First Impressions of TERA Trial

So after seeing their marketing video I never wanted to play TERA. It seemed aimed squarely at attracting elitist bullies and trash talking pvp nerds, with no focus on building community.

Entering TERA via Pegasus

Enter TERA with me

My guildies say the game itself is quite different, with people helping each other in general chat and an actual sense of teamwork. So I decided to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, being unable to talk on a trial account did not allow me to find out if my biggest reason to NOT get the game was valid or not. TERA needs to implement a “friend code” version of the trial which doesn’t have so many limitations.

After the cut, will go into more depth about my responses, pros, cons, and conclusion – decision to buy or not! May be a bit NSFW depending on your workplace. You’ve been warned!

First Responses

  1. Bugged out boss fight
    • For my first character I started an Archer, and went through the prologue. The boss fight bugged out. The npcs were hitting like wet noodles and they all died, then I wasn’t effective enough at kiting to avoid dying. Rezzed several times and was unable to get the boss below 98% health despite having gotten it lower than that before I died.Since that was my very first playthrough I was unsure if it was a bug or if the game was just impossibly hard, with overly stupid stat debuffs from dying. The marketing made it look like it was the latter.
    • There was no response from @TERAonline to my question of if it was a bug, and all other players on twitter assumed I was talking about dying and being transported to the starting area. This was on the first boss of the prologue, not the second one. It was bugged and I was stuck there with no response and no way to contact support since it was a trial. I’ve found no mention of this bug on the internet, but later characters had no problem with that particular fight.
  2. Panties
    • For me this really breaks immersion. Whenever possible I play as a female character in order to identify with the character, it’s slightly harder to identify with a male when I’m looking at his cute butt through the whole game, you know? Unfortunately, in this game it’s impossible for me to identify as a female character because I would never wear an outfit where you can see my panties by simply RUNNING.
    • There is a lot about the character design that breaks immersion for me. High Elves of all classes stand like they’re being judged at a beauty pageant, which just looks ODD as a fighter wearing heavy armor, and out of place in the world. All female characters wear high heels walking over grassland (you try THAT in real life!) but the men don’t even wear low heels on boots. Humans and High Elves look out of place in the environment, like they don’t belong.
    • Although men are more sexualized than is usual for Western games, they don’t match the level of sexualization of the women. Humanoid males come across as slightly gay or at best metrosexual, but not really trying hard on the same level as the females. In looking at the game’s fashions, there’s no options to play a guy wearing skimpy panties as armor. I had to roll a male character in order to enjoy the game but I’m definitely not having the same experience as a hetero male playing a female character.
    • All these immersion-breakers are summed up in the one word: panties. Just, no.
  3. Trial Limitations are way too harsh
    • So my friend found me and invited me to a party, but I couldn’t add them to my friends list even after they added me! Couldn’t add them on another character to be able to send tells later if they came online.
    • Can’t trade. Picked up a cool rare item that my friend’s class could use but couldn’t trade it to them. Couldn’t put it into the bank for an alt. Can’t even use the bank? Really?
      I know these games make these limitations in order to “encourage” you to sign up, but it’s really preventing me from giving the game a fair shake when I can’t evaluate if the playerbase is helpful, can’t speak up to join a group when someone asks, can’t send stuff to an alt, etc.
    • Due to the limitations, my #1 reservation about getting the game (if it really has attracted the type of people who that video would attract) is unaddressed.

People told me the prologue was stupid and to just skip it, but I’m finding it useful to evaluate higher level abilities. It’s a little taste of having a real character, and once used to the gameplay was actually fun. It helped that the first boss fight didn’t bug out again, so I was able to complete it on all the other classes I tried. Even dying on another character (warrior in defensive mode is a little weird at first) didn’t have the same problem.

So far I’ve tried Archer, Lancer, Priest, Sorceror, Warrior, and Mystic. At this low level the gameplay style is similar for all but Lancer: blocking instead of evading takes some getting used to. All other types get attention, then start leaping or rolling around to evade, while using the monster’s followthrough as time to get a few free hits in.

Pros

  1. Gameplay
    • Abilities and animations are smooth. One ability flows well into a followup, especially with the use of chained abilities. The use of chaining helps you to relax and feel the flow of the fight more instead of constantly scrambling for buttons to mash. That should make it feel less real, but instead it makes it feel more real. In a fight, you just fight, and there’s a calm that descends on you in the middle of the action. TERA has that calm feeling.
    • Each class has a distinctive, visceral style that makes you really feel the action. As a Lancer, you are a bulwark to protect and defend your party. As a Warrior, you are mobile, charging in to rain down blows on your enemies then suddenly jumping out of harm’s way. As a Priest, you invoke powers to heal your allies, and rain down destruction on your enemies.
    • It sounds trite, but it really feels like you’re playing a certain type of character class, and I love that each one seems capable and fun while being a different style. Hope that remains true at max level – nothing worse than pouring heart and soul into a character and discovering that by design it’s gimped at endgame compared to everything else.
  2. Gorgeous Landscapes OMG
    • The beauty of the landscape aesthetic is unbelievable. Just in the starter area (not prologue) I often stop in the middle of questing and take screenshots from all angles around my character. It’s perfection. Seeing all that beauty around me makes me happy, and is something I’d miss.

      The beauty of TERA

  3. Story Premise
    • So this island appears out of nowhere and is magical and you go on an expedition but there’s monsters that attack you and weird evil zombie things and then you fight a demon and whoa suddenly you’re relearning everything because you’re recovering from your injuries and then you set out to find your former commander? Cool.

Cons

  1. Panties.
    • Right: Shows way too much. Left: Shows nothing.

      Sexualization of women in games and not so much men. Again. Also, no panties for men. If you’re going to have the one, then I feel cheated not having the other.

  2. Enemy types.
    • I really hate fighting nature spirits and cute things. The game does explain that these nature spirits/protectors are sick and we need to collect samples in order to find out what’s going on… but why can’t we take samples without killing them?
    • Also, I found it odd to on one hand be given a quest to fight an evil, corrupted tree that’s decided to kill all the piglings and on the other hand be given a quest to “practice” fighting – on those same piglings! Make up your mind, huh? Am I protecting these things or killing them?
  3. Dancing.
    • Ummm… wtf? O.O
    • In every game I look forward to seeing the dorky dances. This one goes a step further by having your character dorkily half-hum, half-sing along with the dorky dance. Please, no.
  4. Archer Class.
    • As an Archer, run-stand-shoot-run-stand-shoot makes sense, but I was frustrated with the close range, as real-world archery is MUCH longer range than that. I guess the game needs to keep Archers close enough in combat that the melee classes have a chance to get to them. It was the only one not perfect, but it was still fun.
    • I just can’t get over having a bow and not being able to shoot from far away when archery class was 20 yards (beginner) and 40 yards (advanced), not LESS THAN 15 YARDS OR NOT FULL DAMAGE.
    • Would have made more sense to me if it hadn’t been so obviously a bow and arrow. Yes, yes, magic makes everything make sense… except when it doesn’t. A bowlike weapon with extra parts to condense magic into blasts of ammo would help clear up that physical confusion for me, because as it is right now it looks like a damn bow and arrow.
    • Admittedly minor and possibly something I’d get over eventually, but I did have to list it.

Conclusion

As it is right now, if it was a singleplayer game I’d want to buy it. Polished gameplay in beautiful landscapes that really make me feel I’m in a fantasy world. The fetish aspects are a big detraction though, and the restrictions on trial accounts shut me out of the biggest draw of any MMO – the social aspect.

I love a lot of things about this game and even in this short time I will miss it. But I’m not getting the game, because due to the limitations of the trial I can’t evaluate what I needed to evaluate in order to make the decision to buy:

  1. Social community-building aspects. Can I build my guild here?
  2. Responsiveness of customer support.

That’s my first look at TERA, thanks for reading!

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