So, I've previously written
about how much I like the Myst series, and I've mentioned in the same entry how I have Uru: The Complete Chronicles.
Apparently, when Cyan Worlds started Uru, they intended it to be a multiplayer, online experience.
Due to timing (and possibly budget) constraints, they released the first part as Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.
The storyline was that human explorers had found the D'ni cavern underground here on Earth, and had hired Cyan Worlds to publish the original Myst game to publicise the discovery.
Later, they released an expansion called Uru: To D'ni which expanded on the story, and another one (Uru: The Path of the Shell) which extended it still further.
(they also released a complete collection called Uru: The Complete Chronicles which contained all three packs)
For some reason, however, there seems to be no closure or end to the game at this point.
The statement that keeps getting repeated is "Perhaps the end has not yet been written", which indicates to me that there is more (possibly much more) in store for this series.
Sometime around then, Cyan Worlds started a closed beta (by invitation only) of the online multiplayer version.
I'm a little fuzzy on what happened right after that, but it seems to have been open and free for a while, with a group of dedicated fans.
Enough so that GameTap (seems to be a service similar to Valve's Steam platform) got interested and either bought or borrowed the rights to the online version, and ran servers for it until either their servers were overloaded with customers or a distinct lack of customers "forced" them to shut it down.
After that, it took some time to get all the rights back in Cyan Worlds' hands, but they are back with their rightful owner, and again, it's available for free.Myst Online: Uru Live, again
(or MOULagain, for short, or simply MOULa for shorter) is where you can find the installer, register for an account, and find the official forums.
I've created an account for myself and explored the caverns fairly extensively, and found that there's a few important things that are different from the stand-alone version as opposed to the online version.
Most of the changes have been to add the requirement of a second person certain puzzles.
(which is kind of annoying, as I prefer to be a loner, and the puzzles in question are important ones)
It would be wrong for me to say that MOULa is running perfectly, as it isn't, and some of the bugs I'm running across are major show-stoppers (such as a profile getting completely locked out, for unknown reasons), and some are relatively minor (such as my choice of first-person versus third-person views not always being respected).
However, it is running quite smoothly otherwise, and there are a few more places to visit.
A few things which should have been joined in the stand-alone version have been joined (for instance, locations in the same age, but the door between them wasn't working are working now) and a few things have changed a bit (such as additional linking books being added to various part of various ages to make it easier to get around).
On the whole, I'm fairly happy with MOULa, but I'd like to be able to access my other two profiles so I don't have to duplicate too much work...