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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 12:26PM Alarie said

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Oh I hope it doesn't get to bad that it looks like it may get shut down or something. I hate to see any mmorpg get shut down. I enjoyed my time in the TR beta, was a fun game. If I wasn't so into DDO I think TR would probably be my next pic.

Maybe they can do an all games pass to boost money.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 4:13PM Ripper McGee said

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In retrospect, this might explain why Robert Garriott was replaced.

~Ripper McGee
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Posted: Feb 18th 2008 12:56PM (Unverified) said

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I'm hoping something was "lost in translation" with the tone in that article. I was surprised at how harsh it came across... it almost seems to chide the Garriotts. I can't tell if that's bad translation, wounded national pride, or something else.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 1:08PM Ayenn said

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I did not start reading Massively until after I had done the beta for TR so no one knows my assessment of TR (not that I would have posted it here anyway). That assessment was the failure of TR. I predicted that it would go the way of AutoAssault within 2 and one half years. Looks like its decline, well, it has nothing to fall from by the looks of it. the horse died around the first turn.

The reason I made this statement was the absolute lack of real content. It is not an MMORPG. It is a shooter. It is hollow and has not the life players demand of a MMORPG.

The problem is not that is it a science fiction MMORPG, which I am sure some one is going to cite as the reason for its lack of attractiveness. The problem is it is very small and very undeveloped. There were some good ideas going into the development of TR, few of which actually surfaced and the few that did were less than stellar.

The thing I find most interesting is this is the first MMORPG that tried to capitalize completely on the idea of ‘rock star’ developer branding. My next prediction is that ‘rock star’ developer branding will not work. Only solid world building narrative can work anymore but no one really knows what that is... yet.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 1:10PM (Unverified) said

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Its hard to say how extreme or mild this downsizing talk could be.

It may mean the cutting of a title from their ranks and reshuffling people to other projects in the works or it could be a flashback to post Auto Assault launch when they layed off 80 people.

Guess its wait and see time.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 1:12PM (Unverified) said

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I've been in contact with NCsoft about all this and will hopefully have a full follow-up soon.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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I have good things about all of NCsoft's games but the only one that really took off was CoX.

- Auto Assault crashed and burned
- Lineage 2 has limped along for years in the 'States with no real direction. Only the hardcore are still around.
- Tabula Rasa looks like a work in progress that was released despite it's condition

All things considered I will never play another title that has NCsoft anywhere on the box. There were just too many moments when I saw an inexplicable bug or game mechanic make it into the "live" environment and then they would persist there for years. They are either unwilling or unable to get their act together.

Like it or not, Blizzard changed the landscape of the industry. Make it solid and support it or die a slow painful death. Releasing a game that doesn't allow you to lock the UI(to keep from dragging bars out of position) is inexcusable...leaving that untouched for FOUR YEARS makes you wonder if ANYONE in the company is even trying.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 3:10PM (Unverified) said

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Lineage 2 may have fallen flat in the states, but it still pulled in over 30 million last year on the strength of its following in Korea alone. Those are hardly WoW numbers, mind you, but they're significant.

TR doesn't have that Korean audience to fall back on. It's only ever had four servers running total, and the European server is the only one that's had anything other than "low" server population since about mid-November. It's sad, because the game had some potential, particularly in its combat system, but it still hasn't really gelled.

I wonder how long it will be before this sort of backlash curbs the wild spending people are putting into the market?
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Posted: Feb 18th 2008 2:56PM (Unverified) said

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I really liked Tabula Rasa. I'd be playing (and paying) today if it wasn't for how it runs on my machine. My comp meets all recommended specs, but still it throttles the cpu to 100%, which makes it chug. I don't particularly like WoW, but it's ok and it runs smooth as silk, so it gets my cash.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 3:07PM (Unverified) said

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that's very good news! Tabula Rasa is nough but a WoW copycat, albeit its good combat system... Im really glad it's going down it's been an incredible disappointment as I waited for this for all these years and had strong faith in Lord British. I beg Ncsoft to shut down the game servers, the game is absolute nonsense. I hope Garriott will begin working on something REALLY innovative. It's not just with a new combat system that you innovate the genre, most games have that, even that horrible Pirates

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 3:51PM (Unverified) said

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I knew the "Look I'm Richard Garret! I'm Lord British. I'm making an MMO. Worship me!" thing would not work. The earlier poster is right in the rock star promoted games don't work. If the game is not up to the task having a name on the box is not going to help any. Look at Eve-Online a bunch of nobody's from Iceland have a very successful business making what most consider one of the best hardcore scifi mmos on the market. While Eve may not be huge, it's making a lot of money and TR is going under. At the end of the day it does not matter who's name is on the box. NCsoft I hope will never deal with Lord British again, or anyone else.

SOE while they are loathed by many, has many games, some of which are actually good. Well one really, EQ2, and Pirates looks good and is getting good reviews.

SOE should change their slogan to "All your game are belong to us".

In relation to Sony, why does NCsoft NOT HAVE A UNIVERSAL MONTLY PASS?!@?!?@!#?$

SOE has the station pass, at $30 is kinda high. But if you play eq2 with the extra characters you get and Pirates or even gasp Vanguard or the old EQ1 or SWG. It's not a bad deal. NCSoft has always charged you $15 a month per game. This is really not making sense since it forces their players to "Choose" between their own games. So in essence NCSoft is completing with itself! Why not have a $30 a month pass to all their games. That way you can keep the loyalty of players but not make then choose between COX or TR or L2 or any other title. SOE learned that unless you lower the barrier when offering multiple products you will loose the player, and more importantly when you come out with a new game add it to the all you can eat pass like the did with Pirates that way you only extra money you have to spend is the initial $50. That way you don’t have to rebudget for more monthly expenses.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 4:05PM (Unverified) said

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First of all, I'm hearing some things about this Korea Times reporter that may taint his article. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of this.

Secondly, people who actively cheer for the demise of a game - any game, make me extremely leery. It usually means they have an agenda, work for a competing company, or... need help.

Here are a few other things that seem to escape consideration: 1) TR has only been out a few months. 2) Even WoW wasn't the juggernaut it is now when it first launched. 3) MMOs are akin to living, breathing, organisms that need time to develop. 4) The entire world has (sadly) developed a "want it now" mentality. Patience has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

I just received several pieces of FACTUAL info all at the same time that I'll be putting into a follow-up to appear shortly. Stay tuned...

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 5:11PM (Unverified) said

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Eli, thanks for your efforts to get to the bottom of this. I figured you guys could get a response from NCSoft a lot faster than we could on message boards.

*crosses fingers and hopes that Cho Jin-seo is just full of it*

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 8:04PM (Unverified) said

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TR is an ok tittle but its nothing to what it was hyped up to be. We need a good sci fi mmo not a half-assed one.

Posted: Feb 18th 2008 5:47PM Arashikou said

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Woah... When did Tabula Rasa become such a community pariah? There are a lot of harsh feelings coming to light in this thread - And like Eli, I find people's willingness to crucify TR more than a little disturbing.

My two cents - TR is a game that is rough around the edges. It does feel like it was pushed out the door before it was quite ready. The early parts of the game showcase how fantastic the game can be when it gets really good and polished, however, and I think there is enough good there to warrant giving it a fair chance.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is on this one - TR is my game of choice right now, my sole MMO. Hell, I'm even playing a Specialist, the supposedly "broken" branch of the class tree. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the ways it's different from the other MMOs on the market right now. I enjoy its fascinating sci-fi world and story. I like that it really gets your into the "wartime" atmosphere and makes you feel like you're in a combat zone as you cut a swath across the battlefield. I don't feel like the enemies were just standing there at their spawn points waiting for me to deign to slaughter them; the world feels alive with NPCs repositioning, fighting amongst themselves, redeploying, etc. I really like how giving everyone access to ranged weapons changes the way the game is played, such as allowing enemies to have a much wider range of sight. It really makes you feel like you're always in danger.

Most of all, I find the impact of something as simple as getting rid of the UI cursor to be profound. I'm sure people can debate to the end of time how much substantive effect on the underlying game this actually has, (I mean, you are ultimately still mousing over the enemy to target them and then clicking a button to attack) but tying targetting to mouselook and getting rid of the UI cursor in the common scenario has a profound impact on the FEEL of the game, if nothing else. Yes, it's cribbed from shooters, but they use it for the same reason TR uses it - it's an immersive effect; it puts one less level of indirection between the player and their character, compared to the "magical hand in the sky." All these combine to make TR feel like a very different game than most of the point-and-click, UO/EQ-descended MMOs out there, such as WoW.

And if the late game stands out starkly as needing work (and BOY, does it need work) then it's only because the early game has shown every player how great TR's system can work when it's polished. The first few zones are fantastic. And since the devs have proven to be well aware of the problems in their game and very responsive, I'm sure that (so long as rumors like this one and sour grapes from the community don't kill it first) TR will eventually grow up to be the game that people who've really given it a chance know it can be.

Lastly, I want to echo the thanks to Eli and crew - It's good to know you guys would never leave us without the full story. I eagerly await your findings once you and NCSoft have figured out what's going on here.

Posted: Feb 20th 2008 12:35PM Anatidae said

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Sorry, I think that TR is a lot of mark, not just a little. On a scale of 1 to 10, it is about a 4.5. It has the loose trappings of something that should rate closer to an 8, but so much of the game's rough edges just cut the spirit of the player.

Garriott is a joke. He wasn't even the guy who had the best development ideas in Ultima Online in my opinion. I am glad his name is attached to this game. Anyone with the balls to throw their name on the cover should take full responsibility for the game.

The guys over a WAR show you how to hype your game. AND they even explain how their game systems will work. Finally a group of developers who "get it" in this modern day. Garriott's hype was so vague and lame and almost all his claims didn't make it into the game in the way he presented it.


I do look forward to a Sci-Fi game. I think that the Jumpgate guys are starting to get something going there. Again, they are being more transparent about their game development, listening to their fans, and trying for something that is unique int he MMO space.



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