Is TERA Worth Playing in 2022? | An MMO Review

Is TERA Worth Playing in 2022? | An MMO Review

I’ll admit, I struggled a little with this one. I wanted this to be a fun, entertaining yet informative video. Highlighting the things TERA did right, and the things it currently does wrong.
But out of all the MMOs I’ve played, TERA is perhaps the least recognizable to me in its current form. It has changed so drastically that it feels like an entirely different game. The leveling experience, the constant removal of content, the empty world.
This game is a shell of its former self, but does that mean we shouldn’t play it?

Today, we’re taking a look at TERA. This was one of Mrs Stix’s first MMOs – an introduction to the genre for her. It was also my first action MMO, having come from games like Perfect World, Tales of Pirates and WoW.

So. Is TERA as bad as people claim it is in 2022?

It’s been a year since we last played. We made it to endgame. Max level. We hit a point where all that was left was to farm Vanguard quests in the open-world, and queue for dungeons. Or, at least that’s what it seemed like. On the contrary, we had access to a single dungeon.
Macellarius Catacombs. This dungeon had an item level requirement of 512. Which you’re immediately gifted, as when you log in they throw a full set of gear at you that gives you absolutely asinine amounts of stats. Yet somehow doesn’t get you to item level 513. Thus you’re stuck farming one single dungeon. Which people continue to die in.

If they had given us that single digit increase in item level, the point between coming back, and endgame content would be achievable so much easier.

But, that’s essentially how you play catch-up. One might find running a single dungeon to be too much of a repetitious, arduous grind – but it gets worse.
To mix things up, you’re given the option of doing daily Vanguard quests as well. “Go to this max level zone and farm 10 monsters.” To which you think to yourself, “Oh, that doesn’t sound too bad.” Until you get there and realize that even though the quests say “SOLO,” if you opt to tackle them solo.. they take 10 minutes per kill.
Which is the largest waste of time I’ve ever seen. Even for someone with substantially better gear than me, together, monsters took 4 to 6 minutes. Whoever thought giving BAM’s – Big Ass Monsters – exponentially more HP than we have damage shouldn’t be allowed to design video games. Because that is, for lack of a better word, stupid.
It wouldn’t be bad if the monsters required skill to combat. Hit hard. Had mechanics that you were required to learn. But you literally stand still mashing abilities, and rolling out of an AoE every now and then. Not that the damage was high enough to warrant moving for the vast majority of it.

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Disregarding what is arguably a horrible point to come back to the game, TERA is-was a gorgeous MMO. Once upon a time. It has continued to grow significantly more dated – visually. Zones seem flat. There isn’t really anything to them. Nothing to explore – no real reason to, even.
The introduction of flying made it much worse, as the game-world wasn’t built for flight as a form of exploration. The world from up high is ugly, jagged and pixelated. Character animations feel less polished than they did a few years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, it still pulls off the “Korean attempt at a medieval fantasy” aesthetic well. To date, there are only a handful of MMOs that look better and fit the same style, the same theme. But given games we see these days – this would be a bad introductory title for a new MMO player.

Thankfully, while the game might look dated by today’s standards, it definitely doesn’t feel dated. On the contrary, TERA has some of the best action combat of any MMO in 2022.
Sure, some people might argue that Blade & Soul or Black Desert have better combat. Maybe even PSO2 New Genesis. But TERA took a traditional combat system – where you’re able to keybind abilities to your numbers, your letters. And cycle through them in whatever rotation you feel comfortable with.
As opposed to BDO or Blade & Soul which give you much smaller selection of abilities, and often have button combinations like shift+strafe+A+D after performing a successful parry against 2 or more monsters.
Yup, that’s too complex for me. I rather have something like “Hit #2, #3, spacebar to reload, #2, #4.” Maybe it’s because I’m old, but I prefer more simplistic approaches that don’t require I memorize hundreds of different button combinations that vary depending on which situations are or are not met.
Special effects aren’t overly flashy. They also don’t really feel too impactful, but every class does, for the most part, look and feel relatively unique.

As I noted, the world is kind of.. empty. You’ll find hordes of monsters spread through somewhat larger areas. You’ll have Vanguard quests to take to eliminate x number of them, which gains you XP and a selection of items. Potions. Currency.
A lot has been removed from the game, so the world functions as a means with which to push you from story NPC to story NPC, but given the speed with which you level, questing seems almost like a redundant feature. As does the world.
You either opt to level by entering dungeons by yourself – as most dungeons until max level are doable solo, or you queue for a dungeon and hope someone else is to make things faster.
Regardless, you obtain so many level ups via running dungeons that it eliminates any need for any other content. While the world was at one point filled with side-quests, filled with story quests, filled with players running groups to fight BAMs… now it’s an empty, barren wasteland.
I wish there was a reason – an incentive to go back out into the world. But there just.. isn’t. At least, not from what I experienced. And unless you can make it past that asinine introductory grind to reach endgame, you likely won’t find a reason to either.

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I did note that the world used to be a little more filled with content. Some of that content took the form of story: TERA wasn’t always so disconnected, so difficult to understand as it is now.
Once upon a time – there… wait, okay. So there was once… huh. You know what? While the game has always had somewhat of a story, it – and I know this might come off as somewhat of a contentious opinion, but its narrative was always pretty bad.
There were certain recurring characters you’d find over the course of the game. But unlike Final Fantasy XIV, which is about half narrative, half gameplay, TERA was 2% narrative, 98% gameplay. It had one.. you just don’t really remember what it was. A guy named Elleon? Some big booba Elf lady in that city surrounded by water?
The old traitor guy? Uh.. Yeah. And if the story before was kind of mediocre, imagine what it is now after they spend years slowly truncating the experience.
Theen again, it is a Korean MMO, and outside of Blade & Soul and Lost Ark, I haven’t ever really encountered a worthwhile story in a Korean MMO.

Now I know I made it sound like there really isn’t anything to do in the game. On the contrary, there’s a lot to do in the game. There just isn’t any purpose to really do it. Nor anyone actively participating in the content to actually consume.
As an example, there are Battlegrounds. I haven’t been in a Battleground in what seems like years because whenever I queue for it, it tells me the number of player queueing are “low,” and even doing a 4 hour stream over on Twitch, never end up having a single queue successfully pop.
While there’s a PvP system in place.. nobody really participates in it anymore. Back when I started with TERA, I played on an open-world PvP server. And while I recall being camped outside of Lumbertown by higher level players, it made for a sense of accomplishment whenever you’d manage to escape a group of griefers.
But it also left it open for open-world engagements with other players your own level. It required you to pay attention to your surroundings, as you’d never know who you could trust, or when things would go south.
I mean, sure, there’s the Kumas Royale… or there was. When logging in the most recent time – actually just 2 days ago, I couldn’t locate it. Did it get removed? Or is it set on rotation or something and I was just blind?
Then we have dungeons. I recall dungeons used to be catered to larger groups. 5-player? Or was it 6-player dungeons? They’ve since been altered to allow for 3 players to cooperatively tackle. Which makes sense, given the population issues the game has.
Dungeons are honestly one of the better aspects of the game: They look pretty good, some of them are actually enormous inside. They feel unique. Bosses can range from being a cake-walk to actually requiring attention. Although the game – including dungeons suffers from HP-bloat.
The devs decided “Oh, dungeons are too easy. Instead of making them more challenging, let’s just increase their HP.” And I feel that’s a sentiment echoed throughout the entirety of the game.
Instead of improving areas that need to be improved, instead, they respond with “Just add more HP.” Then we have Vanguard quests. BAMs. Professions like Alchemy, Smelting, Processing, Etching and Cooking.

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At the end of the day, TERA has the potential to be a fantastic MMO. The game still looks good a decade later. The combat is arguably better than the vast majority of titles present in 2022. Heck, it still provides a better action combat system than MMOs released in 2021 like Bless Unleashed. Astellia. Elyon.
And even with Elyon supposedly being the spiritual successor to TERA, this game just feels.. better. It runs better. It plays better. The world is more dull, and it feels like there’s less to do but given Elyon’s population issues, I fear TERA averages more active players after a decade than Elyon does after 6 months.
If this game had a competent group of developers that instead gave players what they want as opposed to catering to the every-declining whales, this would still be one of the top MMOs presently.
Kind of how RuneScape, decades later, still averages hundreds of thousands of active players every month.

Is this the greatest MMO? To some people, maybe. To me? No.

Combat – 10/10 Honestly, this still has one of the best combat systems out of any MMO in my opinion.
Graphics – 5/10 Graphically, it looks and feels much more dated than I remember, and this continues to get worse every year.
Narrative – 1/10 The narrative – what remains of it… is incredibly underwhelming.
World – 6/10 The world is large and open, but there’s nobody inhabiting it, and nothing to really warrant.. well, doing anything within it. Which is why everyone is AFK in 2 town hubs.
Content – 6/10 There is, admittedly, plenty of things to do in the game. There’s just nobody doing any of it.
Overall – 28/50 Honestly, I ended up rating this higher than I thought I would.

In its current form, TERA is a passable MMORPG. It is a very hollow shell of what it once was, and will likely continue to decline into obscurity, until Gameforge, the only Western publisher for the game now, shuts it down.
And given the kind of population numbers we’re seeing.. that could be sooner than we think.

  • author image
    AirIslander Reply
    Apr 21, 2022 @ 11:48 am

    It’s official Gameforge shuts down Tera on June

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