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Well the time has finally come, and I will have to admit this month seemed like a long chore. I am going to do my best to review TERA and not have a biased opinion on any one particular game mechanic that may have effected my experience in the game.
I must also state that I did not get a ton of time to really experience every facet of TERA either. Partially due to me not really liking it overall. That really had an impact on the amount of time I actually wanted to log in to the world. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of great things in TERA, just not enough to really capture me and me alone.
Visuals and FPS
Graphics - Gorgeous! The graphics in TERA really define what the new age MMORPG is going for. The only issue I had with this is it seemed everything had a brightness to it. Even in darker areas, objects and characters seemed to shimmer.
Animations - Animations are pretty repetitive, you are only given so many skills to utilize and chain them, so this is to be expected.
Textures - Nothing really seemed new when switching zones. Yes the landscape changed but, the monsters never really did.
Variety - Like I stated in textures. Not much changes zone to zone. Jaydrea killed what resembled elk from level 1 to level 30.
Lag - There was none which as nice.
Variety - Not very much variety in the music, I even resorted to listening to Pandora after a while. Also the voices of the characters were quite annoying making yelling/grunting noises every swing of the weapon. It was a very anime'ish voice as well.
Intensity - There was some intensity in the music that was present, it was also quiet calming at certain points as well.
Quiet periods - There wasn't to much, mainly because the music just looped over, and over, and over again.
Voice acting (if applicable) - None
PC/NPC variety - Not very much in the way of unique NPC's that really stood out to me.
Battle sounds - Very repetitive.
Quest types/variety - The quests were extremely repetitive. Either kills this, of collect that. There were a few talk to this person, place this over there, and report to this person quests thrown in. Nothing very innovative. However I did do some forum digging and this game is not very well known for its questing system but its end-game content.
Events - I didn't really run into any events as I went along. The developer did have a 50% bonus experience event going on these past two week though.
Dungeons - The dungeon that I experience was linear, and easily powered through by a team of 5. It only took about 45 minutes with me dragging my feet in on purpose for screen shots, and just general laziness. The groups are pretty forgiving and quiet, they just left me behind as I was wandering around and I don't really think I did more than kill the bosses. I let them handle all the trash mobs. To me this is unacceptable to allow someone to not be a part of the team one bit. My goal was to get kicked or talked to but that mission was not a success.
Storyline - The story is pretty lazy IMO. Something about claiming the land and being at war. Their is a storyline quest but it wasn't very clear as to what Jaydrea's purpose is. It may clear up as you progress through the game, but I didn't really express much interest in it.
Extras - I saw a lot of cash shop extra's in the game, and some of it I liked and some of it I found weird and annoying because I liked to be immersed in the game world not distracted by a rainbow afro'd, sunglass wearing, head phone wearing, big bird mount.
Combat style - Combat was smooth, it was more action oriented. Utilizing the left and right mouse buttons to perform actions while keeping your reticle on the intended target. You then have a hot bar with extra skills. Those skills all chain in together so realistically you can hit the number one, then just use spacebar to chain through all of your skills. So it is
Variety - I have to admit I never had a chance to get into the PvP scene. I heard a few things about it and I will have to really try and experience it, since the game is F2P. I heard two distinct things, one is that it is all player skill based, and two that it is gear based. I never like hearing these two things together. Because it tells me the only people that how PvP is balanced are the guys dominating PvP because they have the knowledge and won't let the under dogs in on it. I can't trust the official forums on this obviously, so I will just have to write and update someday when I do actually get into the PvP on TERA.
Fairness - Refer to Variety.
Types - I know that there was one thing I crafted and that was an avatar weapon, other than that I collect a ton of materials as I wandered through the zones.
Importance - This game does not put a huge emphasis on crafting at all. Normally games will have a crafting quest line to assist players in getting acquainted with how to craft. TERA does it kind of different it gives you a quest or two, one of those quests is how to gather materials and the other is, well, I don't recall a second quest now that I am typing this.
Difficulty - Can't really tell the difficulty when I don't really know how to craft. I also have to admit I did not put much effort into this either, my understanding is that crafting should be pretty straight forward.
Friendliness - The friendliness of the community was something of a middle ground. Not many people talked in chat, but when they did it was either about erotic roleplaying, or it was some sort of crazy argument that ended in rough erotic roleplaying. This kind of confused me a little bit as to whether these people were just eight year old children or if they were adults acting like children. When I did ask a question be it through chat I was always given an answer and of course trolled with the usual slander.
General chat activity - Adding onto the paragraph above, general chat was never plagued with bots, but with looking for group requests and guild advertisements. Even being on a US east coast server you would get random foreign languages in their as well.
Guild helpfulness - Now I did join a guild, pretty much right from the get go and I hence left general chat behind to a more well quiet channel. The guild I entered into wasn't of to much use I did ask them a few questions about the avatar weapon, what end game is supposed to be like, and what the zones start to look like later on. All of these questions were answered in a timely manner so I will give them that. However it didn't ever seem like a lot of people were online at any given time. Which I understand it could be a small guild, but the roster was almost 300 people, and the max I ever saw online was 10 included myself. So it seems population is low at any given time. I do know the life cycle of server populations that right before and during an expansion is when the servers normally are packed, then in between expansions everyone ventures off to other games. I have been playing this game only a few weeks away from a massive expansion pack that drops in two days as of writing this. I would expect a guild to be in sixth gear, moving everyone in the lower levels up, so the guild can experience the new content together.
Random acts of kindness - None literally, none. I randomly would emote a hello, or a wave to someone and I would get zero response. I even died on purpose to see if someone would help me when I did the old /yell HELP! I died as they walked on, only to come back and kill the monster that doomed me to the grave. I am guessing that person was a bot.
Is it corrupted? - No it is definitely not corrupt.
Is it easy to buy and sell? - I am not to sure on this, I tried to stock up on stuff to sell but the menu itself would not allow me to post anything. I am guessing it is level restricted or subscription based.
Auction house - There is one and it has plenty of stuff for the low level players.
Is there a variety of zones? - The zone variety is there, that is not in question at all.
What themes are there in each zone? - Most of the lower levels are of forest and plains theming.
Ease of mobility - Mobility is very simple since you get a mount almost right from novice area.
Size of zones - Small and really restricted. I hated this I am not even going to try and wordsmith that. I hated the restriction each zone presents. You get roads, and not much off of the roads are canyon walls. This makes the zones super packed full of mobs and you don't even have to leave the road for. There are a few areas that are larger off the roads but they are few and far between. This may change later on in the game or maybe the zones I was exploring were just designed that way. It makes it very easy to quest and grind if you really only have a few minutes though so for a casual gamer stand point, I guess it could be a good thing,
How many zones are there? - This is a good thing TERA has quite a few zones to it. I explored 5 so far and there are plenty left for me to see.
How many class types? - 9 the reaper class however is only unlocked on the Elin race, when you already have a character at least to level 40.
How in-depth can I customize my character? - There really isn't to much in the way of customization to your character only about 8 options per slider.
How can I further customize my character (Dyes, Armor, Weapons)? - Every time you change armor and weapons it changes on your character I always like this. You may also dye the armor. Also there are costumes "although not very immersive" in the cash shop.
How many races?- there are 7 races, you have the humans, elves, the other elves, demon giants, furry animal, and of course the anime girl race. I could use their appropriate name but seriously, these companies need to start getting more creative.
How slow/fast do you level? - This all depends on the style you want to play. You definitely level pretty quick at first with questing. It starts to slow down however in the mid 20's. Big Ass Monster grinding is the path I believe most levelers are going. It takes about 12-20 BAM's to level you each time.
What is the level cap? - 60 as of this write up.
How do I level? - Questing, gathering, and grinding.
The server I was on it was pretty high.
RL Aggression leniency
This was actually a saving grace, I was easily able to find a quiet nook along a cliff and walk away from the game. Only to return and see I was still alive. If I was actively engaged in combat it was a little tougher, and when I was in the dungeon it was impossible like most times to get away from the game.
This was pretty fluid once I got the hang of the TAB key and its purpose in this game.
There is plenty of knowledge about this game out there. Is it worth the money? - It's free so yeah why not.
Special events and bonuses
Events are there I just wasn't playing during one. Then the fact you can buy XP bonuses that can help a casual gamer get up to speed quick.
In game travel options
There are teleports, gryphons, and mounts.
In game Currencies
You have your standard gold, but you also have the cash shop, and some tickets you get daily in the mail. I am not really sure what they are used for yet.
I probably could not just start all over again. You would literally be playing the same zones and quests with just a different combat style.
TERA is a game that attempts to stream line the leveling process so gamers can enjoy the endgame faster, It does so by making easy to complete quests that offer massive amounts of experience. They also add in the incentive to grind Bad Ass Monsters. With wonderful graphics, character designs, an easy to master combat system, and easy to navigate zones, TERA is definitely a game worth giving a shot. But be warned of the raunchy behavior and sexist remarks you will no doubt encounter. This game is not even remotely close to child safe. So if grinding away at giant monsters with partial AI is your thing, than this game is for you. I will give it a 5 out of 10. There are too many negatives for me overcome to really want to play in the long run.
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