This past week TERA has made the leap in mentioning Westernization of the game on their news site. I have talked about this in the past and want to go more in depth with this week’s column. Also, we get to have a look at the Archer class. Somehow Archers made the leap from East to West with the English long bow and Japanese Kyudo being two of the deadliest archer forms for hundreds of years. Let’s see if we can make that leap this week with TERA.
First, the westernization of any game is a very popular topic these days. With China, Korea, and Japan becoming massive markets for online games there is always a cross over between audiences. When games are developed now on either side of the Pacific they are always developed thinking of how the game will be received on the other side. TERA is one of these games. I have said that the art style of TERA does cross some boundaries but overall it is Asian. I think the way the game is designed has a distinctly Eastern feel to it. They still have tried to cross over and give the game a unique style, but overall upon first glance the game is very clearly Eastern style.
I personally love anime. I think the artwork and stories can be amazing. However, for some reason I have trouble making the crossover into Eastern style games. They have a very set way of defining the look and feel of characters. Tanks are tanks and so on, this style is very simple and almost one dimensional. I have always been most inspired by Western artists like Frank Frazetta and Simon Bisley. Both created a very western style which has inspired almost all fantasy art. Yes I know there are others, but Frazetta was always it for me. So with this image in mind, I do not cross over well for some eastern art styles. Yet, many do and with more and more animation being done in the East, well, soon it will become the norm.
I do think TERA will westernize better than many of the other games that have come over. When the game was built they clearly had in mind to cross continents. But art is one thing; game play is something totally different. Many people label Asian MMOs as grind fests. We have had fun in TERA demos, but the fear from many players is that the game will be all about grinding because of where it was made. This is one that I am not sure will be played out until we all actually get into Beta. I do remain hopeful but time will tell.
Lastly let’s talk about the Archer class. From the definition we are given it appears very much like a Warcraft Hunter. Traps, bows, quick movement and keeping your foes at range are all part of the archer’s description. I guess for me something new added to this class would be fantastic. In the end you pretty much just shoot stuff, but there has to be a way for a game to heighten that experience. While I am not normally an archer or ranged player by nature, for those who are I have to say that based on the information given it looks like nothing new here. TERA offers some great melee classes, but in terms of the Archer information, we have yet to see anything new.
As we continue this column more and more news has been coming out about the game. It is great to see them talking more and we hope to have more coverage on the game as we get into show season in March. For now, contemplate the Westernization of games and how that might impact you as a player. For me it is still a tough sell.