If you haven’t noticed it yet right on the side there.. yes just over there —> I have been uploading purty pics which won’t be everyday because I lie terribly but hopefully will be most days. And if you have been observent you may have noticed the Tera pics.. yep I’m jumping back for another round.
I have honestly been want to jump back in for some time just to see the world more, enjoy a little action combat and maybe toss my poor mystic into the pvp modes which I have never tried. There has just been so much to play lately and I wasn’t going to sub for something I would never have time to play. And now as of a couple weeks ago it is ftp so time to once again meet my furry friends.
I guess I was rather wrong in assuming Tera would not be suited to being ftp and that it would be a terrible match in regards to its more hardcore nature (I say hardcore in regards to the later levels of difficulty) . But who knows how this will play out in the coming weeks and months, maybe it will crash and burn, maybe it will be a sleeper hit, or maybe it will continue on like it was plus a few more dedicated players.
The one thing I can say is that there are a lot of people checking it out. The early zones I’ve been in have been remarkably busy with lots of people running around questing and killing, sometimes it even feels like there are more people then there was on release as you see players everywhere and there are a lot of extra channels in the zones. It is a great environment for people to get their first experiences, looking around it is rather vibrant in one of the first big quest hubs with a great cross section of the community. Lowbie levelers, guild groups, outlaw gankers, a handful of max lvl chars guarding the entrance, and of course a dozen or so Elin dancing in the fountain. It feels busy, active, and not the wasteland I experience while questing in other games.
The chat channels are as busy as ever it seems with may lfg groups forming and such, questions being asked, and declarations of War against the Sword Art guild who were constantly having discussions about the show in general chat. I never even see this much chatter while playing GW2 even in Lions Arch. It felt like home again, amongst a family that are quite possibly crazy in every sense of the world but you love them anyway.
The population even with the influx of the cheapskate masses still seems to be its overly social self. Groups were easy to get and involved plenty of discussion for just about any aspect of the game, everyone helps out when there are gankers around rather the splintering and running away, and everyone generally enjoys being engaged with others.
Also as Telwyn of GamingSF noticed in his play pug questing is alive and well, I am so glad about that too as it is the main part of what makes this game great, in most games such a thing is a rarity, here it is just the norm. With the way the classes are designed, the difficulty of monsters, the amount you need to kill, and that there is no quick and easy out of combat regen it encourages grouping far more then you would expect. Then there are the regular Bam quests which are the glue holding all together for much longer periods. Unlike Telwyn thoguh i don’t think this is equal to guild wars informal non competitive system, I think it is far superior in creating social experiences.
My most rewarding experience so far was in the first bam area where you are finally testing your skills with the games action orientated system. I had grouped with a slayer and we were looking for more members, we noticed there was a high level character from the vanarchs guild (vanarchs means elected guild who runs a region) who was grouping with people constantly in order for them to finish the quest quickly as well as resing the random person who had been flattened by these mobs. Even without us asking they threw us a invite and helped me and my slayer friend out which we were very grateful for.
We did manage to kill one by ourselves though and what a challenge that was as this was my first time kind of tanking. I have yet to play my max level mystic as i wanted to get used to the combat system again so this was on my low level warrior. I have so much to learn it is stupid with fighting Bams on the warrior, I was so used to avoiding these from afar that I never knew how much goes into it as a melee. I honestly thought before that healing was one of the tougher roles.. It is not. I had always seen warriors and melee damage takers on the Bams and bosses and thought it was easy, far from it.
You have to be completely intimate with a Bams every twitch, in a full group it isn’t as bad with the backup of a healer but there on our own it was up to me and I failed miserably but the funny thing was he was rather encouraging. The slayer stayed alive during our fight and I healed up ran back, and we finished it off together with me on something like 8% health, it was great to test my skills, learning and reflex even if I failed. Afterwards I went back on a mission to solely a Basilisk all by myself yet after a few goes I still only got one to 70%..oh I have so much to learn.
Tera got an awful lot of criticism regarding its questing system (even though every game feels the same in this regard) but with this sort of combat system I honestly don’t care, I didn’t care back at release and I still don’t. I want to continue playing because I am being engaged by it, I am constantly thinking and moving, avoiding and attacking. MMO’S always involve a lot of killing at least here I feel like an active player and not just like my characters on autopilot, which is fine for some “junk food” games but not for all.
The one thing that has soured my time back in Tera is that it feels no where near as responsive as it used to. I know i have the dreaded oceanic ping when connecting to an NA server, but this is something else entirely. Skills were taking a couple of seconds to register and when that skill is a dodge that is going to save your life it really matters. Everything wasn’t chaining together for me at all and the combat was nowhere near as fluid because of it. I remember what it felt like before, it felt tight and responsive and it was great.
And oh my god the frigging lag, some of the worst and more constant times I have experienced. I had been holding off this review as I thought that maybe it was just the weekend that lagged immensely and wanted to get some play during the week to compare. The culprit is of course the nexus events that run only on the weekend which I find amazingly stupid firstly because they are still running these silly events of getting pvp gear through PvE, they’ve even stopped nost pvp during these events. Secondly because this frame by frame lagfest is crippling the entire server. It’s in a later zone and yet every other area and channel is completely screwed because of it.
I wonder if the devs even realise, one comment during that first weekend when I asked if anyone else was lagging was “yeh everyone is, Nexus is on”. It isn’t just abilities taking a bit longer to load, no it is mobs being completely frozen to the point where you can attack them, kill them (if your attacks register) and for them to stand there for 10+seconds with no health. If the do attack it makes avoiding anything rather impossible.
Considering that these nexus events are occuring in times where they would have the most people playing and the most new players trying it out is an appalling first experience.. I know it’s usually better but do they.
Even during the week though it wasn’t up to what I was expecting in regards to response time. The combat system is the focal point of the entire game, the foundation of our experiences and if it isn’t a completely polished experience it all falls apart. I’m sure it’s better for American players then it is for me, a close proximity to the servers always means there ping is within the boundaries of gamers tolerance levels but for me that but extra on top makes me not want to play and for now I probably won’t, at least until the masses in this game have gone back to a reasonable level.