E3 2011: We Just Played TERA (And Got New Details)

TERA is an action-packed massively multiplayer game from En Masse. We give the game another try at E3 and come away with new details on the game's political system.

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The 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo is in full swing, as are ongoing press demonstrations for TERA, the hybrid action massively multiplayer game from Blue Hole and En Masse. At a closed demonstration, representatives from En Masse gave us another chance to play through a part of the game after briefly discussing one of the game's previously unrevealed features: its political system.

In TERA, once your character reaches the game's experience level limit, you'll be eligible for the office of "vanarch," which is the ruler of one of the game's numerous provinces. There will be two different paths to power, based either on popular votes or on ranking in the game's player-versus-player arenas. If your character is well liked enough (or has deep enough pockets to bribe a significant population of voters), you can be voted into office; otherwise, you can seize the title if your character reaches the absolute paragon peak of PVP.

As vanarch, you can make several choices, such as levying higher or lower taxes on goods sold within the province, enabling skill trainers or special merchants, and even temporarily imprisoning players who cause too much trouble. You and your guildmates will also gain access to special vanarch-only mounts--horses adorned with fancy red barding. However, the En Masse representatives suggested that to stay in power, you'll need to maintain popular support, either through continual campaigning or by earning special points that can be gained only from exceptionally challenging vanarch-only quests.

Our play session involved the latter type of quest. In this case, it was to enter a burned-out, lava-filled zone called the Burning Vale , which GameSpot unveiled earlier this year. We joined a five-character party that consisted of a healer, two frontline fighters, an archer, and our character who was a sorcerer equipped with fire, ice, and electricity spells. Just as we did with our previous sorcerer character, we kept this character safely behind the rest of the party because, as you might expect, we were a lot more fragile and weren't wearing any heavy armor. We rode into the battle astride our swanky vanarch steeds and then dismounted when we discovered the scaly brute. Like with all other boss monsters we've seen in TERA, this one was huge and had many special abilities, such as leaping high into the air and making a flaming dive-bomb attack downward. This knocked us off our feet with a swipe of its tail, and then it burrowed underground temporarily only to leap out of the earth in a different location later.

Fortunately, from our vantage point behind the frontliners, the battle didn't seem too costly. We lost one of our swordsmen (who had to be revived by our healer), but otherwise, our party kept a steady stream of hurt going on the beast. We did what we could to contribute by repeatedly tossing every damaging spell we had at it, taking special care to use our more-damaging (but slower) area-of-effect spells whenever our warriors could briefly stun the beast. Because there were other wandering monsters in the area, we were a lot less aggressive in this battle than we otherwise might have been, and we weaved in and out of battle while constantly checking our flanks for additional foes. It's likely that we did much less damage than we probably should have been doing because we didn't have too many opportunities to use TERA's combination attacks. The sorcerer, like other characters in the game, has basic attack abilities that set up a specific follow-up attack. This deals bonus damage and can be triggered with a simple tap of the space bar. Finally, the brute tumbled to the ground, and our party claimed victory, and the demo came to a close.

TERA remains an unusual entry into the world of massively multiplayer games, and with any luck, the game's political system will add more depth for high-level players who have killed all the monsters there are to kill. The game will be released later this year.

Discussion

9 comments
renzorxfx
renzorxfx

Please gamespot i Know you are noticing, this game is looking good but they need to fix that unit colision issue... one of the things i grew sick of WoW that made it less inmersive was how you could just traspass the enemies as if they were ghosts and on the berserker video the player did just the same a few times "dodging" tru the monster, if its going to be about position and action they need to make sure the tail arms and body of the BIG epic monster fights they are trying to achieve actually feel dangerous... you get to talk to them sometimes try to tell them so they make this great game even greater!

khimeron13
khimeron13

Im trying to decide between this game, Guild Wars 2, SW:TOR, and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium for my next mmo. Considering that this will probably come out first, i will try it to see if i like it. It looks amazing though. The bonus of GW2 is that its F2P and has public quests, but that is still TBA for release. Dark Millenium just has an awesome universe, i really dont know much about it yet. SW:TOR looks great too but i still think TERA will beat it to release. Cant wait for a beta.

lelis92
lelis92

I've been following this game since 2009, it's amazing to see it growing like this and gaining more and more followers. Can't believe the time of release is finally almost here, can't wait!!

Badanha_jr
Badanha_jr

the game looks neat, reminds me a little of FF XII

Tyanmir
Tyanmir

This is looking even better since the last time I checked... Could this be my very first MMO, besides Bioware's Old Republic of course?

febreez123
febreez123

The success of this game may dictate how MMOs are developped in the future. If the political system works out, it will set the bar extremely high for MMOs in terms of how to truly immerse player characters in the world. Another aspect of this game is the action gameplay. Even some single-player action based games aren't as exciting as this game appears to be. Love the fact that there is collision even with friendlies eg. No shooting a fireball through my friend's head, cause in the semi-real fantasy world it'd burn his brains out.

SlickMajestic
SlickMajestic

The political system seems to be similar to what that disaster of a game ArchLords tried doing a few years back. Fortunately, from what I've seen/heard, TERA will be a far superior game to that rubbish. I follow this game pretty tight on their official boards and so far everything looks great.