This entry is taken from my actual blog site at:
You can see the TR videos there
Last night the wife and I had finished up a bunch of quests in the Concordia Wilderness and were looking to get into some heavy duty combat. We had some quests that were telling us to go to the Crater Lake Research facility, another instance in Tabula Rasa. As I stated before Tabula Rasa instances are more like mini maps, both indoor and outdoor, that you have all to your self to explore and XP in. This one was smaller than the Pravus map, but packed on the map were some tough mobs and a lot of XP and cool things to do. First off, if you have the quest from the Ranja Gorge to collect the 5 crystals, they are located in crates and boxes scattered all over the ruined facility. You need to open those crates and loot the crystal inside. The crates do respawn quite fast so don’t worry if you ninja loot your buddies.
The Crater Lake facility was doing some top end research for the AFS, and it has been taken over in a recent Bane attack. The problem is the Bane have found something inside: logos. They plan to use the logos to do very bad things and you must stop them. I don’t want to give away the plot of the instance so that is all you will get from me. All I have to say is bring a lot of EMP Bombs and get ready to run … a lot. Inside are some really tough Bane mortar guns and a lot of Predators. Not like the Arnold Schwarzenegger type, these are the flying ships that you encounter with a nasty frontal beam attack. If you run into a Predator, kite it around and do NOT get close. Get its shields down fast and then it is quite weak. The mortars in the instance gave us some fits. They do a lot of damage and are tougher than the ones out in the world that you have to destroy early on in game with that quest. We finally had to approach one with me repair spamming her armor and then running in circles around it blasting it with EMP damage to get its shields down. When you run around the guns fast enough they cannot draw a bead on you and your chances of living go up considerably.
Once you have completed most of the quests in the instance, it will finish up with asking you to raid the main base in the middle of the map. There are a few things worth noting here. Be very careful about accepting the quest to blow the main generator and getting the next follow up quest to assault the base. The wife missed an incoming radio transmission and was not able to catch up because once I blew the generator, it would not let her blow it to continue her quest series. We have to go back tonight or Wednesday anyway because I missed a logos in there. This means I will undoubtedly hit level 13. That is 7-13 in what two days solid of playing? Not bad, I think I am hooked. Another thing of note is that the base has a LOT of mobs. We actually died 3-4 times getting used to the agro around the base and killing those darn Lightbenders. Also behind the base are some very nasty Xanx that are well armored and do a good amount of damage. In the video I posted today you can see us get into quite a bit of trouble but believe it or not we lived through that encounter and trucked onward. One word of advice for this instance: swap out weapons as you need them (EMP, laser, physical) and bring a LOT of ammunition. Ten Ton Hammer has a guide up for this instance, but have avoided using it so that we learn as we go which makes it a ton of fun. I will have to look at that guide to get the coordinates for the last logos I missed so I have a general idea of where to go. When you are in the instance, make sure you blast those spotlights that hover around the area as they will trigger mob spawns. You can see what they look like in the screenshot I posted first in today blogs entry.
Once we finished that I got into some crafting, and while it looks a little complicated, I learned how to modify my gun and take some items apart for rare components in fairly little time. Crafting is still a weird beast in this game. You don’t have to do it, but it is helpful in giving you a nice edge in combat. For example my trusty laser pistol now has power regen on it which always helps in the long run. It also has two other mod stats on it and if I were to break it down I would at least get some of those components out of it to use for other crafting needs.
I got the Tabula Rasa collectors edition and while the in game pet is a bit wonky looking, the other things in the box are pretty nice. The fully bound and colored AFS Field Guide is nice to carry to work and read, and the individual maps on glossy colored paper in the sealed envelope are a nice touch. The DVD is standard fare but does have some really good insight into the game on it. Also included are some dog tags (now hanging on my monitor) and a collectors edition coin. The edition is not bad, I also got a in game Logosphi emote, but the DVD could have had more packed on it like the Burning Crusade one did. Overall I am really starting to enjoy this game and I have cancelled one of my two WoW accounts now. Tabula Rasa is definitely providing some quality entertainment for the monthly fee and the scalable instances and fast crafting and overland travel have me sold. Hopefully the game continues to evolve but I know that each night I cannot wait to log in. If you have been on the fence, it is worth a try.