The first TERA closed beta session began yesterday, and today we bring you our first impressions of the game so far. This first session has a level cap of 22 and is limited to PvE only.
Character creation is above average when compared to other MMORPGs. There’s 7 races, 8 classes to choose from, and plenty of customization options. Although, nothing is really ground breaking. The guess work as to what type of class you’re selecting is effectively removed as everything is laid out for you at character creation, telling you exactly what role each class is capable of, as listed below.
- Warrior – Evasion Tank / DPS
- Lancer – Absorption Tank
- Slayer – Burst DPS (Leather Armor)
- Berserker – Burst DPS (Metal Armor)
- Archer – Ranged Sustained DPS
- Sorcerer – Ranged Burst DPS
- Priest – Primary Healer
- Mystic – Support Healer
The user interface is what you would expect, however coming from SWTOR, which had one of the worst UI’s ever, it makes TERA’s interface seem light years ahead. All windows can be moved around or resized, there’s 3 maps players have to navigate. A standard radar compass at the top right, a mini-map to the right and a full-screen map, which seems redundant, but are very useful.
I selected my favorite class for the closed beta, an Archer, and have to say – combat is pretty fun so far. TERA uses an action combat system, no tab-targeting, so players will have to actually aim and hit their targets. There is an auto-face which I was very glad to see. A lot of melee players don’t understand why it’s such a big deal, but it’s really meant for ranged classes. As an Archer, if there’s no auto-face, I’m as good as a standing attack dummy in PvP verse melee classes, because Archers cannot move and attack at the same time. Melee players who decide to run circles around an Archer are unhittable without auto-face, and I would suspect it would be even worse in TERA, since again, Archers have to aim themselves; so auto-face is really a necessity.
The graphics are absolutely stunning, I don’t care who you are, you’ll end up stopping from time to time to just check out the views.
I was also impressed with how polished the game is, still two and a half months away from launch. The only bug I ran into were a quest bug where players could not complete the quest if another player attacked the required boss. The other issue I noticed, but was more annoying thatn game-stopping, was that on the compass and mini-map, NPC icons would display on one, but not the other. I’m sure it’ll be fixed by launch.
Now that I’ve gotten the good out of the way, I’m going to skip the bad and get straight into the horrible. Quests.
Holy grind fest! If this game is going to fail, it will be because of the quest grinding which is the worst I’ve ever seen in a MMORPG, especially after playing Bioware’s proven system in SWTOR so recently. I’m still in the starting area, but aside from the tutorial quests, every quest has been a “kill x” or “collect y”. There are quests series where you kill 10 mobs, turn it in, then get the next quest to collect 10 of something from those very same mobs. Seriously!?
Granted I’m only at level 9, but that should mean I still have that “fresh new MMO” feeling where I don’t care yet. If I’m already hating the quest grinding at level 9, how am I going to possibly make it to level 60? There’s no chance.
I don’t know how TERA could fix this so late in development, but my suggestion would be to just delete half of the quests from the game. The pride and joy of TERA is the combat system, boss fights/raids and political system, so let players skip the quest grind and get to those features faster.
Of course, I have yet to try out the political system or PvP, as this first round is PvE only. Perhaps those features can be enough to sway me back, but only time can tell.