- Linking Books stamped by the DRC should lead to public instances only. Exception: Neighborhood links go to a 'hood-instanced Neighborhood, obviously. Linking Books to private instances that have Yeesha's stamp cannot have the DRC stamp on them as well.
- Linking Books leading to neighborhood instances should have a unique stamp to indicate their different instancing status. This should have no exceptions.
- Linking Books stamped by Yeesha (using the graphic from MOUL that resides below the Linking Panel, and the ornate Share Book stamp on the other page) lead to private instances. No exceptions.
- Unstamped Books lead to "OOC" private instances - the Nexus, the Silo... places that should be considered public, but for gameplay reasons, are private or shared-private.
- Bahro Stones lead to private instances. No exceptions.
- The absurd concept of "Neighbors-instanced" areas should be dropped. It's confusing, unintuitive, and completely falls apart as soon as you try sharing the link.
- ALL Linking Books must follow basic D'ni rules (no linking within the same Age, no coming with you when you link, etc.), including those stamped by Yeesha. Only Relto gets these special abilities. Linking Books to the Great Zero in the neighborhoods should be removed. Great Zero access should be granted via the KI either by default (available from minute 1 for new players), or through some registration mechanism (maybe replace the GZ Book with a registration terminal that adds the GZ link to your KI).
Further, in the event that we possibly get to build the Descent (big if, but I want to cover all of the instancing bases at once), we run into the potential for private-instanced areas being accessible directly from a public-instanced area (i.e. a node on the public Descent leads to a privately-instanced tunnel where "thing x" can be found). In such circumstances, Yeesha and/or the Bahro need to have a visual presence on the access point. For the sake of argument, let's say that by and large, these public-to-private transitions are going to be Node Doors, which are round and have a rectangular hole in the middle for the door itself. The stone around the door could have some sort of visual effect applied to it, like a warm glow that illuminates the inside of the round door frame, and a Yeesha or Bahro symbol could be placed between the door and the outer hoop of stone. Clicking on the door would send you into the area by yourself; if you wanted to go in with friends, clicking on the symbol beside the door would activate the "share Book" UI. The invited player would get an accept/deny prompt, and upon accepting would go through the door automatically, in advance of the person doing the inviting, much as it works with Age sharing. Players in other areas of the game can also be invited to this private instance using the same KI interface that Age sharing uses (though ideally much-improved). To access the shared private instance, the invited player would simply go to the Nexus, pull up the Book, and link in directly.
Most importantly, I think that these instancing guidelines should be posted publicly on whatever public-facing site hosts the OpenURU distributables, with descriptions of what will happen when the player tries going to them with friends, much the same way that WoW's website has an explanation of instanced dungeons for players unfamiliar with it. WoW may have ingrained instancing as a concept into a lot of people's minds, but even with 9 million players, there's bound to be people in the world who want to play Uru who have no idea what instances are because they have no interest in WoW, and Uru's online resources have never really done a good job of explaining how they work in this game (partly because the rules make no sense and are often very inconsistent).