I've had my two weeks of non stop jam sessions in TERA Online. It was fun, but now i've reached that fork in the road for end game content. From what I understand now, it is going to be an incredibly long grind for end game gear. The level 65+ dungeons in TERA are hard. The dungeons are a significant step up in difficulty with unforgiving boss mechanics, especially with poor latency.
I think the levelling experience in TERA was good. The levelling curve is not that steep, particularly with the double experience game event. The dungeons between 1-59 are fun because they're fairly straight forward and you're often paired off with people who are new, and are willing to adapt their tactics to get through the dungeon. Most experienced players who are levelling their new gunner characters are also more willing to mentor new players to the game.
TERA is like every other fantasy RPG where good tanks and healers are constantly in demand. Dungeon queues are nearly instant for my healer. I'm by no means an inexperienced healer because I play the support class in every MMORPG. But a lot of the dungeons and bosses are new to me so the tactics and boss mechanics are something I need to learn by experiencing them.
Being unable to join end game dungeons is starting to frustrate me. My gear is obviously not up to scratch but in order to get better gear, i need to do group dungeons. But the parties are just not forming because of impatient and elist jerks amongst the community. The levelling experience was fun but the end game experience is one of the worst i've seen in any game. It's absolutely appalling and I think one month is more than enough for TERA online.
Post level 60 content
The end game / post level 60 content is where I started to experience some toxic elements of TERA online. I've found that I was constantly paired with experienced, but impatient players. They want to do the content quickly and expect everyone to be on the same level of experience as they are. Any hint that you're a newbie and they'll whine and moan like a child and demand to be kicked from the group.
TERA has punishment system in place where if you drop out of a party in a dungeon, you get a debuff that prevents you from joining another instance for 15 minutes. It's a double edged sword because on one hand its to stop a select group of people who drop from parties at the first sign of inexperience, but it also punishes the remaining players for being new because they are constantly rejoining a queue to find more mature players. The ultimate result is that most parties disband before they even do the first dungeon boss because when one person quits, the morale of the party is diminished.
In addition any hint that I'm a "newbie" (or if they inspect my gear and its not up to snuff), the "experienced" players will start demanding to be kicked from party. There's really not much you can do because those people will do everything they can to sabotage the group and force you to get rid of them. These are good players with bad attitudes abusing a system mechanic that forces them to stay in the group. If you don't get rid of them, you can't do the dungeon either. If Ascension Valley was a PVP server, these players are probably the same kind of wankers who would run around ganking new players with a level 65 character for fun.
At levels 60+ the game experience becomes toxic very quickly because the pick-up groups and the general community usually fall under the "elitist" category. The experience gap is quite significant at the end game between newbies and veterans. The identifying markers include the gear you are wearing, and whether you understand the dungeon mechanics. It can have a major impact on
- Your ability to join groups, and
- Your ability to do end game content
I've attempted several level 65 dungeons and they almost always end in disaster because there is no strategy, communication or explanation about what to expect. Any hint that you want to talk about tactics, is a sign that you're inexperienced, and then the abuse starts flying.
Priest / Support class (healing)
The challenge I find with healing in TERA is that I can't focus lock on the person I want to heal. I have to run around a chaotic battlefield and find the person I need to heal, which can be extremely frustrating at times. Most of the healing abilities on the priest are ground target AoEs with limited range. Then there are several focus targetted abilities that rely on your ability to make visual contact with the person you want the skill to target. But its extremely unreliable and inefficient. I also cannot highlight players who're behind a large BAM or bosses with large models which again presents a problem since many damage dealing classes like to stand behind the monster to deal critical damage.
Positioning, distance and party formation is important in boss fights. Many parties do not discuss any of these and do not take into consideration the limitations presented to their healer if they run off in the opposite direction of the healer. The healer needs to be in the middle of the party formation to heal the group with Area of Effect abilities and very often I find myself being too damn close to the boss to pull off a group heal.
In the image above, the yellow circle is the healer. The tank is taking the boss from the left side, thus exposing the back for the DPS classes to take advantage of. The three yellow circles are where the healer can be stationed.
- This is a dangerous place to be for the healer because the boss usually have close range attacks and will kill the healer easily. But this is optimal because of the skill range limitations which cover the entire party comfortably.
- This will marginally cover the tank and comfortably cover the backline DPS. I usually try to be here but honestly I can't visually target the tank with focus heals because the boss is in the way.
- Easily support DPS but cannot cover the tank. Safest place to be.
There is no best option above. It's just a flaw in the design of the priest class. The healing skills are not optimal given the battlefield conditions and it makes it frustrating to play as a support class.
Frankly I find the action combat system to be a pain in this game. It's as bad as trying to heal in Wildstar. It's absolute chaos and it doesn't help that I'm trying to do these harder dungeons with PUGs with zero communication.
Costumes and fashion
The ingame fashion is quite charming and the choices available for cloth users are quite good. I grinded 660 fashion coupons from BAMs in the last couple of days and I got one of the prettiest dresses for my Elf priest.
The next costume I would get for my priest would be this elegant piece.
Random cute things
Some random cute things in TERA online recently...
Elin Panda Attacking BAM
Unlimited Bread Works Guild
Overall the "end game" is not friendly towards new players. There is a lot to learn, and not a whole lot of opportunity to do it if you can't get into a group that'll teach the mechanics. You really want to find a large guild with lots of players willing to help teach you what aspects of gear, skills and techniques to improve, and what content to complete to obtain your tier 1 raid gear for the end game dungeons.
I've a level 65 priest but i've started playing the gunner. Compared to levelling a priest healer, the gunner is incredibly overpowered. It does 3x more ranged damage than my healer at the same level, it has a pocket healer and wears heavy armor.