Having an addictive personality I sunk into WoW in my earlier years, I was completely entranced. Then I quit. Now I live a constant search to scratch the itch that Blizzard created in 2004.
Enter Tera, a F2P MMORPG with stunning looks and a vibrant new way of spicing up casters lives.
Look at that rainbow all the way across the sky. It’s so beautiful.
TERA or The Exiled Realm of Arborea is your generic online fantasy game with a growing registered user count of over 1.4 million. Tera has a wide range of character races to choose from. You have your humans, but who would even want to play as those? Eew. The Castanic are a race of egotistical and sexualised demons. Aman make up the game’s draconic people. Elin are childlike tree huggers, whilst the Baraka are giant-like jolly men. Predictably you have high elves, for what fantasy game would be complete without them. Finally you have Pompori, cutesy little animals ranging from beavers to pandas. The class selection covers melee, ranged and casters alike, each requiring a differing level of player skill in order to use them effectively.
Character selections screen is also aesthetically delightful.
I’m not going to lie, my jaw is still hanging. This is a good-looking game. There is a heavy amount of character customisation, which is in no way a downfall. I’m one of those bizarre people who loves to create my own character down to the last detail. The environments are well lit, use most if not all the colour spectrum, and fit in well with the overall fantasy theme. Character animations are stunning and even your foes bleed when you land a hit. Clothes move fluidly upon action and I have only one gripe; animating NPC’s faces for cut scenes. It’s like watching a badly dubbed Kung-Fu flick. Just don’t do it. Note* If you have a low-res screen everything will appear through beer tinted goggles, the fuzz will ensure you hardly read any text despite fiddling with the settings.
These are the controls, but for fans of controllers you can use them too.
Primarily a caster, I’m a little tired of hot-key gaming. It just doesn’t interest me, the lazy play style just serves to remove me from any sense of immersion that I might have had. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I had to use a cross-hair to aim some of my spells. This took playing as a caster to a whole new level. I tinkered around as a Lancer, one of the game’s tank classes and the combat system here is also incredibly engaging, with differing skills, blocks or ways to dodge. It made the whole Fantasy MMO feel a lot fresher.
The Lancer: My meatilicious tank.
The Questing system in Tera leaves a lot to be desired though. You will feel like a messenger, quests often make you run between two NPC’s like a personal Frisbee. This back and forth is a little tiresome but it’s become common place amongst the genre so it’s not worth beating the game about when there’s so much more to be enjoyed here. Dungeon runs are kept interesting and in-game BAMS, (that’s big-ass-monsters), keep you on your toes.
If you’re a fan of PVP this game will be like a haven to you. Once you’ve hit lvl 11 it’s open season on your ass. Outside the walls of any town/ settlement you are one big moving target. This can understandably frustrate some players, but you can always level on a PVE server if this dangerous environment is not to your tastes. What’s really interesting about TERA’s PVP are the guild v guild matches. Each GVG battle lasts a maximum of 24 hours, and what could be better than groups of people mashing each other in online games? Not much really. An important aspect that TERA has brought to the duelling system that makes the GVG matches possible is that there are no area restrictions on them, which means that being blasted a few metres will not ruin your chances of winning a match.
TERA’s combat system is satisfyingly real-time.
The crafting system needs to be left until the higher levels due to their high-cost, buying certain prerequisite items from vendors being a must. However, certain materials only drop from low-level mobs, which won’t drop anything if you are too high a level. Annoying? Yes. However the the trading house is easily used and the items you buy are instantly accessible. No more lengthy waits for the blue item you’ve been saving up for.
TERA is great if you have teething problems with costly other MMO’s, and those of you who want an engaging combat system coupled with interesting designs and environments will not be disappointed. Fans of Rift, World of Warcraft and anyone who has been off put by the static hot-key gameplay of other online games will love this. The download will be slow, but you get to start playing the game as soon as you’ve got to the 10% mark. Also it’s free, who wouldn’t like that?
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