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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:49 am 
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Ok, so my little side note in this thread almost started, a can(n)on war, and since people started to talk more, and more about "canon", I decide do branch this discussion here (and keep thread "Let's talk about ways to improve Uru as an MMO" more clean and dedicated).
Now mind You that this actual post will be from the angle "what I think should be fix in uru".

Also: To users which I'm quoting here: whenever I use "You" in response, try not to treat my post as "direct attack on Your statement", but as "open letter describing my opinion to reader".
Since I'm not native English speaker it's easier for me to write "You" instead of "one can say that...".

kaelisebonrai wrote:
Uru "Live", A living, breathing world, designed to be realistic, with bits of alternative reality gaming. That site, those forums, those events... they're all very much part of this game, like it or not. You don't have to like it, no one asked. But that is what Uru is.

(To reader: Emphasis is mine. If You don't know what "alternative reality gaming", search for it. Otherwise this discussion will have no sense)
Yessss, "alternative reality gaming". Well I know that Rand Miller loves the idea (ad-lest this video suggest it).
But that is part of my issue with URU. That is what I see as "need to be fixed".
Don't get wrong: alternative reality gaming is interesting concept, and can be fun (if You into such a thing). But there is a funny fact: there is no commercially successful alternative reality game. One tried (Majesty if I recall correctly) and failed.
And usually MMO type of game to be successful, it needs (now this may be shocking revelation :) ) "massive" amount of players.
"Massive amount of players", and "obscure, not very popular type of entertainment" don't go to well with each other.

In addition: after 4 (or 5 if You count "End of Ages") of adventure games (like in "point and click adventure game") then they announce MMO in Myst universe, I would come to expect this: same as Myst but with more players.
What I'm trying to say is that I expected URU to be massive multilayer online
adventure game (and since "adventure" might be twisted in meaning during reading: "adventure" like in well establish name of well establish game genre. Like in "point-and-click adventure game").
And instead we got "alternative reality game", meaning: "completely different genre". It's like I ordered street racer, and got street fighter.
Do I like it? Of course not.
Do I have to like it? Again no.
Do I have to rant about it on this forum? Again no.
But since original topic was "Let's talk about ways to improve Uru as an MMO", then I think I could share my opinion about it. And my opinion is this:
URU as a game, as MMO game, will benefit from losing "bits of alternative reality gaming", and coming back to it's roots: being an point-and-click adventure game.


Whilyam wrote:
Canon is the collection of facts about the in-game world. There is no reasonable distinction between the two. That is why declaring facts not found in the game to not have existed is incorrect, regardless of the understanding of new people. We must put those facts into the game (and I would prefer to see an audio guide, perhaps voiced by some of the talent we have in the community), but they did happen, they do matter, they are canon, and I believe anything else is delusion.

(Again, emphasis is mine)
Now this post may actually change my tune. Maybe not opinion but adleast a tune :P
Because now I see two a little different issues. Assuming You can find "in-game fact" outside of the game:
1) Which sites are legitimate? (except of course mystonline.com And Even then, not every post on this forum is "a fact") What sites are truly source of facts?
What makes them legitimate?
For example, let me get the url out of my a.. hat: http://subrest.net/ Is this a source of "in-game facts"? If read there that, for example "Victor Laxman just die today in a car accident" would that be a fact? If so, why?
Because You say so?
Right now there is no way to tell which sites are legitimate (again except mystonline.com), so the only source of fact outside of the game would be this forum. And only posts would count as "fact source" would be RAWA, and other Cyan staff members (staff as in "employer" not "moderator") posts.

2) "It's still don't make a good storytelling".
If for example Cyan would put a link to one of many Wikis dedicated to Myst universe on mystonlie.com. That would make this hypothetical wiki a legitimate site for me, and since wikis usually are quite good at gathering facts, then a new player would have straight path to knowledge about those facts and events which happened up today.
But that still would not be a good storytelling, only good facts telling.
What is a difference? Well try to ready any kind of encyclopedia, and then any kind of novel. You will get the drill.
(again: this is not about "what is current state". This is about "how to make it better".)


So Kaelis have bring some more links:
kaelisebonrai wrote:
EDIT: http://drcsite.org/ <-- that's canon. Like it or not, that /is/ Canon. All the live events ARE canon. Like it or not, they ARE canon. The DRC posts on the forums at http://forums.drcsite.org/ ARE canon, like it or not, they ARE canon.

So again:
ad. 1) Why are they canon? Because you say so? (A stupid link, directly from mystonline.com would be sufficient, but that would require to lose "bits of alternative reality gaming".) BTW: There still no link to DRC forum from the DRC main site. You might call it "alternate reality gaming experience" I call it "bad web design" (even if it's on purpose).
ad. 2) O yeah, most defenetly this is a way to go. This is definitely next level in story telling.

Seriously, if You want to make browser based game You don't force people to install 4GB client for it.


Marten wrote:
Regnad Kcin01 wrote:
On the other hand, During the historical age of UU, it was discovered that a race of people who call themselves The WE, had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni, yet in fact, their civilization pre-dates the D'ni by hundreds of thousands of years. The fact of the existence of The We is not necessarily canonical, yet.......


Canon is the part of history that has been determined to be true. The other parts are either unproven or disproven.

The story of the WE resides, for now, in "unproven." And (as a Messenger), I feel compelled to observe that it is not accurate to say "it was discovered that a race... had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni" when that is unproven. A factually valid way to express what happened would be to say, "people were discovered who claimed to belong to a race that had inhabited the cavern simultaneously with the D'ni." And because that is factual, that is canon.

(again, emphasis is mine)
I think Marten addressed some om my concerns in his post.
If we come back to my example with "Victor Laxman just die today in a car accident" example, then (if I read Marten correctly) there is nothing that would make this canonical fact. And where would be nothing do disprove it as canonical fact.
But people starting to talk about it: that would be fact. You could say that facts would be:
- people started to talk about his death the next day
- there were people who believe it, and people who didn't
- there was message from Dr Watson that is not true
- there would be people who sad that Dr Watson lie
- there would be people claiming to see Laxman the week after
- and there would be people claiming that that was imposter
In simple wards: harseys which would spread from this simple memo: they would be canonical fact.
But hearsays aren't good storytelling tools. As I sad before:
Egon wrote:
To put it blindly: if hearsay (and understand You talk here about player to player spread hearsay) is one of the main tools to story telling in an game then You got yourself a serious design flaw...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:48 am 
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Mmm. I see what you're saying. Small quibble; there is a link to the DRC forums, right there on the front page of the DRC site. The button is greyed out, but it's there in the text.

As I said in the other thread, a lot of the problem in this area follows from the original backstory. Which is not to say that it isn't a problem (obviously it is) but that there is a reason for it.

For me, Uru is neither a point-and-click adventure (though there are point-and-click elements in it) nor an alternative reality game--it's a role-playing game. And when you're a player in an RPG, you, well, play the role. If I were role-playing a character stranded on a desert island, I wouldn't be outraged to find that there wasn't a burger bar and a casino on the island. In Uru, I'm role-playing a character who, responding to an overwhelming impulse, has walked away from his job in the real world, found his way to New Mexico, leaped over a gate, met an annoying man by a caravan, fondled a bunch of embroidered hankies and found himself in a ruined underground city with a bunch of other people who have all done exactly the same. (The current introduction to the game utterly fails to make that clear, but that's a whole other set of gripes.) I may find it irritating that the only way I can find out what just happened is by asking someone, but as far as it goes, that's consistent with the story.

It may be that if this kind of thing had happened for real, the explorers would have got together, organised themselves into a community with a mayor and a council and be putting out a daily newspaper by now. *looks around at explorers* Hmm, maybe not.;) Sadly, though, the mechanisms just aren't there in the game to do that kind of thing. Maybe it will be something we can do in the future. Certainly we should keep this problem in mind, and not simply dismiss it as "delusion." Till then, though, it seems likely that the best sources of information, reliable or otherwise, are going to remain outside the game: this forum, the DRC forum.

I've said it many times before, though, and I'll say it again; even if this and all the other problems get fixed, I don't think Uru will ever really be "massive." By its nature it will, I think, remain an obscure and not wildly popular type of entertainment. Kind of like morris dancing, or something. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:24 am 
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Zander_the_Heretic wrote:
Mmm. I see what you're saying. Small quibble; there is a link to the DRC forums, right there on the front page of the DRC site. The button is greyed out, but it's there in the text.

Ohh, I see. So You say If I register/logg on to drcsite the "Discussion" button will be enabled? (since http://forums.drcsite.org/ is styll accessible even if I'm not register, that's still rather odd webdesign)

Zander_the_Heretic wrote:
I've said it many times before, though, and I'll say it again; even if this and all the other problems get fixed, I don't think Uru will ever really be "massive." By its nature it will, I think, remain an obscure and not wildly popular type of entertainment. Kind of like morris dancing, or something. :twisted:

Well I styll wish what URU will become succesfull "massive" expirence. For the good of Cyan, and future stories which they might say to us ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:48 am 
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No, that's the link I'm talking about, in the text on the front page of http://drcsite.org.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:04 am 
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Egon wrote:
So Kaelis have bring some more links:
kaelisebonrai wrote:
EDIT: http://drcsite.org/ <-- that's canon. Like it or not, that /is/ Canon. All the live events ARE canon. Like it or not, they ARE canon. The DRC posts on the forums at http://forums.drcsite.org/ ARE canon, like it or not, they ARE canon.

So again:
ad. 1) Why are they canon? Because you say so? (A stupid link, directly from mystonline.com would be sufficient, but that would require to lose "bits of alternative reality gaming".) BTW: There still no link to DRC forum from the DRC main site. You might call it "alternate reality gaming experience" I call it "bad web design" (even if it's on purpose).
ad. 2) O yeah, most defenetly this is a way to go. This is definitely next level in story telling.


Re: 1) Because RAWA and Cyan say so, it is their story, after all. Re: BTW: Yes there is a link to the DRC forum from the main site. Look Harder.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:13 am 
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kaelisebonrai wrote:
Re: 1) Because RAWA and Cyan say so, it is their story, after all.

Where? (like, where RAWA or Cyan states that http://drcsite.org/ is offical site of DRC, and not fan created?)

Quote:
Re: BTW: Yes there is a link to the DRC forum from the main site. Look Harder.

[facepalm]O yeah, I was blind[/facepalm]

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:18 am 
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Egon wrote:
kaelisebonrai wrote:
Re: 1) Because RAWA and Cyan say so, it is their story, after all.

Where? (like, where RAWA or Cyan states that http://drcsite.org/ is offical site of DRC, and not fan created?)

Quote:
Re: BTW: Yes there is a link to the DRC forum from the main site. Look Harder.

[facepalm]O yeah, I was blind[/facepalm]


http://www.whois.net/whois/drcsite.org <-- that sufficient proof for you? =)

EDIT: Better yet..

http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20014 <-- first post, in that thread, links to the DRC site, one of RAWA's posts there. =) The primary location of the C.O. Meter.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Wow... DRC forums as fan-created forums... Egon, you really need to do some research before going off like this.

As for sources of facts: For me, all areas are sources for facts BUT those facts are not necessarily correct. For example, SR could say that Laxman died. That would be a fact, that SR claimed Laxman died would be part of the canon, backstory, etc. However, if Laxman the character (or Cyan, going through OOC channels) refuted that claim, Laxman's actual death would not be part of the canon. Canon would be that SR incorrectly claimed Laxman died. Only if the DRC/Cyan confirmed the claim would it be canon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:42 pm 
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kaelisebonrai wrote:
http://www.whois.net/whois/drcsite.org <-- that sufficient proof for you? =)

Whilyam wrote:
Wow... DRC forums as fan-created forums... Egon, you really need to do some research before going off like this.

Lol, of course I didn't sad that. I knew that it's not fan-created.
But, I asked, how newplayer (who isn't tech savy enough to know whois) should know that, yes this site is inded made by Cyan (beside those "failed to open stream" errors there are others, like codding errors).

In retrospecvie: why there is no such thing as "Official DRC Bevin" (see what we got from endles "DRC neighborhoods"? Whe now have to use word "official" ;) )with imager showing some official DRC messages including link to the site? That is really easy to make and it should adress some of my issues.


Whilyam wrote:
As for sources of facts: For me, all areas are sources for facts BUT those facts are not necessarily correct.

I think now I understand You previous reactions.
"facts are not necessarily correct" - that is really looking to me like oxymoron. How fact can be inncorect? Isn't "fact" equals "truth"?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:57 pm 
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I have to check, but I believe the drcsite.org URL was provided with the documentation that came from the URU:Complete Chronicles CD-ROM. At least, that's how I discovered it. So, that must make it official.

As for the lack of an obvious link to the DRC forums from the web site - that was intentional. Back when the Cate character made her appearance, she had stated her disapproval for the forum link. There was a subsequent protest by explorers, and the link made a reappearance, sort of.

[I wish I could provide links to the chat logs, but Uru Obsession has yet to fix their spoiler tags on these.]

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Egon wrote:
(Again, emphasis is mine)
Now this post may actually change my tune. Maybe not opinion but adleast a tune :P
Because now I see two a little different issues. Assuming You can find "in-game fact" outside of the game:
1) Which sites are legitimate? (except of course mystonline.com And Even then, not every post on this forum is "a fact") What sites are truly source of facts?
What makes them legitimate?
For example, let me get the url out of my a.. hat: http://subrest.net/ Is this a source of "in-game facts"? If read there that, for example "Victor Laxman just die today in a car accident" would that be a fact? If so, why?
Because You say so?
Right now there is no way to tell which sites are legitimate (again except mystonline.com), so the only source of fact outside of the game would be this forum. And only posts would count as "fact source" would be RAWA, and other Cyan staff members (staff as in "employer" not "moderator") posts.



A flawed example, SubRest doesn't try to be a source of in game facts so to speak, the site is a fan restoration group and their content (and canon) they are building.

To provide a better example I would suggest Erik's D'ni archive, or my own Archive at Beneath as better examples of sources of in game facts, both of which archive chatlogs, drc member posts etc.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:12 pm 
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Egon wrote:
But, I asked, how newplayer (who isn't tech savy enough to know whois) should know that, yes this site is inded made by Cyan
Some new players possibly aren't even sure if mystonline.com is run by Cyan or fans :D ... The clue here is the Cyan logo and trademark info at the bottom of the pages, but the DRC site was created to be totally IC (i.e. to appear to be created by the "DRC" rather than Cyan), so it makes no reference to Cyan. That is to avoid "breaking the immersion". Unfortunately for that aim, the forums there had to include an OOC section because, well, sometimes people didn't get the IC nature and needed to be guided.

Robert The Rebuilder wrote:
I have to check, but I believe the drcsite.org URL was provided with the documentation that came from the URU:Complete Chronicles CD-ROM. At least, that's how I discovered it. So, that must make it official.
It was certainly referenced in the original Uru: Ages Beyond Myst manual. It was also referenced in the MOUL Manual that existed during the GameTap days. We're currently missing that link.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:33 pm 
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Sorry Tweek but I don't get the distinction you make about SubRest. The SubRest site deals with the activity of a group of explorers that are present In Cavern, telling the story of a restoration process that may one day lead to Age releases in MOULa, just like the DRC timeline did. I do not see why it does not provide "in game facts". In a couple of years from now, their "projects" page may serve exactly the same function as the old DRC restoration list.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:51 pm 
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There's so much I want to say here, and yet I have so little time. So I'll try to be brief and merely inject some of my inner thoughts on the discussion.

Ever since the topic came up, memories of George Orwell's "1984" have been running through my mind. If I hold up 10 fingers, but you've been taught to count that number as 8, how many fingers am I really holding up? If there is no definition for the word "free" meaning "unhindered; without restraint", does the concept even exist?

If we all believe the sun orbits the earth, the truth is that we are all wrong... but until someone realizes that, as long as there is nothing in our world seems inconsistent with our ideas, does it matter at all?

Back to Uru - Is the truth known to a relative few (there IS a rich and detailed backstory) more important than the belief of the majority (there isn't much backstory)?

It seems to me that the best way to educate people is not to argue with them, and if we wait until an opinion is formed, it is already too late.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:55 pm 
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Simone wrote:
Sorry Tweek but I don't get the distinction you make about SubRest. The SubRest site deals with the activity of a group of explorers that are present In Cavern, telling the story of a restoration process that may one day lead to Age releases in MOULa, just like the DRC timeline did. I do not see why it does not provide "in game facts". In a couple of years from now, their "projects" page may serve exactly the same function as the old DRC restoration list.


But we're not talking about the future, Egon was talking about past Uru history, of which SubRest doesn't cover. The semantics of where SubRests stuff falls in terms of canon isn't the point here.


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