After a lengthy wait and a substantial retooling, Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa has gone live. The New York Times is running a piece looking into the history of Garriott's interaction with MMOGs, while Wired had a chance to speak with the 'General' getting a better sense of what the game is about. "'It takes 30 minutes to an hour just to meet up with your friends to start playing' in most MMOs, says Richard Garriott, the new game's executive producer. In contrast, Tabula Rasa, a PC game that will be released Nov. 2, was designed to appeal to the average Joe who's probably not interested in learning what "gold farming" or "damage over time" means and just wants to amuse himself by saving the universe. It's a calculated shift designed to move beyond the hard-core gaming crowd and court the mainstream audience that has made Nintendo's Wii such a surprise success. And it isn't particularly remarkable, except that Garriott is the man largely responsible for inventing the MMO model in the first place. "