Episode 11: Tera
This week, the bodies of two massive Titans have formed the continents and waters of TERA. On these continents the Stream Team faces new battles as war rages on!
The Singing Commander Smitty on TERA
Ahhh TERA. A world created where parties are encouraged to help each other rise through the ranks! It sounds like a good idea on paper, but I felt that it lacked a certain… I don’t know what. The groundwork for an awesome game is there, but sometimes it felt that it needed one more good drive to get it over the goal line. The premise of the game is that two titans fell and became the continents that you are fighting on. But you don’t get that from the initial lore that is put out before you in the game. It kind of feels… superfluous, like other elements in this game as well.
The game is visually appealing. There are nice bright colors, and vivid landscapes to look at. A main way to transport from land to land is via a Pegasus. While riding one, you can’t do any actions, so you can either take a break during the long animation, or look around at the beautiful landscapes on display in front of you.
Character creation is good, a fair number of design choices and races. I would describe the feel to be quite “anime”. It falls a good bit into the “less-clothing-is-more” philosophy for characters of the female persuasion. Not much is left to the imagination. As for classes, last week in Aion, I commented how the world felt right with the odd matchups that they had – Barbarians fighting alongside Mechs. But this world “feels” more fantasy, and having mega-powered gun toting femmes bandying about wearing almost nothing seems almost fan-service to me. They just don’t fit in.
I chose a Ranger class to play though and took it up to level 21. The first 9 levels are straight forward runs through your main storyline to level up quick. But beyond that you will start encountering missions where you are to kill a single “named” enemy to complete the mission -- you and 15 others trying to complete the same mission. So, frustrations will develop when the enemy spawns and is instantly destroyed either by those needing it, or trolls preventing it from being collected. After that, you will have to grind a bit through fed-ex missions, and the odd escort mission. If you are running these missions alone, it’s a slog fest. It is my recommendation to find parties of equal level to run these missions with as kills are shared among party members. You will run the same mission over and over several times to get to the next level. And storyline missions are level based. So if you don’t see the next part of your storyline, be prepared to push yourself to get to the next available level – or two.
A few glowing nuggets in this game are the chaining system, skill upgrade system, profile saving system, and weapon/armor upgrading systems. You can create your own attack chains in the game letting you easily flow from one attack to the next in a very logical way. After level 20, you can upgrade individual skills with separate buffs such as adding poison, or the chance to slow an enemy. Those skills can be changed at any time to suit your playstyle and needs. You can create up to 5 different sets of armor and weapons that can be switched on the fly. This allows you to have a PvP set, a WvW set, a PvE set, or one that you wear just on Saturdays while you sip tea. That is a feature I wish more MMOs would implement. The armor and weapons you employ can have runes fitted into sockets them providing you with extra buffs as well. These runes can be removed at any time, allowing you to swap without any fees, or chances of losing the runes.
Overall, there are a LOT of good ideas and design implementations in TERA. But there is a certain lack of gameplay polish that makes it feel a bit lifeless and stale to me. I hope you give TERA a chance and let ME know what you think!
Dragon Slayer Soren on TERA
TERA. Enter you, the Hero. The Valkyon Federations newest recruit and one of many that have journeyed to a mysterious island that rose out of the sea. The mission? To reclaim it from the evil and seek out a missing commander. Or at least that’s what I think we were supposed to be doing based on a very vague opening cutscene. Seemed legit.
Like lots of MMO’s out there, TERA encourages you to group up with other players, fight monsters, level up, grind gear and quest hunt. Pretty much your traditional fantasy adventure in most respects. Character creation is fairly smooth and easy to use though it does lack many of the options and customizability of other MMO’s. There are 6 unique races you can choose from up to 8 different classes, though the Reaper and the Gunner are locked behind their respective races and genders. Characters lean toward the cartoony style ala WoW but they do carry their own sense of charm. Females in particular lend themselves to the very much scantily clad eye candy fantasy tends to get a bad rap for. After a bit of trial and error to find a class that suited my style of play I finally settled on a Castanic (Demon) Sorcerer.
Once through the opening scene I found myself grounded on Newbie Island where you are effectively stuck until you finish out the starter quests and hit level 10. Questing is pretty generic and nothing really drew me to the story which overall felt was pretty weak. That said, the fetch quests and endless mob killing was nicely tempered by some really beautiful scenery. One thing to note about questing is that it is based off of what I like to call “Tag first credit kills”, meaning it can turn in to big time frustration if you get to a quest where you have to kill a single baddie but you have people farming it, or flat out trolling players to prevent them from moving on. This can be mitigated by grouping but someone in that group still has to tag first for you to get credit. One nice thing about the questing though is that is always makes it seem like you are moving forward. I never felt like I was constantly running back and forth between the same mob and town.
The Sorc class was fairly fun to play once I got the hang of the real time action system, meaning there is no targeting. You aim your cursor at what you want to hit and hope the baddie doesn’t run off before you hit. Sorc’s are melee/trap based with a few limited options to create distance and range away with fire bombs. Comboing skills is easy and intuitive and once you get a few levels under your belt you can set up and customize your own combos to suit your style of play. TERA focuses on the trinity style of play so when you are grouped with other players and classes the Sorc plays very well with them.
Monsters are pretty cool in that they all have a tell of some sort before a major attack. Smitty had us killing basilisks for a bit and he made it known that the monsters eyes will flash red just before it does its belly flop attack. We never did run into any BAM’s (Big-Ass Monsters) which are designed for group play. Hopefully on a return trip we will be a high enough level to check these out.
Fast travel, or traveling in general takes many forms and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. You can use recall scrolls, mounts, portals, or take the longest Pegasus flight in the history of gaming lol. Once you get used to them though they are an invaluable asset for traveling large distances over short periods of time.
Overall it’s a pretty generic game but it does have its gems that make it a worthwhile game to at the very least check out.
Cpt. Fall Damage Foghladha
When we first discussed coming to TERA, I admit I groaned a bit. My first impression of TERA at the 2012 PAX Prime was not a good one. I was turned off the title and held a bitter tone when questioned about it. I expected to hate this game and honestly I wanted to hate it.
That said, I find myself wanting to go back. There is a lot of features crammed into this little title and a lot of hard work by the Enmasse team. The gameplay was pretty straight forward and easy to pickup and go. I haven't yet been able to see the PvP content but look forward to a future revisit where we can wage war.
Questing was very similar to Aion, however the quests push your forward rather than make you run back and forth. The FedEx missions pushed you forward and introduced you to new content hubs and story pieces.
Once we created the guild in the game, there were a wealth of additional features including Guild Quests which can be taken from any bulletin board in town, Guild Rewards for completing quests, and as a Guild Leader I was even able to upload my own PNG file to act as our guild emblem. There are so many other features I want to learn about and I hope by our next show we'll be able to show you a bit more.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised as to my enjoyment of this game. I actually look forward to revisiting it in the future and as a person who doesn't traditionally enjoy PvE, I had a really good time.
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