Secrets & Shadows Brings the Ninja and Flying Mounts
By this time next Tuesday, TERA’s latest update will be upon us. Called Secrets & Shadows, the latest content update for TERA brings the new Elin Ninja class, new dungeons, new story-based quests, and yes… flying mounts. We had a chance to take a peek at the update before it hits the live servers, and came away with these thoughts.
There’s a load of content packed into this update, from new dungeons to a new story-based questline, plus the new Ninja class that starts at level 1 (as opposed to the Reaper’s higher level starting point). There are three new dungeons coming to the game: the Demokron Factory (a 7-player raid for level 65 characters), the Shadow Sanguinary (a 5-player dungeon for level 65) and the Celestial Arena, a single-player wave-based dungeon that tests a player’s combat skills). We played through the Shadow Sanguinary during our demo, but not before we first got familiar with the new Elin Ninja.
The Ninja, as with previously added extra classes, is female only and in this case Elin only like the Reaper. Rather than beating the dead horse again about how we all wish they’d stop gender and race-locking classes, I’ll just say that the Ninja is fun as heck (but I do wish I could make a Popori…). If you’re a fan of highly mobile classes in your action MMOs, the Ninja will be up your alley. They wield a giant shuriken which they toss, spin, and slash with in million different ways. A lot of the class’ skills involve movement or misdirection too. There’s one skill that leaves a log in your place and flashes behind the enemy dealing massive damage. The Ninja also uses Chi, a third pool of resources that’s like the Gunner’s Willpower – large balls of fire and other skills expend Chi for high damage output and you get more Chi for every attack.
After playing around with the Ninja for a bit, we busted out our flying mounts to take to the skies. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Flying Mounts ended up being one of WoW’s most contentious additions because they invalidated so much content. Apparently En Masse and Bluehole were aware of this as well because they’ve made sure to put in a sort of flight energy meter that means players must land their mounts every so often to recharge their ability to fly. Think of it like sprinting stamina in other games. You can still cover a ton of ground before you need to land, but this ensures that you won’t be able to just bypass everything in the main world at all times.
After we’d gotten our bearings with the flying mounts, which every player at level 65 will get by completing a questline, we headed to the Shadow Sanguinary – the new 5 player endgame dungeon that pits players against Dakuryon one final (?) time. It’s actually a quick dungeon, which probably won’t take players more than 30 minutes or so on normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are three main bosses – Dakuryon’s gigantic henchman Pahoegar, Dakuryon, and then Dakuryon’s once more… though that last time he’s far more imposing than the first time you face him. See the below image for proof.
Overall, the final fight with Dakuryon will be pretty satisfying for longtime players of TERA who’ve only grown to loathe one of the game’s big-bads. He’s a real a-hole, and finally putting him in his place feels very satisfying. Though En Masse wouldn’t say if it truly was the last we’d see of him, I have a feeling that at least for now the story will wind up shifting to other threats.
We didn’t get to play the Celestial Arena of the new raid, but along with the new quests, new class, and flying mounts Secrets & Shadows seems like a really solid update for one of the most popular F2P MMOs out there. The patch is set to deploy to the live servers on May 17th, so stay tuned to MMORPG.com for news on when it goes live.