TERA: Action In Your MMO?

I was just reading some stuff about forthcoming MMO Tera, and I had assumed we’d posted Brian Cox doing a walkthrough of the game at GDC, but I can’t find it. Must have been imagining things. Anyway, it’s a useful follow up to the interview we did when the project was announced, and you can see what they mean about “action” stuff being included, even if the game does look very much like a whole bunch of traditional MMOs. Also: it’s really rather pretty. That seems to be a theme. Where are the ugly, half-breed mongrel games, eh?


  1. Larington says:

    They’ll probably need lots of AMMO for this Action MMO!
    Eh? Eh?

    Oh, alright, I’ll get me coat. Whew, tough crowd.

  2. Scarbir says:

    “Now this is a slow moving guy so I have to dodge quick”.

    Ehm yes. Furthermore, it looks solid but it really does lack any uniqueness doesn’t it?

    • duel says:

      I think it has the potential to change the type of gameplay that we’re used to in MMO’s

      Like the idea of physical positions alone will move the style of play away from just number crunching and timing.

    • DMJ says:

      @Duel: Like Tabula Rasa revolutionised the genre?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Yeah. The chronicles of Spellborn had that as well (the dodging, no auto-targeting).

      So far it doesn’t really look sufficiently different. But you know, if it’s lots of fun to play then I’d say they can be happy with their work. Although if the combat isn’t as fun as it could be and all fights take as long as the ones shown here.. that may not be the case.

    • Torgen says:

      Asheron’s Call allowed you to physically dodge thrown weapons/arrows and some spells, regardless of the to-hit. You could actually target a thrown spear and follow its arc through the air.

  3. Rosti says:

    Curse you Jim! You got me all excited for a walkthrough presented by noted physicist and/or Proper Actor Brian Cox, so you can imagine my disappointment to see a few minute of Brian Knox instead.
    Still, quite interesting.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      I was curious as well to see a noted physicist present an MMO.

      And a quite interesting one, too.

    • Flobulon says:

      Things can only get better.

  4. Wulf says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this for a few reasons.

    First being is that I’ve been craving an action MMO that doesn’t have a boring setting, and from this I get hints of both Guild Wars and Champions Online.

    Even better is that it has non-human races, and I’m especially interested in the Popori. This is one of the primary draws of Guild Wars 2 for me, as well. I have to admit that if I’m going to be playing any game over a period of time, it’s frankly depressing to play a human. A wisp, a living tree, a bipedal tiger, a mechanical Dog-like golem, a Dragon (I still love you, Horizons), and so on are all preferable options.

    This is due to me being a particularly imaginative person, and there’s absolutely nothing at all inspiring or interesting about humans, I see them every day, I’m around them, I watch, observe, and interact with them, and when I engage in a fantasy realm I don’t really want to be one. And I’d rather have non-humans on my party or play the part of one. An MMO would have to be absolutely to lure me in with only a human on offer.

    This is the reason my Shepard is always backed up by Garrus and Grunt (I adore the design of the krogans), though, and why I never go anywhere without Pyre Fierceshot in Guild Wars. It just breaks up the monotony, and the ubiquity of humanity is monotonous.

    A Champions Online-like fantasy action MMO with non-human races might just be enough to hook me in for a while. We’ll see.

    Oh, and the game doesn’t seem to have a plague of so-called heroes picking on the local wildlife, but instead contending with real threats. That’s a huge bonus. (Plus climbing, love climbing.)

  5. Yfel says:

    In terms of combat this deeply reminds me of (The Chronicles of) Spellborn. Seeing how that combat system was received, I’ve low hopes for this game’s popular success.

    • Czechton says:

      Yeh the decline of that game made me sad. I was in beta for Spellborn, but the problem was it took far too long into the game before the combat became unrestricted enough to be fun and actiony.

  6. Dodo says:

    Oh noes, an mmo where you actually have to think!! The world is coming to an end!

  7. Dominic White says:

    Bah, wake me up when they announce a western release for Continent of The Ninth:

    link to youtube.com

    Watch that gameplay video and tell me it doesn’t look like actual, genuine fun. Like ‘would play solo just because it looks entertaining’ fun, not ‘because it’ll make my numbers get bigger’ fun.

    • Wulf says:

      Looking at all three… I actually can’t tell a lot of difference in the combat from TERA and that, this trailer isn’t the only trailer of TERA, I’ll point out. The only real difference I could see was the UI, in which C9’s (Continent of the North, if you prefer) looks more like World of Warcraft.

    • Dominic White says:

      I’ve seen some full gameplay footage of TERA, and it looks pretty slow by comparison. Stilted, rather than full ‘leap into a dozen baddies and combo them into oblivion’ style.

    • Wulf says:

      link to youtube.com

      To make the point with evidence, there’s a TERA trailer, which has fluid, fun looking combat. I’m not saying that C9 doesn’t, mind you, just that I can’t see any kind of noteworthy difference in how the battles play out.

    • Wulf says:

      Oh, you mean the difference between Western and Asian arcade action, well… yeah, I’ll admit that C9 is more God of War/Devil May Cry, but TERA is more Ratchet & Clank/Zak & Daxter.

    • Wulf says:

      (I really miss the edit function.)

      And what I mean by that is that Ratchet tended to move slower and didn’t combo enemies miles up into the air, generally TERA has more of a Western feel to it, whereas C9 is very much more Devil May Cry, but it’s really only the speed. Just because it doesn’t play as fast doesn’t mean the action isn’t there, or not as real, or not as fluid.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      TERA looks like multiplayer Fable. Continent of the Nine looks like MMO Dynasty Warriors. I’d prefer the latter, if the netcode can hold up, but both are vastly preferable to more WoW.

      Why is it that Asian countries seem to have all these interesting MMO ideas but all we ever get are more WoW/Everquest clones? :(

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t get that TERA doesn’t look like it can have the same scales of battle. I mean, Fable? That’s silly. Please watch the trailer I linked, watch the fight with the golem at the end, there’s a lot of players there. A multiplayer Fable with that amount of players just wouldn’t work, and the combat doesn’t even remind me of Fable at all.

      Poor TERA.

    • Joseph says:

      “why do western only get wow/eq clones”

      because of ‘keeping money safe’.

      (because as far as investors are concerned, wow/eq is all westerners like. they are the only majorly successful mmos westerners have, so they’re the only kinds of ones the people with money [who are generally trying to make more money with that money] want to make.)

  8. SomeGuy says:

    yay for MMOs where attacks actualy need to hit to do things.

  9. mandrill says:

    Meh. I’m willing to put money on it being just another grindy fantasy MMO, action or not. Give us steampunk, cyberpunk, Hard SF, space opera. I’m getting sick of the swords and sorcerers schtick I really am. Why has no-one made a Discworld MMO? (I know its still fantasy but its different fantasy.)

    OT: Login on the front pages please.

    • Wulf says:

      Actually, it is pretty steampunk.

      I linked a trailer above, and at the end of it it has a bunch of people with steampunk rocket launchers assaulting an absolutely gigantic golem thing.

    • Wulf says:

      The city shown in the trailer isn’t the primary Korean fantasy fare either, far from it. So yeah, take a look.

  10. El_MUERkO says:

    I played a MMO called Risk Your Life (RYL) a few years back, it was some bonkers Asian game being translated by a small US company. It did basically the same thing, add action elements to the game, unfortunately the servers couldn’t handle it and the game was a typical Asian grind so it died a death.

    I really liked it’s magic combat as well, your spells increased in damage and area of effect the longer you cast them for, bar broken into six parts would slowly fill as it filled each part the HUD would show the increase so you could do insane AOE damage but only if your allies could stop the enemy for disrupting the cast.

    Hopefully Tera will have depth like that, if it does then it could be a catalyst for the move away from WoW combat.

  11. Aganazer says:

    I look forward to being disappointed in this and every new MMOG in development.

  12. Acosta says:

    Yes, Tera is one of my biggest darling when I think on MMOs (just a step behind the wet dreams I have when I think on World of Darkness). This kind of MMOs with third person cameras and character driven need a shake up and and offer some variety from the Everquest model and I think Tera has the potential to make it work (Blade & Soul looks pretty interesting too in this aspect, but Tera is actually more finished). Aesthetically it looks interesting, maybe you can be tempted to think is another Lineage/Aion high stylized fantasy, but if you watch the videos you will be quite surprised, there are touches of steampunk and mechanical stuff. Really looking for it.

  13. Wulf says:

    link to youtube.com

    I think I’m officially in love with that city, since it might be the first MMORPG to have a city which actually looks like a city, with houses, even, but the with addition of odd steampunk things.

    • Zyrxil says:

      Have you ever played Vanguard? Now that has big believable cities, and not just like 2 or 3 for the entire world, but around 10 massive cities with lots of buildings all enter-able.
      Some videos:

      (jump to 2:00 and mute)

    • Wulf says:

      Yep, I’ve played Vanguard. I remember the cities feeling quite a bit smaller than the video I linked seems to portray. It’s not just all about size, it’s about variety too, and in the one I linked we saw temples, little shopping streets, residential districts (poor to rich), industrial areas, a Colosseum type thing, arty statues all over the places, and it had all of these things in one single city.

      It’s that sense of differentiation spread out over a huge area that gives it the feel of a city, not simply the vertical size of it or anything. I don’t remember Vanguard quite having the same spread, or the same varietal mix. The cities of each of the races were different from each other, but they felt like single chunks of a bit city. And watching those videos I get the same feel as my memories told me: they’re pretty tall, they look impressive at a distance, but they’re boring and unvaried up close.

      Here’s what I’m trying to say: If you were to do ten second skips through those videos you linked, they’d all look incredibly samey and have a high level of verisimilitude, each screen separated by ten seconds would look pretty much exactly like the last. Whereas if you were to do that with the city I linked, you can see the districts, you can see the variety, you get the feel of it being an actual city. Whereas in Vanguard it was just a bunch of pretty nondescript structures slapped down a lot.

      Hence my claim that this still seems to be the first MMORPG to have a real city.

    • Wulf says:

      What I’m getting at is that Vanguard cities feel tiny because no matter where you are in a Vanguard city, it doesn’t really matter, because one place looks almost identical to the next. So you could just be about anywhere in that city, but you could also be anywhere else at the same time, because there’s no differentiation and variety, and that makes the city feel really tiny. There’s just no attention to detail.

      The TERA city is the opposite of all this.

  14. Sagan says:

    I bet the reason why he played the demo only with male characters is, that, had he played a female character, he would have been really embarrassed all the time. The way the game portrays women is as bad as the jiggling boobs in Ninja Gaiden.
    Seriously people: don’t play this.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Quite a few MMOs do this, but not all, and not to the same extent (and hey, if it’s optional non-combat clothing at least people have the choice). When I watched that combat trailer Wulf posted one of teh first thing I noticed was the atrocious clothing on a female character. Instant turn-off.

  15. Alexander Norris says:

    Ooh, this looks interesting.

    Also, their respawn/summon effect looks oddly futuristic. What’s the setting for this like, if anyone knows?

  16. Manburger says:

    Action? In my MMO? It’s more likely than you think.

  17. plant42 says:

    Agree – servers won’t be able to hack this mechanic. Every damn MMO ends up having to write their own networking protocol because you just can’t get info from the server fast enough… so as the servers start to load up with players a your ping goes up you’ll be dodging and it won’t be recorded… unless the server trusts the client… (yes, I dodged in time, trust me), which just opens the game up to hacking… and you’re back to square one.

    That aside, this looks so damned derivative I just want to cry. I can hear the investor board room pitch now.
    “Well, it’s World of Warcraft meets World of Warcraft with a dodging mechanic!”
    *Investor that’s never played a game in his life looks up Warcraft’s quarterly profit margins*
    “Genius! Let me get my secretary to write up one of those giant six-foot checks with a lot of zeros on the end of it.”

    • Wulf says:

      Actually, it’s far more visually like Guild Wars and Everquest II than Warcraft, to Warcraft it shares zero similarities, not in the UI, the looks, the animations, the combat, or anything.

      Watch all the movies and you’ll see what I mean.

      Unless you want to say that Guild Wars is derivative of World of Warcraft, in which case, knock yourself out. That’s your perception and I can’t change it.

    • Wulf says:

      In fact, talking about the UI, if it reminds me of anything at all it’s Champions Online. Which was another anti-WoW, just as Guild Wars was.

  18. 3klsadjgklmw says:

    Looks interesting. Like Savage meets hack’n’slash.
    However, if it has monthly fees, i’m not interested. I’d rather buy expansions.

  19. WiPa says:

    This looks awesome! I must have it!
    Anyone know a possible release date?

  20. Joseph says:

    The longer trailer Wulf posted (link to youtube.com) still just looks so fantasy-mmo-grindy to me, it’s the same combat over and over against similar creatures over and over. Each class with their buffs and damage attacks and heals etc etc. Surely there’s got to be something new they can do? I got jaded from ‘too much tera’ just watching it… same old!!

  21. Player2 says:

    They plan on using a “subscription based model just like all the other triple-A titles”. I think I’ll just hobble on over for the beta before slinking back to my cave where I can pray for more awesome titles to use a payment method akin to Guild Wars.

  22. Davie says:

    Gimme some physics and I’ll be interested.

  23. Wulf says:

    Heh, I knew it was Korean.

    My comments were due to it being culturally more compatible than something like Perfect World, since I sometimes don’t mesh well with Korean games that go for the Asian lore setting, I’ve nothing against it but it simply isn’t my preferred setting.

    It’s incredibly obvious by the art style itself, though, an art style which Guild Wars shares.

    But… if assumptions rather than questions float your boat, feel free.

    I will take the opportunity to stress the importance of questions though; because being uninformed and curious is far better than being misinformed and smug. This is my mantra.

  24. Wulf says:

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    Also, it’s good to actually understand what you’re calling someone, so that’s worthwhile reading material if you want to go throwing “crypto-fascist” around, willy-nilly.

    An example of crypto-fascism: Secret/Vague support of fascism.
    An example of not crypto-fascism: Someone having a preference for a certain setting.

    This is why, whilst left myself, I really hate some leftists for being ready to scream “FASCIST!!!” at anything without even realising whether they’re yelling it at friend or foe.

  25. Wulf says:

    I mean, really… it’s like yelling crypto-fascist at someone for having posters of their favourite bands up on the wall, bands which happen to be local bands, and not foreign bands.

    Okay, I’m done.

  26. Flobulon says:

    Wulf: Don’t be so condescending, it’s clear he knew exactly what he was saying.

  27. WiPa says:

    After looking a bit more into this, it looks a bit like Guild Wars in that you get your own instanced area of everything.
    If that is the case, i won’t be playing.

  28. Spd from Russia says:

    YetAnotherMMO. Looks as generic as they come, nothing special.

  29. Guildenstern says:

    More stripperific female characters. Sigh.

    • Wulf says:

      Yup, that’s about the worst part of it, really.

      It seems to be an MMO staple and like Sagan I think it’s one of the things we should move away from, because it can turn people off a game that otherwise looks really, really neat.

      Besides, I’ll be playing a male Popori, as that race has an entirely different sort of bounciness.

    • Zyrusticae says:

      Amusing fact: Aion largely avoids this issue, with armor that actually looks like armor once you’re past the newbie levels.

      (In fact I think the art design of the game in general is pretty magnificent, but that obviously doesn’t stop people from hating on its grindtastic gameplay.)

  30. Mark Wilhelm says:

    Holy shit this article has a lot of comments.

    Anyone here playing the FGT2 right now?

  31. dwl says:

    The landscapes and environments are a strange mix of realism and fairy-tale. I’m not sure the mix is quite right in this case. Technically great but lacking something.
    The game in general looks good though; nothing new but promising none-the-less. As long as server performance holds up it could be a lot of fun.

  32. Al3xand3r says:

    It looks like a mix of World of Warcraft and Monster Hunter (especially the other traier with the shield and lance dudes fighting off the golem). I wish it leaned more toward Monster Hunter than WoW.

  33. We Fly Spitfires says:

    Looks pretty cool actually. Definitely will be nice to play a MMO that offers some more interactive combat. Crap name though.

  34. BeamSplashX says:

    If only developers would make a smaller-scale game along these lines. Japan has produced Phantasy Star Universe, Monster Hunter, and Demons’ Souls, and probably a lot more that I can’t recall now. We have Guild Wars (from what I played of Champions, physically dodging things doesn’t seem very important). It solves the server’s issue of being unable to keep with real-time aiming and dodging…

    Let’s make ShotgUnity a good online game, everybody!

    • BeamSplashX says:

      Quick addendum after watching the video:
      That double-sword combat looks just like Phantasy Star Universe, with added dodge roll (which I hear is in the latest installment on the PSP). It actually looks kinda fun, but I don’t feel to keen on subscribing. But I do appreciate that you can completely control your character with a gamepad. If the movement controls in Azuga were like that, I’d probably be playing it already since it apes Phantasy Star Online’s mechanic of pressing a button to extend your combo. Though PSO requires you to watch your timing too. I feel very tempted to start a blog and write about things like this now. Dammit.

  35. Redford says:

    The main issue which has restricted there being a PSO2 is netcode. PSO itself was limited to four people and the initial release’s netcode was only good because it basically “trusted” everything the client sent it as true. This is why pretty soon after it’s release it was hacked. Constantly. They even removed the primary death penalty of the game (weapon dropping on death) because the hackers exploited it so dearly.

    In order to create a world with a large number of people and reliable real-time combat, TERA is going to need the netcode of the gods. This is why I must limit my optimism about this game to “Cautious, but I’m waiting for the NDA to break or a beta invite”. Because the netcode is what will offically make or break this game and NOTHING else will matter much until they can prove they can fix that. This is a hurdle that few modern MMOs have to be concerned with, and many still manage to fail when they spend too much time on graphics and not enough on gameplay.

  36. DrGonzo says:

    Wulf said:
    I mean, really… it’s like yelling crypto-fascist at someone for having posters of their favourite bands up on the wall, bands which happen to be local bands, and not foreign bands.

    Okay, I’m done.

    Something tells me you completely misunderstood his point.

  37. Tera Online says:

    You can see loads of the new Tera vids at http://terammo.com – Tera is looking like a really nice game imo, it’s currently in focued group testing :D – launching in europe this year, still unsure when tho :(