TERA Beta Report: Action MMOs are the future!

Posted by Matt (937 posts) -

The Exiled Realm of Arborea or Tera if your not crazy is a Korean action MMO and will soon make it’s US and EU debut. Recently Frogster (The EU publishers of Tera) planed to do a sneak peek weekend, where people could try out the game before it went into closed beta. That didn’t happen. From what I can tell their servers blew up under the load and they canceled the weekend event. Of course this was followed with people on the official forums demanding compensation for all their lost FREE! Yesterday Frogster announced a short two hour test for a “Functional tests of our systems” and I jumped at the chance to check it out.

I’ve heard about Tera for a while now but was never interested until I watched the trailer about politics and the ability to govern in Tera. The biggest thing I miss from MMOs are the social elements something like this has the potential to be very interesting. Unfortunately apart from the trailer I haven’t reached a point in beta where I can see any of this in action but it’s my most anticipated feature by far.

The other main feature that sets Tera apart is it’s combat system. They have gone for an hack and slash style with abilities being triggers for bigger attacks. Left mouse is your basic attack that you can chain up to four times for more damage and right click is dodge. Combat felt really slick. Actively participating in combat is something I feel has been lacking in MMOs for some time. Staring at your hotbar and managing rotations has been the standard for too long. Having to doge because some giant tree dude is about to punch you in your face is far more engaging. Their have been other MMOs that have tried this style of combat such as Vindictus but Vindictus has a Phantasy Star Online structure and isn’t what I would call a true MMO. Guild Wars 2 also came to mind. Looking at the trailers they seem to be going for the same thing in terms of combat. More action based and reacting to what’s happening on screen. While combat felt fluid it must be said that the starting area was incredibly easy. I probably could of used my basic attack and killed everything just fine.

The questing was the usual MMO quest thing. Click the dude, take the quest and hand it in. They have a section of the quest log dedicated to “Story Quests” but they didn’t differentiate in any meaningful ways. There were a few cutscenes but out of the two and half hours I played I would say about 2 minutes of that were cutscenes. Having played a lot of SWTOR recently I did enjoy that I could just marathon through theses quests without waiting for dialogue. One thing that made for stop and think for a second was the inclusion of player collision. I don’t really have anything to say about it... I just thought it was weird.

I kept doing my quests and eventually made it out of the starting area and into the first (maybe only?) city, Velika. Tera already looked good but Velika looked amazing. The buildings were so ornate and looking up you could see all the landmarks of the city. I spent a good half hour just wandering around checking out the vendors, trainers, crafting areas and loot that was way too high level for me. I also found a vendor that got me real excited. Guild hall dude. I didn’t even know guild halls were going to be in Tera but it’s social things like that I really like. Having a guild hall in Guild Wars was a bunch of fun and SWTOR is adding them soon™. It’s something I wish more MMOs had.

I finished my play session excited and wanting to play more. I preordered so I get into all the closed beta events coming up and hopefully get some more impressions out beforel Tera launches on May 1st.

#1 Posted by Matt (937 posts) -

The Exiled Realm of Arborea or Tera if your not crazy is a Korean action MMO and will soon make it’s US and EU debut. Recently Frogster (The EU publishers of Tera) planed to do a sneak peek weekend, where people could try out the game before it went into closed beta. That didn’t happen. From what I can tell their servers blew up under the load and they canceled the weekend event. Of course this was followed with people on the official forums demanding compensation for all their lost FREE! Yesterday Frogster announced a short two hour test for a “Functional tests of our systems” and I jumped at the chance to check it out.

I’ve heard about Tera for a while now but was never interested until I watched the trailer about politics and the ability to govern in Tera. The biggest thing I miss from MMOs are the social elements something like this has the potential to be very interesting. Unfortunately apart from the trailer I haven’t reached a point in beta where I can see any of this in action but it’s my most anticipated feature by far.

The other main feature that sets Tera apart is it’s combat system. They have gone for an hack and slash style with abilities being triggers for bigger attacks. Left mouse is your basic attack that you can chain up to four times for more damage and right click is dodge. Combat felt really slick. Actively participating in combat is something I feel has been lacking in MMOs for some time. Staring at your hotbar and managing rotations has been the standard for too long. Having to doge because some giant tree dude is about to punch you in your face is far more engaging. Their have been other MMOs that have tried this style of combat such as Vindictus but Vindictus has a Phantasy Star Online structure and isn’t what I would call a true MMO. Guild Wars 2 also came to mind. Looking at the trailers they seem to be going for the same thing in terms of combat. More action based and reacting to what’s happening on screen. While combat felt fluid it must be said that the starting area was incredibly easy. I probably could of used my basic attack and killed everything just fine.

The questing was the usual MMO quest thing. Click the dude, take the quest and hand it in. They have a section of the quest log dedicated to “Story Quests” but they didn’t differentiate in any meaningful ways. There were a few cutscenes but out of the two and half hours I played I would say about 2 minutes of that were cutscenes. Having played a lot of SWTOR recently I did enjoy that I could just marathon through theses quests without waiting for dialogue. One thing that made for stop and think for a second was the inclusion of player collision. I don’t really have anything to say about it... I just thought it was weird.

I kept doing my quests and eventually made it out of the starting area and into the first (maybe only?) city, Velika. Tera already looked good but Velika looked amazing. The buildings were so ornate and looking up you could see all the landmarks of the city. I spent a good half hour just wandering around checking out the vendors, trainers, crafting areas and loot that was way too high level for me. I also found a vendor that got me real excited. Guild hall dude. I didn’t even know guild halls were going to be in Tera but it’s social things like that I really like. Having a guild hall in Guild Wars was a bunch of fun and SWTOR is adding them soon™. It’s something I wish more MMOs had.

I finished my play session excited and wanting to play more. I preordered so I get into all the closed beta events coming up and hopefully get some more impressions out beforel Tera launches on May 1st.

#2 Posted by RuneseekerMireille (316 posts) -

Seems interesting. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out on this game! Thanks!

#3 Posted by rmanthorp (3699 posts) -

May hmm. I'll have to wait and see but I am super interested. This is a great write-up dude, wish more people would involve video in their blogs as well. Love that shit specially in specific regards to a game. Great stuff, other than the crazy sexism game looks sweet.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Liber (647 posts) -

@Matt: Great videos. The combat looked really cool and I really dig that super Korean anime style. The fact that this game is split into instances really bummed me out.

I don't know if its just me, but I automatically start losing interest in instanced MMO's, I guess I am just used to the fact that WoW was split into realms instead of instances (before all the WOTLK phasing bullshit) and all online players on that realm existed in one big instance.

#5 Posted by RIDEBIRD (1229 posts) -

The art direction is completely atrocious and vomit inducing IN MY CAPS LOCKED OPINION, but combat looks nice. GW2 will still do a similar thing and seem to be doing nothing wrong, so I'll probably skip this. Thanks for the look though!

#6 Posted by Largo6661 (326 posts) -

this looks cool, first time i saw it I thought it was korean or something but it isnt just a crazy art style i guess.

#7 Edited by Jimbo (9711 posts) -

I only watched the first video but this looks neat. I'd wanna see it getting into (required) group combat ASAP though. Maybe even just default people into groups if they happen to be close to each other.

edit: Thanks for this, Matt.

#8 Posted by Matt (937 posts) -

@Ertard: @Liber: The biggest problem I have with tera is how anime it is. Specifically one of the races is straight up anime girl with disturbingly low skirt.One thing about instancing. If its any consolation the cities don't seem to be instanced and the zones always seemed populated.

@Jimbo: My next story quest requires me to be in a 5man group so hopefully I will get to check that out.

#9 Posted by thebatmobile (978 posts) -

I look forward to more of these videos! Great stuff

#10 Posted by Gargantuan (1877 posts) -

That girl race is disturbing.

Online
#11 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

I like the look of the game, but the combat seems a bit silly...I need to look up ranged classes!
 
And perhaps I just want it to be like Monster Hunter a little too much. <3

#12 Posted by Subjugation (4694 posts) -

I'm all for more MMO's taking the action oriented combat route, but something about TERA just doesn't click for me. Maybe it's the anime thing you described.

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