This is another area where Tabula Rasa shines. Running around in the game, I truly got the feeling that I was in a daily struggle for the survival of the human race. Battles taking place everywhere, very few safe zones and a constant sense that at any second I was going to have artillery slamming down on me followed by a squad of Bane to mop up whatever was left of me. Sadly, this is a where Tabula Rasa started to frustrate me. The design layout of zones is good for the most part, but I really hated being prevented from easily getting up a small hill that I had just run up an exact copy of in order to slam into an invisible wall. Running around in Tabula Rasa is what you will spend most of your time doing. That's because on the map it will appear as though you can cut through an area and in reality you're going to run smack dab into an incline that is 1 degree steeper than the designers allow your character to travel up. There's a reason why I started using death as a means of travel.
Missions are of the kill x, collect x, deliver x variety for the most part. There are some that do break from the pattern and are quite interesting. Some of these require the player to make a moral or ethical choice in order to complete them. This is part of some larger storyline that has yet to be revealed, but the actions you took along the way will set you on a path leading to having to make a really big decision involving which faction you want to be a part of.
Missions are also what caused the majority of my frustration with Tabula Rasa. There are enough bugged and broken missions to make you realize that without the experience gained from completing them, the game is a cleverly disguised grindfest. Some missions require you to attain a certain level before you can take them. This is a huge problem when you have run out of missions you can take and are halfway to your next level. Grinding out 2.4 million XP is not fun. It's even less fun when you realize that the amount of XP that you would have gotten from all of the bugged and broken missions you had to abandon comes out to total around 2.4 million. Another thing that is not fun is spending an hour and a half inside an instance doing a series of missions and then having that come to a screeching halt because the NPC that you have talked to 5 times and completed 5 missions for suddenly has the dreaded walkie-talkie with the slash through it appear over his head for mission number 6, meaning that you are not high enough level to take the mission.
Fighting in Tabula Rasa is fast and exciting. Granted I played a Soldier, Ranger, Spy character which involved a lot of shooting. The game uses a pseudo-FPS set up and it works great for large scale Starship Troopers-style combat, but leaves a little to be desired if you are trying to heal or single out a particular target in a group of five or more. It's in combat that the class balance really shows itself to be completely off. There are some classes that are golden gods on the battlefield and some that just plain might as well not even come out of the barracks. The designers have noticed this and are completely re-doing several classes. They are doing this six weeks after launch. A great number of large core design changes are being made that quite honestly, should have been taken care of during the beta test. Online play experience may change, indeed.