ZAM Interview with TERA’s Brian Knox Reveals Combat Details

High-Elf priestess, TERA. (

The MMORPG news and editorial website ZAM recently interviewed with En Masse Entertainment’s executive producer Brian Knox after a poll on their website determined that TERA is the most anticipated MMO for E3. ZAM asked a few questions about the upcoming title, particularly about the conventions MMORPG’s employ, how TERA stands apart from them, as well as a few interesting tidbits about the actual combat.

As far as moving away from standard and -let’s face it- stale, conventions MMOs put to use, Knox explains that TERA intends to keep its players focused on the center of the screen: where the action is. “Repetitive and non-dynamic gameplay becomes boring over time,” says Knox, “which is why I am so excited that our combat is action based.”

Being a hard-core action gamer, this writer greatly appreciates any information about the combat system. Fortunately, ZAM asks a few questions pertaining to combat that result in some very satisfying answers from Knox.

First up is what this writer dubs the “hard-core dilemma”. By creating a title that caters to casual gamers, players who crave a tight and challenging gameplay experience are alienated. On the other hand, titles that appeal to the “hardcore” crowd and demand a lot from its players alienate the casual gamers who do not want to commit to (or have the patience for) challenging gameplay.

Basilisk battle, TERA. (

Brian Knox explains that the developers are hard at work making TERA intuitive for any gamer that delves into the game. “The good thing about action combat is that it lets the player’s skill determine the complexity,” he says. Which means that someone playing a sorcerer may favor dodging and area-of effect skills, while others may choose to heal instead and go for more direct assaults. Classes and gameplay mechanics have enough variables that players can play the game in whatever manner they see fit.

When one thinks of MMORPGs, they think of the UI and all the skill shortcuts assigned to it. Knox states that the system has been streamlined to resemble a console action game rather than a MMORPG. “Think about it in terms of a console action game: you have a bunch of skills that are mapped to buttons, and after some play you just know what to hit and when to hit it. TERA feels a lot like that.”

Of course, while an action game with little challenge is merely a mindless button-masher, TERA‘s trailers show its heroes getting curb-stomped on more than one occasion. Knox explains that he fully expects players to catch an in-game beat-down. “An important aspect of TERA is learning the different monsters’ tells and how to react to them. Players will need to remember their encounters with different types of creatures and then plan their strategies, actions, and formations accordingly.”

TERA offers its players well-designed enemies, solid gameplay mechanics, an interesting control system and classes that offer variable play-styles, on top of great art-direction and MMORPG mechanics. With E3 only a few weeks away, we can expect more news very, very soon.

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