Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Yet Another Negilahn Visit

Hadn't intended to be home around 9am for the next opening, but I'd left an important file at home and had to run home from work around 8:30. Coincidence, I swear! But as long as I was home... Logged in, went to Negilahn. About 5 minutes to 9, the glittery music starts. This time, I was on the correct level and saw the 'portal' appear -- a trace of twinkly lights, tracing out the shape of the symbol that you touch in the Bahro cave, a partial, doubled-back spiral.

My question this time was: when I appeared back in the cave, could I touch the symbol and bring the floating stone back from Relto? (The way you could return the totem poles from the original four Uru ages.) Answer: no. The symbol on the wall doesn't respond to touch. Nothing to do but fall through again. The floating stone is still there on Relto.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Another Negilahn Try

The forum noted that a new Relto page had been found -- or refound -- in the Great Zero courtyard, for an imager. Went there, got it. What does the imager do? Don't know. Don't remember there being an imager in the original game. It looks like the two imagers in Bevin by the balcony overlooking the lake. As you approach, the blue KI symbol glows briefly, but nothing else responds or can be activated.

Also checked the prospective times for the portal opening in Negilahn, having in the back of my mind that there would be one Wednesday morning sometime. I discovered that was true, but also -- backing up 15 hrs and 45 min -- there was about to be one around 6:15 pm my time. So I worked a bit, then logged into the game around quarter to 6 and hung out. On the lower level. Sure enough, I hear the music -- about 5 minutes early, at 6:10 -- and look around, expecting the 'hatch' in the floor of the lower level to open up, or something. No... climbed upstairs, saw the twinkly lights on the second level, at the link-in point... just as they were disappearing. So I missed it! Hmph. Well, that explains why the previous time, I appeared in the middle of the twinkly lights just as I linked in...

Thinking more, I realized that the interval, 15h45m, is just short of 16 hours, or 2/3 of a day. Which is to say, every three of those intervals is just a bit less than 2 days. So that if the portal opened 6:10 on Tuesday, and 5:45 or so on Sunday, then two days before that, Friday, was... Maybe the music I heard while manipulating buttons, and being interrupted by the phone call, *was* the portal opening, and I missed it then too. Or is my calculation of the timings off? Wasn't that about 6:40 Friday evening...?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Catching up on Power Markers


Nothing new on the forum, except that the Bahro stone I couldn't find the other day has been statused 'missing'.

I went to the list of power markers and managed to find the one I had missed. I now have all that have been released -- pending four more, apparently, to finish the task of entering the 'Great Zero' eventually turning on the lights in the cavern.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Back to the Negilahn pod. First -- the Library indicates two new bahro stones (stonecloths), one on the ledge of the library (that i saw this time but didn't remember from the original Uru), one on a pedestal in the Bevin linking room.

The second one just wasn't there. Forum posts imply that different Bevins are featured differently -- some have D'ni clocks, some have the other Eder bk, etc. Did find the stone on the library ledge. It takes you to the top of the pyramid, or ziggurat, in Kadish. you can walk around the four sides, but nothing is there.

Back to Negilahn. Carefully plotted which animal sound goes to which speaker. Would both across from one another trigger something? No.

Skimmed forum posts--mostly speculation so far, with no one solving puzzle. Until this morning--speculation about the D'ni number 18 on the floor of the pod translating to a time on the D'ni clock, or equating to a particular interval of 15 hours and 45 minutes--the interval between openings of the portal door on the floor of the pod.

In other words, the buttons and animal sounds are irrelevant--there's nothing to solve. you just wait, or go to the pod at the appointed time, and the portal opens.

All very well, though the puzzle really is how game designers would expect anyone to figure this out, especially those whose Bevins don't have a clock showing the time in D'ni numerals. As mentioned before, one suspects the designers *presume* that the community of forum posters will spread the word--i.e., it's not meant to be solved in isolation. In that sense, Uru Live *is* a collaborative game, even if you don't have to interact directly with other players inside the game.

Guessing somewhat at which time zones forum posters are referring to, i calculated the next portal opening would be about 5:45 p.m. my time Sunday evening. so started game back up (m/w had tried installing Gametap on Sony pc, and downloading game--it seemed to finish, but kept d/l'ing, and never launched). went to pod, waited. Nothing. (But note -- now the power goes off automatically after a minute or so, whether or not any buttons are pressed. The behavior must be sensitive to the local time of day, or proximity to opening of the portal.) Went to a community Bevin, saw chat posts about 'last call for Negilahn'. Went back to pod. Immediately upon appearing, was surrounded by glittery white lights and tinkly music -- and then, without doing anything, transported to the Bahro cave, as at the end of the original four Uru ages. No voice message from Yeesha this time, just a symbol on the wall. touch it -- and back in Relto, with yet another floating stone above the others. Implying there are three more to gather for this layer. (Of course I'm missing the second layer of stones from the two new Eder ages. There was a forum post about arranging an Eder run on Saturday afternoon, but I had no opportunity to run the game then.)

So did I trigger something Friday evening when the phone rang? Or was it my imagination? Couldn't reproduce it. Nor could I (or anyone else, apparently) deduce what behavior caused the animal to appear through the window.

So the Negilahn pod isn't another age at all, at least not yet, nor is it a puzzle to be solved. It's really an anti-puzzle -- devices to play with that turn out to be irrelevant to the point of the place. Ha ha! A lesson perhaps, in how Uru Live will work. With more on the way.

One can hope that, eventually those buttons and animals sounds *will* be significant and useful in some way. Otherwise Uru Live would truly be diabolical.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Did Something Happen?


Spent more time in Negilahn pod (as they seem to be calling it; apparently there are others) pressing combinations of buttons to see if anything happened. discovered that each button turns on a particular animal sound -- and each sound is loudest at one in particular of the four large speakers. power stayed on indefinitely while pressing one button at a time, then two buttons, etc. ran around to windows checking in between each change of buttons; saw nothing. don't know what, if anything, caused the large animal to appear last time.

Each button separately caused nothing, so then i did 1&2, then 1&3, then 1&4. Then 2&4. Just as i'd turned 1 off and 2 on, i thought i heard some music cue come on, as if Something Significant had been triggered--but my phone rang. Had to answer. but the time i looked back, nothing was happening in the game. did i miss something??

Tried same sequence of buttons again, but nothing.

What to do?

Took 1/2 hour this morning to get game up and running -- it seemed to hang once; then got a disconnection notice; then a weird error about file access. went back to Negilahn and played around with the buttons and switches again.

The light outside stays on indefinitely, until you start pressing the sound buttons; then the light goes off in a minute or so. leaving the light on for a while, one of the windows reveals a large two-legged creature visible among the trees.

That's it; what to do? is this another collaborative puzzle? a timed puzzle requiring pressing buttons within a given amount of time? and what happens when you do? presumably you emerge from the chamber, out into jungle. or perhaps the square plate on the lower level, with a d'ni numerical symbol on it, opens and gives you access to other interior areas...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Now to Negilahn

Cursory glance at UruObsession forum revealed that a new age had been released, and that a new 'sparkly' was available. is it cheating to learn of new content this way? the game designers must realize that the hardcore players are checking such sites; mightn't they decide to rely on their interaction? furthermore, if a player *didn't* learn of new content this way, how would they ever stumble across it? spend every day going through all the ages they've been to already, again and again?

for instance, the new 'sparkly' was listed in the uru library to be in eder gira, near the waterfall. how would one ever come across it without endless re-walking of ages? i was lucky i got earlier sparkly, because it's said to be gone. the new one puts a second 'lamp' on my island compass rose. for players who started earlier, it's the third lamp. i missed the first one, released in january only; got the second only by a day or two. does this mean only the earliest players can complete this feature...?

what i didn't want to know was where or how the new age would be revealed. i decided to track down the last two or three power markers i needed, and consulted the list in the library, which revealed that the museum was now open, with one of the pm's there (as it was in the original game).

(note: the way to get into a private version of the city, i realized, is to link to the gallery from the city book in relto -- not to the city via any of the nexus links. are there other ways?)

entering the museum, i found the pm, and saw an open book on one of the stands -- the new age. (after visiting it once, the book is on the shelf in relto.)

It's called Negilahn (Nigelahn? no), and so far is a classic Myst world mystery setting. you appear inside a large metal chamber on the second of three levels, with ladders between the levels. there are several windows looking out into a jungle. some windows have buttons before them, and on the lower level are four more buttons and large power switch. throwing the switch turns lights on, inside and outside. pressing the buttons by the windows seems to do nothing. pressing the buttons near the power switch causes animal sounds to be heard -- are you activating microphones from outside, or broadcasting sounds to attract real animals?