Today the Open Beta Test for Tera started up for those who have pre-ordered already. We’ve spent a few hours with it, are off the Isle of Dawn, and are just starting the Lumbertown quest lines. This is all stuff we’ve seen before so little of it has really been surprising, but there have been changes since my last Tera Beta Review that are worth mentioning.

First impression: Oh, Tera. What have you done?

Instead of starting out at level 1 on the Isle of Dawn — “noob island” as it is probably better known — your brand new character is born onto some dark, dismal beach as a level 20 weighed down by a general feeling of dread and misery that Tera calls a Prologue. You have a handful of spells in your bars that you cannot move. It felt as though someone had tied both arms behind my back and told me to play with just my nose.

Throughout the bits of Closed Beta that we did play, Travis and I both set our characters up in just the particular ways we wanted them to that point. We even took screenshots of our bars so we could put our spells back in the right places. You know, just in case. But for this ridiculous introduction to the game, we were forced to struggle through with the way the game wanted us to play. Oh, and I should point out that you can’t group for this little “adventure.”

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not comfortable with change. I’ll also be the first to admit that my attitude regressed to that of a toddler whose juice was just taken away by some big meanie head. I sulked. And pouted. And whined. Frankly, I was useless. I knew it would be annoying, but it was worse than I’d anticipated. I started ranting about how I was going to cancel our pre-orders.

“They can’t make me play alone! They can’t make me fight things if I don’t want to! They can’t make me push 3 when I want to push 4!”

It was very mature.

But, really. The whole experience was just miserable. And confusing! Throughout our time playing through the Isle of Dawn tonight, even on our very-low populated server, people continually asked what the point of “that level 20 bit” was.

Everything was much more comfortable once we got back to what we knew Tera to be though. After some basic movement tutorial points (Jump over those platforms, climb up this ladder, talk to this questgiver) and solo fighting a few waves of boring enemies and a BAM, some movies played, which I diligently escaped out of, and we were back at level 1 on the Isle of Dawn, right where we were supposed to be.

And, boy, was I still grumpy. There were some tense moments there where I just about packed up and canceled the pre-orders.

It took a break from the game for me to separate from the Prologue and get back to enjoying the game for what it is.

Parting Impressions: Tera is still enjoyable. Combat is still fun and a refreshing change from the hotkey MMOs like WoW or SWTOR. I’m looking forward to getting higher level again and fighting BAMs with my husband. If you’re looking for a more general review, check out my review from Tera’s Closed Beta tests.

There are some other subtle changes from the early Closed Beta Tests that don’t greatly impact playability: change to the currency model, the chat box seems to be a little larger than it used to be, and a couple of the quests have been moved around or altered slightly. The currency change is mostly cosmetic westernization, changing from large numbers to small numbers.

The pre-order bonuses from retailers are already available. To claim your items, push Alt to bring up your menu, click the Activities menu, and select the Item Claim option. Pro Tip: Check the speed of your pre-order mount. Ours from Amazon was 255, a fair bit higher than the 240 speed mount that the Velika quest awards. That got me a free 2 gold for selling the mount I had no need for.

Open Beta characters will not be wiped, so any progress made in Open Beta or Head Start will stay on the servers come Launch time. You won’t lose any progress from here on out.

Looking to skip the Prologue in Tera? I’ve heard whispers that if you log out of your new character and back in, you’ll be presented with an option to skip the Prologue. I’ve also heard that starting new characters should allow you to skip the Prologue, but the North American OBT is limited to one character slot per server at this point.

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About Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something flailing gamer. While she loves MMORPGs, the company in them often triggers flare-ups of her social anxiety. Her all-time favorite games include Everquest Online Adventures, Eternal Sonata, the Animal Crossing series, Katamari Damacy, and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. She lives on junk food, and her favorite books are equally trashy. She doesn't believe in putting two spaces after a period, but she does strongly believe in the serial comma. Unfortunately, she has a penchant for starting sentences with "and" and "but;" hopefully you won't hold that, or her excessive use of semicolons, against her.

11 responses »

  1. Jamie says:

    Hi there, nice article and a nice array of OBT insight – however, i must say that I am in opposition to this article. I really think that the prologue is a great thing, and necessary for those that are both new to TERA and MMO gaming in general – the fact that you start at level 20 is great, showing you what sort of skills that character can work towards and giving you a breeze tutorial to learn how to play.

    In all honesty, I have no idea why this has upset you so much that you considered cancelling your pre-order. You must realise that the game hasn’t been and will not be tailored to your exact expectations, nor will a starting tutorial affect any of the gameplay whatsoever (after you learn what you are doing).

    I also can’t understand what you meant by saying at first that you ‘have a handfull of spells that you cannot move’ and continuing to say ‘We even took screenshots of our bars so we could put our spells back in the right places’.

    Lolwut?

    • HNtG says:

      I’m sure lots of people did (and will) enjoy the Prologue, it just wasn’t something I found fun. Unfortunately, I know that if it had been my first taste of the game, I would have been starting Tera off on really poor footing; I might not have even wanted to play it much further. I do think tastes of the bigger and better content should be accessible earlier than it was in the Closed Betas, but, for me, the Prologue wasn’t the right way to do that. And, of course I realize that the game might not be tailored for me… but that’s why I’d have canceled the pre-order. You know, if I don’t like something, why pay for it? :P

      And, to clarify, in the Prologue we couldn’t find a way to move the abilities on our bars. They were pre-set in positions that didn’t mesh up to where we like to put our skills.

      The screenshots refer to our characters from the CBTs (not from the Prologue). During the CBTs, we had our bars set up just how we’d want them (We’re both playing the same classes we played in Closed Beta) for Open Beta and Launch, so we took screenshots just in case we forgot where we liked a spell or two to go.

      It was just very frustrating for me trying to play against the pre-established muscle memory I had developed. I have very poor hand-eye coordination and usually play a little oddly anyway, so trying to play “their way” threw me for a loop.

  2. Jamie says:

    Ahhh I see what you mean now, I apologise if i came across rude at all – it was very early in the day here and I had just woken up, but now I have some clarity as to what you meant :)

    I think I misinterpreted that it was a fresh experience with Tera, as I didn’t realise that you had played before (stupid me, didn’t read so well this morning it seems).

    When I get home from work today I will get to try it for the first time, never played Tera before and will have a completely fresh learning curve for the game – will stop by and let you know how it goes. To be honest, it’s the first game in a long time that I have been excited about and anticipating release. For me the issue is, as someone who lives overseas, that my friends find the subscription system a bit awkard and WoW:esque for a genre bending game and are unlikely to dedicate their money towards it without some insight time, and with what you are saying I am thinking it may initially disappoint them – hopefully not enough to push them away from the purchase, but enough to reconsider. The number one concern I have is how laggy the servers will be for me to play with my mates. Being from Australia, and now residing in Finland, i need to somehow test server response time and connection stability between myself and friends online before I buy the game – playing with randoms is great, I’ve made new friends doing so, but new games just don’t feel right when the old crew is missing if you catch my drift.

    That being said, European servers are usually more laggy than US servers for us to play on, and from what I have read, frogster have made the EU TERA servers suck – dunno yet. So will have to see.

    Again, apologies for sounding a bit like a dicktroll, after re-reading my earlier post I realise that it should have been worded better, as it almost sounded aggressive.

    • HNtG says:

      I hope you enjoy Tera once you’ve gotten to try it out! If you can stick it out until your first real shot at BAMs (they pop up around level 20), you’ll get a real feel for the excitement of evasion. Those were what really sold the game for us.

      Oh, and I definitely know what you mean about playing with friends vs playing with random people. I have some social anxiety stuff going on so I only play with my husband for the most part. It’s just more fun to have people you know there.

  3. Zoë Davis says:

    I found your blog searching for Tera info since I just started with the open beta. I have to say I really enjoy your blog! Comments like this really resonate with me:

    “Instead of starting out at level 1 on the Isle of Dawn — “noob island” as it is probably better known — your brand new character is born onto some dark, dismal beach as a level 20 weighed down by a general feeling of dread and misery that Tera calls a Prologue. You have a handful of spells in your bars that you cannot move. It felt as though someone had tied both arms behind my back and told me to play with just my nose.”

    and from another post:

    “We’ve been playing a bit of casual League of Legends now and then. It’s just Trav and I with bots, so we’re not even involving ourselves in that toxic community.

    Trav has been spending his free time fussing around on a Paladin with a free-to-play WoW account. He took his 20 Paladin into a Warsong match and AFK’d out not long after. The people who play these games anymore are just ridiculously and needlessly vulgur.”

    Keep writing!!

  4. pasmith says:

    Aside from about 20 minutes of the previous beta weekend (I pre-ordered the game after seeing it at PAX East and just barely had time to get home and get it installed that night) where I played to level 3 (uber!) this Open Beta Weekend was my intro to Tera.

    I HATED HATED HATED that prologue. Between skills I didn’t understand, help pop-ups of about 3 different varieties and NPCs shouting all over, it was just a confusing mess and then when it ends I thought the game actually crashed! I was thinking “If this is how the game plays at 20 I’m canceling my pre-order.”

    Then I got to the Island of Dawn and after a few minutes I calmed down and started having a blast. I ended the weekend at level 22 and combat is getting really fun now. I can’t wait to play some more.

    Anyway, just letting you know you weren’t the only one who was put-off by that prologue. I had a friend who restarted a few times, trying to choose her class, and she confirms that after the first time through you can skip the prologue, so you and I never have to see it again!

    • HNtG says:

      I’m so glad to hear we weren’t the only ones to hate the Prologue so much. It just felt so strangely out of place and absolutely confusing. I’m definitely glad we can skip it from now on, and I hope you continue to enjoy Tera!

  5. anonymaster says:

    I found the initial area confusing and extremely crowded. It wasn’t a very fun experience. At first I thought they started everyone at level 20 for the beta and we’d progress from there. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised when the prologue ended.

    Not much story in the game. Atrocious really. But it is colorful and imaginative. I’ll probably get GW2 instead, just because paying monthly for something I won’t be playing every day seems too much. I had a lot of fun tho and it seemed much better than traditional fall-asleep-during-combat mmos.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Once we get passed this prologue will we be able to put w/e spells we want wherever we want them? I”m not a fan of not being able to customize my bar set up…. -_-

    • HNtG says:

      Yes! As soon as you get through the Prologue, you’ll be a level 1 and your bars will be unlocked. You can then move anything you want wherever you want to (as soon as you get the spells again, that is).

      I have no idea why they thought perma-locking the bars was a good idea, but alas, they did.

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