I will give him credit for getting away from Faires, Dragons, Swords and Spells in his last MMO.
BUT .... the name? Tabula Rasa or something was it?
That's a deal breaker right there.
All you have to do is look to history to see what's been successful. Star Wars, Alien, Blade Runner, Terminator, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Matrix, War of the Worlds, etc.
The point being, if you want to go up against the 800lbs mmo gorilla, World of Warcraft, you have to bring some key features to the table, ease of use, depth while maintaining simplicity and a cross-game familiarity. This includes story line, names and titles.
I know lord British from my C-64 and Amiga days. Maybe from the early PC days of EVGA and Adlib Sound but that's about it.