are still barriers to cross by fulfilling certain acts. Solve certain puzzles, which authorize your KI to access another level of puzzles, which opens up a new area. Levels or not, it's still the same basic idea.

And really, do you think they let *anyone* into the Maintainer's Guild? Or Writer's Guild? Did they have apprenticeships and journeyman positions? I'd bet they had some type of proficiency testing in place, be it standardized or oversight.

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We don't even have (directly) functional arms, you're talking about a major rewrite of the game avatars capabilities.


And all those new emotes didn't come with new animations? Whether "Bob" can push a broom or not on screen, I'd settle for having the debris disappear and things to gradually starting looking a tiny bit better.

And lights....waaaaay more light. Can't read the story in the dark! (Truthfully, those Bahro "caves" noises? Scariest stuff ever. Especially in surround sound.)

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