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No More TERA for Me

PC MMO En Masse Entertainment

I can pinpoint the exact moment that I seriously considered hanging up my boots of adventuring and leaving the land of TERA. It happened during an escort-quest starring Seravy, the infamously invalid and directionally-challenged unicorn. There were no enemies to thwart or obstacles to navigate, unless you count grass, and it still took four minutes of intolerably slow meandering to reach our destination across the path.

Dungeons and boss-fights are the obvious highlights of MMOs, but the moments in-between those climaxes can still be engaging. In contrast, every single quest I experienced in TERA was a blatant time-killer with no sense of challenge. I have not yet delved into high-level content, but I have zero faith that TERA has anything more to offer, nor do I care to invest my time hoping that it does.

PC MMO En Masse Entertainment

Look at the image above. The fellow on the right was the destination for my quest. See the guy on the left? That was the quest-giver. What you need to understand is that this is actually a very typical scenario. It’s not uncommon for a quest-chain to ping-pong between NPCs standing a few steps apart, or to span entire zones and back again for conversations with pointless characters.

So, when not traveling the globe for useless chitchat, what types of awesome quests do you get to embark upon? Well, you get to mindlessly hack your way through ten creatures, pick up your next quest and kill the same ten creatures, and set out to kill those same ten creatures for the third time. For the finale, you’ll get to experience the joy of camping at a spawn point in hopes of snagging a vital creature from the mob of other players with the same goal.

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PC MMO En Masse Entertainment

TERA’s combat has garnered ample attention, but calling something “new” doesn’t make it true. Fallen Earth and Darkfall excluded auto-targeting back in 2009, while MMOs such as Conan and Champions Online also incorporated some twitchy elements. Don’t go into TERA expecting the MMO equivalent of Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, as you’ll spend the majority of your time holding the general attack button. In fact, a pre-launch patch allows that single button to automatically activate your skills in sequence. How fun.

At one point, I entered combat and removed my hands from the controls as my opponent furiously thrashed at me with the might of a one-legged hamster. I sat back to enjoy a few minutes of snacking and conversation, and still my character stood strong against the onslaught, despite his pitifully light armor. That won’t work in PvP or dungeons, but it shouldn’t work in general PvE either.

I am a little intrigued by the potential of the political system, but I want no part of it in its current state. Through voting and PvP, players can become rulers capable of affecting the prices and availability of goods and services. I am typically a lone adventurer who occasionally teams up with a friend or a tiny guild. That another player can so dramatically impact my game due to differences in play-styles and time commitments is a huge turnoff.

PC MMO En Masse Entertainment

I love the added danger of open-PvP and I always play on PvP servers when given the opportunity. In TERA, I wish I hadn’t. The penalty for killing a player more than five levels below you is added infamy, which keeps you flagged for PvP longer. On a PvP server, that’s like punishing a kid for stealing a cookie by giving him the rest of the jar. With the absence of any risk, every low- to mid-level zone is a griefer’s paradise. After an hour of repeatedly dying at the hands of someone 15 levels higher, I turned off TERA for good.

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I’ve heard the arguments already, including “It really starts after level 20,” “That class is broken,”, or “It’s all about the dungeons.” The fact that people need to fortify TERA with such hefty defenses is a mighty big indicator that problems are afoot. With so many similar options on the table, including free-to-play titles, I can’t fathom why anyone would be willing to pay a monthly subscription for a game that requires so many concessions.

Brian Rowe

Writer, videographer, and perpetual purveyor of geekdom. Brian has contributed to gaming outlets such as GameShark, GameRevolution, and GameZone, and thinks too many websites have "game" in their titles.

8 thoughts to “No More TERA for Me”

  1. So essentially it’s WoW with slightly fancier combat that goes beyond the stand out of fire routine?

    1. That’s what you got from his post? I think it was more of a “the combat might be fun, though it’s not as novel as advertised, and the rest of the game just kinda sucks”. Though if your balance for whether something is WoW like or not can be summed up in the word sucks then yeah, I guess they’re similar :p

      I think the main draw to this game is the fact that it plays like monster hunter. Which… actually did this kind of gameplay in an mmo environment before darkfall and age of conan etc, since monster hunter had some sort of playstation internet thingy, kinda like ff11 or w/e on the PS2.

      If you don’t like monster hunter combat you won’t like this, quests are known to be tacked on in an attempt to appeal to westerners so really I would expect people to go in assuming that the quests are shite, umm… besides that, they have truly open pvp on their pvp servers it sounds like, which is good for them, next time do a pve server.

      I played the beta, enjoyed it. I might buy it in a couple months whenever my PC gets fixed since while my laptop can “handle” it, yeah.

      1. Well I was commenting on how some quests were set up as pretty much bouncing back and forth between different npcs and etc. Which for all it’s glory. WoW can be summed up as just that, kill ten rats, stay out of fire, sit in OG/SW for 15 minutes to dungeon/grind rep/grind points and getting on 15 minutes before raid to make sure you have all your equipment ready.

        And if anything, MH is essentially a spiritual successor to PSO.

  2. Huh. Well, I haven’t played enough of it yet to get disgruntled, but Tera is proving fun for me. I have a huge advantage, though: I’ve more or less stayed away from MMOs for the better part of a year now, and just in the last few weeks suddenly jumped into Rift and then Tera. And FYI Rift is definitely a better game, but Tera is fun too. I really think taking a prolonged MMO break helped me reattain my enjoyment of these games, though. If I’d tried them fresh off WoW I think I’d be a bit put off.

  3. Your post echoes my own (much briefer) experience with the beta. Talk to this guy. Now go talk to this guy. Then this guy. Go kill 10 things. Talk to 4 more guys.

    I didn’t last long. I really wish game makers would stop making “WoW, but with ice cream *and* sprinkles!” clones and make something unique. If I want WoW, I’ll go play WoW.

  4. I’m going to make ALL THE MONEY when I create the program that shocks you through your keyboard when it catches you griefing.

  5. TERA’s BAMs are honestly a lot of fun, especially on a tanking class. I will easily admit that the rest of the game is just a pretty lil MMO romp with nothing special. The quests suck, the story is good if only it were told in a way that was actually compelling, and the world design is decent.

    If you could last till 18-20 you’d run into your first BAM quest, and at that point you can decide if there’s anything good in the game for you at all. If after the basilsks you have 0 interest in the game, then it is definitely not for you.

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