Index Edit

Tabula Rasa Hands On: Post-Demo DiscussionEdit

After the demo we had a chance to ask some questions, and one of the first things on anyone's mind was PvP. Garriott responded stating that the game, at its core, is designed as a PvE game, but there will indeed be some form of PvP - albeit fairly limited. The age-old duel will be available; players experienced in other MMO's will be familiar with this. Simply challenge another player to a duel and you can go at it.

Groups of players will also be able to enter "feuds" with other groups, and guilds will ultimately be able to declare war on other guilds. They didn't go into finite details on the plans for the guild wars, but it should be similar to player-to-player duels, more than likely.

As we moved on, we talked about how past games have given the feel that level is the end-all form of gate for players when accessing content. Garriott feels this is a bad thing, and that content accomplishment itself is a better gate to other content. With that in mind, the level spread for players fighting creatures is much greater than you'll see in most games, as is the restriction for players grouping together, which is almost non-existant. He went on to add that playing in Tabula Rasa is about progressing through the content, not grinding out the levels of the game.

Skills and the Logos language were the next topic. The two are very intertwined, with some skills requiring Logos to even work. You'll find Logos all throughout the game, typically accessed by locating them in the world and interacting with them, which will add them to your Logos tablet. The Logos required for a skill will typically describe the skill's use. For example, the Specialist's ability "Blight" might require the Logos "Damage" and "Time," since the ability is a damage-over-time effect. Although Logos are required for skills to be used, they aren't consumed by skills - once you discover a Logos, you have it forever.

Logos is also the symbolic language of Tabula Rasa. You'll even find Logos symbols all over the game's architecture and possibly even some weapons and armor. Think of Logos as a collection mini-game within Tabula Rasa.

Another topic when it comes to player skills, is that you can train in weapon and armor skills as well. Training in your wearable armor type might increase its mitigation, while training in your usable weapon types might increase their damage, and at higher tiers, give them weapon-specific effects. One example of an effect is that if you train high enough in Fire Arms, your Shotgun can have a knockback effect occur. So with that said, skills can affect your weapon's performance much like items would.

Garriott said that the game will have a death penalty, though it won't be too harsh, as he feels simply having to respawn at the nearest controlled(more on this later) hospital is enough. However, one thing they did confirm is that there will be item decay; how it will work exactly hasn't been decided yet, but items do have durability.

One important thing to note about Tabula Rasa is that min-maxing is not the focus of gameplay; the game is designed as a story-driven roleplaying game, not one where you'll have to go number crunching to figure things out. Garriott prefers to create games where your character is judged by how you perform in your role, not whether you have the best loot.

Remember the "nearest controlled hospital"? Tabula Rasa is being designed with very dynamic battlefield content. Almost every outpost in the game has a control point, and the ongoing battle between the Allied Free Sentinels and the Bane being waged on every front affects that. Outposts can be captured by either the AFS or Bane, and will be an integral part of the gameplay. These control points link many variables on the map, including what shops you have access to, what missions you can obtain and complete, and other things like receiving certain buffs for owning a control point.

The creature AI - especially the Bane's - is programmed specifically to capture control points, so you'll often see the Bane launch assaults on AFS-owned outposts, in attempts to take them over. Outpost battles can(and will) occur even without player intervention, and defending an outpost from the Bane can become increasingly harder - especially in the areas considered Bane territory - so it should offer very challenging gameplay to those players interested in defending outposts from NPC attack.

One of the most interesting things during the discussion was talks of missions designed with ethical parables. These are missions that sometimes have a two-sided meaning, and it may not always be clear what is "right" and what is "wrong." An example of one of these ethical parables at work was in one of the many instances in the game; there is a Bane threat that you must take out, and destroying the dam is crucial in achieving this goal. The problem? There's a Forean village along the shores of the river below. So you're faced with a choice: destroy the dam to quell the Bane, while killing many innocents, or come up with another solution.

When the discussion was over, it was time to head over to the Tabula Rasa Room - a room decked out in dark blue and black colors, and very dim lighting. Oh, and then there are several high-power Dell computers in the room, too. This is where our next segment takes place: the hands on play experience of Tabula Rasa.

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