Ok, I am now officially excited about an upcoming MMORPG. Which one? Tabula Rasa, of course. Why?
First, because its Richard Garriott’s (Lord British to us game afficionados) new game for Destinatin Games. DG is NCSoft’s Austin-based development group. NCSoft has had a lot of MMORPG success with Lineage and now City of Heroes. Second, and this one is key, its NACFS (not another crappy fantasy setting), it will be SF based! Woo hoo! Read on my SF MMORPG friend…
In reading the article, it appears that Garriott and crew have taken pains to alleviate all the mind-numbing aspects of MMORPGs, and tried to leave in only the crunchy gaming goodness. Certainly they’ve come up with some unique ideas. Witness:
- Emphasis on decreasing travel and group assembly time. Everyone has the ability to teleport to a friend, its inherent.
- Everyone starts with a house. You can virtually link these houses to form a hub for your group. And these houses are instanced.
- Everyone gets a monthly stipend to spend on their house.
- An emphasis on 4 – 6 man adventuring teams, and guilds will be a collection of teams.
- Three classes of missions cover PvE and consensual PvP. There are some interesting ideas for team-based PvP action.
- The death penalties are chosen by the player upon each death, but you never lose experience or levels or items.
- The unique ‘save point’ system to allow for playing different archetypes. This one is really interesting.
- Everything about your appearance can be changed and this includes loot drops.
- A unique fighting system that rewards using different moves on an opponent. It also will have some cinematic aspects from fighting games like Soul Caliber.
- And lastly, the daring idea to go with a brand spanking new SF setting and story.
Now I realize this is a gamble for Garriott and NCSoft. SF themes MMORPGs haven’t done well, with Earth and Beyond (which I played for 6 months before the grind got me) recently being canceled. SF just doesn’t have the drawing power of Fantasy, but looking at the screenshots, it looks it could be viewed as fantasy since I never saw any laser pistols or spaceship or any of the usual tropes of SF. I think this may be a wise move. But I still like that stuff. Anyway, I couldn’t find a home page for it, but I did find a fan site that looks promising. For more on Garriott and his move from Origins to NCSoft, see this interview.
I’ll be there to sign up for the beta!