A game’s story, it’s world, it’s lore matters. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have put it in our name! Sure, we’re primarily concerned with World of Warcraft around here, either because it’s simply the most popular MMORPG or the one that we all share in common, but that doesn’t mean it has a monopoly on world-building. Of course, that’s easy when you have a storied franchise with lots of Extended Universe junk to build upon. Being a brand new franchise, TERA doesn’t have that luxury, but that’s kind of what I like about it.
I can respect a developer unafraid to create something new and populate its world with all sorts of creatures and races that break the typically Tolkien mold. For instance, the rather unique Popori race:
The popori kingdom comprises two types of nature spirits: the elin, which appear as small female humanoids, and the woodland creatures these tiny beings have raised into consciousness, known simply as “poporis.”
Long ago, the goddess Elinu fragmented her pure and innocent essence creating spirits given physical form. These elin then used their divine spark to awaken furry beasts to sentience. Despite their very different physical forms, the spirits are alike at heart: full of life, curiosity, and tenacity. As a nation, poporis hold sacred their duty to protect nature, which has led to many clashes with the other races.
Some find poporis’ blunt communication style and quirky, mischievous behavior off-putting; others find it refreshing. But no one denies that their ferocity in battle makes them strong allies. Whether you make a popori your friend or your enemy, however, have a care: poporis are not afraid to stick their noses into your face—nor are they ashamed to stick them into your business.
The only analog that comes immediately to mind is Star Trek‘s symbiotic Trill, but even that doesn’t quite apply. As it turns out, the Popori are only the tip of the creative iceberg. iTZKooPA caught the attention of EnMasse’s David Noonan for the low-down on the lore behind TERA at this year’s PAX Prime.