As I sit here at 9am in the morning, I begin to question just what exactly my Arborean adventure consisted of this week. Saying I spent most of my time near a campfire could give the impression that many invigorating fights broke out and my hunts went well; or I just died a lot. It’s most likely the first option; but it’s not. I died a lot. And I mean a lot. But if you have yet to read up on our past here two weeks of adventure, one is here, and the other is somewhere around… here.
The archer rests comfortably by a fire of his own (presumably) as he sharpens his bow ready for his next crusade. The warrior I mentioned last time has now hopped into the front seat. As a burly human warrior my name rather suits me – ” Cragg”; Though some call me Greg.
Pressing on through the land repeating all that we had done the week before to level “sexy archer” wasn’t so bad. The differences between how the two classes play made the experience feel somewhat different. Though leveling in the archer’s group was indefinitely more enjoyable, that’s mainly down to the adventurer company rather than the class playstyles. That being said, the rapid speed of my attacks were often aided by his health bar being low, and the enemies do everything the can to achieve that.
As it turns out, warrior classes are actually seen as the off-tanks of the game. During the creation process the game poked us with the profession’s 5-star difficulty curve without ever really explaining why. A lancer, the game’s main tank, had a score of only 4 meaning I had a little extra something on my plate. Later on I started to realise exactly what that was; rather than the Berserker’s right-click block or a Lancer’s shield, warriors are never meant to take damage from those they entice with their matador movements. The warrior is a squishy being and is designed to be mobile yet contains all a person needs to grab and hold aggro from an bulky BAM, and when they do, they run. Rather than sitting like a tower trading blows with a beast, warriors need to learn their enemy’s attack patterns and roll away from them. And it’s hard!
Happily though, the aggro pulling skills are not a necessity of your combat style and can be easily brushed to the side for teams with a proper tank or for solo play. You even have a tank oriented “stance” that can alert others to your intentions too. But you’re still squishy, you still wear leather, and you still need to do some dancing away from your assailants. As much as t sounds like a pain, it’s actually pretty fun keeping an eye open for a big attack and memorising a monster’s patterns.
While the flurry of attacks being dished out from Cragg’s double sword set-up meant for some speedy combat, he soon hit that same turning point of “sexy archer – level 22. Remember that poison arrow we hailed last week? Well now Cragg’s has a poison sword. Suddenly this just got a little less unique – we have a melee archer!
Only enchanting takes the crown as this week’s pastime. Farming BAMs last week for crafting goods was fantastic, but I put it on the back seat this time around and decided to take a stab at filling the screens of the general public with “+9″ enchantment messages. It makes them all squirm in the lively, yet childish, LFG chat.
I failed that. And rather quickly too. Most items in TERA are enchantable meaning you can sacrifice another item of the same tier along with some “Alkahest” to have a chance of increasing the stats of another piece of equipment. With the amount of weapons you find scattered around, you can afford to enchant them even if they just get replaced by a shiny new blade in a few hours. It’s not a new feature by any means. But it gives you another break from the fighting and can even be used to make a little extra cash on the side through the broker system.
Sure, my adventure this week was a little short lived. Most of it was spent getting Cragg to the same point as “Sexy Archer” for no reason whatsoever. While his combat differences seemed hefty at first, the introduction of another stacking poison skill at the same level made me think otherwise. Regardless, I like swords, and I’ll continue to swing them.
Next week spells my final days in Arborea. At least for the purposes of the review. I’ll touch on my tasks for the week and give a final verdict on the “first true action mmorpg” over the next 7 days. I’ve neglected the game substantially for an MMO, and I’m still loving it. The verdict seems promising so far, and at the end of this week I plan to stay in the fantasy dreamscape for sure.