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TERA Online Preview EU – Closed Beta


TERA Online is an MMORPG which is under development by Bluehole Studios, Frogster Interactive Pictures, En Masse and UBISOFT. The game is already released in Asia almost 1 year ago and at the moment; it’s in Close Beta stage for NA and EU regions.

The game takes place in a fantasy world where the players have to save the world from evil gods and epic monsters.

Wellcome to TERA Online !

Graphics   –   9/10

Graphics in Tera Online is one of the most attractive elements of the game. The graphic engine is quite light and the animations along with rendering are very elegant and crisp. The Character Customisation Page has many options to change to your personal desire.

One of the features that I am very amazed with, it’s the variation of armor design based on both – Race & Class – and also on gender for your character. So, for example, a High Elf female Priest will look quite different from a Castanic female Priest. Actually, at the Character Creation Screen there is an extra feature which lets you see, how your character will look with 4 different tier of armor. So you can have a preview before making your final decisions for the creation of your character. This special feature of armor preview isn’t new on eastern MMOs. It has implanted already in other games such as Vindictus.

The environment looks quite pleasant and relaxing. The models of most mobs / bosses are quite “epic”. Some bosses are quite huge with really big weapons that make you feel every encounter with them, are very interesting.

The only thing that made me feel a bit strange was the portal dimension through flight paths. That 20-30secs of going through the portal is quite tensing for your eyes and I would suggest, for people with epileptic problems, for these 30secs to look somewhere else.


Combat System   – 8.5/10

The Combat System in TERA Online is a coin with two sides. You will like it or not, depending from which point of view you look at it. The system follows the sandbox mechanics. This means that you need to aim at your target to hit it or otherwise u will miss. The sandbox mechanics applies to the size of your target. Simple rule: Bigger size enemies are get hit easier than smaller size enemies. You have to take this point into your consideration when you create your character for PvP or PvE and based on your class and gameplay. For example, for a tank Lancer is recommended to use big models because he has more chances to block attacks and thus use special skills which pre-require blocking. From the other side, warriors who are based on evasion are recommended for smaller sized races.

Another interesting point for Combat System is the elite / boss encounters. Bosses are quite mobile in this game and positioning yourself and your teammates correctly is the key to success. Most of the times you will need to relocate yourself because the bosses don’t stand on the same spot for the entire fight. Also, they use their abilities in quite random way which makes the fight even more interesting.

At this stage, I have to mention about tanking as well. So far I have a lvl 32 Lancer and tanking in TERA Online is very excited from my personal point of view. TERA Online introduced a new system for tanking in western (NA / EU) gaming. Everyone in the group HAS to know how tanking works, so it would be effective overall. And I am saying this because most elite / boss encounters do aoe damage and party members have only 2 options. Run away from boss fast or stay BEHIND the tank.  The tank can only block / evade the attacks that he faces. So, if for example the Lancer is in stand fast (block stance) and a mob hit him from behind, he won’t block his attack. The same goes for his party members. If his party members are inside boss’ line of sight (LoS) but not behind the Lancer, then they are going to get hit no matter if the tank blocks boss’ attacks.

Tabrok – World Boss – Azrael’s Labyrinth

All these issues makes the combat system very interesting from what we have being experience from previous MMOs.

Overall, for an experienced or skilled MMO players could be a “winner” point for TERA Online. These types of players are looking for some challenging in MMOs and I believe that TERA Online can give them this just from the beginning.

From the other side, would be the casuals who are more used to target & click combat system which allows for more relaxing encounters. For these players maybe TERA Online Combat System would be a turn off or as an opportunity for improvement or something different from the ordinary. 

PvE – 7/10

Questing in TERA Online isn’t anything special. It looks quite ordinary compare to all other MMOs out there and sometimes I might say that it’s boring as well. Go to X spot, kill Y amount of mobs and complete the quest. There isn’t any strong element of story line or any special feature that will keep you hooked at this sector of the game.

The reality is that as the MMO Industry moves forward, the gamers start to become bored from the stereotype gameplay of questing. Companies need to implant new ideas about how a quest will develop through gameplay, i.e. riddle / puzzle quests or more interesting scenario in the story.

Dungeons in TERA Online don’t offer anything new to MMOs – like secret paths or hidden treasures etc – except strong Boss Encounters and epic fights. As we mention before in Graphics Section, most of bosses are huge size with titanic sized weapons which make the combat to feel legendary. Also the boss encounters are required a lot more mobility than the normal boss encounter you may have experienced in other MMOs.

PvP – 8.5/10

PvP in TERA Online is quite rich. It comes into many different forms and is suitable for most PvP players. There is Player Kill (PK) option – Guild vs Guild (GvG) option – Battlegrounds and of course Open World PvP

There is a recent interview by Michael Bitton of MMORPG.com who interviewed TERA’s Associate Producer Stefan Ramirez about political system in TERA and how can affect PvP and also in depth information about PvP in general.

TERA Politics & PvP Interview 

Mass PvP 

Open World PvP – Archer + Mystic 

PvP – Lancer vs Slayer

Interface   –   8/10

TERA’s Online Interface is in a very good shape and we are still in Close Beta, although the game is already out in Korea for at least a year. So it was to being expected, to have a polished interface to be honest with you. It has all the basic elements:

  • Target of Target
  • Auto Loot
  • Movable Frames
  •  Completely freedom on your keybinds
  • Combo Abilities are triggered with Space which saves a few keybinds for  other abilities.
  • Character Screen Status has 5 saved slots for 5 different custom gear set depends on your play style (i.e. PvP , PvE etc).
  • Quest Log has the name of your target (NPC or Mobs to kill) linked. That means if you click on them, you will have a dot on your map / mini map of their loc.

Personally, the only negative I have spotted so far in Interface Section is the minimization of Character Screen and your character picture inside it. Asian games used to do that, I don’t know for what reason.

Overall, it is nice and pleasant UI with some practical features and quite simple to customize it.


Summary

Pros

  • More challenged combat mode
  • Very strong graphics
  • Light Graphic Engine
  • Huge and well-designed bosses who make the fights look epic.
  • PvP has many different features
  • Strong mob AI and Boss Encounters have some surprises.
  • Very good UI
  • Character Creation Screen shows the difficulty in game-play for each class that required.

Cons

  • Quests are a bit dull – no good scenario behind them.
  • Combat Mode isn’t casual friendly
  • PK system maybe not applied to casual players
  • Asian art for Pokémon look-like design maybe set off western players.


Overall Score   –   8.2


Min Requirements

  • Intel Core Duo 2 Processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • NVidia GeForce 7600 or Ati Radeon X 1800 GTO

Recommended For – PvPers and players who have played Age of Conan (AoC) or Vindictus. Anyone can have fun with the game. It’s just more difficult for people who haven’t played this combat system before to practice with it.

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2012 by in Game Previews and tagged , , , .
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