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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:01 am 
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OK, so Open Source is finally here, or will be just as soon as downloads stop being restricted.
And the prospect of everyone being able to download their open source URU, has me thinking of what the future will bring for URU.

I think I can safely say that we all like what we have at the moment and just want to see some minor improvements, maybe one or two major improvements and of course I think we all want more fan ages. But I am thinking of something that could be a bigger problem, something that if not handled correctly, could be the beginning of the End for URU.

The reason that URU is as popular now as it is (and also why it has been popular in its previous incarnations) is because the main URU program has been hosted on one server, currently Cyan's. We all gather together onto one server, when we go to the public City, we all go to the same City. If lots of people have their own server, what happens if I want to go to a public City? Do I go to my own server's City? On my own? Do I go to a friend's server and their City? and see only a few people (and that splinters into another debate: see * below) Or do I go to a central server that has everyone going to the same City?

What I am basically asking is, would potentially everyone having their own servers be bad for the multiplayer aspect of URU? If I visit my own server, and I am the only one visiting it, I may as well play the offline URU instead for all the difference it would make. If everyone else is also doing the same, I would not be suprised to see all this popularity MOULa has, fade away. * This scenario could be made even worse if people are restricted from certain servers, ala "Members Only".

So am I advocating that NO-ONE has a server and we all rely on one server like we do now? Of course not. Open Source IS a good thing, it should be used to improve URU in all the areas it needs improvement. It should be used to stimulate creativity and help us all to increase URU's popularity. But if everyone ends up with their own versions of URU, with no standard being agreed upon, with no area where everyone links to the SAME instance of the same age, if that happens, Open Source could be the very thing that finally kills the URU that would not die.

I hope we can find a way to have our cake AND eat it.

Alien

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:59 am 
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Alien, I think you have missed a few things. Popular… that is a very relative term and I suspect several of us would correct you to say popular only with a few. Uru Live has never appealed to the mass market. I think we peaked around 50 or 80k players in GameTap. Today a popular game like Minecraft has a million players.

Many think not appealing to the masses is a good thing. But, others think some parts of the game need to change to provide features current MMOGamers feel are basic to such a game and to improve player retention. Others feel the navigation system should change, the starting point… I could go on. Everyone has their idea of what the future Uru should be, just read the forums.

You also have the idea that Uru Live was always one shard and everyone was together in the same server. That only happened in the GameTap incarnation and MOULa. Most of the time Uru Live was played in separate shards. Until Uru ran on numerous shards. That was the norm until GT MOUL.

I agree you are correct in thinking multiple shards would divide up the community and reduce the number of concurrent players in a given shard. But, the numbers of players in game has been decreasing for some time. New content will bump the number up. While there may be fewer players in a given shard there may well be more people playing in Uru overall.

There is no doubt going to be some members-only shards. There is nothing that can be done to stop that. I suspect there are some groups that will prefer that. People are going play however they want to. I see no way to stop that. There are simply some people that do not get along with some other people.

MOSS is already out there, just as Until Uru was. Some argue that was when Uru was most popular. I disagree, but it is very debatable.

Our community agrees on very little. So the shard of Popular Pretty Purple People in Pandemonium Profusely Proliferating is not going to be popular with everyone. The Purples are not going to be happy with the Guild of Green Ghouls Gorging on Guts shard. We are never going to get complete unity. Our community has always been divided and survived… we are still here. This division into shards is nothing new.

Nor do we know how Cyan is going to allow fans to use their content. That limit is about the only control Cyan has over how Uru may appear on fan servers. It may be so restrictive few will use the content and go with fan only content. We may see spin off shards similar to the Devokan story in OSGrid and Crux Isle in Second Life. Whether or not that is the case, Cyan’s server will likely be the center around which things evolve and where top quality content appears. That will be a significant magnet.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:50 am 
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Thank you Nalates for responding. I made the thread, not to declare my absolute authority on the subject, but in the hope that by talking about it, we can try to ensure the survival of Uru, remember, it's ok to disagree as long as we all want the same things. Disagreement can be a good thing.

OK, I will also accept that I may have missed some information or the point of open source, and I will gladly accept being told I'm wrong about anything, I am after all, talking about the future, which, we cannot predict with any confidence. I also realise that as far as the history of Uru goes, I'm a newbie. I came to Uru just before the Cyan one year anniversary, but I catch up quickly. Everyone's opinion is valid, whether they are new to Uru (like me) or long time explorers and also whether we agree or disagree, every opinion is valid.

I think I may have missed some information, which may someone (maybe you) could clarify for me ... will Cyan keep the server we currently all connect to, online? Because if so, then maybe the best method for open source is that we keep what we have now, but if you like purple, there's a purple lovers shard for you to join or if you like green, there's a green lovers shard for you to join. What I would hate to see is that we go from having everyone together to a handful still gathering on Cyan's server and everyone else split up and scattered out over all the fan shards which then die one by one (I'm not saying they will).

I'm not unfamiliar with shards, like I said, I may be a relative newbie to Uru, but I have taken a good long play with Drizzle. I've seen most of the fan created ages. And to be honest (and if you don't like an honest opinion, better skip to the next paragraph now) all I see are lots of little ghost towns. Ahra Pahts was an attempt at a community, but as far as I can tell, even that has not lived up to the idea in which it was created. I cannot comment on Deep Island shard, simply because I missed the information on how I go about downloading, installing and playing with it.

Unless some clever bod(s) can create a few tools to rival Sims 3, I forsee age creation as being a club with a few members, not many (i'm not implying it will be an exclusive club, so please don't take that out of context). And if only a handful of people who are able to use 3D modelling software are our source for new ages, that in itself, is no guarantee of high quality ages to which we have become accustomed.

I do think this is an exciting time in the history of Uru, and I am glad to be here to witness it. I may not someone clever enough to program, or use 3D modelling software (but I think if I try, I might be able to get my head around it, as they saying goes), but I'd like to think my (and everyones) opinion is valid. I would hate to see the creativity I have (and I know others have also) go to waste simply because the future for Uru is in the hands of a few.

And lastly, to anyone reading this thread, please debate this. The right future can only be chosen after as many opinions have been voiced as possible. If only a few are deciding the path for the many, then the many have no justification to complain if they don't like the direction. And also remember, that what I say in this thread (and possibly on this whole forum), is only my opinion. I know no more than the next person, and the next person could very well be my other avatar.

Alien

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:26 am 
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Quote:
will Cyan keep the server we currently all connect to, online?

Everything Cyan has said to date indicates they will continue to run the current server. They have said as long as funds to pay for the server are donated, the server will run.

I suspect that once ages are able to be tested running on MOSS they will have a better chance of being added to the Cyan servers.

Quote:
What I would hate to see is […]scattered out over all the fan shards […]

This is going to happen. To some extent it already has. We don’t talk about currently running shards. So, as new servers come up that isn’t going to make some new dramatic change or departure.

Consider too, that the Cyan server will remain the most trusted and well known server. So, just as Second Life has a main grid and a number of competing open source versions, the main grid remains the most popular and well in habited. I expect the same to be true of the Cyan server.

Alien wrote:
[…] all I see are lots of little ghost towns […]

I think that is accurate. I saw the same thing with Until Uru. It is not the number of shards that is the problem. It is the game’s poor player retention that is the problem. If you want to worry about the survivability of Uru help figure out what it will take to make Uru popular with more people and keep them playing.

Alien wrote:
[…] I forsee age creation as being a club with a few members […]

You are not the only one. However, we may have more builders than you suspect. But, whether that is accurate or not, building for Uru is complex. Uru was designed by professionals to be built by professionals. If it had been popular like Oblivion or some other game then may be Cyan would have developed some tools for modding ages. But, that was not to be. So, we build in 3DS or Blender.

Many of us started building and learning in Second Life. The Uru Community there has classes taught by DeAnn and I think they may still have language classes. I haven’t kept up. I have enough trouble dealing with English. Whatever, building there progresses from simple in world building tools to complex out of world tools like Blender, 3DS, and Maya. May be some of those people will come back to build in Uru. Check out Devokan Trust to see what is being built and the stories told.

Alien wrote:
The right future can only be chosen […]

You seem to be trying to narrow down the choices. Like only one choice is right or better. Open Source opens up the choices. The genie is out of the bottle now. There is no putting it back. One can do whatever they want and have the capability to accomplish. We can't know what is the right choice. Explore.

Uru is more likely to survive by trying a number of different things. The starting point in Cavern now is a problem for many of us. Some feel the story is better told by starting in the desert (Cleft). I and some others see starting alone in a new MMO as ridiculously self defeating. Some think a small town outside the gate is a good idea. Other would convert the Cleft to multi-player. In the town or cleft one would decide to play in group or solo.

We could all come to some consensus and build the game just one way. If that flopped, we would have a worse mess than now. But, if one shard developed with a town, another with the original start, another with… we could see which one was best liked and had the better player retention. That version would likely be adopted by those running servers and probably at some point by Cyan. So, by widening the choices there are lots more tests and experiments to find the best solutions in a shorter time.

There is no reason to limit the choices of those that decide to write code, build ages, and run servers. Plus there is no way to stop them. This is the Uru community. You can't control us, herd us, get us all to simultaneously agree on much of anything or like the same things. While we like Uru Live, we like different things about it...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:07 pm 
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These are all good points. I think it is good to keep in mind that the MOULagain servers will still be the primary ones. New players will likely find it first and use it. I also have a feeling that the guild meetings and a majority of other cavern events will still be held on them.

From what we have been told, the MOSS servers have been primarily designed for testing new content that could potentially be put on MOULagain. However, there may be a lot of people who will use the MOSS servers the MOSS servers more than MOULagain, especially in this time where MOULagain is unchanging.

It's also most likely there will be independent shards opened to basically in some ways "replace" MOULagain for some in the community who want to do their own thing. As long as the rules regarding Cyan content is followed, this is fine too and will happen whether others like it or not. I still think MOULagain will be alive and active as the main world as long as people still support it.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:31 pm 
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See I think if the community got together and developed a new login client similar to that in LOTRO where explorers can chose their server would be great. (Note, this would require Cyan to set up a central login server separate from MOULa's server. Another way to do this is to show the available servers and how many players are on each then letting you login to each server separately. This would require something like an RSS feed or something I think.) Another feature could be seeing which servers your buddies are on before you login so that you could chose accordingly. But, the problem with that is that, like LOTRO, this would mean separate avies for every server which in that case isn't so great for showing KI data. Maybe a better idea is to show how many people are online each server before you login. That way explorers can be in quickly and find groups of explorers to have fun with.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Re: Trekluver
I think Adam’s Who’s on is heading that direction. I expect to see the CWE eventually change to use it or work with it. Or we may see someone make a web site that uses the tech to provide something like GameSpy’s lists of active servers in various games with player count.

Someone might craft a Facebook toy or an iPhone app to do the same sort of thing. I think the Facebook connection could pull loads of people into the game. But, I also think it is a double edged sword. For now MOULa lacks strong server side security. Within the rush of Facebook noobies there will be griefers/crackers and that combination means trouble.

Also there is the issue of player retention. Until we get the starting point and group/solo player issues handled I think the Facebook debut is premature. I also think that until we figure out the player retention issues we are simply repeating history and heading for a repeat of a game opening, players consuming content, and losing interest.

I know many think the age writers will provide an abundant and never ending supply of new ages. They could be right. I have my doubts. I agree with Alien that building for Uru is complex and only a limited group of people will be willing to learn how to build. I know building a guild hall in Blender has been a challenge. Of those learning to build ages only some percentage will be good at it and create professional level ages. I’m pretty sure I’m not in that group. Also, it appears to me Uru has never been able to survive on new content. So, going down that path again seems foolish. I hope several of the people working on CWE consider what needs to change to improve player retention.

The RSS feed… now there is a new idea. We have for sometime tried to figure out how to get story recorded and available to those that can’t be at an event. Monthly meetings in cavern have to be recorded and transcribed, the chat logs processed and posted, with an RSS feed to a blog that might be more easily accomplished. The feed could be controlled by main characters, ResEng’s, or like chat logging is controlled now.

The Until Uru era shows that the community will develop the tools needed. Much has been done during this era of MOULa. The reason we don’t see it is most of the work is hidden remaining underground and only age builds are aware of it. So, we will see a burst of new things as OpenUru.org teams move things forward.

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