In response to a few recent games that appear to be lacking in the criteria. This is a short list and thoughts on some stand out game mechanics that developers seem to be ignoring and need to build upon.
TERA: A Revolution In MMORPGs?
The Exiled Realm of Arborea (officially abbreviated to TERA) is a 3D fantasy themed MMORPG developed by Bluehole Studio. It has been released by various publishers all across the globe, and been met by the gaming community at large with a great deal of positive feedback. So what exactly is it about this game that makes it stand out among the numerous assortment of similar RPG titles? Could it be the extensive level of customization afforded players? While undoubtedly impressive, character customization isn’t exactly a new innovation, especially not when it comes to roleplaying games in general. Hair style, hair color, feature sliders for that perfectly svelte nose and chin? Maybe raise the cheekbones a little? Whatever your inner plastic surgeon can surmise, it’s available to you here, but is this a revolutionary spin on an old classic? Hardly.
When it comes to creating your character, you’re certainly spoiled for choice, with seven races and eight different classes offering a wide variety of new ways in which to experience and explore the grand scope of the TERA universe. And man, is it a big universe. The first thing you may notice upon downloading and installing the game onto your PC is just how long it takes. If you’re lucky, like me, it should only take you a few hours, but there are some I know who have had to endure an entire day of slow-moving loading bars. Do not be discouraged, however, because the wait is most assuredly worth it. TERA has an absolutely beautiful environment, painstakingly designed by a host of talented developers, that really goes toward assisting players in immersing themselves in this brand new world of magic and high fantasy. The graphics are superb, even on my rather dodgy laptop, and the fact TERA is now free to play should be all the reason you need to grab it for yourself. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yes, TERA is free to play. Yet another addition to the growing list of advances the gaming industry has made in regards to MMORPGs; allowing players to freely explore a game’s environment and all that it has to offer, with additional perks for subscribers. That’s how they draw you in, and the addiction begins.
But F2P is not what makes TERA stand out from the crowd. Neither are the impressive graphics or the myriad customization options available to players. And the plot? Sleeping Gods, demon hordes and the threat of Armageddon, nothing spectacularly original. No, the thing that may end up revolutionizing the way we play Online Multiplayer games like this is the gameplay itself. TERA has the typical features of an MMORPG, such as questing, crafting, and player verses player action. Gone, however, are the days of point-and-click action. The game’s combat uses a real-time battle system that incorporates third person camera view. The player uses their mouse to target an enemy with a cross-hair cursor, with the left mouse button offering a standard attack and the right giving you the option of a block or dodge. These can be changed, however, to better suit the player in the same manner that hotkeys function for your character’s assortment of spells and attacks. The player will also be required to actively dodge enemy attacks instead of relying on stats, meaning that the success and failure of an enemy encounter relies heavily on the player himself, rather than an arbitrary list of numbers.
A seamless and varied world, action-based gameplay and the exciting and recurring BAM (Big-Ass Monster) fights give this game just enough high points as to make it a must have for any MMORPG fan. Sure, there has been some criticism levied against the game’s generic collect/kill/rendezvous quest grind to level up, but in the grand scope of the experience as a whole, I’d say the pros greatly outweigh the cons.
What do you think? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.