Friday, November 28, 2008

The Witcher ends, Tabula Rasa begins

So, for a Thanksgiving treat, I completed the Witchers end game.
What a great way to end with even a nice cliff hanger.
As well, if I wish I can go back as there are downloadable adventures created by users and the main staff with stories about alternate characters from the game or Geralt again. One includes Dandelion, a friend who was in the short stories I read, and figured in my main story several times. A great bard as well.
One was also made that does a small continuation of Geralts story that was included on the EE set I bought, after he finishes his main quest.

But, we decided to take the plunge (my son and I) to start up Tabula Rasa.

I include my son here, as he has shown more of an interest in playing something besides his FPS. He is quite talented in that respect. His mind is a little ahead of most children his age (he belongs to a special program for gifted children at school), and he played through Fable 2 multiple times, and has even played several RTS's.

But, this is of note as well, because I could have another opinion of the game from someone who has NEVER played an MMO. Not just that, but someone who loves shooters. He loves Sci-Fi, and as an added bonus, will use an alternate means to control this MMO.

I am discussing the 360 controller.

As I game on the PC I attempt to see what games work well with the Xbox 360 controller.
A while back I suffered some mild carpal tunnel. I used the controller which helped me alleviate the mousing issues. When you have been behind a mouse for 20+ years, then it starts to rub on you. Keyboards seem to not affect me as much in this manner.
So, when a game has a pretty straight forward interface like TR, I can setup the main controls to adapt in this manner.

Anyways, I was able to come up with a scheme through X-Padder to work most of the controls for TR.

So far so good.

We played a bit. I noted right off the bat that they had a new tutorial area, which is more streamlined and gets you to the real world setting much quicker.
You learn all of the systems quickly and are put into action.

At this point I had created the full scheme for the 360 controller, and let my son take over. This was about level 4.

He is now level 8 as I write today. I plan to question him a bit more on his thoughts and see what he likes, dislikes...

I will point out one major issue. The game is major empty. We saw maybe 2 or 3 people the whole time since playing. But, the global chat was pretty full of chatter.

As my son played, I did hear "This is awesome" quite a few times. Right now he is questioning different things like starting a Clan or joining one and wants to know about crafting.

This should be an interesting experiment.


Hudson said...

Make sure to run some instances. One of the best things about that game is that instances scale with party size (HELLO WAKE UP MMO WORLD!)

This should be a feature in every game. Of course then everyone in WoW would be duo boxing to get the best blue gear, so ummm...

Well never mind. Aynway try the instances they are fun

Anonymous said...

Probably not that many people in the early zones. There shoould probably be a few copies of each zone you can pick from when teleporting, you might be able to find a different one with more people.

Many of the instances are quite nice as Hudson says. The scaling is more subtle than in City of Heroes/Villains and seems different for different instances.

One of my major issues (actually my primary issue) when playing the game was that they did not handle disconnects or anything that may cause you to leave the instance temporarily - missions obtained within the instance will be reset/lost for the character, but the state of the instance stays the same.
E.g. if a mission inside requires you to destroy something and it gets destroyed. If one character then gets diconencted and logs back he/she looses that mission and have to pick it up inside again. But the destroyed item stays destroyed and that mission cannot be completed for the character unless the instance is reset and everyone in the team starts all over again.

Also, a few instances eneded up bugged with state changes if some people in the team had partially completed the instance before.

If they have fixed this I think that is great, if not keep that in mind.

The instances can be great if you do not suffer any problems like that.