Tera, Day 3 [video]

I kind of wanted to get to level 20 before I wrote this post but alas, it was not to be. Since my last post I took Bart from level 15 to level 19. So what did I learn?

Biggest thing: skill chains. Turns out you have to set these up yourself. Hit K to bring up the skills window and at the bottom is a Skill Chains button that opens a second panel. The ‘starter’ skills seem to be predetermined but you can drag whatever ‘chained’ skill into the various slots that seem like they’ll fit your style. At my level all the chains are 2 links long.

I also learned a new skill, Overhead Smash, that ‘auto-chains.’ When I spam my main attack a few times (which IS called a “Combo Attack”) I’ll get a prompt to chain (ie, hit Space) the Overhead Smash (don’t shoot me if I have the name wrong).

My friend Gwyn, who you see commenting here now and then, formed a guild with her sister and they invited me to join. OK maybe I begged them to let me join. Either way, I’m member #3. I wanted to check out the Guild Quest system. Turns out this is very similar to the repeatable kill quests that you can get, with the one exception that you can ‘store up’ extra kills. For example there was a Guild Quest to kill 12 Foozles. I killed 12 but as I continued with other quests I had to fight more Foozles. The counter kept going: 13/12, 14/12 etc. By the time I turned the quest in I had 17/12. As soon as I turned it in, the quest reset and restarted at 5/12. I assume that others in the guild will find those same numbers and can take up the baton where I left it.

I finally stopped to do some crafting and my sense is that it’s mostly a money sink in low levels. I opted to work on Alchemy in order to make some potions. To make a healing potion I started with some leaves I’d gathered. I bought and learned a recipe that turns the leaves into an intermediate material. To do that requires the leaves and a reagant that I had to buy from a vendor. Then to make the actual potions, I needed to buy the recipe. Then I combined the intermediate material I’d crafted, another reagant I had to buy from a vendor, plus some glass vials, also from the vendor. It got expensive fast.

You can skip that first step by extracting from items that have dropped from mobs. So the question is which is more lucrative. Here’s another example, this one using metals. I can gather ore, then combine it with a vendor-sold reagant to make Ingots which I can then use to make gear. Say a pair of metal armor boots drop and I don’t need them. I can sell them to a vendor and use the coin to buy reagants. Or I could Extract Metals from the boots, which should provide an Ingot, bypassing that initial combine. At low levels you probably want to sell gear and buy the reagants since you’ll skill up making Ingots but later it’s probably cheaper to just extract your Ingots.

Last thing to hit on for today: the difficulty level of the game. Yesterday I mentioned how easy Tera is, and it has been up until now. But all of a sudden battles are becoming more intense and more interesting. Suddenly dodging and avoidance are becoming essential as I’m encountering baddies that exude poison as their special attack (all mobs in the world of Tera have the same tell; their eyes flash red before they unleash their special attack).

Granted this is just combat difficulty that is ramping up a bit. The rest of the game is still very clear cut. You always know where you need to go next, and what you need to kill. Mobs that will help you towards fulfilling a goal have an icon floating over their heads: yellow for a personal quest, blue for a guild quest.

A limitation of the Unreal engine (I think) is that all zones are essentially very wide corridors, so there’s really not a ton of exploring; it’s more like sight-seeing as you travel through the world.

And yet…I’m REALLY enjoying the game. Maybe it’s because my expectations were so low, or maybe it’s the progression hound in me who is so delighted at doing quests that give great gobs of experience and help you level up quickly. I still don’t know how much fun an alt would be, but I’m finding myself bummed to think of the open beta weekend ending and it’s going to be tough waiting for the game to re-open next week.

Here’re a few short videos I captured of me fighting. They were captured at half-size using Fraps so they don’t look as great as they might. Apologies to those who’ve already seen some of these on Google+.

Tragically, these corrupted unicorns must be put down. This fight has a good example of the great ‘staggering/falling down’ animations that mobs have. You almost feel sorry for the poor thing when it goes down. Almost.

You’ll do a lot of fighting against groups of enemies like this one. This demon thingie is surrounded by a bunch of fairies. The fairies die really quick to AOE attacks but if you don’t take them down they will suck away your health in a ‘death by a thousand needles’ kind of way:

A similar battle. I pop my Shout that gives me some MP to use, then charge into the fight. After a couple of swings I fire off Whirlwind — that double circular attack. That takes out most of the fairies and then knocks the ‘boss’ on his butt. Just before he dies you can see his eyes flash. It would’ve hurt had he gotten his special attack off in time.

I included this one because I love the creature design. Tera has a lot of really weird creatures and I’m enjoying seeing what they all do. This guy spits a nasty poison, though he never did in this battle. You’ll also see me do an overhead smash…into thin air. No auto-targeting in this game and you can get caught in a combat animation facing the wrong way. Just part of the challenge!

11 thoughts on “Tera, Day 3 [video]

  1. I admit: I, too, am enjoying it. Raptr clocked me at 4 hours today, and I only quit because I felt like I was fusing with the chair. I got a Priest on Frost…whatever…server up to 11, and downed the Dark Revelations boss with him to get off the island. Now I have to get my sorcerer off the island, on the RP server.

  2. Oh man, can we start characters on more than 1 server? I thought for some reason we were limited to 1 character for the open beta!

  3. I too am really enjoying the game. I am actually considering canceling SWTOR and picking up this game. The only thing holding me back is finding friends to play. Unless umm.. You guys were planning to play and say … Invited me then I would be up for it.

  4. @Oakstout, I’m on a server with Dusty and Robert Anderson, and I guess also on the same server as Pete as well. I haven’t SEEN anyone, but I know they’re out there!

  5. @Oakstout — I’m always really wary about convincing anyone to play an MMO because I’m such a flake.

    I DO have Tera pre-ordered and I’m enjoying the heck out of it but a) Dragon’s Dogma demo comes out on Tuesday and lets you carry your character over to the release game that comes out on May 22nd, then next weekend is a Guild Wars 2 beta weekend.

    After that, who knows? Diablo 3 on the 15th, will we see Secret World beta weekends start up?

    I love Tera today but I’m fickle as hell. I’d hate for anyone to buy it expecting me to be playing because if the wind changes I may never log in again.

    And even when I do log in… I almost always play alone. I think I’ve been in every MMO @Scopique has been in since we met a few years ago and I think I was grouped with him exactly once, during an APB event sponsored by Massively.

  6. End of Nations releases June 12, supposedly. I’ve had this on my watch list for a loooong time now though, and haven’t heard any buzz recently, so maybe that’s bogus?

    Which zone did you have the partial quest in? I think we all start with zero counters, at least so far Glo and I have each started at zero. Then each kill we make grouped, both our counters will change when it’s a “good” kill (and we still haven’t quite figured out why it only happens randomly). We turned them in for the token things and need to figure out what to do with them now.

  7. Er, I don’t remember the zone. The 2nd ‘hub’ after Lumberjackville… you go to the Fay area and hunt Unicorns and stuff, then you go to an area with a graveyard and the Devan… it was a Devan kill quest I outleveled. Think it was 17… I’ll look.

  8. OK they do ‘stack up.’ I had a Guild Quest to kill 6 Ravenous Bears. I killed 13. When I was back in town I was able to turn that quest in twice in a row. So yay!

    I really wish we could figure out how to see Guild Exp progress!

  9. I haven’t pre ordered GW2 yet so I’ll probably do that so I can have access to the beta. Like I said before I really do like Tera but I think I may wait a bit and see how people respond to it. It might be a tough sell since GW2 will be out soon as will D3. Purchasing a subscription based game is kind of risky with all thats coming out in the next month, not even considering the console stuff that I’m sure will have me hooked as well.

    If any of you really start enjoying it let me know. I did manage to log in very very late Monday AM, 1am to be exact and played the Ranger for a bit. I have to say next to the warrior that class has my love. I enjoyed the little bit I got to play and if I did purchase and sub, that would probably be the class for me right now, behind the warrior. I do think this game has the possibility of being perfect for alt-itis due to the different classes and they way you have to aim at mobs for each. So even though you’ll have to go through the quests again, I still think it will be a different experience.

  10. Yeah, the more I think about it the more I wonder if I’m totally wrong about Alts since the focus of the game is really on combat and the styles are so different. Sometimes I just watch other classes fight mobs just because it’s interesting to see how differently they have to play.

    I really wish Tera was F2P. It just feels like it’d be a great ‘background’ MMO to have on-hand whenever you get the itch for some high-impact combat, y’know?

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