Annnd we are back, with another TERA article. This time, we’re going to be looking at the Glyph system and how it compares, and Thursday will be the last of these little mechanical previews with Upgrading gear. After that we’re open to everything from lore delivery to combat mechanics, so if you have an idea, make sure to submit it. We’re going in-depth into this for look at MMO’s in general. Anyways, back to the topic at hand, glyphs!

Not those glyphs.

If you remember last time, I said that Enchantment Crystals worked to fit the player and not the class, letting the person behind the wheel decide what they want to do and letting that person have a bit of alteration to the class to do it. I’ve seen tanks take bonus damage under 50% just to have a little more risky fun when farming, or just take a few to increase tanking ability. Now, Glyphs are the opposite of Enchantment Crystals, working with the class more than the player. Each skill has a few glyphs that can be activated per skill which generally increase the power of that ability. Some things can be incredibly simple like ‘Reduce Mana Cost by 200’ or ‘Cooldown Reduced 30%’ while some of the others can be quite interesting. To go back to the Lancer example, one glyph gives you a 30% chance of instantly refreshing the cooldown on on the classes ‘Death Grip’ like spell, yoinking enemies with abandon. Another has a chance to increase your strength with a successful block.

Some have interesting bonuses to skill use, but others will be almost basic cooldown or mana cost reduction, with the occasional bonus damage skill thrown in. Glyphs in Tera don’t have a fundamental change on the player or the class, they just make what you already do better. This is what I meant before when I said glyphs only benefit the class. Your playstyle is already set in, and the glyphs will not be able to change that (unless you play around luck based RNG bonuses), but will make what you pick better. For instance, you can glyph the Lancer’s area-of-effect taunt to generate more aggro, or have it set that a damage mitigation spell absorbs more damage before breaking. If you like playing offense, you can reduce the cooldown on the skills in your skill chain, or have that strength bonus to blocks to deal more damage.

You get better at murder is what I'm saying.

Now, this does have a downside. Most of the options are extremely clear-cut and not very interesting to make. Is this skill something you use often? If yes, then any glyph for it will be beneficial to vary degrees, and have little effect on actual combat. While there are a few powerful and fun glyphs, there aren’t enough to really spark any interesting decision for the player, or to have any lasting, meaningful, and noticeable change in combat. Yeah, you can kill faster because of decreased cooldowns, but it won’t be something you notice after a while, nothing that really brings home some fun changes.

Overall, the Glyph system is a little bland, but completely serviceable. This post is a little short, because outside of filling it with more examples, I can’t really elaborate in any more fun way. As I said before, Glyphs exist to make your class better at what you want it to do, but not a whole lot else. Bonus proc effects are the exception rather than the rule, and that stands to make the rest of the system just feel a little watered down. A few more options for doing what we’d like or to create an interesting choice on Glyphs given our limited amount of points for having any number active at one time would go a long way to making the whole system a lot more fun and engaging, especially in combat. See you next time for a look at my favorite part (always save the best for last), weapon and armor upgrades!

Like, a glyph to spawn these guys. Everyone would love that!