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Tenchi-no-Ryu
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« on: November 04, 2011, 11:18:54 AM »

So, this week curiosity got the better of me (and a complete dearth of community play invites) and I got a hold of a Korean retail account for TERA. The game is slated for a NA/EU release in Spring 2012, and with so many high profile MMORPGs coming out before the end of the year, I figured now was a good time to check the game out to see if all the hype was really founded. Mind you, I don't understand Hangul, but there's a billion guides and screenshots from the now defunct english language beta patch. Anyway, my experience thus far in pictures...


This is my Castanic Female Warrior - the Unreal Engine really shows off these character models.




She has a range of standing animations, all of which is extremely fluid, even down to her finger articulation. Definitely motion capped.




Nothing like a nice tail, without, you know... the tail. As you can see, warriors are dual wielders.




Real Action Combat - and this is me playing with my 360 USB controller - it works, even navigating menus (right stick is the mouse pointer).




No skimping on the blood splatter. Wonder how the ESRB is going to handle this...




Some of the ruins found in the starter area. The attention to detail is amazing.




My fairy starter friend - I'm assuming its some kind of noob guide.




Some kind of divine portal. Though you can't see it by the screenshot, the entire thing is constantly moving, catching the sunlight on the metal and jewels embedded in the rings, it's breathtaking.




This massive tree/space ruin is in the middle of the starting island. Again, the entire fragmented core is constantly moving - orbiting the tree itself. The scope is massive.




Upon getting closer to the tree, I find that it's some kind of massive temple.




Here is a view from the top steps of this central temple overlooking the island, which is suspended in mid-air above a crater of waterfalls. Yes, those waterfalls in the back by the broken ships is actually moving. Get close to the edge and you can see and hear them spray into the void.




My impressions thus far are mixed. Visually, the game is stunning. Unreal Engine 3 + crazy Korean character design/art make a blissful mix. There's a bit of screen tearing in the really open areas, but noting V-Sync can't fix. The lighting effects are jaw dropping. Character animation is very fluid as well. Gameplay wise, it seems to follow the WoW formula for questing, though there's some really nice voice acted cutscenes in the game using the graphics engine. It was pretty easy to follow what to do for quests (mob kill ratio, icons, etc.) One nice aspect of quests is that it actually puts a quest marker next to your targets HP bars, so you know that these are the mobs you need to kill for this quest. The UI is pretty utilitarian. The minimap is completely moveable, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to resize or close it. Character equipment and skills are pretty much standard fare. There's side by side comparison between gear in inventory and gear that's equipped by using a single mouse over (shows you the calculated differences as well). So far, we have a very pretty game that's obviously taken a page out of the WoW questing playbook, but is pretty polished overall. The real joy of my experience had to be the combat. Starting out fresh the only abilities I had were a single basic attack combo and a forward flip that i'm assuming is a dodge. You also have a standard jump button as well. Playing with the controller, it was really like playing any other combo-based action game - even with the servers being located on the other side of the world, I noticed barely a hint of latency - it was like playing Monster Hunter at home. At first I just kept jamming on the combo button till stuff fell over, but then realized the enemies give you pretty big visual clues as to when they're rearing up attacks. When I started going after the higher level stuff, I found standing around hitting one button got me dead really quickly - so I started actually doding attacks, using my flip move to avoid some of the bigger charge moves - trying to maneuver to a blind spot where I could wail away at stuff. The entire process just felt great. The combat felt really natural for an action game, even with latency. Anyway, hopefully I can find an english guild before too long and check out some of the other content (once I figure out how to get off the island lol).

Anyway, right now, i'm VERY excited to see this game launch here. It emulates most of the concepts from WoW, but the combat is really where this game is going to capture its audience. It's fast, bloody good fun - and I can't remember the last time I actually felt an MMO was "fun."

« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 08:03:37 AM by Tenchi-no-Ryu » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 05:31:34 PM »

Nice screenshots.  What are your PC specs, Tenchi?

Despite Korean MMOs being botty and often grindfests, I am incredibly interested in playing this game.  The game is gorgeous looking and the RTS gameplay looks really fun.  I wonder why the game is taking so long to come out to America though.

btw, that divine portal, iirc, is a launching pad that takes you to other zones (like those slingshot things in ME2 =P).  They have an air taxi like wow that takes you to the portal which teleports you to the new area... i believe.
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 07:14:07 PM »

The costumes and gore got the game a M rating according to the official forums. Unlike most Korean mmos there is barely a grind and that is actually one of the reasons it didn't do that well in Korea. They blew through the levels and there was barely any endgame content. It was also one of the reasons the NA/EU launch was delayed. Have you tried any ranged classes with the controller?  I heard controllers work great for melee, ranged not so much.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 07:29:22 PM »

Wow... incredible graphics.


And sexy character model there
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2011, 07:37:09 PM »

The costumes and gore got the game a M rating according to the official forums. Unlike most Korean mmos there is barely a grind and that is actually one of the reasons it didn't do that well in Korea. They blew through the levels and there was barely any endgame content. It was also one of the reasons the NA/EU launch was delayed. Have you tried any ranged classes with the controller?  I heard controllers work great for melee, ranged not so much.

Nah, I didn't have time to since I just finished the client install this morning when I got home from work (26 GB). Navigating the menus has been tough without the patch and alot of our western orientation for buttons is backwards. It does look like I can create multiple characters, so I'll check out the ranged and caster classes when I have some more time.
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 07:44:35 PM »

Nice screenshots.  What are your PC specs, Tenchi?

Despite Korean MMOs being botty and often grindfests, I am incredibly interested in playing this game.  The game is gorgeous looking and the RTS gameplay looks really fun.  I wonder why the game is taking so long to come out to America though.

btw, that divine portal, iirc, is a launching pad that takes you to other zones (like those slingshot things in ME2 =P).  They have an air taxi like wow that takes you to the portal which teleports you to the new area... i believe.

Thanks! My PC is pretty modest by today's standards. Quad Core 2.4Ghz, 6 GB DDR2 RAM, ATI 5750 with 1GB DDR2 RAM. I'm running with everything turned to max (I think) and I had zero hiccups. The game does have that annoying hi-res texture pop-in whenever you enter a new area. I don't know if the world is seamless, cause I'm pretty sure the starter area is zoned.

Yeah I read up on the content. The Awakenings patch this month added several more dungeons with a hard mode. It looks like there's a fair bit of 5 man dungeon play, but no large scale PVE stuff outside of their PVP Battlegrounds. The server vs server stuff looks pretty nutty with that floating continent being fought over.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 11:04:37 AM »

Ok, have another batch of screenshots, though i'm going to break them up since I'm waaay too tired to caption them all. For now i'm going to show you a couple of caps from the beginning intro as you fly into the Island of Dreams on Pegasus-back after chatting it up with your friends. It looks like you're also escorting a convoy of some sort. The engine really shines on these scenes.






































Tomorrow i'll put up some pics from Archer as well as some more images of the UI, and some insight i've picked up with the time i've played with it (contextual combos!). Here's a sneak peak!





Afterwards, i'll be hitting up Lancer.


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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2011, 03:43:06 PM »

I've been keeping my eyes on this since what feels like forever, looks incredible.
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2011, 10:16:41 AM »

As promised, here's some more screenshots of the Archer class, with impressions and some UI pics as well.


Here's my Castanic Male archer - a little emo, a little punk, but certainly not effeminate. I give TERA that much, it's men look like men (well except for the Elves - they're redonkulously hypersexualized).




As a ranged class, Archer's need to keep their distance while keeping the enemy in sight. Since there's no targeting in TERA, playing a ranged class is a little more complicated. All of your shots will go right down the reticle - which will display the range from the target when moved over a mob. It will even turn red when you're in range to fire. You can still fire even if your target is out of range. Thankfully there is no ammo to consume so you can fire away.




There's no minimum range for Archers either, you can still nail them up close. This is a good thing since your bow is your only weapon.




Should the enemy get too close, you can use your evade move (marked on the controller diagram by the B button - on a 7 second cooldown) which flips you backwards away from the enemy so you can begin attacking again.




When you begin Archer, you have a basic firing combo and an evade move. One of your first purchaseable abilities is an AOE arrow rain that uses a Panzer Dragoon-style lock-on system. By holding down the ability button any targets within your reticle sights take on a "satellite laser target skin" like so...




While this ability is active, you have approximately 3-4 seconds to lock-on to as many targets as possible. Once this is done, you press the button again to fire. If you take too long to fire, the ability cancels and you will have to begin the lock-on process again. Here's a pic of the actual skyward bolt:




Here's what it looks like coming down on multiple targets.





Another one of your early abilities is a charged shot. The longer you charge the move, the stronger it becomes. Of course in "action combat" your target is always moving, so trying to fire off a fully charged bolt of energy with an evasive mob is a challenge.




One additional aspect I learned while playing - and this is true for all classes - is the combo system. Certain abilities string together naturally and can be activated in sequence with the Space bar or X button once the chain is initiated. For example with Archer, If I'm in combat and choose to use my evasion move, the charged shot becomes the combo followup. Instead of having to navigate to the ability itself on my controller (LT+Y), it shows up on screen (if you look at the lock on pic you'll see what it looks like to the lower right of the mob) what the followup ability is and the corresponding combo button. I believe you can manually setup a combo chain of multiple abilities, I just haven't figured out how to yet. Very cool!


I know some people might be curious as to how the UI is arranged, so here's a few telling shots.


This is the quest window. Look familiar? It should - it's pretty much the genre standard. The one telling difference is that major quests, or NPC dialogue that seems key are treated to a close-up view of the NPC and your animated interactions with them.  I'm assuming these are central storyline quests.




You can also mouse over rewards and compare them to what you're currently wearing.



Clicking on linked dialogue in the quest tracker will indicate the target's location on the area map with an animated submarine ping. They will also appear on the transparent mini-map if its the correct area.



Even in small towns, the map will show you exactly where all your shops, storage and auction house is located.



Some quests even feature voiced cut scenes using the in-game engine to beautiful effect. This one shows a particularly demonic Treant slaughtering the area's wildlife.




For something that seemed so big and menacing, he went down without putting up too much of a fight. As you can see he has a very different look than his fellow logs.




For the curious, you can gather resources for crafting... Here's some herbology for you.





Here several of your key screens opened all at once side by side.
Character Sheet/Equipment, Skills Book, Quest Journal



Here is your class ability trainer. There's three tabs worth of skills you can purchase. Sadly I have no idea what they all mean. Your basic attack can also be upgraded as you level up that comes with more elaborate animations, range and damage,





Here are some postcard-worthy screenshots from the Isle of Dreams.








Next class overview will be Lancer with Lady Death In Pigtails...













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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2011, 04:59:27 PM »

The costumes and gore got the game a M rating according to the official forums. Unlike most Korean mmos there is barely a grind and that is actually one of the reasons it didn't do that well in Korea.

They blew through the levels and there was barely any endgame content

If true, I'm sure having a monthly fee hurt it too.  I hear most Korean games don't have subscription fees?

I guess these days you gotta have something at the end at launch.  Should have thrown in a really difficult cock block dungeon to keep people busy while they get other stuff done =p

Thanks! My PC is pretty modest by today's standards. Quad Core 2.4Ghz, 6 GB DDR2 RAM, ATI 5750 with 1GB DDR2 RAM. I'm running with everything turned to max (I think) and I had zero hiccups. The game does have that annoying hi-res texture pop-in whenever you enter a new area. I don't know if the world is seamless, cause I'm pretty sure the starter area is zoned.

I don't think the world is seamless, but with those visual levels, I won't complain if it's not.  Dumb question but are you also running at 1080p res?  I was under the impression that max everything would take a pretty good computer with dual video cards.  I'm glad that isn't necessary.  My machine, once built, will probably be similar to yours beside the processor.  Very glad to hear that the machine requirements for ultra high settings aren't absurd.

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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2011, 06:02:08 PM »

If true, I'm sure having a monthly fee hurt it too.  I hear most Korean games don't have subscription fees?

I guess these days you gotta have something at the end at launch.  Should have thrown in a really difficult cock block dungeon to keep people busy while they get other stuff done =p
Actually the game has two options - you can go with the time cards which offer you playtime in blocks of hours (which is kept track on the launcher) or 30 day cards.


Quote
I don't think the world is seamless, but with those visual levels, I won't complain if it's not.  Dumb question but are you also running at 1080p res?  I was under the impression that max everything would take a pretty good computer with dual video cards.  I'm glad that isn't necessary.  My machine, once built, will probably be similar to yours beside the processor.  Very glad to hear that the machine requirements for ultra high settings aren't absurd.

I'm running at 1920x1200 which is my monitor's max resolution. These screenshots were resized to fit the forums. The game is running using Unreal Engine 3, which is pretty old (Gears of War 1 old) so it scales well and runs perfectly fine on older PCs. The bells and whistles are kinda limited, so i'm not sure even having a beast of a PC would give you much higher fidelity. But honestly, what more could you do to the game to make it look better? Of course who knows what EME is doing for the NA release. DX11 anyone?

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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2011, 07:47:58 AM »

I know I said i'd give a bit of a taste of Lancer, but after doing some digging and figuring out some of the more complex bits of gameplay I finished the starting area and felt it was an infinitely cooler experience to share.

Firstly, I found the combo menu!



While not all abilities are able to be combo openers, all abilities can close a combo - and if you have several abilities that can open a combo, you can string them together as closers for even longer chains.

Another interesting feature in the game is the ability to climb. There's a jump button that's also functional for platforming.




I know alot of people bitch about fighting squirrels and other lame shit as a noobie in other MMOs - and TERA is no exception. There's some adorable piggy slaughter around level 5, but before too long, you start fighting some really cool looking stuff, like this...




As you get closer to the end of your time in the starting area, you notice a quarter of the island is shrouded in darkness with all kinds of nasty mobs.




This looks interesting...





After finishing all of your quests, you're drawn to this shrine that seems to be the epicenter of this darkness...





And right below it is the teleporter for an instanced area.





The teleporter transports me to a cave, and an AI controlled priest? This doesn't look promising. Though its hard to see in the screenshots, the walls are wet and dripping - great attention to detail.




The first chamber of this dungeon is filled with some nasty axe demons and their annoying little pets. I combo this one down into the dirt.




After clearing the antechamber, we come into the final area, a temple of some sort...




That seems to be guarded by a REALLY big monster, or what EME likes to call a B.A.M. (Big Ass Monster - how lame is that?).




And... I have aggro! The eye icon is a pretty telling sign of your degree of mob enmity.





Like any other RL priest, bucko here is too busy contemplating his ham sammich instead of preparing for the ass whopping behind him.




The big guy lays me out - thankfully I have a ground recovery attack move that he's not going to like very much...




Victoly! Damn that guy hits really hard!
It was a close fight to be perfectly honest, my AI partner was too busy healing himself and nuking - he must have been a Shadow Priest.




The electric soul animating the creature flees its failing form, but not without some chilling laughter.





Surveying the room, I can't help but notice the ceiling's resemblance to the Island's World Tree. The debris around it look hauntingly like... eyes?




For my effort, I get my first rare pair of swords. Huge damage upgrade with 3 glyph spots. Shiny!





In addition to the new cutlery, I finally get a ticket off the island via Peggy-back.




The flyby over the Island is gorgeous, if not a bit overdone.




What's this? We're heading toward the portal.





Whoa! Ludicrous Speed! Who put a jump gate overlooking my Sandals resort!?





The warp is pretty wild, and pretty long with no in-flight snack.





Finally, we arrive on the other end!




Where the hell am I?




Look! Signs of civilization. I must be going somewhere...





Sweet Jesus, look at the SIZE of this place.




Coming in for a landing. Make sure all seat backs are up and trays are stored in the upright position!




What a ride that was, with my feet finally planted of terra firma I go to check out this new location.




I guess this would be the airport lobby? Ah, I have a quest to turn in apparently.




The lady at the desk fills me in on stuff, not that I speak Martian. Korean players look on and giggle.




It looks like my blind bumbling has paid off. I gots me a new set of threads! The quest for pants continues!




The sheer size of this place is astonishing.




I look back at where I flew in, reminds me of the White House a lil bit.




Heading into the main city, I check out some of the local shoppes.




I spy a player on her mount infront of the nippled goddess (no you don't get to see, this is a family website ;p). Apparently they can fly too, the mount... not Mt. Nipples.




Crickie! I'd hate to be the person who has to oil that cog.




If that's not Greco-Roman architecture, i'm a monkey's uncle.




Here's a quick and dirt map of the city.



The main path into the big cog fortress leads into this building...




Where I come to some kind of war room with some pretty decked out NPCs.




Sir, didn't you kick my ass in Alterac Valley many moons ago?




Ohh, cutscene. How the hell does he go to the bathroom with all that shit on?




A dramatic staredown. I know he's looking at my breasts.




What the helll?! Bitch pulls a sword on me. Oh hellz no!




Ok, I seem to being inducted into some order of manly beef eaters. Carry on Sir Sausage, carry on.




The big man laughs, and his shingles shake. Seriously, that suit's gotta weigh a ton.




THE END


And now for the fan service... possibly NSFW.


The Elf Female.




Warrior




Lancer



Slayer



Berserker



Sorcerer




Archer



Priest



Mystic




The boob physics are... completely off the charts.


And for the ladies...


Human Male Gundam, I mean Lancer




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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2011, 09:32:06 PM »

Haha, this thread made my browser hang for awhile.  Had to boot it up in a fresh chrome to view the pics =P

Very cool pictures.  I wonder how many cities there are in the game?  The one you showed (and the only one I've seen) seem like they're pretty big.  How big does it compare to some other MMO cities?
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2011, 11:00:18 PM »

I think there's one for each race from what I read on the website. This one is the human capitol and center of the Federation. The city is pretty sizeable, but not rediculous. It's about on par with the other MMORPGs - this one is about the size of Darnassus in WoW. I just got my first mount too! easy quest to boot. Crazy to get it at level 12.
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2011, 12:55:05 AM »

So I finally got into an english speaking guild in K-TERA and whoa, what a difference having players who can explain things to you. I'd show you some more pics, but i'm afraid the memory size of this thread will explode.

Anyway, I learned that you can purchase items called Shards to equip into weapons and equipment that grant certain bonuses like MP regeneration etc. The can also be removed and re-used as needed. While there is no xp penalty, each death will cause you to lose a random number of shards from your gear. You can also buy scrolls of resurrection in the event you dont have a priest handy for raise. There is a wide assortment of mounts you can purchase in-game including ones of the winged variety. Crafting and gathering is very similar to how it was done in Aion - skills training via quests. I have to say that this game hits the expectation I had for it and in many ways exceeds it. It's gorgeous, plays well, has solid content variety (10 instanced dungeons spread from level 19-58, many with an alternate hard mode) along with its form of PVP Battlegrounds, quests and campaigns. Don't get me wrong, the game doesn't revolutionize the genre, but its put together so well and with such polish, its hard to be amazed. Also, it appears that a great deal of the game world is actually seamless. I need to test that and do some heavy riding tomorrow.
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