TERA Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com TERA RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Tera x PUBG Crossover Event Live Now https://www.gameskinny.com/2jbuh/tera-x-pubg-crossover-event-live-now https://www.gameskinny.com/2jbuh/tera-x-pubg-crossover-event-live-now Tue, 05 Mar 2019 12:30:44 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The recently announced Tera PUBG crossover event goes live today, and Tera players, on PC and consoles, will be able to enjoy it for the next 30 days — in other words, until April 5. This collaboration between En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole brings numerous PUBG-themed item drops, crates, and rewards, among other bonuses, to the "true action combat" MMORPG.

The air-dropped loot and surprise crates will only appear in the Northern Arun provinces, so Tera players interested in the promotion should focus their efforts there. What the crates consist of is a surprise until opened — they might contain event rewards, such as Battle Points, or they could hide popori that are waiting to seize the opportunity and attack.

If random crate drops aren't your thing, you can still earn event-themed rewards and Battle Points by logging in for at least one hour per day during the event as well as completing dungeons or defeating open-world bosses. There will also be special PUBG-themed bosses and enemies, but they only spawn for two hours each day.

Battle Points can then be spent in Tera's in-game "PUBG shop," which features special, PUBG-themed cosmetic items. There are also an array of helpful, event-related consumables available at the shop.

After scouring the lands for monsters and event loot, players should plan to return to Highwatch, Tera's hub city. There, they'll notice the hub looks a bit different, as it'll have a PUBG theme until the end of the event. This includes the addition of planes and trucks to the area.

This collaboration isn't the first time the two companies have worked together. In fact, En Masse and the PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of Bluehole, worked together to alpha test and market PUBG back when the game first made its mark on the industry.

Between the rise of Apex Legends and Fortnite, it's been a while since PUBG has made headlines. The gaming scene is constantly shifting, and developers always need to look for ways to stand out from their competition. Perhaps, instead of competing directly with the battle royale titans, PUBG will now focus on events and special collaborations like this to make its mark.

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TERA: How to Find Rida for the Sibling Rivalry Quest https://www.gameskinny.com/bjxw1/tera-how-to-find-rida-for-the-sibling-rivalry-quest https://www.gameskinny.com/bjxw1/tera-how-to-find-rida-for-the-sibling-rivalry-quest Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:45:48 -0400 Ashley Shankle

TERA's level 33 Sibling Rivalry quest isn't really notable compared to the rest of the game's quests, but one thing about it is irritating: Rida, a key NPC in multiple steps of the quest, is not where you think she might be.

This quest has been in the game for some time and Rida's movement has generally not been an issue, but the PS4 and Xbox One port's slight veering from dealing with the UI past the necessities makes it a little more confusing.

If you've gotten to level 33, you've probably already had to deal with quests that made you dip into the quest tracker or your inventory to complete them. The weapon crate quest in Bastion of Lok is the first example that comes to mind, because you have to manually add the bomb item to your hotbar and use it from there.

In the case of Sibling Rivalry, things are a little more simple. The quest itself is a multi-step process but the third step, which entails speaking with Rida and giving her the hypnotic draught, is where you're going to get hung up. And it's where you have to make friends with the UI once again.

Most of the quests you come across in TERA have relatively accurate quest markers, but this one is an exception. To find Rida, you must delve into the quest tracker.

Much easier than doing some other things with the UI, right? This is only one of many steps of the Sibling Rivalry quest, and with luck it's the only part that will give you any trouble.

This is a pretty cut-and-dry task on PC, but on PS4 and Xbox One it's a multi-step process.

First open the map and then press the Quest Tracker button (Circle on PS4, B on Xbox One). Select the Sibling Rivalry quest and toggle it to show the location on the minimap. This will show you where to find Rida, no mess and no fuss.

Why this quest is like this is a mystery, but it's been an issue since at least 2015. Now you can move forward with the other steps of the quest, of which there are many, for the hefty XP reward.

If you found this guide helpful, check out our other TERA guides.

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TERA Racial Bonuses and Abilities Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/47lyo/tera-racial-bonuses-and-abilities-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/47lyo/tera-racial-bonuses-and-abilities-guide Mon, 09 Apr 2018 03:54:52 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Though each of TERA's races has its own skills and bonuses, most players don't notice them much. Unlike some other MMORPGs, the racial skills in TERA don't come into play all that often and don't have much of an effect at all. Unless you're a hardcore player.

Those pluses on your gear will take you a long ways when you're running around at endgame, but there is definitely a point where knowing the ins and outs of your character and knowing what other races are capable of comes in handy.

Some races are better for PvP, some are better doing PvE, and others are suitable for either playstyle. If you know you're going to get serious about endgame, you need to consider each race's abilities for your characters.

Human

Human maleHumans are probably the best PvP race in TERA, at least from a racial skill standpoint. The Deft Footwork active and Indomitable Spirit passive are both geared towards fighting other players, and both end up being useful.

  • Deft Footwork (Active): Decreases the chance of being stunned or knocked down by other players for 3 minutes. 1 hour cooldown.
  • Velik's Horn (Active): Teleport to Velika.
  • Indomitable Spirit (Passive): Take 10% less damage from other players when your HP is below 30%.
  • Nomadic Crafter (Passive): Increases light armor crafting speed by 10%.
  • Resilience of Body (Passive): Restores your HP continuously for a small amount after being resurrected.

High Elf

High elf maleHigh Elves are easily one of the better race options for a Sorcerer, Priest, or Mystic between their MP-replenishing Core Infusion and Resilience of Mind. High Elves are good for both PvE and PvP.

  • Core Infusion (Active): Restore 100% of your MP. 2-hour cooldown.
  • Core's Resonance (Active): Teleport to Allemantheia.
  • Coalescence (Passive): Increases essence gathering speed.
  • Resilience of Mind (Passive): Restores your MP continuously for a small amount after being resurrected.

Castanic

Castanic femaleCastanics make great Archers and Sorcerers, and fit well with Priests and Mystics as well. Skirmish Running is useful in both PvE and PvP, and has one of the lowest cooldowns out of every racial active. Dirty Fighting is fantastic for any DPS, but is especially useful for Archers.

  • Skirmish Running (Active): Increases your combat movement speed by 30, but your knockdown resistance is reduced by 20% for 3 minutes or until you are knocked down. 30-minute cooldown.
  • Kaiator's Drums (Active): Teleport to Kaiator.
  • Dirty Fighting (Passive): Increases your critical hit rate by 1% when attacking a target from behind.
  • Light Landing (Passive): Decreases falling damage by 50%.
  • Weaponforger (Passive): Increases metallic weapon crafting speed by 10%.

Elin and Popori

Elin and PoporiBoth Elin and Popori share the same racial skills, and those skills are not actually all that great. The real benefit to these two races is how small they are -- their hitboxes are significantly smaller than the other races, which is a sizable advantage in PvP. The trade-off is neither race is especially PvE-oriented.

  • Soothing Presence (Active): Prevents monsters from making preemptive attacks but decreases your movement speed by 40% for 1 minute. Effect ends if you use a skill or item, or are attacked.
  • Horizon Run (Active): Increases your movement speed outside of combat by 20 for 3 minutes.
  • Velik's Horn (Active): Teleport to Velika.
  • Friendly Current (Passive): Increases your swimming speed.
  • Botanist (Passive): Increases your plant gathering speed.

Aman

Aman femaleAman's racial bonuses essentially boil down to PvE-applicable versions of the Human racial skills. Last Aman Standing and No Stranger to Pain are both very similar to the Humans' Deft Footwork and Indomitable Spirit, but they can be used in PvE situations.

  • Last Aman Standing (Active): Greatly increases your resistance to immobilization and knockdown for 30 seconds. Casts instantly. 1-hour cooldown.
  • Kaiator's Drums (Active): Teleport to Kaiator.
  • Blood of Dragons (Passive): Increases periodic damage resistance by 10.
  • No Stranger to Pain (Passive): Decreases received damage by 10% when your HP is below 30%.
  • Prospector (Passive): Increases your ore gathering speed.

Baraka

BarakaBaraka only have four racial skills as the old Stamina system has been removed from TERA, but the two combat-oriented skills are quite nice. Ancient Wellspring is a fantastic "Oh crap!" button even with its long cooldown, and having additional stun resistance is very nice.

  • Ancient Wellspring (Active): Restore all of your HP. 2-hour cooldown.
  • Core's Resonance (Active): Teleport to Allemantheia.
  • Gather No Moss (Passive): Increases your stun resistance by 10.
  • Time-Lost Techniques (Passive): Increases your magic weapon crafting speed by 10%.

TERA recently launched on PS4 and Xbox One. Surprise! Check out my review if you're not quite sure whether to jump in, or take a gander at my handy dandy tips guide.

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TERA Reaper Guide: Leveling, Gear, and Combos https://www.gameskinny.com/g46x8/tera-reaper-guide-leveling-gear-and-combos https://www.gameskinny.com/g46x8/tera-reaper-guide-leveling-gear-and-combos Mon, 09 Apr 2018 10:53:45 -0400 Sergey_3847

Reaper is a top-tier class in TERA, and it's not that easy to master this powerful young lady. Reaper starts with level 50, and it can be created only if you already have another character at level 40. So if you're a new player, there is a lot of grinding waiting for you before you can start playing as Reaper.

But if you've already gotten one and are looking for an up-to-date leveling guide, then you've come to the right place. Here you will find information on the best possible glyphs and crystals for Reaper's weapons, her gear and accessories, and some of the best combos you can use in PvE and PvP.

How to Level Up Fast

Reaper in TERA

If you want your Reaper to shine in all her glory, then you simply ought to give her only the best possible gear and weapons. This means that you need to bring her up to level 65 as soon as possible.

How do you do this? Well, the best option is through dungeon queues or simply by accomplishing story quests. If none of these are an option for you, then you can try out side quests or vanguard quests.

The last way, although not as exciting, is purchasing the level 60 scroll, which will immediately grant you level 60. You can buy it here for 4995 EMP, which equals about $30.

Best Gear for Reaper

Gear selection screen in TERA

The top end gear for Reaper is the Stormcry set, which cannot be obtained immediately but must be upgraded from lower-tier sets. The whole progression system starts from the full Guardian set, which can be obtained by doing the "Fresh Arms and Legs" quest. However, you will see this quest only when you achieve level 65. So get to grinding!

After you receive the Guardian set, you can start converting it to more expensive sets with the help of enchantments. In this way, you can turn the Guardian set into the Twistshard set, which can be turned into the Frostmetal set. Lastly, the Frostmetal set can be turned into the Stormcry set.

Each enchantment requires certain items, which can be bought at the Specialty Merchant, and some amount of gold. Below you will find recipes for all four sets:

Guardian Set
  • Weapon:
    • 109x Golden Talent
    • 91x Wood Scrap
    • 39x Archdevan Catalyst
    • 6,974 Gold
  • Chest Armor:
    • 80x Golden Talent
    • 64x Wood Scrap
    • 28x Archdevan Catalyst
    • 4,971 Gold
  • Handwear/Footwear:
    • 66x Golden Talent
    • 51x Wood Scrap
    • 22x Archdevan Catalyst
    • 3,977 Gold
Twistshard Set
  • Weapon:
    • 353x Golden Talent
    • 100x Polished Arunic Ore
    • 9x Archdevan Oil
    • 21,251 Gold
  • Chest Armor:
    • 254x Golden Talent
    • 70x Polished Arunic Ore
    • 7x Archdevan Oil
    • 15,266 Gold
  • Handwear/Footwear:
    • 198x Golden Talent
    • 58x Polished Arunic Ore
    • 5x Archdevan Oil
    • 12,080 Gold
Frostmetal Set
  • Weapon:
    • 433x Golden Daric
    • 58x Liquid Metal
    • 40x Hypnotic Device
    • 5x Archdevan Surfactant
    • 46x Emerald
    • 5,221 Gold
  • Chest Armor:
    • 267x Golden Daric
    • 35x Liquid Metal
    • 26x Hypnotic Device
    • 3x Archdevan Surfactant
    • 28x Emerald
    • 3,922 Gold
  • Handwear/Footwear:
    • 187x Golden Daric
    • 26x Liquid Metal
    • 26x Hypnotic Device
    • 2x Archdevan Surfactant
    • 19x Emerald
    • 6,467 Gold
Stormcry Set
  • Weapon:
    • 504x Golden Plate
    • 96x Artisan's Tools
    • 55x Copper Clasp
    • 28x Pansophic Ash
    • 9x Elemental Essence
    • 31x Emerald
    • 10x Diamond
    • 13,776 Gold
  • Chest Armor:
    • 341x Golden Plate
    • 68x Artisan's Tools
    • 41x Copper Clasp
    • 20x Pansophic Ash
    • 7x Elemental Essence
    • 21x Emerald
    • 7x Diamond
    • 13,076 Gold
  • Handwear/Footwear:
    • 245x Golden Plate
    • 50x Artisan's Tools
    • 34x Copper Clasp
    • 16x Pansophic Ash
    • 6x Elemental Essence
    • 24x Emerald
    • 4x Diamond
    • 18,885 Gold

Best Defensive and Offensive Crystals

Various offensive and defensive crystals in TERA

You can use glyphs and crystals to enhance your Reaper's weapons and gear. The glyphs depicted in the image above are standard for the most optimal PvE experience. However, when it comes to crystals, the two best options for offense are Forceful and Slaying, and for defense, Glistening and Relentless.

Forceful set of crystals is great for your weapon, as it will increase the attacking power from the rear. However, you must be ready to change it for Slaying crystals that will increase critical damage when you drop below the 50% threshold of your HP. 

When it comes to gear crystals, you need powerful mana regeneration ability, which is provided in full by the Glistening crystals. But you also need a lot of health to survive enemy attacks, so be sure to use Relentless on the rest of your gear.

Reaper Rotations and Combos

Screen shot from TERA

Reapers acquire an active skill at level 60 called Shadow Reaping. This is one of their most powerful combat skills. But since you can link many different skills together, below you will find a few other useful options for cool combos and rotations:

  • Shadow Reaping --> Pendulum Strike --> Whipsaw --> Grim Strike --> Sundering Strike
  • Death Spiral --> Double Shear --> Grim Strike --> Sundering Strike --> Death Spiral

The above combos are very effective in terms of damage, but they consume a lot of mana. If you want something that is still high on damage and doesn't require mana refill, then try these two:

  • Cable Step --> Shadow Burst
  • Cable Step --> Shadow Lash

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As you can see, it takes a lot of work to unlock Reaper and to upgrade it to its top-tier form, but as soon as you do, you will have the most powerful character in TERA.

Also, don't forget to check out other TERA guides at GameSkinny by following the links below:

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TERA PS4 & Xbox One Tips Guide: How to Change Channels, Zoom, and More https://www.gameskinny.com/lyrfa/tera-ps4-xbox-one-tips-guide-how-to-change-channels-zoom-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/lyrfa/tera-ps4-xbox-one-tips-guide-how-to-change-channels-zoom-and-more Tue, 03 Apr 2018 17:20:08 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Whether you're totally new to TERA or are just dipping your feet into the console launch hype, you're going to need a little help. Though it may be almost identical to the PC version, there are bits and pieces that aren't self-explanatory even for experienced players.

These tips are fairly rudimentary, covering how to do basic functions like changing channels, zooming, opening up a new hotbar, and other things that you may find helpful as you learn the ropes.

If you're curious about how the PS4/Xbox One port compares to the original PC game, check out my TERA console review. Spoilers: It's exactly the same, but a year behind in patches.

How to zoom your camera out

You do not have to stick to the basic zoom level! Panning the camera back is a must, especially for dungeons.

Press the touchpad and then press L2 to zoom out or R2 to zoom in on PS4. I am not sure what button the touchpad equates to on Xbox One, maybe Select? Zooming should be controlled with LT and RT on Xbox One.

How to change channels

If you're trying to kill a quest mob but are sick of competing with other players, you can switch channels to quest in peace.

In order to change channels, press the Options button to open the menu and then the triangle button to choose your channel. On Xbox One, press Start and then Y.

How to access your mounts and pets

TERA treats pet and mount summoning as skills, and as such, they can be found in your skill menu. Pets can be found under 'Pets', and mounts can be found under 'Riding'.

How to access your pet inventory

If you've got Totes or another inventory pet, you will inevitably need to access its inventory. In order to do so, you need to add the special 'Pets' command to one of your bars.

Add the 'Pets' command to one of your bars.

You can find the 'Pets' command under the 'Special' category in your skill menu.

How to unlock the third hotbar

Oh yes, my friend. There is a third hotbar, and it is not that blasted wheel.

Here's how you do it step by step:

  1. Open the main menu
  2. Go to System
  3. Open Options
  4. Under 'Control', find the 'Show extra shortcut tray' option
  5. Enable it

Enabe the extra hotbar in options.

After you've enabled it, you'll have a third hotbar to work with when holding the L2 (or LT on Xbox One). You are going to need it.

How to expand your inventory

There's actually a quest right when you enter Velika the first time that leads you to one NPC who can expand your inventory, but you can also just talk to the bank teller in Velika to expand it.

Expanding your inventory.

Inventory expansions get pricey; don't go crazy on them at the start.

Crystals and you

If you've played up to at least level 20, you've definitely been bombarded with seemingly random items with weird words like "cabochon" in their name. These are equipment-enhancing crystals, and they are going to be a part of your life during your entire time with TERA.

The game gives you class-specific crystals from gift boxes while leveling, which you can attach to your armor and weapons for bonuses to defense, damage, healing, and so on.

Keep your gear stocked with appropriate crystals, especially once you start getting into dungeon running.

The best spot for the wheel (Button UI)

After messing with it and trying different combinations, I have to say that R2/RT is by far the best button to bring up the Button UI.

You're going to be pressing so many buttons in combat that you need the wheel to be as easy to use as possible. If you have the third hotbar enabled, you can't use L2 for the wheel. R2 is the natural option as it won't tie up your other fingers while you're trying to move, and you don't have to double press to activate the skill.

I recommend keeping items and less-used skills on the wheel, rather than critical skills. If you do decide to move it to R2, consider moving your primary attack skill to R1 or whatever's most comfortable for you.

Enhancing equipment

The game gives you a very brief rundown of enhancing your weapons, and I'm just reminding you that it is muy importante.

Whenever you get a new Avatar weapon while leveling, be sure to enhance it to +9 to get the additional damage bonus. Use the auto-enhance feature for easy enhancing.

TERA's endgame is basically built around the enhancement system and boils down to getting more pluses, which is far more of a task than doing it while leveling. Think of enhancing your Avatar weapons as a learning experience with training wheels on.

How to use emotes

I'm going to be super honest here: I was disappointed there are no direct emote buttons to add to the hotbar and spam.

You're going to have to do it the same way they do on PC, by typing out /dance, /sit, and all that fun stuff. It's best to just play with a keyboard on-hand. Not for this specifically, but to communicate with other players.

Don't open the cash shop in Velika

Let me save you the headache and tell you the game very well may freeze if you open the item shop while standing around in Velika. I've had this happen three times. Just don't do it. Go somewhere else. 

That's about it for my tips for now. There's a lot to know about TERA, but much of it is learned simply by playing the game. If I think of any other tips as I push through the console version, I'll be sure to add them here to this guide.

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TERA PS4/Xbox One Review: A Faithful Transition from PC to Console https://www.gameskinny.com/6ngwd/tera-ps4xbox-one-review-a-faithful-transition-from-pc-to-console https://www.gameskinny.com/6ngwd/tera-ps4xbox-one-review-a-faithful-transition-from-pc-to-console Tue, 03 Apr 2018 15:22:17 -0400 Ashley Shankle

TERA is one MMO I have spent a great deal of time with. I played the beta, got the Collector's Edition when it first came out and was pay to play, and played for two months before it went free to play and two months after.

The game has changed a lot over the years. BAMs (big-ass monsters) have been made smaller and easier time and time again, the leveling experience has been completely revamped to skyrocket players to endgame, and Lumbertown is no longer chill-and-kill central.

My opinions on TERA as it currently is are a little biased because I've been there for many of its largest milestones and its most content-lacking periods. I prefer slower leveling experiences, the adventure of leveling, and the struggle of survival. That is not what the current state of the game is, and that is something any potential TERA player needs to know before diving in.

En Masse was kind enough to grant us a review Founder's Pack on PS4, and I did what I seem to do best: grinded away the hours in TERA once again. This time it was different from the last, but I'm not sure if its current state is for me.

From PC to console

To be very, very clear, the PS4 and Xbox One ports of the game are as faithful as one can ask for in terms of an MMORPG console port.

Though the game has always been an "action combat MMORPG," it has always relied on hotbars and always will. I've no issue with hotbars; you probably don't either. You get a lot of skills and crucial consumables in TERA, and you need a bunch of bars to put that "hot" onto.

You can have up to four separate hotbars on console, which you access using a combination of standard button presses, L1/L2 plus other buttons, and a selection wheel for less urgent skills and items. It works well, and combat retains its fluidity from the PC version, though I will admit it takes some time to adjust once you have a healthy number of skills to work with.

TERA PS4 hotbars
Selection wheel not pictured. Don't put the wheel as L2+R2/LT+RT. It's terrible.

The UI for TERA on console is more bulky than its PC brethren, but it is fully functional and easy to learn to navigate. This is one aspect I initially hated but grew to like pretty quickly, if only because almost everything is just a few button presses away. It looks harder to use than it is, let's put it that way.

At the time of writing, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of TERA are a full year behind the PC version. This is notable because there are fewer classes to choose from to start, and Elite Status does not offer all the same benefits on console as it does on PC.

Currently, PC Elite Status grants 15 EMP (cash shop currency) per login day, 24 Complete Veteran's Crystalbinds, and a flying mount. These are absent in the console version but are likely to be added as it catches up to the current PC patch.

Even with the above in mind, TERA on PS4 and Xbox One is nearly identical to the PC version. That should relieve PC players considering migrating or newcomers considering jumping into the TERA pool for the first time with the console release.

One final thing to note about the transition is that the console release still has some heavy slowdown, no matter which console you're using. PS4 Pro? You're still going to get slowdown in Velika and in certain dungeons just like standard PS4 users. The game is optimized about the same as the PC version.

From old to new

There's a certain depressive element to seeing a game you used to love implement sweeping changes you're not too keen on. As with a number of other older Korean MMORPGs, TERA has taken the easy route in "modernizing" the leveling experience.

In this context, "modernizing" essentially equates to "gutting." The game has been retooled to push players through the leveling experience as quickly as possible, with minimal effort on the developers' part. There's this whole big world to play with, and it is all woefully neglected and empty.

This isn't something that can be blamed on En Masse and, depending on your point of view, may not be something to blame anyone for. TERA never had the most immersive or entertaining leveling treadmill.

TERA Founder's Pack mounts hanging outEvery hardcore TERA player knows the best way to play is to stand in populated areas and spam their mount sound until everyone in the vicinity goes deaf.

The problem here is that new players are barely given a chance to learn to play their class before they ding the big six-five. Hitting max level takes only a few days of even semi-casual play, and by then players are not ready for the grueling endgame dungeons and grind. Endgame content is going to be true pain on console.

Those who played TERA when it was pay to play or in its early free to play days will find the game offering minimal challenge until they hit endgame. Had I not played it back then, I doubt I'd be giving it a chance in its current state. Endgame dungeons and PvP are more fun and challenging than the leveling period lets on.

If you're willing to put the effort forth and push through the less-than-stellar leveling experience, TERA still stands as a solid action combat game once you reach 65. Yes, it's grindy. And yes, it will stomp your face in until you actually learn how to play. That's not all that much different from the older iterations of the game, in which you grinded to level cap and got your face stomped in at every turn instead.

TERA is not perfect in any form, but it's a game that has a place, and the console ports are spot-on. If you've been waiting until it launched on your console of choice, you don't have much to lose in giving it a shot. Its combat is still ace, even if leveling isn't great.

Healing in the first dungeonThe first dungeon, Bastion of Lok, complete with trophy. Hurrah!

PC players considering migrating may want to rethink that decision, as the console release is behind in comparison -- but if your primary goal in switching is to get away from the PC playerbase, it's a good option. You can use your keyboard to chat in-game, and it has voice chat functionality, but the less pleasant aspects of the PC community will inevitably be reduced here on console.

It's taken a long time for TERA to finally make its way to console, and those who enjoy the PC version in its current state will find few qualms with the console version outside of the patch differences. Those looking for a more traditional MMORPG experience may want to look elsewhere.

I am granting this game a 6 overall. Though the console developers did a great job porting from PC, the fact remains TERA's current state is far from what many would typically call an MMORPG. Much like NCSoft's Aion, it took the easiest route possible in updating for a broader audience, and it shows.

Endgame content is fun, but not everyone wants to spend the vast majority of their time in an MMO grinding enhancement materials to maybe get one extra +1 to their gear. There is something to be said for the journey of getting there that this game has regrettably forgotten. But, hey, at least slamming other 65s into the dirt will be easier than ever for a while.

(Disclosure: Writer was granted a review copy from the publisher for review.)

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5 MMOs That Need to Be Ported to the Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/wspr8/5-mmos-that-need-to-be-ported-to-the-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/wspr8/5-mmos-that-need-to-be-ported-to-the-switch Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:12:55 -0400 adelgirl

Not too long ago, Nintendo fans found out that beloved MMO Dragon Quest X will be ported to the Switch. While this was invigorating news in and of itself, it's also set a precedent for fans to look forward to seeing other MMOs make their way to the console. And surely some developers are investigating whether or not their MMO games will work on the system. 

There is a possibility that Dragon Quest X will be the only MMO we ever see on the Switch, but that's unlikely to be the case. There are so many other popular MMO games out there that would be perfect for the console-hybrid platform. And there are a few that we would love to see make the move to the Switch. We don't have any official information on whether the following games can actually be ported, but we can hope anyway!

1. Final Fantasy XIV

 

There has already been some talk about porting FFXIV to the Nintendo Switch, but nothing definite revealed thus far. If it does make the move, this MMO would be a real treat for Switch owners. 

With many classes and races to choose from, and a ton of in-game content and numerous expansions to play through, there's a lot to love about FFXIV. It's already proven to be successful on the PS4, so it's not hard to imagine that it could be similarly successful on the Switch as well. 

2. Tera

Tera is a more recent MMO that might be a good fit for the Switch. For players who enjoy customization and creating tons of different characters, this is the perfect massively multiplayer experience. There are many different classes and races to choose from (and branching customization options based on your choices), and the game adds a new race of class each year. 

It's possible that we won't ever see this game on the Switch because of its 18+ rating, but the recent bout of mature games announced for the console means there's still hope. With a console port for the PS4 and Xbox One in the works, there's also the possibility of Tera getting a Switch version as well.  

3. MapleStory

While MapleStory is old, it's still a great MMO -- and one that I think would be perfect for the Switch since it's more family-friendly than a lot of other MMOs. This MMO is also less graphically intensive than some of its more fantastical counterparts, so it would demand a little bit less of the Switch than other games. 

In spite of its simpler graphics, though, there's plenty of customization abounding in Maple Story -- especially with the multiple class options, and the chance to add more with a Switch port.  

4. Elder Scrolls Online

Since Skyrim is already coming to the Switch, it seems like The Elder Scrolls Online would be a good next step for Bethesda in regards to Switch ports. Considering how all the systems that currently have Skyrim also have Elder Scrolls Online, it seems likely that the Switch could see this MMO in the next few years. 

Should that be the case, Nintendo fans will have plenty of content to sink their teeth into, as ESO comes packed with multiple classes and customization options, different starting areas, and numerous expansions as well. 

5. Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online is a more recent MMO that's become a pretty big hit in North America. With releases planned for the PS4 and Xbox One, it doesn't seem far-fetched to think that there could be a Switch version in the future. 

BDO offers a number of classes and races, as well as in-depth character customization and consistent content updates to keep the game feeling fresh. Its vibrant and detailed graphics would certainly test how much visual intensity the Switch system can actually handle. 

---

That wraps up our list! What MMOs would you like to see come to the Switch in the next few years. Let us know down in the comments!

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TERA Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary -- Here's the New Content You Can Expect https://www.gameskinny.com/ajxq3/tera-celebrates-its-5th-anniversary-heres-the-new-content-you-can-expect https://www.gameskinny.com/ajxq3/tera-celebrates-its-5th-anniversary-heres-the-new-content-you-can-expect Tue, 16 May 2017 09:23:57 -0400 Paige McGovern

Yup, you read the title right -- En Masse Entertainment is celebrating the fifth anniversary of TERA's launch, an MMORPG that has cultivated a large and fervent following since launching in 2012. 

So much has changed in the core game since TERA launched, and of course, one of the biggest changes to TERA has been the addition of five new classes over the years -- such as gunners in 2015. And more just keeps coming. 

On May 9, the "Velik’s Fate" content update dropped for TERA, introducing new areas to explore and armor skins to earn. As one of the new features in En Masse's "month of celebrations," this year's anniversary has a whole lot you should be looking out for. Lucky for you, you have five weeks to enjoy it all. 

TERA's Celebration Highlights 

Free New Flyer

Log in at least once during May and receive the Fifth Anniversary Wings totally free.

  • Log in once on weekends during the celebration's duration, and you'll receive up to five free pairs of wings
  • These wings are permanent and can be banked, but they cannot be traded 
Fight New Enemies in Style

To read about all the changes that dropped for patch 55.03, see the TERA 55.03 patch notes. But until then, here are some highlights. 

"Velik's Fate"

This pair of new dungeons will take players into new, uncharted territory. Full of nefarious enemies and difficult bosses, this new update take things in TERA to a whole new level. 

What you'll find: 

  • Two brand new dungeons with a terrifying boss, Laken
    • Velik’s Hold
      • Up to seven players
      • Normal and hard modes
      • Two entries per day
    • Velik’s Sanctuary
      • Five players
      • One entry per day
    • Both are available for max-level players
    • Both come with new achievements

Armor Skins

On top of new dungeons, bosses, and enemies, players will be able to pick up new armor skins, making their characters look fiercer in battle -- and more intimidating to the enemy. 

What you'll find: 

  • Three fresh, metal armor skins with a new helmet slot dropped in the latest patch: 
    • Ironward -- Brushed steel
    • Dawn’s Guard -- White with crimson accents
    • Night’s Watch --  Black
  • Each will be on sale later this month

New Gear

Brand new gear sets make an appearance as well. For those high-level players looking to up their game, you'll find: 

  • New Tier 11 and Tier 12 armor is now available
    • Both are obtainable from dungeons and battleground jackpots

New Accessories

To flesh things out even further, new accessories will be available to players as they move through TERA's world on to their next conquest. You'll find: 

  • Dungeon drop: Godstrap and Heaventrap
  • Trapped
    • Increases critical factor
  • Locked 
    • Increases power
Anniversary Tokens

Rare cosmetic items are up for grabs, but you'll have to work for them. Anniversary tokens add a new layer to TERA's play, incentivizing you to take advantage of the game's dungeons and PVP areas. 

  • Earn tokens through participation in dungeons and PvP
    • Drop chance for rare cosmetic items 

Shop

But don't let those tokens go to waste. Instead, make sure to stop by the shop and pick up rare items from time to time. 

  • Spend your tokens
  • Items change weekly
  • Buy items not normally available 
Fifth Anniversary Gift Boxes

  • Available on the online store
  • Chance for a valuable item in one of the following categories:
    • Consumables
    • Inner armor
    • Mounts
    • Costumes
Gift Exchange

How to Participate 

  • Buy a Fifth Anniversary gift box on the online store
  • Send boxes to friends to earn rewards

Rewards

  • Send 1 box -- get 1 Kelsaik's Crown
  • Send 3 -- get a 30-day Elite Status voucher
  • Send 5 --  get 1 Fiery Halo 
  • Send 10 -- get 1 Cheeks pet (account-bound)
    • Receive 72 more inventory slots across all of your characters
  • Send 15 -- get 1 Ultraplasm weapon skin (account-bound)
    • See a vibrant crimson glow on all your weapons
    • Note: Ineffective on runeglaives. Cannot be claimed on a Valkyrie
Super Quiz Bowl
  • During live streams, hear TERA trivia questions 
  • Join community manager Spacecats every week to participate and gain the chance to win awesome prizes 
  • Other in-game events will be around, including finishing highlighted dungeons for the week to earn more Anniversary Tokens
Changed Patch Content

Check out the full, detailed report in the latest patch notes.

Dungeons

  • Returned
    • Timescape
    • Bathysmal Rise
    • The Abscess
  • Gone
    • Harrowhold
    • Ruinous Manor
    • Broken Prison
    • Lilith's Keep 
    • Shadow Sanguinary
    • Sky Cruiser Endeavor
    • Vault of Kaprima

Instance Reset Scrolls

  • Type is dependent on dungeon difficulty level
    • Previous versions dependent on dungeon itself

---

What are your thoughts on TERA's fifth anniversary? How have you seen TERA change and grow over the years? What feature or item are you most excited about this month? Tell us in the comments below!

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Reminder: You Can Apply for TERA's Console Beta Right Now https://www.gameskinny.com/6jk5g/reminder-you-can-apply-for-teras-console-beta-right-now https://www.gameskinny.com/6jk5g/reminder-you-can-apply-for-teras-console-beta-right-now Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:13:58 -0400 Paige McGovern

PSA: There's still time to apply for TERA's closed console beta. The free-to-play action-focused MMORPG has only been on one platform for the last 5 years: PC. But last month, En Masse Entertainment announced that the game is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime this year. If you're interested in playing either of the console versions of TERA, the time to register is now. 

How to Register:
  • Go to the closed beta registration page.
  • Choose your platform -- Xbox One and/or PlayStation 4.
  • Enter your email address.
  • Agree to the Private Policy terms.
  • Click "Sign Up Now" to confirm your registration.

Very little is known about how TERA will translate into a console game, although it will launch on Xbox and PlayStation this year. Rumors and speculation about TERA coming to console have been around since 2016. However, despite speculation, En Masse Entertainment has been reluctant to hand over any details about the game's translation so far.

In an initial announcement on March 9, En Masse asked the community to be patient as details unfolded in the coming months. So far, a month and a half later, there's been no more new information. 

However, on April 20, Spacecats, En Masse' community manager commented the following on a forum thread: 

... There aren't any announcements or details surrounding TERA console yet ...

... Remind them that an announcement will be made once more details about TERA console have been determined and we're closer to a launch date.

So, while we wait for more information regarding TERA, make sure to sign up for the game's console beta and watch the announcement trailer below:

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for the latest news about TERA's development on console.

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5 Reasons I Don't Play MMORPGs Anymore https://www.gameskinny.com/w4pqt/5-reasons-i-dont-play-mmorpgs-anymore https://www.gameskinny.com/w4pqt/5-reasons-i-dont-play-mmorpgs-anymore Sun, 19 Feb 2017 15:00:45 -0500 Emily Parker

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I am not alone in leaving MMORPGs and developers have noticed. The biggest by far, World of Warcraft, capped off at 12 million subscribers at the height of Cataclysm (five years ago) and dwindled to 5 million up until Legion's launch. We don't have any numbers for how well Legion is performing, but it's pretty unlikely it will ignite a lasting recovery. 

\n

The good news is that the horizon looks promising for some changes to the genre. In fact, given a few years, these old as dirt issues might be gone completely. 

\n

Which MMORPGs do you still play? Do you have other issues that I missed? Would you rather they just stay like they are?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-c45d1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-c45d1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150748","description":"

Questing

\n

This monster is probably the most cited reason for leaving an MMORPG. Fetch and kill quests can only be reformatted so many times until you are so sick of doing them you'd rather grind your way to max level. 

\n

Shout out to all the games that are trying to work around this stale progression model. Experience for crafting, achievements and skillful combat chains can all be used to substitute questing for those of us that are having trouble doing much more of it. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/w/2/gw289-2ca15.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/w/2/gw289-2ca15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150747","description":"

Combat in MMORPGs

\n

Don't we wish all MMORPG combat looked like this promo shot of Guild Wars 2

\n

There is a reason the majority of combat shots MMORPGs use to promote themselves are all zoomed in, with no UI and at some clutch point that probably took the developers forever to set up. 

\n

I appreciate how complex MMORPG fights can get, and I don't want the genre to lose that. Player roles, raid strategy and crowd control all make MMORPGs special, so if new games are going to try and introduce new combat systems -- I hope that they will keep these things in mind. 

\n

It's also worth mentioning that technical restrictions hold back how fanciful the combat could be in most games. Mechanics will always need to be simpler when a server has to register them for thousands of people. 

\n

I do think that the next generation can do better. Looking at you, Camelot Unchained.  

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/9/ci9tpg6-958a3.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/i/9/ci9tpg6-958a3.png","type":"slide","id":"150746","description":"

Cash Shops and MMORPGs

\n

This problem is as obvious as the solution is unclear. 

\n

There is absolutely no reason for developers to stop scraping together their best content and dumping it into their cash shops. Clearly, the initial burst of money they make doing it outweighs their drop in players. 

\n

I like to pretend I'm going to make some kind of moral stand when I start a game with a cash shop. It doesn't take long until I'm justifying $5 on that sick tiger mount -- $5 I could have just spent somewhere else. $5 I could have spent on something more meaningful. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-38686.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/h/q/d/hqdefault-38686.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150745","description":"

MMORPG Group Finders

\n

Another product of convenience, and also one that should be included in some way, shape, or form, is the group finder. 

\n

The whole hecking point of an MMO is to play with other people. I have no idea why developers are constantly taking away any reason to.

\n

Actually, I do know why: it's because we keep saying that we want it. It is irritating to communicate with other people when we're trying to just get some tasks completed, but how else are you supposed to get to know the people on your server outside of your guild?

\n

I'm sure there's a smarter way to implement these systems without removing them. Taking them out completely would just mess everything up, but having a system that requires absolutely no communication is even worse.  

\n

 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-db49d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-db49d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150744","description":"

Fast Travel in MMORPGs

\n

This one is clearly debatable given your play style, but fast travel took a lot of the magic out of otherwise great MMORPGs ... at least for me.  

\n

I can remember a conversation I had over five years ago with a fellow Elder Scrolls fan. He told me he thought it was a huge mistake that Skyrim was including fast travel, and that it was enough of a problem that he would likely not bother picking it up.  

\n

I vehemently defended fast travel options that day. I used flying mounts in WoW to state my case. I talked about how I loved them, and that there was nothing wrong with making a game less tedious and more convenient. 

\n

But, like a thorn in my side, his argument has followed me through the years. He was right. I was wrong. That's a gross thing to admit, but fast travel clearly shrinks the size and wonder of the game world.

\n

There should be a healthy balance between realistic fast travel like airships and flight points, and the player's access to it. Providing it in abundance just encourages players to skip the majority of a game's content. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/w/wow-sad-720x340-4fcb5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/w/o/w/wow-sad-720x340-4fcb5.jpg","type":"slide","id":"150742","description":"

There has been a rule floating around the self-help community since 1993. It states that 10,000 hours of practice can make you an expert in any endeavor.

\n

I have no idea whether this is true or not, but it's safe to say I could have a decent golf career had I spent my time doing that instead of playing one of the 20 odd MMORPGs I've dabbled in. 

\n

Unfortunately, at some point, those MMOs lost their charm for me. I still pick them back up as their developers release expansions -- and I always look forward to those around the corner -- but it's been several years since I logged any daily playtime. 

\n

At first, I thought it was me. I thought, "I'm too busy," or "I have to focus on other things." But just like when that line is given in any other break up -- it's actually always them. These are the five reasons I don't play MMORPGs anymore.

"}]]]>
Layoffs hit TERA publisher, En Masse Entertainment https://www.gameskinny.com/e1ahi/layoffs-hit-tera-publisher-en-masse-entertainment https://www.gameskinny.com/e1ahi/layoffs-hit-tera-publisher-en-masse-entertainment Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:10:00 -0400 ESpalding

The publisher behind TERA, En Masse Entertainment, announced yesterday that it would be laying off some of its staff in the face of the ever-changing gaming industry.

In a statement sent directly to MMORPG.com, En Masse stated:

"The gaming industry is a fast moving, ever evolving and changing business, which requires companies to occasionally reassess and realign to serve the needs of the business and its community. En Masse found itself in this situation, and staff reductions were part of the shift, in late March, to better position the company for the future. We're deeply sad about having to let some of our staff go, and will do our best to help them move on."

It is not yet known how extensive these layoffs have been.

This is not the first time layoffs have occurred at the Seattle-based publishing company. Back in 2012, more En Masse employees were laid off to "prepare for the next chapter".

TERA is a fantasy MMORPG from South Korea. Originally released in 2011, it was "westernized" and brought to the US by En Masse and to Europe by Frogster Interactive (Gameforge) in 2012. The game's latest major patch was on March 1st. It included new dungeons and lots of changes to class abilities.

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Thoughts on the TERA vs. Blade & Soul debate from a player of both https://www.gameskinny.com/e2noo/thoughts-on-the-tera-vs-blade-soul-debate-from-a-player-of-both https://www.gameskinny.com/e2noo/thoughts-on-the-tera-vs-blade-soul-debate-from-a-player-of-both Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:19:54 -0500 Ashley Shankle

TERA's release was some serious hype for my friends and I, let's get that out right now: I was super hyped for TERA's release. Not because of the game's gorgeous visuals at the time but because of the promise of action combat in an MMORPG in a time of World of Warcraft clones galore and mostly free to play mush. It was quite exciting at the time.

I, like many, quickly grew bored of TERA while it was still a subscription-based game. The combat was sufficiently "action"-y but the rest of the game felt "off" -- and it felt that way until the new content and increasing community communication on the part of publisher En Masse Entertainment.

Fast forward to January 2016 and NCSoft's own total action MMORPG Blade & Soul released to much excitement. Another new action MMO! And this one's newer! If I hadn't played Blade & Soul in Chinese and in the NA/EU, I probably would have been more excited -- but people that didn't play previously got their first taste of its style of action combat, and they liked it.

Since its release, I have seen so many comparisons between TERA and Blade & Soul that the discussion has gotten tiring. The two games are ultimately focused around their combat but they handle it differently to the point they play nothing alike outside of questing. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion on which game is better, but I can't imagine anyone saying TERA's combat is completely superior with a straight face.

Why even discuss Blade & Soul vs. TERA?

I don't want to make it seem like I'm ignoring the other action MMORPGs on the market today. While MMOs like WildStar have their own action combat style, none are as comparable to one another as Blade & Soul and TERA and the reasons why aren't exactly hard to figure out:

  • Both have over the top outfits and reasonably good visuals
  • Both have similar questing styles
  • Both tote their "action combat"
  • Both have token small cute races (Elin/Popori in TERA and Lyns in B&S)

The great debate.

Anyone who has played them both extensively can understand why some would draw comparisons between the two, though at the heart of they both are very different from one another. The pace of the games matches the pace of their combat styles, which in turn affects the types of people attracted to them.

TERA - Combat... evolved?

TERA's big push has always been its combat and it's easy to see how Blade & Soul overtook it in South Korea when you compare the two's combat.

The one thing that has always held TERA back is the adherence to the old MMO staple of one class having a ton of abilities. Normally, one can't complain about classes having several abilities in an MMORPG, but it somewhat detracts from the "action" part of the combat that it advertises so heavily.

When the game was released its combat was truly fresh and new -- but with the waves of Korean action MMOs that came soon after it's hard to say it stayed fresh for long. There's definitely a reason the servers were ghost towns a couple months after its subscription launch: while the game's combat was interesting, it wasn't fun enough when paired with the abysmal questing and boring world.

This is something TERA still struggles with today. Player numbers are much higher than they were before the game went free to play, but ultimately the combat isn't good enough to keep people running on that treadmill for prolonged periods. I know -- I've come back and left four times since the Rising launch.

Blade & Soul's faster take

If there's one thing Blade & Soul does well, it's the combat.

TERA's combat always (woefully) left something wanting in me each time I went back. I've played the game for months at a time, but often that was driven by social circles more than the gameplay or personal drive. It's hard not to get wrapped up in drama and group activities when you're in too deep with TERA, believe you me. Not so much in Blade & Soul.

I hoped Blade & Soul would satisfy the hunger TERA couldn't fill in regards to fast actual action combat, back when I played the Chinese version. 

Even at 250+ ping it did, and it did it so well I practically threw money at Tencent for premium and cosmetics despite knowing only minimal Mandarin. I couldn't see myself doing that with TERA were their release situations reversed.

Blade & Soul's combat is ultimately more modern and fits the "action" bill in a way I don't think Bluehole Studios could have anticipated while they were developing TERA, even with much of Bluehole's staff coming straight from NCSoft themselves during development.

Combat boil-down

One way to compare the two games in a way non-MMO players can understand is TERA's combat is more akin to Monster Hunter and Blade & Soul's closer to a fighting game.

TERA's combat is slower and at endgame requires players to learn enemy telegraphs and patterns, and get good. Some skills are lock-ons, but the majority are manually targeted. Things feel slower and more deliberate, mostly due to some skills' long animations.

Blade & Soul's combat is faster and highly reliant on countering skills, no matter the class. Many skills are lock-ons but it meshes so well with the overall combat style it's hard to complain about. Arena PvP feels like a simplified fighting game and it's hard not to love.

"All right, they're different. Which one should I play?"

Uh, the one you like the most.

It's true that TERA is an overall outdated MMORPG and ultimately it doesn't have much to keep players going. While it does have a good amount of endgame content, the overall goal of ramming yourself into it is a hell of a gear grind.

What keeps people playing TERA is the community -- and if you don't mesh with it, you probably scoff at that statement, but it's true. The most fun you'll have with TERA will probably be just messing around with other players.

You know if you fit in with the types of people that play the game not long after you start, and if you do then you're in for a good time between the game's political system, GvGs, and arenas. If not, it won't be for you. It's pretty much as simple as that.

Blade & Soul doesn't have that community aspect and, let's be honest, you're never going to see the type of player-driven activities and BS in Blade & Soul that you see in TERA thanks to its huge focus on arenas. If you're serious about the game, you're serious about the arena.

This in itself is the game's biggest detractor for me. I can certainly spend weeks playing solo just fine, but it's lonely. Every player is just focused on their own personal progression then shoving gold at their clan to progress it. And that's fine -- but it feels more like a singleplayer experience overall than TERA.

You'll be spending most of your time like this - alone - unless you go out of your way to remedy that.

The big comparison focus between the two games almost always lies squarely in talking about its combat, but the types of people drawn to the two are different and it ends up making for a vastly different gaming experience in the long run.

Both games are undoubtedly Korean-style MMORPGs - but when it comes down to their combat styles and communities they couldn't be more different. People who do better with slower games and just being silly may be better suited to TERA, but anyone looking for a fast-paced MMO with an emphasis on progression but minimal interaction with other players need look no further than Blade & Soul.

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Can the Smach Zero be the new king of the handheld market? https://www.gameskinny.com/78kyb/can-the-smach-zero-be-the-new-king-of-the-handheld-market https://www.gameskinny.com/78kyb/can-the-smach-zero-be-the-new-king-of-the-handheld-market Thu, 13 Aug 2015 19:57:10 -0400 mrivera269

There is a new portable handheld, running Valve's Steam OS, on the block being released in November--alongside other Steam Machines. Formerly known as the Steamboy, the handheld has now been renamed to the Smach Zero. The device seems to resemble a Steam Controller, however other than the design, specifications, and retail price; we know very little about the device said to play over 1000 games from the Steam library. 

With the information known, we can speculate on how good this system could become. If it is capable of having access to all of Steam's library (which is doubtful) the system could give the 3DS a run for its money. The possible ability to play MMOs such as Tera, Ark, H1Z1, or even Tree of Savior (when released) could set this system up for greatness. But not only would the Smach Zero play MMOs but also triple A games such as Fallout 4, No Man Sky(if released on Steam), Call of Duty, or even the Witcher. Once again it is doubtful that the Smach Zero will have the power to play any of these games, maybe if the system has Steam link capabilities.

As for a more reasonable prediction on the system, the Smach Zero could without a doubt become an Eden for indie games. Steam is already crawling with indies, now given a new piece of hardware to develop on; we can see indie games made from all over--using all kinds of engines never seen before on a handheld. This would be a feat the PlayStation Vita (which mildly has success with indie games) and the Nintendo 3DS never fully accomplished. A feat only really taken advantage of on iOS and Android devices. 

This is all merely speculation and we will not know what the Smach Zero is capable of until more information comes out. Sound off on the comments below about what you think of Steams new device? Do you think it will overthrow the Nintendo 3DS as king of handhelds? 

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Transparency: 4 Reasons Gaming PR Isn't the Ultimate Evil https://www.gameskinny.com/s2s7i/transparency-4-reasons-gaming-pr-isnt-the-ultimate-evil https://www.gameskinny.com/s2s7i/transparency-4-reasons-gaming-pr-isnt-the-ultimate-evil Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:49:13 -0400 Larry Everett

Most of the time we look at the Public Relations team as glorified salesmen for the gaming industry. It’s comical sometimes how little some PR teams know about the game or games they represent. And if you’ve worked with as many PR teams as I have, you’ll know that it’s beyond funny and into the realm of sad how many of these teams come across like they are trying to sell you snake oil, even when they are actually selling a really good game.

These PR teams also seem to personify the barrier between gaming journalism and the “real story.” Needless to say, PR doesn’t have the best rep and is often seen as the enemy when it comes to games journalism.

However, we saw this week four very specific and important reasons why game companies need PR teams. Maybe they aren't as evil as we like to think.

1. Stopping Daybreak DDoS

CEO of Daybreak, John Smedley, was rightfully upset at the wrist-slapping that the Finnish justice system gave the member of the hacking group Lizard Squad. Although the kid wasn’t tried for the bomb threat that forced Smedley’s plane to turn around earlier this year, he was partially responsible for the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) many gaming companies experienced this year, costing those companies large sums of money.

Lizard Squad not-so-subtly claimed that it was Smed’s rants that lead them to retaliating with a DDoS attacks on Daybreak itself. Of course, this particular attack was fixed rather quickly, but it did cause downtime for Daybreak’s games and websites.

Smedley eventually deleted his Twitter and Reddit account. He said on Reddit that it was of his own accord, but many people suspect that it was highly influenced by his friends and PR team. Many times the PR team acts as a much-needed filter for developers when dealing with high-profile issues that can and will affect a huge business. I’m not blaming Smed -- he was was only exercising his right to free speech -- but if what he said had been filtered by his PR team, it might have mitigated or prevented the resulting DDoS attack.

2. Clearing the Cloud of Misinformation

Also this week, we saw Line of Defense developer Derek Smart stir up trouble for Cloud Imperium, the company creating Star Citizen. Smart demanded, among many other things, that President and CEO Chris Roberts resign so that the game can actually release and not become the vaporware Smart is claiming it to be.

While I’m not even going to try to take sides in this argument, it is clear that the game needs a PR team to better propagate information to the public so that everyone knows better the state of affairs with the game. Of course, Roberts and his team have been very open and vocal about clearing up this mess, but much of what PR teams do is spread that word to the ether, giving more people the correct information -- hopefully.

3. Shutting a Smart Mouth

In the same instance as above and a previous blog post, Smart could have used a PR team, too, but for a different reason. Sometimes, even when you have a good point, if you continue to harp on the issue, it doesn’t make the right impression.

Also, if you mock or belittle the opposition, it paints even a justified accuser in a bad light and spoils what could have been a very legitimate reason for calling out someone for wrong-doing.

In Smart’s specific case, not only did he belittle Chris Roberts, but he also belittled the people who defended Roberts. Those are the people you’re trying to convince, man! Had Smart (a developer with his own company to concern himself with) had a PR team backing him up, it could have convinced him to stop talking when the battle was at a standstill. Pouring more words on a heat battle only serves to fan the flame against you.

4. RaiderZ and the missing developer

I know everyone is sad about Perfect World Entertainment's shutdown of RaiderZ. (I’m kidding, most people have probably never heard of the game.) This game, originally created by MAIET, was intended to be stiff competition for TERA with its action combat. However, as it turns out, MAIET shut down months ago, yet PWE continued to run the game without telling its western audience.

Now, I don’t know who could have used a better PR team, PWE or MAIET, but someone needed better communication because the press release reads like PWE called up MAIET for its monthly meeting only to find out that the phone was disconnected:

“In the past, we have been working with MAIET, the developer of RaiderZ, in order to troubleshoot and solve issue to keep the game available for the players. Unfortunately, MAIET is no longer operating anymore.

“Since there’s no more active developer, it’s very difficult to troubleshoot any issue that happen to RaiderZ. We’re unable to deliver a quality experience to you, our players, so we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down RaiderZ.”

Well, duh, you’re shutting it down. I’m not sure where the communication breakdown happened, but it’s clear that PWE’s PR team is attempting to cover up some odd SNAFU. That said, had its PR team got ahold of this information faster or if MAIET had an actual PR team, this public weirdness could have been smoothed over.

 

As much as I dislike dealing with some of the loopholes PR teams create, we need to understand why they're here in the first place. Despite some of the clearly jargon-filled press releases, these teams of wordsmiths can do an amazing job of preventing internet explosions and painting a realistic picture of the company they represent.

I do not envy the jobs of these marketing managers and PR workers; it’s clearly important that public companies need them, if only as a buffer.

But the conversation doesn’t end here. Let me know your thoughts on these situations in the comments below. How could they have been handled better, and are there any big PR blunders that happened this week that I missed?

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The plight of the MMORPG junkie chasing the nostalgia dragon https://www.gameskinny.com/gd4lp/the-plight-of-the-mmorpg-junkie-chasing-the-nostalgia-dragon https://www.gameskinny.com/gd4lp/the-plight-of-the-mmorpg-junkie-chasing-the-nostalgia-dragon Sat, 20 Jun 2015 11:56:17 -0400 Ashley Shankle

MMORPGs hold a special place in the PC gaming space. They're one of the few genres that provide a complete escape from real life, giving the player goals to achieve, exotic landscapes to explore, and social circles to maintain. Some may argue that the genre is unhealthy, but if not for it I would never have met some of the most important people and had some of the most fun of my life.

My very first MMORPG was Ragnarok Online, which a friend recommended to me because of the spritework. I admit I didn't play it for long the first time I started, but I was enamored with the concept of a game where you go on adventures with friends. To a homebody like me, it just seemed too good to be true.

Ragnarok Online was my catalyst; every MMO player has one. Your first game that gave you that taste of freedom and adventure that you just can't get in real life. Real life just isn't as fantastical, nor does it give long term goals that are easy to follow and complete.

That, perhaps, is the biggest draw for the MMORPG genre (and video games in general): They give easy-to-follow metrics to gauge how you're doing. Real life isn't like that. You don't know exactly how close you are to a promotion. You can't gauge how intelligent you are by looking at an easy to read stat sheet. You don't know which is the "right" and "wrong" way to grow up and live as an adult.

MMOs and addiction

I say all of the above with what might seem like a negative connotation, but I thoroughly believe there's something to be said about the type of comfort games provide, particularly MMORPGs. People who would otherwise not have the confidence, courage, or money to go traveling or meet new people can do so in these games. They're a whole new world in the safety of your own home.

The downside to the easy to gauge metrics is just how addictive they are, especially if you're confused about where to go in real life. This is where game addiction comes into play, with the worst cases of addiction lying squarely within the MMORPG genre.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm an MMO junkie. I will also be the first to admit I have some serious anxiety issues in real life and feel a bit helpless when I think about my future. While I can say that MMORPGs give me an outlet to escape from real life, they're not making anything any better. I know they're just giving me an excuse to keep hiding and not progressing on a personal level.

This is where things get muddled for a lot of people, because many play these games excessively for the very same reasons mentioned above. But stopping means admitting all that time spent playing was for naught. It means leaving your friends behind. It means transitioning to a focus on real life, and facing your problems. These are all things I can barely bring myself to do each time I quit an MMO in hopes of "growing up".

This article has been a big downer. What started as (what I wanted to be) a showcase of my MMORPG history and asking you, the readers, to tell me yours has turned into one big wall of preaching about the evils of the genre.
My bad.

Chasing the nostalgia dragon

Over the years I've bounced from one MMO to the next in hopes of capturing the feeling EverQuest and vanilla World of Warcraft gave me when I was younger. The worlds in those games felt massive and the content itself was confusing and difficult. In a word, it was amazing. I want that feeling again.

Several of my friends do the same thing. Always chasing that dragon, in hopes they'll feel the same way they did a decade ago.

I've become enamored with several MMORPGs over the years since my EverQuest and WoW days, but not for the same reasons. Let's do a short list of some of the MMOs I've devoured over the past four years and ultimately what killed them for me:

  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - The world itself was beautiful and crafting was great but ultimately the game was linear and didn't fill me with a sense of wonder.
  • Aion - Its PvP was okay but the community was cancerous and the dungeons a bore.
  • Blade & Soul CN/TW - The PvP, story, and visuals were amazing but the tiny world bogged it down. No sense of wonder whatsoever.
  • TERA - Minimal sense of adventure when leveling the first time and the enchantment system is a real grindfest at endgame, but dungeons were pretty fun.
  • Guild Wars 2 - Interesting in concept, but ultimately not my cup of tea outside of crafting.
  • ArcheAge - Really great farming, housing, and economy workings; but too much work for no payout.

I could go on and on. I've given numerous MMORPGs a try since 2006 (the year I quit WoW for good and went back to Ragnarok Online), but none of them will ever scratch the itch the same way again.

There's something to be said about the hold game experiences have on you, when you spend nearly a decade just trying to reclaim those feelings they gave you the first time around. I'm never going to explore Norrath nor Azeroth for the first time ever again - I can accept that. I'm never going to be all bright and starry-eyed that same way ever again -- that's what I and many other older MMO players have difficulty accepting.

Over the years, I've found the easy gameplay in MMOs to be a real deterrent to my enjoyment. Most games have quest tracking that tells you where to pick up, do, and turn in quests. Mobs in most MMOs aren't very difficult anymore and die fast enough that you don't really learn to master your class over time. There is no sense of adventure for me, just like there is no sense of pride over my in-game feats.

I can understand that normal people don't have the time nor the motivation to put real effort toward killing every mob, nor do they have the patience to read their quest dialogue and figure out what to do themselves. But that doesn't mean I can't be disappointed when I try a new MMORPG when it doesn't scratch that itch. I'm entitled to be a little disappointed when I genre I once loved just isn't the same anymore.

Moving forward with the MMORPG genre

The MMOs coming up in the next year or two are looking to change the genre, but will they be able to? And if they do, will they be able to satisfy the cravings of the MMORPG old guard?

Let's look back at ArcheAge, which was released last year and brought with it a slew of features yet to be fully implemented in an MMO before. The housing and farm plots are one of the biggest features the game totes, backed by trade pack hauling and a huge emphasis on player killing for profit.

ArcheAge has a lot of technical issues, but the biggest problem isn't technical at all. It's how the PvP system works. That along with the heavy emphasis on subscribing is what ultimately struck down its player numbers after a couple of months. People just don't have the time nor willingness to put that much effort toward crafting, only to have to fight for their lives and loot on a trade pack haul.

Like ArcheAge, a lot of MMORPGs coming out over the next few years are going to be trying new things. There's nothing wrong with that since the genre woefully needs a kick in the butt to progress past the WoW clone phase. My hopes are riding on these upcoming new entries to the genre, because it's getting tiring going back to the same old games and hoping something will spark inside me and make me love them again.

In some ways, I feel the MMORPG genre needs to regress, and in others I feel it needs to progress. But I feel like I covered that subtly in all of the rambling paragraphs above. Where there is no challenge, there is no sense of danger. Where there is no innovation, there is no imagination and sense of wonder. Where there is no carrot on a stick, there is no motivation. So why even bother most of the time?

Not everyone

Before I wrap up this -- rant? It's become a rant, I suppose -- I do want to note that not everyone is like me when it comes to MMORPGs. Most people, as stated above, just don't have the time nor energy to deal with the type of difficulty found in the MMOs of yore. Not everyone is an addict, either.

Plenty of people can play an MMO and never have it affect their real lives. Millions of people play them every night when they get home from work or school without letting it deter them in their real life pursuits. Good on them, because I can't. And I crave something I just can't find.

I've hit my dancing Elin quota for this lifetime.

Perhaps it's because of the change in pace from older MMORPGs to newer ones, or maybe it's just the type of person they attract now in comparison to who they attracted a decade (plus) ago. Who knows, that's not something I'm about to spout a bunch of bull about.

Separation and realization of the differences between real life and games is hard. I guess that's the sum of all of the above. I don't know if I will ever be able to stop chasing the experiences I had so long ago. I don't know if I will ever be sated with the lack of readable metrics in real life. But I do know I love MMORPGs and I look forward to what's to come. Take that as you will, with all of the above on the table.

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TERA adds new PvE server, free server transfers start Tuesday https://www.gameskinny.com/bc1sl/tera-adds-new-pve-server-free-server-transfers-start-tuesday https://www.gameskinny.com/bc1sl/tera-adds-new-pve-server-free-server-transfers-start-tuesday Sun, 07 Jun 2015 09:26:39 -0400 Ashley Shankle

TERA's been through several server additions and subtractions since launch, and this is the third time En Masse Entertainment have had to add an additional server to lighten the load on others. To accommodate the new influx of players since the Steam launch, they've had to add a new PvE server: Highwatch.

The addition of a new PvE server may be a surprise to long time players as the PvP servers have traditionally been the most populated. First was the original Valley of Titans server during the initial launch months, then Mount Tyrannus after some server culling due to low player numbers.

These days the game has three PvP servers: Valley of Titans, Mount Tyrannus, and Valley of Tears. All three of these, according to En Masse, are doing better than ever since the Steam launch.

With PvE numbers on the rise, En Masse has added the much-needed Highwatch server to try to keep login queues low to keep queue headaches minimal before the game's population stabilizes.

Free server transfers

As usual, free server transfers are going to go live in the wake of the new server. The free transfer period begins on Tuesday, June 9th and extends to June 16th.

The rules are similar to the standard, with a few exceptions. Players will not be able to transfer to Ascension Valley, Celestial Hills, nor Tempest Reach for the free transfer duration.

There will also be a 7 day cooldown for transfers during this period instead of the standard 5, meaning you will only be able to get one free transfer per character between the 9th and 16th.

Check out the whole list of restrictions on the official TERA website and choose carefully! Free server transfers don't come by every day.

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From dead to thriving - TERA now Steam's biggest MMORPG https://www.gameskinny.com/j9pqi/from-dead-to-thriving-tera-now-steams-biggest-mmorpg https://www.gameskinny.com/j9pqi/from-dead-to-thriving-tera-now-steams-biggest-mmorpg Sun, 24 May 2015 15:18:05 -0400 Ashley Shankle

TERA's always been in sort of a weird spot in the West. From a bustling beta and launch month in 2012 to nearly dead servers just a few months later, the game's future was uncertain. Fast forward to today and it's one of the biggest free to play MMORPGs in the West, thanks to its 2013 shift to free to play and reasonable monetization.

Anyone who played TERA for any prolonged period during its subscription days knows exactly how badly the game was doing. Server populations had already dwindled to a fraction of their previous numbers just three to four months after launch and content updates were slow. Anyone could see that if it didn't shift to free to play, it wouldn't survive another year.

Less than a year after launch, TERA went free to play and changed to TERA: Rising -- and has done spectacularly.

From the outside, TERA just seems like what some people call a "Korean grinder"; and in some ways it is. But past that is a community of oddballs looking not only to compete with one another, but to have fun. It has the very real ability to draw in certain types of people and never let go. I can say without a doubt I am one of those people.

TERA is now Steam's biggest MMORPG, as of its Steam launch earlier this month. That may not seem like much because the current MMORPG selection on Steam is lacking, but at the time of writing TERA is also within the top 15 games on the platform with over 19,000 players logged on and playing via Steam alone. Non-Steam players are surely more numerous.

With the above all in mind, I want to congratulate and thank En Masse Entertainment for continuing to support the game and push its presence in the West forward. What was once considered to be a lost cause of a game is now a huge success, and that is something to brag about.

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TERA to Release Gunner Class This Tuesday https://www.gameskinny.com/s1fy0/tera-to-release-gunner-class-this-tuesday https://www.gameskinny.com/s1fy0/tera-to-release-gunner-class-this-tuesday Sun, 03 May 2015 15:46:37 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Gunners? In my TERA? It's more likely thank you think.

This week TERA players will be able to get their hands on the new and shiny Gunner class, the second new class added to the game since its release. And man, it looks cool.

This new class will make use of a new resource system called Willpower on top of the standard MP used by most of the game's other classes. Willpower charges with each enemy kill and depletes when not in combat. Certain skills, such as Balder's Vengeance and Burst Fire, require Willpower to use.

The Gunner will also be TERA's second minion-summoning class, alongside the Mystic. Gunners will be able to summon ST turrets to shoot enemies in range. It can also self-destruct to cause heavy AoE damage.

There's a lot to look forward to with this class, as rumor has it that the Gunner is the fastest class in the game. We'll be sure to see soon enough, with the class's release coming this Tuesday.

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TERA Finally Gets a Steam Release Date! https://www.gameskinny.com/669p3/tera-finally-gets-a-steam-release-date https://www.gameskinny.com/669p3/tera-finally-gets-a-steam-release-date Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:46:11 -0400 Farrel Nobel

It's been a very long wait for some, but it's finally here. (Well, ALMOST here..)

TERA finally has a Steam release date. The new update for the MMO that adds the Gunner class comes out on May 5th, which is also the Steam release date of the game. After months of staring at an "early summer" release date on Steam, fans will be pleased to know that there is finally a real date for release. 

For those of you who may not know, TERA is an MMORPG where you can pick from a vast array of classes and races that affect are more specialized in some classes than not. It's a big open world where you can hunt, gather loot, do quests and most fun of all, take on BAMs (Big-Ass-Monsters). It's a deep and rich MMO that players who enjoy dungeon crawling and teaming up to kill monsters or participate in guild wars will love. Oh, and did I mention it's a third person MMO? No more point and click-to-go-here! 

So I'm obviously excited about TERA. Are you? What are your thoughts on the game? Put them in the comments below! 

Editor's Note: If you want to find a TERA guild or start your own, be sure to check out GameSkinny's sister site Gamer Launch, and get your own guild website today!

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MMOs in 2014: The Good, The Bad, and The Future https://www.gameskinny.com/r0xuv/mmos-in-2014-the-good-the-bad-and-the-future https://www.gameskinny.com/r0xuv/mmos-in-2014-the-good-the-bad-and-the-future Fri, 26 Dec 2014 09:36:16 -0500 GabrielKross

2014 saw tons of MMO releases and news. I'm here to share the best and worst of the 2014 releases as well as the best of what's to come in the next year or so. Each category will count down the top three with a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut. Keep in mind this is still just an opinion piece, and you're free to disagree. I'd like to hear your opinions in the comments below as well.

The Bad:

Let's start the reflection with what went wrong in the MMO industry this year. Most of these issues are from over-hype just to find out the game just wasn't that great...

3. WildStar

WildStar had a vast amount of potential, the problem is it didn't live up to the hype-train on launch. On top of that, the leveling went by too fast for little reward upon hitting max level. You spent a good 2-3 weeks after just grinding to unlock the quest-line for "Eldergame" content. After that it was about a month worth of solo-que for Adventures and dungeons to meet a requirement for the quest progression for raiding. Basically, it boiled down to an unwelcoming end game experience.

Since launch, Carbine put in a lot of effort to improve the gameplay and experience. Unfortunately, many of the dissatisfied players decided it was better to just wait for the other big releases of the year instead of returning to a game that burned them once.

2. ArcheAge

Here's a familiar scene. Cheating the disconnect system by using the training dummies to remain logged in. This techniques was used to dodge login ques on launch, and is now used in the winter event to cheat the system.

Here's a game I was really looking forward to. I played quite a bit of the ArcheAge alpha and enjoyed the systems the game had in place. But, there were two factors that hurt this game: the cash shop and the lack of preparation by Trion at launch. Just before launch, a few items were snuck into the cash shop that completely ruined any sense of achievement players would have in the game.

The other issue was just poor management of servers. ArcheAge had one of the worst launches I have seen in my history of gaming. I'm talking worse than the 3102 issue of FFXIV, and even the over-population issues of WoW's Warlords of Draenor. From launch, I spent a good two to three weeks just trying to log into ArcheAge only to get disconnected halfway through 13 hour ques, because there weren't enough servers to handle the over population. Trion's lack of resolving this issue in a timely manner quickly destroyed player interest in the game.

1. Elder Scrolls Online

Anything that could have went wrong with this game, did. This game was not ready for launch when it came out. I could go on for days about how quests just didn't work, or how player phasing made group questing impossible, or even the slide-show style PvP where nobody could do anything due to non-stop lag in the battles. ESO was just a poor showing all around for Zenimax. I only know of four or five diehard fans that still play ESO out of a play group that was originally 40 to 50 players deep at launch. The only way I'd ever reinstall ESO is if the game went free-to-play and they truly fixed the things they claim to have fixed.

Not Quite Making The Worst of the Worst List: Tera Rising

The Ascension and Wounded World patches just left players wanting and likely should have just been released all at once instead of separately. The Fate of Arun expansion didn't do much to remedy this issue. Tera stole a page out of WoW's book with the recent level increase scroll, but implemented it poorly by taking you to 58 and leaving you with no gear and no way to acquire it for new players. They also adopted ArcheAge's middling crafting system. With all of this combined, they just barely missed being one of the top three worst for the year.

The Good:

Now that we've made it past the worst the year had to offer, let's take a look at the best.

3. Elite: Dangerous

This is the only game out this year that I didn't get my hands on personally. From what I've seen through streams like Londongaming4fun since its recent release, this game has serious potential. Elite: Dangerous has open world space exploration and combat that looks visually amazing. I'm impressed considering this is a game that kind of just sprang up out of nowhere.

There are only two downsides I noticed when checking this game out, that prevented it from getting placed higher on the list. The first was just a lack of population, or the feeling of population to be exact. With as vast as the game is, it requires a lot of searching to run into other players in some of the regions. The other issue is the fact that to get the true immersion this game can offer you need third-party programs; programs like Voice Attack that allow you to program in voice commands for the game. Elite: Dangerous seems completely playable without them, but they make it feel much more real.

2. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Since it's release late last year, FFXIV has steadily released new content and patches every three months or so. These patches make Tera's Fate of Arun "expansion" look like no more than a bug fix with the sheer amount of content disparity between them. FFXIV introduces more story, at least three new dungeons, a new Primal, and endgame continuation in each patch. I can't really think of a bad thing to say about FFXIV for the year.

1. World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

I'm sure most people aren't surprised, and are liking thinking this is a biased opinion. However, if I was being biased: FFXIV would have ranked higher as I've always been a FF fan. Now before I get into what makes WoD the best release of 2014, let me start by saying I literally started playing WoW for this expansion. My official start in WoW happened around 2-3 weeks before the expansion launched. I got to experience a bit of Mists of Pandaria before journeying to Draenor. Up until WoD launch I wasn't really impressed with the game.

Now, let me explain why I speak so highly of Warlords of Draenor. A big thing for me getting into this expansion was the beginner friendly approach that first quest-line before you get your Garrison has. Blizzard took into account that there would be a lot of new players with the returning players and made it so that they could get a feel for the game as well. On top of, that the story actually has a genuinely epic scale to it and it makes the player feel like their character is really making a difference in the story's progression, even though the flow and events are linear and scripted.

I'm never left with a feeling of a lack of things to do in Warlords of Draenor. It actually comes down to me trying to scramble around and get things done at the last second more often than not. Keeping your Garrison productive and not stagnant requires constant attention. Whether it means going out and gathering materials for your craft buildings or tracking down Garrison Resources for that building upgrade, it's almost like having a second job (in a good way).

The last thing I want to mention is dungeons and raiding. As this article shows, I play quite a few MMOs. I've never experienced an MMO that has been as personally challenging as this expansion. You have to constantly be aware of at least five things at once, and during a three-hour raid session that can be very taxing. It's a refreshing change of pace to most MMOs which favor the casual idea, "Let's make content that anyone can clear." These raids are designed with the understanding that not everyone can clear the Mythic difficulty, giving those that do that huge sense of accomplishment.

Honorable Mention: Blade and Soul: Taiwan

I got my hands on the Taiwan version of Blade and Soul the moment it launched back in November. I must say that it's everything I'd hoped for in Blade and Soul.

Fast-paced combat that requires skill really brings excitement to the game. Blade and Soul doesn't have healers, meaning players will live or die based on their own merits. It's nice having a game in which there is no one to blame but yourself for failing.

The reason this placed as an honorable mention instead of the top three is due to the fact that it requires a third-party translation patch to understand for english speaking players. GameSkinny writer Ashley recently wrote about a site that provides these translations.

The Future:

It's time to take a look at, "What's Next" for the MMO world. The next year or so is going to be really exciting, from what I've seen so far. As a lot of what's involved in these future releases is shrouded in secrecy, I'll share videos for each one.

3. Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

The first expansion for FFXIV is slated to launch some time in early 2015, I'm willing to bet sometime between March and May. This expansion brings three new jobs, flying mounts, Ishgaard, and so much more.

2. Tree of Savior

Tree of Savior is the spiritual successor to Ragnarok Online. Everything I've seen on this game has made me sure I want to play it. It takes a step back from those fancy, realistic 3D MMOs without taking away from the beauty of the world.

1. Black Desert

Another game that I decided I had to play after only seeing one video. This game reminds me a lot of the combat style of Blade and Soul, but on a more epic scale.

Honorable Mention: Lineage Eternal

This is a game I stumbled upon more recently, and I know very little about. It looks very Diablo like, but I'm not really sure of anything outside of that. I do know this game isn't expected until late 2016 though, so it'll be a long wait if this is the game you're looking forward to.

That wraps up my year-end review of MMOs and what to look forward to in the future. I'm very open to your opinions on what you think are the top three in each category. Be sure to share this with your friends and leave your opinions in the comments section below.

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