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Tera Beta Impressions

By: jalexbrown Apr 25, 2012 | 1 Comments

I've been playing Tera through the open beta and the last couple closed beta tests. Read my impressions and find out if I regret my pre-order.

Star Wars: The Old Republic.  Tera.  The Secret World.  Guild Wars 2.  Right now is thee best time to be an MMO player, with 2012 (and late, late 2011 thanks to Bioware) being the best year since...ever, really, for the genre.  But this isn't about MMOs; it's about Tera in particular, which I was playing pretty religiously every time I was given the chance.  So what do I think about Tera?  Frankly I'd rather play with dog poo on a hot summer day than endure too much more of Tera.

Let me start recording my impressions where I started playing the game: character creation.  The races aren't your standard fantasy variety, but they manage to feel just as uninteresting - but really, I could care less about that.  It was the class selection that first bothered me.  Tera has eight classes, and of the eight classes a whopping four of them are entirely melee-based; of those four, three are melee DPS (damage-per-second for those of you not in the know) and one is a tank.  Of the remaining four classes two are healers and two are ranged DPS (one caster, one archer).  Tera's class selection is skewed very heavily in favor of those that want to play melee DPS, which made me feel kind of alienated since I prefer to play caster classes.  Okay, whatever...maybe melee is really fun and I won't mind.  So I roll my melee DPS character and get going.

The basic idea behind Tera seems to be to take everything you'd expect from an MMO and wrap it up in a farly decent graphics engine (Unreal 3) and throw in some "action" combat.  If you play MMOs and hate tab-targetting and spamming a rotation, Tera might sound like a refreshing change of pace.  And it is...for a while.  I spent my first 10 hours or so really enjoying Tera.  I was engaged in the combat, the questing was fairly quick and painless, and I'd found a pretty nice guild to chat with.  The game was living up to my expectations.  And then something happened.

I don't know what happened, really; I can't pinpoint it.  At some point a simple fact just dawned on me: I was bored out of my mind.  I was no longer having any sort of fun at all.  The whole game, at least from my perception, had come to a grinding halt.  The combat, which was inititally intriguing and enjoying, was monotonous and (perhaps even more damning) void of any real challenge.  The questing was uninspired and quite painfully repetitive.  Gear progression was boring since everything looked very similar and none of it looked very cool.  Grouping was annoying since I was spending more time looking for groups than playing with them.  I was quite literally at the end of my rope with the game.  I wasn't having fun anymore.

I felt like I'd given the game as much of a fair shake as I could, and it fell flat.  I played to level 25, I ran the first available dungeon a few times, ganked a few player-killers and got ganked by a few player-kills (I was on a PVP server).  There was nothing left to keep me playing, and I was less than halfway to what will be the release date level cap (60).  When I exited the game there was still over 24 hours left in the open beta, and I didn't touch it again before it ended.

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TERA beta sign-ups now open

By: BatRastered Jan 14, 2012 | 2 Comments

TERA's beta tests, originally called preview events, will start with closed phases requiring invitations to each session and will end with an open beta test just before TERA launches.

Just to refresh your memory about this game:

The Exiled Realm of Arborea (also known as TERA Online) is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) by Bluehole Studio. It was released in South Korea on January 25, 2011. The date for release of North America and Europe is Spring of 2012,

Here's our impressions from PAX 2011

Here's the link to sign up:

http://www.tera-online.com/node/958

Here's a look at TERA's political system:

Preview

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TERA Online first impressions

By: BatRastered Sep 6, 2011 | 2 Comments | Updated: Sep 7, 2011

Team Gouki paid a visit to En Masse Entertainment's Seattle HQ and got a first-hand look at TERA for the PC.

TERA, or The Exiled Realm of Arborea, is an MMORPG and En Masse wants you to put an "A" in front of that for Action. Team Gouki took a break from the madness of the PAX show floor to head over to En Masse Entertainment's HQ for a glimpse into what that means. First, let's get this out of the way, TERA has already been released in South Korea (home of developer Bluehole Studio) and is being localised for the N.A. and Euro markets.

Intro to TERA

As we arrived at En Masse, we were shown into the conference room and seated at computers with different class names labeled on each. As we were the first group in, we were given a choice as to what we wanted to play as. I chose the sorcerer, a high damage but low health "glass cannon" type. FnJimmy chose the archer, a ranged damage class. One of the guys from En Masse would play as the Mystic (healer) class to keep all of us n00bs alive for the demo. Typically, one of their staff would play as the tank as well, but we had a full room, so to maximize the available PCs another member of the gaming press was seated at the tank station.

En Masse conf room

There are a total of eight classes (to start) for TERA; two healers, two tanks, and four damage classes. You probably need at least one tank and one healer in your party if you want to do well against the tougher enemies or raids.

After we were given a brief overview of the game mechanics and story, we jumped right in to the game. What makes TERA an "Action" MMORPG is that you have to aim and move (and dodge) in real time. The fights are more Mass-Effect like, just with a bunch more options. I had opened up the menu to look at what my spells did, since the icons were unfamiliar, most of the others in the group had done the same or were playing around with the dodge mechanic in the empty hallway leading into the room full of monsters. Not FnJimmy. No, he had to go all LEEEROY JENKINNNNS!!! on us and rush into the action where he agro a bunch of monsters and drew them back into the narrow hallway where we were all standing. Actual quote from the En Masse staff: "That's not good, I'd be surprised if you survived this." Fuckin' Jimmy!

FnJimmy plays TERA

I stood rear guard and killed some of the monsters that were chasing FnJimmy down the hall while the rest of the group cleared the door so we could get into the large room we were supposed to be fighting in. We made it, barely. Now it was time for a boss fight, TERA allows you to combo chain your attacks together when they connect, I quickly learned that my standard attack (a fireball) could be chained off of the #4 spell on my keyboard (an electrical ball attack that was slow) and allow a follow-up ice bomb. These follow up combos were done by simply pressing the spacebar after your first move connected (provided your cross hairs were still on target) and increased in damage massively. I was taking off 11,000+ points of damage on the boss every time. Our tank player was good at keeping the boss's attention away from us weaker characters and the healer kept him alive and the rest of us buffed up. We dropped the boss without anyone dying. Sweet.

BatRastered on TERA

GoukiJones then subbed in for FnJimmy to get a taste of the archer, I kept playing. We went to fight another boss who had minions he would summon periodically. It was a fierce battle that took the remainder of our time, but we came out on top, again with zero deaths. First group to do that according to the En Masse staff, and we did it without their tank!

Honestly, TERA was a big surprise for me at PAX, because I'm not a huge MMO fan. Adding the "Action" to it made a huge difference, and I liked what I saw of this more than I did of SW:TOR (although this was the third show where I've seen TOR, I played it over 15 months ago at E3 2010, so maybe I'm just tired of looking at it, seriously release that shit already).

The folks at En Masse are putting a lot into the end-game of TERA as well, there will be elections and cross-server invasions (or defense depending on what side you're on I guess). I don't know how much of that I'll be into, PvP was never my thing on RPGs.

TERA is scheduled to be released in North America and Europe in Spring 2012.

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