Dying To Try: Tera Adds Week-Long Free Trial

By Nathan Grayson on June 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am.

It's also very pretty - you know, in a giant-spike-monster-with-outside-bones type of way.

As the legends tell it, once upon a time – many mist-enshrouded moons ago – MMOs demanded consistent tributes of money every month, or else they’d destroy the world. Well, their world. For you, specifically. Now, though, all but a final bastion of behemoths who practice The Old Way have moved on to F2P. One such holdout, however, is Tera, En Masse’s swords ‘n’ sorcery to-do with a focus on bopping giant monsters and actually moving during combat. Unfortunately, its quests set the MMO level treadmill at walking pace and pipe low-volume elevator music through your headphones, so its new seven-day free trial is probably a good chance to see if enjoyable combat alone can sustain your interest.

Of course, there’s a suite of restrictions, as is typically the case with these things. For one, you’re saddled with a curious level cap of 23 – which is neither a nice, round number like 20 or the level when some classes get a really rad skill (24). There’s also no access to area chat, guild formation, whispering to anyone who’s not your friend, dueling, searching for parties, or having your say in the game’s ambitious political system. But, if you decide to stick around, your trail characters will transfer over to the full game.

So then, pretty locked down, but largely par for the MMO trail course. I personally think every MMO subscription not attached to attached to a thing called World of Warcraft has a rather short shelf life at this point, but for now, Tera’s at least worth a quick test drive. Sure, questing’s tedious, but world-roaming Big-Ass Monsters (yes, they’re actually called that) add an earth-shaking move-it-or-lose-it appeal to the typical MMO tank ‘n’ spank boss formula, and there are incredibly out-of-place dog/bear/cat people – the only creatures capable of haunting both my greatest nightmares and my wildest dreams.

Also, the combat really is a game-changer – even if frequently reused enemies mean BAMs are the only thing that require you to bust out Sun-Tzu’s highly underrated “Art Of Not Getting Stepped On By Things That Are Bigger Than God.” Personally, I still got bored around level 30, but there are definitely elements of a good game here. So then, who’s checking it out?

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37 Comments »

  1. vee41 says:

    I don’t really want to play any MMO unless it is a sequel to a game that was about guilds waging war on each other. TERA wasn’t any different to other recent MMO releases; one or two cool gimmicks inserted in to WOW formula.

    • mondomau says:

      Have you actually played it then?

      • alilsneaky says:

        Obviously he hasn’t, the gameplay couldn’t be much more different from wow.

        It’s impossible to go back to shitty global cooldown tab target mmos after playing vindictus or tera (or DN).

        That being said, stay away from the EU version it is trash (no patches, servers unstable, 0800:0000 disconnect bug since release, no endgame, lag out the ass, no events and half the features of K tera taken out (bgs, nexus, pets, mystery boxes, eggs , bam drops).

        • Ringwraith says:

          Odd, when I played the beta I know the eggs where there for certain. Can’t speak for anything else, but it seemed stable enough.

        • dontnormally says:

          )

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          jrodman says:

          I’m afraid I never understood this complaint.

          I *like* cooldown tabtarget mechanisms. They seem a comfortable compromise between twitchyfest and turn based.

          Mind you, I’d like to see someone make one of these actually be turn based.

      • vee41 says:

        Yes I have. Combat is indeed nice and cool, but there isn’t really anything else. It is just a feature that can’t hold the game afloat alone.

        TERA is still grind to the max level which is fundamentally same as WoW. I wasn’t having any fun with the game after the novelty of combat wore off. Guild Wars 2, while not bringing something completely new either, breaks this age old formula which is a welcome change for a casual player.

        • frightlever says:

          Thank god GW2 breaks away from that whole combat only mould. I’m looking forward to playing a Conflict Resolver and talking through problems with the mobs.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            You scoff, but apparently it’s possible to reach level cap in GW2 solely through crafting. So you can in fact be nonviolent.

            It’d be boring as shit probably, but it’s possible.

    • TormDK says:

      Wait, are we talking about TERA or Guild Wars 2 when saying this remark? : “one or two cool gimmicks inserted in to WOW formula.”

      That being said, TERA has something GW2 could use more off – Bouncing elf b00bies!

      • derbefrier says:

        ohhhh zing!

        but to be fair everyone i know that has played it has said the same thing. Combat is fun the rest is boring. so if the combat is enough you’ll probably like it. I keep meaning to try this game myself but meh… if all its got is its combat to brag about i doubt that will be enough to make me wanna buy it. oh well guess i’ll wait for “hyped up MMO #104″ I hear its the next WoW killer and will redefine the genre.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Er, TormDK… no.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Pretty sure i’m not alone when I say we could do with much LESS puerile soft porn in our games. It’s probably amazing for a 12-14year old boy, but for anyone else it’s just mildly embarrassing, not to mention patronising, cliched and sexist.

        • Bootstraps says:

          Well said

        • Kuraudo says:

          If the choice is between annoying korean cartoons aping annoying Japanese cartoons versus everquest 2 ultra-bland fantasy, i choose the former.

        • PFlute says:

          I do agree, really. How far they take it in Tera is quite often ridiculous. I did have a few thoughts after playing it though:

          It’s possible to make guys who are ‘hawt’, including rogueishly good looking fellows and smooth pretty boys. An improvement, I think, over a lot of games where it’s mostly super muscle dudes or really regular ‘Insert yourself here’ lookin’ guys.

          Aman ladies, at the very least aren’t…all that traditionally pretty. They DO have some muscle, and they do have jagged skin texture in places and aren’t just super smooth. …Of course, the ultimate point of this is that they’re just fetishizing a different thing; A dark, brooding, strong archetype. So maybe that’s not much of a point.

          …And honestly I think I might be able to at least appreciate Elin as an adorable child-like race (see: FFXI and FFXIV’s runts) if they didn’t come from a background of weird pedophilic anime influence. But they do, and apparently all they’ve done for the localization is give them short shorts instead of panty shots, so.

          But yeah it’s mostly all sexxxy laydays and rather ridiculous.

    • Falcon says:

      TERA’s combat has ruined GW2 for me. Granted, GW2 is still very much in beta, so perhaps they can get the combat to a better place, but for now GW2′s combat feels way too loose whereas TERA’s is very meaty and satisfying. I’m playing a Warrior in both games, so perhaps ranged classes in GW2 feel better, but even using a gun on my warrior was very much tab target and leave auto attack running while spamming my other abilities on CD. The combat has a long way to go.

      They also need to fix GW2′s leveling curve, which I’m confident they will do. As of BWE2, moving to the next event hub whenever you completed one (doing every dynamic event possible) left you under-leveled, making combat either frustrating (especially as melee) since everything was kicking your ass, or meaning you had to go find things to grind. That breaks the illusionary curtain of the dynamic event system so fast, so it’s very important that they get it right.

      So really, I want TERA’s combat, engine (Unreal), and level of character detail with GW2′s everything else. Maybe Blizzard will surprise me with Titan or GW2 will bring the combat up to that level before the end of beta, but I’m not holding my breath. =)

      • Vorphalack says:

        If you think GW2′s combat is ”loose”, i’d like to order an 8th of whatever you smoke. Play a Warrior with a Hammer and it’s nothing but glorious bone crunching knockdowns, big ass swing arcs and leap stuns. Hell, even the Rifle on the Warrior sounds like a hand cannon, with a well animated meaty kickback. Dunno how anyone could seriously call that ”loose”.

        The leveling curve is a bit off right now as it is still being tweaked. The human zone is actually spot on, I finished that exactly at the right level without repeating events. Norn zone was behind the curve and needs tweaking up, didn’t play Char in BWE2 but that zone was defiantly giving out too much XP in BWE1.

        • Falcon says:

          I indeed have played with the Hammer. And yes, compared to TERA it is still quite loose. In TERA, my warrior and all of the attacks feel like they have weight behind them, and physics collisions with mobs feel natural. The kickback animation and sound on the gun doesn’t mean much when you’re running the entire time you’re firing. It feels very similar to combat from the old Jedi Knight/Dark Forces series where everybody just ran around and spammed attacks. Attacks (again, with the warrior, I don’t know about other classes) don’t last very long so there’s really no committing to them. Compared to WoW, it’s meaty. Compared to TERA or Street Fighter or God of War or any non-MMO action game of your choice, etc., it’s quite loose.

  2. Xzi says:

    It didn’t hold my attention long enough to keep beta installed for more than a couple weekends. Granted, the combat is certainly among the best I’ve seen in an MMO, but there’s really little else to work with in TERA. The graphics are technically stunning, but the aesthetic is par for the course as far as Korean-style goes, and I’m not a fan. The story/lore wouldn’t be very good even if half of it wasn’t lost in translation, and it was. And yeah, as the article mentioned, questing doesn’t feel like questing at all, but rather just a way to marginalize the grind.

    So, I suppose if decent combat is really the ONLY thing you need to hook you on an MMO, then TERA might be your thing. But in that case I’d suggest any number of single-player RPGs with good combat AND a reasonably challenging difficulty level instead.

    • alilsneaky says:

      The aestethic is actually extremely good (once you get past lvl 25 ish).
      Sadly the beta and trial don’t let you play past lvl 26 and the beginner (ugly) zones:p

      marketing fail

      • Ringwraith says:

        Well, the Island of Dawn has got some pretty interesting design on it, mostly that tower/tree thing.

  3. Jnx says:

    Personally, I got bored after watching a gameplay video for about three minutes. Just another MMO with a gimmick.

    • Ringwraith says:

      If you’ve got the time, it’s worth checking out, the combat is more than a ‘gimmick’. It flows really well, and doesn’t translate was well in a video format, as you can easily mistake it for just being normal hotbar MMORPG combat with fancy animations.

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    golem09 says:

    I’m playing too much Path of Exile to try something else. And I’m actually holding myself back with that one, since the open beta start is due in less than 2 months.

  5. andytizer says:

    Anyone thinking about picking up this trial, remember to visit this wiki page of bugs, fixes and workarounds: http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/TERA – if you discover a new fix, take some time to add it in (no account required).

  6. Barkley says:

    I would like to give it a go and see what the whole combat mechanics is about. I’m too old to play any MMOs unfortunately, I just don’t have the time :o(

    It looks pretty interesting though.

  7. Rope says:

    I played from the early release through the first free month to max level. The combat in TERA is really quite a lot of fun – a very good change from the standard MMO combat. The zone art is also quite well done and rather pretty. The character art – well you have to like that aesthetic but I will say, overall it was pretty embarrassing (or downright creepy for that one race).

    Unfortunately, the combat and the art are really the only things going for it. The journey to max level wasn’t bad – it was actually the most enjoyable part of the game. Granted it had a lot of the standard “kill X 10 times” quests, but those definitely sped the leveling along. However, once the endgame was reach, it reverted quickly to the Korean grind game play with the RNG becoming a massive factor in just about everything you did.

    I will say this, TERA’s combat has spoiled me to the point I really don’t care for the standard WoW-type of combat systems. It is very fluid and, depending on your class, can be very fast paced. Thankfully, GW2 (and judging by the trailer, WildStar) have a similar type of movement heavy combat system that TERA has, so there are upcoming options.

    • PFlute says:

      I only played the trial, but this seems to mirror my experience. Great art and combat married to essentially just another Korean MMO. I’m looking forward to giving it another try, really.

      Honestly I played faaar too much Ragnarok Online, and that game was essentially nothing but grind. Arguably good combat for a game at the time (fun animations, skills were punchy, succinct. Most classes entirely avoided skill diarrhea) and good grind layout that encouraged exploration, helped along by a great soundtrack.

      So knowing that, maybe Tera will scratch the same itch.

  8. aliksy says:

    I played that in-browser magic demo thing RPS had an article about a while ago, and I wasn’t that impressed. Far too many “talk to NPC X” quests, too much running and climbing ladders (with unnecessary “erotic” animations). Made a very bad first impression.

    And then I finally get to some zombie things, and the combat just wasn’t as good as the hype. I expected some real oomph and strategy. Maybe it gets better later, but I don’t feel obligated to trudge through garbage before I get to the “good parts”.

    Note to game developers: Please stop wasting my time. There are parts of MMOs most people don’t like, so you don’t have to make them front and center.

  9. ColonelClaw says:

    I have been completely put off trying this game out by every female character I’ve seen having ridiculously large and emphasised tits. Whilst I don’t have anything against large tits in real life, I do in a video game, as it immediately gives off an image of just appealing to a teenage audience.
    For all I know TERA could be the best game ever made, I guess I’ll never know.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Not all of them do, it’s mostly restricted to high elves/humans. The wardrobes also vary quite a bit in style between races, and even within them, so there’s a fair amount of choice, at least once you get past the point when you can start to afford to modify armour as you see fit.

  10. Mordsung says:

    I considered trying it until I found out that you must level through PvE.

    I don’t PvE.

    That and the 11 year old cat girls with panty shots creeps me out a bit.

  11. sharkh20 says:

    I lasted about an hour in the beta before uninstalling. Holy hell, this game was boring. It made me want to go out and save the trees as all I did was kill them over and over in game.

  12. Chesterton says:

    I signed up for the trial, installed, and sat down to play last night – it didn’t stay installed for long. After I set up my character and logged in, I couldn’t seem to figure out how to remap my keyboard! I was able to bring up an overlay that showed me what the keys do….but didn’t see a function to remap them, which is essential for me as I use a Logitech G13. I do suppose I could have set up a custom profile in the G13 software…but what a pain to set up for a trial.

    How in the world did they release an MMO in 2012 without being able to remap keys? Or did I just completely miss the ability to do so (entirely possible)?

    • Falcon says:

      You missed the ability to do so. All of the options like that are in the same place (Video, Audio, Gameplay, UI, etc.) You can either hit O to get to that menu or navigate through the overlay menu. You just brought up the little control cheatsheet that lets you remind yourself of the controls at a glance.

  13. Sarkhan Lol says:

    Tera’s combat does indeed put the standard MMO battle formula to shame, especially playing melee, it looks and feels terrific. But that’s as far as I’m going to defend this empty shell of a hollow experience, because everything else about the game is bog-standard, laborious, visually overwrought KMMO trash. It is video game melamine. Some people really like that, and that’s totally fine and cool despite probably being the sign of a disordered mind. Unless they try and justify the Elin, the blatantly sexualized (only fractionally less so in the Western release) eight year old girls you’ve all doubtless heard about, because that’s a swollen, indefensible trend we probably don’t want to continue.