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Top 5 combat tips for Tabula Rasa recruits

Chris Chester

So you bought Tabula Rasa, created your character, and conquered basic training with ease, and maybe even found your first Logos. Good for you! As with any new MMO though, the learning period has only just begun. There are a myriad of subtleties, strategies, and nuances that dictate your success in Tabula Rasa, and most of them are only discovered via trial and error. That or prodigious use of alt+tab and Google.

After spending some time on TR's dedicated new players channel, we've boiled down the most common sources of complaint and confusion, and compiled them into our top 5 list of combat tips for Tabula Rasa recruits. It's by no means a comprehensive guide, but for players still getting their bearings, and perhaps even for some veterans, this should serve as a basic guide to surviving in Destination Games' Tabula Rasa.

5. Watch Who You're Shooting

A big mistake you'll see a lot of rookies make, particularly in the Wilderness CPs, is to make haphazard use of their shotgun's AOE ability. The first time you come across a big, dense group of Bane, there's a powerful urge to blast them all at once with a couple of rounds from your shotgun. We understand the urge. All those red damage numbers flashing on screen at once, the shots from your gun sending a wave of alien scum flying backwards, it can be very exciting! Heck, it might even work well the first few times.

But the reality of the situation is that, while shotgunning groups of mobs might work well for a while, as enemies get tougher, they're simply going to mow you down if you attract the attention of large groups at higher levels. It's not only much safer, but much more efficient, to use pistols and rifles to dispatch enemies one by one in a more focused fashion. Save your AOE for when you've got a Specialist buddy patient enough to follow you around and make up for your overzealous nature.

4. Mind your ammo.

You'd be surprised how many people forget this most basic of good practices. One of the genres which Tabula Rasa draws from most readily is the shooter, and it has inherited the shooter's use of consumable ammo. It stands to reason that gamers who have accustomed to swords and mana bars may well have forgotten the practice of good ammo management. In Tabula Rasa, there are several types of ammo that one must have in order to use specific kinds of weapons. Speaking generally, there are weapons that use cartridges, weapons the use power cells, weapons that use rockets, and weapons that use canisters. They come in a variety of grades, but are for the most part interchangeable. A laser chaingun and an EMP pistol do very different kinds of damage, but both draw from the same pool of standard power cells. You have to be mindful of the types of weapons you plan to use, and make sure to purchase an adequate supply before heading out into the Wilderness. There's nothing quite so frustrating as running out of ammo before you finish a quest, so it's best to buy more ammo than you think you're going to need.

3. Pow, right in the kisser.

One of the things they balk from explicitly telling you in the basic training is how, and for what purpose, one uses melee attacks in Tabula Rasa. We understand the confusion, the whole concept seems counter-intuitive. As a Logos receptive and heir to the legacy of the human race, you're squaring off against giant alien enemies, you've got a giant cannon strapped to your back, and you have the ability to shoot lightning from your fingertips at the drop of a hat. What in Eloh's name could possibly be the use of a melee attack in this context? Besides being an all-purpose source for quick, ammo free, and potentially deadly source of damage in close-quarters (at least if you've dedicated some ability points to it), melee attacks allow you to "Overkill" slain enemies. When an enemy is slain by a critical hit, they will remain standing (or flying, or what have you) for a brief period with a red skull hanging over their head. This is your cue to rush in and deliver a crushing round-house kick (using the F key) to down the enemy and gain double the XP.

2. Know thy enemy.

Enemies in Tabula Rasa have much stronger resistances and weaknesses to certain types of attacks than do enemies in a lot of other MMOs, often in ways that aren't immediately obvious. Take shield drones for instance. They fly around heavily contested battlefields, protecting large groups of Bane from physical attacks with a large dome-shaped energy fields. Completely impervious to standard shotgun fire, drones have to be taken out by a sustained burst of damage from an EMP weapon. Conversely, the spider-like Xanx are completely impervious to EMP attacks, but can be hurt by physical attacks, are particularly weak to electric attacks. The rookie mistake is to try and kill everything simply using physical damage. When the going gets tough, that's often simply not good enough. The surest way to conquer your enemies is by keeping tabs on their weaknesses, and making sure to have the right equipment to cover all your bases before you head out from camp.

1. Duck!

This is the number one most important thing to remember when you first start playing Tabula Rasa. It absolutely startling to see the number of players who will run around outside of the newbie zones trying to fire rifles and launchers from the hip, wondering how to account for the fact that they are doing a scant 200 damage per shot when the description on their weapon explicitly says it should be doing 800. Even though Tabula Rasa gives the appearance of being a third person shooter, the combat is based almost entirely on traditional RPG dice rolls. Among the most important factors in determining the success and damage of a shot is the accuracy, which can be discerned by how close the three hash marks on your reticule are to the center when you're aiming at an enemy. The farther apart they are, the less like you are to score a hit, and the less damage it will do. Unless you're using a shotgun, crouching is your surest bet for improved accuracy. Nine times out of ten, when engaging enemies in battle, you should be in the crouched position. It's hard to over-emphasize.

Again, these aren't the only things to consider as you work your way through Tabula Rasa's content for the first time, but they represent a good starting part for establishing good habits in combat before the game really starts to turn up the heat.

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