This post is brought to you by Agonizing Puns, Inc. Anyways, today we’re going to look over a few of the things from the TERA Online beta that I didn’t like. To varying degrees of vitriol and hate. Now, do keep in mind as much caustic hate as I’m about to throw around, I do really enjoy this game. I still have footage to upload where I was playing almost four times longer than I thought, it was just that fun to play. But there is no such thing as a perfect game, and it’s utterly foolish to just ignore the bad points of a game. Gotta look at the bad as well, so let’s get cracking.

Character Creation:

So, as you know there are a wide variety of races and classes, and all of those races are very distinct from each other. However, half the races have problems differentiating individuals from the race. There is very, very little you can do to make your Elf or Human look different from the next Human or Elf, outside of tweaking the face. Which is the thing people will almost never see unless they specifically zoom into your face to check. Even then, your options are limited. While you can change the color of your hair, skin tones and eye color are completely static. You can’t change any of it to try to stand out more. Even worse though, what you can use to differentiate yourself still falls flat, because the animal ears for the Elin and the horns for Castanic are tied into specific hairstyles, so you can’t put, say, fox ears and long hair together. It will always be the one style and one ears/horns.

You're going to see these ears a lot from me.

 

In a similar vein, the amount of voices to pick from are fairly restricted. You get a total choice of four. There might be more for male characters, but I’m used to having a wider vocal range for my female characters. Pretty sure Monster Hunter Tri gave at least 12 options of varying pitch. While I’m talking about it and it’s related to character creation, I’d also like to profess my extreme disappointment at the Elin racial skills. Not only are they the exact same as the Popori, word for word with only ‘Popori’ subbed out for ‘Elin’, they have the same image too. So you have an entire race that has zero racial identity in their skills, because everything has an image from a completely different race. As great as TERA is, the dev team phoned in a lot of crap. This is just pure laziness.

On a final note, the naming system in TERA is completely bizarre. When you name your character, you are not allowed to use spaces… but you can use periods. What on earth was the point of this? It just squashes a name together and makes it look just as bad as if you had been forced to write the name as one word. Would it really have been so difficult to give use spaces instead of periods? Outside of very specific names, like Mr.Kittenbottoms, the period just looks out-of-place. A space would have been much cleaner and presented better immersion for role-playing.

Quests:

Questing in TERA is… weird. On one hand, En Masse did go out of their way to make sure that you don’t have to grind to get further into the game. On the other, the game is horribly optimized for this, since quests still reward grinding far more than they should. Let’s take the first quest of the game on the Isle of Dawn. You have to go out and slaughter a bunch of sentient bipedal trees that are terrorizing… the grass? It’s never really clear what they were doing wrong since the worst they do is stare at you for coming to close. Also their names are ludicrous to pronounce.

These things.

So you go out and slaughter a few of the poor trees, and hey, look at that! You even dinged up a level for your genocide trouble. Bubbling with absolute joy, you run back to the quest giver and turn in your quest, gaining some gold, a smattering of experience points, and a brand new pair of boots. Excitedly, you open up the bag to check the size on your new boots since the old ones are now stained with sap (or whatever trees use for blood) only to find out the boots require level three. A level you aren’t close to getting without grinding out a half-dozen more trees, or just ignoring it and moving on to other quests, the boots sitting in your bag.  Taunting you as the squish of sap and furby blood remind you of the low blow the game just played. And you might be thinking, well, that’s fine, it’s only level three stuff! And you’d be right, it is only level three. Only the game keeps doing this. Multiple quests that award gear will often vomit up stuff you can’t even use until the next level, which gets progressively more frustrating as the game goes on. Getting to level three for those boots takes a few minutes. Getting to level 15 to use that new axe from 14 is going to take significantly more time. Half the time I simply vendored all the upgrades I couldn’t use now just out of spite. Why should I carry a bunch of crap I can’t even use, especially when bags are frequently full?

Speaking of, your bags will be full of crap, because for whatever reason there are almost never any merchants in any of the quest hubs outside the main hub for a zone. So the further away the questing takes you, the longer back you’ll have to run to vendor off all the gunk filling up your bag. That’s not even counting the bizarre weapon drops you can get. Going back to the intro area, I found a handy little axe at level two that was a pretty hefty upgrade. So I sling it on my back and move on. That axe was better than the next 4 or 5 axes I ran across, and almost all of those were quest rewards. I didn’t replace that level two axe until I got a reward from a level nine quest. It took that long for the gear to catch up to something I lucked across while killing trees.

Seriously, where does a tree hide that?

The worst part is, that’s about half of the problems I ran into the game just getting to level seventeen. Not even gotten into the problems with random-number generators acting as ridiculous gold sinks, or prices on varying functions and mechanics being set up to completely screw low-level characters out of even trying any of the fun things, or the strange choices like not implementing any kind of ‘Report Bug’ feature for beta. And yeah, call it a ‘preview event’ all you want, there are bugs. A friend and I stumbled across several in just two days of playtime. But that’s a post for another day. So remember, while I may gush praise at the game (and there will be more gushing as beta events come along), the game isn’t perfect.