I played a bunch of Tera this weekend during their beta test. I was able to get an archer up to level 12 and I had a great time. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the beta with you guys. I should mention that I did not try any of the PvP and I’ve heard that’s something Tera does very well. My take on the beta is based on a purely PVE experience. I’ll start with the stuff I liked.
First of all Tera is the best looking MMO I have ever seen. It’s just fucking gorgeous. The crazy thing is that not only does the game look amazing, but it also runs great. I can’t believe how fast this game loads and how smooth it runs considering the visuals.
I have to say the best part of Tera though is the combat. This is an MMO but it plays more like an action game. There is no hotbar clicking here. You assign skills to your mouse buttons and the number keys but the real fun comes in building triggered skills. Essentially you create long chains of skills that you can trigger with a press of the space bar at the right moment. For example my archer started fights with a basic arrow shot, then I tap space bar and she moves into a melee attack with the bow, tap it again and she fires an explosive arrow at the ground that throws her back and gives her some distance, then another tap triggers her charged shot and so on. These combos are totally customizable. You just select a skill and then select what other skill it should trigger.
Since dodging and blocking are so integral to combat in Tera you can fight monsters that are much tougher than you are. If you play smart and dodge their attacks you can take on monsters way above your level. This game isn’t about standing in one spot and taking your licks until the monster is dead. This is an action game and how well you play has a lot to do with the outcome of a fight.
With all that said, I did have one major problem with the game. The quests in Tera are horrible even by MMO standards. From 1 to 12 I saw nothing but kill, gather and fetch quests. I know it’s a joke by this point but I was passing notes between NPC’s who were literally standing ten feet from each other. After a couple levels I wasn’t even reading the quests. Just click accept then check the map to see where I had to go. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by SW:TOR and its fully voiced and interesting quest chains. Tera suffers from the worst sort of old school MMO grind bullshit. As bad as the quests were I kept doing them because I wanted to keep fighting. But there is something wrong with an MMO when you would rather grind than do their quests.
In the end I’m actually excited to play more. I think between the combat and the art I could probably play Tera long enough to max out a character. Would I stick around much after that? Probably not.