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Friday, February 15, 2013

TERA - PC Review 7.5/10

Oh man this is painful. I don't mean the actual review I mean how I felt after playing this game. As you may know, I don't have a lot of money. So whenever a deal or something free rolls around I jump right on it. TERA came out sometime ago. It was (I believe) a Korean made MMORPG that made it's way state-side and was given decent to good reviews. The only two reasons why I'm playing this is A) it went free to play and B) The Old Republic is currently updating (again) and I have to wait till it's done. I have some time to kill before I have to go to school so I thought why not?

The Good:
Wow this game is beautiful. That's not much to really say now a days seeing as most games can be visually inspiring while still being crap and most games have take the opposite approach, seeming to forego great graphics in favor of storyline, combat etc, etc.
The character models... well they pretty much fit into the about category as well. Very nice and detailed and see further below of what I thought of them.
The combat is... decent. Though I may have not gotten to feel the blunt of it, a quick taste was all I really needed. This particular MMO offers what it calls "Real Combat", suffice it to say in most MMOs if you click you either attack or miss and same goes for enemies. In others, the deciding factor is to see who has the better equipment and stats. It's a fresh sight to see that being almost completely thrown to the side in favor of skills. Case in point, last night I was playing the Old Republic, the game was lagging to the point that all the enemies were immortal and they could kill me as I helplessly watched my health deplete. "I totally could have dodged that!" or "That so hit you!" are words that frequently come from my mouth when playing MMOs. This definitely has changed things in terms of how people perceive games. Being a simple counting game is frustrating, while focusing on a more intelligence + intuitiveness + stats + gear + hand-to-eye coordination is obviously a better, more intelligent system.
The world is... ya the first choice again.
The enemies are well laid out and differing from the others very nicely. I find too often that people take the route of making things look exactly the same as another creature.
Equipment? Gorgeous and extremely detailed, let's move on.
I like how I can use a controller or the keyboard. What pushed me off from most PC games was the whole keyboard thing. It works but it feels foreign to me. Nice addition.

The Bad:
Wow this made me physically sick. Not because I hated it but because of the choppy frame rate coupled with my inability to change most settings. I am just barely writing this now trying to keep my eyes focused.
The character customization is lacking to say the least. While it's not as bad as other MMOs it's not as good as RPGs, which is what they were clearly going for with this game. When playing as an elf, I can choose from an effeminate pretty boy to a slightly more gruff pretty boy with scars and maybe different colored hair. Give me some more choices will you? Of course there are those little sliders to which you can change minute details about your effeminate elf boy-girl but then again it's more for the person who wants exactly what they want and knows what they're doing. I'm really just randomly sliding things saying, "Does this make me look better or worse?" Then I try my best to get it back to normal once I do cross that line.
I don't have a bad computer, let's get that out of the way. It's not amazing but I can run Skyrim with little problems and that's good enough for me. While it will probably never be awesome enough to run Crysis 2, it can run. Why is there choppy frame rate? High traffic. This is my number one problem with MMOs and why I don't play them more often: people. "But isn't that the whole point of an MMO, to have other people play with you?" No it's not. The main point is to form guilds, help out on quests and share the loot. I have yet to find an MMO that does servers competently. I think Dark Souls would be the perfect example of this (minus assholes who come into your world simply to kill you regardless of your level!!!!!). You may have the internet on, but the extent of that is seeing little messages that people left behind, not affecting your game at all. True you can have people come into your world as I mentioned before (*random curses*) but that's an option. Forcing me into a server with a thousand different people all playing at different connection speeds isn't awesome, it's annoying. Another example is online shooters. Ever had someone with a bad connection who ruined it for everyone else? Ya we've all been there and it sucks.
This may or may not be coupled with the fact above but when I played, quests didn't fully appear and sometimes I couldn't attack enemies. I would click on a quest giver and nothing. After a minute of waiting, I walked away and finally they wanted to talk. I was fighting a group of enemies and suddenly my character put away his weapons. Why did that happen? I have no clue!
Why the hell can't I change the graphics options? The extent was that I could change the window size and that was about it. Running at the highest settings causes you to have problems, probably the answer for most of my problems. The bad thing is, I couldn't change this. The beginning of the game had horrible detailing issues which made characters look like they were in their prototype stage, looking like a clay-ish gray with no defining details. Shit like that is unacceptable. "You should just get a better computer." No, you should just allow me to change the settings. Not everyone has a PC touched by the finger of God and in a few years, no one will because you'll have to upgrade again to get the "touched by God" thing.

The Meh:
I feel reaaaally uncomfortable about having a young girl as a race option. Why? Because as the females get higher and higher in levels, they show more skin. I am not a pedo nor do I want to have the option to be one. Why is this is in the meh? Because that's an option and I can ignore it, which I did. It creeps me out, but that wasn't my call in the game and I don't have to see it.
Speaking of which, the objectification of women. I honestly don't see much of a problem with the armor. Granted it is... impractically skimpy. I mean, can we have full fledged armor and slutty armor? It's not a bad thing but it is worth mentioning. Personally both would be a nice touch, and most MMOs do that, plus it makes sense. Back to the elf thing, yes those guys also have skimpy armor and it's unsettling as well. Then again, that's not my thing and I can choose to ignore it once again.
Class restrictions? I don't know I hear a lot of people harping about this but it is a valid point. In Skyrim I can wield any weapon, doesn't mean I'm good with that weapon though. The same is true for Dark Souls but to a greater extent as my character physically preforms worse unless I get him to be better. I played as a fighter class which wields two swords. The only problem is those "swords" were together as one weapon. Can I wield two single swords? I don't know, maybe I just didn't play through long enough.
I have to keep the launcher open? Granted this is a bit of a personal issue but then again during my first playthrough, the game crashed halfway through and said I needed it open. You were fine a few minutes ago, why do you do this now?
The loading times I can do without but then again it's a really beautiful world that needs time to load up so it's a bother but an understandable bother.

This game really pushes towards the console and PC compatible market like Skyrim and Dark Souls. My question is why not do that? Maybe even have the same way as Dark Souls with the optional multiplayer. My game would run a lot smoother and I would have had a lot more fun.

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