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PAX East – TERA Hacks N' Slashes Through The MMORPG Genre
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PAX East – TERA Hacks N' Slashes Through The MMORPG Genre

by Jake ValentineApril 6, 2012

An action MMORPG, you say? Trying something new on a stale genre, you say? TERA, the upcoming MMORPG from En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole Studio, may be what you’re looking for, especially since it actually backs up all of the talk in regards to its combat system. In a style that plays somewhat similar to a hack n slash dungeon crawler, TERA is, indeed, an action oriented MMORPG.

Let me preface by saying this: I was a bit worried that despite all of the fun I had battling enemies in TERA, the questing system reminded me of an old ancient evil grind back from my vanilla WoW days; lots of walking back and forth. Add in the fact that the game first launched in South Korea, a region where MMOs are known to be grind fests, and the fact that the game is out next month, and there’s obviously little time for this error to be fixed. Hopefully I was just in a bad place in my demo, or the build we saw was focusing more on killing enemies. After all, I was the only person actually doing a quest.

Therefore, let us talk about the combat system, which is truly action oriented. You have two setups you can use, depending on your personal preference: the traditional keyboard and mouse, which MMORPG veterans will feel right at home with, or you are able to pick up and use an Xbox 360 controller for the console crowd, who will also feel right at home. After a few tweaks to my hotkeys, I was impressing staff members and the audience with my ease of control in combat.

One of the special features is the ability to chain your attacks. The demo was pre-set to proc a follow-up attack based on the one you just made, but there’s customization to make your own chain attacks. For example, after I jumped on top of someone as a warrior, the game prompted I should hit spacebar or X and do a follow up attack. I did, and I combo’ed my attacks to not only maximize my damage, but also have my character flow beautifully in battle; the combat choreography rivals that of Star Wars The Old Republic‘s.

I was able to try out three different classes today: warrior, sorcerer, and archer. While the latter two were all about destroying everything as fast and fancy as possible, the warrior did take some getting used to. The thing about TERA is that there’s no auto targeting whatsoever; the on site staff emphasized how important it was to actually block incoming attacks and face your enemies if you want to successfully land a hit. Thankfully, once I had everything under control, I was back to my killing ways.

TERA looks pretty damn slick; a few people behind me commented on how pretty one of the main cities looks in the distance as you approach it. That being said, the visual style is easily comparable to other Koren based MMORPG games. If this isn’t your thing, the visuals may not win you over, no matter how beautiful the environments are.

Going back to a topic of concern, as I mentioned earlier, was the questing. Not only that, but the amount of enemies that were popping up in areas.  While we were on “live” servers specifically built for PAX East, I never encountered other players, which meant my sorcerer and archer ere mowing down everything in sight alone. The warrior didn’t have as many enemies to encounter, which was a bit disappointing, but it brings up the worry that there’ll be a greater emphasis on grinding and killing enemies than a story. This does stay in line with the planned end-game content to be groups of five hacking their way through dungeons, but in a day where MMORPGs are having larger emphasis on story, and you can look no further than across the PAX East showfloor with The Secret World (which we’ll talk about more tomorrow after we get some hands on with it) to see a story based MMO, and it seems like a step backwards in the genre.

It’s a step backwards that completely contradicts the step forward the combat system makes. If you were to, say, combine TERA‘s combat with WoW‘s lore and SWTOR‘s cinematics and narrative, and you’d have one hell of an MMORPG. Based on my brief time with TERA today, I can safely say that I’ll enjoy having combat over narrative and story questing, but I’m not sure how long that feeling will last. We do plan on getting into the final beta weekend coming up later this month; we’ll update you after we play through it in the comfort of our own homes.

About The Author
Jake Valentine
  • Naene

    Great news!

  • Margery Degarmo

    A buddy of mine told me,it’s bad for the RAM to use tera copy as it accelerates RAM.

  • white man

    How do I pass all that is in my old 100 G HD to the new 1 Tera HD, including the XP system?

  • nick s

    It has been there for a couple of months

  • Muzahid

    A friend of mine told me,it’s bad for the RAM to use tera copy as it accelerates RAM.

  • Taylor G

    Provided there Are no immediate living forms on Mars,please give me your idea on how to prepare Mars for Humans.Anything from thermonuclear mining to geothermal excavation and atmospheric channeling.

  • Lasagna delivery guy

    I know the process of action potential (depolarization, then repolarization of a neuron), but I’m not sure how it helps to send messages along the nervous system. Any clarification is much appreciated. Thanks!

  • Sergio

    1.6 told tera byte in extra space optimus solid state and ram drives up to per giga byte seconds how many fixles one tera byte new something Special technology.

  • PolishPokeyPimp

    I’ve never played an online game like wizard of warcraft but I came across a game called Tera online and it’s I think you call it a mmo or mrpg or something like that. It seems to use your mouse and keyboard a lot. If I buy a pc game controller do you think it would work with the tera game?

  • steve

    The action on my les Paul has been good, expect the low E string has been buzzing a lot. I want to raise the action on that string without changing any of the others, is there a way to do that?

  • Alina Elliott

    what action would you take to rectify issues and to keep the property owner reliably informed, if after completing a routine inspection you note that there a number of areas in which the tenant could be considered to be in breach of the tenancy agreement. Items such as a dog being kept on the premises and failing to adequately maintain the garden. There is also a mounting pile of rubbish in the backyard…..what would you do as a property manager?

  • jag43216

    I’m a retail employee. I was watching a customer and watched them shoplift an item from the store. I waited for the person to leave the store before I confronted them. Once outside the store I asked the person if he/she would like to pay for the item and when he/she denied taking anything, I asked if I could check his/her bags. I touched his/her flowers completely forgetting that it’s a no-no to touch a customers belongings. Is the person able to take legal action against me for touching his/her belongings or defamation? Can he/she claim defamation/humiliation due to the conversation being overheard? I did not mention the term “steal” or any words relating to it. She also came into the pharmacy to completely empty her bags on to the counter and he/she was throwing it all over the place so some items I had to stop from dropping on the ground etc. She was also very upset and crying. In the end I was unable to see the shoplifted item and she left the store.