Against my better judgement, I’m feeling tempted to throw my two cents worth into this conversation.
I joined the community long after Riven, long after DIRT, even after Prologue had ended. I had seen glimpses of the community while browsing the web, but never felt that there was much value to joining.
In May 2004, I stumbled upon a link to the COBBS Flymode thread via GoG. I had found my niche in the Uru community, a smaller subcommunity of dedicated people working to unravel the secrets of Plasma.
I joined UO around the time that Myst V was released, and watched Cyan close and reopen. The first time that I ever played Uru with others was when D’mala opened. That was what really introduced me to the community. The people whom I had known only from forum posts came to life in the cavern and became familiar faces.
When the MOUL Forums opened, I was one of the first users to register (User ID 8 on the forum ;) ) and I had high hopes that we would finally get to see the cavern as it had been intended, that the story would continue and the community could grow.
I found the amazing people of CyanChat when the first invites were sent out for the MOUL Beta.
I haven’t been around through the DIRT videos, through the changing storylines and Ages before Prologue, but I can still wander through Teledahn and see things that have so much potential, but will never change.
The Journey has become too central to Uru. There are puzzles for the sake of being puzzles, and nothing else.
The DRC is supposed to restore Ages and make them safe before opening. Er’cana looks anything but safe to me. The DRC should never release an Age with broken walkways and whatnot.
In Prologue, there was a conflict between the DRC and Yeesha. The DRC weren’t releasing Ages until they were completely safe, whereas Yeesha would release Ages in any state long before the DRC. That storyline conflict has evaporated into nothing in MOUL, and it only leaves less continuity to the story.
The story of DIRT was drastically different than today, there was no shortcut to the city via Relto, you entered the Volcano and descended into the cavern much like Atrus and Ti’ana did. The remnants of this can be seen in one form in Myst V.
Uru has in many ways evolved far beyond the original vision. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing. For me, knowing that there’s a building in the city named “Ferry Terminal Lens House”, or seen the Guild Hall via flymode. The city itself has an enormous potential, but so do all of the Ages. Gahreesen and Teledahn have lots of areas that could be expanded and fixed. Walkways that were broken in 2003 should not still be broken today!
This is why I work so much at tools for Age Creation, because even user created Ages have potential. Because someone has to keep telling the story …