Times are tough in the world of TERA. Female clothing is disappearing at an alarming rate, and gorgeous ladies across the globe are losing shirt sleeves, pant legs, and waist covers by the dozen. Not even the lovely Finny, our level-8 female archer, was spared. Slightly embarrassed, we set off across the countryside--alongside a few of our guides from En Masse--for some hands-on adventure and excitement in this upcoming massively multiplayer online action role-playing game.
For the uninitiated, TERA is has already been released in Korea and is currently being localized for Western shores. It tweaks the genre by forcing you to actively line up shots and perform combos, rather than just leaning on the auto-attack key. TERA itself is beautifully detailed, epically when it comes to the character models. TERA has a great variety of different character classes to accommodate your style of play, including sorcerers and berserkers. Today we're an archer, a ranged specialist well versed in the art of dispensing death from afar.
Let's talk skills, because our hero isn't a hero unless she has some nifty abilities. Our first ability was penetrating shot. This ability was a charged up version of our basic attack and, since you have to aim everything manually in TERA, it was always a bit embarrassing when we missed with this high-damage projectile. Next up was slow trap. Like the name suggests, this deployable trap slowed enemies who tripped it. We used this to great effect in a player-versus-player round we played against one of our in-game guides. After he tripped our trap, we were able to line up penetrating shots with ease and ultimately came out the victor.
Moving right along, close quarters was the next ability. As our lone melee ability, it came in handy we had our backs to the wall and a sharp-toothed monster bearing down on us. The skill unleashed a quick two-hit combo and had a chance to stun the target. Finally, there was skirmish running. When regular running just didn't cut it, skirmish running was there to pick up the slack and put some distance between us and our targets.
Our ultimate goal during our time with the game was to reach Karascha's Lair. But, as we all know, you don't simply walk into Karascha's Lair. First, we had to complete a number of kill-and-collect quests for the locals before we could gain access. True to form, we slayed enemies five to ten at a time and brought back bits of their bodies in exchange for gold and experience. But instead of hunting adorable foxes and bunnies, we were slaying the metallic and malformed "Disk Reapers" and other fiendish foes.
When we finally reached Karascha's Lair, it was a smaller, low-level dungeon. The first room had roughly five groups of enemies for us to cleave through. The second housed the hulking Karascha itself. Adorned in full plate armor, this giant easily dwarfed our entire party. He also had a taste for archers, since he repeatedly leaped across the room and tried to squish our frail heroine. The major monsters in TERA all have "tells" so that you can know when to attack and when to get out of the way. With Karascha, who was a living pile of spikes and pain, we knew that when he was getting ready to jump we needed to get ready to dodge.
Compared to our time with the sorcerer and berserker classes, the archer was much easier to control. Her attacks came out fast and she had numerous tools for making enemies easier to hit. She may not do as much raw damage as the other classes, but the archer makes up for this with speed. We'll continue to keep an eye on TERA as it approaches its release later this year.