The Exiled Realm of Arborea (TERA Online)

The game is TERA (The Exiled Realm of Arborea), an MMORPG for the PC by Korean developer Bluehole Studio and produced by their subsidiary, located in Seattle, En Masse Entertainment.

TERA is unofficially being called one the few games which will be “raising the bar” for modern MMORPGs. If you have not already looked into TERA, the visuals and soundtrack are absolutely amazing. TERA is not going to be just another free-to-play MMO, but rather a subscription based MMORPG which offers a quality gaming experience “like other triple-A titles.”

However, what I want to focus on isn’t so much the beauty of the game, or the six races and eight classes, as much as I would love to, but instead the focus on the gameplay. For starters, players in TERA will NOT be controlling their avatars the same way they would in your traditional MMORPG, such as Aion or WoW, but instead have full control over how their avatar move. Especially during combat.

Confused? Try thinking more along the lines of an third-person action game/shooter, and convert that to an MMORPG. You’re getting a little warmer now. There will be no more point and click, chat with your friends, and pushing down hotkey and macro buttons. If you did this in TERA, you will quickly be asking others “res pls?” Players will be controlling their avatar through timed button commands, careful observation of their enemy’s attack patterns, and teamwork. To add a little more excitement to battles, smarter enemies will learn player attack patterns and may strafe to the side or counter your attacks. You are literally playing TERA like an action game or shooter depending on your class and it is all done massively in real time. Players can also use a game controllers if they prefer, and after trying it first hand, it works wonderfully.

The other feature in TERA’s gameplay, unlike traditional MMOs is how players will have a large amount of control over the game’s economy. Though not a whole lot of information has been released on this yet, from what I understand, higher-leveled players will be able to play a very large role in the “politics” in the game. There will be some relation to guilds and such, but generally it sounds like it allows players to gain control various regions, assign tax, and control other economic factors. From speaking to developers at GDC, it sounds like they are trying something very new. More information is said to be released after E3.

If you are a fan of MMORPGs, this is one to keep your eyes on. TERA is scheduled to release in Korea late 2010, and thanks to awesome combined efforts, the United States will see more of TERA soon after. I was told to watch out for Winter 2010.

TERA booth at GDC 2010
TERA Website and Forums

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