Tabula Rasa: Good News/Bad News

By Kieron Gillen on November 1st, 2007 at 3:58 pm.

Good news: I’ve worked out how to dye my armour hot fuschia, so sidestepping ZeroPunctuation’s World Of Khaki Motley.

HOT!

Bad news: If you walk into a shop in America and buy it, you’re not allowed to play. While you can buy Tabula Rasa, until the release tomorrow only those who threw down money on the preorder pack can play. And you thought the hour or so unlocking occasionally on STEAM was bad. While the “official” release isn’t until tomorrow… well, it doesn’t exactly serve the consumers interest to artificially keep valid codes off working servers when they’ve paid for it. This is unacceptable and has provoked RPS frowning, which we simulate by linking to the google image page for “Frown”.

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18 Comments »

  1. John Walker says:

    Someone has to buy Kieron a pink cap.

  2. weego says:

    this is on top of the other bad news that the game is really something of a lemon :/

  3. Richard says:

    That’s a familiar ‘tache…

  4. Thelps says:

    I’d love to see a whole group of pink-clad, tiny-bearded boys cutting a swathe through aliens, mincing around during reloads and lisping innuendos at the outpost. Any of that in a setting that takes itself so seriously is pure 24-carat goldilocks.

  5. Matt says:

    The previews of this game have really annoyed me. People buy these games based on previews and the developers have claimed all sorts of things about this game that just aren’t true, nor have I read anything that questions these assertions.

    Aside from the fact you have guns instead of bows and arrows this is an uninspired by the numbers mmo, with lots of grinding and repetition.

    There is no skill to it, you crouch behind certain objects to get a defensive bonus and if you run when you shoot you get a penalty. Targets stand still shooting for the most part, you put your cursor over then and press tab to lock on. Once you are locked on to a target you don’t need to aim at all. Hardly any more skill needed than the slew of fantasy mmos out there that require you to press a button for a special attack or something similar. And the “magical” powers you unlock feel wrong, maybe a holdover from before they gave the game a facelift when it was more anime in style.

    Furthermore, as far as the beta was concerned at least, the aliens had no sense of character. There was no strong sense of story, of being part of an army of displaced people, who were almost wiped out by a brutal enemy. The bad-guy aliens are sort of Halo inspired for the most part and unimaginatively called “Bane”, then there are some aliens native to the planet, who are sort of spiritual and seem to be basically ugly alien elves. (So yes for all intents and purposes this game has elves too.)

    The game is not abysmal, just not great and certainly in no way the innovative experience it seems to be presented as. I do know some people who enjoyed the game and plan to carry on playing after the beta but I just feel a lot of people are going to buy this game expecting something they just will not get.

  6. schizoslayer says:

    Matt is right on the money. I played the Closed Beta and then the public beta and while Garriot was decrying the wealth of WoW clones I could do nothing but cringe knowing that he was developing a reskinned WoW but with all of the character progression surgically removed.

    This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe because all of the magic powers are useless except one. Maybe because you never actually go anywhere for 15 levels that looks different. Maybe it’s the fact that there is no point in customising your appearance because in 10 seconds you’ll find a new armor piece that will be better than your existing armor and the default color.

    Maybe it’s because even at the level cap the best weapons aren’t the special profession specific weapons but the ones you could use at the start of the game and as such nobody uses anything else.

    There is no point trying to make combat more interesting when the AI is sub-WoW barely ever moving and certainly never being capable of even the smallest of tactical descisions probably because nobody has any real tactical options be they AI or human.

    It also has a UI that is oddly reminiscent of Ultima Online in its accesibility and possibly one of the most impenetrable interfaces I’ve used in a game that actually released.

    As far as I’m concerned NCSoft has another Auto Assault on it’s hands. They appear to have gone from MMO gods to MMO Dogs since the release of City of Heroes.

  7. Rocktart says:

    There were a lot of people going into the beta hoping for something like a Planetside 2, guns, capable bases etc, but it’s a reskinned normal MMO.

    Where is the the next development of the planetside ideal?

  8. schizoslayer says:

    “Where is the the next development of the planetside ideal?”

    Shutdown two years ago due to lack of money.

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthale

    Ironically we were in negotiations with NCSoft at the time. Money ruins everything.

  9. malkav11 says:

    The funny thing is – Auto Assault actually had more genuine innovation going on. It was shallow and solo-oriented, that’s all.

  10. Nick says:

    Basically, if you want a futuristic MMO, AO is still better than Tabula Rasa and it is old and ugly. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not and it at least had some genuine innovations when it was released, unlike TR.

  11. Kieron Gillen says:

    Idly, as someone who’s playing in the proper release now, it’s better than the Beta. It kind of reminds me of early-days CoH.

    KG

  12. malkav11 says:

    I did actually have fun for most of the couple of days I played the beta. They weren’t doing the earthshaking things they claimed to be doing, but it was rather fun running around gunning down swathes of aliens in an attractive world, the instances were pretty awesome, and I enjoyed the exploration element of finding the Logos. Then they patched all the fun out of it in one fell swoop. It was pretty impressive. Well, not *all* of it, and I did see indications they were toning back some of the changes, but even when I returned a couple patches later to investigate again, they were clinging pretty steadfastly to design decisions I vehemently disagreed with. And I didn’t have a lot of hard drive space to leave spent on something that I wasn’t really jonesing to play during the limited windows they offered. So uninstalled.

    I’ll give it a chance to drop in price and get further molded into whatever it is they’re aiming for, and then maybe I’ll give it another shot.

  13. weego says:

    From a business point of view, I wouldn’t want to see a game I was backing being different to WoW. Why would I risk capital on something that could be interesting to 100k people when WoW has shown me that their concept can be crack to 4 million plus.

    And there is the problem. To get noticed they say the game is different to other MMOs (for “other MMOs” read WoW), but really they want to just distill what is so addictive about it and grab a portion of the current subscriber base. The problem is they clearly don’t have that creative spark that somehow made WoW, which really is incredibly basic on pretty much every level, so stupidly good.

  14. schizoslayer says:

    I was playing the Beta up until the last day because I wanted it to be good. I doubt it changed much in the 3 days between close of beta and launch for pre-ordering types.

    Terrible game and if you think it’s like early days City of heroes then you should probably play some City of heroes. I was there at City of Heroes US launch and again it was just a far more tactical game even at launch.

  15. Nick says:

    “Why would I risk capital on something that could be interesting to 100k people when WoW has shown me that their concept can be crack to 4 million plus.”

    Maybe because most of them are happy sticking with WoW.

  16. malkav11 says:

    If internet forums can be believed (which, admittedly, is a problematic assertion) a lotta people love WoW but burn through the content fairly quickly and then are bored until the next expansion comes out. Something that captures the good bits of WoW but isn’t WoW stands to pick up quite a few of those people, if only temporarily. I suspect that’s where a lot of LOTRO’s subscribers are coming from, since that game is almost painfully WoWesque.

  17. Kieron Gillen says:

    Schizo: Oddly, the guy I was chatting to on Qt3 who was playing Beta until the last week echos my comments – which was that they’ve basically amped up the number of baddies hilariously (And the amount of credits dropped, etc).

    That’s what I mean by it reminding me of early CoH: It’s just hectic as hell, with my character being able to deal with 5 or 6 people. That it goes out of the way to create a proper atmosphere to cover the spawns (Dropships bringing men in, teleporters, etc).

    I mean, clearly it’s nowhere near as revolutionary as it thinks it is… but it’s certainly not Lord of the Rings Online.

    KG