TERA Secrets & Shadows Preview

Dropping in unseen and stealthily, TERA is launching the Secrets & Shadows update next week. We were fortunate enough to be invited along again to check out the update in advance of the update with the En Masse team.
Taking their sanity into their own hands and once again deciding to put up with me, we sat down with:

  • Patrick Sun (Treeshark) – Producer of TERA for En Masse Entertainment
  • Sean Gibbons (Spacecats) – Community Manager for TERA
    And last but not least
  • Matt Denomme – Product Manager for TERA.

So what is Secrets & Shadows? It in short is the follow up to the Fate of Arun expansion and introduces the new Ninja class. Those brave lunatics put me at the helm of a mobile shuriken wielding Elin and pointed me at things that needed tearing apart.

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Sweet dreams are made of these moments.

 

Community!

Before we get into the breakdown on the Ninja, we turn for a moment to the party Priest, Spacecats. Sean thinks that you the TERA community are a massive strength for the game and in keeping with this and for the Secrets & Shadows update there are community drives. There’ll be a Twitch Ninja-thon with daily marathons on the platform to show off the Ninja class as well as an art competition. The winners of the art competition can have their art featured as loading screens in TERA as laid out on the official site here.

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Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

Well okay, there were three Ninjas on the team. Patrick as ever on his Elin Lancer comprised the tank protection for the blade wielding lunatics I counted myself amongst and Sean took on the much needed Priest duties.
The Ninja class is open for Elin characters and makes for hyperkinetic little killing machines. The whole point is to keep moving, keep dodging and always reposition for more killing. The right click ability for the Ninja is a dodge that you can make twice before a cooldown.

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How does it play? Well naturally in a demo where we were going to be looking into a high end dungeon, we were on maxed out characters with nice action bars already put together for us. That said, I had an immense amount of fun with the Ninja. Personally I might prefer the dakka dakka dakka of the Gunner but that’s entirely on me. The Ninja herself was always mobile, entertainingly vicious and the effects from the attacks were beautiful as always. In fact just for a change I’d really like En Masse to make a slow boring ploddy class with really uninspiring visuals, just so we have a baseline. Chop chop lads and ladies, make me the TERA equivalent of an actuarial table.
Ninjas however are not dry and boring. As you’ll see from videos coming out today across the internet, the Ninja is always moving, always flashy and a force to be reckoned with.
Good thing too, there’s a need for at least one ninja in the new dungeon.

 

Dakuryon Returns!

Just showing off a class is never enough for the team so as soon as we’d exhausted ourselves decimating the ranks of some NPCs to get used to the abilities, it was off to the latest dungeon to see the return of Dakuryon. Shadow Sanguinary is a 5-player dungeon for level 65 characters and an advertisement for screenshots. Specifically if we were going with screenshots I took they’d be more often than not in the grim grey tones of death.
Don’t look at me like that, the bosses were tough.

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So for high end players looking for a new challenge, there’s the Shadow Sanguinary to look forward to. Dakuryon is up to his old tricks with creating monsters and trying to slip away. As anyone who plays TERA has come to expect, the boss fights are tough. It’s not for the faint of heart or the undergeared. I really feel for the healers looking forward to Shadow Sanguinary, at least if they have anyone like me in tow. Still, I have to say compared to other times that I have the opportunity to do these previews, I stayed up more often than I went down. All of that I put down to the various mobility options of the Ninja. Dodging out of danger, working around the back of distracted enemies and going to town on them with my blades. Of course even then death came calling, it was a challenge to dodge the various boss tells pitted against us. I’d love to paint you a picture of brave Ninjas working in concert to whittle down a hated foe, instead you have me being an idiot and getting my just desserts. At least for my pride, I wasn’t the only one facing a grey screen and a reminder that Red is Bad and Priests are Good.

 

Flight!

Flying mounts are coming to TERA with the Shadows & Secrets update as well. After completing a level 65 questline, TERA players will be granted a permanent flying mount they can use to climb into the sky for an unparalleled view of “free-fly” zones. Of course it’s not complete freedom, your mount will have a flight meter that only recharges when you have your feet on the ground. Maybe you’ll find a nice perch to recharge but you can expect players to be taking to the skies often, and until they learn not to deplete the bar when flying quickly watch out for raining players. I’d suggest an umbrella but it’s unlikely to do much.

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Overall Impressions

There’s a new class to play with which is always fun and yet more story to dive into which is always needed. TERA isn’t resting on its laurels after the Fate of Arun expansion. Will we see the Ninja moved over to other races? It’s not on the cards at the moment due to the amount of animation work it’d take to get it onto each of the different races.

However if you enjoy being mobile, being vicious and being cute, this update is all for you. Of course, thanks to clone jitsu, you can’t quite be sure you aren’t surrounded by ninjas right now. Watch the shadows, they’re out there.

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About Jonathan Doyle

Once long ago Westwood made a space game. Earth And Beyond was the start of the journey. From there, through Paragon City and to the fields of Altdorf, there were battles. Westwood brought me to MMOs. City of Heroes refined my love for them. Warhammer brought me to writing about them. He loves all things space, sci fi, Warhammer or heroic.