Questions by Tony
"RadarX" Jones and Cody "Micajah" Bye
Answers by April
"CuppaJo" Burba, Tabula Rasa Community Manager
With the coming of 2008, every gamer wants to get a quick update on
their favorite game and what sort of course that the development team
is taking. The Ten Ton Hammer staff is equally as interested in the
future of every MMOG, so we've been eagerly communicating with
developers around the world. One of the first updates we have for the
new year focuses on a game that was one of the last released in 2007: Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa
Cody "Micajah" Bye and Tony "RadarX" Jones sat down with TR's community
manager, April "CuppaJo" Burba, to hear about NCsoft's plans for that
game. Please enjoy!
Tony "RadarX" Jones: I've
talked to a few people around the forums and one of the most frequent
concerns around the forums has been the end game. How would
you respond to someone that had concerns about it? We've read about the
Personal Armor Units (PAUs), the Flash Points, and the Command
Opportunities, but is there anything else you could add to questioning
April "CuppaJo" Burba
More missions were
added to the Palisades area in a recent patch.
think we've definitely got some valid issues with the end game, and
more stuff needs to be happening in order to give people more reason to
get past level 30 and get into that 35-40 level range. There are people
who try to get to that end level area as fast as they can and see
what's left after that, so we need to put more in for them.
Things that you talked about earlier - PAUs, Command Opportunities,
etc. - are really going to address some of those issues. I think one of
the big issues some players have with Tabula Rasa
fact that they
don't feel unique or special enough in the world. They want the ability
to show off and allow other players to see that they've done some cool
things. Personal Armor Units really play to that idea, and a bunch of
the additions we're making try to address that desire. Beyond
that, we just want players to feel special and unique the longer they
stay with us. The team's working on this sort of thing and we've gotten
a good start with the veteran's rewards program.
There's also a lot of PvP and Clan changes that the developers are
working on. We realize that not every player is interested in PvP and
clans, but we want to make sure both of these systems are interesting
and compelling for people as the game continues and progresses. As a
development team, we're really on track with that whole thing and I
personally feel good about the long term health of the end game and
in general. We're on track to do these things faster than
other games have done it in the past, so I feel really good about the
We're also looking at developing some areas of the website where
players can go and compare their characters and even have access to
competition ladders where they can see how many players a person killed
in PvP, how fast someone completed a mission, what kind of loot they
have, the highest level items you have equipped, and perhaps the
highest item you sold in the military surplus [auction house].
Cody "Micajah" Bye: Will
you be able to retroactively look at the server firsts? Like which
guild completed a particular raid/encounter first on a server?
haven't talked about that yet. There are a lot of ideas that we want to
add into the game yet, but we are aware that people would be interested
in that sort of statistic. I think our primary concern - at least at
first - is getting really neat PvP ladders put together and getting
some solid player information posted on the web.
Tony: In a recent patch,
we noticed that there were a few more missions added to the Palisades
area. Is that going to be fairly common - introducing new missions for
areas that have already been rolled out?
You're definitely going to see us introducing new missions for content
that we've already rolled out, especially in the higher level areas.
Along with that, you're going to see some new areas coming online as
well. You're just going to be seeing more content as we progress in our
In fact, we're gradually moving towards a regular content release
that might be a bit more ambitious than what you've seen in other
NCsoft titles. We'll have the big releases similar to what players have
seen with the Issues in CoH/CoV, but we also want to get regular
content to those people that have been in the game a long time and give
them the sort of continuous experience that they want to enjoy.
Tony: Speaking of City of
Heroes, how would you compare your experience with that community to
the one you have with Tabula Rasa?
Burba believes that
the Tabula Rasa
community is a bit more serious than that of City of Heroes.
*laughs* My standard answer to that is the Tabula Rasa
near as silly as that of City
. And I absolutely mean that in
a good way. They [the CoH community] are smart, funny, and fun group of
people that have incredible imaginations. The TR community is like
that, but the CoH community is dialed up to 11 on the silly.
I think you see a more normal MMO community with TR, and they're
definitely more in-tune with what's going on inside the game and in the
industry. We also have a really strong RP group in the game as well,
and we really try to nurture and support those people who are
interested in that aspect of the game.
Cody: But Tabula Rasa
people definitely don't dress up in spandex and pretend to fly around.
*laughs* Definitely not, especially since most of the stuff in TR
Cody: How do you feel the
response has been to the game from the industry and general gamers
feel like it's gone pretty well. I think people get the idea that
is a really solid and fun game at its core and in its basic
mechanics. The things we often get dinged on, such as bug counts and
things like that, almost make you excited as a developer, because it's
stuff we can fix really quickly and tighten up to make the experience
better as a whole. So I think it's gone pretty well and I'm really
pleased with it.
Of course, unless you have a bazillion players you always want more and
we'll continue to take the steps necessary to bring those players into