I am sure everyone has been wondering lately, what ever happened to that Big D fellow? What's that? You haven't? Oh....ok. Well anyway, I recently started playing the new MMO Tera. The same MMO Tera that IGN recently shit upon, as is their wont. Well I am here to set the record straight. Not that it really needs to be set, straight or otherwise. Nobody gives a shit what IGN thinks. Especially not me. Moving on...
I haven't played many other MMOs, besides Final Fantasy XI, a bit of vanilla WoW, and some LOTRO after it went free to play. So my frame of reference may be a bit skewed. But from what I have played so far, I am really enjoying the game for a number of reasons. First of all being: It's beautiful. Say what you want about some of the design choices, this game running on max settings looks absolutely gorgeous at times. Better than you would expect an MMO to look and still run smoothly. The aesthetic of the game is....distinctly Korean. What does that mean? Well it's sort of anime, and sort of I don't know what the fuck. Devil chicks with giant racks, half naked dudes, creepy looking little girl...animal...things, fat raccoon men. It's like they threw everything Jaison hates into a blender and just barfed it up all over the place.
I have to say though I love some of the monster designs in the game. Which is important because you will be fighting a fucking ton of them. People bitch a lot about how boring and grindy the quests in the game are, but honestly it doesn't seem any worse to me than any RPG ever. Definitely no worse than Diablo 3 (Which IGN gave a 9.5 by the way...not that I care). I think the only difference is that there are so many of them. Every place you go to has tons of quests, and all of them give money and exp as rewards. I'm level 25, and so far I have never had to go grind exp. You're just constantly getting quests to kill stuff, collect doodads or escort guys. The game it reminds me of the most is Borderlands. You just *click click* *Follow quest marker* *Kill stuff, get reward*
The questing in general seems very casual, and I have never had a problem finding people to help. Maybe the grind comes later, but so far everything has been very streamlined and fun. The story is equal parts incoherent and forgettable, so if that's your thing you might want to play The Old Republic instead, you nerd.
Most people have said the one thing Tera does exceptionally well is combat. And they are right. It is so god damned fun. More fun than pretty much any MMO ever. Each class gets tons of skills, most of which are actually useful. The first time I tanked a huge BAM (Big Ass Monster; the game's terminology, not mine) I was hooked. It is seriously intense. When you actually win, you feel like it was because of your skill not just because you had the best gear. Speaking of the best gear, there seems to be a lot of good gear available through quests. Even though you can get some awesome stuff by fighting bosses, you'll accumulate plenty of good kit just by progressing through the game.
In short, so far I am really having a great time with Tera. It's a fun, fast and somewhat casual MMO. I think a lot of people (Like IGN) are being too hard on it for not having as much content as other MMOs. Pretty much every MMO ever has sucked at launch, and it takes time for more content to get added and balance adjustments to be made. I don't think it's going to topple WoW any time soon, but if you're looking for something a little different it might be worth your time.