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Tabula Rasa: Interview with Richard Garriott

DanaDana Halifax, NSPosts: 2,415Member

Richard Garriott of NCSoft and Destination Games took the time to sit down and answer our barrage of questions on Tabula Rasa, his latest project in development. The legendary designer behind the Ultima series goes in a radically different route with this project and we uncover just where that leads him.




image MMORPG.com: Your game seeks to marry the character growth of an RPG with the action of a shooter. Can you explain how this works in a practical sense and why you chose this route?

Richard Garriott: While TR wants the sense of tension of a shooter we are not trying to make an arcade game. We do not want arcade style combat where personal dexterity wins the day. We are still a game about attributes and advancement. We have a sticky targeting system that makes shooting at a target hopefully easy, and then it’s a die roll to determine outcome, just as in a traditional MMP. But each foe has unique movement, armament and AI approaches to deal with, so opponents are far more interesting than the traditional stand and see who has the best DOT (damage over time) that most MMP’s have at their core. With that said, there are a few shooter mechanics thrown into the mix to keep things interesting. One of my favorites is movement penalties for accuracy which is even different for each weapon. So in one case you may have a rocket launcher or sniper rifle that would require the character to stay very still for a certain amount of time in order to achieve maximum effect, while in another case you might have a flame thrower where the player can run around with almost no penalty to accuracy.

Take a moment and read the full interview here.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

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Comments

  • AckbarAckbar Winnipeg, MBPosts: 927Member

    It sounds like a good game but im worried its gonna be the same old thing because it wont be twitch combat based which is what i was really hoping for. I wish i could get into beta so i could learn more. Thanks for the interview Dana and keep up the good work Richard.

    ----ITS A TRAP!!!----

  • FifiFifi Blaine, MNPosts: 3Member

    The interview was great until the end when it was revealed that the focus of Tabula Rasa will be PVE.  It's Ok Richard, I know you're not perfect.  I still love you.

  • Ugge85Ugge85 KarkstadPosts: 32Member


    Originally posted by Fifi
    The interview was great until the end when it was revealed that the focus of Tabula Rasa will be PVE. It's Ok Richard, I know you're not perfect. I still love you.

    "PvE is definitely the focus of TR. We have a detailed and personal story arc that players will participate in that we hope harkens back to solo RPG’s. The difference and improvement being that in TR you can play with your friends!"

    PVE is the main focus of the game, he doesn't say they won't have any pvp elements at all. Even though you are all on the same side, there still might be factions etc that have some kind of civil wars :)

    Or why not a training ground where you battle out and duel other players. Anyway I would go with factions :D one is disciplinary with uniforms and officers and the sort, the other one alil more rebel like with funky hairdues and a more cyberpunk clothing. The two types of characters are shown on the screenshots pages on the official site, so we may have hope : )

    They don't have to fight all of the time, but maybe some times per week its pvp events with story like: "Thats it! Those "#%¤"##" have gone to far! They don't respect our authoritahh!" and full war breaks out, with some kind of reward who kills mosts etc so you got something to strive for.

    Anyway the interview was awesome and I really hope they go beta soon : ) This is the game Im looking most forward to play.

  • RazorbackRazorback OutbackPosts: 5,253Member

    I have read a lot and followed this one pretty closley, being a huge Garriot fan and 6 year UO Vet I will always look at anything he does with interest.

    I have seen the long E3 trailer and other stuff....

    Im finding it REALLY hard to get excited at this stage. I certainly dont want to write it off so early but its just looking like soooooooooo much more of the same old same old....

    So its got some differences in the combat, so its a sci fi setting, so the grafix are pretty good... but if the gameplay is based around what I saw in the E3 trailer, I just dont see anything new here... Without starting an argument or making stupid comments, it just strikes me as WoW meets Planetside and I have had my fill of both...

    Im keeping a very open mind but I wil need to see something significantly different from what Im seeing right now to make me even want to Beta it...image

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  • AnofalyeAnofalye Quebec, QCPosts: 7,433Member

    We will see.

     

    I dont think TR will be able to have a middle range success...50k-200k player base is prolly impossible for them to reach, it would prolly beat 300k or never exceed 30k...we will see.

    - "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - Ren

  • Tanis45Tanis45 Raleigh, NCPosts: 4Member
    This is going to be sweet ...but I hear what the rest are saying, best not to get overly excited just yet.
  • JadarJadar Spanish Fork, UTPosts: 300Member

    I think the redirection to a more shooter based game is a good idea. I just couldn't get excited about another hardcore RPG. What's more, my wallet wouldn't let me afford another RPG subscription. I hope LB can pull it off. I'm looking for a new game; WoW is done and I need something to fill the void.

    image

  • Ugge85Ugge85 KarkstadPosts: 32Member


    Originally posted by Jadar
    I think the redirection to a more shooter based game is a good idea. I just couldn't get excited about another hardcore RPG. What's more, my wallet wouldn't let me afford another RPG subscription. I hope LB can pull it off. I'm looking for a new game; WoW is done and I need something to fill the void.

    You guys got the wrong idea when you say it will be a "shootermmo", the game will only be fastpaced as a fps. All the rpg aspects will still be there, with advancement, stats and eq. Personal skill will not matter as much as these factors when you play. So dont you start spreading the rumor that this will be Cs: online or something ;P

  • WardropWardrop Plymouth, MIPosts: 462Member

    I think taking the skill away from the player and handing it off to a dice roll is lame to be frank. we've been playing these "Dice roll"  games for far too long.

    Basically youve remade Anarchy online and the expansion packs. WHy?

    I  say look at for example EA's BF2 and that type of character freedom, and place it into Tabula Rasa and see what happens.

    Games as of late keep missing the mark. People get bored because they feel no real connection with the world and character they are Paying theirs or whom evers hard earned money. Designers, i feel have to be  a god and create something,  their vision of a world with the understanding of choice.

    The choice I'm speaking of is a humanistic choice.

    Maybe its too much nintendo and not enough PC?image

  • DatcydeDatcyde blah, CAPosts: 557Member



    Originally posted by Fifi

    The interview was great until the end when it was revealed that the focus of Tabula Rasa will be PVE.  It's Ok Richard, I know you're not perfect.  I still love you.




    True that. To make it a real virtual world there has to be PvP involved or its just a kids game. Also

    the world needs to be one huge world and some instanced zones not just sighn on and whatever he ment by (fun). I dont know if im going to try this game now ill probably try some other game thats coming out since I know this game wont give me the realistic feel as if im realy the character playing the game.

  • jimmyman99jimmyman99 Toronto, ONPosts: 3,221Member

    I agree with wardrop, your success has to come from your skills, not from random chance. Id realy love to see Planetside elements in TR - your personal skills determine how good you are. Planetside is a great game, but its pretty much limited by what you can do there. If TR manages to balance out Planetside FPS like and WoW RPG like styles, then I believe it can be a smashing hit.

    In my opinion, the key to victory is properly balanced FPS style in RPG world. I will definitely keep my eye on this game.

    I am the type of player where I like to do everything and anything from time to time.
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor - pre-WW2 genocide.
    imageimage

  • ZaradisZaradis Mississauga, ONPosts: 241Member
    It will be interesting to see how TR stands up against huxley when it comes out.

    Qoute: "I neva *ucked anybody over in my life, who didn't have it comin' to 'im, you got that? All I have in this world is my balls, and my word, and I don't break 'em for no one, jou understand?" Tony Montana

  • Jade6Jade6 HelsinkiPosts: 429Member

    Lets see... you want FPS combat, check... you want PvP, check... its called "Counterstrike" guys...

    Seriously, what you people SHOULD be doing is bugging FPS developers to add character progression features into their games rather than trying to coerce a genre which at its heart is the exact opposite of FPS games to make a full U-turn. The required step would be SO much smaller from that direction...

     

  • jimmyman99jimmyman99 Toronto, ONPosts: 3,221Member


    Originally posted by Jade6
    Lets see... you want FPS combat, check... you want PvP, check... its called "Counterstrike" guys...
    Seriously, what you people SHOULD be doing is bugging FPS developers to add character progression features into their games rather than trying to coerce a genre which at its heart is the exact opposite of FPS games to make a full U-turn. The required step would be SO much smaller from that direction...

    You missed RPG elements of TR. In fact, thats like half of the game, if not more. You just made a post ignoring half of the game...The very first question mentioned integration of RPG elements into FPS shooter. Which means a planetside-like structure with deeper RPG elements and character progression.

    I am the type of player where I like to do everything and anything from time to time.
    image
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor - pre-WW2 genocide.
    imageimage

  • WardropWardrop Plymouth, MIPosts: 462Member



    Originally posted by Jade6

    Lets see... you want FPS combat, check... you want PvP, check... its called "Counterstrike" guys...
    Seriously, what you people SHOULD be doing is bugging FPS developers to add character progression features into their games rather than trying to coerce a genre which at its heart is the exact opposite of FPS games to make a full U-turn. The required step would be SO much smaller from that direction...
     



    Sure,  but mind you CS is an objective fps. If it was a MMOfps then it would be similar to a quest right.

    understand though, CS was a free download and the game was good and challenging. another in that line was from Activision, Enemy Territory.  That one had a progressive system good enough to be takin a step further.

    These things have been done over and over in mods by players.

    Look at Battlefield2, more points more rank and  weapon unlocks.

    Look, its coming soon. there is already one  in dev using the source engine.  And thats realtime not dice rolls.

    Ask your self. What are you gonna play.

  • handshakeshandshakes Sterling Heights, MIPosts: 73Member



    Originally posted by Ugge85


    So dont you start spreading the rumor that this will be Cs: online or something ;P


    Yeah, because I would rather want to play a game named CS: Online.

    Why does it hurt when I pee?

  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member

    So I'll get crucified for this but I am not a MMO guy. I dont believe in the leave town kill monsters ideal. I like my RTS and I love my FPS. Thing is I also yearn for long time goals. In, say, CS:S you fight you die you respawn. You win or you lose the round with nothing more than a reseting PsycoStats website to show what you have done. Now, EVEN if this game sucks, which I do not belive, at least it has a long term goal of winning, not shucks I died good round lets go agian. And besides, the sound editor worked on Starcraft. How cool is that. I am looking forward to the game and I wish to hell there was an open beta.

  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member

    Now, let me refine what I said. I really hope someone responds because know one I know is into this, but WHILE I look forward to this game there are restrictions. Like, there has to be LOADS of unique-ability, know what I mean. the guns, the outfits, the races. If everyone is looking the same then thats...Just not cool. And also, this is an amazing concept, I want to log in, try to show up in a base, and get an error message. Yes I want an error message. To tell me that the base I want to spawn in has gotten DESTROYED. It has to be that interactive....Which is demanding alot. Please respond.

  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member

    I dont anticipate that the TR gameworld would be so maleable. From the sound of it, you'll fight for control of strategic points and not much else. And then you lose those control points to the mobs. Really it sounds more like Planetside, except the opposition is AI and not other players.
    There does not appear to be any sort of long term territory control and impact on the gameworld. Since the gameworlds conflict is AI the world must remain static, otherwise the players would actually win and thats the end of the game. So you "win" and "lose" over and over again, without ever touching the world itself.

  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member
    Pardon me, I have not played Planet side.  Could you explain in more detail Im not familiar with MMO talk "static world" means nothing to me..Basicaly you think we have one base the aliens have one base and its Control Points like say Battlefield 2 only...long term? And much larger scale obviously. I mean I know the humans will never "lose" and it will take a long time for the bane to be destroyed but...I dont know what I want. I suppose I would just be happy for a co op FPS, because there ISNT a good one for PC.
  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member

    You could sum up Planetside as a tugg of war that noone ever wins. You take a base, an hour later the oposition takes it back...on and on and on and on. Your side conqueres an entire continent, you come back the next day and the whole map is remade all over again. All your fighting must have just been for fun - because it sure didnt earn you anything.
    Thats what I suspect TR is. Conquere a location "hurray for our side". The next day...conquere it yet again "hurray for our side...again...I guess...".
    As long as its fun and you feel its worth the 15$ a month its ok. Just dont expect to feel as though your accomplishing anything or impacting the world in anyway.


    As for a "static world" I mean that the devs have it planned out like a novel. Not just TR specificaly, but a lot of games. They know where they want it to go and will not lend any control of it to the players - the players would only mess up the story. So rather than actively making their own story or even participating in the story, the players are forced to sit on the side lines and wait and see what happens next. I say its "static" because the players actions are irrelevant. They are not given any real control, only a false sense of control.

    They capture the base only so they can lose the base.

  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member
    Man that sucks, cause then I would be depressed because losing it overnight makes me feel like A. I shouldve been there and B. like I shoudlve been there. ...3. your Lennon is scary. I wish there was more info out as well.
  • spookytoothspookytooth Lansing, MIPosts: 508Member

    As far as FPS games go, one that many peopel seem to be looking forward to is Huxely. Its worth a look. But it doesnt realy seems fair to compare Hux and TR, ones a straight up FPS with some rpg tacked on, and the other is all RPG.

  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member
    Ok, ill look into it. And...Post here since theres no Huxley section.
  • Jimmy-RaynorJimmy-Raynor Waco, TXPosts: 13Member
    Well it looks like much more my game. Plot seems sketchy but its not coming out till 06 anyway, so. Whats your take on it, In your own opinion.
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