Friday, February 22, 2008

Tabula Rasa - Wilderness Guide

It's not a secret that I'm not exactly fond of what passes for a community in Tabula Rasa. The general chat is filled with people who do not know what they are talking about, and wish to argue with those who do. Since I happen to be fond of proving that I know what I'm talking about, here's some proof. I created a brand new character on Tabula Rasa and I'm going to walk through several of the common questions found in the Wilderness zone. One of the questions that is continually asked in Tabula Rasa is when players should clone their character, and there are a myriad of answers that result in chat. Many of these answers try to pin when to clone to a specific number or level count. It's not that complex as we'll shortly see.

Typical of all Blogspot pictures, click on the picture itself for the high-resolution jpeg. I capped these in 1650*1050 for a couple of reasons. The first is that I had to do this under Windows. There is no native Linux client, and neither W.I.N.E. nor the most recent stable Cedega release run Tabula Rasa. The second reason is that this game looks good, and you have to keep in mind I'm running this on a Pentium 4 with a Radeon x1800 XT.

So let's meet Zed Blogtest. He's going to walk us around the Wilderness. As we see below he's a cocky sort who just skipped Basic Training so he could enter the Wilderness at an even level 4. Strong, handsome, great green hair... oh wait. We want the Gordon Freeman knockoff in white. Sorry.

As Zed walks down the hill he has a radio message come up. Might as well answer it.

Cool, Zed gets to go get a pet who will follow him around and do absolutely nothing!

Before getting his pet Zed takes a moment to go see what Targets of Opportunity are available.

Now Zed heads over and collects his pet. The little robot sounds good.

Seems that Zed decided to take a moment to /rave just before he hits level 5. A lot of players will state in general chat that you should clone before you level. No. Zed's decided to celebrate a bit too early.

There we go. Level 5 is reached.

Since he's hit level 5 Zed finds that he has an orange hand on the right hand side of the screen that won't go away, and there also is a radio mission awaiting him.

Checking the radio mission will give players a mission to go train up to their next class.

This radio mission will put a radio icon over Soldier Trainer Bukowski

as well as Specialist Trainer Hoffman

Zed decides to talk to the Specialist trainer and finds he has a clone option.

Clicking on Clone will bring up a message asking you if it's alright to log out. If you want to clone, Hit Okay.

Word of warning before I go on. Level 5 is a horrible level to clone at. I reached this point in the game in under 15 minutes. You really want to save the clone gained at level 5 for later. Since this is just a test character though, Zed's going to be a little stupid and clone at Level 5 anyways.

After hitting okay, you should be at the character selection screen. As seen on Zed he has a 1 clone available. In order to clone, hit clone

I went ahead and made Zedd, changing only his hair and beard color. Once you are satisfied with your clone's, hit accept.

Word of advice if this is your first time playing... don't get too hung up on your armor color and armor appearance. Armor will change a lot during the first 30 levels.

Back at the character selection screen we find that both Zed and Zedd are recruits. I'm going to go ahead and put Zedd into the battle.

Zedd feels he's a little light on firepower so he's going to go be a soldier. he figures he can't go wrong with a machine gun at his side.

Now that Zedd is a soldier he finds that he got some more experience that was held back until he chose a class. He knows that if he had been on a mission and had not been able to train up he would not lose any experience he gained in the fight.

Now lets go get Zed.

Zed likes firepower, don't get him wrong on that, but he wants to be a little bit more creative in how that firepower is applied to battle. He's looked over his career options and decided that the Engineering path sounds downright devious. However, he needs to be a specialist first.

With his new class Zed finds that he's also got mission experience that was held back.

Alright then, so when is the best time to clone? When you go to train up to your new class.

There are some other factors to cloning through. The general recommendation for players is that they save their level 5 clone, the one Zed used up, and use it at level 30 to create a crafting clone, and save a Targets of Opportunity clone for level 50.

The explanation follows that at 30 players have enough points to maximize all of the cloning skills. Cloning at 50 allows players to craft anything in the game. By not investing any points in crafting on their primary battle avatar players have more points to spend on battle useful skills and weapons.

We are not done quite yet though. One of the other common questions in Tabula Rasa is how does one locate the caves in the Wilderness. One of the factors in Tabula Rasa to keep in mind is that the game is heavily based on patterns, and there is a pattern to the caves in the Wilderness.

There are two rivers along the Wilderness. The Upper and Lower Eloh Creeks, and the river in Ranja Gorge.

The first cave is at the start of each river.

The second cave is at a major feature in the river, such as a waterfall...

or a bend.

don't be afraid to get off the beaten path.

The third cave is off to the side of the river further down...

Sometimes really far off the side of the river.

And sometimes not so far.

The final question that gets asked a lot is how to locate the logos in Pravus Research Facility.

Can you find where Zed went?

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