TERA review in progress - Part 1
[Continued] Page 2
It's important to note that each class in TERA has its own form of defensive maneuver. For instance, the Warrior has a roll dodge, the Archer has a tumble backward, and the Lancer has a giant shield block. In addition, each class has different attack speeds, some slower than others. To help you get accustomed to each class, TERA offers a playable prologue designed to give you a taste of what each class has to offer towards the later levels. In the prologue you can test the waters with each class before you begin the grind to max level.
Following the short prologue, you'll be sent to Island of the Dawn, or noobie island. This island functions as a basic tutorial — teaching you the basic mechanics of the game: the combat, how to get quests, where to buy skills, etc. It serves its purpose.
What it leaves out are the BAMs, or bad-ass monsters. These BAM encounters serve primarily as boss fights. While soloable with some classes, these usually require groups to work together to take them down. Not to worry, you won't run into these in the early levels (I'm level 19 and I still haven't encountered one). Though I hear the real action starts at around level 20, so I'm getting close!
At around level 11, you can get off the noob island and travel to your first major city: Velika. Outside of BAM encounters, a lot of the leveling seems to be traditional MMO grind: get a quest, hunt a mob, return for loot. Will this change as we progress into the later levels? This is something to keep an eye on heading into the mid-levels.
Aside from gameplay, TERA is one of hte prettiest MMOs I've seen in a while. In my experience with MMOs, I've found many (mostly western) to have a more dull, grayish color scheme to theme. TERA is alive with color — vibrant and nice to look at. The environment isn't all that's fun to look at. Character models, particularly the female elves and humans, aren't hard on the eyes.
TERA has been out for less than a week and I'm level 19, so I can't talk much about end-game content except for what I hear. I heard that there are no end-game raids, which has me a bit nervous. All I can say is that in the now, I'm enjoying my experience. In the current form, where I am, the game is as polished as you can ask for from an MMO. I've ran into very few bugs and have had no problems logging into servers.
To this point, TERA has been a fun play. While it borrows a lot of already seen MMO concepts, it also redefines an entire genre's combat system. Is it enough to carry it against other heavy hitter MMOs? We'll have to continue exploring to find out! Check back next week for part 2 of our TERA review.