By Nathan Grayson on January 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
I actually played a decent amount of Tera when it first launched, and I really enjoyed certain aspects. The sublimely timing-based hack ‘n’ slashery was to die for, and the war beavers easily ranked among gaming’s best. But goodness, those quests were a deal-breaker. When lumbering Big Ass Monsters weren’t involved, they epitomized MMO monotony. Go here, kill ten of these, go here, kill ten of another incredibly similar thing, THIS IS WHAT BEING A HERO FEELS LIKE YEAH. Point is, Tera’s best taken in small doses, but a looming subscription fee always made that a pretty bitter pill to swallow. So now’s the part where I conveniently tell you about that fee’s impending demise while also notifying you of promising promises like this one: “Tera will be free. No level, time, or content restrictions.”
In short, everything that’s in the massively multiplayer monster mash right now (plus a new dungeon and PVP arena) will be free when Tera: Rising launches in February. Contrary to popular belief, however, game developers do need to eat, and that’s where a cosmetic/convenience-focused store enters the picture.
“For those who want to customize their characters and stand apart from the crowd, the En Masse store will offer an even wider array of costume and customization choices. And for TERA players who want all the extras, there’s elite status, a purchase that offers 30 days of extra dungeon rewards, 10 bonus daily quests, a daily delivery of items and boosts, an elite mount, in-game store discounts, reduced brokerage fees, and more.”
So basically, vanilla players get a scoop of fairly serviceable ice cream, while elites (read: subscribers) pick up a cherry and some sprinkles for their troubles. The biggest limits for free players, meanwhile, apply to character slots (two) and taxes on Tera’s auction house equivalent (five percent for registering an item and fifteen for a successful sale). Beyond that, though, a handy FAQ makes it seem like big spending will actually add to the experience – not reclaim essentials that were taken away.
That said, En Masse could opt to slow overall XP/currency gain or employ some other common F2P tactic along those lines, so I’ve reached out via email to clarify a bit. But if Tera’s F2P approach is as smart as it seems, I’ll be crossing my fingers for its success. We need more F2P contenders without arbitrary roadblocks. Also, more war beavers.