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The Bahro and all that Or how myst lost its way.

#1 User is offline   Topher Bear 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:58 PM

Whilh driving home listening to exile and myst v soundtracks and feeling withdraw symptoms over not being able to get down to the caverns, I've been thinking about the Bahro. Thier story line is so removed from original Myst. I understand that stories must evolve if they are to live but If it had started with the Bahro then I probably would not have got hooked.

Anyhow, some of my misgivings may be that I don't really undertand how thier story works. These beings have a magical power, the d'ni managed to enslave them and use thier powers. My problems with this are:

1: how could a creature with the ability to link be captured by a comparatively simple D'ni race?

2: after capture how did they transfer the power into books with particular inks, paper and writing style?

3: how was it kept hidden from so many D'ni people for so long?

These aren't my only problems but they are the most fundemental in my eyes.

But then I also didn't like the idea that books linked to preexisting ages either! :)
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#2 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:20 PM

I'm not sure that the D'ni used the powers of the Bahro for anything. Yeesha suggests that they did, but I think she tends to collapse a lot of separate things together in ways that might make sense to her (and help her agenda!), but don't produce a clear historical account. Disentangling abuse of the Bahro from abuse of Ages and the ahrotahntee in general is tricky, and her use of metaphor and mystical prophecy doesn't really help.
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#3 User is offline   Free Bird 

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:40 AM

What he said. To the both of you. The whole Bahro war nonsense made things even worse. That was when the Myst series jumped the shark for me.
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#4 User is offline   Zardoz 

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:52 PM

Just as a dramatic device, the Bahro were an awful concept. They are presented as "choosing" to be good or evil. What's up with that? If I can switch sides at a moment's thought, where is any potential for redemption, tragedy, revelation, or any other key dramatic device? Instead, we got Really Bad Bahro as some sort of Other, which would then supposedly create space for we explorers to be Not-Other and therefore Good. Sheesh. This is why I've never bothered to ponder Really Deep Bahro questions - I'm just so irritated that Cyan sent the story over a cliff.
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#5 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM

View PostFree Bird, on 05 April 2011 - 10:40 AM, said:

That was when the Myst series jumped the shark for me.

Free Bird, I hope you don't mind, but I may have to borrow that line. Man, that made me laugh.

As for the rest of you, I cannot tell you how much I've missed you. For some reason, I keep wandering back. I miss what we had. What killed it for me was when Mac users couldn't even enter the cavern. At least you can. I must experience it vicariously through what you write, finding myself caught in a weird mixture of pea green envy and wonder. It's disheartening to read your thoughts on our beloved Cyan and lack of good development choices & storytelling. What happened?

Perhaps I yearn for the days I locked myself in a darkened room, cranked the speakers & suddenly found myself on a dock on a strange island with sounds of water lapping nearby, wondering what the blazes was going on. I was so intrigued that in a heartbeat, my sense of wonder was forever changed. No matter the progression of computers & technology that have forever changed the landscape of those early days of game play, I've never had as much fun playing a game as I did then.

Yegods, I'm rambling. I shouldn't post so late when I'm fried. :blush:
Back to your discussion...
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#6 User is offline   Free Bird 

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

Free Bird, I hope you don't mind, but I may have to borrow that line. Man, that made me laugh.

You're welcome. :)

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

As for the rest of you, I cannot tell you how much I've missed you. For some reason, I keep wandering back. I miss what we had.

Yeah, I feel the same pain. These boards, and indeed the entire community, are so different now from what they used to be. It's something you can't explain to the people that weren't there at the time (even reading back all those old posts, prohibitively time-consuming as it is, would probably only convey less than half of the atmosphere). Uru changed the community in a way that allows no going back. Now, don't get me wrong, some of these changes are actually positive. I made lots of new friends and actually got to meet other fans in person on numerous occassions. Without Uru, this would probably have been limited to a one time attendance of Mysterium back in 2004. Now, that was great fun, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss all those awesome gatherings closer to home.

But I digress. The point I was trying to make was about the negative changes. There's just a very fundamental difference between Myst fans (i.e. those that became part of the community before Uru) and Uru fans (i.e. those that joined during or after Uru). This all started way back when Zandi posted his weird puzzles. I didn't like them, most other Myst fans didn't like them, but suddenly a whole new breed of fans, the Uru fans to be, rose to the occassion and started solving them. Uru fans truly are different from Myst fans on a very fundamental level. We get along (most of the time), but we don't always understand each other or even speak the same language.

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

What killed it for me was when Mac users couldn't even enter the cavern.

In retrospect, I kind of feel sorry for not caring about this because it didn't affect me. I now see how egocentric that was. It may have been a bit of jealously as well, given how Mac users used to get everything *before* we PC users did.

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

At least you can. I must experience it vicariously through what you write, finding myself caught in a weird mixture of pea green envy and wonder.

Well, you're not really missing out at present. Prologue, however, was a different story. But lots of PC users missed that as well, so you're not alone.

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

It's disheartening to read your thoughts on our beloved Cyan and lack of good development choices & storytelling. What happened?

I've been asking myself the same thing. I try to look back and see where things went wrong. My best guess is that it all began when they started retconning stuff and coming up with the infamous "artistic license" excuse.

View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

Perhaps I yearn for the days I locked myself in a darkened room, cranked the speakers & suddenly found myself on a dock on a strange island with sounds of water lapping nearby, wondering what the blazes was going on. I was so intrigued that in a heartbeat, my sense of wonder was forever changed. No matter the progression of computers & technology that have forever changed the landscape of those early days of game play, I've never had as much fun playing a game as I did then.

To quote my favorite band: "Those dreams are gone, baby, locked away and never seen". :(
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#7 User is offline   Johnraka 

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 02:41 AM

God, this makes me feel nostalgic.

I agree with all of the above, having started with Myst and seen the changes I have never lost the sense of wonder I felt standing on that dock and wondering what I was going to do next.
I stumbled and fumbled my way around Myst and eventually (more by luck than judgement, lol) found my way to the other ages.

Riven blew me away (and still does), Exile seemed to bring it all to life with a new sense of realism whilst Revelation gave it the 'Breath of Life' but was already starting (in my humble opinion) to steer away from the original gameplay of Myst/riven.
End of Ages just seemed to be an extension of URU - and whilst not a big fan of URU I do play it (both online and off) but view it as a seperate entity - to me its links with the original Myst are tenuous at best.

I still put myself in a darkened room, crank the sound up in the headphones, light an oil burner with appropriate 'sea scent' and put the overhead fan on low - start up Myst or Riven and off I go.

There is nothing in the world of gameplay to touch it - it is about as real as I can make it without using a VR headset (and that is only cos' I can't afford one yet). :blinky:
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#8 User is offline   Topher Bear 

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:10 PM

I'm glad i'm not the only one! No time to post now, but I will very soon. I'm grateful for soundtracks! They keep the worlds of myst alive!
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#9 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 12:01 PM

Free Bird, I apologize. I meant to reply sooner but real life got in the way. I loved your reply and appreciate that you took the time. :)

View PostFree Bird, on 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM, said:

Yeah, I feel the same pain. These boards, and indeed the entire community, are so different now from what they used to be. It's something you can't explain to the people that weren't there at the time...

Agreed. We definitely had some great times here in the past. I think newer members would find it hard to believe how crazy active it was on MC. So many great discussions, theories and even laughs. It's never been the same (to me). Uru forever changed the scope of this community.


View PostFree Bird, on 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM, said:

The point I was trying to make was about the negative changes. There's just a very fundamental difference between Myst fans (i.e. those that became part of the community before Uru) and Uru fans (i.e. those that joined during or after Uru). This all started way back when Zandi posted his weird puzzles. I didn't like them, most other Myst fans didn't like them...

I also never understood the intrigue with Zandi or his puzzles. For me, he didn't mesh with the Myst mystique I'd come to love about the games. I understood the general idea, but my interest was never piqued.


View PostArianna, on 07 April 2011 - 11:46 PM, said:

What killed it for me was when Mac users couldn't even enter the cavern.

View PostFree Bird, on 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM, said:

In retrospect, I kind of feel sorry for not caring about this because it didn't affect me. I now see how egocentric that was. It may have been a bit of jealously as well, given how Mac users used to get everything *before* we PC users did.

Your point is valid and had I been in the same situation, I would probably have not cared much myself. But it greatly impacted certain members, like me and sepdet, resulting in her exit from the community as a result. We felt abandoned by our beloved Cyan which was a bitter pill to swallow. As a result, we lost many erudite, contributing members during this transition and for me, that is a loss we'll never gain back. I'm not saying we don't have good members now, but those of us who knew these people, know what we lost.

As you said below:

View PostFree Bird, on 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM, said:

To quote my favorite band: "Those dreams are gone, baby, locked away and never seen". :(

(excellent band quote btw. ;) )

That for me, is the crux of the problem. Imbecilic folly it may be, but I want those days back. I miss them and the camaraderie we all shared. With the advent of Uru, came an influx of many forums & communities. So much so, that it fragmented our community to so many places, we lost something in the translation. Gone forever are the days of Rivenguild & MC. I will forever miss those days & the friends/members lost during the transition. I've never since found a game or community I liked as much. I highly doubt I ever will. What we had here at that time, was truly special.
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#10 User is offline   Thestrangered 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:37 AM

I don't think Uru is the source of all evil. It's not fair to say that Uru ruined Myst, because Uru isn't Myst. Yes, it had D'ni and Yeesha and Linking Books, but it's still not intended to be Myst or even close to it, in style. And CW made it clear a thousend times. Uru is a spinoff- it had puzzles, same D'ni concept, but also introduces new thing- DRC, older Yeesha, Bahro, more mysticism.

So the only relevent question here, is: "is Uru a good game?"

Well, it's mixed. Uru had quite a lot of good things. I wasn't around in Prologue, but from what I've gathered it was quite awesome, storywise. The story involved DRC and mysticism, and still kept this strange feeling, which Myst fans really like. Things went quite fine, the story of Phil was very interesting, and also involved explorers (Zardoz). I should also notice that there were several good stuff in MOUL story too- the death of Willow, for example.

Than, when Uru went up again, things went down hill. We were introduced to Cate Alexander, who had no other purpose than to give a reason why the DRC returned. She had no depth, really. Than there was the Bahro war, which was also quite shallow (an invisible war which we never get to see), suddenly Phil and Watson return, Engberg is leaving, things happened too fast and there was no Mystery feeling. The DRC suddenly accept Yeesha and use her strange skills (putting a Yeesha signed linking book in the book room) without any real explanation. The concept was good (Phil returning and the Bahro war), but the way they introduced it was bad. Story also had no meaning...what's with the portals in the pods? what's with the stones in Minkata? some ages got puzzles when they needed non (new gardens), and some got screamed for explanation but had non (Minkata). They even took a lot of the meaning from the Path of the Shell, when they took out the tree and Yeesha's speech. I'm not sure why.

Uru also had some problems back from the prologue days, IMO. Fundamental problems. The Journey used too much "magic" (a Bahro is tied into totems?), and was too linear (go to age, touch the cloths, you are done). As for the expansions- To D'ni was simply a big scavanger hunt with some story explanation (the Rezeero should just be a minigame, it does not fit as a big quest), and the Path of the Shell, while being very good in the most part, also used the linear cloths for no other reason than save points, and also had some magic overuse (linking without books, for example).

I think that Uru had a lot of unrealized potential. The Bahros became these out-of-place strange creatures, who use magic and run a war we cannot see. This war could be told in a better way, I'm sure. The Bahros could be something like the Vortigaunts in Half Life- strange, sneaky beings, who live in clans and look very primitive- yet contain a lot of knowledge, and use their own kind of Art- Linking Stones (and no linking at will). Yeesha and her powers became some sort of magic- but what if, instead of giving the Grower powers to link at will and create strange portals, it would be some sort of "Master Writer"- a writer who controls the Art on a very advenced level, using it change things which seems impossible (for example- giving the ages more "Inception" feeling, which we witnessed in the alternate vault). A bit like Catherine, only really bending the art, and not simply writing strange ages. The DRC, they could keep their character, as an orgenized authority, while still getting involved in the story. I don't think the story needs a complete reboot, because ignoring everything that happened in the last 5 years (even 10) will be strange- just some chnages.
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#11 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:38 AM

View PostThestrangered, on 21 April 2011 - 03:37 AM, said:

I don't think Uru is the source of all evil. It's not fair to say that Uru ruined Myst, because Uru isn't Myst. Yes, it had D'ni and Yeesha and Linking Books, but it's still not intended to be Myst or even close to it, in style. And CW made it clear a thousend times. Uru is a spinoff- it had puzzles, same D'ni concept, but also introduces new thing- DRC, older Yeesha, Bahro, more mysticism.

I never said Uru was the source of all evil nor did I say it ruined Myst. I can't speak for Free Bird or anyone else, but I was very involved in this community when Uru beta testing began through its release and some time beyond. It definitely changed the scope of the community for some of us. We lost some great members, many long term folks who left the scene. These were intelligent, fun people who I greatly miss. I also never said URU was intended to be like Myst. Just want to be clear. But perhaps you're just clarifying your thoughts on the transition?

As a member of this community since the latter days of Rivenguild and its demise, I can only go by my personal experience & how this change affected me. To newer members, I can hazard a guess it was a different experience altogether. For those who could enter the cavern, I'm sure it was an incredible experience. I was able to catch a glimpse of it when Kha'tie passed through town and showed me a bit on her PC. Unfortunately for me, it only made the lack of being able to play more painful and as such, a bit like a slap in the face to Mac users from Cyan. At the time, some peop's suggestion was for Mac users to "go buy a PC". I wasn't then nor am I now, rich enough to buy a PC just to play a game. What has kept me returning from time to time, is the members who shared the same awe inspired love of Myst. I met some great people, some to this day who have remained friends for well over a decade. I think that speaks something rare & special to the magic of Myst, the series and its origins.
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#12 User is offline   I'mNotCheating... 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

Sadly, I was too young to have been a part of the community when RG was around, but had I been old enough I'd have jumped at the chance to talk about Myst with other people. I remember the first time I played Myst, I was absolutely blown away. Not by the graphics, cool though they were, but by the story and the atmosphere. Riven, too, astounded me with its story and style. Exile, for me, wasn't quite as amazing, but still enjoyable.
Then came Uru. I was excited to be in the D'niverse again, but I could tell this was no Myst game. I played, had fun, even found MYSTcommunity while looking for hints, but still longed to relive those days of finding myself on a strange dock, or being knocked out by rebels. I didn't particularly like prologue, either - I wasn't a fan of the social aspect, and couldn't really follow the events that were happening.
Revelation, with its retconning and trying to tie-in with the new Uru story was a little disappointing for me (and I still haven't completed it) and Myst 5 felt, at least to me, more like a continuation of Uru than of Myst.
I can't say (nor can anyone, I suppose) that it was necessarily Uru's fault that I fell out of love with the Myst franchise, but it was definitely around the same time. I'm glad, at least, that it brought me here.
Man, this has made me nostalgic. Soon as I'm done with the old Monkey Island games (I dug them out the other day to get ready for a pirate-themed party :D) I'm gonna have to reinstall Myst and save Atrus again.
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#13 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 03:03 PM

I hear you ImNotCheating about being all nostalgic. I'd love to play Myst again. Riven was also one of my favs. I'm not sure I'd remember how to solve the fire marbles puzzle again though. I was almost bald from tearing my hair out the last time I tried. Posted Image
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#14 User is offline   Zardoz 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 05:49 PM

View PostFree Bird, on 08 April 2011 - 05:54 AM, said:

But I digress. The point I was trying to make was about the negative changes. There's just a very fundamental difference between Myst fans (i.e. those that became part of the community before Uru) and Uru fans (i.e. those that joined during or after Uru). This all started way back when Zandi posted his weird puzzles. I didn't like them, most other Myst fans didn't like them, but suddenly a whole new breed of fans, the Uru fans to be, rose to the occassion and started solving them. Uru fans truly are different from Myst fans on a very fundamental level. We get along (most of the time), but we don't always understand each other or even speak the same language.

I would disagree with this characterization, as I would include myself in the pre-Uru crowd. I played a leading role in the Zandi puzzles, tracking them with a website. There was a strong contingent of fans from the realMyst egg hunts that were also active for the Zandi puzzles. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but still wonderful (IMHO).

I was also beta-testing Uru at the time, and had high hopes for it. In my mind, the 3D nature of Uru was fantastic, as I had loved realMyst for that reason. What changed my mind was the decision to introduce live characters, a decision that was quite controversial even within Cyan. There's some old quote from Rand about not wanting to make a game he didn't enjoy playing - well, I think Uru would have been much better had Rand and Ryan M. and Ryan W. (grey dragon) not enjoyed playing it, at least as the live DRC characters. Yes, I did enjoy my encounter with Phil Henderson, for those of you who can recall that. But it wasn't long after that I completely soured on the entire Prologue - its tone, its blatant manipulation of player sentiments, its utter lack of story. And when Douglas Sharper became a major driving figure, handing out favors to a select few to gin up "conflict", I retreated to the safe confines of beta testing, where there were just the beautiful Ages without the DRC.

I had thought that Uru was going to be "One Final World - a journey through ages that never end". We would receive a steady stream of new Ages to explore, stories that would focus on those Ages, and have the ability to explore and experience them with others, which is what I so loved about the beta testing environment. Instead, we got a steady stream of political intrigue and scary monsters (the Bahro - ugh). Now, I know that Cyan never had the budget to pursue its dream, but I wonder what the dream really was - Ages that never ended, or a soap opera that went on forever?
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#15 User is offline   Arianna 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:26 PM

I have a question for those of you who were able to play Uru. How different was it to play with other players? It's hard to get my brain wrapped around this since my experience was only as a single player. Did it help at times while at others feel a bit invasive? Were there obstacles to deal with having other players involved? What did you like or dislike between single and multi-player? It intrigues me because it sounds like an entirely different level of game play. I'm curious how it felt for those coming from the roots of a single player game to venturing into this new realm. I loved the idea of the KI's and the meet-ups you could have in the cavern. What I'm not sure of is how different it felt to share your journey, not through a forum, but in actual real time.

If anyone feels like sharing their thoughts on the experience, I'd love to hear about it.
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#16 User is offline   Zardoz 

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 07:22 PM

The ability to explore with other players was wonderful. One of my favorite memories was entering the Hall of Kings (the round room in Ae'gura lined with books describing the D'ni Kings) with Jerle, who was able to translate some of the D'ni writing (not in the books but on the pillars above them) on the fly. I would never have experienced that part of Uru without her presence, because I have never been able to read D'ni. Oh, I could have read the books - they were in English (for me) - but to have Jerle there breathlessly exclaiming about the D'ni language was great. Another experience was accompanying Toh'mas to the Garden Age (as we knew it back then), and pondering the meaning of all the wall drawings. That was a case where we were In-Character-lite: We were ourselves (well, okay, Toh'mas and Zardoz are fictions, too, but you know what I mean) yet we took that Age and those drawings as our reality, and had a wonderful time trying to figure out what they meant and the implications they had for the other Ages.

The ability to solve puzzles with other players was more controversial, in part because at first getting help was a necessity in some cases. This meant that you could not fully explore an Age by yourself, you had to have help. I don't think that lasted very long, however - I can recall it disappearing from Teledahn after a couple of builds. And so I usually entered and explored an Age by myself until the puzzles were fully solved, as I have always enjoyed that aspect above all others. But there are often mysteries that are not themselves puzzles, such as the Garden drawings, and so there were almost always opportunities to ponder those mysteries with others.

The other, pure social aspects of Uru I cared less about. It was fun to encounter all the other testers within the One True Bevin, but there wasn't much pure socialization. Still, the last night our Bevin was open, several of us gathered and had a grand old time as we waited for the end:

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#17 User is offline   Thestrangered 

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 07:52 AM

The social aspect is quite nice. However, I believe a Myst-style adventure game can't really be an MMO. I think it would be nicer if it would be group exploration- all of the game is singleplayer, except for the 'hoods, and maybe instances of Ae'gura. So from there you could invite people to "your" game, and explore with this one person or group.

As for the live events, I think the the concept is awesome- however it didn't really work out, because at many times it looked like a show, and people didn't really care. And the events themselves weren't very interesting or well told either. But the concept of player driven characters is great, and it will be a shame to lose it. Having a game which is only ages with history would be less fun- the present day story can be really immersive.

As for the DRC, it takes a little bit time to get used to them after playing the Myst games, but their presence is really cool. I enjoyed reading the notes in Sharper's office, or walk into the office in Gahreesen and read the age report. It felt as if they were a real orgenization, and this fantasy and real-life hybrid came out really good. Sadly, the DRC lost more and more of it's character during MOUL.

As for the Bahro and Yeesha, as I've said, their story could turn out to be really good. Yeesha could be the accentric master writer who controls the art at a very advenced level- and not a magician. And the Bahro could be a Vortigaunt-style creatures, sneaky being who developed their own art- instead of the out of place magic monsters which they are now, for most of us.
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#18 User is offline   Kaelri 

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:10 AM

View PostArianna, on 21 April 2011 - 06:26 PM, said:

If anyone feels like sharing their thoughts on the experience, I'd love to hear about it.


I missed the original Prologue phase due to an inferior video card. So my first contact with Uru was the offline single-player game. And that, for reasons that Cyan surely never intended, was one of the loneliest, most tragic gaming experiences I've ever had. Especially once they released the D'ni locations in the expansion pack. There were streamers and banners, traffic cones around unfinished excavations, notes and announcements on the imagers, pictures of other people, visitor logs in Bevin (that dropped off after a certain date), Watson's voice message in the auditorium. It was a D'ni within a D'ni, an atmosphere of death and abandonment that was really palpable. It was obvious that this was a place meant to house masses of people and vibrant activity. In short, I would say that even for someone who never played with other people, the game itself demands it.

I finally got to play it as an MMO during the "D'mala" period, just before the switch to GameTap. I actually wrote a long post about my initial impressions, so I'll try not to repeat myself. Suffice to say, I thought it was wonderful - particularly when I was with a group of people who were roleplaying, which I liken to improvisational acting. For all its flaws, I've never played another video game, before or since, with an environment that nurtured such rich multiplayer storytelling, made players feel like they were really part of the plot - not in a scripted way, but in the organic, meaningful way that you can only get when there are humans on the other side. Only tabletop RPGs give me the same kind of satisfaction, but there, everything's imaginary. Uru was a fully-realized virtual world populated by thousands of actual people, and to have that be the vehicle for a story that I got to participate in, even contribute to? That was what made Uru special to me.

That said, there were some... imperfections. Especially when they tried to make the gameplay take advantage of the multiplayer aspect. The problem with requiring a second player in
Spoiler
is that it was only fun for the first group of people who figured it out. After that, for new players, it wasn't about solving a puzzle, but rather going to the cavern to beg for help from someone who'd already done it a thousand times. Maybe it felt artificial because I'd played the versions that didn't require help, but in practice, it felt like a gimmick that wasn't thought all the way through.

Cyan's DRC characters were also an issue. Because their appearances were so rare, they would invariably be swarmed by dozens, sometimes (literally) hundreds of players who wanted to hear them speak. There were explorers dedicated to relaying their words, by chat, to those who couldn't make it into the area themselves because of lag or population caps. We learned to queue on command. And the episodic format in the GameTap era, although it had some definite advantages, exacerbated that problem: when events were scheduled, the entire player base would hammer the servers at the same time, and as soon as anything went down, eighty people were there within seconds like the paparazzi from hell. It was more or less impossible to have anything like an intimate scene with anyone above a certain level of notoriety.

I'm also pretty nonplussed by the social activities which have sprung up in lieu of official Cyan content. These parades and poetry readings and cone-stacking contests... I just don't get them. I appreciate that there are a number of people - the "new" crowd, as you were discussing earlier in this thread - who really value the community for its own sake. In particular, I know there are some older/disabled people who see Uru as a place where they can run and jump and interact with people from around the world, in a way that they can't in the real world, and I don't begrudge that at all. I think it's magnificent, actually. But still, without the story, Uru as it exists today feels almost as empty as it did back when I played it offline. And with the forthcoming open source release, I strongly doubt that there will be another revival. But I do hope that Cyan has learned the lessons of the experience, and that they'll one day put them to use for a new multiplayer project that is bigger and better than anything we've yet seen, for which Uru was just a very long practice run.
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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:42 PM

View PostZardoz, on 21 April 2011 - 05:49 PM, said:

I would disagree with this characterization, as I would include myself in the pre-Uru crowd. I played a leading role in the Zandi puzzles, tracking them with a website.

There are always exceptions.

View PostZardoz, on 21 April 2011 - 05:49 PM, said:

There was a strong contingent of fans from the realMyst egg hunts that were also active for the Zandi puzzles. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but still wonderful (IMHO).

Ah, yes. The RealMYST easter eggs. I didn't like those either. ;)

View PostArianna, on 21 April 2011 - 06:26 PM, said:

I have a question for those of you who were able to play Uru. How different was it to play with other players?

Well, there were some obvious examples where puzzles could have been a lot better if they had just left them as they were originally designed, i.e. impossible to solve by yourself.

Spoiler


So, to me, it was always clear that the game would have been a lot better if it had been multiplayer-only from the start, so they wouldn't have had to make these compromises for single player playability. I really love the team puzzle in the Garden Ages, even though it's not much of a puzzle. It's just a nice activity to perform together. All in all I think the multiplayer aspect could have been a big plus if they had exploited it better. As it is, it's not enough to turn an average game into a great game.
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Posted 23 April 2011 - 03:55 AM

View PostArianna, on 21 April 2011 - 06:26 PM, said:

If anyone feels like sharing their thoughts on the experience, I'd love to hear about it.

As someone who never 'got' multiplayer on a fundamental level (except, perhaps, for Mario Kart), I didn't think it was anything special. I never really interacted with the people around me, I never did any of the multiplayer puzzles (I'd already completed the single-player game by the time I got into the cavern). I treated it basically the same way I treated World of Warcraft - as a largely single-player experience that happened to have other people in it. I guess I behaved exactly as I would have had I really been there, though - I tend to be a very private person and only socialise with people I already know.
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