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From the article:
South Korea-based NCsoft is helming one of the most promising of these next-gen MMOs: the sci-fi themed Tabula Rasa, due out this fall. Game designer Richard Garriott says the game is all about accommodating the schedule of a more casual player, starting gently and including features that make the game easier to get into.
In most MMOs, simply getting from point A to point B in a virtual world can be a tedious and time-consuming experience. Tabula Rasa incorporates an "instant travel" feature that does away with such lag time, making short play sessions a possibility.
The game also addresses another common gripe: career inflexibility. In current MMOs, the player's character is often stuck with whatever "job" -- thief, wizard, soldier -- the player chooses at the beginning of the game. Tabula Rasa's growing class tree will let the player gradually develop a character's skills and abilities, presenting the player with a clear map of his potential career paths. If the player ends up dissatisfied with his character's development, he can simply choose a new branch of the tree.
Finally, Tabula Rasa rips out the click-and-wait combat engine packed into today's MMOs and replaces it with first-person-shooter-style real-time combat -- players aim with their mouse, and click to fire a weapon.
It all adds up to "gameplay that is fast-paced, thoughtful and highly rewarding," says Garriott.
Updated: 2007-06-09 by Jon Ippolito