Today I'm going to share my entire experience in TERA as a Warrior(a 5 star difficulty class, agility dps class) from levels 1 to 60.
It was quite the experience, but if you want to skip right to the meat of what nearing or at endgame was like here's the video for you. Below the video is the description of my journey and most things experienced in the game, enjoy!
"Approaching endgame, what it's like"
Here's an example of some of the glorious sights that took my breath away and literally had to hit the screenshot button(which I seldomly EVER do for the sake of scenery)
Note that most of the cities you see in the distance and in the background are actual areas you can walk to, they're not just backdrops, the town is literally in the distance.
The Exiled Realm of Arborea, boasts a LOT of pretty graphics, lush environments and a fair amount of monsters. Some of which are known as BAMs or rather Big Ass Monsters in the game, more on that later. They are like bosses and does involve a certain amount of skill(if you're my class, the Warrior) to take them down or a coordinated party in the high-end areas of TERA. Or perhaps they might be easy I don't know as far as I know I made it to end game and stopped there, I didn't proceed to dive waist deep into end game though however.
The levelling in TERA is quick and appropriately paced, however the tasks you perform as a player are not only repetitive but being a poster boy/girl for literally the NPCs. The story involves gods and the awakening of chaotic beings and some sort of race known as Argons at war with all the other races. It sort of reminded me of Mass Effect just not in sci-fi form.
The one thing that I liked were the cutscenes with various bits of voice acting, for a free to play game its not bad, and the way the engine renders your character in the cutscenes make it appealing even more so. However a pretty game does instantaneously grant it immense fun factor.
While the game is fun, I always chose the most difficult class listed on the character creation screen. Had I played any other class I might not have made it to 60. The difficulty in solo'ing BAMs became reminiscent of Vindictus bosses as most of you know I'm an insane player on that venue. I tried playing the Mystic and it was brutally difficult because they are more of a party class, more suited to playing with friends or partying up than soloing.
Adventuring in this vast world with a friend or some friends is also very fun. Not only is the world large and content isn't locked by paying means, it is all there for you to experience and the only thing you have to endure is some repetitive tasks. Taking down BAMs together with a friend is a satisfying feeling of not only besting a gargantuan on the field but a beast that rains with loot and buffs upon its death.
The themes of the game go from many different biomes as well, from forests to tundras, to wastelands, to fairy fantasy grounds and to desolate deserts and seeing giant talking faces on the wall in an inner cave where their child is evil and tormenting their... parent... (yes the story is a little messed up too heh).
Here's an example of some BAMs should you be interested in checking it out.
And of course where would I be without providing you some footage of action!
BAM Fights - Only a few minutes long highlighting these monstrous foes.
Ancient Golem BAM and Gladiator
Now there's one thing I really want to highlight, is the rune points system in TERA. Learning runes starts at a certain level and they buff your active skills with certain effects, some with like a 50% chance to remove cooldown or bonus damage or multiple effects. Think of it as like respeccable skill points.
You can learn all of them, however you can only have so many active. As well there's crystals that go into your armor slot as well as enchanting and +'ing and masterworking also.
With all this in mind I can safely say the end game hunt for gear and loot is PRETTY BIG, not endless; just a LOT, which is why I didn't go waist deep into it because it's just a LOT. So if you're looking for something of that calibur, TERA is here for you, and it's free!
I remember at level 60, not only does the story line quests branch into multiple areas it just overwhelms your entire quest log and you can't even hold anymore. Apart from that there's also like an elite/hard mode for dungeons too which have environmental effects that greatly weaken your character unless you get certain items for temporary buffs. TEMPORARY.
This is all great and whatever but this is all PvE.
So you might be wondering what about PvP?
Through my journey to level 60 I have also participated in PvP as well, so it wasn't only just a PvE grind, doing some PvP quests given at certain milestone levels grants SO much exp that it pops you an entire level or 2. You can literally get to 60 in 3 days to a week if you just do quests. Might be a little bit longer for the Priest/Mystic class.
There are 2 PvP battlegrounds one known as Corsair Stronghold, more of a castle siege kind of thing, you have to play defense AND offense in 1 round, you win if you do more damage to enemy crystal objective during offense and defend better and prevent dmg. The rounds are 15 mins each, so a total of 30 mins for a complete round result. Here's some footage for ya if you're curious.
There are battle tanks and machines involved!
The other known as Kumasylum which isn't very popular among the NA players due to the Kumas being "overpowered". In my opinion my first 2 rounds I was pretty much thinking the same thing and was going "holy fuck these guys are WAY TOO STRONG..." Then as I played a few more rounds and got more experienced with it, my opinion actually changed. Being a Kumas is actually really difficult.... IF the other team isn't idiots. The composition of the team that aren't playing Kumas is ALWAYS the same, you have some tanks,priests,dpsers and nukers. I eventually got chosen as a Kumas for one round that I queued in and playing a Kumas is actually pretty difficult if the enemy team is SOMEWHAT coordinated. And knowing what to do as your role is essential in playing Kumasylum, you can't just blindly randomly go attacking anything on either side. Since this is the more unpopular battle mode I'll go explain a little more.
Kumasylum Role breakdown
If you're a DPS like what I was(a warrior) go and break chests, as fast as you can and as quick as you can. BUT! Don't just hit any random chest, you're on a time limit, you gotta figure out which 3 chests hold crystals and the faster you break them out of the chest the faster your team can form a plan or strategy to take it away from 3 guarding player Kumases. Figuring out which chest to break sometimes takes a little clue work, but veterans will know where they are at the beginning of the stage just from Kumas movement patterns. Kumas know where they are, but Confederation players don't know where they are in the chests.
If you're a healer and tank, tank you're supposed to carry crystal of course, and get buffed by mages for movespeed, because carrying a crystal cuts your movement speed down to like shit. But a healer and mage can also PLACE a Kumas to sleep. THIS IS Crucial, and where most teams fuck it all up. As a DPS don't ever go hitting a Kumas unless your team is going to try and kill a Kumas which requires EXTREME ludicrous high amounts of DPS and the whole team to be wailing on 1 Kumas, because when a Kumas hp goes low they start getting massive hp regen like 2000 or some retarded number of hp back per SECOND.
When a Kumas is put to sleep you effectively reduced the Kumas team strength by 1/3rd and out of commission leaving other party members able to split/break other chests or move other crystals so there's only 1 Kumas chasing down a crystal bearer, and with only 1 Kumas that makes it PRETTY FUCKEN HARD TO KILL SOMEONE with a healer on them.
That's literally all there is to Kumasylum. As a Kumas it's fairly simple its just guard crystals kill players. As confederation/regular char, you gotta just make sure you know what you're supposed to do with your role. In the KR version of TERA the statistics and likelihood of regular character players winning is like 80% chance, and getting Kumas is like a curse over there.
However in NA... I can safely say most of us aren't highly coordinated and even telling the team what to do most ppl just ignore the chat and just go on a punching bag spree and... more likely than not, the regular player side ends up failing 80% of the time instead.
You can't form pre-made parties in this, it's solo queue, and the system always makes sure the composition of the confederation side consists of these particular roles. As in you'll never have like a team full of dpsers/tanks/healers, you'll always have a mix of them or the match won't start.
There are also certain routes a crystal bearer can take that a Kumas can't , which experienced players will know, forcing a Kumas to double back and circle around a long path just to reach the crystal bearer.
So that's PvP grounds in a nutshell, you can of course just go out in the open world and murder people on the fields too, it's called PKing, and then you'll get the murderer status or becoming a murderer status(red named players/purple named players). O_o....
And of course there's a battle arena for small pvp battles, the pvp grounds generally are... I think Corsair Stronghold was 24 vs 24, so 48 players... and Kumas I know its 3 player Kumas and.... 7 regular players I think? or 10 or 12. Don't quite remember.
But enough about that, another thing I wanted to share with ya is character creation, we all know we like to look unique and not like every one else. So here's a Castanic Female Character Creation for you. Elin is a female only race and a Baraka seems to be an only male race.
There's a few other things I wanted to mention before I wrap this up, was some mechanics I didn't understand until later in the game. Something known as the Warrior's Edge bar, which... might only be exclusive to the warrior but the more combos you land you increase the Edge bar underneath the monster's HP and when you use certain skills it depletes that bar and delivers immense damage to the target should the hit connect. Think of it like an overlimit bar that grows as you trash the enemy more and more and when it's full you throw your specific/special attack upon the foe and bam... super damage.
Character Shots in various places across this adventure I had from levels 1 to 60.
As some of you know I love female ninjas.
One thing that might annoy you in your journeys in TERA is Pegasus Flight, it might seem REAL cool the first few times but after a while I tried to take on the perspective of one who didn't enjoy the scenery like me, would find this to be really annoying and tedious and tiring and a waste of time. However nonetheless during pegasus flights from continent to continent or certain areas of continents it normally takes you on a ride of glorious views of the surrounding environments and your upcoming areas that you'll be exploring if it's your first time through on the journey!
All in all I think TERA is a good game considering it's free. it's just I'm more invested into other games at the moment.
Ugh! One final thing I forgot, I promise this is it, but there are also RELIC weapons that were added in in December 2013, they are still there today to help ease in new players as BAMs back in the day without relics were extremely brickwall hard to solo and lower levelled players aren't as abundant as the higher level population.
At a certain level monsters start dropping relic fragments, and after collecting a certain amount they form into a relic weapon, that is REALLY powerful. +10 it right away when you can. Enchanting isn't that penalizing in TERA, and these Relic weapons will help you level from 1-60 really quickly, and by the time you hit 60, there's no 60 relic weapon, you might think "well... that surge of power I felt from 1-60 is now gone :(", no don't worry by then you should have quite a surplus of gold that you should be able to afford a 60 weapon with ease off the marketplace making gold isn't entirely very difficult in the game(just my opinion tho!), or just do some dungeons and find yourself the 60 equipment, get some players to help ya.
I found that the community was generally fairly friendly considering I was on a PvP server, however global chat was a nice spat radio to watch people argue and flame each other trying to goad one another to PvP in the open world heh.
My opinion of the game: Pretty Good! (Which is above Good which is above mediocre just to gauge the meaning of Pretty Good).
Highlights: Great Graphics, decent difficulty, high amount of customization as game and character growth progresses. Decent storyline.
Negatives: Too many of the "go here kill this quests"
Pacing: Pretty fast(I don't think levelling is slow at all in this game if you're a fighter class)
But for now that's what I wanted to share with you guys, thanks for reading and watching the vids if you did or just having a glance at the screenies.
You can even build a sandcastle!... :P
As always comments are welcome! Please just keep it civil among each other is all I ask thanks!