D'ni Restoration Council
The D'ni Restoration Council, or "DRC", is a group of humans who have twice attempted to rebuild and restore the D'ni city deep beneath the deserts of New Mexico.
The D'ni Restoration Council (DRC) was originally founded in 1997 CE with funds left to the D'ni Restoration Foundation by Elias Zandi after his death. The DRC's purpose was to oversee and manage the restoration of the D'ni cavern and Ages so that they might eventually be opened to the public.
1997 – 2003 CE
During this time, the DRC operated in almost complete obscurity, unassumingly going about the mammoth task of restoring the D'ni Cavern for eventual exploration by the public. In July of 2002, Dr. Watson and Rand Miller from Cyan Worlds worked with authorized explorer IMForeman to broadcast a live tour of the D'ni cavern to attendees at Mysterium in Philadelphia, PA.
At the beginning of 2003, explorers began arriving in the cavern without the permission of the DRC. These individuals were let in by Yeesha and Jeff Zandi, and forced the DRC to divert their efforts toward restoring a number of D'ni neighborhoods for those "unauthorized explorers" to inhabit. Later that year, the DRC began grudgingly accepting more of these explorers and unofficially opened the cavern to the public. That same year, the DRC announced that UbiSoft Entertainment had signed on to fund their restoration efforts.
Throughout the time that the DRC allowed unauthorized explorers into the cavern, they maintained an extreme displeasure for the meddling of Yeesha and Jeff Zandi in allowing the public into D'ni before the DRC was ready to accommodate them. Explorers were often cautioned against trusting their Relto Books to get them out of dangerous situations, and for a time, the DRC actively attempted to remove Bahro artifacts such as Journey Cloths from their locations throughout the Cavern and Ages.
This period is sometimes referred to as "The Second Restoration". A previous restoration effort was led by Atrus roughly 150 years prior, though it was abandoned in favor of resettlement in a new Age, Releeshahn.
2004 – 2006 CE
In February 2004, UbiSoft Entertainment terminated its funding for the DRC's efforts, effectively forcing the organization to shut down. Later that year, Victor Laxman began to allow small groups of explorers back into the Cavern on an "at-your-own-risk" basis, and no plans were announced to continue the restoration.
In late 2005, Victor Laxman returned again, gathering his former colleagues on the DRC's council (minus Dr. Watson) to begin tentative work to resume the restoration effort. Larger numbers of explorers were invited to visit the Cavern, and over the next year, the DRC held several Town Hall meetings with explorers to discuss what the future might hold.
This period marks the February 2004 termination of the Uru Live: Prologue beta test by UbiSoft, and the creation of Untìl Uru by Cyan Worlds later that year. It also marks the creation of the D'mala Shard in Untìl Uru, a benchmark platform created by Cyan to show Turner Broadcasting that Uru was still a viable product with considerable interest and a sizable community. This effort ultimately culminated in Turner's funding of Myst Online: Uru Live as a GameTap exclusive product.
2006 – 2008
Eventually, the DRC acquired a new source of funding from a venture capitalist named Cate Alexander. Ms. Alexander was not a terribly popular figure. The DRC took issue with her interest in results over safety, and the explorers took issue with her no-nonsense attitude, and her generally dismissive behavior when it came to community concerns. No one could argue, however, that Cate was not effective in achieving the results she sought. Almost like clockwork, the DRC opened a new area or Age to the public roughly once a month for nine months.
The new DRC was also much more accommodating and trusting of the use of Relto Books by explorers. Several of the DRC Council members had elected to take Yeesha's first Journey by this time, and several Ages were even released without any sort of Linking Book back to the Nexus or to the cavern, counting on all explorers having immediate access to their own escape mechanism. Still, despite their ubiquitous use throughout the explorer population, some decried the DRC's apparent lack of concern for safety in not putting back-up links to the Nexus in every Age they opened, while others took issue with the often shoddy state of the Ages, wondering why the DRC had chosen to release them with what were sometimes rather obvious safety deficiencies (Tetsonot was a favorite for these sorts of complaints).
The debate over the priority of safety in the restoration came to a head when, in May of 2007, Michael Engberg's daughter Willow (or "Wheely", as she was known to explorers) was killed by a bahro after she stumbled into a hidden chamber, following a series of earthquakes in Ae'gura which also claimed the life of the friend she was exploring with at the time. Michael Engberg quit the DRC over the incident, and the rest of the DRC Council was left shaken.
As 2007 came to a close, Ms. Alexander announced that she would no longer be funding the restoration effort. Despite an all-out effort on the part of Victor Laxman and Marie Sutherland, no additional funding could be found, and the DRC once again abandoned their efforts. The cavern was shut down in April of 2008.
2010 – present
In 2010, the DRC discovered that Dr. Watson had found that explorers were starting to sneak their way back into D'ni. Explorers have been cautioned that the DRC is not currently active in the cavern, as was the case from 2004 to 2006.
In 2016, the DRC website was taken offline, and the domain redirected to Cyan's official website. For now, it appears that the DRC have abandoned their efforts for good.
The DRC is staffed by a group of experts in various fields, and employs a variety of engineers and support staff.
The members of the DRC's leading council over the years have been:
- Dr. Richard A. Watson (1997–2004)
- Dr. Marie Sutherland (1997–present)
- Dr. Ikuro Kodama (1997–present)
- Victor Laxman (1997–present)
- Michael Engberg (1997–2007)
- Cate Alexander (2006–2007)
To help with the massive effort of restoring the D'ni civilization, Restoration Engineers (or "ResEngs") were hired by the DRC council members. Later, once the cavern was opened to the public, these ResEngs were tasked with assisting newcomers by providing orientation classes and assisting explorers who became stuck during their travels. The following individuals have been employed by the DRC in the past:
- Phil "phend" Henderson (2002)
- Brice "Nikto" Tebbs (2002–2003)
- A. Biegalski (2005–2007)
- K. Miller (2005–2007)
- M. Cowart (2005–2007)
- B. Dreschel (2005–2007)
- M. Dogherra (2005–present)
- G. Buddell (2007)
- M. Curn (2007)
- M. Ferrell (2010–present)
The ResEngs listed as employed from 2005 through 2007 were employees of Cyan who served as in-game support staff, and who responded to bug report tickets submitted to the Myst Online support website. Those employed from 2002 through 2003 were Cyan developers and/or game characters created for storytelling purposes.
Over the years, the DRC has restored several locations within the D'ni cavern, as well as a number of Ages. Below is a list of locations and Ages the DRC have restored, in order by the date on which they were opened to the public.
- Eder Delin
- Eder Tsogahl
- Pod Age
- Watcher's Pub
- Guild pubs
- Dr. Watson, "A little background on Zandi". DRC forums. January 30, 2003. Archived here from the original.
- "GAME PUBLISHER CONTRIBUTES TO MASSIVE UNDERGROUND RESTORATION EFFORT", DRC website, accessed July 5, 2017. Archived from the original on December 17, 2003.
- DRC. Chiso Preniv Linking Book Note. Myst Online: Uru Live (again).