Massively multiplayer games have come a long way since the days of creating a character (usually some kind of elf) and repeatedly bashing skeletons and goblins until they dropped a few measly copper coins and netted you a few experience points to go up a level. NCsoft's Tabula Rasa, which is being developed under the supervision of the same designers that created the Ultima series and Ultima Online, will instead attempt to offer one of the most highly evolved massively multiplayer experiences to date. The game will take place in a sci-fi universe under siege by an invasion of aliens known as the "Bane," and your character will be a supersoldier who will become a master of both field warfare and supernatural powers. When the game launches later this year, your struggle will begin with the liberation of two of the game's major planets, Foreas (the planet on which you start), and later, the war-torn world of Arieki. In this designer diary, the Tabula Rasa team takes you on a tour of the contested world of Arieki. Tabula Rasa is scheduled to launch later this year.