originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

TERA Dev Diary: Genre Bending


GameZone has partnered up with En Masse Entertainment to provide you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming MMORPG TERA. Each and every month until the game's launch you can expect to find the latest installment delving into the development, creation, writing, art, and design.

Previous TERA Developer Diaries: The Monsters of TERA - Exclusive Pictures Developer Diary 1 - "Playing is Believing - A TERA Story" TERA’s Path to Creating Compelling Characters TERA's Emotional Rewards Through Storytelling TERA: Building Better Quests

Written By Stefan Ramirez, Associate Producer

TERA isn’t your typical MMORPG—it blends the fast-paced action combat of console games with the depth of a story-driven roleplaying game. A better acronym might be MMOACRPG, or Massively Multiplayer Online Action Combat Roleplaying Game. Ok, maybe we aren’t ready to add even more letters to that acronym just yet, but anyone who plays TERA will see what I’m talking about. TERA blends the MMO, RPG, and Action genres into something that will shatter people’s notion of MMOs.

Action Combat The first thing that grabs you when you play TERA is the combat. In MMOs, you spend much of your time battling enemies, so we wanted to give you more control, accommodate different play styles, and put the fate of the battle in your hands. Skills, combos, and lightning-quick combat set the pace and really bring console-style action to the experience.

All eight of TERA’s classes require timing, aim, and precision to excel. Dodging, blocking, and movement play a big part in your survival, as all hits are dictated by placement and timing. Player skill is what it’s all about, and when you find yourself toe-to-toe with a big-ass monster, you'll remember those frantic boss fights you grew up with on consoles. You'll learn each enemy’s “tells,” which are the physical hints they give before performing one of their special attacks. If you use that knowledge, your combat will improve and you'll have more success defeating the enemies who stand in your way.

In creating TERA, we knew we couldn’t change the combat system without having AI that is smarter, faster, and more cunning. The creatures you encounter will play like you do—they block, heal each other, dodge, and hit back hard. Simply put, by placing a heavy emphasis on player skill, we had to raise the bar on our enemy AI system...

In keeping with the console-style action system, TERA fully supports a gamepad in addition to the keyboard and mouse. Personally, I think they both play great, but having these options isn’t just an added bonus, it's a game changer that really complements the game's combat and skills. TERA is definitely a game you can play all the way through with a controller, further emphasizing the action combat.

RPG Mechanics Great roleplaying games have stories that give meaning and depth to the player, the game world, and its surroundings. TERA's story takes you on an epic adventure through islands, deserts, volcanic wastelands, and much more. Rather than solely focusing on gaining levels while you progress through the game, you'll become attached to the story and the world around you.

You begin your journey with a mission, but things quickly escalate as you become an integral part of the story. I won’t spoil it for you, but our writing team is cooking up some good stuff that will bring the world to life and put the players at the heart of the story and the center of the action.

MMO You won’t encounter the adventures alone—our servers will host thousands of players to join up with. You can play together as a group or go at it alone. Social interactions are important in an MMO, and we want everyone to enjoy a thriving, engaging world they can have an impact on. To that end, crafting, enchanting, and other trades provide a means for a booming economy and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Join a guild and become part of a unit that battles others in battlegrounds, share items through a guild bank, and build camaraderie with others who share your vision and goals.

TERA's robust political system gives you the opportunity to run for office over a province, gaining votes from peers who are playing in the same world with you. Once voted into office you'll manage the economy, offering tax breaks or tax hikes, providing support to towns, and a bunch of other features that could keep you in office for months at a time, or get you ousted at the first re-election.

TERA brings together all of these elements and delivers a mix of action, RPG, and MMO gaming. There is something for everyone to enjoy, and we can’t wait for all of you to try it out first-hand!

About The Author
Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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