Home arrow FAQ's arrow A Beginner’s Guide — Getting Started in MOULa
A Beginner’s Guide — Getting Started in MOULa
Written by Web Team   

Shorah (greetings) and welcome or welcome back to the Cavern! We are excited that Uru's cavern has reopened as MOULagain. When newcomers first enter the Cavern, they have many questions. What is there to do in this game? How do I get around? How do I meet and talk to people? This guide answers these questions. It was written for Myst Online: Uru Live (MOUL) and revised for this new venture.


Introduction
Explorers and Visitors: Which one am I?
Places: Where am I?

Talking

Getting Around
Game play: What do I do here?
The Uru Community
Getting Help
References

Introduction

Uru is a game of exploration, puzzle-solving and socializing in the form of chats and activities staged by Uru community members. Uru follows on the Myst series of games that were popular in the 1990’s. There is a huge body of online literature about the Myst games, Uru, the D’ni, people who lived in the Cavern for a time; and a family headed by Atrus and Catherine. Atrus was the first person to attempt a restoration in the Cavern and his daughter, Yeesha, plays a prominent role in Uru. Currently there are three published novels about the D’ni people, how they came to Uru, how the Cavern came to be as we see it today, Atrus’s connection to Uru and the current the attempt at restoring the Cavern. If you enjoy Uru and the Cavern you may want to look up these resources, so we’ve included some references to them at the end of this guide. Now to the basics of Uru.

In Uru you are an explorer to the world of the D'ni people.  The D’ni developed an Art of Writing unlike any other. Making careful use of language and special paper and ink, they wrote descriptions of worlds they imagined and created linking books to go to them. We call those worlds Ages, and we use the same linking books in Uru to visit some of those worlds and, as well, visit locations known as the Cavern, the desert and the Cleft. The Cavern and the Ages are being restored by an organization known as the D'ni Restoration Council or DRC.  This effort is sometimes supported by and sometimes opposed by explorers. Woven into this story is that of the Bahro, also called the Least, that you often hear calling in the Cavern and the Ages.

Explorers and Visitors: Which one am I?

When you enter Uru you are assigned the status of Explorer. In MOUL under GameTap players who were not paying subscribers were assigned the status of Visitor. The category, visitor, still exists on the avatar creation screen, but it is not functional. As an explorer you can go to all areas of the game.

Places: Where am I?

By the time you find someone and ask this question, you will have been to two places, at least: to Relto and to a neighborhood or Bevin.

Relto is the island on which you landed after creating an avatar. In the language of Uru, Relto is your private Age. There’s a hut on it and at first there is a single pillar in the area just outside.

Each player has his own Relto — it is yours and yours alone. You can invite people to visit, but no one can come there without an invitation. Relto is the place to which you will go when you make a misstep somewhere or fall. You always wear a book on your right hip to use to link to Relto. (More about linking in a minute). To use the Relto Book, move your mouse to the lower left of the screen until an open book appears.

Menu screen

Click on the icon, the book that appears and then on the picture of the island with its hut. Alternatively press the F3 key to open the book.

The hut on Relto is pretty bare at first and so is the area around it, but you can decorate the hut and landscape the island with rewards (Relto pages) you collect as you go along.

Relto

Inside the hut there is a wardrobe with your clothes and a couple of bookcases mounted on the wall containing a single blue book. Many more books will be placed there soon. The blue book is a Neighborhood Book that takes you to your first destination in the Cavern. Click on the wardrobe door to open it and enter the Avatar Customization area to choose from a variety of clothes & hairstyles (use the arrows associated with some items to view choices that are out of sight initially), and fine tune facial features.

Relto Hut

Cavern

The Cavern is a very large, partly natural and partly manmade, excavation beneath the desert in Eddy County, New Mexico. For nearly 10,000 years it was the living space for a race of people called the D’ni who came to Earth from the dying Age of Garternay. They enhanced the natural cavern with large rock boring machines; building a city and residential districts around a huge lake. The D’ni lived in the Cavern until 250+ years ago, Earth time, when a serious social upheaval led to the deaths of everyone in the Cavern. According to Myst V: End of Ages, we know that at least one D’ni survived — a man named Esher- who may be in a position to return to the Cavern.

Neighborhood

Your first stop in the Cavern is your neighborhood (hood) or Bevin.

Bevin Link-in

Each player is assigned to a neighborhood with the name DRC (D’ni Restoration Council) and a 4 digit number, DRC (5675) Bevin, for example. After twenty players are assigned to a Bevin a new one is created for the next twenty players to arrive. In addition to DRC Bevins, individuals and groups of players have created or can create their own neighborhoods and that is where you are most likely to meet people and where most player-initiated activities take place.

The Guild of Greeters Bevin is one that you may want to visit early on your journey into the cavern. You can link it after obtaining a KI. Greeters are volunteers — veteran players who love the game, and who can offer help and hints to get you started on your way toward enjoying your time in the cavern and in the Ages. You will recognize them by their T-shirts with a helping hands logo.

Greeters

All neighborhoods are laid out on the same plan with a fountain around which people like to gather, a classroom, a meditation room, a light garden, a community meeting room and a linking book room. There is an Ayoheek game table on the lower level at the edge of the light garden.

Bevin’s Views

The arrival or link in point to a neighborhood is near the fountain. From there you can walk to all other neighborhood areas.

The Classroom should be an early destination in the neighborhood. A purple notebook on the teacher's desk contains information you will want to read soon after arriving in the Cavern. Instruction sheets tacked to the wall start you toward getting a communications device or KI.

Classroom

Ornamentation around the top of the room consists of the D'ni alphabet and numbers from 1 to 25. You will need to know some of these numbers to solve Uru puzzles. They can be seen easily on the floor.

D'ni numbers

The original purpose of the “Egg” Room is not known, but many think that it was used for meditation or prayer.  The object in the center is usually called an egg, but it may also be a seed from the Great Tree of Possibilities. From the D’ni Glossary: "The Great Tree … has symbolic meaning in the D’ni philosophy: it represents the “Great Tree of Possibilities,” the endlessly interweaving maze of all possible Ages in the universe.” Around the egg there are five small rooms that provide areas for private conversation.  Text and voice chat used in these rooms does not carry beyond them when the doors are closed.

The Linking Book Room contains a collection of linking books that take you to Gahreesen, Eder Delin Age or Eder Tsogal Age, the Great Zero Observation area and Nexus Age.  The stained glass panels that hangs over the Gahreesen book pedestal and the garden age book pedestals (Eder Delin or Eder Tsogal) were created by Explorers during the days of MOUL. Several different Gahreesen stained glass panels can be found in the neighborhoods. There is a Bahro link stone in the book room to take you to your neighborhood’s instance of the city, Ae’gura.

The Community Meeting Room is a theater-style room on the neighborhood's upper level where larger gatherings are held.

Community Room

The Light Garden, located on the neighborhood’s lower level, is a pleasant place to sit, relax, and listen to the sound of the water. The garden's lights can be turned on and off using the buttons on the bridge above it. A game table for Ahyoheek is located beside it. A power problem in the neighborhoods prevents this table from working at the moment.

Bevin collage

Ahyoheek (pronounced “ah-yo-heek” or “eye-o-heek” and called Heek for short) is a D’ni game similar to rock-paper-scissors for 2 to 5 players. The objects in Heek are book-beetle-pen.  To win a match a player must be the first to collect three of these objects. In Heek:

                                             book beats beetle   |•|   beetle beats  pen   |•|   pen beats book

A Heek match consists of several rounds in which players choose an object to play (book, beetle or pen) by pressing a button on the table. The choice of each player is compared to the choices of the others, and points are awarded to or deducted from each player based on the comparison. One (1) round-point is awarded for each victory (book beats beetle, etc.), and 1 round-point is deducted for each loss. The player with the most round-points wins the round. A round can end in a draw with no winner. Rounds continue until one player collects 3 books, 3 beetles or 3 pages. That player wins the match. Ahyoheek tournaments are held now and then, but most play is casual.

Ahyoheek

Talking

From your first arrival you can talk to people in your immediate area by typing and see what others type, but you should go and get a KI soon after you get to the Cavern. A KI is an all-purpose communications device that’s used to manage chat, to take pictures, and to send and receive mail. You get it from a dispenser on an Age called Gahreesen. Gahreesen’s linking book is located in the book room of any neighborhood.

Linking Room

After you get to Gahreesen follow the sign to walk to the KI Dispenser. Here is the route.

Getting KI in Gahreesen

A KI is used to talk by typing and to decide to whom to talk. If you click on the Age Players tab and type you talk to everyone in your immediate area. Everyone sees what you have typed and you see what everyone else says in Age Players. Click on Neighbors to talk to everyone who belongs to your neighborhood or Bevin, and click on Buddies to talk to people you have added to a buddies list. To talk to just one person in an Age, to one neighbor or to one buddy, click on that person’s name on one of the lists. The KI displays only the names of Neighbors and Buddies who are logged in.

Chat_KI

 

To see names of all of your Neighbors and Buddies you need to open the KI a little farther by clicking on the large blue button on the upper right. You’ll see something like this:

Big KI/Buddies

All of these lists are visible when you click on the center icon that looks like a doughboy. Click on Buddies to see that list and click on Recent to see the names of people who have been near you recently. Some other useful information to look for in this view is your KI or ID number (lower left) and your location (upper right). The date and time (KI time) appear at the right above the name lists. This is useful because schedules for activities are often listed in KI time. KI time is the same as Mountain Time — Mountain Standard or Mountain Daylight depending on the time of the year.

Click on the keyboard icon to pull up the KI’s Mail function where you can read Incoming mail and send messages.

Big KI/Incoming

Check in the KI Guide for other ways to use a KI.

Getting Around

How do you move within an area (navigation) and get from place to place (linking)?

Navigation

To see navigation options move your mouse to the bottom right of the screen, click on the wrench on the right and choose Navigation.

Navigation settings

Uru can be played in first or third person views and you can change from one to the other by pressing the F1 key. You begin in third person view where it appears you are moving behind your avatar. Many people find it hard to walk when in third person view because the camera swings quite widely in places. If you do, too, use the F1 key to change into first person.

When in first person view you can look up or down by pressing the right mouse button and moving the mouse away from or toward you. When in third person view you can zoom in and back out by rotating the mouse scroll wheel.

Linking (Teleporting)

As mentioned in the introduction, the D’ni developed an Art of Writing unlike any other. Making careful use of language, special paper and ink, they could write descriptions of worlds they imagined and create linking books to go to them. We use the same books to travel to these exotic worlds to solve puzzles and link to locations within the city of Ae’gura. Some linking books are located in the neighborhood linking book room; others are in the Museum and Library in Ae’gura. Copies of some are placed on your bookshelf in Relto while others remain in public areas. Most books and many Cavern locations can be accessed through the Nexus Age as well as from books on. Here is what to look for in the Nexus.

Nexus

Bahro link stones

Using Bahro link stones is another way to get to specific locations in the Cavern, such as balconies and rooftops. They are found in various places in the city and in Ages. As you find and use them, linking pages to those locations are added to a brown book in the Relto bookcase known as the City Book and to link books to Ages you visit. The Bahro stone, pictured below takes you to the plaza in the City. There is one located in the link book room of each Bevin. The City you visit when you use the link stone is different than the one you link to through Nexus. In this City you will only find other people from your Neighborhood and so it is called a Neighborhood instance of the City. This was done to get around the current City population limit. You can read more about instancing in A Guide to Instancing.

Bahro Stone

From the D’ni Glossary: The Bahro — For the time being, little is known about these non-human “beast people.” Yeesha calls them the “Least.” They were probably the inhabitants of the cave system before the arrival of the D’ni. Although they are intelligent creatures, the D’ni treated them as animals only. You can see them in the endgame of Yeesha’s quest at the rim of the crater. (You can learn more about the connections of the Bahro and the D’ni in Myst V: End of Ages).

Bahro have been making frequent appearances in the city and in the Bevins. We have been advised by the DRC (D’ni Restoration Council) to stay a respectful distance from them and not to appear threatening to them. 

Game play: What do I do here?

Game play is non-linear for the most part. Explorers can visit any location at almost any time and in almost any order. In Uru you are an explorer witnessing and influencing the restoration of artifacts in D’ni, the Cavern under the New Mexico desert and the Ages using D’ni linking books. The Cavern and the means to get to it were discovered by Elias Zandi in the 1990’s. You will meet his son, Jeff Zandi, who lives in an Airstream trailer on the surface. Zandi, as he is known, offers very useful advice as you make your way through the area known as the Desert and the Cleft. Elias Zandi contracted with a group of people known as the DRC (D’ni Restoration Council) to do the restoration. You may meet members of the DRC in the Cavern as they check on progress and visit with us.

Yeesha is another character that plays a prominent role in Uru. Yeesha is the daughter of Atrus and Catherine. She has studied the D’ni and learned their Art of writing from her father. She has developed writing skills that exceed those of the D’ni and used them to create Relto. You meet the adult Yeesha in the cleft as she begins to tell you the history of Uru and of the D’ni. If you played Myst III, you saw Yeesha as an infant, in Myst IV as a pre-teen and in Myst V as an adult.

If you enjoy exploration and puzzle-solving above socializing go to the desert and the cleft shortly after you get your KI. The link book is in the single pillar on Relto. Be sure to visit with Zandi as soon as you get there, and return to talk to him if you need help as you explore this Cleft Age. Zandi does a good job of keeping track of your progress and he can help you with hints and clues. After completing the puzzle in the desert/cleft, you can go on to the four ages referred to as Uru’s primary ages: Teledahn, Kadish Tolesa, Gahreesen (going farther than you could when you got your KI) and the connected ages of Eder Gira and Eder Kemo.

Ages of Uru

If you enjoy socializing or if you like to mix exploring with socializing, then you should make a point of visiting the Bevins. Explorers can go to the city, Ae’gura, as well to meet people using the City Locations link in Nexus or the Bahro link stone in a Bevin to the plaza. Ae’gura is the biggest and highest island in the huge lake of D’ni. It is commonly referred to as the city. Parts of the city and surrounding area are closed to Explorers, although in the future more should be available.

IC vs OOC: Uru can be played from differing perspectives: In Cavern (In Character) and Out Of Cavern (Out of Character). Many players move easily from one perspective to the other while others play Uru from one point of view only.

Playing Uru from an IC perspective means that you really are in a cavern under the New Mexico desert, the DRC is a real organization and that characters like Cate Alexander and Douglas Sharper are real people. You may refer to things that happen using IC language, for example saying that something that has gone wrong is because the DRC technology is old rather than saying it is a game bug (OOC). IC players sometimes assume roles in the story.

Playing Uru from an OOC perspective means that you acknowledge Uru to be a game and that you are a person who is controlling an avatar. Many players try to make their avatar look as close to their real persona as possible.

The Uru Community

Through the years the very creative Uru community has devised many ways to entertain, educate and inform themselves and others. Many of these activities are starting up again now that the cavern has reopened. A list of scheduled events can be found on the Calendar at the Guild of Greeters forum. These are some of the things that have happened in and outside of the Cavern: lectures and discussions about D’ni language, culture and history, dance and karaoke parties, story-telling sessions, photography (screenshot) contests and concerts. There have been a virtual a cappella choir — the only one of its kind, an annual version of the Olympics, the D’ni Games, a D’ni Zoological Society that studied plants and animals in the Cavern and Ages. The Cavern Communications Network produced news and entertainment videos to download or view online. The Cavern Today produced news and entertainment podcasts. There are service organizations, such as the Guild of Greeters, that give help and hints as players need them, and Cavern Criers that recite or send KImail containing information about scheduled events.

Getting Help

Most people in the Cavern enjoy helping anyone who needs help. In addition, here are some specific sources of help. The Guild of Greeters has a Bevin where its members stand on duty several hours each day. You can visit to ask questions, get hints and nudges, and friendly advice. Cyan worlds doesn't currently provide any in-game help or monitoring. You can submit trouble tickets out of game by visiting http://support.cyanworlds.com . You must first register for an account in order to report harassment or a game bug, or to submit a comment or a feature request. Then log in and submit a ticket.

References

Guild of Greeters website:

Cavern Communications Network projects

D’ni Jazz Club

D’ni Linguistic Fellowship —everything about D’ni language studies

D’niPedia/Writers Ring

D’ni Zoological Society

DRC (D’ni Restoration Council)

Myst Online: Uru Live website 

The Cavern Today projects

Uru Obsession — news and information site

The Novels: The Book of Ti’ana, The Book of Atrus and The Book of D’ni also collected together in The Myst Reader by Rand and Robyn Miller with David Wingrove

 

Written by Lial, Budgie and J'iim with the input from Greeters. Design by Ayli.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 April 2010 )
 
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