Apr 242012

I spent a few hours playing the TERA open beta over the weekend, and here’s some quick thoughts. (I’ll start doing these every so often, especially when there’s no druid news to talk about.)


The gameplay is quite good. Initially, things are confusing as heck (you start at lvl 20, play a short tutorial, then go to lvl 1…none of which is really explained at all) but the whole action-combat style works well. Very similar to a multiplayer version of Kingdom of Amalur, though like KoA, it really works better for melee classes than ranged classes. Having to move + dodge frequently because you’re right up on enemies = fun; stand and nuke = not as fun.

Questing isn’t any better or worse than any normal MMO…nothing to see here, really, and the storyline is also quite forgettable. Leveling is quite fast, and you do want to level quickly, as the AI of the early mobs is simply terrible (thankfully, they get smarter.) I didn’t try any of the crafting or PvP, so I can’t speak to that, but all the buttons were there.

Remember how I said leveling was fast? Several people were already at level cap, and complaining about how there was nothing to do. (If you preorder the game, one character per server will not be deleted when the open beta closes. Interesting incentive.)


The UI is good for a MMO game. All the elements can be moved around the screen by default, though I couldn’t immediately see a way to minimize/close them. This annoyed me, as one of the UI elements was showing how my spells were mapped to my controller, even though I was playing with mouse/keyboard. There’s a rudimentary combat log, but no mod support, so good luck with doing any kind of comprehensive analysis. (Yes, WoW has spoiled me on this. The question about whether that’s a good or bad thing is a whole nother’ debate.)

Look and Feel

The big controversial point: it’s pure anime styling. The men all look like Marcus Fenix or Ezio Auditore, while the women are all in stripper gear. There’s even a “race” that looks like pre-pubescent females, complete with available bunny ears and panty shots. Combine this with the marketing campaign (which features a MMA fighter beating up people who play other MMO’s until they switch to Tera) and you can see EXACTLY which demographic this is targeted at. That all said, the world design (monsters, weather, backgrounds) is the best I’ve seen in any game to date, so that’s something.


Two thoughts. 1) If I was 18 again, I’d probably be all over this game. Now that I’m 28 with a wife and son, this kind of thing just feels tawdry. 2) I don’t know what their goals are, but the target demo + the lack of endgame (which appears to be all PvP) tells me this thing is going to be big for a month or two, then flame out as everyone moves on to the next big thing. Again, a lot like KoA where about 15-20 hours in, you were like “Welp, I’ve seen everything this game has to offer.”

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  10 Responses to “Minireview: TERA Open Beta”

  1. Having also played in the open beta (for a lot longer than “a few hours”), I feel compelled to point out that it was BETA. The level cap was set at 32, so yes, people were reaching it quickly. When the game goes live the cap will be 60, and there will be end-game content then. Beta had no content because level 32 was not “end-game.” It was, for lack of a better way to put it, a trial period for folks to get in and see if they liked it enough to buy, and to work out any last-minute bugs.

    I do agree whole-heartedly about the Elins (bunny-girls). On the plus side, human males seem to be both the least anime-styled and the most-clothed, so people who don’t want to see their character’s skin all the time do have an option.

    • The point I was getting at (though I didn’t make it well) is that the marketing strategy they’re following will lead to big first-day sales but will not build a stable community. I don’t know what their goals are, though.

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