By now, you’ve probably heard about TERA Online. An action Role-Playing Game from En-masse formerly Bluehole Studios. I’ve been putting off this review, See, the problem I have with TERA is its a fan service game. You know, a game where the developers spend more time on the jiggle physics of the female characters then the actual game world.
TERA Online is set in the world of Arborea where you play 1 of 7 races and 1 of 8 classes. The races are
- The Aman, a race of draconian humanoids
- The Baraka, a race of giants
- The Castanics, a horned creatures sort of like Tieflings
- The Elins, an innocent nature loving race of 11 year olds, Chris Hansen’s watching you!
- The High Elves – a beautiful race that excels in magic.
- The Humans – normal MMO fair here.
- The animal-like Popori – a race of furry animals, NO NOT THOSE FURRIES!!!! but, think the badgers from The lion the witch and the wardrobe.
- Archer – a high burst damage and heavily geared towards avoidance class
- Berserker – a heavily armored and bursty melee.
- Lancer The tanks of the game, No sword and board here, they use a lance instead.
- Mystic – strong support with a controlable minion
- Priest – Typical healer class.
- Slayer – Greatsword wielding melee class, geared towards avoidance and sustained damage.
- Sorcerer – our typical nuker class.
- Warrior – a fast and very mobile dual sword wielding class.
I initially rolled a priest and adventured into the world. But when I noticed that the bulk of the characters I met were female, and knowing rule #37 of the internet. There are no girls on the internet. I figured i’d follow suit.
Without hesitation I re-rolled as Female Warrior and began my journey.
The highlight of TERA Online is the fluid and immersive combat system. En-Masse decided to forgo the tired auto-attack feature for an intuitive real-time combat system. Fighting is no longer mashing buttons and using auto-attack but sticking and moving. Leaping out-of-the-way of incoming attacks and dealing quick decisive counter-attacks.
Early on I found my character being knocked around and even knocked senseless. With a little practice I was able to dodge most of the attacks. With the combat system changes brings a bit of excitement and fear to each combat encounter. You will find yourself not settling into a pattern as each monster fights a different way. If you’ve played games like WoW where you learn a rotation and stick with it forever you may be disappointed by the learning curve.
With a bit of practice and some time I was able to go beyond avoid most attacks until I began to avoid all from certain monsters. Putting this to the test I was able to learn how to combat monsters up to 5 levels over my own and take them down. The real skill aspect brings with it a share of perks for skilled players. If you focus on learning the attack patterns and the “tells” of a particular monster, you can uphunt quite easily.
Unlike other games that place you right away in “Newbie Town” TERA sends you off to an island at level 20 to experience their prologue. I found this to be a refreshing spin. I was able to experience my character at a heightened level with tons of skills and abilities and decide if that character was what I wanted to invest my time in.
The story of TERA revolves around a lost expedition and a new found evil, the Argons. Unlike other games, all the races of TERA Online are united as one faction.
I typically love crafting in MMO’s So when a game puts almost nothing into a crafting system it burns me up. However this isn’t the case with TERA. The crafting system is pretty complex and reminds me a bit of the old Everquest 1 Crafting system because of all the sub-combines.
First, understand that you can learn ALL the crafting and gathering skills. I was tempted to grab all of them and grab all of the crafting skill quests. Right around the time you reach level 11 the message boards will offer a group of crafting quests. BE WARNED ITS A TRAP!
The quests take anywhere from 2 ½ to 15 gold to complete. You are a struggling newbie with less than a gold. Should you complete the quest, you will be rewarded with 1 silver, 1000 experience and 50 skill points in the chosen class. However if you chose to forgo the quest you could have earned the same 50 skills points by refining the items you gathered. In my case refining 50 ore got me there.
Arborea is beautiful, The world is excellently rendered and Enmasse used the full color pallet to paint this world. NPC’s are rendered well to be both stunning to look at and exciting to fight.
Character models are Ughhh, ok, Taking into account that the game is a fanservice title the female characters are beautiful to look at and are shapely. Good luck finding those dimensions in the real world however. Male characters seem like they were left on the sidelines but the creature characters like the Popori look good.
One more thing, on first load in the UI was EXTREMELY Small. I play on a 1080I Monitor/TV. Because of this some games literally become unplayable because of the sizing. TERA lets you scale the AI under the Options/UI menu. Scale it as you wish for a less eye straining experience.
The sound in TERA struck me well, unexpectedly, I’ve always found that some games tend to over or under do the sound. Either the world is noisy to the point of cacophony or its just bland. TERA has a smooth mix of sound. Your character tends to have little cheers or jeers when things go well. Giving them a little more personality than may be normal. I know that the character is supposed to be your Avatar as in your living self in the game but I found in TERA it felt a bit like League of Legends, where I was assisting a character or controlling a persona.
Tera Controls are a little awkward at first, but become less so over time. your number keys initiate abilities, ok thats normal MMO fair. But abilities aren’t auto targeted so you have to use your mouse like in a shooter to control aiming. You can MISS be warned of that. lining up attacks and movements are very key to doing well in TERA. Your left and right mouse button controls your abilities as well as TAB. for my priest TAB controls a self heal, which feels pretty neat. While left mouse button performs a basic attack and right a avoidance ability. You can change these however you want after you load in.
I had alot of fun with the community in TERA. The chat is always exploding with comments, When I found myself stuck a quick shout to AREA was enough to get someone to point me in the right direction. I feel like I made some friends here.
With cutting edge graphics and a challenging and exciting combat system. Many quests and deep and rich crafting system. Tera is definitely an MMO to pick up.
Rich and exciting world with tons of exploration options
Combat system that rewards you for mastering it.
Graphics are intense and vibrant, No SEPIA tones here.
Poorly written story
May not run on all systems.
Crafting system has an early game trap in it.
I give TERA online a 7 out of 10