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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 8:38AM (Unverified) said

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Very disappointed. IMHO TR is an absolute hoot of a game to play and a refreshing break from the Blizzard led orcs and elves MMOs. Sure there were/are bugs (what game hasn't had them?) and implementation of some of the 'standard' MMO activities such as crafting are not great. However the combination of missions and the 'capture the flag' scenarios at the Control Points for me keep it interesting. When I am bored with a mission (let's face it, even WOW quests can get irritating ;)) I can always go and frag the blazes out of the Bane at a Control Point for some light relief. The sci-fi rather than fantasy genre also means the weapons have a BFG coolness about them; there are only a certain number of times you can get excited about waving a pretty sword about, but a "lazer" gun is forever cool! ;)

Tried logging back on to my LOTRO account last night, was on there for all of 20 mins before I went back to TR. :(

LB.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 8:53AM TehKlute said

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Early death. 1 year isnt very long at all, just seems like NCsoft wants to concentrate on girly wispy Korean mmos. That is to say, I wont be playing them..

May try Heroes, but hopefully Jumpgate Evo will be near open beta. I dont want to go back to Dwarfs and elves :

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 9:47AM (Unverified) said

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The game was very fun in its simplicity in early closed beta. But it got progressively complicated and buggy late in beta and after release. The designers also missed great opportunities to create beautiful design. Even a gritty war-torn world could be beautiful. But Foreas was needlessly drab. I never felt the pull of the game after release. So I reluctantly went back to WoW. (Currently I've dumped WoW for WAR. I've grown to dislike WoW intensely.)

I too am hoping Jumpgate Evolution will be good enough and popular enough to provide a viable alternative to orcs and elves.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 9:55AM (Unverified) said

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I'm disappointed, but not entirely surprised. What does surprise me is the the suddenness of it. I think that Richard Garriot deciding to leave made the Korean owners decide to drop it like a hot potato.

I played in Beta and after. I was one of the people who felt that the game was not ready and pushed out the door after too many delays. Sadly this meant a lot of things that needed rethinking or added to the game got pushed aside in the rush to get a workable product out the door. And past experience has show that leads to a rough start, and a rough start sours many people to the game.

NCSoft is a company with a great number of good original IPs under it's belt. I play (and pay for) all of their games but Lineage II, and that interests me, as does Aion. I'm very sorry to see a quirky but improving space military MMO go under, there's a severe lacking in things that aren't fantasy in the field. But, I'll take the severance package, it's really nice of them, even if it's just shilling for people who have to leave TR to try their other games. But since I enjoy them anyway, it's not a bad deal for me.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 9:55AM (Unverified) said

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I suspect the business case just fell apart after so few people played. TR lacked much end-game content and launched before they'd really completed it, and if your launch sucks, so will your ongoing population.

I'd thought maybe they were trying for an EVE Online-style growth over the long haul, but I don't think they had planned far enough in the long term for that to work.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 10:02AM Ripper McGee said

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I was in the tail-end of closed beta and I subscribed for the first month, maybe two. For me, there were really two factors that made me stop playing:

1) Performance - the game *should* have performed better on my machine than it regularly did. Early on, I provided feedback on an issue where the FPS would be extremely low and choppy, until I alt+tabbed out and did something, then alt+tabbed back in, in which case I'd see FPS rates in the 40's - 50's for my settings. I could duplicate this, but not reliably. I never heard back. Since I couldn't ever reliably get the fps I knew was possible, I lost interest in playing it.

2) Fun - honestly, the game just never resonated with me. I got what they were trying to do, but I just didn't think it was that fun. Plus, not being that big into guilds/clans really, really cuts down on social aspects of the game. As such, I lost interest.

Is it too early to close TR? Maybe, maybe not. How many subscribers does currently have? Could it be converted to an F2P with a microtransaction system? Could the IP be sold to another company? Could NCSoft implement a "station pass" where players would subscribe once and get access to all games, even the current F2Ps like Dungeon Runners and Exteel?

If none of those options (or others not mentioned) are viable, then it's time to close up shop. If any of those options are truly viable, then it's too early to throw in the towel, in my opinion.

~Ripper

Posted: Dec 3rd 2008 11:14AM drunkenpandaren said

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It was beta and an early release. Of course a new mmo is going to run like shit.
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Posted: Dec 3rd 2008 1:47PM Ripper McGee said

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The performance issues continued after beta. After two months, I "voted with my wallet" and opted not to subscribe further.

While I agree that there are generally some issues/bugs with most new MMO releases (some more than others), running "like shit" isn't something one should ever expect as normal post-launch behavior.

~Ripper
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 10:21AM (Unverified) said

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TR was all about the fast-paced combat and Sci-fi theme, the creepy exo-archeology, and strange planets. No other game out seems to offer that, which is a shame.

I also cannot fathom many other TR players being excited by Aion or L2. CoX maybe, but if you paid for TR you would've gotten trial codes for that game anyway. If I wanted to fly around in an Asian MMO, I'd save my money and just get Perfect World.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 10:27AM GRT said

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I played for the first month or two and thought the game really had potential, but I moved on to something else (PotBS maybe??) in order to let TR 'mature' a bit. I still have it installed and just hadn't yet gotten around to going back.

It seems really early to throw in the towel, but of course I don't know what the numbers look like. If the game is losing money I guess there's nothing else to do.

But I find it strange that things like Planetfall and Everquest Online Adventures (the PS 2 version of EQ) are still running and presumably making some small money, and TR is getting shuttered.

Unless they want to move the TR support and dev team to Aion or something?

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 10:40AM (Unverified) said

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Not surprised at all.

I was subscribed for a couple of months sometime this year. It had potential, that's true. However, that potential was never fully realized, and that is usually a quasi death sentence for a MMO. Either it'll get forgotten, or forgotten and shut down.

Sci-Fi MMOs seem to have a poor time of it compared to Fantasy. You really have to work towards something fantastic in this genre to capture audiences. Whether or not TR had a cult following... it wasn't anything extraordinary. I felt that the game didn't flow very well, that was always bugging me when I played it. There was no intimacy with the game world. Felt like we were a bunch of fleas hurrying back and forth.

Maybe RG's message from space should have been "Sorry guys and gals, I'm outta here!". If I were a current TR player, I'd probably be kinda pissed about all of this.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 11:54AM (Unverified) said

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In Tabula Rasa, we had something very rare in an MMO -- a combat system that was actually fun. I never once felt like I was going to have to grind a for a quest or to level. The closest I ever came was waiting for the respawns at control points, and once that happened, everything was pure fun.

The reason I stopped playing, though, was it felt like they made it too much of a single player game. There was no real reason to group, since you could just jump in and help take down a baddie, and everyone would still gain XP (a great system, especially for control point missions). And if there's no need for grouping, well, what's the point of playing a Guardian if you have no one to guard? Besides whapping stuff with your space stick, that is.

It will be missed.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 2:20PM (Unverified) said

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Yes,

recently I had picked up a collectors edition at walmarts and finally got someone to lvl 30 :(


oh well back to Ryzom....

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 1:32PM (Unverified) said

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Here's another reason TR may have bit the bullet.
It has the name "Richard Garriott" plastered all over it, the guy who spent 74 million dollars making it.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 1:10PM (Unverified) said

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That's a shame. The run and gun type play was a lot of fun! I think if NCsoft would have had a better plan for it, post-release, it would have some staying power. It seems like they released it and then thought that they didn't need to do much more. (advertising or new planets for example) When you got to 50, what was there to do but grind stalkers for purples?

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 4:56PM Brendan Drain said

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I like to think of the business model they're using as a seive. Bear with me as I explain this metaphor.

The MMO industry is like a slowly running tap filling up a big tub with customers. The tap is currently on, with more and more customers entering the tub (market) as time goes on. To try and catch customers, companies are all building these bowls (MMOs). They're trying bowl designs using a variety of different sizes, shapes and materials. Some opt to make their bowl as big as possible to hold as many customers as they can, some try a smaller bowl with a lot of depth etc.

The tap is pretty slow and the cost of making the bowl needs to be recouped so when the bowl is done, companies take a big scoop of customers from the tub before putting their bowls under the tap. The only problem is that the bowls are full of holes like a seive and lose players over time. If the holes let players out faster than the slow tap is running, the bowl will start to empty out. The potential solutions are:

1 - Try and scoop up some customers from the pool again with the same bowl. You might drop some of your existing customers out of the bowl in the process.
2 - Build a smaller bowl to take scoops with and pour them into the bigger bowl.
3 - Throw the bowl out and build a new one. Try a different shape, a different handle etc and take a new scoop of customers.
4 - Keep plugging up the biggest holes and hold the bowl under the tap.

An example of #1 and #2 would be Everquest 2, which release regular expansions (little bowls) as an extension strategy and frequently release special offers to take another scoop from the tub.

An example of #2 and #4 would be EVE Online. They use the same expansion strategy but the majority of their expansion bowls don't bring in a lot of new customers. Their main bowl hasn't got many holes and those that appear are fixed pretty quickly. The rate at which customers flow in from the tap or from dropping out of other MMO's bowls is greater than the rate it's falling out so the bowl slowly fills up.

I think Tabula Rasa fell victim to #3. Rather than improve the game and let the players trickle in slowly to mimic the growth pattern of games like EVE Online, the developers decided they'd rather throw their sieve away and build a new bowl. What they are perhaps forgetting is that their new bowl will also be full of holes.

Of course, then you get companies that produce complete failure like Age of Paper-marche-bowl. The kind where it seems amazing for a while but then the bowl disintegrates and all the players fall out :D.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 5:19PM Meyithi said

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RG needs to shoulder some of the responsibility for TR's failure. It was his "vision" that was not even implemented such as the ethical quest line and the logos system.

Then the devs started, from day one of retail we were promised PAU's "soon", a year later still no sign of them.

NCSoft and RG failed to deliver what was promised, instead we were lied to over and over every "feedback friday" and finally what comes round came around.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 5:24PM (Unverified) said

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Hello Massively,

I've long been a closet reader of your website, namely because I enjoy the format of the website, it's rather reminiscent of Kotaku.

I've been a long time supporter of Tabula Rasa, I've racked up a total of nine months of play time, I'm part of arguably the biggest clan in Tabula Rasa, who will remain nameless for fear they'll chew my head off. (Just kidding guys, love you all.) I would consider myself one of the few active PVP players on my server, and I have invested hundreds of hours into my main character to beef up his gear to a point where I have nothing left to upgrade. I've always been a fanatical supporter, to the point where I disagreed with nearly every doomsday prophecy that popped up here on Massively. I was adamant that Tabula Rasa would succeed, even if it took another year to get some decent content out to entice new users into coming, and staying for the long haul. With that being said, it's now obvious all my effort, both in-game and in the MMO community at large, was for nothing.

I knew the end was near when Richard Garriott jumped ship. When I saw that, I was simply throttled at the thought of this person using Tabula Rasa as a means to get in space, then just abandon the title now that he had no use for it. As someone who worked on a game for many years, you'd think he would hold sentimental value for Tabula Rasa, who bears his name, and stick it out to get it into at least a stable condition, so it wouldn't sink like it has now. I think the signs that Tabula Rasa was sinking were there prior to this, but I think Garriott's departure was my wake up call.

I've currently canceled my Tabula Rasa subscription; I have no desire to pay my last two subscription fees if there is no future for the game. I will probably return January 10th to experience the last the game has to offer, say my goodbyes, and shed a tear for a dead friend. As for the future, I'm at a loss, I haven't a clue where I want to go, but I do know this much; I will not be taking any of NCsoft's compensation. I simply cannot trust NCsoft's word anymore, they are apparently willing to lie about a game's future, and shut it down without attempting to breathe new life into the title.

In short, I'm extremely appreciative of the developers at Destination Games. Those are some of the nicest people I have ever met, and I wish them the best of luck with locating new jobs. It's a rough time to be laid off, considering it's near the holiday season, and the terrible economy. As for NCsoft, you've permanently lost one consumer, and probably many more who won't tolerate your business practices.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 10:50PM (Unverified) said

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complete shame!!! i bought the game about early this year, jan-march? played the free month and have been meaning to play ever since that time was up. liked what the game was on paper and felt that after a few patches it would be great. well after i found the game priced for a buck on amazon i decided to buy a copy for my brother so we could both play it together. i mean they JUST released the FPS aspect update and now theyre canceling? BAD MOVE NC soft!!! at least reward your developers time to rake old players back in, LIKE MYSELF, for all theyre hard work making this game even better. such a shame. the game reminded me of EQ2 when it launched and im seeing as much IF NOT MORE elbow grease being rubbed into TR than EQ2 per capita. and we saw where EQ2 eneded up, on the better side of some rough waters and hard work. i think TR could have ended up there as well. ultimately whos fault is this? i MUST say NC soft's for not giving a little more time to this project for all the hard work recently put into it.

to the developers.

you made a different game. what few devs have the balls to do in this day and age of safe rehashes and unending franchises. you created a world where nothing was taken for granted. when i logged in i felt as though i was experiencing something i had never before. that felt really good. unfortunately thats being taken away now by some corporate suit who let numbers decide the fate of such hard work. and not the work of said game itself!!!
i hope you all find employment in another company that will respect your work.
cheers and godspeed.

Posted: Nov 22nd 2008 11:39PM (Unverified) said

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I echo Tobias. It was a really great game, what was missing was the group function. What utterly amazes me is that no one copies the DDO engine for grouping. In that game, its so easy to group, and yes I know that being GuildWars esque, you kind of have to group, but so many games could benefit from the dynamic matchng system they run.

Otherwise, TR was amazing, it just gets lonely, and not NEARLY enough single player quests, since you can't ever find anyone in game, there was nothing else to do but do single player missions.

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