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 Post subject: Hello world!
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:12 am 
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I've tried a lot of MMORPGs. As far as I know, Uru is the most unusual and unique 3D MMO ever. And now it's back. I'm eager to see what kind of ripples it makes in the world of MMOs, and whether mmorpg.com will be covering it.

Note: In the following paragraphs, I am only comparing Uru to MMORPGs with 3D graphics. I know little about 2D and text MMOs.

A few of the reasons Uru is unique:

₪ Setting: Most MMOs are fantasy, there's a growing portion of science fiction, and a few odd genres like science-fantasy hybrid, historical, real life, etc. Uru is hard to classify - it has elements of fantasy, sci-fi, science-fantasy, and real life. Taking place on present-day Earth, but focused on an underground city that was built by aliens who wrote books that could link to other worlds.

₪ Absence of typical game mechanics: There are no levels, skills, classes, combat, armors, or weapons. All current MMORPGs involve some form of the following psychology: if there is a number, raise it, if there is an item, collect it. These activities generally result in "character advancement." The only systems resembling any kind of mechanical advancement in Uru are the gathering of Relto pages to personalise the player's home Age, Great Zero markers, Nexus links / Linking Book pages, and the completion of Ages / puzzles within Ages. None of these contribute to visible statistics or levels, however. So, returning to the "raise it or collect it" psychology, Uru includes the latter in several ways but does not include the former.

₪ Focus on puzzles: In a way, the puzzles in Uru could be considered replacements for the "quest" systems often used in other MMORPGs. But the reward for completing a puzzle or an Age is, for the most part, not material. Quests usually reward the player with money, points towards gaining levels, or items. Uru rewards the player with further revealing of the story at each step of the way, occasional items like the tie-dye t-shirt in Teledahn, new Linking Book pages or Relto pages, and the more cerebral rewards of personal adventure, satisfaction at overcoming an intellectual challenge (rather than a challenge of killing a powerful monster or collecting X amount of X item), and the underlying philosophical connotations of "collecting" the Bahro pillars only to return them and free the Bahro. In any case, there is no other MMORPG that relates so strongly to the mechanics and playstyle of single player adventure games such as the Myst series.

₪ Absence of combat: This deserves a paragraph of its own, I think. With the exception of the recently-released "Seed", all MMORPGs involve combat to a great extent. This combat is generally divided into two categories, PvE (Player vs. Environment) and PvP (Player vs. Player), both of which involve physical fighting resulting in death. In PvE, the player fights animals/monsters, and in PvP the player fights other players. Uru contains neither. The closest it comes is shooting at ropes weighted with rocks to make a ladder fall down in Teledahn (I suppose if they were pet rocks, it might count as PvE *g*). There is no HP (Health Points) bar, and there is no way for the character to die, since they automatically panic-link to Relto if they fall over a cliff or something.


I might think of more points, but chances are I'll neglect to add them. This post is just me pondering how cool Uru is. XD


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:23 am 
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:clap: Well said, Jemiri! Grey Dragon, I think, called Uru an ARG, for "Alternate Reality Game" instead of RPG, for "Role Playing Game." In an ARG, you play yourself, and face decisions the way you would in real life.

In reality, hardly anyone goes through life collecting points or raising X number. So you wouldn't expect to do that in Alternate Reality either. People also don't die over and over again in real life, so they also shouldn't in an ARG. In an ARG, you also shouldn't physically combat the environment or other people at every turn. In life, you make cerebrally challenging decisions all the time, so that should appear in an ARG as well. Uru is an ARG.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 3:46 am 
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Good job Jemiri on vocalizing (can you call it that when it's in print?) what I dare say are some of the main things that have drawn the majority of us to the cavern.

There's a positive community here, a rarity (at least in my experience) in online games if not anywhere. Reasons for this could lie in the great points you made about emphasis being placed on exploration and the joy of discovery rather than leveling up or defeating enemies.

Owen, what you said reminded me of what was printed in the original Myst User's Manual:

Quote:
Myst is real. And like real life, you don't die every five minutes. In fact you probably won't die at all. There are no dead-ends, you may hit a wall, but there is always a way over or around. . .The puzzles you encounter will be solved with logic and information - information garnered either from Myst or from life itself. The key to Myst is to lose yourself in this fantastic virtual exploration, and act and react as if you were really there.


- Drew Kafka


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 5:44 pm 
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Owehn wrote:
:clap: Well said, Jemiri! Grey Dragon, I think, called Uru an ARG, for "Alternate Reality Game" instead of RPG, for "Role Playing Game." In an ARG, you play yourself, and face decisions the way you would in real life.


I had to take that back though... It would be neat for a new genre to be called MMOARG’s nonetheless. :)

Ryan


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 7:52 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
I dunno MMOARG sounds like you ate something that doesn't agree with you! ;)


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:02 pm 
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“Cover your mouth when you MMOARG”

Ryan


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:09 pm 
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To be fair, there are a number of MMOs without combat.

'A Tale in the Desert' is a good example in many ways- because it is also a combatless MMO trying to be very original, and one that is kept alive by dedicated fans rather than huge numbers. In TOTDs case, the focus is on economy, in Uru, exploration, but they have a lot in common in other ways, especially in style, and int rying to move away from the mindless kill-improve-repeat mechanic of other MMOs. I suppose you could say that TOTD is Farm-Get rich-repeat, but follow that logic too far and you may as well say Uru is Find Age-solve puzzles-repeat.

It is absolutely to the good of gaming in general that such games try and push boundaries in other directions. Not that I have anything against games like World of Warcraft- which has clearly nailed, nay, perfected, the art of the addicitive on-line formula- or Guild Wars- which is pushing the boundaries of how gaming on-line should be financed- but such settings should not be the be-all and end-all of gaming today. WoW is getting so big that it is threatening nearly everything else. Heck, Blizzard could stop producing all games and simply become the WoW company, and never worry about money again (which they virtually have, now that Ghost has been all-but cancelled).

Besides which- and it is not the fault of the makers- but WoW has a mechanic and objective that brings out the worst in many people; the best recent example is the gate-crashing of an in-game funeral to a real life player who died of a stroke; the player's friends held a funeral in the game that she loved, and some opportunist players came along and wiped the whole lot out, totally overriding the emotional importance this had for the mourners simply because it amused them.

Uru is the antithesis of such mentality. Games like Uru speak volumes about how broad and deep gaming can be.

But I still think the fireflies puzzle was crappy.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:19 pm 
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The biggest difference to me is not in what tasks you have to accomplish in the game, but the moral & ethical choices you make along the way. In Uru, we've had the philosophical differences - yeesha vs. drc, etc.

however, the trend i've seen in many MMOs lately is the popularity of player vs. player combat. killing each other just because it's fun. to me, it's a disturbing trend that mirrors the worst of what much of today's society shows - the disregard for other lives; killing someone because of the color of their skin or even the color of their clothes.

that alone is enough to keep me devoted to Uru... for the most part, we manage to settle our disagreements with constructive discussion rather than violence and hatred. yes, there are some situations that do get out of hand, like some of the stuff that happened during the liason elections. those things are thankfully few and far between. i'm glad things like hunting etc aren't a part of the d'ni world... i can just imagine certain members of the community taking it upon themselves to go Bahro hunting... :(

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 8:06 pm 
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Owehn wrote:
:clap: Well said, Jemiri! Grey Dragon, I think, called Uru an ARG, for "Alternate Reality Game" instead of RPG, for "Role Playing Game." In an ARG, you play yourself, and face decisions the way you would in real life.

In reality, hardly anyone goes through life collecting points or raising X number. So you wouldn't expect to do that in Alternate Reality either. People also don't die over and over again in real life, so they also shouldn't in an ARG. In an ARG, you also shouldn't physically combat the environment or other people at every turn. In life, you make cerebrally challenging decisions all the time, so that should appear in an ARG as well. Uru is an ARG.


Er... As a member of the ARGing Community, I must say that is is incorrect.

Uru, while being a really nifty game, is not an ARG. To be an ARG there must be NO breach of character anywhere, that means no help menus, no ooc conversations in the cavern, etc.

This is indeed an MMO, but not in the traditional sense.

More like an MMOAG for Massivly Multiplayer Online Adventure Game

(Which is the sound when you gag on something while laughing)


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Quote:
To be an ARG there must be NO breach of character anywhere, that means no help menus, no ooc conversations in the cavern, etc

*twitch* :shock:

Ooo I'd be in heaven in an ARG... *roleplayer*


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