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.