TERA giving poor first impressions

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I did not get into the TERA beta event, but I know someone who did.  A member of our community named Phandy wrote up his impressions up to level 10 (current level cap is 22) on our forums and I thought they were worth pointing out to our readers — they’re quite in-depth.  Many of you have expressed an interest in TERA and have asked me what I think about the game.  Simply by observing how the game has done in its native region, looking over information out there, and now from the impressions coming in this weekend, I am positive that I will be skipping TERA.

Phandy talks about the visuals being “absolutely breathtaking”, but the compliments end there.  Here’s his conclusion:

I went into the beta with an open mind. I had literally read nothing about the game prior. The only advance knowledge I had was that the combat system was supposed to be “Awesome!!!” so I wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, I was utterly bored after the first 10 levels. Between the simple combat system, the non-engaging storyline, repetitive quests and npcs I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’ve done all this before and could not see a reason why I should keep playing the game.  In fact, it made me want to play Kingdoms of Amalur more. An MMO making me want to play a RPG? What is going on here?

I played Aion with Phandy and he seemed to enjoy it more than I did… so if he says TERA is boring then I can’t imagine what I would think.  (Phandy told me I would be smashing my face on my keyboard.)

Anyone else play in the beta weekend and want to share thoughts?

  • Said it before and I will say it again……never ever trust an Eastern MMO to appeal to a Western market. Its as simple as that.

  • I am playing it right now. And while it does suffer from the usual “Kill X” grind, and Aion 2.0-ness. I do enjoy the combat system, just cause its slightly different from the usual keybind spam with lock-on heat-sinking gps-guided targeting. Though, I havent seen anything really that sets it apart from every other game except the combat. Lore is lackluster, story is boring. Its worse than Aion’s. In aion I knew what I was fighting for, here, so far I have no clue and I’m level 12. Also the quests are all Kill X or talk to the next NPC that makes you go KilL X. I mean its ok, but there are almost no gathering quests to break from the cycle even.

    I guess my search for a good time-killer till GW2 is still ongoing. SWTOR work for like a month and a half, but that died out too cause there was really nothing to do endgame except raid and PVP, Ilum was dead, PVP its 90% huttball against my own side. and Raiding is nothing revolutionary from WoW. At least WoW has LFR and I can log in, and be in a raid in about 10 mins killing a boss.

    I dont even play wow anymore though. Oh well. Maybe i will just go patch up and go headbutt Deathwing a few more times with my staff.

  • I played about 20-30 minutes total of TERA and got the distinct feeling I had played it before. Back then it was called Aion… Or was it Lineage 2?

  • Played this when i was working in Korea for about 10 levels too and it did not get my attention. The combat was kind of nice, but i enjoyed DCUO action style combat a lot more. I cannot comment on the story but the questing did seem like only kill X. Which was nice at the time because i did not speak korean.

    This game falls into the whole DCUO, Rift, and others where i would tolerate the bad questing if there was a good Open world pvp system like DAOC.

  • Tera is just another boring Asiatic grinder, and just like Aion, it will fail badly on the Western market.

  • I’m having a lot of fun. The graphics are stunning, and I really like the art style. The characters are interesting and it’s a different look than what I’m used to with WoW and LotrO. I played up to level 9 last night and had a blast. I’m excited to log in and play some more today.

    I thought the story was okay following in the second wave of an expedition to a new island, and sorting out the mysteries involved.

    I’ve been playing a berserker and I like the feel of ‘heft’ the character has. The animations and sound effects do a good job of making me feeling like a giant bruiser who’s really putting his whole weight into the attacks.

    So far I wouldn’t call it a grinder since I’ve had more quests to keep me occupied than just going into a field and clearing it left to right repeatedly like I did in Lineage 2. Taken on its own merits it seems like a pretty fun game so far. I’m debating whether to pre-order it or not to get into the other closed betas. So far it’s been a breath of fresh air for me.

  • I think people use different definitions for “grinding” these days. I don’t consider this game grindy yet either, but I relate grinding to a slow leveling pace. Other people relate grinding to just completing mundane quests over and over and this game certainly has that.

    One thing keen didn’t mention is that I am fully committed to leveling to 22 (the cap in this Beta). I want to give everything a chance. For example, in my second go I did find mobs that moved around and strafed. Finally! But why can’t all mobs do this?

    The combat is something that is different then the norm. Absolutely. I just haven’t seen it be that much of a difference to really outweigh the poor questing.

  • i wouldn’t really comment on the enemy AI until reaching a decent lvl… the nature of an action game (or any game really) is that it slowly introduces you to more complex monsters as you progress… the AI in WoW was incredibly simple all the way to the lvl cap, that’s just the nature of the tab-targetting combat system… at least this combat system has tons of potential to become more complex and interesting… we’ll just have to wait and see if they capitalize on it.

    i’m more interested in TERA as a technical showcase… if they can successfully combine action combat and an open world without too much lag… then that will pave the way for a western MMO to follow in the same mold and hopefully add to it a decent story as well… and in my opinion, that would be the ultimate MMO.

    i haven’t pre-ordered, as i’m busy with the C9 beta and reckoning right now… but i’ll definitely give it a try once it goes open beta… i think it definitely has potential.

  • I don’t buy that arguement. What level is considered a “decent” level to begin commenting? 20? 30? If a game is trying to rope players in by showcasing a new combat system, I would think they would at least give a better glimpse earlier in the game. Something that makes you go “wow – this is awesome”. I am now level 20, and I have seen 3 creatures that will dodge my attacks by doing barrel rolls. The majority don’t do anything except just run at you. Add to this that right now, everything is an AoE spamfest and you further take away the importance of targeting.

    I do agree that this system has a lot of potential. That is why I am so disappointed.

  • I’ve played till lvl 6 twice (character wipe) and while that’s not a sizeable amount of experience to base any review on, I feel the same way as Phandy.
    Quest: Kill big tree guys for whatever drop
    Followup Quest: Kill big tree mobs for whatever drop
    Followup Quest2: Kill big tree mobs for whatever drop
    Followup Quest3: Kill something else for whatever drop
    Followup Quest4: Kill big tree mobs for whatever drop
    Followup Quest5: Kill big tree mobs for whatever drop
    Followup Quest6: Kill big tree mobs for whatever drop

  • Its not the grinding, hell I love grinding (as long as its not static spawn camping which I detest) but I prefer exploring and killing along the way grinding out levels as opposed to questing.

    What Eastern/Asian MMO’s have is bad engrish, boring art, no sense of realism, and the absolute worst offense to my immersiveness: The Bikini Platemail Armor.

  • Some elements of Asian gaming culture just don’t translate, or actually put off a Western audience e.g. I followed the link to the forum post and immediately saw a giant panda.

    My interest ended there.

    Incidentally Aion is about to go FTP: but nothing will ever drag me back into that grindfest.

  • 1. every “spell” animation makes your character holds in place, so kiting is only possible by special spells who move you back or knockback mob

    This makes combat feels very slow and limited for me

    2. dificulty lvl: Tera is just too easy, its very rare to die during lvling process

    Tera feels extremaly boring

    3. combat targeting is too easy, that system is easier then “old school” tab target

    4. game feels like Lineage II / World of Warcraft hybrid with serious lack of any innovations

    Its much less grindy then Aion, but still I have feeling playing same old shit

    For me Tera online now looks very bad, I m totally disappointed with they combat system

  • i love how people are basing the views on this game when its in closed beta. its in closed beta for a reason, to fine tune things. combat isnt dull at all….i dont understand why people would rather tab target like in wow compared to this game. after watching some end game stuff, (not lvl 22 like these judgmental morons)i can see that the game’s ai is going to get very very interesting and hard.

    i hate to be the guy who rages, but people judging a game in closed beta based off around 20 lvls or less of playtime, are fucking retarded.

  • I played the beta test this past weekend pretty extensively (about 3-4 hours Friday and 6-7 on Saturday and Sunday). I certainly had some mixed experiences, but I am not completely turned off either.

    (For reference, I played a Ranger, Sorcerer, Warrior and Slayer till 10+, highest being 16ish… Tried to get a variety of class types in)

    Combat System: This is the best improvement that this game brings to the genre IMO. That is not to say it’s perfect, but it was certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the standard tab target system in most MMOs today (currently subbed to SWTOR and I’ve played everything from AC to DAOC to WoW to Global Agenda). Here is an example from playing my Ranger:

    -Find a group of mobs to take on
    -Place my 70% Snare trap on the ground
    -Use my multi-target arrow skill, hover my crosshairs on 5 (I think?) targets to lock on and fire the initial volley
    -Use my leap-back skill and allow the mobs to go through my snare trap while plinking a few regular arrows off
    -Due a little bit of strafing between shots to attempt to line some of the mobs up
    -Fire off my penetrating arrow, which can shoot “through” multiple targets in a line
    -Once mobs get too close, use my double-hit-stun melee attack, leap back and keep the arrows coming

    Obviously not every fight goes like this. Fighting a single/solo mob is more often a sequence of roots/snares, jumping back and mowing them down while staying out of range. My slayer was a bit similar to this… instead of jumping back, it was a matter of leaping around/behind to avoid hits as much as possible and fire off big hits with my huge 2 handed sword.

    Quests: Not going to try and defend this. For the most part it’s very “run of the mill”, i.e. WoW style questing… kill 10 rats, collect 10 treasures, find the local big mean boss guy to take down for a bounty, etc.

    Graphics: Whether you hate “asian” MMOs, the visuals in this game are quite nice. The animations are quite fancy/sparkly, the armors have a lot of detail and variety.

    The biggest thing I realized (which isn’t just specific to Tera) is just how badly Bioware failed with the graphics engine implementation on SWTOR. I understand the concept of targeting the lowest common denominator to get more players with lower end PCs playing your game. SWTOR has what I will consider somewhat dated/lower end graphics. The problem is, though, that even on my fairly high end gaming rig (SSD, triple channel memory, Core i7, Radeon HD 6870) the graphics are still very inefficient/optimization. Even just running around imperial fleet and trying to open a dialogue window (inventory, character sheet, etc) can cause graphical stutters. Lets not even get into what happens if you have 40+ people on your screen at once in Ilum. This is compounded by the fact that there are not enough fine-grained graphics settings in the options window.

    Tera, on the other hand, has fairly nice graphics with what seems to be great performance. There was a point in the newbie area where I had about 20 other people on my screen running around playing with their shiny new abilities, killing monsters, while I proceeded to take on 8 mobs at once and fire off aoe abilities that hit all the mobs and thus caused damage numbers to pop up all over my damn screen… yet it still ran smoothly and didn’t appear to drop frames.

    I’m of course not trying to prove Tera is a “good” game by any means with this example… but rather just how badly games like SWTOR are in terms of graphics engine performance. WAR was the same way… it felt like I was playing a dated/old MMO in terms of the visuals and framerates.

    It begs the question… did Bioware run out of money (spent on voice acting) when it came to licensing and configuring the graphics engine? I am sure something like Unreal 3 takes some number of millions to license, but the gameplay performance in SWTOR is just unacceptable by today’s standards.


  • @Devastator

    I don’t know if there is any truth behind it or not but there were a few people ingame on one of the servers that were stating they weren’t even using the High Res textures this beta(including the Korean skins of the Elin). If that’s the case I can’t wait to see things next beta weekend.

  • @Dawnwarden

    I heard that as well on Reddit about the high res textures. If that is the case, it will get even better looking, though may take performance down a bit… we shall see. I wish SWTOR even had high res textures in non-cinematic mode :/

  • You do not get any “Fun” skills until much later in the game. The combat system has a learning curve, so they restrict you to the most basic of attacks until around level 18-22.

    Everyone pretty much has a direct attack, and some form of AoE.

    Pretty poor reporting IMO. You have the experience to know this is not a good representation of a game.

  • Erm… sorry… he judged the entire game from level 10? Impressive. And most of you are only saying it’s repetitive because it’s Asian… but it’s been “westernized” for almost two years now, adding thousands of new quests and content just to make it appeal more to western gamers.

  • pffft why would you wanna buy terra AND pay a sub when GW2 is 100 times better, faster paced, no linear grind without a sub :S, you people are nuts.