At last yearís PAX, there werenít a lot of new games on display, but one that got my attention was a new action MMORPG called TERA. Developed by En Masse Entertainment, TERA stood out from other MMORPGs with how violent and exciting the combat system was. There was no auto-attack; everything was controlled by the player. The instance we had to run through was hard, so hard in fact that barely 50% of the groups managed to win the battle. We did pull it off, and that feeling of victory stayed with me all the way until this E3.
Again, TERA was showing off its violent combat as Sarah and I looked around the booth. We were able to find multiple classes to try on the show floor. I took control of a sorceress character. She was a little tricky to figure out at first. It was very easy to get swarmed and Iím not used to running from a fight. Dying rather quickly, I had to return to town, having no idea where that dungeon was, which was too bad since I seemed to have quests for it.
I explored a very vibrantly colored town, for lack of a better word. It was like a giant flower, with rooms and passageways cut out of it. Outside the wildlife would show interest, but not outright attack unless approached too closely or attacked first. There was a hostile tree race that thought quite a bit differently, attacking me on sight. I quickly learned that movement is the key, having ranged abilities to slow, lightly stun, and even leap up from an explosion damaging them as I fell back to safety. Rinse and repeat and even multiple monsters at once would fall. Just as I got the hang of it, we were called inside for another guided tour.
Since everyone can experience the combat, we were given a demonstration on the political system of TERA. The world is divided up into regions and there will be a single player in charge of all of the rules and taxes for that region. There are two ways to rise to power: take it by force with PvP victories or garner enough votes to win an election. Either way, once in power, the player will need to earn points to stay in power, with two ways to earn these points. Those elected into power simply need to keep the votes coming, while those who take it by force need to slay large monsters in order to earn points to stay in power. As it turns out, someone needed our help to do just that, so our little party of five headed out to find a dragon.
As the main melee damage dealer, my role was easily defined: simply kick the dragonís butt and try not to get killed. With no real familiarity for the moves, I had to rely on my teammates to tell me when to block, when to move, and when to unleash my mighty attacks. Midway through, other monsters joined the fray and I was ordered off to take care of them. I made quick work of the three adds, rather weak, then went back to the dragon. A few mighty swings of my sword and the beast fell, securing victory for all of us.
Compared to PAX, this was a much easier fight, but no less intense. Without teamwork, we wouldíve fallen. The battle only took a few minutes, but was exhilarating. Even the minor battles outside were exciting as players try to keep all their skills refreshed, positioning, defending, and then letting loose the damage. Thereís no standing by and watching others in TERA. It's kill or be killed.
Click here to see more TERA screenshots. Here is a video of Mikel's chat with the developers as he played TERA: