So, today I’m going to start what will probably be a fairly long series on an upcoming game I’m very excited about. Remember that little ol’ game I wrote a small book on a little while ago, Monster Hunter? TERA is basically that, crossed with World of Warcraft, with Aion style graphics and Phantasy Star Universe upgrades. So basically it’s like all of my favorite games ever crushed into one super-mass of “oh my god” and “why isn’t it 2012 yet?”

To get started, TERA uses a very new system of combat to MMOs, which is more in-line with Monster Hunter than anything else. You click the mouse button, you attack. Click again, you attack again. Attacking multiple times can set up combos, and skills are actually not required. Yeah, you could use your full arsenal and shield-bash or overhead-swing as much as you want, or you could bind ‘attack’ to one mouse key and ‘block/evade’ to the other and then just go to town. It will take forever to kill anything, but you can do it, especially if you just want to settle in for a nice long relaxing fight with some Nyan Cat to spend a quiet evening. The game is also fully compatible with a USB controller, meaning I get to relive the glory days of PSU: spamming my arrows at monsters while running about like a chicken with its head cut off. Still don’t follow? Don’t worry, we have youtube!

That is the combat of this game. Real time and a blast to watch. To those worried, the character in the video had alread out-leveled that entire zone, boss included. It’s meant to be something for level-appropriate players to team up and take down, but there is nothing stopping a higher level player from honing their skills on challenging lower level mobs, though they will gain extremely diminished exp and very few items (And yes, he does respawn fairly quick, higher-levels wont be able to spawn camp your zone-boss forever, unless they are exceeding bored). At the same time, there is nothing stopping a gutsy but level-appropriate player from attempting the same thing. If you succeed, you have some serious bragging rights, but never hesitate to call in some friends!

And speaking of friends, TERA goes a similar route with classes as does Monster Hunter, but the key difference is you are locked in to your class at character creation. So the Lancer can only ever use lances and their associated playstyle while Berserkers can only use their Two-Handed Axes and that playstlye with it. The classes are split up in the classic ‘holy trinity’, but each class has a special way of dealing with monsters. Tanks are Lancers and Warriors, the former using heavy armor and lances while the latter dual wield swords and wear light armor, using speed and agility to doge monster attacks. Damage deals are split between melee and ranged. Slayers and Berserkers use massive two-handed swords and axes respectively, Slayers nimbly dodging around while Berserkers block or absorb hits with their heavy armor. Ranged attackers are Rangers and Sorcerers, Rangers using Bows and energy arrows while Sorcerers use the elements themselves to fight back, both being able to dodge around. Healers are composed of Priests and Mystics, one using more heals and the other using buffs and summons to keep allies alive. Each has a specific weapon and playstlye, and each has a unique experience behind the wheel for the player.

Human Lancer

Go on, hit 'em. Watch what happens.

Races are equally diverse. There are the High Elves, demonic looking Castanics, draganoid/lizardish Amani, the golem like Baraka, the fat and furry Popori, the slim and childlike Elin, and the standard Humans. Each has a fun culture and associated god or goddess, and each has a unique psyche to explore. While the Elin look like children, each one has an otherworldly view and a pitch-black sense of humor, while the Castanic are marked for their unwitting betrayal and murder of a god. Each class and race combination has a ton of fun implications, and every one has the potential for ridiculous roleplaying possibilities. Ever seen a 4 foot girl tank a 15 foot crab? What about a 6 foot lizard man in scholarly mage robes? Anything is possible!

Amani Race

Go on, imagine the dress. The dress!

Oh, yeah. Remember what I said about 15-foot crabs? Yeah, that wasn’t an exaggeration. This game features the so-called ‘BAMs’, or ‘Big-Ass-Monsters.’ Each and every one is absolutely insane in size, and each one is an absolute blast to watch. 20 foot rock elementals, giant zone-bosses, 30 foot multi-teared spider things. BAMs are the things you murder and collect the good ingredients for crafting for, and have a lot to offer for the player who murders them. But on the note of ingredients, we’ll get to that soon enough. I’d like to dedicate an entire post to comparisons and analysis for the crafting, upgrading, and glyphing systems included in the game. Also saves you guys from having to read yet another book about Monster Hunter TERA Online. So until then…

Naga Clawrider

Oh god, crabs!