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GameSpy: Do you think that the online games need more directed play, that is to say built in events that "mix things up," or possibly direct the action?
Richard Garriott: Absolutely. In fact the whole first-generation of online games, Ultima Online, EverQuest, Asheron's Call, and Dark Age of Camelot are examples of fabulous games with first-generation thinking where that is missing. Lineage begins to bridge into the second-generation with its elder game features of this political power struggle with castle ownership, taxation, and allegiances.
However, the game we're working on right now, called Tabula Rasa, which is solidly a second-generation title, specifically does what you describe, where you blend together the great features of solo-player games where you feel well sheparded and you also feel very special. You are the chosen one to lead the world to safety and achieve the ultimate success. Now compare that to a massively multiplayer game, where in most cases your life is pretty average. There are people who know the game better than you and you don't feel that special. Our goal is to combine those two together.