Tera MMO Log Part One: I Am Gorgeous

Since En Masse Entertainment's massively multiplayer fantasy role-playing game Tera officially launched last week I've taken nearly a hundred screenshots.

Of myself.

What can I say? Korean developer Bluehole, armed with Unreal Engine 3 technology, has created some damn fine-looking characters. While I for some odd reason prefer the androgyny of the male high elf, each of the game's seven races has its charms, from the powerful builds of the warrior Aman to the adorable potbellies of the animal Popori. Sure, the Elin look like little girls, but at least for the North American release they made sure they weren't wearing only panties.

So while I've done plenty besides stare at my pink-haired alter ego for the past week, his appearance figured heavily into everything else. I'd focus on quests that provided clothing rewards that suited his developing sense of style. I invested heavily in clothing dye, spending in-game currency for a temporary (24 hour) splash of colour.

The developers seem aware of the game's potential for fashion obsession, allowing players to purchase clothing style templates so they can remodel their more powerful equipment into something more eye-pleasing. Last week I spent a substantial amount of gold making sure Back the Sorcerer looked as good as he played.

Why is that important? Other than eliciting comments that stroke my MMOego, Back has to match the gorgeous scenery that I stumble upon every time I turn the corner in The Exiled Realm of Arborea. Even now, nearly two weeks and 43 levels in, vistas like the swirling maelstrom give me pause (and cause me to hit the print screen button).

Propelling me through these glorious vistas are a series of quests that, while largely run-of-the-mill kill X number of Y enemies affairs, allow me to exercise the action combat that I've already raved about on several occasions.

As my level increases, so does the challenge, though that challenge really depends on how you play the game. You can, if you wish, stand still and take damage, ending each fight with a sliver of health and having to use potions or bandages to get back into battle. Or you can take advantage of the tools provided, freezing enemies in place, leaping backwards, and continuing casting from afar. It's more involved, sure, but it's also entertaining enough to keep me grabbing the next set of tasks and soldiering (sorcerering?) on.

Things aren't completely rosy and wonderful in the world of Tera. Out of the game's eight classes only the Lancer is a viable tank, with updates to the more mobile Warrior on the way to assuage dungeoneering parties desperate for a meat shield. Strictly level-tiered equipment means players might have a hard time of it if they don't pick up a set of level 42 gear from the Broker as soon as they break the level mark.

But for the most part I'm still loving my time in Tera. In fact I've not been this eager to log into an MMO every spare moment I can get in years. It's a little scary.

We'll see how I feel after another week of play goes by. I've still got alts to level, crafting to master, and some 17 more levels before I win.

Kotaku's MMO reviews are a multi-part process. Rather than deliver day one reviews based on beta gameplay, we play the game for four weeks before issuing our final verdict. Once a week we deliver a log detailing when and how we played the game. We believe this gives readers a frame of reference for the final review. Since MMO titles support many different types of play, readers can compare our experiences to theirs to determine what the review means to them.


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    Loving the game so far personally, though I'm yet to get my way to a high level simply due to lack of time and wanting to spend a bit of time with multiple classes before picking one to concentrate on since I didn't get much time with the beta. Thus far I've got a priest at 27, a berserker at 17, a sorcerer at 12 and both a warrior and a lancer at 10. The berserker's had the most dynamic feel to it for me, because its avoidance mechanism is via blocking rather than dodging and the damage output it has is fantastic, but the priest is an absolute machine when it comes to mowing down groups of enemies.

    It's ruined other MMO combat for me. I tried to go back to SWTOR and was overwhelmed with ennui, the actual minute-to-minute gameplay is so sterile and frustratingly unengaging in comparison. The main issue I can see in the future is whether it has any real longevity, or if all the players will have gone within 3 months due to a lack of a strong endgame.

    Is it still your ordinary grind-to-gear-to-pvp MMO? Didn't really gather that from your article.

    I am enjoying it to.groundings doesn't feel like grinding when each group is a chance to do better than you did last time. to hit more dudes at once. smash crits and a walk away unscathed. we should mention that gathering gives you speed perks and suchlike, and everyone can gather anything they see

    Why does EVERY female character's idle animation have them gyrating their hips and shaking their boobs? -_-

      Because most asian girls aren't.... well developed there. Maybe they are deprived?

      Also the elins are putrid, their body shape is horrid, MASSIVE thighs and a tiny upper body with a gigantic head, it's all weird and disproportionate.

    The elin are adorable, but unsettling. Their strange pose and idle animations make them feel a bit like weird automatons and encountering a group is like interrupting a little girl's tea party. A very strange and creepy little girl's tea party - it seems she's butchered her animal friends for parts to add to her dolls D:

    It's a fun game. I like how everything seems better with a group, as opposed to dubiously beneficial.

    Tip: Press Ctrl+Z To make the UI dissapear ingame for better screenshots.

    I like how they made the female characters do sexy dances as a battle stance. So typical of game devs lol

    Dat texture popping.

    Why is it that the idle animations for females always have so much more... movement, i guess? I have never seen a girl just standing around wiggling like that in everyday life (night clubs and such not withstanding)

    Yes the guys always stand almost completely stationary o_O If they do one why don't they do the other?

    Makes the more angry / aggressive close combat classes growl or look ferocious, leaning forward with menace.

    Why not make the high brow ranged and casting types look cock-eyed at the screen like "What? You wanna play me? *pfft*"

    Seriously, gender equality is NOT THAT HARD peoples - if it happens to one, it happens to another in the same (or very similar) way - problem solved.


    how's the australian population?

    I'm wondering whether its worth it.

    I have to say that this game blew my expectations away! I went in expecting boring grindfest and my, the fact that you gotta move around while fighting else you got squished is actually pretty good. I'm a healer now and even healing requires some major footwork (or it could just be the lowbies inexperience at positioning, heh). Unfotunately D3 is coming though I can see myself going back to Tera in D3 downtimes.

      Why would a single player enabled game like D3 have downtimes? ... Oh, right... *sighface*

    I dont usually like animal races, but the popori race looks cool

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