So I am back on playing TERA again, at least for a little while. After having played Guild Wars 2 for a few months and really missing that feel of community – I felt a urge to go back to something a little more conventional in the MMORPG market. TERA doesn’t have much of a good story in my opinion (then again neither does GW2), but it is still a well-made game, the community is pretty good, and the graphics are nice. It feels a little less claustrophobic, and by that I mean the world feels much more open and bright and there is much more going on in the chat – having that as a breath of fresh air seems worth it.
One thing I like about TERA going back and comparing it to GW2, is first of all the role of your character. In GW2 characters can be pretty much self-sufficient, where in TERA there’s the standard tank, healer, damage dealer roles. As much as people complain about this being overdone and liking the change in GW2, I still sort of like the peace of mind in party play knowing I have my one job. If I am a sorcerer, for example, and my job is to deal damage and stay out of harm’s way – I know I don’t have to worry so much about curing myself or others and I don’t have to worry about the boss monster always targeting me. Same goes for if I were a tank – I don’t have to worry about healing or moving around so much, I just need to keep the monster’s attention. This isn’t to say in GW2 that you can’t do more healing while someone does more tanking, but the line is blurred quite a bit more and is more geared around everyone more or less fending for themselves in battle.
Character customization seems to be more in-depth in TERA than I’ve found in GW2. There are a lot more spells to choose from in TERA than the standard 5 abilities per weapon set in GW2. The abilities you learn for you class in TERA come over time as you level so the stronger spells become available as you level up your character. I find this nice so I don’t get stuck in a rut of fighting the same mobs with the same 5 abilities over and over and over again. In TERA there are also different “glyphs” you can by to reduce casting time for spells, increase damage for an ability, or make durations of effect longer. Seems the more you level the more freedom you have to customize your character’s abilities to something more comfortable. In GW2 there is also the option to add several more abilities per your class beyond the first five in your weapon set, but I’ve found these to be more novelty than useful. One slot is a cure slot that doesn’t do much but make you last slightly longer in battle, and the other four are for short bursts of buffs or shields or enhanced attacks that only last a few seconds at a time. They are good variety, but not very effective.
Gathering in TERA is quite a pain compared to GW2. In GW2 all you need is a gathering tool equipped and a gathering point to use it on. Higher level tools and gathering points require a higher level. Whereas in TERA, you basically have to gather all the time every time or fall behind to a point where you can’t gather. For example, when I was on the starter island, I could gather every item as it was rated as “easy.” Ores, plants, elemental essences – the common gathering points could be taken care of without a problem. But go a few levels higher and enter a different area, unless your gathering level is on par with that area, it’s nearly impossible to gather. This means either back-tracking to lower level areas to improve your gathering skill, gather every single thing you can find so you don’t fall behind on you gathering skills, or just don’t bother with gathering.
The inventory, bank, and trade market system are about the same compared to TERA and GW2. The bank is shared among characters on the same server. The market requires you to go to a broker to pick up your items you buy, and inventories are about the same size and can be larger by adding more slots. In TERA you have to pay to unlock slots, and in GW2 you have to find bigger inventory bags. The items you find throughout playing are similar as far as different materials and recipes and weapons and armor and plants as item drops. Each game also has locked boxes and keys as special items that can be found over time and the economy is similar as far as crafting or selling items to make money.
Anyway I’m just playing with TERA for now as I count down the days until FFXIV is back online. I might try RIFT soon when that goes free to play, but it looks a bit too underwhelming to me after having seen TERA and GW2. Having a race such as Popori and Elin in TERA remind me of having Lalafel in FFXIV. It’s good to have that little bit of comic relief in chat and watching “cute” people running around on-screen. Gnomes from WoW just don’t cut it, and to be honest Asura in GW2 are kinda creepy looking.