The second round of closed beta testing kicked off this weekend; opening up PvP for the first time, and while limited, it gave us our first glimpse into TERA‘s PvP system.
In short, TERA features an open PvP system where anyone can attack anyone else, as long as they aren’t in a protected area. These areas include any towns or outposts that have quest NPCs in them, so there’s plenty of safe zones around the map. In this second round of testing, only open PvP and Guild vs Guild were available, no battlegrounds (PvP matches).
While it is completely open, TERA uses an “outlaw” feature meant to discourage griefers; although, in the end, it’s kinda pointless. We’ll get to that later. To initiate an attack on another player, the attacking player must declare they are an “outlaw”. This turns their name-plate red and they are free to attack anyone they want, however they received lesser stat rewards for PKing while they’re an outlaw. On the other hand, players that kill an outlaw will receive greater stat rewards.
In this beta test, the stat pages weren’t recording anything, so how this works exactly is not known, but that’s the gist of it as I understood from the NPC.
The Guild vs Guild War system basically removes the “outlaw” feature for the two warring guilds. Players are free to attack anyone from the opposing guild and will receive normal stat rewards.
The main issue with the open PvP system is that there are no rewards past the statistics, and when compared to PvE quests, it really pushes you to PvE. I can spend an hour and complete a dozen quests, gain items, money and XP, or I can spend an hour PvPing and gain nothing. So why bother wasting my time with PvP?
For someone like me who enjoys PvP much more than PvE, I gravitate towards it; but if there’s absolutely no gain, I’m forced back to PvE to advance my character.
TERA‘s open PvP system is fun, but still requires some major changes to hit a home-run. First and foremost: they need to add incentives. Those that decide to grief and continually mark themselves as an “outlaw” to PK, should receive both greater rewards for their kills and added incentive against them. This would discourage most players from griefing, as there would be greater rewards for others to kill them, but would temp some by offering greater outlaw rewards as well.
Currently marking yourself as an outlaw is almost meaningless, as there’s almost no reward when you kill someone. It basically just shows players you want to fight, but by doing so you receive less stat rewards when you do.
Overall I had some fun over the weekend. TERA has no faction system, so you’re always surrounded by potential enemies, which just makes it more exciting when compared to those MMORPGs where the PvP and PvE zones are separate. The system still has some major flaws in it, but hopefully we’ll see some positive changes in the next beta weekend next week.