Tera has been out for a little over a month in the states and it is honestly a very refreshing breath of air from the MMO world. The game takes the action MMO genre to a new level with its combat, guild system and character progression system but unfortunately it carries the burden of having a not so great crafting system, an average questing system, and a bland story. TERA may not take down WoW from its throne but if you are looking for a fresh new experience then this MMO is for you. It has everything you would look for in an MMO (no matter how well it is implemented) mixed with a healthy mix of new ideas/systems and the devs are looking to provide constant updates to improve the game.
Tera is all about combat so it makes sense that this would be the best and most refined aspect of the game. The combat system is easy to learn but very difficult to master, the game takes skill to play as well as knowledge of your class to fully master the combat system. Tera is not a tittle where you can just queue up attacks and hit auto attack or frantically press hotkeys but a game that forces you to aim your attacks and position your character to do the most damage. The distance between you an the monster, the direction you are facing and the position of your character are all relative in this action combat system. The player themselves will need to carefully place their attacks to hit critIcal spots on the mob, they will also need to carefully aim their aoes to do the most damage as well as hit the most enemies and even healers need to keep on their toes because all this applies to them as well, and these rules also apply to the enemies. Players can dodge enemie attacks as well as position themselves out of harms way while the tank does their job. Each. Attack has a different range of effect, different angle of attack, different attributes and various different usages. Each class also moves very differently from one another, you would imagine that a tank would move slow and an archer would be graceful while mages may be agile but are very squishy and fall quickly – these are all true and must be kept in mind while playing. The great thing about the battles is that some mobs and every boss moves around quite a bit during the fight, so players must always be on their toes and must always be looking for the sign of a mob using their special ability. Mages can never stand still and attackers will constantly need to reposition themselves as well as dodge or counter at a moments notice. Many boss fights can be epic and hectic as you try to learn attack patterns without dieing, players will also get very aquatinted with the local mobs as you fight hoardes of them. These mobs may not be as complicated as bosses and may not take any strategy but the devs did a good job with introducing as much strategy and diversity with mobs as possible without being to repetitive (not talking about looks).
The character progression system is pretty standard for an MMO but it also adds in a few interesting mechanics to make each character unique. Like many other MMOs players will obtain/purchase new skills as they level and this is where the standard part comes in. The non standard part is that players can insert enhancements into skills to make them better. Players will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of enhancement to agro, stunning, cool down timing and so much more to place on their attacks. The catch is you can only have so many enhancements equipped. This allows for players to be able to customize their characters to specific play styles and may be able to slightly alter the classes normal role. Mix this skill customization with weapon specs and you can form your own play style that may vary different from others. My warrior ended up becoming a rather solid blink tank where my skills had a higher chance of being able to reset the cooldown timer, hold agro, and be very evasive as to not get hit because of my low HP.
The guild system is also pretty standard but as well has a few tricks up its sleeve. Players can join guilds, enjoy the guild chat and store things with the guild bank. Indeed this is average. But there is also a popularity contest aspect to a guild, where players can raise the reputation of a guild. In TERA, your guild can actually prove it’s the best on the server by rising to power in a political system or dominating the open world through guild-versus-guild wars. Players can tax areas or declare an area peaceful or non-peaceful thus creating PvP zones. This political system is very intriguing and very humorous especially if you are in a large guild. Players will vote and fight for the glory of their guilds and see it rise to the top but at the same time remember not everything lasts forever.
The last thing that really stands out about the game is its graphics. They are very detailed, crisp and smooth. The designers seemed to have concentrated on small details on armor and the environment while being able to produce high quality textures that don’t look blurry or flat. Character models are rather customizable and you may find yourself taking some time in creating your character or admiring your armor’s detail.
We have talked about all the good things about the game but lets dive into some of the not so good things. First off lets chat about the crafting system, it is a very average system. Players will collect resources around the open world via gathering points. These points will help you gather basic materials for crafting, players can also break down weapons and armor to further obtain more crafting items. Players will then have to find or purchase blueprints to be able to craft items and once learned players can create items at designated crafting areas. Players will also be able to add runes to their crafting which can alter or add certain attributes to the item being crafted. Runes can be found in various ways from purchasing to boss fights. The system is very stable and the equipment are a good replacement for those who are unlucky in the sense of obtaining equipment from bosses or quests. The system is not groundbreaking by any means but it is a solid addition to the game.
The questing system is also very plain and rather repetitive with a plethora of kill x ammounts of mobs, find x item, collect x ammount of items and even protect x person for x amount of time. If the battle system wasn’t good I would have a severe issue with this but because the battle system is so much fun I can look past the repetitive nature of the quests and enjoy the countless number of mobs I get to kill. The one thing the quest system does is give you tons of equipment, that will just end up sitting in your inventory until you finally figure out what to do with them. The story line quests are more interesting but at the same time do not really do any justice to the game. The story is rather plain and un engaging and the voiceovers are horrendous. I am not saying the story is atrocious or anything but I feel like they could have done so much more with it, to help bring showcase the beautiful world that we get to explore.
TERA has been a wonderful experience and greatly appreciated breath of fresh air. The games combat system, guild system and character progression are top notch and the real reason to play this game. TERA has everything one would want from an MMO and it still manages to be a good MMO despite the averageness of some of its features. The game is young and I truly look forward to all the content and fixes that will hit.
About Luigi Guarnuccio
I am a Multimedia Gamer. I have been gaming all my life and it is my main source of inspiration for my work as a designer/developer.