Clarification: This post was initially in response to this post by Whilyam. He then posted this post in response to my comment. I then commented on his latest post, and have included it at the end of this post, so you can perhaps get even more clarification.
So I’ve been reading MystBlogs against my better judgment, because old habits die incredibly hard. Don’t think I haven’t been seeing the multitudes of posts calling out those of us who don’t think Uru is all it’s cracked up to be. The posts wondering why in all Creation could we be so determined to “prove” that Uru is so horrible? Why can’t we just accept the fact that Uru is what it is and deal with it? Well, again, against my better judgment, I’m going to post here what I posted in response to one of these posts in an attempt to explain why I, at least, think we’re so out to “prove” that Uru is so horrible. It’ll be a little different, since I’m re-reading it as I write, but the point will still remain the same. However, I doubt that anyone who could benefit from this post even reads this blog, because I’ve most definitely been labeled a stupid old past-dweller who can’t get his head out of his butt long enough to see the “good” in Uru. But here you are anyway:
As part of the “old guard”, so to speak, as someone who’s been around since before Uru was even called DIRT or Mudpie, I think you’re missing a huge point. I think everyone is missing a huge point and they like to attack those of us who don’t play Uru and decry what it’s become. We were around when Uru was supposed to be something VASTLY different than what it is now. We dreamed of different things, we were given hints of different things… We expected something else entirely from what we actually got, and Cyan knew this, too. Regardless of who was responsible for the changes, the changes happened and everything we dreamed about didn’t happen. We still got a game, sure, but it wasn’t what we expected, and then it was canceled by the same short-sighted brass that insisted on the changes.
It was canceled and Until Uru came out, and then Cyan actually went temporarily out of business and many, many of the original visionaries of the game we were promised then left to move on to something else. When Cyan was revived by GameTap, they set out to work on the game they had in the aftermath: still something entirely different than what we were promised to begin with.
I understand that these things happen, and that some people can accept it, but YOU people need to understand that some people don’t want to accept it because it’s not what they expected and it’s not what they want to play. Every time they play it, they think of what should have been and what could have been, even if they don’t want to. This is something that people who joined yesterday can’t comprehend. They don’t know what could have been, so it doesn’t bother them. They only know what they see right now, and they like it. Fine! More power to them. Honestly! It’s great that the love Uru.
One of the reasons I stopped playing Uru was because this “new guard” couldn’t understand why the “old guard” didn’t like the game, and they don’t WANT to understand, they just want to attack us for being stuck up and doomsayers and stuck in the past. This “new guard” thinks they’re better because they can accept the game as it is now, but they have absolutely no clue what it’s like to look for to something for so long, only to have it ripped away from you.
I want to make it clear… I appreciate the fact that the “new guard” enjoys the game. I love Cyan and I would never wish anything bad of them. I want them to succeed as much as anyone of you, but there’s still too many reminders and remnants of the past and there’s still too many of you who are intolerant of us for seeing them, and there’s still too many of you who think you’re far better because you either still play the game, or you know more about the language, or you’re a moderator of the Uru Live forums, or you have direct contact with the DRC, or you were endowed with that special bit of information that nobody else knows. I think the community has regressed in this sense. In everything, people want to be the best. In Warcraft, you get the best equipment. In Uru, a game driven by story and information, the more you know, the “better” you are, so to speak. That’s perfectly fine. But as in Warcraft, you get people who are the best and are mature, and then you have people who are the best and are anything BUT mature. They hold positions of “power” based on what they know, and they know it, and they aren’t mature enough to deal with it.
I really couldn’t care less if this is human nature, or this is what to expect in the real world, as people have so fondly told me so, so many times… It’s a game! I don’t want to deal with the real world when I play a game. I don’t want to have to deal with some arrogant turd who flaunts his status at me because he spend night and day in front of the things while I only visit on the weekends. I don’t want to have to deal with someone who started their own personal guild that I can’t be involved in because I don’t know anything about it. In such a social and story-driven game, this stuff is hard to ignore. It’s everywhere. It is Uru. There’s no escaping it and there’s no denying it. I don’t mind the fact that people know more than me, I just mind the fact that people who know more than me enjoy making me know that they know more than me, and that I can’t be anywhere near as influential because I’m not playing 24 hours a day. The community is just not mature enough to deal with something like that.
As more and more of my friends, the “old guard”, leave, and as more and more of the new people arrive, the more and more I feel detached and left out and completely ignored. There was a time where everyone knew “GermanShepherd”, and wherever I went in Uru, I saw someone who knew me and we’d at least give each other a hearty “hey!” But now? Growing is a good thing. If Uru is growing, then they’re doing something right, but whatever it is, it’s not what I expected and it’s not what I wanted and there’s no use seeing it differently right now. I tried. I honestly tried to play Uru when it was Until Uru. I tried making myself log in and have fun, but I couldn’t do it. I tried… I honestly tried to play Myst Online when GameTap invited me to join the Beta and when they finally released the final, public version. I tried playing the new content and interacting with the new people and I tried keeping up on everything that was going on, but I couldn’t keep doing it, because every time I logged in, I would see something that would remind me of what Uru was supposed to be, and I would always think about what Cyan, the makers of the Riven masterpiece, for crying out loud, could have done if nobody had interfered with their creative process. I see what Cyan’s dreams were and I remember the excitement we all had in the years leading up to Uru and then the intense disappointment to learn that this wasn’t the Uru we were promised, and that Cyan was equally crushed at having to change it, and then it was canceled. That’s incredibly difficult to forget, no matter how hard you want to try.
So, in closing, to recap, the reason I, at least, have for leaving Uru and for being so set on trying to “prove” that Uru is so terrible? It’s because the “new guard” doesn’t understand why the “old guard” is so depressed and reflective on the past, and they lash out and call it pride and intolerance without actually trying to comprehend what’s wrong. They have no idea what happened before, and they’re playing the game and enjoying the game and they’re learning new things and becoming experts in things… And then they’re using that knowledge to gloat and influence everyone around them, and they’re blind to anything anyone else says because, after all, they are the “experts”.
But the “new guard” can’t understand and, alas, none of the one’s I’ve spoken to even seem to try, and they yell at me for being the problem with Uru, and they yell at me to get over myself and just have fun.
So I left. Because I couldn’t forget, and they wouldn’t stop yelling at me.
HERE BEGINS MY FURTHER ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN:
It’s not you, specifically, that I’m referring to. I was speaking about the general populous of the community. Generally speaking, most of the people I talk to and try to share ideas with respond with hostility and close-mindedness and tell me that I should get over the past and just accept Uru for the way it is, and that I’m a bad guy for not wanting to participate and for canceling my subscription and not showing my support. There are exceptions, as with all generalizations, but this is too common for me to just simply ignore. Maybe I’m not finding the right people to associate with, but, then again, maybe the right people aren’t making themselves known in the sea of bozos.
I’ll try to explain what I feel about Uru, and what I expected it to be before a certain company interfered. I was never actually in Choru, but I had lots of friends who were that didn’t understand why I wasn’t invited, so I got some… Shall we say, inside glimpses more often than others, so I was able to put together what it was going to be like.
The whole Bahro thing was a snap decision in an effort to comply with the demand for a single-player experience. There didn’t used to be pillars that you hunted down to repair the Bahro’s soul or whatever it was. I’m not sure how much of Yeesha there was, but there was much less “magic” to the game back then. Back then, the Myst universe would not have even considered that standing in a circle in K’Veer would summon a Bahro. It felt more real and Linking Theory was something that you could almost explain “scientifically”, and you would exchange ideas and make a pseudo-thesis sort of write up and show everyone. Everything felt real and somehow made sense and nothing that couldn’t be explained ever happened. Now you have the Bahro running around, changing the state of Ages while you’re in them? While I understand that Linking Theory is just a silly fantasy idea, it at least felt like it could be real.
Now, when something happens, you just have to accept that it happened and move on. There’s no wondering how something happened, because you can’t explain something like the Bahro screwing around with Linking Books to create personal “instances”. The universe has taken on a far more magical approach to things than Myst and Riven.
We were expecting something like Riven, and Cyan was working on something that would satisfy that, but then it was changed, and barely anything that I expected, and barely anything my friends witnessed in the early Choru stages, ever came to pass. At one point, one of my friends said Rand logged in to Choru to tell all the testers that what they were playing was not the Uru that Cyan had envisioned. He said it wasn’t Uru at all, and that’s when everything just… Changed. The entire mood of the game completely changed and everyone knew it.
That’s why I’m saying that the “new guard” just can’t understand what the “old guard” expected, and why they’re more apt to just toss in the towel after hoping so long that things would set themselves straight. The “new guard” wasn’t there for all that happened before, and I don’t blame them for that, but there’s no use denying that they can’t understand what the “old guard” is feeling. All they know and expect from Uru is from the “new Uru”, so it all makes sense for them. But for us, who were exposed to the “old Uru”, we see how things were supposed to be, and we see how things are now, and we see how things will probably never be what they were supposed to be, and that just disappoints us. Some of us have tried to like “new Uru” but I, among others, just CAN’T. Not yet.
It also doesn’t help, like I said earlier, that some of the more knowledgable and influential people in this game driven by information, enjoy pressing their influence and overriding those of us with perfectly valid ideas. This, also, isn’t true for everyone, but in my experience, it’s the general reaction to me and my “old Uru” ideas.
I’m tired of wanting to play Uru and wanting to like it and then constantly being reminded about what it was supposed to be, and constantly being hounded that I’m just stuck in the past and that I need to move on. I’ll move on when I’m ready to move on, and having everyone who thinks they’re better fans than I am constantly press me to just accept Uru and like it because that’s how it is doesn’t help matters in the least bit. I’m tired of all that, so I canceled my subscription and I turned my back on it. I may return when I see that enough has changed, but it hasn’t yet. So I’m moving on.