Blade and Soul Synopsis
TERA is a beautiful action based MMORPG with a plethora of Races and Classes to choose between, where you can explore a “mostly” open world, by traveling through the sky, with a huge selection of flying mounts. Or party up and tackle huge monsters, and dungeons, and take part in massive battlegrounds and mini games, some of which involve becoming a large baby monster!
Is TERA Worth Playing in 2017?
TERA, as you may or may not know, was originally a Pay to play MMORPG, and it only became a free to play title in 2013. Which is no doubt one of the reasons why TERA looks and feels like a higher quality MMORPG than other MMORPGs that started off Free to play. TERA is an open-ish Action MMORPG. I say Open-ish, because whilst there are no loading screens between zones and regions, you can’t fly up to/or on things that are designed to be unreachable. So it’s about 80% Open, which is still good. Especially since TERA has given players the ability to freely fly around in the skies, although your mount does have a flight time meter, so don’t expect to remain airborne forever. Granted it does recover awfully fast, however I felt it’s still worth mentioning as it’s not permanent flight. TERA’s characters, and combat is often referenced as a way to describe what other MMORPG should strive to be akin to, as its combat is quite fluid, and with a large amount of varying classes to keep TERA fresh. It’s no wonder TERA has managed to stay around even after all these years.
While TERA has gorgeous graphics and character models, the character creation is more limited than in other popular MMORPGs. This doesn’t necessarily mean TERA’s customization is bad by any means, however it is worth pointing out as you can’t alter your characters physics, or height in the character creation; but I’ll go back to that in a moment. Let’s actually talk about what “is” found within the character creation. So, as soon as you enter the character creator, you will need to pick a class, or race. And TERA has a ton of both Races, and classes, some of which are gender locked. All of the original classes don’t have any gender restrictions however, those classes are Warrior, Slayer, Beserker, Lancer, Archer, Mystic, Priest, and Sorcerer. So Whilst the newer classes are gender locked, you still have a large variety of classes to choose, without restriction. The classes that “are” gender locked, and what races they can be are as follows: Elin’s are the only race to have access to Ninja and Reaper. Elin’s are also a female exclusive race. Castanic females and High Elf females are the only races and genders allowed to become Gunners. Castanic Females can also play the most recently added class which is the Valkyrie, which again, is locked to the female gender only. Lastly the Brawler class is locked to Human females only. So yeah, while there are 5 classes in total that are locked, you still have the ability to play the the other 8 classes as any of the other races and genders, if playing a female character is a problem for you. Now the actual creation of your character is pretty simple, you pick between 10+ face presets, with each preset having it’s own set of adornments, which are makeup, beards, tattoo’s and the like. Once you’ve picked out what you like most you can use sliders to further edit your characters face. And before you move on to naming your character, you have to option to preview higher level outfits for you respective class, and choose a voice type for you newly made character.
Now back to body customization, Whilst you can’t actually edit your characters body shape in the character creator, you can however buy items within the MMORPG, to enhance, and decrees specific parts of your body, AKA Bust size increases and decreases for female characters. Thigh sizes, and your characters height. Which is awesome that you can do this.. but at the same time, the fact that the feature is within the game, yet not found within the character creator itself seems unnecessary, as it could have easily been added to the character creator. As affording shape changes can be quite expensive, and time consuming. But on the other hand it’s another thing for players to work towards in TERA.
So generally regarding the character customization, TERA has a great character creator, as you can make unique characters, and gorgeous characters, if you spend the time fixing up said character, but you’re still limited, as you don’t have immediate access to body customization. The hair and skin colors can also be limiting for those of you who like more fantasy colors as there’s no color wheel, and you’ll be required to pick between the hair colors they’ve chosen. However, even with said limitations, you’ll still no doubt, spend an unnecessarily large amount of time creation your character.
The Combat found within TERA is action based, as you’ve probably already guessed, and it is one of the major pulling features of TERA. As there aren’t a lot of open, action MMORPGs that have a large selection of classes to choose between, that also have good graphics.
So each class has their own unique play styles and armor types, for instance the berseker class, which uses heavy armor, and is the strongest, (or at least, one of the strongest) classes in TERA. It is actually quite slower at fighting than say the Ninja or Warrior, which could mean that they could do more general DPS to faster bosses, as they could keep up with it. However they could instead do worse against slower bosses, as the berserker would have more up time, due to it not moving out of range of the skills. Each class has something that makes them excel. So you’ll find players playing all types of classes, rather than everyone just playing that one specific OP class. As En Masse entertainment is constantly buffing and nerfing classes, so the “best” class fluctuates often. The skill system in TERA is similar to Aion, as in; using a specific skill, you’re given the ability to then use a follow up skill that chains together, allowing you to use a large number of skills in succession without much downtime. Although, there are a number of people who actually dislike this feature, as it can make the combat boring as you’ll only use one skill, and then continue to hit spacebar, until the chain is over, rinse and repeat. Although this will only get you so far, as if you actually want to be good at your chosen class, or do good in raids and PvP you’ll need to click more then just spacebar. The skills in TERA can also be altered to your liking, as each skill has around 2 to 4 types of upgrades. These upgrades can do anything from making a certain skill cost less energy or mana, to increasing damage done, or stun duration.
In regards to TERA’s combat, you won’t find much fault as most of the classes are fun to play as, you can manually customize your skills to fit your play style. Although the classes can be unbalanced at times, this doesn’t really change the fact that TERA’s combat is fast paced and fun. Whether you’re fighting normal monsters, BAMs, or bosses in raids. Although, if you suffer from ping issues, no doubt you’ll hate the combat as TERA is an action MMORPG, and if you’re suffering from ping issues, you’ll constantly miss your attacks if you’re long ranged, or almost die to otherwise easy monsters on melee characters. This isn’t a negative in regards to the combat as a whole, but people often complain about encountering ping issues in TERA and therefore it’s worth mentioning. Although I can say I haven’t personally experienced this for myself, because whenever I login to play TERA, everything works smoothly. But I could just be lucky, I guess!
PvE, PvP and Endgame
So it’s often argued TERA doesn’t have much endgame content regarding both PvP and PvE, however that’s simply not true, TERA has a good amount of things to do once you’ve reached the max level. After hitting the max level in TERA, the actual difficulty rises as some of the many dungeons available to you have hard versions that can be very punishing to those of you undergeared or just generally unfamiliar with the specific dungeons mechanics. Some of the dungeons players can look forward to playing at 65, are : Channelworks, Bathysmal Rise, Skycruiser Endeavor, Timescape, Kalivan’s Dreadnaught, Velik’s Hold and Velik’s Sanctuary. Some of these dungeons can also be played in hard mode, however you’ll need to grind dungeons constantly to get good enough gear to fully enjoy it. But, of course running dungeon’s over and over isn’t the only thing you can do at endgame, as you can also gather gear from participating in PvP content, by fighting in Battlegrounds although the PvP side of TERA isn’t updated as frequently as the PvE aspect of the MMORPG.
So to summarize, Once reaching the max level, you’ll need to grind, grind, grind, to get your gear, which will allow you to enter hard dungeons, without getting one shot. Once you can finally do the hard dungeons, you’ll instead grind them for the better gear. PvP, while not having as much content, functions similarly, granted there are no “hard” modes for PvP. So, while there’s not a lack of endgame content in TERA, it can get repetitive, as you try to collect the best gear, and upgrade it.
While grinding can be seen as a negative, if everything in TERA was easy, you would finish getting your required items, and be done with the MMORPG. Then again, no one likes re-running the same dungeons constantly, not getting gear. If you’re an avid player of TERA, you would have probably noticed there are a lot less people actually participating in PvP content. As world PvP has died off, people don’t really participate in GvG, and as there’s no time limit (from what I believe), players can troll you, staying inside the safe zones, making GvG battles tedious at times. Finally, besides getting PvP gear for battlegrounds that have an unnaturally long queue time, there’s not much point. This information is based on my experience, and that of countless people on Reddit, En Masse’s forums, and pretty much everywhere.
All in all TERA’s end game is a grind, whether it’s a boring grind, or a enjoyable grind depends on the party members you tackle to dungeons with. Although, I feel as though I should mention that there was a recent patch in TERA that has altered to difficulty to specific dungeons, which has upset a large amount of TERA fans, and previously difficult dungeons are now simple. In regards to PvP, TERA doesn’t have a flourishing PvP community like it did a few years ago, whether it’s due to class imbalance, a lack of rewards for actually PvPing, or not, is unclear. What is, is that TERA is more focused on the PvE aspect of there MMORPG.
So obviously Population in an MMORPG is important as if it’s a dead game, how will you enjoy any group content, right? Right! So, if you google around, you’ll no doubt find people saying “TERA IS DEAD, ABANDON SHIP” okay maybe not in those words but you get the picture. TERA isn’t dead, in fact there is still a large amount of people playing. However you’re not going to see 10+ people running around in each region, as the leveling experience is a lot easier nowadays. You’ll probably see around 2-3 people in each region doing, well, whatever they want, I mean there could be more, but I’m going by averages, as you could run around and see no-one, and at other times, find 10 people, it just depends on the time of day. Near instances, AKA dungeons, you’ll also see around 8 ish people, waiting to form a team, or waiting in dungeon queues, and within the towns there are a ton of people just hanging out, so yeah I wouldn’t consider this as a dead MMORPG.
Is TERA Worth Playing in 2017?
So, with all of TERA’s flaws, and problems, is it still worth, putting the time into playing it, right now in 2017? I do believe so. TERA can be easy at times, as leveling was improved to be more casual friendly, and the PvP isn’t as popular as it once was. This doesn’t detract from the sheer amount of fun you can have in TERA, leveling up, flying through out most of the zones, making alt characters to mess around on. getting ton’s of cosmetic items, to doll up your characters. Dungeon with friends, or random people, and make some new friends, as TERA doesn’t seem to have a toxic community, like some other MMORPGs out there.
TERA is a beautiful looking, fun MMORPG. Can it get boring at times? Yes, it sure can. Can it be annoying trying to upgrade gear, when it keeps failing? Sure does! But it’s still a ton of fun playing even with these faults. TERA isn’t for everyone, but those of you that can get past its flaws will no doubt enjoy what TERA has to offer.
TERA Minimum System Requirements
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz / SMD Athlon 64 3200+
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT / ATI Radeon X1600T
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB
TERA Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 / AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ or better
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT / ATI Radeon HD 3870 or better
RAM: 4 GB or better
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB