quick thoughts on TERA, i was in beta and did PAY for this and also paid for a 6 months sub (save a few bucks).
Game is nothing new, fantasy setting, uses asian inspired graphics like so many do now. I must admit it is one of the better looking games and is quite colorfull at times and can be bleek. Quests are the standard, collect, kill, fetch, again, nothing new.
So why play it you ask?
character classes: you can tell this game is asian, it covers all the bases.. Humans, A race that looks a bit like Sexy demons (for the goth wanna be's), a Dragon like humonoid race (for those who like Brute looks), the Humans, A race of cute furry crittters (every asain anima game has um), loli's (in game slang name, race that looks like 13 year old girls with very grown up perportions... again an Asain taste it seems as they all have the pedopile races), and Elves.. the males have a very Boy toy look and the females are about as close to perfect as one gets in a game.. presonally i love the HUGE selection.. and while they are silly i picked the furry guys (mine looks like an overstuffed rabbit). I also made a Female Elf scorceress (fro all the typical male reasons... she is pleasent to look at). I cant sy another game does a better job of really giving you choices..
Classes: againt he standards, but mixed up a bit. A warrior is not a tank like most games, even healers are not the same. But it has most of the standards.. tank, scorceress, priest, and some new names (but same old stuff).. there are TANKS, Dmage dealers and healers.
Where the game changes things up some: there is NO lock on system like almostevery other RPG.. also unlike most you can AVOID damage with certain abilities and skills. They have changed the standard "hit key1, hit key 2, hit key 3, wait for refresh, repeat" playstyle.. YOU HAVE TO AIM!.. yes there is a crosshair.. there is range (you cant put a BAM* in corsshair a mile away and hit it) ... If you carry a shiled and BLOCK... you can take zero damage (all classes have some type of dmage avoidance.. the Archer has a skill whre you jump back 20 feet). At first I was almost disapointed with this system.. FPS in my RPG.. But while it sounds a bit like that, its not. YES you do aim, but its not like a FPS where pin point accrecy matters. if hte Mob is in front of you, you will hit him. Its not really precision based, the game just makes you move and pick your target. This opens up a HUGE tactics playstyle. Tanks can block.. but if they block to much damage it means they are not attacking.. and holding agro.. so they need to balance that. Damage dealers cant just count ont he tank to hold agro. they Have to pay ATTENTION ( intereseting concept.. people been playing without watching the screen so long it may just bother them). Healers cans just hid and click on portratits to heal.. Heals are AIMED too.. and most have AOE heals.. so GROUPS have to really work toghter.. if you are all running whilly nilly the healer cant heal effectively. its a way the game developers can fine tune encounters, and the players cna actually think to overcome them.. instead of offtank and heal cycles. its a new way to play.. and a way alot fo the gold guard are going to hate.. after years automating encountes in WoW, etc.. with addons.. they are going to have to play the game again.. this will be this game strong point or downfall.. Period..
*BAM- yes thats an in game name BIG ASS MONSTERS.. while most look very cool, alot have that annoying cute look asian designers love.. right beside some of the best nasty evil designed monsters.. its a surreal thing. Another difference is the fact alot of monsters are 1 big one and a group of small ones followin it.. so you fight an intense 10 on one battle. AND BAM, most bosses are HUGE, most games ahve a few named mobs that are big, not so here, many are. They do stick to the generic, wander for no reason model, but we are all used ot that, so ...
So far i find it a interesting fresh thing added to a old , much loved game play style. I like that i can BLOCK and avoid that hamer swing, I like i can time my attacks. its a bit like an Action game (skyrim, alumar, Demons souls) but its not so precise that failing will cost me... hence us old guys who reaction times have dimmed can still get alot out of it. healing may be a weak area with the new aim system as people do not group up enough and are used to teh 'chicken run' method of playing, get damage, run all over willy nilly. As i say i think it ads more tactics to the game.. requireing a new set of thinking. but as WoW has shown, not many people like change. The Mobs are all a bit like old school games.. each has a specific way of attacking. Which helps you time blocks and your attacks. A tail wag, a cred flash in eyes, a howl, a step back.. all mean some kind of attack.. some mean a singel attack, some means block for a few attacks ( punch out on nintendo... learn each boxer, you learn each mob)
one thing I really like.. Boss mobs that should require a group (I think i read no Boss should require more then 3 players) can be soloed by a good player.. and I love that challange aspect. I have solo'ed a few instances with my tank (lancer) and its a good feeling.
Overall I really like the step they have taken, its not new, but its new enough (combat) to make me play. I woldnt recomend it to anybody who is tierd of MMORPG, its really not differnet enough. I wouldnt recomend it to people who dont want ot spin to attack stuff behind you, dont like to not attack (while blocking, avoiding) and time thier attacks. Combat is really the only thing changed.. and as its about 75% of most MMORPG's.. you will need to enjoy its new style or you will be bummed out quickly.
the only spot i can see a real problem is PvP.. reaction time will play a bit more into that.. and if you have played any online PvP, you know people hop around like bunnies now.. with actual aimed combat. he who can spin, straff, and attack will win.. Personally i had my fill of PvP in WoW in the orignal days before it got so gear depenedent.. i wont miss it..