T.E.R.A Online Review

Tera Online (The Exiled Realms of Arborea) is along with Guild Wars 2 one of the most awaited MMORPG’s of all time….

When you read the news about Tera, most of the times you are stunned by the beautiful graphics, the great looking environments, the beautiful costumes and not least the uber hot half naked female characters (especially the castanic girls). Most of you guys will denied, but not me…I am for extremely good looking graphics, I am for the sex appeal factor that this game has and so on…and this is what made me in the first place to give it a try.

What can I tell you about this game as an introduction? The game is developed by BlueHole Studio, the publishers are Hangame Korea, En Masse Entertainment and recently announced for the US will be Atari.

T.E.R.A Online at the first look resembles with an ordinary MMO…quests, grinding, instances, skills, crafting and so on…believe me is not…it won’t take you more than an hour to see that Tera is a complete different experience, and I mean  that in a good way.  When you’re finished drooling over the breathtaking graphics and you will actually start playing the game you will notice the whole different combat system…a dynamic one that is similar to console games battle system…that meaning that if in other MMORPGS you will click a skill till you fall asleep on the keyboard, and your only concern is not to run out of MP or SP, here you will have to work for every kill, try to doge the mobs attacks and so on…and I’m not talking about the bosses, I’m talking about every mob, every enemy.

The Gameplay

First thing I want to mention is that I played MMO’s for many years…and the thing I hated the most was the grinding part…pick a good exp giving mob and stay in that area for days killing that mob over and over again in order to fill you exp bar with another 5%…well this thing will be optional in Tera because there are a quite large amount of quests and instances that are enough to get you to the level cap (50). To mention here, for gamers with patience, if you want a quick lvl up…then the best way is to find the repeatable quests in a good grinding spot….but I’m more of an explorer gamer, and I hate killing the same mobs over and over.

The aiming in this game is your friend…it’s very easy to aim…that meaning that all you have to do is do is just highlight your cross hair over the monster and that will be all.

The new dynamic combat system will require more tactical awareness…that meaning if you’re a healer you will have to move continuously, if you have ranged attacks you will have to calculate the optimal distance in order to get an efficient strike and so on…a party that tries to take harder mobs or bosses is in constant move and awareness…something that I find entirely different from most of the other MMORPG’s.

When I have the time I will make a detailed gameplay guide for this beauty but for now, because I don’t want to write a review of 50 pages, I will stick with the short version.

One more thing, there are two classes that are the most needed in instances and requires the most patience to play with them because in every party they are responsible for others: the healer and the lancer (defender/guardian). While playing these two classes you will find out that this two are the most demanding classes with the afferent rewards to it. If you want to go mainly solo, like in all other rpg’s I strongly suggest to pick an dps class, but if you want rare drops and high demand for you from other parties when it comes to instances and bosses then I will suggest this two classes. While the healer is well known what it has to do, with the lancer, well, it’s a little bit more complex. When you heard abou defender/guardian/lancer class you will think that all you have to do is taunt and then tank, taunt a little bit more and the tank again and in the meanwhile throw some hp pots down your throat just to be certain you won’t have a nasty surprise making a fool of yourself in front of the other party members. Well, here is not so easy…a lancer has an instant hook skill that cancels almost all bosses special (and painful) attacks…miss to hit that skill in the short window that you need to do it and your whole party will be dead…. One other feature that a lancer will need to be real careful is the bosses Angry Mode. All bosses are at certain points during the fight more dangerous than initially…this mode is called Angry Mode, mode when they hit faster and harder…failing to evade or to tank this sort of angry attacks will result in your death and automatically your party doom…So pick wisely you class, but remember…lancers and healers will be in high demand…making it real easy to find a party for an instance or just for some boss farming…especially when you hit level cap. There is an alternative to lancer, or so I’ve heard…the warrior. The warrior has great defense and some powerful attacks…but to do a lancer job will need excellent equipment…at least in theory.

The healer job can be done by priests and by mystics…The priest is the preferred alternative when it comes to healing but the mystic, besides healing, has also some benefits that will come to be very useful for a party. These guys, even if they are priests or mystics, should be in constant moving and dodging trying to evade all bosses attacks…they are not recognized in MMO’s for great resistance and huge hp bar, and in Tera things don’t change.

When it comes to dps, the best alternative for huge dps are bersekers and sorcerers, and after that slayers and archers. My favorite class in all MMORPG’s are archers…and I’m quite satisfied with this class here…not a strong dps, not very welcomed in parties but when it comes to pvp, well… things are just different. Archers and slayers are quick, and from my point of view are the best classes for solo leveling or duo grups. Two archers always are better than one…so if you have a friend willing to play Tera with you and you’re an archer …force him to become one also…Be careful though…you will not be much needed in instance parties as an archer.

When it comes to skills Tera don’t provide a huge variety …especially because of the dynamic battle system…that meaning you won’t stay put in an instance and just click the shortcut keys till you remain out of sp points …you will actually need to make use of your gamer skills and less use of your character skills… Every gamer when it reaches the next level will be curios to find out what new skills he unlocked , well here, most of them are upgrades to the old ones…so don’t get so excited…just get used to the idea that Tera is different.

Equipment upgrade

The equipment comes in four colors, similar to Aion if I remember correctly. The white equipment can have one or two slots, the green and blue equipment with a maximum of three slots and the orange one with four. To get the best equipment you probably know that you will need to do instances and farm bosses like crazy…but besides equipment you can get rare crystals as a drop from bosses. The crystals are the ones that go in to the equipment slots boosting your attributes considerably. Increasing maximum attack, adding serious points to your hp bar, reducing considerably the damage you can take from an mob and so on…nothing new here…we all seen it before, we all know what this is all about…it’s already part of the MMORPG’s culture.

The equipment can be also upgraded…but I’m warning you…it’s quite expensive, especially at the final levels. Here’s how the system works…if you have 46 gear, and you want to upgraded you will need the same type of gear and the same level to be sacrificed …for a +2, equipment I suggest using white items, then till 5+ I used green ones…after that you could go on blue ones or if you have huge amounts of gold, orange ones…still not sure…didn’t go further than +5 till now…but if I manage to go further I will update this review and let you guys know…or even better, maybe I will have the patience to write a guide or something regarding the upgrades. One more thing I can tell you here…the good news is that when you fail upgrading an item, the item won’t break, instead there is a possibility to stay at the same level or in the worst case go back a lvl; the bad news is that if you will fail consecutively there is a chance that your item will go back to +1.

The Storyline

For those who want to enjoy the full Tera experience I suggest following the storyline (at least with your first character). There are enough quests to get you to the finish line with no need to spend your time grinding. The quests and the storyline are manly solo’able , except for the ending levels, when you will need a party for instances. There are quests and quests; mainly you can do them yourself, but the ones that requires hunting elite mobs or finishing instances I suggest looking for a party. In the case of the elite mobs quests you can (and you probably will) try the solo way…is risky…but not impossible. Or in this case you could wait to lvl-up a few more levels, try to get better gear, and then you will have no problem…though it will take you some time. The storyline opens new instances…so you better don’t forget to do them…or else you will miss the fun part…the instances…it happened to me…

In Tera Online, like in almost every other MMORPG, the fastest way to the top is thru the grinding part. All you have to do is find the suitable spot with the right mob for your level, maybe even a repeatable quest, and you will have 3 to 4 levels in a relatively short amount of time.

Crafing in Tera Online

I really don’t like this feature…it’s the only downside of the game for me…it’s completely useless. The crafting here doesn’t even worth mentioning but still I will do it. Hopefully the guys from BlueHole will hit us with an upgrade regarding the crafting…who knows. The max level (200) in crafting you can reach it in just few hours if you don’t lack the materials for the 4 recipes you will need to do in order to reach 200. Yes that’s right…you only need 4 recipes, every recipe will gain you 50 lvl’s, and in no time you will get to 200. But the whole idea of why the crafting here is not worth doing is because you will get 99% of the time white items…I’ve heard that you have the possibility in theory to craft a legendary item from time to time (didn’t happened to me), but even so, this crafted items is much worst then the same item dropped by bosses…so the only point is that when you need similar items to upgrade your gear this is a way…but this is not the only way to get this items.

The PvP

There actually is no real pvp till now…I know that the Korean version is coming with an update soon, update that will make the battlefield feature available…but for now all you can do is challenge random characters to duel…that’s it…. Hopefully I’m not mistaking and once the battlefield will be available my archer will prove me that is one of the best classes out there when it comes to pvp.

The Breathtaking Graphics

Trying to be completely honest with you guys I will say that the first thing that got my attention when it comes to Tera was the beautiful, half naked castanic chicks…and not only the girls…the guys, the armors, the mobs…and don’t even get me started on the environment. If you play the game with the graphic settings at maximum you will stop playing from time to time and just be amazed of the environment and of what the guys from BlueHole Studio managed to create…a beautiful fantastic world with beautiful characters, amazing environments, unique mobs, great looking bosses and so on…it is kind of magic. The Unreal Engine 3 that the developers used did his job well.

If the mmogamesvs team where to give notes for the graphics…then Tera Online will receive a 10/10 (The perfect MMO).

Closing comments

The game it’s not hard to finish, or better sad …to reach the level cap…it’s complex, but not hard….in my case it took me three weeks to get to the finish line…and I didn’t play like crazy…I remember I saw a post that at 3 or 2 days from launching two Korean gamers managed to reach the level cap…it’s probably possible…but I have to admit, the Korean gamers are well known for their abilities in gaming…

Anyway from my point of view, this game is just  great…I was eager to play it…and still am…it’s not something revolutionary…don’t expect to see something you’ve never seen in other MMORPG’s but definitely is a must play for every online gamer. The features that make this beauty a blockbuster in the MMO world are the two that I praised earlier…the dynamic gameplay and the huge graphic difference from the other MMO’s. There are some gamers that could say what I’ve heard a lot, the graphics doesn’t matter in the making of a great game…oh but it does…it’s an entirely different experience when you dress your castanic archer with a new set of shiny beautiful armor…it makes you realize then that you’re playing a great game that not only respects the rules that defines an MMORPG, it also amaze you with his visuals.

I tried to keep this review as shortly as possible…and that means I miss to tell you guys about a lot of features that this games provides…but an honest full review will take around 50 pages…anyway I will try to come with updates and guides for Tera as soon as I have the time…till then here me out…you don’t want to miss this game …and definitely a one month fee won’t be enough. This baby will hit US and Europe soon, that meaning this year…we don’t have an exact release date…but just be patient…and when it will be finally available …don’t worry…this game surely won’t disappoint you.

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