I was in the beta back a year or so ago, and based on that experience, this doesn’t surprise me a whole lot. I keep wanting to believe that there’s a non-fantasy MMO out there for us somewhere, but there is such a lack of quality and support with non-WoW titles that it’s going to be hard to get one going.
Anyone else play this? I’ll just mention that I was generally appalled that they released the game a month after the closed beta, but other than that the game was fairly fun if you weren’t looking for content.
I played it for a few months and had a decently good time. It was fun to play something not-WoW, but unfortunately not-WoW means none of my friends play it so it’s never going to be more than a novelty.
Yow. I need to hurry up and find time to play the month included with my $10 copy of Tabula Rasa.
Then again, the description of Tabula Rasa actually sounded like an original, cool idea for an MMO. Perhaps I should just stick with my preconception of the game and not sully it by actually playing it.
They had this running on a few demo machines at PAX, and I was shocked at how empty and open the demo units were. I fooled around with it for a few minutes, and while it didn’t immediately stand out to me, it didn’t seem completely horrid.
I played the game for a month and while it impressed me in a few areas I was suprised at the lack of content. The dynamic NPC Bane attacks on bases was something that was pretty cool/compelling that I have not seen other games do. TR had a lot of potential. A bit more polish, twice as much content, vehicles, mechs, and an end game and we might have seen a successful SCIFI MMO.
I get the impression that the developers themselves had a lot of difficulty figuring out where they were headed so communicating it would have been impossible. RG evidently was too busy going on cool adventure vacations to provide good leadership on his title which seemed to putter around looking for direction. Either be fully engaged or fully disengaged(retired).
Count me as #3. I bought the game when it was on 48-hour madness on Gogamer for $15 or something…1st warning!..(via QT3 link, btw). Then when I went to the official web site, I saw nothing but canned intros, “email us with questions and we’ll get back to you” support, and links to fan sites. No offense to fan sites…some of them seemed great. But the more I read the more I wasn’t interested. Reviews and comments were not good. I never even took off the shrink-wrap.
No worries, though. My MMOG quota is full w/ WoW (much, much less than 2 years ago, but still an occasional guilty habit), and LOTRO.
[Edit]: This thread energized me…should I take off that shrink-wrap? I followed a link from the TR website, to a fan website, to a final “daylife.com” website, to watch in awe as Richard Garriott, “Space Tourist” trained in Russia for his upcoming adventure (Yay compound interest from Ultima III - VII profits and selling Origin before I started to make crappy games!!) One caption on one of the far too many pictures made me laugh …
“Space tourist Richard Garriott of Britain attends a training session in the Star City space centre outside Moscow July 14, 2008.”
I will grant them that they usually say he’s from the U.S. But somewhere, someone writing captions got lost. :)
It was mildly fun during the beta when some of the weapons and skills were hugely overpowered, like my net-guns. Getting one-shot kills made it barely possible for me to bother with the tedious missions and annoying instances.
Fixing these balance problems essentially removed the small vestige of fun I perceived in the game, as the superficially interesting rune system turned out not to involve any creativity or choices at all, the economy was a joke, the items were boring, the quest stories were inane, and there turned out to be essentially nothing to do in the game but kill your way to the next level.
The kicker for me was how boring the world was, especially when the game itself admitted it. There was a guy at the start of the second planet giving a speech to some troops, where he specifically states: “The landscape on Arieki is fairly uniform - brown fields making way into even browner fields of dirt. Every once in a while, you may be lucky enough to spot big rocks, and something that looks like a plant!”
Note to designers: When even NPCs think your world is shit, you’ve screwed up.
I quite liked the basic combat system, but so many things were just silly - the slow grinding after about level 20 or so, the way the Clone system wanted you to replay the exact same quests to try out a different character path even though you clearly should have just been able to reallocate your points however you wanted, broken instances like the Caves of Dunn, a map that was useless if your target was underground and you weren’t, and even the basic premise of the characters, which pretended that you were part of an army even though you were clearly more of a mercenary type.
I recently got about two weeks of free time on my old TR account, so I re-installed and patched to check it out (I had played the first month of retail when it launched). My opinion didn’t really change from before, despite some small improvements here and there.
The combat is still fun but there’s something strangely soulless about the whole thing. You start out fighting animals in a setting that could have easily been pulled out of Generic Fantasy MMO #23 (forests, rocks, scrub, no visible tech apart from your own base camps) and I think that starts the game out on the completely wrong foot. The game is pitched as “you are one of the last surviving humans banding together with other free sentients to fight the evil Bane aliens” and instead you get “I need five Boargar livers”. Even when you do fight Bane, it never feels like a war, just constant skirmishes and you’re not a soldier so much as a mercenary (having to buy your own ammo, for one), running around on foot the whole time, almost always outdoors.
Some of the instances were fun and the game looked pretty good on a rig that could handle it, but I can’t shake the feeling that after the death of the game’s original concept, the revised game that got launched in its place was always hobbled by time and budget (and design) constraints.
It’s a shame because I’d love to kick around in a decent SF MMO (EVE doesn’t really do it for me).
The problem is that epic Sci-Fi doesn’t really follow the same linear power curve that epic fantasy stuff does. It isn’t guys getting more power and bigger stuffs to fight bigger enemies until they reach the top tier.
Most epic SF is about a guy getting either a)Something bigger/better than the bad guy has or b) Exploiting the bad guy’s weakness.
Those are incredible generalizations, but that’s the point really.
I think that EVE (and Planetside, if my impressions are correct) have the right idea as far as sci-fi progression. Instead of finding gear with more enchantments (nanites!) on it, you train to use more advanced gear that is in widespread use. This more advanced gear will have strengths and weaknesses compared to basic gear, and no force will be complete without a committed squad of infantry/frigate/whatever specialists.
There’s one other way to handle advancement, and this is one I’d like to see in a 40k or (god willing) BattleTech MMO. Give the player command of AI wingmen as the game progresses, increasing his power while still maintaining a standard unit of strength that allows for battlefield parity.
Warhammer 40k is fantasy in space anyway, so I’d think that an MMO based on it wouldn’t really need to veer away from the traditional way these games work. I’d agree that other sci-fi games would have this problem.
Another problem is that it’s hard to imagine how an MMO in which guns are the main weapons would work well without FPS mechanics. I’ understand that Tabula Rasa tried to be more actioney than most other MMOs, but I’ve never heard good things about it.