It’s all about me. Word clouds.

Like many of us I enjoy things that purport to tell me something about me, even if what they tell me does not seem right. I like fanciful things too. I take Facebook surveys – what color would I be if I was a color? I made that one up.

And I like data analysis and data visualization. Data visualization is the new way of saying that you make your data look like a picture – a chart, a graph, a map overlay, something. You visualize it. “Data” is (often) counts of something, by something – number of sales by product (the oblong widget, the square widget), month and year of the sale, area of the world. You can use metrics other than counts, such as averages. What is the average price of a pint of blueberries in Philadelphia, during July 2014? You get the idea.

A word cloud, also called a tag cloud, is a data visualization of all the words in a document or a web site. Wikipedia talks about this in some detail, and includes a formula – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_cloud. You do not do this manually; you use an application, a program that count up all the words, and displays the words differently, depending on how often they are used in your source. Words that are used more often are bigger and have more prominence on the page. You omit filler words such as “the”, “and”. The goal is to make a pretty picture that says something interesting about the document or web site.

I decided to use Wordle (http://www.wordle.net) to make a pretty picture of this blog. Wordle is free. You can put Worldle images on your site. Most importantly, the images it generates are attractive.

I could not find an easy way to grab all the words from this blog, so I carefully copied my blog posts into a document, eliminating administrative words such as “posted”, dates of the posts, and the words from the columns on the side of my posts. I wanted wordle to work on what the blog was about. I wanted to see what comes up. Will California still be important?

I generated my word cloud before the last two posts. My word cloud captures how my blog looks before July 19, 2014. I tried a variety of picture formats and took a screenshot of the one I liked.

Word cloud of amarez.com, generated by Wordle, June 2014

Word cloud of amarez.com, generated by Wordle, June 2014

Good news – California is still prominent in my word cloud! There it is, looking blue. You can also see that Wordle is not smart enough to figure out that some words are really one word, even if they look like two. I wrote about Palo Alto, where I lived, but Wordle breaks it up into two words, and distributes the words “Palo” and “Alto” on different parts of the picture.

Next, I wanted to see what my resume looked like, after it went through Wordle. I removed my name and address and let Wordle do its thing. Here it is.

Word cloud of my resume, generated by wordle, June 2014

Word cloud of my resume, generated by wordle, June 2014

From my readings, when you apply for a job, you are supposed to generate a word cloud of a job you like, and then a word cloud of your resume. Then you make the word cloud of your resume match the job as closely as possible. The idea is that your resume fits the job, and so people will want to interview you for the job. I do not know if this works, but I understand the reasoning. But here’s the thing – I am absurdly fond of my how my resume came out on Wordle. I can look at my resume and I see what I care about.  I would not want to change it.

It’s all about me.

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My virtual life, getting back into online games, descriptions, explanations, opinions

My New Year’s resolutions, as posted on twitter, were as follows:

  • Get really good at a new job
  • Play more video games
  • Go swimming
  • Read more novels

People talk about online game addiction.  Sometimes I think – gee, do I wish!  Aside from going to parties in Second Life, less weird then you might think, I haven’t been doing any online gaming.

I’m not sure if I like online games.  What I like is being in a virtual world.  However, with nothing to do in a virtual world, no reason for being there, the world is very boring.  I know about this, having been in the world of Uru, on an off, since 2003.  There was precious little to do in Uru back in 2003.  Now, with no new content being released, there is nothing new to do, apart from socializing with fellow players.  Uru is boring.  So, you need something to do.

Most MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) have combat as the main thing you do. I have mixed feelings about combat.  I think the games have combat as their core gameplay because the combat mechanism is well worked out, people understand it, it gives your game focus, allows you to tell a story, and it can be exciting.  I’ll do combat if I’m fighting to defeat the evil in the world.  I prefer PvE, player versus environment play, where we don’t fight each other; we battle the evil in the world.  I don’t do PvP, player versus player combat.

I don’t play online games set in a virtual world for the challenge, or to be the best, though people have been playing competitive games for as long as there have been people.  Everyone, including me, is competitive about something.  I’m just not competitive about games.  I play to relax and to be in a beautiful online world.  I don’t want to turn my online world into a competition or another job.  I like my gameplay as easy as possible.  This is not something you can generally say on game forums; many people are very serious about these games, and very competitive.

Playing with other people isn’t as easy as you would think.  When I first started playing MMORPGs, I thought – “great, I’ll make some friends and we’ll play together”.  For most games, this is not the way it works.  In order to do something “together” you have to be at the same level of expertise in the game, and you have to have a balanced party, a mix of people in the right roles, for example, a healer, a hunter, a warrior.   Your play time is structured by the group event, the quest, the instance.  Once you start your group thing, you can’t leave without disrupting your party.  This is way too much structure for me, though I might do it occasionally, with a small group.  I like being with people in an online world, but I’d rather do things in the game by myself, seeing players as I wander through the world, occasionally talking to them.

Fortunately most MMOs today have a fair amount of solo play.  You do your game things yourself (fight some monsters, find things), periodically running into other people.  In some games such as World of Warcraft, it’s easier to level (make progress) if you solo.

Another thing I didn’t know, when I first started, is that MMORPGs had end game content.  I thought you just kept playing, enjoying your world, and periodically the developers would release new stuff.  Wrong!  Many games have end game content.  Often this consists of raids, lengthy difficult structured gameplay with twenty-five to a hundred people.  You defeat a difficult enemy and see wondrous things.  I’m not joking, developers devote time and people to make the hard long things exciting and good looking, with colorful scenes and special effects and in game videos.  Another common feature of end game content is PvP (player versus player) battlegrounds.

I might play with a small group, but I never intend to do the structured play with larger groups, the ten or twenty-five or fifty person “raids”.  I just can’t do it.

Some games in the genre work a little differently.  In Guild Wars you can reach end game with a small number of people.  You can also do it yourself by having your party include characters played by the computer, using artificial intelligence.  I like that.

What am I playing now?

Rift – the beta

I participated in the beta test of an upcoming game, Rift.  This is an open beta, so we can talk about it.  Rift is beautiful game, but the intro levels are intensely combat focused, to the exclusion of everything else.  I realize the Rift world is at war, but I did not enjoy the battleground atmosphere, and the random crying and screaming of the NPCs (non player characters) did not add to my enjoyment.   The intro levels were also crowded, which made for a surreal experience.  You saw lots of people running around (no random strolling, exploring), playing solo, killing their particular set of monsters for their quests, their missions.  Since there were so many people, the monsters spawned (reappeared) at a quick rate, to give everyone enough to do.  Something about the structure struck me as more “game” than world.  I’ve read that that the higher levels have more of a beautiful real world feel, but I doubt if I’ll get there.  Rift is in beta, but I’m reasonably sure the game will be essentially the same game when it is released, this March.

Rift beta, Alliance side, just out of the starter area, January 2011

Rift beta, Guardian side, the starting building, January 2011

Guild Wars – taking a break

I’ve played Guild Wars for several years, very slowly.  I love the look of the world, the look of the player characters, and I like how the world is structured.  You see people in towns, but your adventures are always in your own copy of the world.  This is called instancing.  But, I’m taking a break from it, possibly because I’m at the point where it’s getting hard.  I’ll get back into it later.

World of Warcraft – just started

I’ve never played World of Warcraft (half an hour four years ago, doesn’t count!), but I decided to give it a try.  Online gamers who don’t play World of Warcraft criticize the game a lot – it’s too easy, other players are mean, everyone plays (not just “real” gamers!), players aren’t serious, all that.  There’s resentment that World of Warcraft is so popular, with its huge player base of around 12 million subscribers.  Apparently, popular is bad, which seems silly to me because games are part of popular culture!  Given the publicity about the new content released, Cataclysm, and the amount of criticism in the Rift forum, I decided to give it a try.  I’ve read that some World of Warcraft game servers have more mean people playing on them than nice people, though you can ignore people and they can’t hurt you.  Role playing servers, where you pretend to be your character, tend to have nicer people. I’m not a serious roleplayer, but I wanted to run into nice people, so I decided to give a roleplay server a try.

I’m playing a draenei, a peaceful race, which works well for me.  I’m a shaman, a healer.  World of Warcraft is stylized, but beautiful.  I like the look of the world, but I’ve never liked the look of the characters.  This character is ok, though she’s way too busty, a not uncommon feature of online multiplayer games.  The server I’m playing on is an established server, so I haven’t run across many people.  Most of them are probably at the higher level areas.  I ran into a couple of people, one waved.  It was nice.  I’m poking along, still at a very low level, level 3.  The music is evocative; this part of the world is eerie and lovely.  I like it.

World of Warcraft, Alliance side, starting area for the Draenel.  My character does have facial features, but the sun is on her face, washing it out.  January 2011

World of Warcraft, Alliance side, starting area for the Dreanel.  Beautiful area.  January 2011

World of Warcraft, Alliance side, starting area for the Draenel. My character does have facial features, but the sun is on her face, washing it out. January 2011

World of Warcraft, Alliance side, starting area for the Dreanel. Beautiful area. January 2011

World of Warcraft, Alliance side, starting are for the Dreanel. Those things that look like big pansies have legs and walk around. January 2011

Next time I’ll talk about Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and Lord of the Rings Online.

2010 retrospective. My online multiplayer world – I come for the parties

Lately I’ve been a very intermittent online gamer.   I come for the parties.  My plan next year is to actually play some games.  Until then, here’s my year in retrospective.

Swing party in the snow, Second Life, December 2009.

Second Life is a virtual world where you build things or go experience what other people build.  This was a party given by people in the Guild of Healers, a small group of people who played Uru and have a location in Second Life where they make things.   It’s a great group of people.  I always have a great time at their parties.   This was a swing party, as in…we swung on swings!  I liked the area so much I came back later and played around and took some pictures of my character, my avatar.  The people who own this piece of land in SL (yes, it’s thought of as property, as land) created this space specifically for the party.

People ask me sometimes if the parties are like parties in real life.  If you know the people from your virtual life, and if the people are sociable, it feels like a gathering.  Good virtual environments give you something to do, something that makes it seem like your persona is there.  There’s music.  There are activities such as dancing — click on something or type in a command and there you are, dancing on the screen.  Some online worlds and groups support the use of microphones, where your voice is heard.  This group tends to use text chat, mostly.  You can text chat either to the group, or privately to a person.

I met these people when I was playing Uru.  The concept of a guild, a group of people with a shared goal, is common to online games.  This guild came from the idea of expanding the traditional guild structure in Uru.

I’m the figure with the cropped pants, flat shoes, and wings, because why would you not have wings?  Even without wings, in Second Life you can fly.

People change their looks in Second Life a lot. It’s a costumey place.  I tend to keep my look the same, now that I found something that suits me.  I got some free clothes (people give things away) and paid a small amount of money to get my hair style and my wings.

Swing Party, Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009

Swing Party. You had the option of wearing a snowman head, a fun if surreal experience. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009

Amarez, my avatar in Second Life, swinging by herself. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009

Meditation, Guild of Healers, Second Life, December 2009

I’m not much for meditation, but the group is so nice that I wanted to check this out.  I could use some peace in my life.  In this event, the person leading the meditation used a mike to conduct the meditation.  We sat on cushions in the lovely space, and the sky changed from night to day.  I enjoyed being with the people, but I got distracted.  I’m still not much of a meditation person.  As I stated before, this space was created by the people who own this “land” in Second Life.

Meditation during the Second Life night, Guild of Healers retreat. Second Life, December 2009.

Dawn, Guild of Healers retreat. Second Life, December 2009.

The meditation continues. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009.

Retirement party for Lord Chaos, Second Life, December 2009

Lord Chaos, also known as Ktahdn (game names) took early retirement from his job.  Sometimes organizations will offer economic incentives for people to retire earlier than they had planned.  It can be a very good deal for the person.  The Guild of Healers had a retirement party in Second Life.  We started in an indoor building in a festive space, then ended up outside.  As the party progressed and we greeted the Second Life day, we got quieter, more reflective.  Changes in your life will do that to you.

Retirement party. We talk and are festive. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009.

Retirement party. We move outside. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009.

Retirement party. We greet the day. Notice the whimsical elements. Guild of Healers retreat, Second Life, December 2009

Fifth anniversary radio show by Lord Chaos, Uru, June 2010

Uru is an online multiplayer game.  You cannot create your own content in Uru.  This means that you cannot do any customization for an event.    It is, however, a beautiful space, so people have events and parties in Uru, because they want to.   I’m rarely in Uru, nowadays, but I made sure to attend the fifth anniversary radio show given by Lord Chaos.  Lord Chaos is his game name.

Online radio shows are a feature of the internet world.   People create their own radio shows, their own playlists and private music streams for friends.  Some people provide their own commentary, like a true DJ.   Lord Chaos does that, a mixture of music and commentary. Since you can’t change the music in Uru, you turn the music in the game off, and then stream the radio show from an internet site.

Lord Chaos has great musical sensibilities, eclectic and melodic.  Some shows are dance oriented, some are more reflective, and some are a mixture of both.  It’s always a great musical experience.

Fifth anniversary radio show, Lord Chaos. The Watchers Sanctuary, Uru. June 2010

Fifth anniversary radio show, Lord Chaos. Minkata, Uru. June 2010.

Fifth anniversary radio show. Lord Chaos. At the bottom you can see we are talking, text chat. Minkata, Uru. June 2010.

Silk Road Journey, revisited, Second Life, June 2010

The Silk Road is a collection of trade routes that were used to connect China and the Mediterranean.  (http://www.ess.uci.edu/~oliver/silk.html, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road, there are many, many other references).

In a previous post, I talked about a radio show described as musical journey along the Silk Road.  https://amarez.com/2009/06/14/second-life-the-silk-road-a-virtual-journey/.

Lord Chaos has done a series of radio shows about the Silk Road.  The radio show is structured as a journey, a trip.  During breaks in the music, Lord Chaos talks about where we are on the journey, the time of day, the weather and how we are feeling.  It’s an interesting experience, very evocative.  It has the feeling of an actual journey.  This was a very long radio show, eight hours, but not everyone stayed for the whole show, and we had breaks in the music for talking and (virtual) dancing.   Second Life is a good venue for this – a virtual stage for the musical journey.  I had a fantastic time.

The Silk Road, a musical journey. We gather around the campfire. Notice the map in the background. Second Life, Guild of Healers, July 2010.

The Silk Road, a musical journey. The setting for the journey. Second Life, July 2010.

The Silk Road, a musical journey. We start to dance. Second Life, July 2010.

The Silk Road, a musical journey. Amarez, my avatar, is dancing. Second Life, July 2010.

Ktahdn dance party, Second Life, July 2010

I went to a dance party in Second Life, at the Guild of Healers retreat.  Lord Chaos/Ktahdn (game name) was the DJ.  We danced from Second Life night to dawn!  To be fair, the day night cycle is speedy, not a twenty four hour cycle, so that’s easy to do.

Ktahdn dance party, Guild of Healers. I’m in the front, the one with the wings. Second Life, July 2010.

Ktahdn dance party. We danced through the night! Second Life, July 2010

Ghaelen’s graduation party, Second Life, November 2010

Ghaelen (game name) completed her dissertation for her PhD.  So, the Guild of Healers had a party.  It was wonderfully festive.

Ghaelen’s graduation party. Ghaelen is in the back, wearing a graduation robe. Second Life, November 2010

Ghaelen’s graduation party. Dancing the night away. Second Life, November 2010

Ghaelen’s graduation party. As we dance, we float! Second Life, November 2010.

There will be another party before the end of the year, but I’ll save that  for next time.

My avatar, Amarez, in the Guild of Healers retreat. I can fly! Second Life, December 2009

Second Life, The Silk Road, a Virtual Journey

In an online world people have concerts or parties in a virtual space.  Your character, your avatar, sits or stands in the space, walks around, dances.  People text chat, which is much less intrusive than talking during a concert!
 
On Saturday I went to a music show described as a virtual journey, in Second Life.   I’ve listed selections from a post on the Myst Online forum , describing the event – http://mystonline.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17608

 

The (travelling) Guild of Healers invites you on a metaphorical caravan………..

through desert and mountain, climbing and descending, to the Mediterranean Sea following the interwoven complexities of the Silk Road. We’ve chosen to meet in Second Life in new facilities provided by the kind folks there, but the music can be heard anywhere people want to meet.

We met in Second Life, an online world where the members design and create the places in the world.  We met in an Uru themed location. Uru is a multiplayer game that was cancelled but still has a fan following.   We sat around a fountain. There was a map of our route on the wall. 

What followed could best be described as a virtual journey in a virtual space.  The creator of the event played music and talked to us as if we were on a journey – “the day is getting warmer”, “the camels are tired”.  The music had an evocative theme – think of a combination of a Hearts of Space radio show (http://www.hos.com) and the music of  Loreena McKennitt. The event creator text chatted, moving us along the route.  The participants also text chatted.  Sometimes the participants text chatted as if they were on the journey.  Sometimes they texted as if they were sitting around the fountain.  Sometimes they texted as if they were in front of their computer.  People welcomed other people, asked about something, made a comment on the journey, said they had to leave to do something in the real world, made a joke, talked about technical problems in Second Life (“sorry, I crashed”).  This is my favorite way to act in a virtual space, a way that seems most natural.  You act as if you are in a virtual space, but you also act as if you aren’t.

This type of event is very difficult to do well.  Aside from it being a pretend journey in a pretend space, the event was designed to be serious, which is hard to do well. It could have been a pretentious disaster.  It could have been boring.  It wasn’t either – it was spectacular!  In some way it felt like you were both sitting around a fountain and on a magical journey in a caravan on the Silk Route.

Here are some pictures.

Second Life - The Silk Route Musical Journey, June 2009

Second Life - The Silk Route Musical Journey, June 2009

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second Life - event view from further away, June 2009

Second Life - event view from further away, June 2009

 
 

Guild Wars – April 2009 – party, festival

In April I went to an online party in one of our Alliance Guild Halls.  There was virtual dancing.  We don’t have Alliance parties very often, but when we do, we enjoy them.
Guild Wars, Guild Hall Party, April 2009

Guild Wars, Guild Hall Party, April 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of April, Guild Wars had an in game festival to celebrate their four year anniversary.

http://www.guildwars.com/events/ingame/four_year_anniversary/default.php

 I came from another multiplayer game world, Uru, where there was very little to do.  Consequently, I was amazed that a game company would give you fun stuff to do, in game, for something that only lasted one week.  We had events in Uru, but we had to “make do” with what we had.  One could say that this showed creativity on the part of the Uru players, but it just didn’t seem right.  It’s hard to play “let’s pretend” with no props and nothing changing in the game.

I’ve learned that many multiplayer games  have  festivals.   People like to come together, in a virtual space,  for a reason, for something special.  The festivals in Lord of the Rings Online are said to be quite good, particularly in the hobbit areas.  This makes sense – you can imagine the Shire having really good festivals!

 I enjoyed the Anniversary Celebration.

Guild Wars Festival Game, April 25, 2009

Guild Wars Festival Game, April 25, 2009

 

 

I’m playing a game of chance where you stand on a ring, and some sort of blast knocks you down.  If you don’t fall down (not up to you) you win.

 

 

 

 

GW Festival, another game, April 25, 2009

GW Festival, another game, April 25, 2009

 
 
 
 
A “whack the serpent” game, where the goal is to tag the serpent heads that rise up out of the ground.  I’m a slow tagger, so I only won when I was the only one playing!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Guild Wars Festival, Dragon Arena, April 2009

Guild Wars Festival, Dragon Arena, April 2009

 
  
 
 
 
Here is a view of the Dragon Arena, so lovely and festive.  I didn’t play, I just visited the place.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All for now,
amarez – mszv

My Avatar

Public Space, Private Space – the MMO player’s friend!

I wrote this piece as an article for the October Guild of Messengers newsletter – http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/.    If you aren’t seeing it, the newsletter will be up soon. 

Let’s talk about instancing, in two multiplayer games (MMOs):

     Guild Wars – http://www.guildwars.com

     Myst Online: Restoration Experiment – Uru – http:/www.mystonline.com. 

 

From the official Guild wars Wiki – “An instance is a game location that is specifically generated by the game for a party or group…… Instancing allows a party to adventure by itself without other players stealing kills/loot, but also precludes any chance of meeting a random stranger at a secluded location ……” (http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Instance)

 

Scenario time –  I’m in Guild Wars, and I need to find 5 gargoyle skulls. I start in an area with people, and I enter an instance of an area – the catacombs. The area is mine alone to play in. The magic, the beauty, the wonder and the fun – it’s all mine! I wander around, and I find some gargoyles – those meanies! I rain fire, and I get my skulls. I leave the catacombs and go back to town.

 

In Guild Wars an instance is not permanent. When you leave an instanced area, your copy goes away. The next time you go exploring , another copy of the area is generated for you. It sounds disjointed, but it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like you exploring the same area. This works because there are things you can accomplish in an hour or two of play.

 

In Uru instancing is permanent.  When I play Uru, areas of the world, called ages, are set up for me as I explore. Unless I decide to reset an age, whatever I do in my private ages stays “done”, even if I leave and come back to the age. If I push a lever in Teledahn to turn on power, the next time I enter Teledahn, the power is still on. It makes sense to have permanent instanced ages in Uru because the puzzles are lengthy and complicated. If an age was reset whenever I left – I wouldn’t get anywhere! I can also invite people to my private ages – I can share them with friends.

 

This feature of Uru is very appealing. All of my private ages feel, in some way, like home.

 

Both Uru and Guild Wars have shared spaces, an area owned by a group of people. Uru calls them neighborhoods. Guild Wars calls them Guild Halls.

 

Both games have multiplayer public spaces. Guild Wars has towns, estates, outposts. Guild Wars makes copies of the public spaces, so the towns don’t feel too crowded.  Each copy of a public space can be visited by any player. If your friends are in a different public space from the one you are in, you can join them.  Uru has one public space, Ae’gura, the city. About 100 people at one time can be in the public Ae’gura.  Uru also makes copies of the city accessible from the neighborhoods, to enable everyone to visit the city, whenever they want to.

 

Not all MMO players like instancing.  Arenanet plans to reduce instancing for its next game, Guild Wars II, and focus on more of a classic MMO shared game world.  But – I want to say to Arenanet – I love instancing!  Uru is currently not open for play, but there is some possiblity that it will come back.  MORE/Uru will continue to have permanent instanced areas.

 

Here’s what I love about instancing. Online games can be messy, complicated places, particularly for a devoted but intermittent player. They can be annoying to the player who likes both an online world with “people” and a virtual world where you can be alone – or with a few companions. My game time is very limited, and I want to have a good time each time I play. Sometimes I want to experience the beauty and the wonder of the worlds all by myself. I’m social, but there are times when I want to be alone. I don’t want to ignore the people in an online space, like you ignore strangers on the street in a real city. Sometimes I want the “people” to not be there at all! I want to control it – I want to be the one who decides when to be with people and when to be alone, in my beautiful online multiplayer worlds.

 

So please – Uru and Guild Wars – keep my private space!

 

A few pictures – because I like pictures

 

Teledahn - a private age

Teledahn - a private age

 

Teledahn, a private age in Uru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guild Hall View

Guild Hall View

 

 

 

 

 

View from my  guild hall, a shared space in Guild Wars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regards,

amarez – mszv

 

 

Uru – the MMO

Uru is an online multiplayer game (MMO), developed by Cyan Worlds, the creators of Myst.  The game is set in present day.  You discover an ancient city, underground in the desert.  Via the concept of linking books (find a book, open it, click on the image) you are transported to other worlds, called ages.  Gameplay consists of exploring the worlds, solving puzzles to advance the story and unlock new worlds, and finding objects to wear or decorate you home.  When possible, you could also attend live “events”, simlar to an interactive play.
                       
History
Ubisoft published the first online version in 2003.  Several months later the online version was cancelled. Uru was converted into a solo player game.  In 2004, the second multiplayer version of Uru was released, called Until Uru.  There was no new content from Cyan, but players could play the multiplayer version via privately run player owned servers.  There was a $15.00 (US dollars) one time charge if you bought the boxed version of the game.   In 2007, the free servers (Until Uru) were shut down and Gametap released a third multiplayer version of Uru (monthly fee) with new content.  In April 2008 version three was shut down. 

   

In July 2008, Cyan announced that they would self publish a multiplayer version, making this the fourth time a multiplayer version of Uru will be released! The initial release by Cyan will have no new Cyan content, but fans will be able to create their own content (with some restrictions).  Cyan will review player created content and add it to the game, for other players to enjoy.

 

Two good links

MMORPG Article

http://mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?LOADNEWS=7159&bhcp=1

 

History of Uru – Wikipedia entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst_Online:_Uru_Live

 

Three screenshots

Uru - opening screenshot - the desert

Uru - opening screenshot - the desert

 

My first screenshot from the 2003 beta.  I start Uru.  I am in the desert in New Mexico.  What will I find?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uru - Relto - my home

Uru - Relto - my home

 

My private age – Relto – my home in Uru .  This is a private age, though I can invite other players as guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uru - Bevin - a neighborhood

Uru - Bevin - a neighborhood

 

 

 

 Bevin, a neighorhood in Uru.  This is a shared age, an age owned by more than one player.  The age can be open to all players, or private, which means that only the owners can access it.

 

 

   

 

Do I like Uru?  Yes – I do.  Would I recommend that you play Uru.   My answer – I don’t know.

 

I’ve been with Uru for…well…forever.  I was one of the first people admitted to the 2003 beta test.  I’m been a player, a supporter, a critic.  I’ve been a volunteer moderator for the official web forum, starting with the first publisher, Ubisoft, in 2003, then with Gametap and Cyan. (I don’t mod anymore – short answer – no time).  I’ve made friends.

    

When I was laid off in 2003 (company merger, layoffs, you know the story, working again, all is good), Uru kept me going during unhappy times.  I’ve never considered myself to be what we call an “avid” fan – though if you look at how long I’ve been in Uru, and my involvement in the community, I’m much more of a fan than I think I am!  Uru has been a constant in my life since 2003.   I know the game world – it’s a part of me.  I’ve lived there.  There were times when I would not logon for weeks, but I would always come back.  I have the solo player version of Uru,; it’s beautiful, but I miss the multiplayer version.  I will play MMO URU when it comes back

         

I’ve also been a critic.  Uru is beautiful and sometimes it’s wonderful, but it’s also flawed.  I won’t go into the flaws here (maybe a later post), but think about it.  There is enough interest to resurrect Uru three times (four if you count Until Uru), but then the game was cancelled, several times.  Something is going on.

        

Will you like it?  I don’t know.  I don’t think those of us who have been with Uru forever are the best judges of whether other people will like it.  We aren’t objective.  Uru is our history, our community, our home.  I recommend that you read up, and perhaps, give it a try.  Uru (called MORE) is going to be very reasonably priced – about $25.00 (US) for a 6 month subscription – payable via Paypal, so it will be available around the world.  Here’s a link to the official site, including the online forum.

 

http://www.mystonline.com

 

Enjoy.

 

 amarez – mszv

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