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TERA Interview with Jason M. from en Masse

Discussion in 'MMO Interviews' started by GameOgreVideos, Dec 22, 2010.

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    "TERA is the first true Action MMORPG, providing all of the depth of an MMO with the intensity and gratification of an action game. Players fully control their characters using the game's dynamic battle system. Player actions can change the balance of power in a world threatened by dark powers as six allied races try to work together to protect their lands from marauding monsters, underworld dwellers, and evil scheming gods.

    TERA raises the bar, setting new standards in the gaming industry. It is a visually stunning world with graphic quality above all other games in the industry. You will experience a new ground-breaking gameplay system where stereotypes of traditional MMORPGs will be broken. You will have full control over the attacks and the fate of your enemy. No more 'pointing and clicking' and playing combat relay with the enemies. Furthermore, not only do you control the action, TERA is also set in a world where the players will dictate the flow of the economy and individually impact the community environment."



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    Gameogre: Can you give us a little background on how TERA came to be? What are its origins, and what was the inspiration for TERA?

    Jason M.: TERA draws its inspiration from two places: the large, persistent worlds of MMORPGs and the in-the-moment action of a great console game. In essence, we’re making the action game you can share with a thousand of your closest friends. It’s an audacious undertaking, both for us and Bluehole Studio, our partner in Korea.

    Gameogre: Can you give us a brief introduction on the backstory and lore of TERA and how will the players influence it as they progress through the game?

    Jason M.: The players are central to the story of TERA; they’re the ones who have to hold the line and protect the multiracial Valkyon Federation from a host of enemies—everything from metallic war machines on the battlefield to sinister conspiracies in the halls of power. As the game progresses, the players learn more and more about the threat of the argons, strange creatures that want to terraform the entire planet. The game has an extensive backstory as well—an entire mythology, really—that drives a lot of the motivations in the game’s “present day.â€


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    Gameogre: Tell us a bit about the Races and Classes in TERA. How are you shifting away from the standard Races and Classes found in most MMORPGs? Can you give us a few details on what makes some of these races and classes really stand out?

    Jason M.: Some of the races will be identifiable to fans of the fantasy genre: humans and high elves, for example. Others will be totally new, like the baraka and amani. Each race has its own unique backstory and race-specific abilities, and each one is an integral part of the Valkyon Federation and committed to working together to face the argon threat.

    Classes will be somewhat familiar (the priest and mystic are healers, the archer and sorcerer are ranged attackers, the lancer is a tank, and so forth.) What makes TERA unique is the way in which they’re implemented in the action combat system. Take a healer, for example: you’re not just going to sit there and eat chicken wings while you lazily tap the tab key every few minutes. You’ve got to run around, staying out of the way and targeting your heals on your party—and they need to follow and respond to you, otherwise they can just dodge out of your way accidentally!

    Gameogre: Just for our curiosity which is your favorite race and class?

    Jason M.: I used to play a castanic sorcerer, and still enjoy it, but lately I’ve been rolling a popori warrior and having a great time. It’s a new and fun challenge for me.

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    Gameogre: I saw the gameplay movies and the teaser trailer, I can say for an mmorpg, this is so far the best looking game out there in my humble opinion, how will this affect the system requirements players must have and have developers made it any more user friendly for people who may have older systems, so they don’t miss out on the fun?

    Jason M.: The game runs on Unreal Engine 3, which is why it looks so fantastic! The good news is that it’s a great engine for getting the most out of hardware. If you’ve built a gaming rig in the last couple of years, you should be able to run TERA without a problem.

    Gameogre: In addition to the stunning graphics and overall look, we must admit the female characters are a little racy! While I’m sure most of the audience don’t mind, what was the thought process behind this and were there any concerns it might be a bit too adult?

    Jason M.: Some of the art design is definitely geared toward a more adult sensibility. I imagine it will appeal to some and not others, just like any piece of art.

    Gameogre: TERA bills itself as the first true action MMORPG. Can you give us more details about this and what exactly it means to be a true action MMORPG? I know you guys have shown at Gencon and Pax, how have players reacted to this type of gameplay and what initial feedback have you gotten about it?

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    Jason M.: The action combat system is what sets TERA apart from everything else out there. I’m a long-time gamer myself and cut my teeth on MUDs (try not to do the math on how old that makes me!), and TERA is the first MMO I’ve picked up in a long time that makes me think, “wow, this really is different.†The traditional targeting system is gone. You’re going to move and interact a lot more than you have in other MMOs. It’s a very gratifying experience because it takes skill to play. When you and your friends finally take down a really hard boss, you’re going to set your keyboard and mouse (or controller!) aside and realize your palms are sweating, and it feels great to know that it wasn’t just dice-rolling and tabbing but actual skill and role-playing. The feedback from our initial tests and convention appearances has all been extremely positive in this regard.

    Gameogre: You had announced that there will be separate servers for RPG and PVP content, what can we expect in a RPG Server as well as the PVP server? Would there be any major differences in lore or quest among these 2 different servers?

    Jason M.: Actually to clarify, the two types of servers will be PvE and PvP. The only major difference is that PvP servers will allow full, open-world PvP anytime and anywhere, while the PvE servers restrict PvP somewhat.

    Gameogre: Can you give us some more details on how PvP will work in TERA? Will there be different types? How will guilds, alliances, and even races play into the PvP? Do you think the pvp will cater to the more savvy PK’ers or will beginners be able to jump right in there and enjoy the PvP fun as well?

    Jason M.: Even on full PvP servers you’ll have a starting area that eases you into it, so complete noobs won’t be ganked at level 1. The starting area introduces you to gameplay mechanics as well, so it’s something that everyone will want to run through completely at least once just to get up to speed.

    But once you’re off the starting island you can declare duels, participate in deathmatches or team matches, and as you reach the higher levels, compete in battlegrounds to earn political prestige.

    Gameogre: A lot of MMOs out there have achievements that can be unlocked or earned that give the players extra rewards or really cool items, will TERA be integrating any of these types of systems?

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    Jason M.: Yes, we’ll have achievements and in-game titles.

    Gameogre: Can you tell us about the currency for the game, and what methods aside from quest rewards and item drops will players have to earn currency? Will there be crafting, jobs, or professions in TERA?

    Jason M.: Crafting is one way to earn money in the game. Selling crafted and collected items is another. Selling your services or votes (depending on how scrupulous you want to be) in the political system is yet another way.

    Gameogre: In terms of questing and gameplay, would a player have the choice to explore the world on their own and be able to complete most aspects of the game without the aid of other players? Or is Tera more of a team based MMO?

    Jason M.: We’re aiming to make the game as accessible as possible to those who want to solo through the game. Some quests will require groups or parties to complete (and still others will recommend going in with a friend or three!).

    Gameogre: One thing that players hate is running into someone that looks exactly the same as him or her. What is TERA offering for character customization? Would there be a wide variety of items and armor sets that can also change how a character looks?

    Jason M.: There are a number of possibilities on the table, but nothing I can reveal right now. Sorry!

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    Gameogre: TERA will be a subscription based game with a retail box. With so many games going free to play now, what made you decide to use this payment system with TERA? What advantages do you feel it will offer your players, and convince them that pay to play is still the way to go?

    Jason M.: The business model and game design go hand in hand. We felt our vision for TERA matched the subscription-based business model. Players will have one flat fee that will give them access to high quality content that will consist of content updates and improvements to the game without hassle. TERA also has a high value on skill, and by having a subscription-based business model you won't have the pay-to-win model that can frustrate players.

    Gameogre: TERA is expected to be released in early 2011. Have you guys settled on a more final date yet? How are you guys handling the BETA testing and for players wishing to join in on the testing what options do they have?

    Jason M.: We’ll release in 2011, and our plan is to get the game to a point where we (and by extension our players) will be happy with what we release. We haven’t announced beta testing yet, but anyone interested in helping us test TERA should head over to our website at Welcome to TERA-Online | TERA - True Action Combat and sign up for our forums!

    Gameogre: Is there anything else you would like for our readers to know about TERA?

    Jason M.: TERA is going to be the must-see MMO next year. Playing is believing, and we hope that in the coming months you will all have the opportunity to play TERA and understand the excitement we have here in the office.
     
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