Starting Point Debate

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In the offline version of URU, and in some early Beta tests, a new player would start in the Cleft -- the New Mexico Desert. They would then complete Yeesha's Journey in the Cleft to obtain a Relto linking book so they could visit other Ages and meet with other people. In Myst Online Uru Live, the starting point was changed to Relto -- presumably to make it easier for new players to get to populated areas. With the announcement of Open Source Uru Live, many people have debated whether the starting place should be returned to the Cleft.

It is important to note here that on the MOUL developer's page ( [1] ), it was announced that the 3D models and textures -- the Age data -- would not be released under the same open source code as the rest of OSUL. This might prohibit changes to Cyan created areas.

Arguments for the Cleft

The Cleft is considered a more logical place to start. Starting at Relto loses the backstory -- how you acquired a Relto book and got there. Furthermore, many people saw the Cleft as an ideal practice Age that got new explorers used to the interface. Finally, many people have argued that the transition from normal Earth to the Uru Ages was part of the mystique of Uru, and that starting in Relto ruins the beginning feel.

Arguments for Relto

Relto is considered the easier place to start. Many people reported confusion or frustration in starting in the Cleft. It is also worried that the Cleft is single player, which might turn away new players (who believe the game to be unpopulated). Relto allows new explorers to quickly get to populated areas where the game can be explained for them. Also, many older explorers do not want to have the "hassle with the Cleft" before getting into the game.

Arguments for Town

A town outside the cleft is another possibility. It would be an area which leads one along the road to the cleft for solo play or another path to the volcano and shaft for group play. Greeters could be stationed in the town. Various help tools could be placed there with the least damage to the immersive quality of Uru. If Cyan restricts what changes can be made to Cyan made ages (Cleft? Relto?) and it looks like they will, this may be a good work-around.

Proposed Solutions

(please put links to your proposals [or other people's] here)

Various people have suggested a Public Cleft -- making people start immediately in a populated area. Tweek's plan [2] is one such proposal.

Another suggestion is a menu at the beginning asking "Alone or together?". "Alone" would start you in Relto, while "Together" would start you in the Cleft (although some derivatives would start you in other populated areas).

Some people suggest putting another area, such as a small town, near the Cleft. While the Cleft in most cases would remain single player, this area would be populated and would have information on possible choices.

Some people have suggested multiple ways to get a Relto book -- including open boxes or secret switches to the journey door -- that would allow frustrated newbies or impatient older players to get out of the Cleft early. Starting Point: Gloa Plan is one of these.

See these topics (please put more links here)

  • MOUL forums (includes a poll) [3]
  • OpenUru forums[4]