TERA: Fate of Arun Preview

Coming this December 16th, ahead of Christmas for those of you hankering for a nice gift to yourself, TERA is launching its free expansion.

The Fate of Arun is in your hands. Before that though, it was in mine. How’d that go?

A quick little caveat. I am not a regular TERA player. In fact while I picked it up rather early on, I never got myself off the Isle of Dawn. This is not an indictment of TERA or damning with faint praise. Quite simply at the time my computer wasn’t really up to snuff and my regular teammate had it even worse. The failing therefore was mine.

After spending some time with the En Masse team I realise what a failing that way. The expansion areas are gorgeous.

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Press F To …

Logging into the preview myself and the others playing were of course using pre-created characters suitably levelled up and with a nice skill chain put in place for us. I waffled a little about what I might like to do and settled on a nice Castanic Warrior. My reasoning was simple, if I am likely to die due to being out of my depth, I may as well die while looking spectacular.

I’m not the only good looker where I find myself logged in. On the call we had Patrick Sun, Producer on TERA, Tina Zhang-Powell, Associate Producer and Live …admittedly when they were explaining I was killing ugly things so I missed the full details… .Sorry Tina. Finally myself and Franklin Rinaldi from MMORPG were also joined on the call by Robert Garniss, the Community Manager. The party itself was myself, Tina, Patrick and Franklin.

Vast mountains are all around me, numerous targets are before me, Patrick from En Masse behind me looking adorable as an Elin bunny girl. Sure okay, he’s the Lancer. He’ll be taking the aggro.

So he thinks.

 

The Fate of A Continent

It’s always refreshing to talk to Devs who clearly love their lore. Yes they also love their gameplay and had no problems with my see thing, kill thing approach to exploring the new areas. This expansion which is, as I said before, free is set to offer players plenty of challenges and plenty of space to grow into as they raise the level to 65. The map made everything appear small but the experience was anything but that.

Coming in the Fate of Arun the Archdevas are out to destroy the dream of TERA and world ending consequences will ensue. Given that the expansion is bringing in a new city as well as zones to fight through they’ll be facing stiff resistance from players moving into these new pastures. Baraka players now have a city to call their own, but the real fun to be had is out on the field.

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Expectation, Reality

If like me you haven’t played TERA or dismissed it…. I have to say we’ve all deprived ourselves. Combat was wonderfully fluid and visceral. Admittedly if the art style isn’t your thing there’s just no getting over that. Personally I found it kind of funny to see the tiny bunny girl whip out a lance that was longer than her character and mine put together. Obviously being a noob to TERA I can’t really speak to what the existing player base will enjoy most, only report on my own experiences. To that end, En Masse took us down to Bathysmal Rise, one of the four new dungeons in the expansion.

I already know what will kill me more than anything. The views. The ocean vista from the edge of Bathysmal Rise is just .. gorgeous. The water stretches off into the horizon and just makes you want to sit and stare. We weren’t there to roleplay though. There’s a weapon down in the deeps of the Bathysmal Rise and if the Archdevas want it, players want it more.

So naturally we’re going to go down there and beat the ever living crap out of it.

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Little Touches

As we were geared by En Masse and they set it up, we were going to be reasonably fine. I am sure that people can tell me what a regular dungeon experience would be like but for my first introduction I cannot fault the experience. No trash mobs inside the door, just interesting sights and a boss fight ahead.

We mounted up on the mount given out free to everyone who logs in before December 16th as part of the Northern Initiative pack. Restoring your health while you race to combat? Sign me up.

Before we get into what in my limited experience is the jewel of TERA, the “BAMs” (Big Ass Monsters) I have to pause and thank them for the little touches. There’s a Jinn in the dungeon who… well he’s going to cause a little bit of trouble if you aren’t on your toes. More importantly he complains about his itty bitty living space. Tributes to great people don’t have to be blatant.

Back to the BAMs. Awaiting you in this gorgeous underwater aquariam are a cranky turtle who just can’t wait to make you hallucinate, an anglerfish with a mean disposition and the weapon we’re all looking for.

I’ve heard from friends and fans of the game that tanking in TERA is the most fun they’ve had tanking in any game. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure, there is no tab targeting. You have to move and keep moving, you have to aim and keep aiming. You have to engage with the engagement. Players up on the top level of the game will be glad to know that there’s some new skills (between 1 and 3) coming in for them to play with as well as new ranks in existing skills.

Stay out of the Fishbowl...

Stay out of the Fishbowl…

BAM

A few years ago and TERAs combat may not have been my thing. Now, now you’ll find me sneaking onto the Isle of Dawn before long to learn it all properly. Big Ass Monsters are exactly what they say on the tin. The Boss fights that we went through in the dungeon each had their own clever mechanics and kept us as a party engaged. The Sorceror and I both ran into difficulty at the last, but you know…. I am proud of that difficulty. For a small portion of the fight I was dead, a small portion at the end. My own unfamiliarity with the UI is what kept me on the ground at the moment of our victory. That’s fine though, I don’t mind.

A few years ago the combat wouldn’t have been for me. Joining in now I am looking at getting a lovely mount, a new Quest organiser to make doing whatever I want easier to arrange. I can collect rewards through the UI, I can track what I am up to and I can have a matured experience.

In the end I had to thank En Masse for the experience in the tour …. And I had to apologise.

A few years ago…. That combat wouldn’t have grabbed me. Unfortunately for the tank it did. I grabbed my blades, I faced the boss.

I took the aggro and never let it go. Sorry Patrick.

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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.