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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:50 pm 
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In a post last week, I said something like "Uru needs an instancing scheme, but the one Cyan cobbled together isn't it."

Immediately, a great cry was heard across the land, saying "So what's *your* idea, smart guy?"

(Okay, nobody actually posted that. But I thought it.)

The current instancing system is not great. It's overly complicated and laden down with historical cruft. In the year of Uru Live's operation, we've seen people (Cyan and players) try to do a lot of different things in the game, and many of them have been tripped up by the instancing model.

This is my replacement scheme. It is rather reactive: I am not inventing a new MMO adventure game, just trying to solve the problems that I've seen in Uru. I'm probably creating new problems in the process. But what the heck, it's better than standing still.

I also include a scheme for "history instances", which let you go back in time and see story events that you missed. (What? It fits in nicely, and Uru needs it, right?)

http://eblong.com/zarf/uru/rj/essay-bet ... ncing.html

Mind you, I have no illusions that Cyan will adopt this scheme, even if Uru Live comes back someday. It would require a *massive* rewrite. This is an exercise in game design.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:41 pm 
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Well I read thru about half and already realized that the system you provide could be as confusing if not more so than what we have. It leads to nothing about the story of linking and makes the whole act of linking more of a mechanizm than the Art that it is supposed to be.

I understand that the system we have now has it's bugs and those need to be fixed but right now I can understand whats going on pretty well without having to open my KI and start assigning class and ruler levels to ppl for any Age I have.

Right now most all books you find laying around are private instanced and can easily be shared, if the game was not bugged on occasion.

Right now all Bahro Stones and books in the Hood Book room lead to a Hood instanced Ages. They can be shared also but I believe it's a little buggy at the moment too.

Right now Ages in the Nexus on the first page leads to Public all access areas.

That all sounds pretty easy to remember. There are very few exceptions to those 3 rules. (Kadish Link to the Gallery is the only one I can think of right now.)

The bugs are no reason to throw out the entire idea as a bad one.

It would be nice to have a more advance way to share your ages and assign assorted groups to them. If you want to solve Ahnonay with a group of friends it'd be nice if you could set that age so everyone can easily link to it, altho I don't see the huge problem with the Nexus, it takes a few seconds for me to get there. One way to do this is to have a book stand in the Hood Book room that one could place any book they have in relto on. That would make that Age a hood instanced age. I think that would kinda make some sense ICwise too. If I brought my book down from Relto and placed it in the Hood linking room anyone who used it would be linking to my age since it's my book.

Basically you are dumping the entire Nexus into every single book. Why not just make the Nexus a little more friendly to your idea and leave the books alone. Again it only takes seconds to get to the Nexus.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:33 pm 
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belford wrote:
Mind you, I have no illusions that Cyan will adopt this scheme, even if Uru Live comes back someday. It would require a *massive* rewrite. This is an exercise in game design.

Mind you, I think Uru needs a *massive* rewrite.

Edit OK. Now that I've actually skimmed through belford's suggestion, I'll relate how I felt as I read it.

At first, I recoiled. I thought, "His heart's in the right place. But I don't like this idea at all." But then as I reached the example of how things actually worked... and most importantly, the History replay material... I thought, "OK, this rocks."

The only thing I'd have to add to this, as it didn't seem to be stated explicitly as part of the explanation, and I have a few different feelings about it... is that I'd want Live events to still happen. In the fully Public areas, I'd like to see the story unfold in ways that the players can still influence. Then instead of having replayed events be available just minutes after the original event, those can be added to the history a day or two later. I've always envisioned replayed events to be a bit like Scrooge watching the events unfolding in Christmas Past, Present, and Future; he can't change them while he's being escorted by the spirits.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:10 pm 
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I think story instances, rather than being created all the time, could be tied to a storytelling system like in Lotro: while you follow the epic quest ("discover the past history of the restoration") you're able to enter the History instances and trigger the speeches for that particular event you're looking at. I'd keep that separate from the normal instancing rules - maybe even make a sort of 'lucid dream' that starts from a special History Bahro Cave.

It could also be a nice way to get some 'hero moments' in. Like, we all know that the GZ in main Ae'gura was started by Laxman. However, in the "Starting the Great Zero" history quest you are sent to find the infamous four markers from To D'ni; once you do that, you go see Laxman say a few words and then a cool cinematic of the beam going all the way from the waterfall to the GZ, which then starts rotating. The cinematic then gets added to your History menu and you can play it again whenever you want.

Maybe, it detracts a bit from the "reality" of the Cavern, but no more than the horrible mess that are instancing and live events right now.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:49 am 
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I don't necessarily agree with everything but there are some good ideas in there. Personally, I would prefer it if we had a way of sharing our hood city with anyone we wanted. Also, it would be cool to have each age be public and then we can create an instance from that book for our reltos, maybe with a "Write a linking book" function, which is a potential for the guilds.

They could create a "link" for not only themselves, but their friends. You'd have to be a member of the GoW in order to write a link, otherwise you are relegated to exploring the public instance. the only time it would back up is during it's release but even that could be augmented. If an age gets released in a city place, it could also be released in the hood's city instance and there would be a hood instance of said age.

This could also open up potential for creating custom linking books to whatever part of the age you desire. Say for instance you are a member of the GoW and for whatever reason, you frequently need to get to the sun catcher in Teledahn. Instead of linking to the beginning and running all the way there, you could just write a link to the sun catcher and directly link to it. There would be a limit on the number of custom links of course so you'd have to write your links with care.

and as far as the neighborhood controls go that you mentioned, I feel the same thing could be achieved by being able to arrange the folks in your KI by subgroups with the exception of establishing member controls. That is one idea that I do like I'd turn my kickables off in my relto for everyone but me lol.

I'm tired so apologies if this is rambly or doesn't make sense...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:28 pm 
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One way I thought would work to fix some instancing problems would be make each book go to the same instance. Like if I go to my hood with a friend not from my hood and we both touch the city linking stone we should both end up in the same instance. I'm sure this won't work in all cases but i think it would help some.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:29 pm 
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One system that I see that could simplify things by adding complication, is to have three classes of all ages. You would have a Bevin class, a Personal class, and a Public class. You could explain it by having the ages be similar, but different points in time, perhaps. The Personal class would be the Yeesha ages. These would depict the journey ages in an older historical context. Perhaps, in these versions, barricades should not be present. All links within this class would link together. This means that any friends with you would end up with you, if they followed a link after you.

The Bevin class might represent some point in time during the restoration. Maybe, the present state would be fine in this case. There might be scattered barriers around. Anyone that uses any links from a Bevin would end up in that Bevin's instance. Any bahro stones from or into the city would still link to ages within this class. There should be non-journey versions of ages. Alternately, there could be some sort of Journey-room in the city, where there are links to ages, and places for Bahro poles. There could be some sort of mechanism that would link everyone together, so that they could all solve the age together. If the age becomes unoccupied, the age resets. Cave speeches could be modified, and success would cause an orange to grow on one's Relto tree. This might be an over complication, though, but I think each Bevin should have a complete linking system, so that those that link in together, stay together.

The final class is the public class. This would be Ae'gura and various interconnected ages that would represent the present. I think this version should show ages in functional condition, or in the process of being restored. This version would show D'ni as a living city full of activity & things to do. It would have working pubs, docks, and forms of entertainment. Kadish would have restored walkways. Gahreesen would have repaired walls. Perhaps, even the transfer zone would be built up, so that it would be easier for explorers to cross. Teledahn & Er'carna would both eventually have a fully functioning walkways & equipment.

Some areas in the city & surrounding ages could be exhibits with little metal plaques & kiosks describing what each place is. Some might have little buttons that would start up pre-recorded messages. In addition to the Bevin telescope, there could also be some of those traditional binoccular-style scopes with a zoom wheel by the library, where people could view the rest of the cavern. I think that having a living city, that shows signs of repair & improvement might make it a lot easier for DRC personnel. It's much more frustrating to hear, "Have patience", when you are fairly certain that things will never change.

Since space is less of an issue than it used to be, and bandwidth is probably the bigger problem, perhaps, there should be three seperate versions of each instanced age. Not only would this help when determining where links should lead from each book, it would also reduce performance lag caused by sharing infomation for certain ages. The problem with such a scheme currently is that the Nexus is used as the central point for all sharing for public & private ages currently. This might be solved by having three seperate sharing mechanisms. Maybe, the Relto book could be expanded, so that you could "write" friends' names in it for sharing purposes. This would configure all sharing for private ages. For Bevin, the "Tree Stone" could be replaced by a Bevin version of the "City Book". In this book, you could also write names for sharing. Any neighbor would be able to add a name, and any neighbor would be able to subtract a name. Neighbors would just have to work this out among themselves. City books should be made a little more useful, and have duplicates to certain areas, where the Nexus also leads to. For the public instance, the nexus would be the interface for all other links which are neither private nor belong to a Bevin. New ages would show up in the Nexus, and both city books.

This is a little more complicated, but I think it would also simplify things by making sharing & linking more intuitive. The only downside is that you would lose meeting neighbors when following the city links from your Journey ages. An interesting side effect is that you might find a crowd of people, if you linked to the mushroom from the dock area.

Just a crazy idea (Jaci)

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