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Six reasons to avoid TERA like the plague

TERA had its open beta this weekend and I didn’t even consider taking part. Why? Because the game is doomed before it’s even launched. I know there are enough doom callers and naysayers in this community but hear me out.

The first indicator this game was in trouble: Development Director leaves the company shortly after its Korean launch. That is never a good sign, especially when it’s a direct result of how the game was received by its main audience. And don’t mind the rumor tag on the article. It’s confirmed, just old and un-updated.

Second sign: Easterners don’t like this distinctly Eastern game. All signs point towards TERA being a grindfest, which oddly enough is a trait they like over there. So when the first audience leaves en masse before the first six months has even passed, my magic eight ball says that something is majorly lacking in the design and execution department.

Third sign: They’ve taken months NOT westernizing their game… During the “westernization process.” If you read any of the beta reports recently you’ll see a common complaint is the distinctly eastern design. Kill and collect, rinse and repeat. Although they did change the upskirts to panties instead of thongs. It begs the question, what have they been doing all these months? My theory: the main development team is in Korea desperately trying to salvage things there while F2P is already underway for the states and EU.

Sign four: Sex appeal is not a feature. Cartoon ass is not sexy. Moreover the majority of teens and twenty somethings think people who get off on video game art are weird. TERA may as well be TnA Online, which screams of over compensation more than a 50 year old in a Beamer.

Sign five: They don’t understand us in the slightest. If they think MMOFO which some douche-bro representative is what will get through to us they’re completely oblivious. Not to mention, the uninspired “westernization” shows they pretty much don’t get any of the changes in the last five years of games or our expectations. More importantly, they don’t get what we now find fun.

And finally: They’re liars. TERA is not even close to being the first true action MMO nor is it even original in how it does it. TERA’s combat is a mediocre attempt at emulating what consoles and other games have already done far better. They just think you won’t notice that they’re feeding you a pile of crap and calling it fine cuisine. This is a disturbing trend in gaming, companies making patently false claims (biggest content update in history, Call of Duty… really? The Witcher 2 and dozens of other games beg to differ).

So there you have it. Signs from above that TERA not launching F2P is just to cash in on their most dedicated and soon to be ex-fans. I’ll pass.

15 comments

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  1. Tramell

    I’ve been playing in Beta for quite some time. The quest presentation is old hat but the combat makes up for it slightly. I’m having a ton of fun with the combat system – playing as a Warrior – and that is one feature that this game will have over other MMOs. I played The Secret World and the combat felt so disjointed I put down the keyboard and left, it just felt so wrong.

    Yeah there is some creppy stuff in the game. Demon race that wears no clothes, Loli female god spirits that show off their cash and prizes depending when their class wears heavy armor. Yeah, you can say it caters to the “Asian sexual appeal”, though there are plenty of furries in NA.

    I agree with you, the marketing campaign was horrible for the game. It felt juvenile at best, I wish they should off some of the neater features of the game such as, creating your own skill chains, the positional awareness of combat, and socketing runes to improve your character stats.

    At the end of the day though I wish the game was F2P because I enjoy it a lot. I will buy and play for awhile but I’m not sure if it can hold my attention with SWTOR doing decently alright with their content drops(they need to QA more) and Guild Wars 2 creeping up with the first beta event starting later on this week.

  2. Milady

    I agree with you on all of these points. But I wanted to add one positive reason, from the female’s point of view – Some/most of the male characters are not necessarily sexualized, and they are appealing to women, not just to the male fantasy of power. They are still idealized, similarly to the GW2 models – no room for ordinary features, perfect models which follow the patriarchal norm of beauty, etc.

    Perhaps it is the fact that TERA is a Korean game the reason why half of their males have this “effeminate” beauty that I found so appealing. I had written something on the topic of male beauty some weeks ago, in case you feel curious: http://hypercriticism.net/2012/blood-elves-why-the-hatred/

    1. Chris

      Thanks for stopping by, Milady! That’s an interesting point. So does that balance things out for you in terms of eyerolliness? I originally wrote “acceptable” there but that’s not really what I mean. It’s just a bit silly to show underwear as much as they do.

      Excellent blog, by the way! I’ll be adding you to my reader and blogroll next time I’m logged in.

  3. xXJayeDuBXx

    Sorry, I stopped reading once I saw the screenshots…

  4. xXJayeDuBXx

    Sorry, I thought I had more to say but I can’t stop looking at the screenshots…

    I did like the combat though!

    1. Chris

      So… maybe I just pushed you closer to playing? :-D

  5. Ardwulf

    Yeah, no thanks. The gameplay looks twitchy and uninteresting, the progression flow looks grindy, and the art style is just creepy. I was never remotely tempted by this game.

  6. Starseeker

    I was hesitant about this game till i went to PAX East and played through a warrior and lancer for awhile, the devs were actually friendly and knowledgeable and sold me on the game so I preorderd. Played through this last beta weekend and I can say that it’s less asian grind than say aion or lineage 2 (played them both). There’s not alot of “grind”. It was fairly easy to find crafting stuff, the leveling was fast, maybe too fast, and I didn’t feel like i was grinding anything (less so than even Rift). Maybe that might change at higher levels but right now I find the combat refreshing (I play a mystic).

    Now the quests I can agree are mediocre, I couldn’t tell you what the story is, or even why I’m in a zone killing what I am killing. But I’ve found it really doesn’t matter because the combat is fun and it’s enough to keep me playing. Sure consoles have done this stuff for awhile, but as a NON console/Shooter player, I find it nice to have an MMO with FPS style play in a genre that I enjoy.

    Yes, the characters are absurdly over sexualized, but its an art style, and the majority of asian mmos have that issue. It is almost comical.

    I also agree with milady, the male characters are finally appealing, it’s kinda nice to have the tables turned for once.

    All in all I’m having alot of fun with it, and so are my friends…will it last forever? Maybe not but it’s better than some of the current MMOs out there.

    1. Chris

      That’s an interesting take, Star. I’m glad you’re having fun with it. I tend to rail against MMOs that seem like one month stays; that’s just not what MMOs are about and it’s damaging to future development every time a game does poorly. I hope that’s not the case for TERA. When they offer a free weekend sometime after launch, I’m sure I’ll try it. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow with a smile on my face because more good games is better for everybody.

      1. Starseeker

        Yeah i get your point, about mmos, but there are so many out there, that it’s nearly impossible to have everyone just stick to one. Most of these games have a constantly shifting population depending on updates fun factors etc. To me, gaming communities are evolving a bit into less about a game and more about a group/guild/community outside of any given game. You have people like my guild or iniquity or any number of people out in the interwebs, who tend to migrate to games to play together and have fun. I think the age of one mega mmo is over, WoW is still the leader by far, but I don’t think you will see another MMO get there, to me it is now about instead of having 3 flavors of ice cream, I have 32 flavors.

        Even if you don’t enjoy it I do respect your opinion and definitely get your points.

  7. Vandrek

    I sort of agree with “Sex appeal is not a feature. Cartoon ass is not sexy.” That said, the genre is fantasy. You are super smart and super strong so why not super good looking? It does make you wonder why in any traditional “western” game where you can customize appearance, the first thing half the people playing female characters do is get as close to naked as possible. I just mean there is a western demographic for this. :)

    1. Chris

      You’re definitely right that there’s a market. Sex sells. The reason I even bring it up, however, is that it’s novelty. You’ll get tired of pixel panties in the first day. After that, all you have is a reason for women to avoid ever playing. Then again, banana hammocks could be patched in later…

  8. Chris "Syeric" Coke

    For the record, Akismet has stopped at least three porn spam sites from linking back to this post. See what happens when you use the word “upskirt” on the internet? :-D

  9. Chris

    100% agree

    biggest fail game of the year, so much Hype too bad it will fail and going to F2P, good luck wasting money to whoever is paying to play this junk.

  10. Syl

    Heh, now I wish I had seen your post sooner. :)
    I think the character design in Tera is miles worse than in any other ‘mainstream MMO’ out there right now; the Elin are down right awful and the half-assed attempt at ‘censoring’ them is cringe-worthy. I always disliked Lineage, I didn’t think anyone attempting to hit the western market would take things 10 notches down from there….
    Personally I won’t cry if this game crashes and burns.

    Tangentially, their first action MMO claim reminded me of Blade&Soul; not exactly a step-up in terms of char design, but certainly a more action based, real beat’em up MMO.

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