MMO players are working on a Tabula Rasa rogue server, but it’s ‘a ways off’ from being fully playable

    
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This past Saturday we asked our readers what MMOs they felt should have a rogue server of their own. A great number of people in both the comments and the article’s tweet pointed in the direction of Tabula Rasa, the history of which has been covered by our Game Archaeologist. It’s one of those Twitter replies that’s led us on the trail of Infinite Rasa, a developing rogue server for the game.

Before anyone gets too excited, there are some pretty large asterisks that should be noted. First off, the game’s official forums are effectively undead, with a placeholder roadmap post and a call for developers, both of which were posted in 2016. Most of the server’s communication appears to be primarily housed in a Discord server, which further illustrates that development is still “a ways off” according to one of the replies, with mostly non-gameplay things available.

Furthermore, the call for developers is still out there, and it’s a fairly weighty list:

With all that being said, the Discord does provide Github links and is at least a place for fans to commiserate and talk about MMOs and gaming in general, so those who are curious may still want to take a peek.

sources: Infinte Rasa forums (1, 2), Discord via Twitter, cheers Wizen!
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notReginald VelJohnson

Don’t these people know that Shroud of the Avatar is available and free to play right now?

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MassivelyMacD

And what is the connection to this news?

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Croquantes

A project that had Richard Garriott’s name publicly attached and then publicly detached.

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John Mclain

This is definitely one I’d like to see make a return. Granted by today’s standards it’d look ancient, and the gameplay would be super simple. But for the day, it was really unique.

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Hurbster

I do remember this being awful at the time and constantly wishing that the original design spec had gone through but it was changed pretty late in developement.

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Solaris

Would totally play this if it ever sees the light of day.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

The worst game I ever loved. I think it was the minigun.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Yeah, TR is another victim of NCSoft just sort of overwriting the base server code without bothering to make any copies. Hopefully, someone escaped with the code like CoH.

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McGuffn

I bet 100 big ones that the volunteers behind this all get on a rocket and fly into space before they get the game up and running again.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Considering I missed out on this game entirely…I’d be down for it!

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Bruno Brito

Bear in mind, most development of pservers is done by Dscord nowadays. Having a website helps a LOT, but it’s not mandatory. Having a forum is always a plus.

A good example is Neocron, where the entire development and playerbase-dev communication happens in the Discord. Same for the EQ2 Emu. Similar for a lot of Ragnarok servers.

Fisty
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Fisty

It is a shame that its not required to give up code after our online games shut down. We bought the game and paid for the service. I wish/wonder if some EU court has ever dealt with this.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

You bought a license. You did not buy the game code nor anything else in the game itself. All you’d own would be your character data at most, and even that would be useless without the rest of the game.

Sucks, and I wish more companies would be willing to work with fan communities to bring back dead MMO’s in a semi-official capacity, but there are huge legal issues including a lot of the code likely being patented by the company. Plus extensive third party licensing that likely doesn’t cover use beyond the official life of the game etc. etc.

This even applies to single player/offline games. You don’t own all the code and art assets in the game, just a license to access and play it. Similar to movies. You buy a movie and you can watch it and you own the disk, but you can’t take that movie and start up your own little theater with it because you own the DVD.

Leo
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Leo

There has been some arguments i have heard about how this still doesn’t quite seem to fit into some legal frameworks in some countries. Because like your movie example (& not talking streaming here), if you buy a DVD it still will work. But a game that requires a server connection is killed by the producer of the game in an arbitrary way. (I am far from the best at explaining this though…)

I think it could be worked out that the devs would have to either patch a game to work with like private servers or release the code and let people to with it as they please. And maybe have it be required to put something at the game launch that that explains it’s a dead product and that the devs hold no liability over that version.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Because you only had a license to play the game, which required servers. If the game is no longer financially viable, servers close down. The only “solution” is to force companies to continue operating those servers which…ain’t ever gonna happen : /

Honestly, there’s no legal framework I know of for anything like this given that the companies wholly own the game (and may not even own the license for the IP which would make it more difficult) : (

Leo
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Leo

Well the company would give away the server code/app. So their servers go dead, but the customer still has the ability to play the game. The users will have their client that they paid for, and have a way to continue to use it.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Which opens up a very easy way to reverse engineer code, including what would be violating any patents the owners may hold, and may not even be viable with a licensed property as the IP holder decides not to continue granting it to the private server in that semi-official capacity. It seems Pservers like SWG/WAR fly more under the radar on that front, but start making these things more “official” and the respective legal teams will definitely get involved.

We do not have an indefinite license to these MMO’s. Again, under the existing legal (and economic) frameworks this isn’t remotely feasible.

But I’m here for the alternatives, comrade.

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cursedseishi

At least in the states, there already exists exemptions now for games like MMOs to be brought back online that have legal backing, even if not total. Specifically in regards to the preservation of titles like an MMO;;

In the 2018 exemptions, the Library allowed for preservation and fair use of server-based games like MMOs, permitting preservationists to offer such games where they have legally obtained the game’s code within museums and libraries.

If NCSoft were to hand over the game’s code to a place intended to preserve and operate the game, it could then be brought back online and made playable once more. Where you might hit a hiccup is in accessing the game and thus playing it–but it wouldn’t be the first time however that an MMO has been brought back in such a manner and opened for the public to play as even Massively has reported on before.

Habitat is back online in a museum

It is very much doable, companies just need to start giving a rats arse about it, which is rarely–if ever at all.