by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
It's been an extremely busy week for Tabula Rasa soldiers, and the AFS has kept us engaged with lots of news and events. Here are the highlights of this week and what you need to know!
We had a HUGE patch this past week addressing a number of bugs and adding tons of content. I'm hesitant to call it "the best patch EVER" but here are a few of the more important sections I saw.
• Military Surplus stores have been added to Twin Pillars Outpost on Concordia Wilderness, Irendas Panel Colony on Torden Plains, Fort Defiance on Valverde Plateau, and Thunderhead Base on Ligo Thunderhead. They are under construction and not functional. - This is a huge addition that I've been hoping for over a long period of time. Since almost all the decent gear we see in the game is dropped there needs to be a convenient way to profit and trade it with other players. The Military Surplus store will provide just that giving us a place to stand around and shop. Unfortunately they don't work yet but its a step in the right direction.
• Added a guard to help prevent action lock states from occurring on the client due to lag & very frequent action requests. - Great fix indeed! Everyone was tired of having their weapons get jammed up holstered or expending a lot of ammunition on a gun they switched.
• Force Fields no longer block LOS while destroyed - This was extremely annoying when defending an AFS base. Bane drop the shield, you are inside shooting out, and an invisible wall keeps you from targeting anything. This is a big help!
Fithik should be easier to kill and deal less damage now - Fithik were a HUGE pain...I couldn't be happier that they will be easier to smack around.
Treelurker ability changed from virulent to Sonic damage - Know what is annoying? A creature whose damage burns right through your armor and rips up your health, especially in large groups. Their damage is now sonic meaning our armor will eat up a little.
Set Shield Extender duration to 2 min
Set Shield Extender cooldown to 3 min - Huge nerf to shields if I'm reading it correctly. Apparently they are too useful? Since they only worked on ranged I never saw them that way but...I dunno they just may not have the same luster now.
Set Stealth armor effect to 2% per pump per piece - Another greatly needed change. Even at Pump 5 my Ranger gets spotted at 25+ meters which I'd call only slightly stealthy. He'll now get 10% more. How much stealth should we get? Should be EQ2ish where you can walk through things, or more WoWish where things see you.
Multiplied Torque Rifle damage values by 2.5, for all damage type and level - Big boost to snipers everywhere! It's difficult enough that optimum range is 90m, so a little damage boost won't hurt anyone.
Specialists Classes Change - There are just too many biotech changes to list here. From increasing the bioaugmentation timers to a damage increase of Cadaver Immolation, the Support classes got a ton of love this time around.
Reduced Lightbender damage
Reduced Forean Machina damage
Reduced Hominis Machina damage
Reduced Treemite damage and DoT duration
Reduced Necromite damage and DoT duration
Reduced Treelurker damage - If you didn't notice when you were playing certain things just beat the living poo out of you a lot more efficiently than the Bane could. NCsoft has recognized this and made necessary adjustments to damage.
So there are your patch notes but if you want the full story go to the official site.
TR Wallpaper Contest - NCsoft is having a contest to decide who can design the best Tabula Rasa wallpaper. Don't scoff yet, because the prize isn't just a pat on the back, there are Zboards, Tabula Rasa swag, and lots more if you got the skill. Go and check out the contest and see if you have what it takes.
Garriott Interviewed in Businessweek - Now while we've seen Richard Gariott, Executive Producer of Tabula Rasa, interviewed more times than a presidential candidate, most of the questions have been asked over and over again. One particular question however seems to have gotten straight to the point:
I understand it took you six years to make Tabula Rasa. Why did it take such a long time?
It normally takes between three years and five years to make an MMO, and the majority of big successful MMOs, including games like EverQuest, World of Warcraft, and Ultima Online, took four to five years. Still, Tabula Rasa has taken an extra couple of years because we had a lot more going on for NCsoft to set up the U.S. branch during the early stage of the project. Plus, we made some tactical errors in the early years of Tabula Rasa. We ultimately decided our original art design would be unsuccessful, so after about a year and a half of development we had to start it over.
A fairly straightforward answer as well, you have to respect that. They messed up the first time around. The whole interview is over at Businessweek if you are interested.
Dev Diary on Caves of Donn - NCsoft released another Dev Diary and video (which Ten Ton Hammer put up a few weeks ago) for the Caves of Donn instance in Concordia Wilderness. Designer Rebekah Tran walks us through the story behind the area, what players should expect, and some of the specifics behind building such a unique place. She even gives you some tips on what to do in the zone so it might be worth a trip over to IGN if you'd like to read it.
Saturday Slaughter - Tabula Rasa is getting some stress testing on it's servers this weekend. To help ease the pain six developers will be forming clans for an all out battle royale with no weapons in the Wilderness. Should be interesting to see but go check out the details.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Tabula Rasa Game Page.