It DOES HAVE the potential to become one of the top dominating MMOs. As a newly released MMO it is in pretty good shape.
There is a lot of potential in this game and when that is combined with it's current shape as a newly released MMO it accounts for the main reason for scoring it a 8.5.
Rather then pointing out bugs and what not i keep in mind that the game is in it's VANILLA version at this moment. Other major MMOs certainly took many years to get to where they are at right now. Even with the technological advances, expecting TERA to be released and to dominate right off the bat is overall unrealistic and delusional. Though again, the potential is there. Like a good wine, a good MMO needs time, effort and care to properly mature.
In my case the noticing of eventual bugs and things that could be fixed and added in the future just enhances that unique experience of being in a vanilla version of a very promising MMO.
GRAPHICS ENGINE – UNREAL ENGINE 3
The amazing graphics go way beyond it's stunning visual aspect. One thing that cannot be changed with future patching and modifying of the game is precisely the graphics engine, unless they remake the whole game. Considering that you will probably be playing an MMO for a few years i'd rather be stuck with one that uses a more current and realistic graphics engine such as the Unreal Engine 3.
COMBAT SYSTEM & MOB A.I.
The need to TAKE AIM at mobs in this game can only be matched by both the possibility to properly DODGE attacks and the presence of specific CLASS SKILLS BUILT AROUND DODGING.
Adding to this is the effect that your character's positioning around a mob will have (higher damage when players are able to attack from behind).
Even more adding to it when you consider the amazing combo system implemented that lets you customize combos in ways that come extremely handy in combat and bypass any need to look for the next skill you want to activate in your skill bar.
And even more, the player/mob knockdown system and all abilities and skills around it.
On top of the cake mobs are designed and integrated with an A.I. system. They will respond to what the player and/or their party is doing. Battles are then much less predictable that what happens on most other MMOs.
PAY YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS WITH IN GAME GOLD
Odd that very few people are mentioning that there are in-game items that will give you 30 days gameplay time that can be purchased directly from TERA's store. These items are purchased with REAL money and are then sent to that person's account, who can then either consume the item for 30 days additional gameplay or trade it with another player for in game gold or other items. And this works both ways if there is enough supply and demand.
Not quite sure if this system is already active or not at this moment.
OTHER IN-GAME SYSTEMS
Glyph/Talent System - Different than your traditional talent tree
Armor and Weapon skin customization and dyeing System
Professions System (you can master them all)
PvP System (relying strongly on player skill, for a change!)
5-man end-game oriented instances!!!
The game is in no way retrograde or anything like it. It has systems that are like other MMOs, others that are more innovative, and some that need tweaking.
Tweaking the questing and it's diversity would probably account for the most dramatic positive change for TERA. Not that in it's current form it accounts for anything substandard or anything, many MMOs are still using questing systems such as TERA's, and others have evolved to something else after having used the same forms of questing for a long period of time. This area can benefit from some tweaking in the future.
While i can see that only being able to equip one type of weapon per class might be beneficial when looting comes into place in dungeons, it does seem very limiting and this is another area that could benefit greatly from a tweak. 2 weapons per class would already be something to aspire to.
Some players complain about shortage of armor designs, i have to confess i have yet to play a bit more to properly address this as an eventual issue. But you can dye your armors and that is always a GOOD thing.
A bit less skin showing on female chars. Being able to see your female character's butt crack is not good at all. I do not like this, nor does the character provide a feel of being well armored. I guess it's Korean art?
PLAY WHAT YOU LIKE & AVOID SLANDER
One thing i do not like and i have to post it here is the constant slandering i see from people that often create an account on a specific forum just to beat down TERA. I can't help think that either these people are payed to do so or they are fans of other MMOs or upcoming MMOs and really feel TERA to be of threatful nature to them. Otherwise why go to the lenght of systematic bad mouthing a game they dont like in the first place?
There are fans of other MMOs that want to change to a more upgraded version of their favourite MMO, and that is fine. But there are also people that want to take a leap and try out something new altogether, and that is also fine. And there are some that are willing to do both. Why the slander ? Live and let live man.
Contempt for other human beings is abundant. There are too many offensive and verbally abusive players both in game and on the forums. Specially on the NA side. I keep reading explicit and implcit verbal abuses and intents to downplay and humiliate other users and i honestly recommend to at least stay away from the forums as it's not a pleasant experience and can ruin your day if you for instance try to give your honest respectul opinion about something. You can't post anything without being called a "moron", a "retard", an "idiot" or worse. It's absolutely horrific the degree of contempt that is allowed on those forums.
I don't know how old these people are, but one way or the other you'll be lucky if you don't stumble several times per day upon what in real life would certainly be lawsuit material.
I like a serene and mature gamplay and that gets disrupted sometimes.
The game is huge as most MMOs are. They are bound to have many amazing things and many things that could benefit from tweaking. Getting everything right is in my opinion something in between taking a real lot of effort and not being possible in the first place. Try to keep that in mind.