Tabula Rasa: Hybrids

If RPS were to start a book-club styled games discussion then I think it would be Tabula Rasa that I would first bring to the group as a suggested reading material. It’s a game that I haven’t made my mind up on. I’ve played a few levels and enjoyed it, but my opinion has not had time to settle. I’ve heard various net chums complain that it’s unlike WoW, or that it’s too like WoW, and I read Kieron’s remarkably enthusiastic review. And I want an excuse for some space adventure. I really do. This is a game I need to spend some more time with, perhaps go out to lunch, to see if we can be friends.

I want to get in there before I miss too much of what it has to offer. MMOs have a habit of evolving so that gamers say “oh yeah, patch 1.242342 was fun times…” I’m probably not going to miss much with the latest addition of various coloured humanoids, but I’m sure there’s some other stuff in there too:


  1. Meat Circus says:

    The thing is, Mr Gillen’s is the only positive opinion of note I have heard expressed on Rasa. It seems to be evoking a resounding ‘meh’ from everyone else.

    But then, I do trust his opinion, except when I don’t, of course.

    What’s a man to do, I ask you?

  2. Alec Meer says:

    I became bored after a week, if that helps. It was a reasonably fun week, however.

  3. Nick says:

    I became bored after a day =(

  4. Matt says:

    It just lacked that sense of atmosphere and character for me, to make it exciting. Could just be it takes a while to get interesting and get beyond the duller quests, grinding away. The other problem was I played in Beta and there was little or no co-operative play going on, it was a lot of people running about trying to beat other people to quest objectives. That is something else that may improve.

    Overall though it just felt like another mmo, not terrible but basically the same and a little confusing in terms of the interface and crafting. Also I was annoyed at the time that it didn’t do any of the things Garriot kept claiming it would do in terms of decision making and variety, so that might have biased my opinion. Not being a big mmo fan I may not be the best to judge.

    Above all I felt they really needed to develop the story in terms of who you were, why you were there and what was so terrible about your enemies, it felt a bit generic in that regard. That might have improved since I last tried it.

  5. weego says:

    i got bored after a week too, the gameworld is cardboard, quests are dull and repetitious and invariably there aren’t enough per zone to take you neatly onto the next so you have to grind a fair bit, the instancing i did was incredibly tedious and so far their endgame plans appear to be incredibly wishy-washy which didn’t exactly encourage me to keep going.

  6. Nny says:

    I got into the beta of it, made a char, thought it was cool. After some quite interesting newbie quests it became a bit more open and I got to get quests from questgivers.

    Questgiver 1: Bring me ten of X
    Questgiver 2: Kill X of species Y

    that’s when I uninstalled it.

    Also, the story didn’t seem all that interesting to me.

  7. Meat Circus says:

    Questgiver 1: Bring me ten of X
    Questgiver 2: Kill X of species Y

    Ah, yes. Garriott pushing back the boundaries of the MMO genre. Epic fail.

    I don’t think I’ll bother. It sounds to me like it embodies everything I hate about most MMOs.

  8. jamscones says:

    The things that Gillen raved about (dynamic battle spawning / base defense, FPS shooty, cloning to create alts etc) are actually all very welcome in an MMORPG like this. The problem is that TR doesn’t really have enough or enough varied content to carry most MMO veterans beyond a week or so before the feeling of having seen/done it kicks in.

    I disliked the character progression trees a lot. It seems that there’s little real difference between the classes, such as they are, and you have very little to look forward to in improving your character past level 30 of 50. The loot and gear were also a bit uninspiring – a few gun archetypes and “elemental” variations of each. Bleh. Armour is similarly generic. You won’t wander round admiring other players’ stuff, as everybody looks blandly sci-fi.

    I didn’t get far enough to verify this for myself, but many complain that the content really drops off at lvl 30-ish and you’re stuck grinding out large parts of the remaining levels.

    I will give it another go in maybe a year, but I wouldn’t recommend spending money on it now. There are far, far better MMOs to obsess over while sitting in your underwear in a darkened room at 3pm, having called in “sick” to work. Again.

  9. Meat Circus says:

    Thanks, Scones. THONES.

    This is the kind of thing that Mr Gillen forgot to mention. I call that dereliction of duty and demand that John Walker hold him down and spank him thoroughly.

    It doesn’t sound like this bland and generic mumorpurger can lure me away from EVE just yet.

    Next competitor please.

  10. KingMob says:

    These seem like Star Trek aliens… maybe it’s just the hybrids, since I haven’t played the game all that much, but personally if an alien can be played by a guy wearing a mask, I don’t find them that compelling.
    Bring on the extra limbs, tentacles, shell-or-metallic carapace, and mental powers, then I’ll want to play it…

    ps. Anyone playing the Hellgate: London expansion that can give us a report on it?

  11. Oasx says:

    Gotta disagree with most people here.

    The game has improved a lot during beta, thats why they call it a Beta not a demo.

    “Questgiver 1: Bring me ten of X
    Questgiver 2: Kill X of species Y” :

    Just like every other MMO on the planet Tabula Rasa has these kind of quests, but overall i would say the game has more diverse quests than any other MMO i have tried.

    “Too much Grinding” : This is simply not true, TR has less grinding than most other games, the difference is that the game mechanic makes it fun so that any mass killing isnt a chore, I honestly dont think i can ever go back to the Wow model where the game consists on standing still while you look at the bottom of the screen for all your abilities.

    Tabula Rasa is in no way perfect but it is still in its early days and has plenty of time to get the last pieces right, others may disagree but this is the most fun i have ever had in an MMO

  12. Kieron Gillen says:

    Wondering whether Meat was onto anything, I actually go and check Metacritic, interested to see how it actually played out at review, and my review’s right in the middle of the pack.

    (User review average is higher than the critics average too)

    So, yeah, saying I’m alone on this one strikes me as somewhat unfair.


  13. johnny_cuts says:

    I’ve just hit lvl 30, cloned a guardian and I’m having a whale of a time, questing and generally making a nuisance of myself.

    Really is very different game from the beta, it deserves a better response than that which it has received.

  14. ryan in exile says:

    where’s my italics?

  15. Xander says:

    I don’t get all the hate.

    I’ve been playing for about 2 weeks now (my purchase was based largely on Gillen’s review) and I’m loving it. It’s pretty much the ultimate casual MMO, for several reasons:

    1. Combat is fun, fast-paced and requires actual player input.
    2. It’s easy. Getting around and completing quests is a breeze. You can play for 10 minutes and find something to do.
    3. It’s probably the best MMO for soloing, ever. If you hate other people, you’ll be right at home.

    Then there’s all of the other great touches. The storyline is actually sort of interesting. Instances are cleverly-designed (and soloable). The classes feel balanced but unique. There are multiple different legitimate skill tree builds — you choose the right one for your playstyle, not the one that’s deemed to be mathematically ‘perfect’…

    And now I’m raving. Short version is: It’s sufficiently different, casual and fun. For some people, it’s probably perfect.

  16. DigitalSignalX says:

    I can recall playing the 3-day trial and enjoying it, but not really enough to consider subscribing. Regardless, one of the first things that struck me about TR was that I would love to play as one of the native species already involved in the struggle rather then the options given, especially the druid-ish guys with the high-tech bows. If Blade 3 taught us anything, it’s that the modern battlefield needs high tech bows. Looks like this might come close, though no bow screens yet…

  17. K-k says:

    Does anyone else hate it when games release ”alien” / ”totally non human” races, and then they turn out they basically have just a little different head structure and abnormal skin color, with possibly some squiggles in it?

    I want to see some damn lizardmen with lazer eyes.
    And androids. And half scorpions.
    What ever happened to creativity?