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Role Playing (Games)

Tabula Rasa Delayed Two Weeks 93

Posted by Zonk
from the bit-longer-till-the-war-starts dept.
The FPS/MMOG Tabula Rasa, developed for NCSoft by Richard Garriott's Destination Games, will now be delayed for about two weeks while some last-minute testing goes on. Eurogamer reports: "The extra time will apparently be used to fiddle around with stability and balance issues, as well as put high-level area Ligo through its paces and iron out some crafting niggles. This is very important to Starr, who was adamant to share the development mantra of, 'Stable, fast, fun. In that order.' In the coming weeks, creator Richard Garriott will be writing features detailing what endgame content we can expect in Tabula Rasa, and how Destination Games will go about adding updates over time."
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Tabula Rasa Delayed Two Weeks

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  • On a limb (Score:3, Funny)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:10PM (#20838607)

    Richard Garriott will be writing features detailing what endgame content we can expect in Tabula Rasa, and how Destination Games will go about adding updates over time
    Let me take some wild guesses. The endgame will involve large groups of players getting together to fight incredibly tough monsters which will only drop rewards for a small percentage of those involved. The updates over time will be some minor content and bug fixes released in patch form, while major content additions are sold in separately purchased "expansion packs".
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Tuoqui (1091447)
      Oh wow sounds like just about every other MMO... well at least EVE Online the expansions are free.
      • Re:On a limb (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rinisari (521266) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:43PM (#20839171) Homepage Journal
        Apparently parent and grandparent have not played NCSoft's major MMORPG titles City of Heroes and City of Villains. Both have never had an expansion pack, and considerable content is added with each update. In fact, two updates ago, NCSoft added an invention system to augment drops. Additionally, the rate of experience is quite high for an MMO. I've been playing for about four months now and I can get a character up to level 10 in a little more than 10 hours of gameplay—level 6 in about five hours.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rinisari (521266)
          I forgot to mention that I've played just about every MMO, and City of Heroes/Villains is the only one that's kept my attention for longer than a month, save Ultima Online, which I played for three years.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kelbear (870538)
          Heh, COH/V and UO are the only MMOs that held my attention as well.

          Anyway, to elaborate on the parent post, the reason he's pointing at COH/V is that while the end-game does have a massive boss monster for the server to fight(It's not instanced, anyone on the server can join in and get rewarded, and everyone gets rewarded each time). The end-game of City of Villains (not yet implemented in CoH by the time I had left the game) consisted of an 8 person team embarking on a set of missions against the canon her
        • Oracle is hazy (Score:2, Informative)

          by sabt-pestnu (967671)
          One might well consider City of Villains an expansion pack for CoH. I will concede that considerable content has been added gratis, and for which I am grateful. In addition, they recognize that their main income from CoH/CoV is from monthly revenue, so after an initial sales period, they've offered many "new package" benefits (costume elements, product-granted powers like a limited teleport, etc that were granted with particular promotionally packaged items like the "Good Vs Evil" pack) for a nominal cost
      • by Cecil (37810)
        Asheron's Call was not like that. At least, it wasn't several years ago when I was still playing it. There were major updates every month, a whole plotline that changed with the players and their actions, with GM-run events, new weapons, dungeons, etc. Every month. Sometimes between monthly updates too, although that was normally reserved for bugfixes.

        It was actually a pretty fantastic game. If it hadn't be interfering with my social/financial life I might still be playing it. Though I heard it started goin
    • I will start calling you Muad Dib, and we shall worship you as a god.
    • by Knara (9377)
      I feel like a broken record, but DAoC's endgame content was 80% "kill a lot of my PC enemies because it benefits my team", and 20% other stuff. Quite enjoyable.
  • Interesting to note (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apdyck (1010443) <aaron DOT p DOT dyck AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:14PM (#20838679) Homepage Journal
    I find the title of this game interesting. Tabula Rasa was the name of a Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode from Season 6. Those were the magic words used to erase or modify people's memory, in conjunction with a certain type of flower. I wonder why they chose this title!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Unending (1164935)
    • by Drey (1420)
      It's Latin for 'clean slate' or 'scraped tablet' and refers to a theory that we are born with no innate knowledge and learn everything through experience.
    • by Nilych (959204)
      Wow.
    • Because before episodes of Buffy became to ultimate form of artistic and intellectual expression, "tabula rasa" was a philosophical concept developed by ancient greek philosophers. It means "blank slate" and is related to the notion that humans are born as blank slates, having no inborn knowledge, ideas, etc.



      So, its not a 90's pop culture reference. Its just a fancy way of calling your new game "New Game".

    • by tute666 (688551)
      wikipedia is your friend.

      Greek philosophy concept that states that man is born sinless, and through society/exprecience, is tainted.
      • That sounds more like a religious (dare I say Christian) interpretation. And, by religious, I mean it makes society and civilized people sound evil.
        • by tute666 (688551)
          call it whatever, christianism didnt even exist then
          • Those concepts are way older than christianity or judaism. The classical heaven/hell concept and sin concept was first documented in Zoroaism (which is the first documented single god religion) I assume most of those concepts are way older than that, but our documentation references only can reach back a certain amount of time.
    • by Ren.Tamek (898017)
      'Tabula Rasa' is latin for 'clean slate'. That explains why it was used in that episode of buffy, which was about erasing memory. It is the title of this game because each character starts life with no class at all, a 'clean slate', and then they specialise throuugh a tiered levelling system. It has also been set up to allow for backtracking, allowing you to forget your new skills and begin at the beginning of any given tier with a 'clean slate.' I will now write the words 'clean slate' in single quotes aga
    • by astrokid (779104)
      It means "Clean Slate" in latin, so i'm assuming the main plot line will be something to that effect.
    • by tetlowgm (4161)
      Maybe because it means 'clean slate' in latin? The idea is that you can do whatever you want.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gnarlyhotep (872433)
      Something gives me the feeling that it might have nothing to do with buffy, and that it might have a deeper and older meaning. It's just a hunch, though...
      • by langelgjm (860756)
        I was going to post the meaning, but I can't seem to remember it... My mind's like a blank slate!
    • The title "Blank Slate" was chosen because humanity is basically starting over. We've been nearly wiped out by aliens and must completely rebuild, away from Earth. For the player, their character is one that is starting over as well.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BobGregg (89162)
        >>The title "Blank Slate" was chosen because humanity is basically starting over.
        >>We've been nearly wiped out by aliens and must completely rebuild, away from Earth.

        Actually, I always assumed that it was *Richard Garriott* who was starting over, with a completely new universe separated from the Ultima legacy. Regardless, the title has some nice nuances to it.
      • by Knara (9377)

        Mod post up, people. It's actually informative.

        • Mod post up, people. It's actually informative.
          ... but wrong. The name was chosen long before the story. The name is a commentary on the current state of the MMORPG and what is required to move it forward.
    • by fbjon (692006)
      I would just like to point out that this [wikipedia.org] is now the 5th link to wikipedia, and the 20th post pointing out the same damn error in a row. This has to be a new record, perfect for the anniversary!
      • by tooler (36824)
        Hey, thanks for that link on the background of the term. I really appreciate it.
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      Per an interview long ago, back before the major revamp of the game to a gun-emphasis, Richard Garriott commented that the title stemmed from the development outline. They wanted to design an MMO first, so they have a blank slate to work from, then build the story into it afterwards. Thus, "Tabula Rasa" (blank slate).
    • Good to know that history started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the romans never existed.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:28PM (#20838925)
    I played the beta on a free weekend trial key and to be honest it didn't feel like I was playing anything new or interesting. It's a grungy space marine style game where you kill things with blasters instead of swords. Otherwise it's typical MMO fair - do quests, grind, buff etc. The difference of course is that the loot is enhanced armour, weapons and your character advances in weapons and other military skills with some with psychic abilities which are basically spells. It felt most like a cross between Anarchy Online and Star Wars Galaxies and that's not necessarily something to be happy about. I uninstalled it after 3 hours.

    MMOs just seem to be stuck in a rut that they can't escape. Even games like Lord of the Rings online (one of the better MMOs at the moment) still can't escape from experience bars, skill points, menial quests and whatnot. I was hoping for more from Tabula Rasa and I really didn't feel there was much more.

    • by Aladrin (926209)
      I won't be playing any more MMOs without a free trial. I burnt out on them years ago, and nothing has changed considerably since then. WoW managed to intrigue me (not addict) for a couple months, but that's it. The rest didn't make it through a trial period.

      Since this was only allowing Beta playing (not testing, why do they bother calling it that?) to a limited number of people, and I don't feel like fighting for a seat, I've not gotten a chance to try this one. I don't hold any hope for it, though...
      • by DrXym (126579)
        I won't be playing any more MMOs without a free trial. I burnt out on them years ago, and nothing has changed considerably since then. WoW managed to intrigue me (not addict) for a couple months, but that's it. The rest didn't make it through a trial period.

        My first experience of a pay MMO was Everquest (I played and even ran a Diku mud before that). I played EQ for close to two years. During the Shadows of Luclin expansion, Sony / Verant really shafted their customers by forcing a new client on people ev

        • by darkmayo (251580)
          well you dont really need alot of time to play EVE, since you can set your skill to train, log out and come back later when its done. If your bored you can do a few missions, rat for a bit, or mine. The time consuming part comes if you are blockading jumpgates, sieging POS or laying waste to a fleet, but only if you stick it out for the long haul. Since skills are determined by actual time, the only thing you really need to "grind" for is money. Money can be gained through killing NPCs, running missions, Mi
          • by AuMatar (183847)
            The problem is time to learn something. I have an Eve char friends are trying to get me to play again. He can fly T2 galente frigates, T1 cruisers, and T1 BSes. I'd love to fly an arazu and PvP in it. To just learn it would take 2 months. To fly it well, 4-5. So to fly what I think would be fun to try, I'm looking at 4-5 months and nothing I do can speed it up. Way, way, way too long. Thats what made me lose interest.
            • by darkmayo (251580)
              We get people who are pretty new and within a couple of days they are PVPing in Frigs warp scramming people and laying out some pew pew pew. You certainly cant solo pvp early on, (heck later on solo pvp still isnt a great idea) but wolfpacks of frigs and small cruisers can lay serious beat downs.

              Thats the thing about EVE, play with friends or in a corp. Otherwise it will be rough.
              • by AuMatar (183847)
                I did, I was part of goonswarm. Plenty of value put on frigate swarms there. But I don't find being the sacrificial lamb fun. Having to wait for months to try and do something you think is fun (or worse, years- if I wanted to fly a carrier or a fully T2ed battleship it would take me a year) just isn't acceptable to me- its just as bad a timesink as something like WoW. I should be able to do whatever I want, within the limits of my ability, within a few days fo playing.
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          My experience goes way back to TheRealm and DragonRealms. And yes, it's all the same from there. Even the new 'features' like instancing, TheRealm, a 2D game, had. There's really not much new.

          As for WoW... It's truly an immersive environment with some plot and backstory. EQ, for the little I played it, had no plot whatsoever. I'm not talking monthly changes, but rather the quests that new players experience immediately. The trolls, for instance, have this whole 'there's an invasion, help us fight it
      • by MaineCoon (12585)
        It wasn't 'free', but they had a $5 pre-order package (no commitment to buy full, but no refund) which had guaranteed beta access as well as some bonuses if you do buy the full version. It's allowed me 2 full months of access at no additional cost during. I'm on the fence with purchasing - it plays halfway between a shooter and a traditional MMO.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)
          The one thing about MMOs I don't like is the lack of content change. I don't mind slow levelling and such if the game still changes enough while I'm playing it. Environments and enemies that change frequently, that kind of thing. Not staying in a place beating stuff until you're cleared for the next area. I'd rather work my way through an area and fighting because the enemies are in the way, not because I need a number of kills to proceed. Of course changing enemies means more than just a changed 3d represe
    • by Knara (9377)

      The major difference (I did the beta for a while) is that shooting and tactical skill is actually a factor. There's some "fudge" in the mechanics to account for lag, but there's no "start combat"/"end combat" keystroke that puts you on auto-fight.

      Other useful benefits include the fact that the war is being fought primarily between NPCs, and the PCs are elite soldiers, making the "you are a hero" bit a little more immersive. The NPCs can capture and lose strategic strongholds, the battles for which a PC c

      • by FlyveHest (105693)

        The major difference (I did the beta for a while) is that shooting and tactical skill is actually a factor. There's some "fudge" in the mechanics to account for lag, but there's no "start combat"/"end combat" keystroke that puts you on auto-fight.

        And while this seems interesting at first, the only thing it really does for the game is making it harder for you, as a player, to hit mobs, as you will have to do the aiming and shooting.

        Mobs shots "automagically" homes in on you, and all the weaving and dodging y

    • by FlyveHest (105693)

      I uninstalled it after 3 hours.


      Sounds like my experience, except I got to 5 :)

      The aim-yourself gimmick doesn't really add anything to the game (imho), other than making it harder for you to hit mobs.

      Dodging, weaving, jumping and/or running around doesn't affects mobs hitting you, but they can dodge your shots, summing up to just making it harder and more demanding for you to grind, which really didn't work for me at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @12:57PM (#20839401)
    I don't see how General Brittish, as he is known inside Tabula Rasa, and his code army is going to fix all of the substantial problems that the game has in only two additional weeks.

    MISIONS:
    Missions (Quests) break constantly. If you die (or disconnect - which happens frequently) while attempting a mission inside an instance, the mission will frequently become non-completable, forcing the player to abandon the quest, return to the quest-giver, and ask for the mission again. Missions outside of instances are frequently impossible to complete because you cannot interact with one of the objectives (ie, blow up a mining drill or power generator). Logos obtainment quests frequently do not complete when you obtain said logos.

    TERRAIN:
    Clipping and Bounding planes are simply not enforced in many areas. Players get stuck in the terrain frequently, forcing the use of the /stuck macro (which takes you back in time about 15 seconds, hopefully to a time when you weren't stuck in the terrain). Players can pass through terrain (walls, rocks, flowers (HUGE FLOWERS) intermittently, causing all sorts of interesting situations which can often only be resolved by using the /stuck macro. This area of the game needs a substantial re-design.

    GROUPING:
    What is this? All instances (up to level 30, at least) can be soloed by any patient player of any class. All enemy characters can be avoided simply by running by/through their patrol and continuing running until you out-range them -- seriously. The single time I grouped to complete an instance, which was not necessary, mind you, each player simply did their own thing. Nobody healed their teammates, and nobody teamed up to beat the enemy characters. It was essentialy a FPS game with the storyline being played in co-op mode, but without any co-operation.

    That being said, TR is a great game, or at least it might be if Richard Garriott doesn't give in to unrealistic publisher timelines, and deliver a beta product as a finished product.
    • As a (brief) former beta tester, they're spot-on.

      Does inventory still randomly (partially or completely) vanish as well?
    • by darkmayo (251580)
      You forgot about how the first Logos skill you get "Lightning" is easily the best logos in the game by a large margin. You are better off using that most of your career because it one shot/two shots most mobs. The only issue is when you run into elec resistant/immune mobs, which are few and far between.

      As well weapon balancing sucks still.. its getting better but damn there are some really glaring issues with someone of them. Chainguns for example just eat your ammo and do squat for damage. I see more peopl
    • I don't want to be an asshole, but you have either not played in a long time, or God hates your character. Missions: I have only had one broken mission in the past couple of months, and not many before that. If you are getting that many broken missions you need to pay more attention to what the NPCs say. Terrain: I have not had to type /stuck for the past couple of weeks. It is getting worked out, and is still in BETA. Grouping: I like the fact that you can solo instances if you want. Some people ma
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @01:12PM (#20839627) Homepage Journal
    I bought 3 Tabula Rasa preorder packs (me, wife, friend) for a buck at the local electronics store because they came with beta keys. We played for several hours the first day and a bit more for a second day. We'd all gotten through the introductory tutorial ("noob island") and completed several quests on the main land. Upon exiting the game and logging back in all 3 of us would find our characters back on noob island, yet the quests to get us back to the mainland were not available! None of us could figure out how to play the game again so we all uninstalled.

    The biggest disappointment was the execution and design of this very ordinary MMO despite RG's frequent proclamations that this game would be far different from all the other quest/farming grind games out there. It's WoW with frickin' laser beams. Yawn. Even if the game had worked flawlessly I wouldn't play it for free.
    • by illumin8 (148082)

      We'd all gotten through the introductory tutorial ("noob island") and completed several quests on the main land. Upon exiting the game and logging back in all 3 of us would find our characters back on noob island, yet the quests to get us back to the mainland were not available! None of us could figure out how to play the game again so we all uninstalled.

      I signed up and was accepted to the original closed beta test of Tabula Rasa, which started several months ago. At the time, I logged in and the game was

    • delayed only 2 weeks?
      Probably all the investors allowed. I smell the successor to SWG.
  • They're delaying an MMO for 14 days so they can finally get around to tweaking game balance issues? They waited until the game was done, started over, done, started over, and done again and then said, "Oh, crap...we forgot to balance it! How fast can we do that?" and came up with a time estimate of 2 weeks....for an MMO.
    • They're delaying an MMO for 14 days so they can finally get around to tweaking game balance issues? They waited until the game was done, started over, done, started over, and done again and then said, "Oh, crap...we forgot to balance it! How fast can we do that?" and came up with a time estimate of 2 weeks....for an MMO.

      That's very typical. EQ2 did it towards the end of Beta, they did it again during the combat revamp (which was during almost 2 months of beta testing for the new expansion), and I'm sure
  • a sadly generic game (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gregor-e (136142) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @01:52PM (#20840323) Homepage
    TR provides the overall vibe of a design team with no real passion for their game. Everything felt very generic to me. It's as if the developers were just punching the clock, going down their checklist of schedule tasks, completing each one without any particular interest or enthusiasm.


    WoW, for all it's faults, at least conveys a sense of wonder, and the stylized characters generally convey a vibe of humor and fun. Characters and settings in TR are like dead wooden tokens that simply stand in as placeholders while you navigate the game.

    • Unfortunately, I have to agree. Like most MMOs, I was attracted by the intro movie (which was very well done, imho), and decided to try it out. I've played the Beta, and while it is a welcome respite from WoW, it's far from groundbreaking. It really did feel like a differently-skinned WoW. The chat system is nearly identical, the bars are very similar, and the quest/reward system looks like a near perfect copy. I am glad they avoided the Guild Wars mistake of instancing everything. While it is a good
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Knara (9377)

        One of the things WoW did well is it innovated a ton of things that hadn't really been done before, and forced every MMO after it to play catch-up to try and snag players away.

        Uh, what? I'm having a hard time thinking of what WoW did that no MMORPG had done before. They streamlined and made it *better*, but WoW really just took a lot of things that were done before and put them in a better package.

        Don't get me wrong, it's no small feat, but it's not amazingly original, either.

        • The paladin seal/judgement spell line was new to me (I've played EQ/EQ2/EVE and now WoW). A self-only buff (seal) that can be canceled early (judgement) to do damage or place a debuff on your target.

          Blizzard took a lot of things from other MMOs and managed to get it about 95%+ correct, even on the small details. There are a few things that EQ2 did better (mini-dings, mentoring, mini-dungeons, larger quest journal), but for the first four weeks in WoW it seems a lot more polished then EQ2 ever was.
    • by Cyno01 (573917)
      I was invited to the Tabula Rasa beta two weeks after i'd given in and started WoW. I Had been waiting and waiting for a decent Sci-Fi MMO, and tabula rasa seemed to fit the bill, but i was sick of waiting so i gave in and installed the trial of WoW. After playing Tabula Rasa for 2 hours i went back to WoW.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday October 03, 2007 @02:23PM (#20840907) Journal

    I am currently play LOTRO and that game is becoming more and more like a direct WoW clone (not a good thing) so if there is anything that can avoid being a WoW/EQ clone I would welcome it.

    So to any who have played it in the trials can you answer me this.

    Does it have quests to gather X from Y and then X does not drop in a clear logical pattern?

    Does it have items looted for crafting that drop from X that only spawns once in a blue moon if your avatar wears purple?

    Is it impossible to craft to your own level (Lotro is very guilty of this) so that by the time you have harvested everything that is needed for a level 12 item, your are level 20?

    Is there a reputation grind (we couldn't think of more story quests so now just go kill) that if you calculate the number of kills needed you realize you ain't getting out of the house this year?

    Do the game makers put grinders and questers in the same place? (Lotro with its deeds (kill X Y for bonuss stats) often has people at very high levels killing X in low levels areas to get their deed and damned be any players at the right level questing there)

    For that matter, does that crafting/loot system encourage, even enforce, farming?

    Is there any system in place to deal with gold spammers (SWG has introduced player killing of gold sellers, WoW has finally introduced limits on spam messages, turbine... nothing).

    In short, is this any different from the default EQ clone with all the same crap that really should have been elimenated since the days of EQ2? SWG tried, it really did but failed because of bugs ans was then turned into an EQ clone itself.

    Don't mention Eve Online to me, I played it.

    • by donatzsky (91033)
      So far I have made it to level 16, so take it with the appropriate amount of salt.

      Does it have quests to gather X from Y and then X does not drop in a clear logical pattern?

      Yes. No.
      Most quests are indeed the age old and unimaginative collect X from Y type of quests, but so far, with very few exceptions, Y drops every time you kill X, so it's not really that bad.

      Does it have items looted for crafting that drop from X that only spawns once in a blue moon if your avatar wears purple?

      Not that I have noticed, bu

    • by FlyveHest (105693)

      Don't mention Eve Online to me, I played it


      I didn't, you did :)

      But, in my experience, having played and researched on a LOT of MMORPGs outthere, both existing and upcoming, then, Eve is the only game that really offers a different experience from WoW and its ilk.
  • Richard Garriot created a legendary series of games - decades ago. He's not cut out for modern game development in my opinion. For all his proclamations about Tabula Rasa being so different, new, unique, etc. etc... it's absolutely NOT new or unique. It's a sci-fi online shooter with sub-par production values and some gimmicky ideas which don't provide enough fun to warrant a monthly subscription.

    Sadly the game COULD have been a refreshing change of course IF it had better production values and more ent
  • When I first heard of this game, oh... 6 odd years ago I guess now, it was lauded as the 'next thing' in MMOs. There was much talk about it being a planetary scale RTS type game with land claims, sieges, science fiction, and diplomacy. As this game nears release (after the xth delay), its become clear that this is nothing more than every other MMO mixed together with a few twists but still taking everything that seems to work in the other popular MMOs of the day. Does anyone else remember UO2? That game
    • If TR were to actually be holding true to its original promises of a uniquely RTS-styled territorial diplomacy based MMO, I think they'd have a great niche to fit into and could well succeed... ...with some competition from EVE Online. Which has RTS-styled conquest of territory in space and diplomacy between players as a by-product.
      But there are enough players who miss running around in their avatars (Eve only shows the ship and a small portrait in the chat window) that there might be room for a second RTS-

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