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Exploring Player Participation In Myst Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A recent Escapist article examines the unique online game experience provided by Cyan Worlds' Myst Online: Uru Live. The article offers a history of the online world before delving into the player interactions which form the backbone of the Myst Online experience.

When Cyan dropped the project in 2004 due to financial woes, the game stayed alive through unofficial "shard" servers. The community remained in the cavern, creating their own stories. Only recently has Cyan returned to support its players, but the players never lost their resolve. Why? What makes Uru special?

Roleplaying in other online games rarely extends beyond greeting people with "Hail." The "roleplaying" aspects of the game are essentially level-grinding and stat-manipulation. The depth of someone's character exists only in his loot's cool factor. Without that loot, the game's appeal disappears in an instant. Uru's appeal comes not from leveling and growing stronger but from exploration and taking part in the game's evolving storyline.

To say Uru has reached a point where players are actually involved in the story would be stretching, but the building blocks are in place, and the potential is staggering. As it stands, the storyline, generally revolving around strange "Bahro" creatures who have suddenly appeared en masse in the cavern, plays out in real-time, with "actors" at Cyan playing important characters that interact with explorers: giving speeches, answering questions, even making jokes.
Click over to the site below to read the rest of the article.

The Escapist: The Ending Has Not Yet Been Written
GameTap (add to watch list)
Myst Online: Uru Live (add to watch list)


 

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