TERA in 2019.. is it Dead or Worth Playing?
MrsStix and I both enjoy TERA. Or, okay, let me rephrase that. MrsStix and I both enjoyed TERA. Past tense.
I played TERA back when you had to pay to play it – I was one of the OG Founder’s. I got that awesome title and everything once it converted to free to play.
So it’s safe to say I’m a very, very large fan of the game.
To date, TERA still has some of the best true action combat I’ve ever played through and although it’s become more evidently dated over time, I still can’t help but enjoy it whenever I go back to it.
MrsStix actually played this as her main MMO for the entirety of 2016 – before her and I got together.
So we were both curious how TERA held up in 2019 – were we both wearing nostalgia goggles or is the game still a good MMORPG to play in 2019?
Let’s talk about that.
These are my thoughts and impressions on the way to.. level 64? level 65?
TERA is one of the few true action combat MMORPGs currently available.
It was released in North America back in 2012 as a pay to play MMORPG but shortly after released as a freemium title, offering premium benefits while going completely free to play.
In 2013, after going free to play, TERA had a total 1.4 million registered players. By 2017, TERA had over 26 million registered players worldwide, with almost 7 million of those being from North America alone.
After launching onto both the Xbox One and PS4, they accumulated over 2 million additional console players.
Clearly the game was a very large success, both on PC and console.
There are several race and class options available in-game. Some classes are race and gender locked which to date has frustrated countless players but South Korea loves limiting our freedom in games.
We have the Human, Castanic, Aman – the race, not specifically.. y’know, like, a random dude, High Elf, Popori, Elin and finally the Baraka.
The classes are pretty much what you’d expect out of any fantasy MMO: Archer, Berserker, Brawler, Gunner, Lancer, Mystic, Ninja, Priest, Reaper, Slayer, Sorcerer, Valkyrie, and the Warrior.
I’ve never been all too fond of gender locking and find the whole situation with limiting exactly what we can play based off of what gender we’re willing to play as a little silly.
But as it’s South Korea, and they gender lock in every MMO they push out, it’s likely something we’re never going to get past.
Once getting in-game, you’re given a lengthy tutorial of the game where they teach you how to move your character, hold left click and reveal the secret arts of meditation.
At least that’s what I tell people when they ask why I fell asleep.
I get wanting to guide people through game mechanics, but both the original tutorial island and even the new, overhauled zone is completely unnecessary and redundant.
If you’ve played an MMO, you know how to move. You know how to attack. You know how to click skills and you know how to talk to NPCs.
Gating the game behind this tutorial is enough to not only bore but also frustrate both new players and players looking to make alts.
After the tutorial – which takes around 30 minutes on average, you’re around level 10 and sent to the main city of Velika.
There you continue with the story – and only the story, because TERA has kinda truncated the leveling experience, meaning that you’re capable of continuing while only pursuing the main story, leaving side quests meaningless.
At level 20 you enter your first dungeon – one of several you’ll do on your way to max level.
The dungeons are soloable, especially as a Gunner where I flip around like some kind of Twitch streamer that drank 2 litres of Red Bull before the fight.
But parties are still nevertheless the route to take as they make for a much faster experience, and allow for you to farm the dungeon for quick XP.
This is ideal for leveling I reckon – we grinded dungeons with the same people on occasion since they didn’t wanna leave the party, and got some great levels.
By the time we had hit around level 65, we came to the realization that they’d patched in a level cap increase to level 70.
We were excited as we were under the impression that that meant lots of new content on the way to level 70 but we were mistaken.
Instead, what we had was an increase in level.. without any real content. Some quests, a new world boss system, and.. that was it. There were no real ways of obtaining level 70 that weren’t an arduous grind.
And at the time there was no actual purpose to hitting level 70 other than just.. being level 70.
It was at this point we decided that we were going to stop. There were several reasons behind this choice.
First, we had tried queueing for dungeons around the level 64-65 range. Upon entering, I, personally, was greeted with toxicity on more than one occasion.
I was kicked because my gear wasn’t up to their standards. I was kicked because I didn’t know mechanics for the dungeon I was doing – for the very first time, mind you.
Things like that. Then we expected PvP to at the very least be possible.. but PvP was dead. We tried queueing at all times of the day but could never get a queue to pop.
This lead us to believe that PvP is pretty much dead, and looking at both the forums and Reddit.. that’s a commonly reoccuring thought.
TERA was once a damn good game, but there has been so much content pruned over the last couple years. We’ve lost hundreds of quests, had entire zones altered, dungeons nerfed into the ground.
So much has changed to make this game more casual friendly that it killed what made the game enjoyable.
That and over time the game is becoming more and more pay to win, which wasn’t really very prevalent when I played years ago but is definitely evident now.
The dungeons used to be a lot of fun – granted, they were never really as difficult as other games in the genre but that didn’t mean they didn’t require effort and coordination.
Now, you get people running in sans a healer just YOLOing stuff because the difficulty is no longer there.
The world, the combat, the story – okay, well the story was never really as intricately weaved within the world like something like Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy XIV, but the story has become a convoluted mess.
The world that is still currently beautiful and was once filled with players and content is now desolate – you don’t see anyone anywhere outside the cities.
My wife and I played for a month or two – spending several hours per week, at varying times of the day and we never encountered anyone. It was a ghost-town outside the safe zones.
The removal of sidequests has left questing so.. linear as there is no longer a sense of exploration.
You don’t need to venture out in search of quests to continue leveling. You continue the main story and never look back.
The only thing I believe could make leveling worse is if it were auto-pathing me to every objective, but really, when I have auto-run keybound and just sit on my phone because I don’t need to pay attention.. is there any difference?
Thankfully the combat is still highly enjoyable.. at least as Gunner. Otherwise I don’t know what I would’ve done with myself, let alone the game.
I just cannot fathom how a game that was as well received as TERA was and has survived as long as TERA has is in the situation it’s currently in.
One thing I do know is that the game is on its last legs. If nothing is done, the game will soon join the MMO graveyard.
So is TERA worth playing in 2019?
There are a lot of good aspects of the game but they are vastly outnumbered by the negative.
I’ve been a supporter of TERA since it was pay to play. I’ve included it in various “top ten” videos, always talking highly about its combat and graphics.
I’ve done absolutely everything I possibly could to continue to drive people to play the game. I’ve done dedicated videos on it, I’ve done livestreams of it.. but in its current form, I cannot endorse it.
I don’t believe right now it is worth investing any time into as a new player, nor do I believe it’s worth returning to as an old player.
My wife who has played the game for twice as long as I have and participated in end-game dungeons and raiding has a similar sentiment.
The game isn’t ruined in its entirety, but the developers don’t seem to understand what we want out of the game and continue digging a hole for the game.
There are a lot of improvements that need to be made before TERA is capable of being seen as a competent MMO in this day and age but I highly doubt that’ll ever happen.
All we can do is reminisce on what was once an amazing, highly addicting, entertaining MMORPG.