Myst Online: Uru Lives

Regular readers, of which there are probably one, will remember about a year ago, when I wrote about Myst Online: Uru Live. An MMO centred around the Myst Universe, which failed and was released as a single player game called Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, before being resurrected as an online game by GameTap for about a year before dying again. The online version was a game I never got around to playing, but I wrote about how, as someone who only played the single player version, it didn’t surprise me it never took off and how it was a flawed idea from the beginning.

That post received a record amount of feedback, nearly 30 comments, which is incredible, considering I rarely get any comments that aren’t spam. Of course the feedback was from those who were fans of Myst, including some who were major players in the Myst fan community. So of course they told me why I was wrong, some a little more crusader-like than others. One of them posted a link on the official Myst Online forums, and you know I just realized, he said I called Myst Online a “flop”, in quotes, which I didn’t, you can check, and one of the commenters said I used the word “facts”, in quotes, which I didn’t, you can check, although the leader of the crusade did. I believe that is called a straw man fallacy. He even called my blog “contemporary game review journalism” which is kind of embarrassing, primarily because it’s not…it’s a blog, it’s one asshole’s small-time blog.

Anyway, when people made me aware of the concept of instancing in Myst Online, politely, I retracted a lot of what I said while explaining that it doesn’t make sense in-universe…or in-cavern as they call it.

Of course, just to boast my own ego, I’d like to mention that most of the feedback I got was actually positive. Saying they agreed with most of my points but I missed the point of instancing.

So since then, Cyan got their shit together and brought Myst Online back, under their own servers and free. I would have liked it if they said free to those who already bought the original Uru, but whatever, it would have been difficult to coordinate and this is more open anyways, so it’s all good.

The first few days were apparently insane, with thousands signing up for the game. THOUSANDS! I know we are all excited it’s back, but seriously, I didn’t even know there were a thousand Myst fans who still gave a shit about the franchise, much less paying close enough attention to sign up on opening day. Continue reading

The Future of D’ni

So my Myst Online piece got a record amount of feedback, mostly positive, thanks to a fanboy who hated it and decided to post it on the Myst Online forums. So thank you DerCerbr…wait, is that right…Cerberus?

Anyway, because of this I learned if I insult something sufficiently enough it will get more hits then normal, so I will begin by saying World of Warcraft is a complete load of crap and deserves to die! Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the Myst franchise. Continue reading

So I am Wrong

Ah, succinct and to the point.

With my recent post saying the basic theory of Myst Online was a bad idea, I got a lot of traffic and a lot of corresponding feedback, and all I have to say is they are right.

Apparently in Myst Online, for many ages when you visit them you are the only one there. You visit your own instance of that age. So in that case, Myst Online: Uru Live is a good idea. Now here is where people will get to hate me. Continue reading

Missed Online: Uru Why?

Okay, that title has to be the worst yet.

Anyway, Myst is a franchise that has permeated the contentiousness of it’s fans. Those who love the game really do love it.

In my case I remember first hearing about Myst back in 2000 through an ad in a magazine for it’s real-time 3D remake, realMyst. At first I did not know what to make of it. I had never played adventure games before so I thought it was similar to SimCity for some reason. I was a kid, I was stupid. I also remember hearing about the Myst books from one of my busmates. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Years later I spotted a copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition which bundled the first three Myst Games on three DVDs for what must have been dirt cheap because back then I couldn’t think of a reason to buy it otherwise. I was really into cheap bargain bin games back then and I still am actually, most of the games I own fall into that category.

I brought it home, played it and was immediately hooked, I was honestly surprised I haven’t heard about this game before (aside from the realMyst ad) because it was so bloody brilliant. But, while it was one of the biggest games of the 90’s, it is simply not that big today. For one thing pre-rendered images and cinematics have been reserved for crappy kids movies and JRPGs, and the gaming public are generally more interested in either mass-murder or chatting it up with their buddies. Knowing murder would never work in a Myst game Cyan (who I should mention are the creators of the Myst series) decided to do the latter and attempted to take Myst Online. Continue reading

They Myst the Point

I am not typically one to pirate games, and I don’t condone it in any way. However after I finished Myst IV, I had to find out how the series continued. So I “acquired” a copy of Myst V.

Some may say I stole it but I think that is an unfair analogy. It’s not like stealing a candy bar. I steal a candy bar the store is out a candy bar. I pirate a game the game company is out nothing. True they don’t receive the money I would have spent if I bought it legitimately, but that is hypothetical, and to me the choice was pirate the game or not play it at all.

But I will, eventually, purchase a copy of Myst V legitimately…in spite of the fact that it’s not worth a single penny. Continue reading

The Mysts of Island

I am a fan of the Myst franchise. I own the first four games and Uru: Complete Chronicles (legit), and once I get money I plan on buying the fifth and final game, End of Ages, and on the same note I will also get the three companion novels in the Myst Reader when I get the chance.

Some may ask why I am such a fan. If you are, you obviously have never played the games before. It’s hard to describe why or figure out exactly what the number one reason is. The puzzles, the visuals and the story all work together quite seamlessly. Anyone who likes mysteries or exploration or mindless puzzles will find something to like in Myst or the sequels. Plus the whole concept of writing in books to connect to other worlds creates an entire multiverse of possibilities that you can easily visit. Like Stargate only more…out there. In Riven there is a bacteria in the water that causes the water to, I am not kidding here, move away from heat. If you throw a match in a puddle, the match will stay lit and the water will move away from it. That is weird.

One of my biggest regrets regarding the Myst series was looking up walkthroughs and hints. I really think I missed the best part of the game. I guess this is why it is not as popular now as it once was. In the 90’s Myst was the best selling video game of all time, until it was displaced by the Sims which I really don’t think can be classified as a game anyway, but I digress. Now with the increased prevelence and popularity of first person shooters and other action oriented games, gamers are used to games that allow for instant gratification. Myst doesn’t offer that. Myst is meant to be played slowly, you are meant to think each puzzle through and might end up spending hours or even days stuck on one puzzle because of one thing you simply didn’t think of. That’s the appeal of Myst, it’s a slow and cerebral game, and while you can speed things up by using a walkthrough or a hint system, you are cheating and basically depriving yourself of the full game. Of course even now I used a hint system when I played Myst IV today so I guess that makes me an hypocritical pillock. Continue reading