TERA E3 2011 Preview

Many of today’s MMORPGs are clones of each other. The genre has been saturated with games that feature boring combat and repetitive quests. Thankfully, TERA takes a different approach and tries to distinguish itself from the general market. Through an invigorating combat system and a groundbreaking political system, it looks to break free from the mold.

TERA is not your typical “click a button and watch the combat take place” type of game. Instead, you control the action in this real-time combat system. You must aim and click for each individual spell cast or swing of the sword. The game’s combat leaves nothing to chance. Your aim will be the difference between successfully healing your ally or missing and inflicting death on your entire party. This system is a breathtaking change to a genre where combat has become stale.

TERA goes even further with its unique political system. This system allows players to take control of provinces and create the rules of that province. It rewards the players with money, power, and fame. Once a player is max level and contains a good amount of political influence, he can become Vanarch.

A player may rise to power in two different ways. They can attain the position of Vanarch by winning the popular vote. In short, the player must campaign to convince fellow players to elect him. This route may require a player to think outside of the game through social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, and even a personal website. Similar to real life, players must convince others to elect them based on their campaign platform. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean you can’t lie to gain office and then change your stance. After all, real politicians do it all the time. And if one thing is guaranteed, it is the instability of player choice and decision once they are in power. I can’t wait to see the unique campaigns that players come up with and the promises they will break! It will definitely inspire creativity from its fanbase.

If that route doesn’t appeal to you, there is a more combat-oriented way to become a Vanarch. TERA is also a game that rewards those PVP enthusiasts. Rather than banishing those type of players from cities, they set aside provinces that can be ruled by force of PVP. Become the top PVPer in a province and you can become that area’s Vanarch.

It will definitely be interesting to see how people react to having such great power. Will they use their position for the good of many? Or will they use it to benefit themselves? TERA allows its players the freedom (when in power) to control town shops, NPCs, and province events. Want to make money? Raise taxes! Watch out for backlash, though. I can’t think of another game that gives the player that much power!

Once you are a Vanarch, you will become famous. Thousands of players across the game will recognize your name as it appears on the map and on their screen when entering a province. As if that wasn’t enough, the bad-ass mount you and your guildmates are rewarded with is definitely noticeable.

Being a Vanarch isn’t as easy as it sounds. Every week there is a new election that determines who the new Vanarch will be. The powerful can just as quickly become the powerless if they don’t take the right steps. If you are elected through popular vote, you must stay popular with the players. Don’t promise one thing and then do another because that is a sure way to lose votes. If you attained the position through PVP, you better stay atop the PVP charts or you will be beaten out of power. I guarantee that once you are in power, everyone will be after your head to claim that position.

With great power comes great responsibility. How will you harness it in TERA?