How is D'mala that different from UU and the shards we already have?
Several big reasons, most of which can be found on the new UU FAQ:
17) Who are the people in Until Uru who are asking questions and doing surveys?
Employees of Cyan and our licensees will be periodically asking questions and collecting information. Thanks for your input.
19) Does this mean URU Live is coming back?
No, this is just a small step.
20) Will fan Ages be supported?
It is Cyan's goal to allow our fans to begin to write their own Ages. We hope to provide the tools and process in the future. But for now they are not supported.
Contrast this to the original UU FAQ, which made it very clear that we were never to expect new content, that Cyan wan't involved in UU at all, and UU was just something they were allowing.
Now, we have an offical "cannon" shard, where we can anticipate seeing DRC people, there's the potential of Cyan-created storyline, and officially sacntioned content. It fills in the gaps that UU had. And, there was a whole lot of "yet"s in Rand's letter.
I think many of the problems that plagued the community were a symptom of bored people trying to fill the no content void. With the potential of a changing story and enviroment, I think much of that will be eliminated.
And the until in UU is much more than just symbolic, now...
21) Will Until Uru be shut down if Uru Live comes back?
The name "Until Uru" says it all.
Uru: Ages Beyond Myst can be found very cheaply on Amazon. Uru: Complete Chronicles works too, and can be had just as cheaply. Working on getting the tutorial information for the needed dual install.