After registering, downloading and doing all the regular stuff to get the game on your computer it is time to create a character or more than one if you fancy having a dabble until you are happy and ready to set off in earnest.
There are several character races to choose from: Aman, Baraka, Castanic, Elin, High Elf, Human or the delightful rotund animal headed (cat, dog, bear etc) Popori. All of the above can be selected as Male or Female except the Baraka which is a monogendered race (not sure how you get baby Barakas) of Giants. Then there are the classes: Archer, Berserker, Lancer, Mystic, Priest, Sorcerer, Slayer or Warrior, all of which you can trace back to basics such as Hunter, Fighter, tank, Mage, Healer etc. As usual most of the female characters are scantily clad and have a range of wide innocent, almost Manga-style, faces - every little trick to draw the adolescent males into playing LOL!
There is the usual amount of personalising the character(s) you create - hair, face, height etc - and then you are ready to enter the world and begin questing and killing. You are given the opportunity to play through a tutorial but if you have ever played a video game of any kind where you move an avatar around the screen you will catch on quickly enough. Arrow keys or WASD for movement, mouse buttons for primary actions and number keys for other actions. B opens bags, [Num Lock] = continuous movement, K = Skills/Abilities, C=Character sheet all very basic.
Yellow or Purple Symbols over NPCs mean you can talk to them (F to talk, pick up items etc) and an overlaid mini map allows you to plan your routes. Creatures with a Yellow "!" mean they are part of a quest and thus generally need killing or talking to. To fight get the target in your crosshairs and keep them there. Combat takes place where and around you start it - no wizzing off to a battle screen - and each blow you make relates to a keystroke you perform; no auto fighting. If you have a ranged weapon you must be within distance - the crosshairs get darker when you are in range - and you must keep the target in your sights. If your aim wanders you will miss, even with magic.
Graphically TERA cannot be faulted; the designers have obviously taken note of all the MMOs that have preceeded it and have done a fine job. However, there is still the old RPG chestnut of why do creatures, especially animals, carry coins and equipment and where do they carry these items ? When will a designer come up with something like a Bounty Agent - they could be found in Villages, Towns etc - who pays characters in cash for each kill they make. Kills are usually totted up in the background anyway so there wouldn't be a lot of extra programming plus the characters would then be able, more likely even, to spend their money on the weapons and equipment sold by Vendors. Let's face it, most players rarely if ever buy weapons or armour from Vendors as they know they will always get better from a drop so why waste the money?
If you already play and enjoy a fantasy MMO I haven't found any reason to suggest you swap over to TERA. It's very pretty and of course it is all bright and sparkly new but basically it is the same as WoW, GW, RoM, DAoC, SWtOR etc. The races are different but similar, the weapons look different and spells and abilities have different names and visual effects but do the same as their counterparts in the other games. So what I'm saying is if you are looking for a new MMO that is beautiful visually yet easy to play from the off then TERA is a great alternative.
TERA: Rising – Fantasy MMO Now Free to Play in Europe
Content Update Marking the Free-to-Play Switch Includes a New Dungeon and a 3 vs 3 Arena
Karlsruhe, 05/02/2013 – Under the name TERA: Rising, the publisher Gameforge is making one of the most graphically impressive and innovative fantasy MMOs in recent years playable for free. Appearing at the same time as the free-to-play launch, the new dungeon, Crucible of Flame, and the Champions’ Skyring 3 vs 3 arena offer players many new challenges and rewards.
PvE and PvP Fun: Crucible of Flame Dungeon and Champions’ Skyring Arena
The free-to-play launch is accompanied by exciting new content for both PvE and PvP fans. There is a new dungeon, the Crucible of Flame, as well as the Champions’ Skyring 3 vs 3 arena. The Crucible of Flame offers a completely new kind of dungeon experience: As players battle against monsters and bosses at various difficulty levels, they compete for dominance in a ranking system. Challengers who reach the top levels can look forward to valuable rewards. The Crucible of Flame is also home to a brand-new boss monster – the Cyclops. Meanwhile, the dungeon’s engaging mini-games provide a refreshing change of pace.
In the Champions’ Skyring, Arborea’s adventurers can put their skills to the test in thrilling 3 vs 3 battles. The victors will be rewarded with the newly introduced Killing Spree Credits, which can be used to obtain special PvP equipment. The top ranked players here will also receive a powerful new skill. The new spectator mode allows fallen heroes to watch the battle unfold from another player’s point of view.
New Trailer for Free-to-Play Launch
For the release of TERA: Rising, Gameforge has come out with a gripping trailer which shows the graphically impressive landscapes, zones, and monsters of Arborea, as well as the innovative True Action Combat system. It also presents an overview of the new content appearing with the free-to-play launch. The trailer can be viewed here
Gameforge to publish new content for the release of fantasy MMO
Karlsruhe, 30.01.2013 – With the switch to Free-to-Play, previous and future players have the chance to play one of the best-looking and innovative MMOs of the last few years for free. But that’s not all: just in time for the launch, the world of Arborea will be enhanced with additional content. This includes a new dungeon as well as a PvP arena offering experienced adventurers numerous new challenges and rewards.
TERA’s free-to-play model
TERA’s free-to-play model will include two standard account types: the Free User and the Veteran. Free Users receive full access to the entire game content – this includes, for example, the races, classes, instances, equipment items or players-versus-player content. Veteran status is reserved for players who purchased TERA before the switch to free-to-play and offers advantages that Free Users do not receive. Everyone has access to the TERA Club: amongst other things, players receive a special mount, a daily selection of boosts as well as different types of scrolls here. These can, for example, increase experience points and the amount of gold gained or can summon merchants, crystal merchants or the banker. The monthly subscription fee of 12.95 euro for the TERA Club, is the same price as the previous subscription. If you subscribe to a 3-month membership, the fee is reduced to 11.65 euro and 12 months reduces it to 9.99 euro a month.
The item shop
Aside from the aforementioned boost items, the shop will include recovery, mana and stamina potions for character development. Service items are also available for purchase, with which players can change the name or appearance of their hero. In future, the shop will continue to be filled with exclusive mounts, weapon skins and clothing.
… and there’s more!
With another update due to appear later on in the year, TERA’s political system will also receive an additional feature. Players that belong to a guild can enter into an alliance with this feature and profit from useful bonuses in this community. The three alliances are enemies of one another and continually fight each other for dominance on the respective game server.
TERA is a classic fantasy MMO, yet it stands out from games within its genre in some points. One such point is the so-called True Action Combat system – the first of its kind. Similar to the controls in action games, the player actively carries out their attacks and spells, instead of just pressing a key. In this way, their position in relation to their enemy is also decisive: enemies will be sighted once in the middle of the cross hairs. Even before release in summer 2012, TERA was praised by players and press alike, above all for its detailed graphics and the numerous innovative approaches, such as the novel political system.