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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:19 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:33 am 
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Whilyam wrote:
How is it helpful to call people selfish? How is that a suggestion? Right, it's not and it doesn't.

Yes, you are correct. Nye could have been more diplomatic about things. And it is easier for me to overlook that, or look past that, not being the subject of the criticism.

In looking past the name calling, I believe that Nye did not make his post for the mere gratification of seeing his personal thoughts in text. We are all passionate because we care, even though not everyone says things in the best way. Self included - and feel free to use this comment against me, next time I'm thoughtlessly impolite.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:11 am 
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Marten wrote:
In looking past the name calling, I believe that Nye did not make his post for the mere gratification of seeing his personal thoughts in text. We are all passionate because we care, even though not everyone says things in the best way. Self included - and feel free to use this comment against me, next time I'm thoughtlessly impolite.

Right, Nye made his post out of ignorance of the situation (we're back where we started).

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Getting back to story -- Uru isn't the only MMO trying to address the problem. From what I've read, and from my personal experience, players want two things

-- something that works, just for them, a story that they uncover, actions that affect them. Something they can leave and come back to, and the story, the mystery, the actions, the gameplay, if you will, is still there. It's the equivalent of a solo player game experience, except you can invite your friends into your private world. Nothing interferes with your discoveries, and you discover them yourself.
-- being part of of something bigger, the whole world. Things happen, things change in the public spaces, and actions you do there have consequences. It's a living world where the players, as a whole, change things. Note that players directly experience changes, in the big world, it's not all second hand.

So we have the conflict between a "whole world" thing, a world populated by players and it changes, and having an experience just for you. MMO Uru had some great design feature to address this problem:
-- the private story, the story just for you, is in the private ages. Solve the puzzles in your own time. Everything is exactly like you left it. Nothing interferes with your experience, and it's not second hand. Everything happens to you. This worked well, though your experience was exactly like the experience of anyone else who played a private age.
-- things that happen in the public space, the city, perhaps the neighborhoods. The failed "lighting the lake" experiment, though you drop pellets in your private age, is an example of this, something that would have change the world. You've also got pellet scores in general, and heek scores, when we could play heek. The events (parties, readings) are another example of things happening in the public space, though nothing changes in the world. The Cyan sponsored events are still another example, though -- in my opinion, bad examples.

This is a known issue in the industry -- how to you make a living world and still ensure that everyone has a great time. Many people like to experience something at their own pace, and they also don't like to experience things second hand.

There are games in development that address the problem.

In Guild Wars 2, you will have a personal story, a story you experience in instanced setting (like temporary ages), and a home area ("age") that looks different, depending on how you make your way through the personal story. Similar to the way we invite people into our private ages, we can invite people into our instanced play. There will also be events in the public space (dynamic content) that anyone can participate in, events that change the world. Rift Planes of Telara has something similar - I'm still unclear exactly how that works. Star Wars the Old Republic has a rich personal story (from Bioware, the story kings, would you expect anything different?) -- but I'm not sure how they are going to address what happens in the public space, the areas that aren't instanced.

What's interesting is that this is similar to the way Cyan did it for Uru, which makes sense. You see the same ideas and structure, cropping up in different MMOs, such as the concept of instancing, getting your own copy of an area. One of the special challenges with Uru is that puzzles are solved quickly, also that they are, by their nature, spoilable. If you go into a public space, you will get solutions to the puzzles. There was also the problem with events in the public ages -- charitably, one could say that was a "work in progress" -- Cyan never got it right.

Going forward, I'd say, keep private ages -- ages where you can invite your friends, and keep story in those ages. I think that works really well. When (if?) we get that new group of fan ages linked to Uru -- I'm hoping we can have private instances of them, so people can go through them at their own pace, make them their own.

On how to change the public ages -- I don't know. I'd like a better way to have events such as parties -- maybe you can make changes to the public space that degrade over time. On the activities that people do to change the world -- I guess some sort of crafting, like the pellet drop. But I think that's a moot point. With the way Uru is today -- I don't see any changes to the public ages happening anytime soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Story's a good topic, mszv. Thank you for bringing it up and offering a way forward with the discussion.

World of Warcraft has made inroads to changing the game world in response to the player's actions, through two different techniques. The first is phasing - deliberately introducing an out-of-sync experience between different players in the same area. Maybe you've planted seeds and watered them, and helped them to grow, to bring back new life after a forest fire; to you, the forest would appear to be coming back to life, but to someone who hadn't done that quest - even if they're standing right next to you - the area would still appear dead. And the second technique is going to hit big with the next expansion - it's the obsoleting of older content and quests, so that after years of a relatively static environment, the story can be said to have moved forward and new players will not still be solving the same problems that were supposedly solved by the first players of that content 5 years ago. Incidentally, the first big case of Blizzard obsoleting old content, as far as I can remember, is when they stopped letting the Ahn'Qiraj event occur on new servers (around Feb 2009). (And it's sad, because I had quit WoW right after the Ahn'Qiraj opening even had been introduced, and I wanted to try it when I resumed playing but it was too late.)

Phasing might be a way to help with the "public ages being solved" problem. But it does bother me if multiple people in the same environment are not seeing the same thing, so for those who want Uru to not require certain levels of suspending disbelief, this might not be a good solution. I understand though that MagiQuest online implements something like this for at least one of the quests though, such that a path is inaccessible to players who haven't performed a certain activity, while those who have completed the prerequisite puzzle are able to proceed. Would Uru players be accepting of something like that?

As for obsoleting content - well, ultimately, I think for some classes of players there is no foolproof solution to the problem of experiencing content in a second-hand manner. In a true living world, things happen, and the world is different the very next day. An in-game way of reliving past events, like the Caverns of Time in World of Warcraft, is probably the closest one can get to solving the issue; during Myst Online Season One, I remember that I and others had mentioned that some way to reply Uru events as projections might be a way for players to experience the story in Uru, although they would be unable to influence the story in such a case. Would "second-hand" players be happy with that? I don't know. It doesn't offer the satisfaction of knowing that one has had an influence on the world, but I don't see how one can achieve that satisfaction if you're just not there when you need to be.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:23 am 
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Marten wrote:
Phasing might be a way to help with the "public ages being solved" problem. But it does bother me if multiple people in the same environment are not seeing the same thing, so for those who want Uru to not require certain levels of suspending disbelief, this might not be a good solution. I understand though that MagiQuest online implements something like this for at least one of the quests though, such that a path is inaccessible to players who haven't performed a certain activity, while those who have completed the prerequisite puzzle are able to proceed. Would Uru players be accepting of something like that?

Some might accept it, but many probably wouldn't. From what I've seen of the reactions from Uru players who've tried MQO, seeing someone, for example, walking through a closed door, is a bit of an "Eh, what's up with that?" kind of moment.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:35 pm 
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IMO, things like that are more acceptable in a game like MagiQuest simply because magic is involved, but Uru is supposed to be closer to reality and real time.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Well we already have this "phasing" thing in the form of Instancing. And all we need is instancing to be fixed.making it easier to tranistion between private Instances that are "frozen in time" and Public Instances that are "evolving"

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:38 pm 
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jadawin12 wrote:
Well we already have this "phasing" thing in the form of Instancing. And all we need is instancing to be fixed.making it easier to tranistion between private Instances that are "frozen in time" and Public Instances that are "evolving"

Phasing and instancing are not the same thing though. Phasing means that two people in the same room standing next to each other can look in the same direction and see two different things. Instancing means that each person has their own copy of the room, and they aren't standing next to each other. World of Warcraft, as an example, uses both for different purposes. Dungeons are instanced so that multiple parties can tackle the same objectives at the same time without getting in each others' way. But most of the surface world is one giant, public, shared instance... where phasing can be used to show that your questing accomplishments have actually meant something.

Uru has had phasing problems before - Teledahn was particularly troublesome during Prologue, because to one person, the suncatcher would be locked onto the sun and following it, and to another person, it would be misaligned. So, you can imagine the sort of chaos that created. (Good times. Simpler times.)

I agree that we need improvements in instancing - though there are many good ideas on how to improve it and there's no consensus yet. But, I wanted to throw Phasing up for discussion because some MMOs are using it with success.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:59 pm 
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I havent read all 31 pages so if this has been suggested already, please forgive me for the duplication. It seems like in the beginning of this thread there was a major debate over starting in cleft or relto, all I can say is in the offline game you start in the cleft, somehow we all managed to make it to relto just fine. Now others suggested a complete remake, to that end and it would certainly need Cyan support and approval, we start in the cleft but merging Myst 5 content with uru you can scale the volcano and drop into the crater, from there you can go down and enter the great shaft. Its never been established where in D'ni the shaft brings you, probably nowhere in Ae'gura anyway, so instead you enter a rest area that has a nexus book on a pedestal and maybe a KI machine or something? From there you can go to the city or a hood. The city could contain the age books as it was once designed to do (or so I have heard). I will leave the details to everyone else but this is one possible solution, I guess this approach would bypass yeesha and the cleft altogether but I am sure someone could figure out how to integrate the 2 if thats how they wanted to go. Thanks for hearing me out.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Race, the reasons for starting in Cleft or Relto has to do with retaining new players. In 2004 MMO games were still new to many gamers. Also, returning Myst players were used to solo play. So, the cleft entry and its solo play were not the problem it is now. More people have experience with MMO’s and from numerous game design studies they expect to quickly meet players and be able to ask for help.

Much of the debate has been about how to change the entrance to the game and keep the story and experience while meeting the needs of new players. Retaining new players and increasing player time in Cavern are considered important to the survival/success of Uru by several of us. In another thread people have discussed what success looks like for Uru.

Many of the changes we (various fans) want to make MAY require Cyan’s permission. Until we see a license we can only speculate about that. For instance, can we put a shell around the Cyan content or not? That would let us make a town or some small area outside the Cleft and provide a multiplayer area where new players can meet ‘Greeters’ and get help. Of will Cyan disallow that with their content?

Also, we are not even sure what rights and limits bind Cyan in relation to Myst V content.
----

Marten’s points on Phasing are interesting. Other than some personal opinions I don’t think we really know how its use would go over in Uru. I’m doubtful it would be that popular. If it is working in other worlds, it may work in Uru. I know there are a number of things in SL that render differently on everyone’s computer and most people never know, until they exchange photos. So, most might not even notice. Unless people are walking through a door or wall that others can’t get through. So, with some creative design it could work and not damage immersion that much.

Mszv outlines the problems with private/public instancing. People do seem to want to have it both ways. We don’t mind dealing with the changes we make to the world. Having to deal with changes other make however is not so fun. This is especially true when solving puzzles. I think Cyan came up with a good way to handle the problem.

I think MOULa has the ability to render ages as both private and public. Cyan did it with Ae’gura. That suggests the infrastructure is likely in place. So, it might not be that hard to have a public instance of any if not all private ages.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:31 pm 
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I tried to spark a similar discussion over in the Uru Obsession forum under a topic called MSPOG (massive single player online game). I was seeing blogs and articles (links are in that thread) trying to reconcile the MMO "living world" with the RPG immersive game style of play, and wondered whether there would ever be a solution. All I see are compromises, when a single platform tries to be both, especially without building explicit tools to make it easier to switch between styles of play. Changing the new player entry mode will only change expectations, and is still just locking someone into one mode of experience at the beginning. If Uru is both "play alone [and] together", then the "tutorial" of the Cleft could be optional. Does that ruin the illusion that this isn't a game? I have no answers, I just see this topic cropping up everywhere. Some of us still enjoy a good single-player immersive RPG experience, and are perhaps trying too hard to make MMOs work for that.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:55 pm 
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Nalates wrote:
Also, we are not even sure what rights and limits bind Cyan in relation to Myst V content.


A week late but:

In answer to this statement. Yes we are sure. The answer is quite simply DIRT. The Descent we see in Myst V modeled and texture prior to Myst V's creation, for DIRT. It was one of the first areas ever created for DIRT. However DIRT evolved into Uru, and Plasma 1 evolved into Uru, the content for Descent was extremly cut back. IE We got that small part of the shaft we have now. When Myst V came about they then took all that content and ported it to Myst V and made improvements so that it could fit into Myst V's story. However the models, textures, etc were all created prior to Plasma 2 even being developed. (As evident in the easter eggs available in realMyst.) Descent as seen in Myst V belongs in Uru. It started as content for Uru, just like Kveer did. Kveer as seen in Myst V is just a reworked version of the Kveer we have in MOUL. Both were created prior to Myst V even being developed.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:16 pm 
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ChloeRhodes wrote:
However the models, textures, etc were all created prior to Plasma 2 even being developed. (As evident in the easter eggs available in realMyst.) Descent as seen in Myst V belongs in Uru. It started as content for Uru, just like Kveer did. Kveer as seen in Myst V is just a reworked version of the Kveer we have in MOUL. Both were created prior to Myst V even being developed.


The textures aren't the same, the textures at the bottom of the Shaft in Uru and from the Mudpie screenshots are low res because they were the first made. Alot of textures were replaced for Myst V.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:30 pm 
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sarpedon2 wrote:
ChloeRhodes wrote:
However the models, textures, etc were all created prior to Plasma 2 even being developed. (As evident in the easter eggs available in realMyst.) Descent as seen in Myst V belongs in Uru. It started as content for Uru, just like Kveer did. Kveer as seen in Myst V is just a reworked version of the Kveer we have in MOUL. Both were created prior to Myst V even being developed.


The textures aren't the same, the textures at the bottom of the Shaft in Uru and from the Mudpie screenshots are low res because they were the first made. Alot of textures were replaced for Myst V.


By that definition, a texture that appears in MOUL that was used in Myst V and created for Myst V, should not be used in MOUL because it breaks some "mysterious copyright law" yet, they are. There there, IN MOUL after being used in Myst V. And textures and models in Myst V that were made for Uru are being used in MOUL. Heck, the Myst library in Uru is the one from realMyst. Same model, same textures. It's also used in Myst V, just retextured to look old. That's my point. The models/textures transpose the games, as long as they're new files however (The Prps, and Max files), even if they're made from the same models, they're being used for an entirely different game and aren't infringing on publishers rights. Especially if they're made prior to the deal with said publisher (which The Descent stuff was)

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