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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 6:04 pm 
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Having a partially-revealed, philosophical storyline is how Myst started out. you found out early on that the brothers wanted your help... but had very different objectives. but you didn't find out until the end which way would be 'right' or 'wrong'.

for me, that's how it's been in Uru... follow yeesha, do the philosophical 'right' thing, or follow the DRC, and blindly poke around in the remains of the city and the ages without a clear idea of what's happening. the message I heard from yeesha was to learn from the past, and not just charge into things and make the same mistakes over again. the message from the DRC was 'don't go there, kids... you'll hurt yourself. be careful in our playground'; while all the time showing some signs of the same power-hungry struggles that led to the fall of the city.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 8:14 pm 
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My only plot complaint is one regarding delivery-- Yeesha rants too much. I realize that said behavior is/was in character, but it seems that the same energy could be conveyed via other means.

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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:29 pm 
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Well, the ranty bits only seemed to show up later on in the beta, when Cyan was basically forced to take the first few days/weeks/months/whatever of storyline for Live and condense it down into something you could do without having to interact with other people or characters online.

I would love to know what the original plan was for the beginning of Uru's story, before the announcement of the offline game sort of turned things on their ear, necessitating a sort of basic "ramp-up" story, where things happened, but nothing substantial enough to be annoying if you weren't allowed to sign in yet, and then leading to a couple of quickly-assembled expansion stories that seem, in comparison to everything else, sort of random (especially PotS...).

I fully understand the concerns and complaints that Uru's story is muddled, doesn't really go anywhere, and seems to be a bit pointless and/or non-existant... I even agree to a certain extent. I also know that people dislike the explanation that things are the way they are because Uru's storytelling kind of got the shaft because of everything that happened to its development right at the end, but that's really an honest truth. We only got the exposition - and probably not even all of the exposition - to a story that was supposed to run for years online. It's a very different kind of story from those in the Myst games because of the time scales involved and the number of people participating, so it won't have a tidy ending where all is revealed and everyone goes home happy. If you go into Live expecting a moral every week and a happy ending at the conclusion of each Age, you're probably going to be disappointed. It occurs to me that Uru will be more akin to a serial-format TV show (like the new Battlestar Galactica, or the majority of the recent SG-1 episodes), where the story progresses fluidly from one episode to the next, with an occasional happy moment, a few "oh crap" moments, and a lot of really good storytelling and character development in between that might or might not be part of a larger plot arc (I base this assumption on the comments from Rand to the effect that Uru's aim, in part, is to deliver episodic-format content and story on a regular basis within a persistent online game).

Honestly, I don't want to pass judgement on Live's storytelling abilities or shortcomings because the story so far hasn't really been told in the way it was originally intended... I also don't expect the beta testers to be given story to play through... that's not the purpose of beta, and it would be difficult to then re-do those few months of story for everyone and ask the beta testers not to interfere or behave in a way that might give away what's coming next. So, ultimately, I don't want to criticize Live's storytelling yet because I want to wait to see what it's like first :). I will say, though, that I'd be surprised if Cyan intends to follow a path similar to the one used in ABM for Live, because that story is intimately single-player in its design, and that seems a bit antithetical to what Live is supposed to be.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:45 pm 
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For me one of the things I like about the Uru Live experience is that it brings the community together. We all seem to have opportunities to witness different events either by being in the right place at the right time or making an effort to be there. As we all experience different things it creates an exciting form of gossip. We all end up talking to each other, trying to piece together what might be happening next from what each of us know through our experiences.
This to me makes me feel more like an explorer and part of a team working at a mystery. Just like a batch of experts might be brought together to figure out a find at a real life historical dig. We all bring something different to the table.
Im sure that Cyan will find a happy balance by providing journeys we can walk along as a team and those that we can take alone if we so wish to choose. I like the idea of things appearing and disappearing like the bahro stones, I think it would be great to have some totally random events and accesses being played out as long as they can be fitted in well to a story line to explain why that would happen. The thing that draws me to URU is both the story line and the community dynamic and how it is not a clone of any other game going on.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Shields wrote:
I fully understand the UrU storyline.

Quote:
The point of going on Yeesha's journeys is to see what she claims to know about the truth of D'ni and you need to weigh that against what the DRC tells you about D'ni.


Why? There is no real reason to, and what you conclude doesn't really matter in the end.


...this doesn't make any sense. ...you've only just shown that you don't understand the story at all. On top of that, how can you keep maintaining that the story is gibberish if you say you fully understand it?

Anna Catherine is dead on here. We haven't even seen the end, and we've barely seen the beginning. Your comment is completely invalid.

The story Cyan has built so far is impressive and well-done... it's not "very very bad"... :roll: If the story you've seen so far doesn't impress you, what would? What is it that you'd prefer to see? :?: "Cyan, make a real story this time" isn't much of a suggestion...

I'm not being sarcastic here, I'd really like to hear what you have to say. What's your idea of a better story?

(...and Gary_Wolf, ... Right ON!)


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 11:56 pm 
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Joey Zoonishii wrote:
...you've only just shown that you don't understand the story at all. On top of that, how can you keep maintaining that the story is gibberish if you say you fully understand it?... Your comment is completely invalid.


You make an unfair claim without backing it up whatsoever. To demonstrate why you are right, and Shields is wrong, you need to give us the details of the story to prove it isn't "gibberish." Shields can't give the details because it is argued there aren't any to speak of.

Prove there are details to the Uru story which are not just vague philosophical blabbering. Show real facts, consequences to the game, and rational causes for the claims in the story. I'd be specifically interested in a spotlight on Yeesha, her "path," the DRC, and costars such as Sharper. Keep it real and tell us exactly how following Yeesha's path can transform the DRC more than just in our own minds. i.e. You can't simply say they sought the "truth" and found "enlightenment" - these are vague things.

Shields should prove there are no real details through examples from the narrative via the text and transcripts. Personally, I think this is an easier task.

By the way, I agree the story wasn't finished. Or even barely begun. Cyan, and RAWA specifically, have said so. But there is still a substantial amount of narrative in Uru itself which provides no real justification for the actions of the characters or gameplay consequences as it has been told so far.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:27 am 
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I think the best thing to do here is get a little perspective. The best way to do that is to pick up a movie that you haven't seen before but has very good ratings. Then watch only the first 5 minutes (including the begining credits) and turn the movie off. Now give me a full descrition of the story and how well the acting was. Tell me how the end was that you never saw. Can't really do it? Yet here we are trying to debate a story line that wasn't even started yet. The game was still in beta so obviously we haven't even seen the true story line. Just the previews.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:45 am 
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In your movie analogy:

- We don't know how much of the movie to watch because we don't know how much of the Uru story has been told or how long it is. We could have seen a complete episide of a longer drama, or half, or not much. You can't define the number of minutes to watch because you don't know the proportion. Five minutes is arbitray and intentionally made short enough in an attempt to force perspective with an extreme.

- How many prequels of the movie have we watched? How much of the backstory do we know to define our knowledge of current events going into the film? You provide no prequels and assume no knowledge, so it's still not a fair analogy.

- Sometimes five minutes is enough.

There's always an analogy to make or break a point. Even good analogies can be twisted to suit anyone's purpose. They can't be trusted.

Let's get back to the real debate instead of forced analogies.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:52 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Let's get back to the real debate instead of forced analogies.


But, why are we debating?

The story never really started. The above analogy isn't fair because we didn't even get to see 1 minute of the proverbial movie. The "story" wedged into Ages Beyond Myst and the expansions was not the story meant to be told in Live.

Stepping away from excuses and defenses... Is there anyone here who doesn't want a "real story" in Uru Live? Is there anyone who just wants more of the same, a ranty Yeesha and vague suggestions that sides will be taken with no explanation of what that means?

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 3:09 am 
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Marten wrote:
JWPlatt wrote:
Let's get back to the real debate instead of forced analogies.


But, why are we debating?


Because this is a forum. Forums have lively discussions and debates. A debate stays on topic and fair play is expected, as is the freedom to choose and discuss the topic. And the topic here is "Make a real story this time."

I'm very interested in seeing the viewpoints of others regarding whether the story so far is full of "philosophical blabbering" or real and full of detail. I'd be very happy to be convinced of the latter, but I suspect the former. If you think Uru has not had a fair chance, then that's a point of view worthy of another topic, but it's not this topic. I happen to think Uru has such a great amount of narrative already that it's had a fair chance to be put under scrutiny. This debate should use facts and examples to support or debunk the argument put forth.

Let's get back to it.

By the way, yes, we'd like more than a "ranty Yesha" and vague declarations of a division. That's part of why this topic exists, obviously. Your points seem to admit to the very fault Shields's complaint is based upon. It would be disappointing if there weren't a better defense against the topic with real details. Really. Convince us of the opposing point of view. But with details.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 3:21 am 
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Many of us are tired of Yeesha's "philosophical blabbering."

I was. Until I read her journal in EoA about Calam. I have a feeling she won't be philosophical for long.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 3:49 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Joey Zoonishii wrote:
...you've only just shown that you don't understand the story at all. On top of that, how can you keep maintaining that the story is gibberish if you say you fully understand it?... Your comment is completely invalid.


You make an unfair claim without backing it up whatsoever. To demonstrate why you are right, and Shields is wrong, you need to give us the details of the story to prove it isn't "gibberish." Shields can't give the details because it is argued there aren't any to speak of.


I don't think I need to back up the claim that you can't fully understand gibberish. :D

You've also placed one of my statements where I did not place it, which puts it completely out of context, and I can't say I appreciate that. ..because I don't. :?

...*sigh*... you can't claim that you fully understand the story in Uru if you don't understand why you should go on Yeesha's journeys... that simply doesn't make any logical sense. I don't see this as an unfair claim. It backs up itself.

JWPlatt wrote:
Prove there are details to the Uru story which are not just vague philosophical blabbering. Show real facts, consequences to the game, and rational causes for the claims in the story. I'd be specifically interested in a spotlight on Yeesha, her "path," the DRC, and costars such as Sharper. Keep it real and tell us exactly how following Yeesha's path can transform the DRC more than just in our own minds. i.e. You can't simply say they sought the "truth" and found "enlightenment" - these are vague things.

Shields should prove there are no real details through examples from the narrative via the text and transcripts. Personally, I think this is an easier task.

By the way, I agree the story wasn't finished. Or even barely begun. Cyan, and RAWA specifically, have said so. But there is still a substantial amount of narrative in Uru itself which provides no real justification for the actions of the characters or gameplay consequences as it has been told so far.


This conversation is getting really, really weird....

Yeesha... the journeys... Yeesha believes that the restoration of D'ni isn't a physical restoration, and that it is a restoration of the mind. That's how you transform the restoration... Teaching. Yeesha's journeys teach. That is why you do them. To come to an greater understanding of D'ni. To learn about the greatness of D'ni being built on the backs of the Bah'ro...

It's an incredible beginning for a story. If you have better ideas, then let's hear them.


~Joey What-the-heck-shii


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 5:29 am 
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Joey Zoonishii wrote:
you can't claim that you fully understand the story in Uru if you don't understand why you should go on Yeesha's journeys...


Good job! That is certainly part of Uru's premise. But everyone says that, and they don't actually say why in real terms. It is a vague statement because they use the words "Yeesha's Journey" or "Yeesha's Path" as if they define themselves. They require a definition in observable terms before they can be understood. I understand going on her "Path" makes me solve puzzles, find journey cloths, and teaches me about the backstory. I'd like to be taught here about the physical effects to the game using details from the narrative. Because without external change, Shields thinks it's pointless.

Just as an aside, even the DRC could go on "Yeesha's Journey." In fact, they have each said they have recently in Town Hall Meetings in the Cavern. But what does it change? How are they different? Are they better at something? What? Do they behave differently? How? They might be more "friendly," as the story goes, but what effect does this have on the game? Does the narrative say anything about that? In fact, I suggest that going on the "Journey" does not mean you did it sincerely. If not, maybe it didn't have any effect. And maybe that means there's no intrinsic value of the "Journey" other than what you make of it. You might even agree with that. But it's philosophical, not real.

Joey Zoonishii wrote:
Yeesha... the journeys... Yeesha believes that the restoration of D'ni isn't a physical restoration, and that it is a restoration of the mind.

Right! But how, exactly, is the mind restored? This is just another vague term without definition. How does the mind change? What do we do with our "restoration" of the mind? This also suggests it has no effect on the game if it is all in the mind. So why play it? As a player of the game, an enlightened character isn't able to do anything more in the game because of it. It doesn't enhance the gameplay other than your knowledge of the story itself. Understanding the backstory (paintings and books you find along the way) has no effect on the game except sometimes as clues for a puzzle. That's Shields's complaint.

The premise of "The Path" seems pointless just to acquire the knowledge on the "Path" (puzzles and journey cloths) without being able to use it somehow after you have completed the "Path." Please quote narrative or give examples about how knowledge of the "Path" can be used after the fact. I mean, other than roleplay. I think Shields is saying pure roleplay is pointless because it becomes 3D chat and no gameplay. I have been told there are plans to put gameplay hooks into roleplay on a societal scale (e.g. "Lighting the Cavern" as a hypothetical example). But they don't exist yet as far as I know. I'm asking for something from the current narrative which indicates a real effect of following the "Path." People seems to already understand what following the "Path" does. I'd simply like to be taught about it without the vague terms. Really.


Joey Zoonishii wrote:
That's how you transform the restoration... Teaching. Yeesha's journeys teach. That is why you do them. To come to an greater understanding of D'ni. To learn about the greatness of D'ni being built on the backs of the Bah'ro..

Good! That's from the narrative. Now define what happens when the restoration is "transformed." This is another vague term without definition or context. What actually takes place? What changes in the game during the "transformation?" If you say yourself or your knowledge, then that's just philosophy without tangible effect - Shields's complaint. Learning from history or experience is about being able to use that knowledge to improve the future. Show us in the narrative where it tells us what the rewards to the Cavern will be beyond the purely intellectual or philosophical.

This can be a useful debate. Teach me in terms I (and Shields) can understand.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 8:53 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
I'd like to be taught here about the physical effects to the game using details from the narrative.

I made the Kahlo Pub eample, but it doesn't seem you paid attention to it. The Egg Room is another one. If no player liked Sharper, the story would have probably gone differently.

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In fact, I suggest that going on the "Journey" does not mean you did it sincerely. If not, maybe it didn't have any effect. And maybe that means there's no intrinsic value of the "Journey" other than what you make of it.

Through the journey you acquire knowledge. It's your decision what you make of it. Does this mean that knowledge has no intrinsic value?

Quote:
But how, exactly, is the mind restored? This is just another vague term without definition. How does the mind change? What do we do with our "restoration" of the mind? This also suggests it has no effect on the game if it is all in the mind. So why play it? As a player of the game, an enlightened character isn't able to do anything more in the game because of it.

An "enlightened player" can contribute to the story directing it where he/she wants, just as the "non-enlightened" one.

Quote:
It doesn't enhance the gameplay other than your knowledge of the story itself.

It affects your decisions and actions.
How does exploring Sirrus' and Achenar's rooms in Stoneship enhance your gameplay? But how could you complete Myst without exploring them?

Quote:
Please quote narrative or give examples about how knowledge of the "Path" can be used after the fact. I mean, other than roleplay.

There is none in Uru ABM. You are forced to free the Bahro.
Uru ABM is all about acquiring knowlede.
So... yes, in itself, it may be "philosophical blabbering", if you think the story of millennia of lost (fictional) civilization is just that.

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 9:06 am 
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Well, I thought, and still suspect, that this topic is a waste of time, as the attitude just doesn't seem to be open.

But 'll say this: if Yeesha's words, "philosophy", as you wrongly call it (philosophy is the study of these things in abstract, not the actual observation and alalysis of what happened to a particular culture), didn't mean anything to you, it's safe to say you'll never fit into the story that is Uru. The purpose of Yeesha's journey was to teach us, as Morningstar said. It's about knowledge. If you don't think the knowledge you picked up in Uru will help you to enjoy the game from a roleplaying perspective, then leave it! Because that was the basis for the whole idea, and it's not going to go anywhere without that concept. Your turning down the introduction to the world of D'ni and the Restoration as being "blabber" means you effectively missed where to start the game. If you can't "in cavern" at least value that "philosophy" as the character you are playing (let alone not valuing it in real life, for kingdoms and nations continue to rise and fall on its principles - pride), then what the heek are you doing here anyway? It's what the game's about. At least play that you care.

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