Sunday, December 14, 2008

Myst Online - Real Innovation

I got to hand it to Cyan Worlds. They have truly done something that may very well cause a revolution in how we play MMORPGs. Cyan Worlds, the creators of the famous Myst series, released some time ago Myst: Online. This was to be an MMO version of their popular series. However recently the company has hit it pretty hard financially. The game was first dropped by Ubisoft and then by GameTap.

Once Cyan Worlds got their IP back, the hardcore fans of URU(Myst Online) decided to stick around as Cyan Worlds held only one solitary server up for its fans. They called this project MORE(Myst Online Restoration Experiment). For the longest time, due to even more financial setbacks everything was quiet.

Until this bit of news. Myst Online Goes OPEN SOURCE! Click here for their official announcement.

So what does this mean for YOU as a gamer? Expect a lot of mods and addons by players to an MMORPG. For some this is simply a dream come true. All the freedom of player/fan modification to an MMO is truly mind bloggling when it comes to possibilities. However this could also be the destruction of URU. Depending on how the modders swing it, it could either be a breath taking achievement...or a complete disaster.

I'm really looking forward to see how this project develops. Depending on its success we could see more MMORPGs releasing their sources, truly changing how we play the genre. Don't believe me? Go check out the large variety of "maps" in StarCraft and WarCraft III. While the game is an RTS*real time strategy*, many of the custom player-made maps range from RPGs, Defense Maps, and other unique maps that really don't fit a genre like Aeon of Strife.

I'm really looking forward to this.


  1. This could make or break them due to how creative the modders can be. Although a game I would like to see as having online capabilities would have to be the best RPG ever, Morrowind. That game would be awesome to play online, even if it was just via TCP/IP or something along those lines. Of course, the mods and plugins would probably all have to match and such though.

  2. I like the idea of having an MMO go open source, but I worry that it's basically handing hackers the keys. In a game like Mist there wouldn't be too many issues to worry about, but if something like WoW went open source you could kiss it's subscription base goodbye. Everyone would be running their own servers and modding the game beyond recognition.

    I'm not sure if there is a future for open source MMO games, but I definitely think user created content has huge potential. This however relies heavily on specialized game editors, which is a concept that most MMO companies are yet to grasp.

  3. This was good code from what I saw. Now, having someone take over the server duties is a whole other issue.
    Any development on the game itself will be at a standstill unless someone is willing to offer the space to post the code changes.

    Maybe one company would be smart enough to take server and client code, and make it one major project for release.

  4. There are a large number of ways this can evolve*or devolve*. While it's obviously a Do or Die move by Cyan Worlds, I'm really curious to see how it pans out. I've seen some GREAT modifications to other games, and apparently Myst Online has a very hardcore and loyal fanbase even now.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see these type of people to give it the life it needs all by themselves. Just gotta wait and see.


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