Total Knockout – TERA Brawler Preview

I’ve been lucky enough to go on a few of these wonderful TERA Previews. The problem with trying to introduce a new class to people when you do a developer demo is the difference in experience. My Brawler was already made up and ready for me. High level gear, a dedicated healer who himself was a developer, all the right set up.

Fortunately for readers, yes idiots can still die. I’ll be your idiot today. Let’s talk about the Brawler. She’s a new class coming to TERA : Fate of Arun this December. They’re exclusive to human females so no super gloves on your Baraka I am afraid.

Knock Up

Brawler_5

On the call I was in the wonderful company of Lead Developer Patrick Sun, Writer Scott Magner and the new Community Manager, Donna Prior. On that before we get into the meat of the class, Donna will be running a series on Twitch where she plans to level up her Brawler. So if you want to watch the class before deciding to commit, you can catch her on the Brawler sub forum or over on Twitch.

So what is the Brawler?

The Brawler, despite my performance, is a new tanking class that is based on the idea of …well… brawling. Everything is about that one, two, punch combo. Left click to smash, right click to smash, pretty much most of the buttons to smash. If ever you wanted to see what happens when a Tank finally goes completely over the edge, this is probably the best example.

For the purposes of the demo after we got a chance to decimate a standing army of poor mobs with an absolute flurry of punches, it was off to Kalivan’s Dreadnaught to see the latest dungeon.

Knock Down

Kalivan's_Dreadnaught-Concept

If you are new to TERA I have some really good news. There’s something coming in the near future that was an absolute boon to me. I’ve enjoyed kicking back on the demos and causing mayhem and destruction. It seems however that I am completely and utterly not cut out to be tank. I died, a lot. Let’s say you are new though, learning the ropes, figuring out what the dungeon is all about. Soon you will be able to pay the death away, spending gold to resurrect rather than needing a healer to do it. Of course this system is meant to be temporary, you can’t just finance your way through an inability to play things… as I learned when the prompt to pay gold stopped coming up.

Honestly, I was really really terrible. Even being so utterly terrible, I still had a blast of a time. The Brawler, much like the Gunner, is about mobility and mayhem. Bull rushing into mobs and repositioning the weaker enemies. Laying down combo punches and knocking things into the air. There is likely a satisfying video in our future of some Brawlers juggling things in TERA while ranged classes decimate the poor unfortunate souls.

Kalivan’s Dreadnaught may have been very entertaining, but it isn’t somewhere to let someone fly off the hook, so to my gracious hosts, I once again say sorry and thank you for putting up with me being on the floor so much. For everyone else, I think you’ll love this dungeon. Two flying ships locked into combat above the clouds. As usual the set pieces in TERA are gorgeous and occasionally dangerous. Standing in a puddle is fine if you aren’t locked in mortal combat with something that may well electrocute you for it. Pirates charging into combat armed with explosives are always fun and add to the list of things you need to keep track of. Armed with a developer on healing duties, we got a wonderful tour and a chance to beat the bosses to death. For everyone else I imagine it’ll be a fun challenge to work your way through the ship to victory.

Knock Out

Brawler_3

“Traditional MMO tanks tend to grab aggro with taunts and keep mobs focused on them using skills that hold attention but don’t usually deal much damage. Tanks also tend to stand in one place for long periods of time, soaking up damage while cycling through a series of skills to maintain aggro. It’s a hard job, but it’s not really all that much fun.” – Treeshark

The Brawler played wonderfully. Combos flowed easily and naturally the visuals were gorgeous. If this is the new tanking, after I stop being rubbish at it, I’ll take it over static options. There’s nothing wrong with being a plate mail clad mountain of hitpoints that can take immense damage and stand there smiling, protecting the team. That said there’s something compelling about being Aggro personified. You don’t try to hold aggro by being the most solid, you cause aggro by beating the crap out of everything that ever looked at you funny.

The Brawler was all beauty and brutality in motion. Fists flying and foes falling all around.

Would I suggest it? Oh in a heartbeat. Just remember that despite being a tank, there is the urge to get yourself deep into the fight and possibly in over your head. Or maybe that was just me. It was late when I played after all, but that’s just an excuse.

The real problem? I didn’t have this on repeat.

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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.