Many MMOs are starting to choose arch type races to fit different player profiles. In looking at TERA this week I wanted to take a look at two races in particular, mostly because they differ from the typical fantasy mould of Elf, Dwarf, Human, and Orc. When games begin to choose the races players like, they design them based off of different play styles. This is both an Eastern and Western stereotype of fantasy races. Tank classes for example are played by races which look like tanks, or pro-wrestlers. TERA offers two races that differ from the norm, the Aman and the Baraka.
The Aman are descended from a dragon like race who were enslaved by giants. Typical to their appearance they are described as fierce warriors. Again their look works toward the warrior profile. The Warrior class is played by the Aman in all the demos and swinging two swords into combat they are pure machines of destruction. The race has a rich history of standing up to their oppressors. This formed a mutual bond between them all. My question is, how will this work out in game play? Will Aman players get discounts from Aman merchants? Will there be a call for re-enforcements during a boss fight to bring in some Aman warriors to your aid? These are all ideas that would truly bring out the cooperative history of the race itself. If you are a player who likes hardened races with a martial background similar to Orcs, then the Aman may just fit that bill in TERA.
The Baraka are a much different take on races indeed. The towering stone faced mystics add a very unique element to TERA. They do look similar to the Stone Trolls of Dark Age of Camelot, however their connection to the mystic or healing arts change their dynamic. Thought they look like they could walk through walls. In every demo we have played the Baraka race has been the healer. Benefits to playing a casting class with a Baraka have yet to be revealed but it would make sense given the theme of the race. Still, these characters offer a great look for a player. They do exude power in their look and during the demos it seemed like the Baraka had endless amounts of healing power. This could have just been in the demo, but it was cool to see this all powerful stone giant casting spells to benefit the attackers.
These two races offer something new to players. I for one usually enjoy picking the more savage races so it looks like the Aman would be my first choice. However, either of these races look cool to me. I guess the reason is after playing so many conventional races over the years it is easy to chose something new. That is the motivation in playing games for years, always trying to find something new.
The new batch of MMOs coming out do offer some unique options. Not only TERA, but Guild Wars 2 has races like the Char coming as playable. This is a good sign of creativity among designers which offers more to players. I do believe that Warcraft perfected the racial part of a player’s choices by giving them Undead as a race. While it was not original by any means, it was a great option. Gamers like changes and new ideas in games. Hopefully more MMOs in the future will bring new and unique races for players to enjoy.