Looking Back at a Year of TERA – Happy Belated Birthday

Happy belated birthday, TERA. I'm sorry we've grown apart, but I think it's for the best.
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There is still a place in my heart for TERA, even if I slammed it in my review and turned my back on my Elin overlords. Yesterday marked the game’s first anniversary in North America, and the promises made by Treeshark made me think back to what made me fall in love with the game in the first place.

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I may not be happy with TERA’s current state nor its abysmal endgame, but it stays with me because it was the first MMORPG I physically purchased since World of Warcraft in January of 2005. I felt I was taking a gamble on En Masse’s first foray into publishing even during the game’s beta phases, but I coughed up the money for the Collector’s Edition and a six month subscription and let the game do its thing. It was my risk purchase of the year, and it was a pretty iffy risk.

I’m not sure whether I would say it turned out for the best or not.

Elin master race turned out for the best, at least.

TERA’s combat is distinctly Monster Hunter-esque, which is what drew me to the title in the first place. The lush visuals were just a bonus to the Korean videos I wandered into during the year leading up to release. I was by no means disappointed with the combat or the graphics, but during my total combined time with the game I found everything else lackluster — But we’re not here to talk about that.

We’re here to talk about how good it feels to take down your first BAM solo, or turn the tables on some jerkface who thinks he can gank you no problem. That feeling of taking down a world boss with just you and a buddy, or soloing your first instance with only a handful of potions and careful timing..

Things like the above are what make TERA special. The game itself is nothing special, but strapping up your boots and going full man-mode is what sets it apart from most MMORPG experiences.

Begone from this world, foul beast!

I mentioned in my review a while back, that the list of memorable experiences I had in the game were fewer than most of the other MMOs I’ve kicked my feet around in. That much is very true, but it did give me two of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a game:

  1. Running a lowbie gank train with Skype friends through Lumbertown and Crescentia for 8 hours straight, spamming in /s. (We were all level 16.)
  2. Taking down my first world boss with a Warrior friend as a Mystic.

In text, the first one sounds terrible and the second one sounds like a decent time. In practice, at the time, these two events were some of the best times I’ve ever had in a video game. I don’t think there will ever be something to top them.

Looking to the Future

Treeshark’s anniversary post mentions all these improvements coming to the game, including the 20v20 battlegrounds, alliance system, and new endgame dungeons.

I have to admit the above all sounds nice, but I have to wonder why they won’t just raise the level cap. The gear disparity between tiers and enchantments is already through the roof, it doesn’t make sense not to raise the level cap when non-DPS level 60’s can still two-shot other level 60’s with a lower item level. Slapping some content in those unused areas and making them 60+ couldn’t be that hard, right?

In the end, I’ve had some good times with TERA along with some equally bad times. I look forward to where Bluehole and EME are going to take the game, but I can’t help but wonder if it will ever be enough.

With this, I want to wish TERA a belated birthday. We’re not on good terms right now, and you could certainly be better, but we’re tied for life. Congratulations on your success, and I will always be a proud ex-TERA beta tester, player, and enthusiast. Maybe we can be friends again someday. Maybe.

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Ashley Shankle
Ashley's been with GameSkinny since the start, and is a certified loot goblin. Has a crippling Darktide problem, 500 hours on only Ogryn (hidden level over 300). Currently playing Darktide, GTFO, RoRR, Palworld, and Immortal Life.