Friday, February 22, 2008

Tabula Rasa - Debt Penalty and Repair

In many MMORPG type games there is some sort of penalty for dying. In Final Fantasy XI the death of an avatar resulted in loss of experience points, which in some cases could cause a player to lose an experience level already earned. In City of Heroes an avatars death is met with an experience debt. Players only earn half experience as they pay back a percentage of their overall experience point count to debt. In Planetside the death of an avatar resulted in the player's respawn time increasing. Multiple deaths could quickly remove a player from a battle as the respawn timer counted down.

So, now we'll go over the punishment for dying in Tabula Rasa. Poor Zed Blogtest, this requires some intentional suicides on his part. Seems he took on a Bane mob that was too much to handle.

Upon dying players are presented with a list of hospitals that they have unlocked. While Zed died on the edge of Corman Lake he has the option to go to Alia Das or Daghda's Urn.

Zed's decided to head over to Alia Das.

Respawn time is near instantaneous as Zed quickly finds himself in the Alia Das hospital.

With a recent death Zed is currently under a 20% debuff effect on his powers for 5 minutes. If he dies again the counter is increased by 5 minutes, and the status debuff increases to 40%. If Zed dies again after that the penalty timer is increased by another 5 minutes and a possible 60% status debuff.

There is a small advantage though. The debuff numbers roll off on the countdown times of 5:00 and 10:00. So lets say Zed has a countdown time of 8:00 and he dies. The countdown timer is increased to 13:00 and Zed moves from a 40% debuff to a 60% debuff. When the timer hits 10:00 on the countdown the debuff decreases to 40%. When the countdown timer hits 5:00 the debuff decreases to 20%.

Here we can see Zed's current status. Body has a rating of 24, with mind and spirit sharing a rating of 15.

Players can buy and use Res Trauma Kits to alleviate the status penalty of dying. Since Zed is only level 5, he can only use a Class I kit.

Upon using the kit Zed's body returns to it's default 30 rating. Mind and spirit both increase to 17. Zed's total health has gone up by over 100 points, from 472 to 577.

There are more effects than just a character status debuff. Here we can see that Zed's armor has taken heavy damage. Each death drops the condition on all equipped gear by 10%.

All equipment means items likes guns and weapons as well. Only gear not equipped is spared.

While the status debuffs can be dealt with by waiting for the effects to wear off or investing in Res Trauma Kits, equipment condition needs to be actively addressed. Equipment can be repaired at any vendor. Zed's dropping by the armor vendor for repairs.

On the bottom right hand corner of each vendors interface window is a tab labeled repair.

The repair tab shows all the gear that has less than 100% condition.

A quick press to the Repair All button...

And Zed is now ready to get back out into battle.

Word of advice. Equipment deteriorates with every action, and some actions inflict heftier condition loss than others. For example a player can fire off 5000 rounds through a polarity gun and have a condition of 95%+. However, if a player uses their ranged weapon to hit an enemy with a melee attack, each melee will generate 1% damage to the weapon. So 5 melee hits with a polarity gun and it will be in worse condition than having spent 5000 rounds of ammo.

There are two classes of avatars available that have melee weapons. Those are the Spy and Guardian classes, which have staffs and blades respectively. Unless a player is running an avatar of these classes, melee combat is discouraged. Remember, Tabula Rasa is a third person shooter, not a third person brawler.

Some of the skill specializations help to decrease condition deterioration in equipement. For example higher levels in the soldier's machine gun training directly affects the condition of a machine gun as it fires.

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