“He’s over here killing things.”
It is physically impossible for any scattered grouping of people to all be ready to do something at the same time. It doesn’t happen. If it does, you might want to check if your friends are secretly robots or pod people.
What do you do when you’ve been powered up to a thoroughly impressive level and left in TERA unsupervised for … oh… thirty seconds or so.
Kill everything that moves of course.
The developers at En Masse Entertainment were kind enough to put up with me for another preview. This time we were looking at the first content drop for TERA: Fate of Arun.
Previewing the update meant checking out two of the biggest items. The new dungeon, the Skycrusier Endeavour, and the Skycastles. As before the tour was guided by TERA Producer Patrick “Treeshark” Sun and our healer, shepard and kick ass support Tina Zhang-Powell, Associate Producer.
First things first. The dungeon. TERA continues to be utterly gorgeous every time I look at it. If I step back out of the moment of gameplay and look around, sure I can see how they put things together, anyone can. In the moment however? Those are clouds racing past, this ship is on a collision course. The danger to the Baraka home city gained in Fate of Arun is real.
“Shouldn’t be a soul in sight” – Scotty
It seems that Popori have better teleporter aim than Scotsmen in Star Trek. Teleporting onto the Skycruiser Endeavour you are indeed in an abandoned compartment, ready to strike out and take down the ship. This being a ship, mounts aren’t exactly called for.
Like the Bathysmal Rise dungeon I got to play through in Fate of Arun, we were playing with boosted characters with more buffs than I had powers. This is important because while I personally merrily took to the slaughter, I can see where the Endeavour moves from cheerful “Will Bad Guys Blend” simulator into a gruelling and rewarding fight.
The Skycruiser may have been set on a collision course but this isn’t a task for the faint of heart. Fate of Arun may have lured me into the world of TERA but I know that I am not yet up to snuff to take on the content.
Playing with the devs? Oh yes. Time to go nuts and have fun.
Highly geared, highly skilled players will fight through the ship to ultimately face the chap sent to guide it to the target. He’s … impressive. When he powers up that is.
This is of course a boss fight for the dungeon and that dangerous battle ballet starts back up. You must be within this circle but outside of that one. You must avoid this sweep but close on him when he does that. The back and forth we engaged in was cut short because let’s face it, I am not a geared up level 65 Castanic Warrior. I just got to drive one for the duration. Finding ourselves pressed in the efforts though says to me that while I faced off against the big bads of the Skycruiser Endeavour, I didn’t have it easy. Players, oh it’ll be far tougher for them and as such far more rewarding.
It’ll be worth me finding a guild just to get back to that fight the traditional way and try to win. How do I know what guilds are geared up and ready to kick ass?
Just look to the sky.
Skycastles are the new guild housing system coming in this update. While I do empathise with people who had hoped for personal instances so they too can have homes, I really can’t fault the eye catching glory of the Skycastles.
Let us cover off the how before we move onto the wow.
Skycastles are won through a campaign. The best 10 PvP guilds and the best 10 PvE guilds will each get a Skycastle. Campaigns run for four weeks with the winners determined at the end. In effect this means that you can hold your castle for a month, but if you slack off on trying to be an impressive guild (big or small) then you may lose it.
The size of guilds was a question raised and according to Patrick, the size of your guild doesn’t have as much of an impact. An active small guild will earn more points in the campaigns than a large inactive guild will. How this is all calculated at the end will of course come down to fine detail that I am not qualified to comment on.
So you’ve joined a guild, you are active and successful, you’ve earned a Skycastle. What exactly is it?
Skycastles float there above the city and dominate the skyline. You can’t help but see them. They’re also not instanced. If you’re in the castle, you are above the same city live with other players. If you jump off the side.. as I may or may not have done.. you will splat on the same trafficed ground players use. It’ll just take a little time to actually hit, it’s a long way down.
Because of this live server effect, while Skycastles can be changed visually, each change only propagates every five minutes. There’ll be no seizures of the server because someone really can’t decide if he or she likes the pointy keep or the classic smooth marble look.
Each section of the Skycastle can be upgraded for a truly impressive look but of course these points mean people need to play.
Probably the most reassuring thing about this all though is the Skycastle you build is saved with your guild information. If your guild is ousted for a month and you lose your castle, whenever you get back into the top ten, that design is restored. Progress therefore will not be lost, only prestige.
The final touch to the exterior view from the ground is a sort of flying billboard rotating around the Skycastles. People can tell just by looking what guild holds what castle and exactly how much work they’ve put in. The spikey flying Eye of Sauron looking castle is obviously the work of dedicated players and you’ll know what guild they’re in.
Ultimately the utility of the Skycastles is up to the guild in question. Yes there will be vendors and teleportals, but using it is up to the players. Maybe you just want the prestige and the bragging rights. Maybe you don’t care. It’s not true housing as people might have hoped for individual players but it is nothing if not damned impressive.
Take a look at the video if you want to see what I mean.
As before I had an absolute blast playing with the developers. We will be reaching out to them with questions soon so if there is anything you want to ask, be sure to leave a comment below or contact us on social media.Related: Developer, Preview, TERA