Updated Sun, Dec 20, 2009 by Taea
Eyes forward, recruits, and listen up for your guide to surviving boot camp in Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa. As the first place new players encounter when loading the game for the first time, Boot Camp functions as the tutorial for Tabula Rasa.
Your first mission is character creation. Customization here is not as detailed as many games you may have played, and there are only a few details that truly matter. Most importantly is your name selection. Tabula Rasa’s naming system centers on the last name, which will become tied to all characters you create on the account. First names are mostly just for fun, as other players will only see them when you are grouped up or in close proximity.
Next you will see a choice of 4 races. Note that as a new player, you will only have Human available. The hybrid races must be unlocked at later levels, and will be available for future clones or alts. Continue on by choosing your gender, height/size and facial features. Men will be able to choose various beard styles, while women have a neck accessory option. The little color box to the side of each choice determines the color of the hair/skin/accessory. The final Armor section can be ignored for the most part. The generic armor pieces will quickly be replaced by new gear in the game, and the appearance you choose here will be discarded.
Got yourself fully outfitted, then? Right, time to dive in to boot camp. You’ll arrive by drop ship, an intra-planetary transport that beams you down to the planet’s surface. Take a look at your surroundings: piles of sandbags, large crates and other gear project the military atmosphere you have entered. Speak to all the NPCs you see around you with this white Message icon, indicating they have important and/or entertaining game information for you. A lot of the game quirks will be made clear by reading through these tidbits of information. You will see two NPCs with yellow walkie talkie icons over their heads. These icons indicate that a Mission/Quest is available. Be careful, though, not all missions need to be completed. Bootcamp Bypass offered by Captain Burba is meant for experienced players who are creating another character, and wish to skip directly to the rest of the game.
Report in to Commander Elvers, who offers the mission Basic Training 101. Read to the bottom of the mission info, and follow the directions through the basic interface commands. Note: Don’t like the layout of the controls? Read through the Options Guide to learn about changing them. Before you crouch, turn to face northeast so you can see the Crate of Supplies. Now you can Crouch, Lock Target, Shoot the crate and Reload as the mission indicates. You’ll then be directed to use your Sprint ability; just make sure to turn it back off so you won’t be wasting adrenaline. Speak to Elvers again to complete the mission and earn a new set of gloves. Open your backpack, right click the gloves to equip them, and drag the old gloves down to the trash can in the bottom right of the backpack window. Note the starting gear is not sellable, and the best thing to do is toss them in the trash as they are replaced.
Commander Elvers has another mission for you called Obstruction Destruction. You need to clear out a wreck blocking a nearby pass. Look down at the mini-map in the bottom right of your screen. You can see a yellow glow around the outer edge of the map that shows the direction of a nearby mission objective. Note: More information on the UI can be found here. Head north toward your mission indicator, and look for the flashing red circle. This shows where you can place a detonator to blow up the wreck. Make sure to back away a bit, as the explosion can damage you.
Enemy Bane Incoming
Run down across the bridge and see the enemy ship dropping in 3 Bane soldiers. Your mission is to kill, and here are a few tips. Crouching will increase your accuracy and give your shots higher damage, but it also makes it easier for the enemy to shoot you. Finding some sort of cover, such as sand bags or terrain features will decrease the amount of damage you take. Holding down your mouse button will continuously fire your weapon until you need to reload. Like to be up close and personal with the enemy? Get close and hit your F key to melee. Your pistol can do a fair amount of damage when used as a blunt object. Be watching for a red skull icon above the enemy’s head; when this appears, run in and melee to grab some bonus experience points.
You’ll find Commander Elvers has transported in, along with a bunch of other AFS soldiers. Talk to him to complete your mission and receive a brand new rifle. Make sure to drag it to your weapons tray, so you can use it along with your pistol. Notice the differences between the weapons; pistols are good for close combat, with high fire rates but lower damage. Rifles are for longer distances, with slower aimed shots and higher damage. With practice you’ll be able to switch weapons quickly to account for changes in combat. Expect to level up around this time as well. Opening your Character screen will give you access to your Attributes and Skills, where you can spend your newly earned training points.
Join the AFS, Make New Friends
Time to seize the day, so accept the mission Elvers gives next, called Carpe Diem. The control point base up ahead is in Bane control, and you’re going to wrestle it back. Take the detonators and use them to blow up the mortars and force field to gain entry to the base. You won’t be going there alone, as you now have a squad of AFS soldiers at your side. For the most part, these temporary “pets” will attack what you attack, but you cannot independently control them.
Follow the pathway up toward your mission icon, engaging the Bane as they appear as red dots on your mini map. You’ll easily find your first mortar as it will be the first big gun throwing large amounts of damage at you. Find the red detonator slot, like before, and stand back as it blows up. You’ll have to take out a force field too in the same manner.
You will run into a Bane soldier with a white glow around its body, and a name like Tizzik Gi. These are Boss mobs with considerably higher health and regeneration abilities, so be careful when fighting them. Once the force field is down, run inside the base to the central statue with the red glowing ball. “Use” the ball to regain control of the base, and change the color scheme to blue for the good guys. Congratulations on retaking your first Control Point!
End of Part One. Continue on to Part Two!