Published on November 3rd, 2012 | by1
Tera – An Action Combat MMORPG
Summary: A great engine used to create a great looking world and the best action combat so far meets a soulless endgame.
Tera is an action combat based MMORPG that was developed by Blue Hole Studios in Korea. It has been published in the USA by Enmasse, a daughter company of Blue Hole Studios. The European market publisher is Frogster (now merged into GameForge).
Tera Visuals & Audio
The game was built on a modified UT3 engine. This results in amazing graphics that no other MMORPGs can beat at the moment. Water looks great, shadows are looking well and the textures are often brilliant. The game is anime/manga styled.
The audio is nice too, the songs fit the sceneries, the fighting sounds are decent, even though they get repetive after a time. But they do in all games, so nothing special here.
The Tera combat system
Tera offers action combat. That is no auto (tab) targeting, but instead the player aims like in a first person shooter and the damage dealing objects actually have to hit the target. That means if a Sorcerer casts a fireball and the enemy evades it the fireball won’t do any damage. If the slayer misses with the sword he’s not doing damage.
The characters usually stop for a short time while they cast their skill. In that time they are especially vulnerable for attacks. This requires the player to position well and to time their attacks in a way where they can deal out maximum damage while not taking hits.
In theory such a game would be mostly about the player skills. To make sure this is not the case, the tera developers added gear with giant stats improvements. Those can result in a badly geared player hitting a geared player for 1k while getting hit for multiple that damage.
Tera implemented blocking pvp. That means you can’t walk through the enemy.
Tera got multiple races with totally different looks. There are the slightly childish uber cute Elins, elves, the stony giant barakas and the furry poporis.
Each Race got race specific traits like MP recovery every hour, swimming speed or a run speed out of combat self buff with 60 seconds. These don’t affect the game too much, something that’s of a bigger importance is that the different races got different sized hit boxes.
Hit boxes define the area in which a character gets hit. The US/EU versions got normalized hit boxes, which mean they only used 3 different sized hit boxes instead of the real character size. That for example leads to an Elin – an especially small race to get hit even when it’s visually not. It’s not too hard to adapt to this, but it’s still annoying.
Tera Classes & Skills
The Lancer, the main tank. A class that can block up to 100% of incoming damage when facing the danger and using the block skill. They got agro skills that work in pve and pvp, some stuns, a rushing skill and even an evade. With good gear tanks deal decent damage but they are at the lower end of the dps range.
The Warrior, the off/evasion tank. A class that’s extremely mobile. The developers called it the evasion tank but people didn’t like to see Warriors tank until the QOA2 update that actually provided them with a block, too. Warriors deal better damage then lancers due to their stances and skills and are especially good at one vs. one pvp fights.
The Berserker, the slow one shot wonder. Berserkers are a DPS class that can deal out high amounts of damage. They got a lower running speed and no evasion skills. Instead they can block without any limitations. They got buffed several times and are one of the strongest classes at the moment.
The Slayer, knock downs and hit & run. Slayer got a sprint skill with a low cool down of 7 seconds. They can knockdown the enemy and got a stun. They do high damage. This class works well in both pvp and pve and is said to be one of the easiest to play.
The Archer, ranged AOE stun & single target DPS. The archer class got a ranged AOE stun with instant cast and several seconds effect time. Aside of that they got a non moving AOE DPS skill and hard hitting chargeable (by pressing the skill button for a longer time) single target attacks. They got evasive skills.
The Sorcerer, AOE and single target DPS with high mobility. Sorcerers got a wide range of DPS and Crowd Control skills. That includes a AOE slow, a lock on root, a hard-hitting 4 second AOE skill, AOE sleep, a lock on nuke with a short cool down and a slowly moving but hard hitting single target damage spell. To defend themselves sorcs got 3 ports of which 2 are on a common cool down as well as two shield self buffs.
The Priest, the primary healer. They got multiple heals including AOE versions. They got a wide range of buffs that allow their party to regenerate their parties HP and MP, give them increased endurance (taking less damage) and similar. To protect themselves they got 2 ports and a self buff that increases their resistance to stun and knockdowns a lot. The Priests self heal is on a low cool down, so it’s not easy to kill.
The Mystic, buffs, weak lock on heal & crowd control. Mystics are meant to be something like offensive healers/buffers with limited heals and some crowd control. Constant buffs for the Priest class removed the buff advantage mostly, even though people sometimes prefer to group a mystic simply for the double critical rate aura they can provide their party with. They get an unreliable self heal in the form of a (stunable, killable, cc’able) fairy. The crowd control skills of the mystic are okay, a 3 minute lock on fear with 3 targets, a 4 target lock on sleep with a CD of 30 and a slowly moving AOE stun and a skill reuse time debuff.
Ever since this class came out it was nerfed over and over, transforming it from a versatile healer/buffer to something that’s very weak in most gaming aspect.
The Tera Glyph system (skill upgrades)
To specialize characters every player can buy glyphs that they can use to improve his class kills. Glyphs add such improvements as fast caster times, a 25% to reset a cool down of a skill, more damage or lower MP use.
While crafting was useful to make money at some point, the developers decided to make it nearly totally useless by having no craftable tradable end game gear. The main reason is that BHS (the developers) had the question worthy idea to make all good end game pvp gear “bind on pick”.
They even decided to make the top pvp set something that’s “bind on craft”. The materials for it are “bind on pick”. So to get your top pvp set you need to run the hardest pve instance in hardmore a lot of rounds (if you are not very lucky) to get the bind on pick materials for the pvp set. Then you need to level your crafts to max level and craft your own armor/weapon.
Alchemy can be used to create your own consumables for healing or buffs, the rest of the crafts was rendered useless aside of the forced self craft for the top pvp gear. A terrible decision if you ask me.
Leveling Up in Tera
The leveling up is pretty much like in any theme park mmorpg. The player is sent through the world in passages he can’t leave (so he doesn’t get lost) and moves from one quest hub to the next. Some locations are on the outside, some are castles and the likes. After level 20 there are also PVE group instances.
Tera PvE instances (at endgame)
There are 2 PVE instances for parties (AC HM + MC HM) that give rewards you want at endgame. Some claims you can also do two other instances but they are not done often. HM stands for hard mode which is built around the “one mistake in reaction at event X and the whole party will wipe” concept. Some bosses got time limits before they enrage and one shot everybody which leads to not so well geared people getting kicked on sight.
Tera PVP Battleground(s) (available at endgame)
As for PVP there’s just one battleground with 2 teams of 15 members (3 parties) each battling each other. Another one with 3 vs 3 is announced. No real team balancing exists aside of making sure that healers have *roughly* the same numbers. The balancer doesn’t take into account that Mystics are by far the weakest class in PVP while Priests is one of the most import ones, but places Mystics into healer slots.
Tera’s Open World PVP
Open World PVP is pretty much dead outside of some nexus fights and a few wars in between the few active pvp guilds of the highest EU population server Essenia got. There are no incentives and rewards for pvp and due to the developers nerfing the drop rate of the only interesting open world mobs badly there’s no reason to leave safe zone outside of the few minutes a daily quest takes.
Advanced Glyphs in Tera (at endgame)
Players can farm slightly upgraded glyphs in two pve instances. They require less glyph points and/or allow even better upgrades. One of those instances is soloable.
Tera Dailies (at endgame)
Finally there are dailies that usually only take a few minutes and repeat fast.
The rewards are jewels with extra slots of zyrks (which add stats like +3% crit rate or +2% healing) and some cosmetic items.
You can make about 100 credits per day and a jewel costs about 1700 credits. So roughly every 17 days you got one try on getting lucky random stats. I personally only got total crap stats on the 5 rings that I bought with the efforts of over 2 months of farming. Due to the extremely low chance of getting anything useful and those jewels being bind on pick crap most players just wonder why EME decided to remove the reset scrolls from the game for US and EU players. That makes getting good stats a completely random process taking months to years.
Tera Server types
Tera got both PVE and PVP servers. They are pretty much the same aside of the PVP servers offering a single skill that allows you to flag for PVP. As soon as you flagged for PVP you can kill everybody outside of towns/safe zones. All consensual PVP including two sided clan wars exist on PVE servers.
Tera Hacks, Bots and Gold Farmers
There are no relevant hacks for Tera, the developers did a good job. There are two bots for Tera, MMOViper Tera and Zuras Bot from MMOLazy, a third existed for a few weeks but updates got stopped because of low interest. Check [the Tera section at the hacks and bots watch] for more info.
Conclusion of the Tera Review
A brilliant engine with an amazing combat system meets a half done endgame without soul. This game tries to copy the content of successful theme park mmorpgs like World of Warcraft or Rift but fails in delivering. The content at endgame only keeps players entertained for a month or two. There are no targets for world pvp, no sieges, no world raid bosses.
That said I enjoyed my time in Tera more then in any other MMORPG in the last years. It’s beautifull, it has a fun combat system and even though the endgame is disappointing I still every now and then login to go out and PVP a bit since it’s plain fun to do.
Update: As you can read on my march 2013 update on Tera (http://mmopals.com/updates/tera-revisited-march-2013/) the game was dumbed down and casualized to an extent that makes PVE pure boredom. Important items have been made a lot harder to get – most likely to improve cash shop income. I downrated both long term and short term motivation, not just because the game developers failed at providing solutions to many of the important issues that the game has, but also because the european publisher Game Forge does a terrible job at providing players with any kind of support. What I mean with that? Don’t play this game if you don’t like to read constant racials slurs, nazi propaganda or sick sexual fanatasies and mind not being able to get to reach a single game master in over a week.
It’s sad how the amazing potential of the game is being wasted like this.