Archive for December 29, 2007

Holidays with the AFS

December 29, 2007 Comments off

After all Xmas celebrations and with some free time during this holiday period the play time in Tabula Rasa in particular has increased a bit. I have a couple of different characters currently, 5 in total. Two of them have been played from start, the other 3 cloned at different levels. I am an altoholic, so playing and creating a couple of different characters only comes natural and the cloning system in Tabula Rasa fits well in with that habit.

They are spread out a bit in levels, essentially so that I will never play the same zones with two characters at the same time, or so is the idea anyway. This also is useful to pass down some weapons and loot to younger characters – since almost no item is bound to a specific character, a lot of items can be reused by other characters.

When I originally looked at the game and its professions, the two that sounded most interesting to me was the Exobiologist and the Engineer and their abilities to get aid from biological and mechanical entities. I have reached Exobiologist and I do like it, but also realized that I like a lot of the other professions to. Medic seems to be a quite nice profession, at least after the recent revamp of the skills and it has been fun to play as well. While both exobiologisty and medic have healer type abilities, they are not the traditional healers as seen in many other MMOGs, but a bit more varied and quite fun to play, solo or in group.

The cloning and reanimation abilities of the exobiologist feels a bit weak though. The clone feels more scaled as an NPC at the given level rather than the player, with the corresponding lower damage output, repair output or whatever item was chosen at cloning time. A clone similar to player damage/repair output might be considered too powerful though – injection guns put out a lot of damage, even though it is a bit slow.

My Sapper has fought his way though Torden and was about to embark on a visit to the Mires zone in Torden. But I quickly cancelled that. Mires is a zone that many people dislike because of the lag experienced there – press a button to fire and one may see a reaction 2 seconds later. For some professions and depending on weapon type used, it may still be possible to play. But for a Sapper whose main weapon is the polarity guns, Mires lag makes it pretty much unplayable. With the sapper currently being 29 with still some instances and stuff left in Torden Incline, skipping Torden Mires felt quite suitable and go directly to Valverde Plateau. I will probably do the instances in there with some clan members at some point, they are good fun. But the rest of the zone I will leave until they fix the lag issue there. The zone content itself is pretty good I think, it is just the lag issues that makes the zone a nuisance.

My Ranger also got started up a bit in the first Torden zone, Plains. Both Plains and Incline are quite fun zones and can certainly get a quite intense in some areas with the fighting. Some of the tasks in the Targets of Opportunity missions for these zones seem not so well scaled to the actual zone content though – e.g. kill 100 Nitroglazers in a zone where almost no spawn at all, except maybe in some control point fights (and one other spot). The amount of Flaregashers to kill may also be a bit on the high side compared to what people may encounter. There are some good spawn points for them though in each zone, but it feels quite against the spirit of the game to camp some spot to get kills to fulfill the TOO task.

The youngest member of my AFS family has just recently started to explore Concordia Palisades. We went to the Treeback Camp instance with some clan members and picked a few outdoor missions on the way also, since there are a number of them to do while fighting our way to the Treeback Camp entrance, which is within a Bane facility. Getting there was intense fighting and good fun. The Treeback Camp instance itself is also a nice one, a large open space area which also clearly shows that these instances scale with the team size. The number of enemies and sizes of the patrols and other enemy groups are significantly larger with a few people in the team. This gave some intense fire fights and we had a good time there.

Playing through zones for the second (or third or even fourth) time tend to make the play time a bit more efficient, since one knows better what needs to be zone in a particular zone and when to do it. My first and highest character, my exobiologist has about twice as much play time as all my other four characters combined. CLoninh has of course a part in that as well. Soon enough there will yet another character but pretty much the same play time as before, when my sapper continues to become engineer and creates a clone for a demolitionist.

Categories: Tabula Rasa