@Doomguard3 Agreed I've heard a lot of rumors about it with the quests and dynamic events as well as end game a lot of people in Tera flamed it lol. As long as it's not a grind I'll be happy cause so far everything I've seen and heard about it over the years are good. I heard the combat and starting bit was like Dragon Age 2 though so have to wait for that. Really wish I got into their recent beta to.
For the past few days I've been doing nothing but playing the closed beta for Tera. And I have to say I'm surprised at the amount of people who are already defending a game that has a massive amount of potential but isn't using it at all. Don't get me wrong, the game is pretty damn good but a lot of the good things about this game are mainly UI based and even then these are features you'll find spread throughout other MMO games. Some of these features include being able to move UI elements around, being able to mark certain points on a map and post them in chats, being able to view a party members current status in a quest, being able to change channels to avoid too high traffic areas, allowing cool down pop ups so you don't spam a skill until you need it, chain skill pop ups which allow you to combo certain skills without having to have them on the skill bar, the ability to track monsters/NPCs/Areas during a quest and more. These features all add up to create a lot of convenience while you play but sadly aren't enough and especially as some of it has been done before.
Combat in the game is unique in comparison to a lot of other MMOs but it's the combat in combination with questing that hinders the games 'epic' factor. In combat the monsters are supposedly dynamic in the way they will fight you, and they are to an extent. While fighting a monster they will be using a certain attack than at some point enter 'enraged' mode and carry out a stronger attack as well as some other different attacks. This isn't as dynamic as you'd expect though, as some if not most will repeat the same attacks over and over but at times they will randomly swap to a new attack, sometimes run away from combat then back and even sometimes dodge your attacks. This can add a slight challenge to the combat and some dynamics but not so much that it feels as though as if your skill is being tested. There is no targeting system in Tera and this is what adds to the unique combat especially when monsters jump out of the way or run from combat, this decreases your chance of hitting them more often and adds a little challenge. You are able to dodge in combat yourself but not so often that it helps. Having played the Sorcerer and Warrior classes, you are able to dodge once every 5 seconds or more. This can be slightly annoying though as you will see a lot of attacks coming but can't do a thing about it apart from trying to move out of the way (which can sometimes work) although you can add items to your skills called "Glyphs" which add extra stats to your skills. For the warrior I added a Glyph to the Evasive skill which gives a 25% chance of the skills cool down resetting and reduced the annoyance of not being able to dodge but also made you a little more patient and tactical with your evasive manoeuvres. During combat you can execute 'Chain Skills' which allow you to use one skill than another right after. You can even adjust the chains yourself adding a skill of your preference to another if you see it fit. How it works is if you have say Skill Two chained to Skill One, when you execute Skill One a small pop up on the screen will temporarily show up asking you to hit the Spacebar to activate Skill Two. You can even chain a skill onto the chained skill as well. This is also very useful because it allows you to execute nice combos without your fingers leaving WASD and allows you conserve space on the skill bars. This pushes the combat in Tera above other MMOs by steering away from the generic click to target and spam multiple buttons until the monster is dead and creates and easier to use macro method.
Crafting in Tera was something I sadly did not get to try much of but this is partially due to the gold sinks the game has everywhere. This will probably encourage a lot of grinding as you get to higher levels. The crafting is fairly simple to do but requires materials that you can purchase from merchants and they cost more than what your character is worth by the time it's ready to do the quest for crafting. Gathering items in Tera is the same as any other MMO but they've added a 'Gathering Failed' feature where you can actually fail gathering an item from either mining or picking plants. This feature doesn't really add any essence to the game though. In a party each party member can execute the gather phase at the same time to give everyone a chance to get loot from the item.
The party and guild system is quite nice. Even if you log out of game you will still be in the party until someone kicks you. This is useful especially if you plan on playing with friends a lot and just want to hop on and find them straight away. The loot system can be set to class restrictions as well which allows items to be picked up only by specific classes although the option was set in the party we found it did not work at all, but hopefully will during the final release. The guild system does not require you to visit some NPC to join, the guild leader themselves can invite you to the guild from wherever they want. The guild list will than list every member as well as their location. This is useful especially if you have new guild members who don't have a clue to where they are but need help. It will also list the guilds history showing you when a player joined or left the guild.
Mounts are fairly generic horses to start off with. You're given a free mount when you enter the first major town in the game. A nice feature about these mounts is that you can instantly mount them while moving. No need to wait 5-10 seconds in one spot to summon it. I found this to be nice as I've always hated summoning horses and having that little pause in between.
Questing is where Tera really follows the generic MMO structure. The quests don't change at all and require you to do the same thing but if that wasn't the worst part the quests also have to be read when it could have easily been made spoken dialog by the NPCs. This can ruin the story element of the game for some, especially me who didn't read a single quest, as in this day and age you'd expect quests in any game to be spoken out in dialog. The quests can be easy or hard depending on the level you do some of them and some quests will also recommend a certain number of people to take with you especially for bosses and instances. Either way a player can choose to quest for their levels and gold or just go all out and target higher level monsters in instances for great amounts of experience and loot.
This leads me to the MMO gaming community who for some reason believe that this is how an MMO should be and that it can never be anything more. This is sad to see and hear especially for someone like me who likes to see games progressing. With console games (including non MMO PC games) you don't expect too much in the same year as a lot of the time changes are subtle but constant in some and major in others usually in sequels, in MMOs though it's a different story. The reason why is that developers have been using the same structure over and over and yet people are still willing to fork out subscription fees to play these games, and this isn't something that's been happening for the past 2-3 years but for the past 10years or more. This in my opinion gives the developers the wrong idea that they are doing everything right when they are only doing a few things right and to continue filling the publishers pockets. I am against pay to play MMO games but only because all of them so far require you to work in the game as well and follow the same old structure. I don't want to come home from work to open up a game than to work again just to enjoy nice gear to PVP with and to keep up with other players. I don't mind working to an extent to achieve a high level character with nice gear but it's when it becomes repetitive and actually starts to feel like an obligation is when I just want to stop. Tera strikes me more of a free to play game than a pay to play one but only cause it doesn't stray far enough from the generic MMO games. The community need to realise that we are in the 21st century and that MMOs are capable of reaching newer heights especially with the technology we have now. It takes a lot for me to consider a pay to play MMO, Tera had me for the first few levels but once you realise that between level 1-15 the game will be the same all the way to 60 it makes you reconsider. At first I thought I might pay to play this than after a while I thought I might buy it once to play (if they made it the option) than after some more questing and grinding decided I would not spend a single cent towards this game. People will argue that the money is needed to run the game (usually people you can't reason with) but it makes me wonder, if people are willing to work to earn money than to spend that money on 'entertainment' that requires them to work to enjoy this entertainment, than what is the community coming to? Is it because everyone is too used to the generic MMO structures that they've lost hope for change? Do the gamers who want a proper MMO with that epic and enthralling experience have to wait for the community to wake up and realise that it can be different?
If Tera wants to succeed I think at the least they should make it either pure subscription with no buyout price or just a buy once price and no subscription. I still recommend trying it though as there will be an open beta in the next few weeks and it's still worth trying. If you're going to start paying to play an MMO than it may as well be Tera and for those WoW and Rift fans looking to get back into MMO gaming or for a new game to put your money through, than Tera is probably the one for you.
It's sad to see that Tera has the potential right there to set the bar for other MMOs to a new level but the developers just won't do it. All it can do is set the bar a little higher than usual but nothing more. As for me, I'm sick of waiting for developers to take single player structures and apply them to multi-player environments and this is why I will be turning all my hopes and effort towards ArenaNet who ironically I'd happily pay a subscription fee to for their upcoming release, though only time will tell if even ArenaNet can crush the generic attitudes of typical MMO gamers and eventually set the bar significantly high for other MMO developers.