Tera gaming “elite”

10/24/2013 / Comments Off

In any closed community, there is a tendency for certain community members to seek ways in which to assign themselves special statuses. These statuses are universally structured to establish superiority over other community members. As it relates to this Soapbox, certain players for some reason like to dump free-to-play fans into a subordinate role identified by inferred commonalities: free-to-play players are casual, free-to-play players are lazy, free-to-play players are entitled, free-to-play players are children, etc.

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This method of reasoning avoids what is almost certainly the most important truth of free-to-play design: It is a decision made by the developer or publisher in the hopes that it will result in a higher return on investment. Free-to-play isn’t implemented by “lesser” gamers or freeloaders looking to ruin everyone’s good time; it is implemented by people who make the games because those people think it will result in the highest possible revenue. Countering a criticism of the sub model by complaining about people who prefer free-to-play games is like arguing that Wal-Mart is a bad company because some people like shopping there. In other words, it misses the point.

Free-to-play is not a perfect payment model. It has many pitfalls and problems, and is far from the perfect and most gamer-friendly method of monetizing any given title. But criticism of the model is only valid if it relates to the model itself — price gouging, content quality, pay-to-win, and grindy game design are all excellent places to jump off if the goal is poking holes in F2P as a design theory. What is not valid, however, is making assumptions about people who prefer the free-to-play model and using those assumptions to assail free-to-play as a monetization structure.

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Tera the bucks in ways

10/24/2013 / Comments Off

As our own Eliot Lefebvre laid out in last week’s Soapbox, game companies are businesses that exist to make money. Everything they do, whether it be crafting an expansion to an existing game or making a funny joke in a forum thread, is designed to keep you playing and keep you paying. Free-to-play as a business model didn’t come from a bunch of gamers sitting around trying to work out ways to take advantage of developers and get something for nothing, it came from savvy executives who spend every waking moment of their lives searching for the most efficient method to separate gamers from their money.

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These decisions weren’t made because a bunch of whiny gamers demanded access to content without wanting to pay for it. They were made because going free-to-play is good business sense for a studio that’s hemorrhaging money and has no alternative for turning the tides. Every game played represents a choice by the consumer, and the great majority of online game consumers are not willing to pay $15 a month for every game they play. Launching with a subscription is effectively making a bet that players will give up on the subscription games they already play and divert those monthly payments into an unproven title. Frankly, it hasn’t worked a single time in any long-term capacity since World of Warcraft launched in 2004.

Simply put, free-to-play brings in the bucks in ways that are often unmatched by other payment models. The MMO and online niches are replete with stories of struggling studios that reversed their fortunes by transitioning their games to F2P. Turbine reported that switching The Lord of the Rings Online into the free-to-play bracket resulted in the tripling of its profits. SOE’s EverQuest saw a 150% increase in unique logins after dumping its payment barriers. Titles like TERA, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Aion might not even exist without the use of free-to-play as an emergency financial parachute.

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Tera Leading Into the Future

10/23/2013 / Comments Off

In the past, TERA hasn’t been on too good of a roll with getting out new updates. Even when we know of things that are coming up, when it will happen is anyone’s guess. We pretty much have to just sit back and wait it out in the hopes that, at some point, we get the updates we’ve heard about elsewhere. To me, the biggest thing En Masse could do to help better understand what’s going on is to simply be transparent. Rather than waiting until a day or two before the patches are released, let us know what’s going on. What is in the works. Maybe even in-progress images or something and an estimated release date. A lot of games these days have test servers, and while they are great for testing bugs, they also give the benefit of knowing what is going on with the games prior to the updates being released.

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I also have hopes that we will see some sort of world evolution. Rather than playing in the same areas time after time (excluding dungeons), adding new zones could go a long way. This could then include things like new quest lines and mobs, giving a fresh new experience again where we can learn the new content, learn new mechanics to mob types, etc. Not to mention the change of scenery itself would be of a great benefit just because it lets us see something different.

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Tera Balance Problems

10/23/2013 / Comments Off

TERA has many issues with balance. In the PvP world, class-based balance was attempted by adding in normalized Battlegrounds (where everyone is put in the same gear upon entering). While this covers one part, the gear, it does not at all account for skill balance and major power differences between the classes. Along with this, these issues even stretch in to PvE content, where there is a pretty big rift between most of the classes and a noticeable difference in how effective each one is at taking down enemies.

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The big issue between the classes is that they have different styles of combat. For Archers, for example, you are primarily firing at your targets. For melee classes like the Warrior and Berserker, you have to be right up on your targets. This is a pretty big difference when we look at the Priest (who has target-based healing skills, as well as target-based cleansing ones) and the Sorcerer, who has target-based attack skills. With how much movement there is through PvP matches (especially being that TERA is more of a skill-based game and utilizes active blocking and dodging), this makes a massive difference in the battles.

Gold is another pretty big imbalance in the game, in that there are not many gold sinks now that the game is free to play. Ever since this move, the amount of gold earned has increased considerably while the amount destroyed (by buying things from the NPC and such) has been greatly diminished. As a result, inflation has hit the game hard, and it continues to keep getting worse. So where is the imbalance here? For newer players just getting to the maximum level, they are essentially poor. While they can earn gold to get up to where others are, it takes a lot of time. Basically the lack of gold sinks has caused an issue where the rich keep getting richer and the poor are lagged behind.

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TERA of Official Review

10/22/2013 / Comments Off

You can get a pretty good idea of just what I think of TERA, En Masse Entertainment’s first foray into the world of MMO Publishing and Western rebranding over the course of four previous Review in Progress articles. See exhibits A, B, C, and D. I’ve played the game for over fifty hours since launch, and while I’m still only in my 30s on my main character (an Amani Lancer), I think I’ve come to know enough about the world of Arborea to give it a fair and honest review. Will you agree with my final tally? Well, that’s a silly question. There’s always dissention when it comes to these things. But I hope you’ll at least agree that I’ve given TERA a thorough examination. In the end, En Masse’s game is one of my top recent MMORPG releases. It definitely has its drawbacks (which we’ll cover), but by and large it’s an enjoyable themepark MMO with fantastic combat and gorgeous visuals. Let’s dive in and see how it all breaks down, shall we?

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TERA has been released for nearly a month now and we’ve been not only putting the game through its paces but we have been chronicling our adventures throughout the past few weeks. We’ve got the bottom line ready to roll so keep reading before adding your thoughts in the comments.

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TERA’s two tank classes

10/22/2013 / Comments Off

Many of you have shared your thoughts on TERA’s two tank classes, the warrior and lancer. If you play either class, you’ll appreciate having more flexibility on both offense and defense, so we’re changing defensive skills to consume a new resource instead of MP. (And before you ask, yes—you’ll be able to restore that third bar on the top of your screen quickly.) Warriors will gain three new skills, including the ability to block an attack with their twin swords. Lancers will get two new skills, including a skill that should significantly improve lancer mobility.

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En Masse Entertainment has posted a short blog article revealing a bit of information about what the team is working on for an update coming later this summer. Most notably, tank classes (Warrior & Lancer) will be receiving some love and two new instances will make their debut.

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Tera Make Skills Develop

10/21/2013 / Comments Off

The same time we think is portrays the strength of the character which isn’t saying much for the guys who are half bent over while hanging on to their weapons on Tera. We were just thinking, as your character progresses, they get stronger, shouldn’t this mean a higher level has less trouble wielding that chunk of steel? Additionally, better weapons are though to be made of better materials, this usually amounts to rare metals that are lighter but still have all the pros, if not more, of the previously used heavier metal.

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Make skills develop as your character(tera gold) changes. This could already happen, but we haven’t read anything about it as of yet. We recently watched some videos of the skills of certain classes, this applies to those wielding 2 handed “heavy” weapons, such as berserkers and slayers. We noticed that the characters look weighed down when swinging their weapons, and we understand that it’s portraying their weight.

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Tera Warrriors Thoughts

10/21/2013 / Comments Off

What we were getting at is do not waste your time trying to make a Tera class designed to tank be something else. If your looking for face rolling dps the berserker , slayer forums are that way. That doesn’t mean warriors can not or wont be able to bring the pain, its just going to be alot more work required in doing so. Thats what appeals to us about the class the most. You have to outplay your opponent, there are too many mistakes, you do. Take the time to consider a killer or violent, because we are doing, level cap is 60 and beyond, who knows what grinding is like, this is a huge investment in time.

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We think the warrior(tera gold) population will be high at release but will dwindle as the game progress, people who introduced the class to see how much the wrong reasons is a Berserker injury and killing of the output. And people who like the class, because it looks similar to other games assassin class. You will be disappointed. Assassins do burst damage and catch people off guard. We doubt warriors will be able to get a huge amount of burst dps off on some one they sneak up on, gonna have to rely on maneuvering and positing to win battles not burst dps.

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Tera Character Sorcerer Guide

10/19/2013 / Comments Off

Fire Pillar: Conjures a Fire Pilar right in front of the user, delivering several attacks to enemies inside it.

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Mana Shield:Forms a magical shield which absorbs damage In accordance to the damage absorbed MP(Tera Gold) mil be consumed. It you absorb more damage then a set amount or if you run out of MP the effect wears oft.

Light of Destruction: Shoots a light orb of destruction straight ahead. Any target that gets hit will recieve a devastating attack. One target only.

Contract of Destruction: After using Contract of Destruction, the next skill used will deal more damage.

Bomb Toss: Tosses(Tera online Gold) a bomb forward, dealing damage to any targets

Sorcerers with their already strong skils have been given new skills to complement them. They’ve been improved to function better in close combat by receiving skills such as Fire Pillar which damages nearby enemies, and Mana Shield which reduces damage taken.

In their dream, there were twelve gods-typed beings as they were the first beings and imagined by the Titans. The gods began to fight and it was not long before. As they continue dreaming, new beings appeared, they were known as mortals. They were not so powerful, but they were huge in number. In the dream of Arun, there appeared the determined Elves, honor bound Amani, clever Humans, scheming Devas, powerful Giants and the mischievous Poporis. Similarly, Shara experienced dark fierce Wendigos, Sikandari, strange Faeries, serpentine Nagas, dark Gulas and Vampire. Move to the online gaming shop to buy Tera Gold at the most affordable cost.

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Tera The Shadow of Giants

10/19/2013 / Comments Off

Just as I let me guard down, the chieftain turned and swung his monstrous club down on our helpless platoon. The ground shook as the soldier standing between Platy and I forever disappeared into the blooded sands of Val Aureum. Seconds felt like minutes as we moved in slow motion attempting to take cover. The tribe of 30 giants had rallied at the sudden aggression of their leader and cheered his name in hopes of further destruction. As I crawled through the sand looking for cover, I turned to see Stadrian smirk and stand his ground before the enormous being. He uncaringly rolled up his scroll, tossing it into the sands, and lifted his shield with one arm over his head just in time to receive the full blunt of the chieftain’s club. A cheer roared out from the giant tribe as his feet sunk into the sand, but to our surprise he stood fast and retaliated with such force that the giant’s club flew back into his own face, knocking him off balance. With one sweeping motion his lance extended to slice across the giant’s right kneecap straight to his left ankle. The chieftain fell to his knees before the Castanic lancer.

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Sure pound for pound a giant can take most any Federation soldier. But with the races united now they are outnumbered 100 to 1. I could see the bitter withheld rage in their eyes as Samael’s right hand man er Castanic, Stadrian, continued reading off the scroll without flinching at the two giants’ unpredictable movement. His veins were surely made out of ice to read off Samael’s degrading words to the giant chieftain. Though cockiness goes hand to hand with being a Castanic, Stadrian seemed to take it to an entirely new level. His hardened leather and Normetal forged gear shone duly in the hot desert sun as he cocked his head to the side awaiting a response from the giants. As we had planned the giants turned and began to wave down their followers. I breathed the first breath in a minute as I saw the giants lower their clubs in acceptance of the temporary treaty.

Still these giants looked barbaric and sullen compared to the images I had seen of the great Giants’ Empire of old. Giants plated in gold and Xer metal riding upon mammoths with legions of enslaved Amani at their command. Their empire stretched from modern day Kaiator across the great sea to southern Val Aureum and everything in between. And now less than one millennium later the giants bear no greater importance on world events than that of the Naga or Tuwangi. Their great palaces mere ruins. The Amani rulers of their own domain and unafraid to kill a giant that dares look down on them.

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