Tabula Rasa: Classes Overview
MMORPG.com Tabula Rasa Correspondent Bob Smith writes this long overdue overview of the class structure in NCsoft's Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.
The class system in Tabula Rasa is very unique compared to other MMOs. All players start as recruits, who can use basic firearms (pistols, shotguns and rifles) and have the ability to discharge lightning to damage their foes. Lightning and firearms are skills that can be upgraded with training points accumulated each time you level up. Below is the class tree in which all classes are listed with their respected pre classes (the class you are before you choose that class) and a description of the class system and class tree.
After you reach level five as a recruit, you can choose to be a soldier or a specialist. Soldiers are much more direct damage oriented while specialists are focused on keeping groups alive longer and supporting other players through healing and protective buffs. Soldiers have access to reflective armor, very resistant to photonic(laser), physical, and EMP damage, and chain guns, in addition to the rage ability which makes the soldier do more damage but gives much less health for the duration of the ability, as well as the shrapnel ability which hurls a storm of sharp metal at an area. Specialists have access to leech guns which take away enemy health and give it to the player, hazmat (hazardous material) armor, which is resistant to fire, ice, and viral damage types. Specialists can use healing tools to aid other players in battle as well as cause damage over time effects on their enemies. Both soldiers and specialists certainly have their place on the battlefield.
Now, with soldier and specialist covered, there are two more classes that branch off from each of them. Soldiers can choose to be a commando, which can use graviton armor (the heaviest armor in the game), rocket and grenade launchers for high damage output and area of effect damage. The commando’s abilities consist of: Force Blast (which depending on level of training for ability does damage and knocks back the target), Scourge (which when activated, causes a cloud of debris to form around the player and damage all enemies that some near), and lastly Rushing Blow (causes large amounts of damage and knocks back as well, but may harm the caster). Commandos are great for people who love high damage and good armor.
Soldiers can also choose to be rangers. Rangers call down reinforcements, one assisting NPC for the ranger, ranging from pistolier to chaingunner. Rangers also call down carpet bombing ordnance which is an extremely damaging but expensive area of effect ability. Lastly for abilities, the ranger has the polarity field, which makes an enemy target’s immunity its weakness for a small amount of time.
Rangers use stealth armor which decreases the ease with which they can be seen and decreases range of detection, and net guns, guns that shoot nets that immobilize the target and do damage over time coming in many varieties.
Specialists can choose to be sapper of biotechnician, both of which play very supportive roles for groups. Sappers can cast a shield which protects anyone under it from some damage, they can also deploy crab mines, which are walking bombs that hunt targets on their own, and they can hack mechanical targets to turn against the enemy. Mech armor is used by sappers and casts an aura that regenerates everyone within the radius, as well as polarity guns which shoot a constant stream of damage then a huge damage hit when the trigger is let go.
Biotechnicians are healers and can resurrect and remove negative buffs on allies, and uses bio armor which increases health regeneration, and injector guns which directly damage a player's health. Biotechnicians have the ability bio augmentation which buffs a certain attribute of every squad mate. Bottom line is the biotech can cast buffs, remove debuffs, heal and resurrect.
If you did not guess already, each of those four classes has two that branch off from them as well. Sappers can be engineers or demolitionists, engineers can construct turrets, deploy a robot companion, make a wormhole to tap into the waypoint network, and buff groups by using an ability called Base Wave which considerably raises all resistances for two to three minutes. Demolitionists can send an explosive shockwave, deploy a weapon that slowly damages and sucks in enemies, another ability with massive knock back, and the ability to create a storm of small explosive micromechanical nanites. The biotech has the option to become a medic, with the ability to cause immunity, steal enemy health, drive enemies berserk, and combine health regeneration with area of affect. The biotech can also become an exobiologist, which can raise dead enemies to fight for them, make corpses into bombs, clone a friendly target, and summon a pet. Both classes are very good choices for non completely combat related group support.
A ranger can become a spy or sniper. Snipers can use torqueshell rifles which fire explosive rounds at extremely long range, can wound enemies, make every damaging hit against the enemy target more damaging, and buff the guns of every ally in a certain area. Spies on the other hand use blades with their stealth armor and try to get close to the enemy and deliver a quick one shot kill with their blades. Some of the spy’s other abilities include making an enemy fight the enemy for a certain amount of time, polymorph an enemy. And cloak everyone in a certain area.
Last but definitely not least, are the commandos. They have the options of grenadier and guardian.
Grenadiers have propellant guns, flamethrowers that can throw flamer and other “flavors” (damage types).
They can decrease their health and prevent health regeneration for a certain amount of time but gain huge damage bonuses, cause small earthquakes, use micromechanics to create in a sense a large damaging shotgun, and stun in a cone like area-of-effect.
Guardians are the tanks of Tabula Rasa. Guardians are quite unique since Tabula Rasa, unlike other MMOs, does not require a tank for things like instances, but instead makes it easier if there is one, so guardians are extremely fair damage causers. Guardians can use the futuristic cousins of staffs, a long pole with 2 projectors of whatever damage the staff does, cause vortexes, convert damage taken by the guardian into healing distributed to group members (wonderful tank ability), reflect damage taken by the guardian to the enemy, and create a large shield around themselves, blocking all attacks against it for an amount of time.
Thank you for reading an overview of the classes of Tabula Rasa. A word of advice is that unlike other MMOs, in Tabula Rasa all classes can take a very fair amount of punishment, so do not worry overtly about taking damage, and many classes dish it out on enemies so fast they are dead before they can cause any damage. Because these enemies are so weak, large amounts of them are found in many areas, so bring a friend along unknown and battle ridden areas. Also to all you instance runners who hate the group finding process, 1 in 15 of this game’s dungeons require more than 2 people, 5-10 are soloable, bringing a group is intended to speed up instance running, not required to run it. Good luck to all recruits on class decision please provide input on the article. Do not let one bane stand in your way.
“We need all the able bodies and steady guns we have to push back the bane. For every in of ground they gain make them suffer casualties unlike any suffered before”-General British