While there are two two-handed wielding classes in the game, the Slayer and the Berserker, they function a bit differently. The Slayer wears light armor and mitigates damage by rolling out of the way, while the ‘Zerker utilizes charge-up attacks, wears heavy armor, and will have to physically block damage with his weapon. I played the ‘Zerker at GDC and while I found its AOE mayhem fun, I wasn’t too fond of the charge-up mechanic, so I opted for the Slayer this time, and I’m glad for it! It’s a nimble class that packs a serious wallop, but it just can’t take it as well as a ‘Zerker might be able to. That’s fine; most enemies couldn’t really land a hit!
Each monster has its own combat behavior; in the beginning, you’ll fight slow tree monsters that can hit quite hard if they successfully fall on top of you. Later, you’ll fight bird creatures called Stonebeaks that try to kite you and fire projectiles at you (that you can dodge). While I was only able to get just beyond the newbie island, the creatures I fought had me imagining the possibilities of genuinely interesting MMO PvE combat.
Unfortunately, my experience with TERA’s PvE up to this point didn’t really sell me the game yet, despite the moment-to-moment fun of the combat and the promise of interesting mob AI. The experience was held back for me by the game’s questing system. Honestly, it felt like I was playing what was originally a Korean grinder, only with really basic quests thrown in to try and mask the grind. It also didn’t help that the enemies I fought pretty much repeated themselves across the entire island. Don’t get me wrong, leveling itself didn’t take very long, but the quests I was tasked to complete rarely diverged from the kill X or collect Y formula.