Tabula Rasa Cleans Its Slate

By Alec Meer on September 24th, 2008 at 10:16 am.

My, what a lot of anti-aliasing

(And isn’t that joke getting annoying now? I aim to displease…)

With WAR, WOW and LOTRO managing a high-fantasy chokehold on the MMO market at the moment, one might forget that Tabula Rasa’s still out there offering something a little different. There’ve been various reports that the Richard Garriott-figureheaded sci-fi onliner isn’t doing so well of late, but perhaps an apparent renewed offensive could lure back those who prefer their MMOs to have pistols rather than poleaxes.

First up, last week saw the release of the Deployment 12 patch. Which features “new version of the tier selection process, our Series 2 Physical Chaingun and Laser Pistol, our level 50 “Omega Labs” instance located in the Abyss, and much much more.” Yes, you read that right – a Series 2 Physical Chaingun. Ideal for when your Metaphysical Chaingun proves inevitably useless at shooting things. More here.

More recently, TR’s Lead Designer Tom Potter has announced he’s stepping down. In a perfect world of scandal, this would be because the game was called ‘Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa’ and not ‘Tom Potter’s Tabula Rasa’, but actually it’s because he’s moving off to an as-yet unspecified job elsewhere in the industry. Replacing him is one Susan Kath, who’s been involved with TR for nearly half a decade. She’s already made some bold promises – Mechs, for instance. Which has gotten my interest, at least, though it’s no deal if I have to take a character to level 8 billion or whatever to get my robo-suit. She’s also talking about giving players “a reason to log into the game every day”, which comes off as rather damning to the game as-is, but specifically she means endgame content. Including dynamically-changing content – battlefields that shift dependent on the state of play. “We’re at war, people! And in a war, you win some, you lose some, and things don’t always play out the way you expect” she says, all Drill Sergeant-y.

Finally, Richard Garriott himself cropped up on the Colbert Report late last week to talk about his Operation Immortality DNA-in-space project. Colbert’s sending some Colbert juice along for the ride, but rather surprisingly TR isn’t mentioned even once. Which seems like a huge missed opportunity – unless Garriott’s trying to distance himself from the game now. Watch his brief appearance here:

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11 Comments »

  1. Rook says:

    I’ll say it again, TR needed to follow the GW model of buy a box copy and play for free. I don’t see why developers don’t get that there are a lot more people out there that would like to put maybe 50 hours into that style of game a year rather than every month.

  2. Jocho says:

    I think I know, and it begins with “P”. :)

  3. kenoxite says:

    Mechs/PAUs were scheduled since the very beginning, about a year ago. Not that much of a novelty, if you ask me.

    Anyway, I hope all goes well for TR. I still think it’s one of the most entertaining MMORPGs out there (combat and inmersion are pretty awesome), but not having endgame stuff is… well, not _that_ entertaining.

    Anyway, if I ever go back to the genre I’ll probably go back there again. It’s sci-fi, you know.

  4. Mr Fishe says:

    Stephen Colbert is a genuine, honest-to-goodness comedy god. He’s on FX now so Brits can watch him there. Well worth checking out.

  5. johnny_cuts says:

    Much the same as Jon Stewart is to satire.

  6. SanguineLobster says:

    I would think that a metaphysical chain gun would be quite effective, or at least, uh, demoralizing?

  7. SPEEDCORE says:

    “one might forget that Tabula Rasa’s still out there offering something a little different”

    Wow you hit it on the nail, I did forget!

  8. Lim-Dul says:

    Especially since it doesn’t [offer something different].

    Don’t take my word for it, Yahtzee explains it far better:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/9-Tabula-Rasa

  9. Dave says:

    I don’t know much about Tabula Rasa, but Susan Kath is made of awesome. She used to work for Simutronics, where I’m at… oh, which I see she mentions in that announcement. :D

  10. Grill says:

    Actually, the thing I did love about TR was mowing down ranks upon ranks of enemies with my chain-gun. Pity it ate ammo, and you had to buy ammo(!)

  11. danarchist says:

    TR’s only real fault as far as I could tell was after lvl 30 you have already done everything. The next 20 levels you would have varying degree’s of the same skills, and the same monsters with different color pallets. Actually everyone I know that played quit in the 30′s