Myst Online - It might be huge

After reading Mark Asher’s wonderful newsbit (a wonderful dude)about MYst Online, I think people WANT to escape and be lazy. They already do it in EQ harhar. Anyway, I have a hunch that this game, if the graphics are above average to average joe consumer, might be big. The idea of just vegging in a changing enviroment and chatting with other people IS enough to draw people… I think.

Who knows!?! Times moving faster these days. We get old and people want to rest or just explore and shoot the breeze… in comes Myst Online… big selling game! just a thought folks!

etc

I agree, although I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who think Myst Online is pointless. As the argument goes: Myst was all about being alone in a strange environment. Being with a ton of people in the same environment isn’t the same. Not knowing exactly what they’re planning in terms of gameplay, it’s hard to say. But obviously, the Myst name counts for something. And from what I’ve heard they’ve got a sort of “private zone” concept (like Lost Continents), which makes a lot of storytelling and puzzle solving possible in a MMOG.

And, you know what, I’m not ashamed to say it: I thought Myst was a great game. There’s this kind of backlash from hardcore gamers that I think stems from the game’s popularity. It’s like when some obscure alternative band suddenly becomes the radio darlings and all their old fans disown them. Well BAH to that. Myst was great for the time. It looked good – yes, static, but nearly all the games looked static at the time! The puzzles were different and interesting – they just seem obnoxiously blase because of all the clones that came after Myst. And Myst was one of the first and best uses of audio as a game element. Nifty. Okay, so I don’t come back to it the way I do System Shock or Civ or Grim Fandango… but I remember it fondly.

And another thing: :roll:

I tried to play Myst back before I knew I was supposed to hate it, and I still hated it. But, I’m not fond of adventure games, so there you have it.

I just don’t see Myst’s audience being the kind of people who will pony up and pay a subscription fee.

Fair enough. I have always been an adventure gamer – it’s how it all started for me: Zork, Space Quest, etc. In fact, I wonder how old skool gamers could NOT be adventure gamers. I guess strategy would be the other “angle of approach” to gaming back in the late 80s/early 90s. Mark, were you a strategy guy?

The thing that makes me believe Myst Online will fail is the fact that realMYST (or however you’re supposed to capitalize it) made absolutely no splash whatsoever, despite being a graphical wonder.

That’s because everyone had already played Myst. And it looked fine to them when they did. Why should a graphical update to a game be a big deal when the original was most popular with casual gamers? Why would a graphical update to ANY game be expected to sell well?

I’m not saying Myst Online is a guaranteed success necessarily. There’s still too few details on the gameplay to say. But I would bet that there’s enough of that umpteen million member audience for Myst that is willing to try online games, if they haven’t already. If MO has the right elements to keep them hooked, they’ll be in very good shape.

I wrote an editorial some time back about both loving and hating Myst. The main point is that it was good for the casual gamer and public perception of games, but bad for the hardcore gamer and led to a bunch of bad Myst knock-offs.

I seem to remember that most of the people who had played Myst never finished it. I guess those are the people who would rather do the exploration thing, so from that perspective, MO might work okay. On the other hand, I wonder how long you could keep them interested unless there was a LOT of exploration to do. I couldn’t have predicted the success of Myst, so I’m probably not qualified to make predictions about Myst Online.

  • Alan

Yeah, strategy games were my first love.

Text adventure games aren’t really like the current adventure games, are they? The puzzle-solving’s different, isn’t it?

If you like adventure games, you should give Riddle of the Sphinx a try. I’m almost related to the people who made the game. They’re a husband and wife team – my sister-in-law’s husband’s sister’s brother-in-law and wife.

Anyway, the technology’s a bit dated – they used Macromedia stuff to program it – but they poured about five years of their life into and researched the hell out of Egyptology. All those unexplained mysteries about all that stuff are explained by their game.

The game’s sold well too. NPD had it at over 100,000 units, so it’s probably done maybe 250,000 units worldwide. It’s one of Dreamcatcher’s most successful games.

It’s strange, but I both love adventure games and dislike Myst. I guess it’s because the puzzles never really felt related to anything, and the story was two or three times removed from the actual gameplay experience. I just didn’t feel involved the way I did during, say, Hitchhikers Guide or Day of the Tentacle.

Ah well, I’d imagine the online version will do alright. The real question, however, is whether it’ll do better than The Sims Online, given that Maxis’ title has sort of replaced Myst as the mainstream PC owners game of choice.

I wholeheartedly agree. It reminded me a lot of Planetfall (which I also loved); not the story, of course, but the way it played out. You find yourself alone in a strange environment, trying to uncover what happened in the past. Both games pulled this off remarkably well.

I wrote an editorial some time back about both loving and hating Myst. The main point is that it was good for the casual gamer and public perception of games, but bad for the hardcore gamer and led to a bunch of bad Myst knock-offs.

Good reason to hate the developers trying to leech off Myst’s popularity, bad reason to hate Myst. A classic case of misplaced resentment… ;)

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Cyan plans to do with Myst Online. I’m ready for an online game that thinks outside the box, and I’m guessing that whatever Cyan’s plans are, they don’t include killing rats.

Somewhat different, but not substantially. Sure, Myst (and Monkey Island to a lesser degree) moved to a mouse driven interface. MI illustrates the transition – it builds text “commands” out of the actions you take with the mouse. But the puzzles can be very similar. Where Myst primarily diverges is in the fact that it has no inventory. Most adventure games, including many post-Myst ones, are all about collecting objects with which puzzles are solved. Myst just put the puzzles in the environment.

Oh, I suppose Myst also eliminated dialogue trees, which is another convention of the genre. But there were plenty of text adventures with no dialogue, too.

I haven’t played many of the Dreamcatcher games, but while I’m sure there are plenty of inventory-less Myst clones out there, I’d bet they’ve generally returned to a more “classic” adventure formula. The latest Gabriel Knight and Monkey Island have certainly maintained those expectations set by the old text adventures.

I’ll have to see if I can find Riddle of the Sphinx in a bargain bin somewhere…

I have never understood the fascination with Myst. It is a fair dumb game - you’re basically looking at a bunch of very pretty backdrops with a couple of puzzles.

I picked up Riven on budget two years ago and I still don’t see the point.

I think I’ll stick with my hardcore combat simulations. At least I can blow things up.

Myst doesn’t seem hard to understand. It was pretty. There were puzzles that weren’t too difficult, and that rewarded you with a satisfying animation or access to a new area. Most importantly, you couldn’t really die. That seems like a straightforward formula for the casual gamer. Just enough challenge to make the reward seem like something exciting, and no death. Casual gamers often hate dying – to some people that’s like being told they’re idiots, and don’t know how to play.

Riven was different. Puzzles were hard, and often successful completion of a puzzle or failure wasn’t clear. Same gamers didn’t like it as much. It’s easy enough to complain that Myst was a slideshow, but hard to dismiss the number of people that loved it.

Myst is much less complex to explain than, say, The Sims.

Wasn’t Myst’s original audience the kind of people who ponied up to pay for the cost of one of those new-fangled CD-ROM drives though?

It really all depends on what they do with the design. If they try to stick with what made Myst such a seller, it will bomb; online/persistent world games are a different beast.

Note that Ultima Online bears little resemblence to the solo-play series; OSI recognized what needed to be changed. The ‘Ultima’ moniker was used to give name appeal to the game, pure and simple.

I like adventure games (well, used to, there hasn’t been anything interesting for years), and I thought Myst was boring, the puzzles were stupid, and it was overall far too fruity-nutty-New Age-windchimes-and-John-Tesh-in-a-tinfoil-hat for me.

BRING ME THE RED PAGES!