TERA interview: Quests, PvP, Environments, and More

TERA, Castanic female in-game image

TERA is quickly becoming a hot topic. It seems the more that is revealed about the title, the more fans want to know about it. Recently, fan-site TeraGamers interviewed developer Sam Kim, who answered their questions about the player-versus-player (PvP) experience, equipment and aesthetics, environments, and quests, among other questions.

Here are a few points of particular interest from the interview, via Teragamers:

Q: We heard rumors about a new character creation system with more individualization options, like the body frame and so forth. Can you tell us anything about this?

A: We are looking to improve the character creation system, and we’re exploring various ways to provide greater options for customization and individualization. We haven’t yet disclosed full details around the features we plan on implementing, but some of the things we’re exploring include accessories, hair colors, distinguishing features, and faces.

Early developmental videos of TERA revealed that, while the character models and art style were top-notch, the variety among races and sex were disappointingly limited. In addition, TERA is particularly unique among MMORPGs in that it’s races (of which there are six) have little gameplay distinction between one another. While this may seem odd, or even lazy on the developers behalf, this development choice makes every playable race attractive. No one race has any advantage over another, which means players can choose whoever they find most appealing without worrying about gimping themselves in the long run.

However, purists will argue that this severely limits gameplay variety, as races really only amount to graphical face-lifts. If this is the case, then it makes sense that players and TERA’s developers want to make character creation as varied and customizable as possible. You may not have any special advantage to being a Popori Lancer, but you sure will look cool.

Q: What can you tell us about the PvP system?

A: What can I say that hasn’t been said before? I’m sure you know that there will be PvP servers, with world PvP, and PvE servers with consensual PvP. One thing you might not know too much about yet is the Battlefield system. This system has been designed to be scalable—everything from pickup skirmishes to guild-on-guild frays.

TERA, beta in-game image

Q: Can we expect innovative quests, something other than ‘Kill X monsters’ or ‘bring an item to a place?’

A: Yes. In fact, we’re currently expanding our quest library and variety significantly. We want to build and implement more “next-gen” quests that engage players beyond “kill x monsters.” This includes quests with arching storylines, unique objectives, and better methods of engaging the environment. For example, a player might be tasked with subduing, capturing, and then escorting an NPC instead of killing it and collecting Y items.

Little information is actually known about open-world PvP in TERA aside from the fact that there won’t be any siege-type gameplay, which has a fair share of gamers upset. What reason is there to PvP in an open-world environment without guild and clan zones, territories, etc? Does this mean the only meaningful and rewarding PvP can only be found in the battlefields?

The battlefield system, which boils down to instanced areas used exclusively for PvP, doesn’t necessarily remedy the lack of sieges and such in the open world. However, one needs to remember that virtually nothing is known about the political system in-game, or how exactly battlefield gameplay comes into play. It may yet be impressive.

The improved and expanded quest-line is also a nice touch, though in this writer’s opinion, escort missions suck tremendously.

The interview also revealed that TERA will be present at Gamescom 2010 in Colonge, and that more information about TERA‘s presentation during the event will be revealed later in the year.

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