Tabula Rasa kept players movingCompared to other MMORPGs I've played, TR gave me a feeling of always being on the move. I think this feeling came from a combination of low downtime, easy travel, clear goals, and a lack of grinding.
Required traveling - The Logos elements scattered around each map in shrines were important to character advancement. Even if a new player wanted to stay in one place and grind or be powerleveled, the required amount of movement discouraged such behavior.
Ease of walking - As I mentioned yesterday, the world was populated less densely than other games, but was supplemented by lots of patrols and ambushes. This meant that it was easier to walk from place to place, and move around the world quite a lot, even without sticking to roads or other safe areas. The fact that every character could sprint also helped quite a bit.
Teleporters - Like WoW, TR had a fast travel hubs that could be used once players had walked to the location once and activated the node. Unlike WoW, TR's travel between hubs was instant. This may have hampered the player's sense of wonder at the world's size and scenery, but it definitely helped to encourage player movement. It was easy (and free) to pop back and forth between any settlements, meaning downtime was always minimized.
Auto Loot - In TR, while you can choose to manually loot a corpse, just walking over its corpse will take everything it has. You'll still see the gear you've picked up in your chat log, but because the moment of looting an enemy was de-emphasized, there was much less reason for each mob to have lots of vendor trash and body parts. This helped storage space to be less of a premium (see below).
Plentiful Storage Space - In WoW, storage space is one of the main resources in the game. Extending backpacks is very expensive, but allows the player to stay away from town longer and longer. In WoW I constantly find myself wasting 20 minutes standing in the middle of the wilderness, trying to decide which item I need to throw away so I can pick up something else.
Between TR's large personal inventory and the footlocker in town, combined with a markedly low amount of junk drops, I never found myself worried about storage space or throwing away items.
Tabbed Inventory - Another feature which minimized downtime was TR's inventory sorting tabs in the backpack. When an item was looted, it was automatically placed into the proper page of the backpack: Equipment, Consumables, Mission Items, and Crafting Items. This made it very quick and easy to find whatever you needed in your backpack, both to use them or to sell them. This usability feature should be applied to every game with an inventory from now on.
Auto Quest Tracking - In a lot of games, it's easy to waste many small chunks of time managing which quests are currently displayed in your quest log. I liked TR's method of just automatically including every quest I had into my HUD's quest log, and giving it a scrollable window. This, combined with the fact that all quests locations where marked on my map made it very easy to decide what to do next
Integrated Achievements - In most games, achievements are an extra layer on top of missions, but they don't often do anything useful. In TR, the type of tasks which would normally be marked as achievements were tracked in the mission system, and called Targets of Opportunity.
Some of these missions seem as though they'd be likely to encourage grinding (eg. "kill 200 Thrax"), but they were tuned to align fairly closely with the number of kills that a player would end up doing in that zone anyway. The most efficient way to achieve them was to simply play normally, and then clean up any last requirements before leaving a zone.