En Masse invited us for a sneak peak at their first expansion to TERA, Fate of Arun that will be available for free on the 16th of December. The expansion opens up a massive new continent to the north with four new zone, 4 new dungeons and the major city of Highwatch. The areas are breathtaking with their extreme skylines, the views are truly breathtaking. En Masse didn’t hold anything back to change to scenery, taking you to new heights and deeper depths. And while the views are stunning, you do need to be careful of the monstrosities that roam the areas as they are huge and look like experiments that have gone wrong.
The expansion includes numerous improvements. Each class gains at least one new skill as well as all previous skills can rank up to the new level cap of 65. These new abilities will be needed to tackle the challenges that await you. A new tier of armor and weapons, a revamped crystal system all make powering up easier so you can confront the challenges of the Archdevan fortress. Enchanting has been simplified to allow you to dismantle gear anywhere for feedstock to help with managing overloaded packs. Crystals can now be fused, allowing you to turn unhelpful crystals to higher-ranked ones, other effects, or if you’re lucky superb crystals that provide two effects and can never break. The aim is clear: improve the player experience while not bogging you down in the management of items too much.
The new Quest UI is very impressive. It actually helps you prioritize what you need to do based on the philosophy of “the most bang for your time”. With the new interface, you are given a panel that will highlight the most important thing to complete, usually the storyline quest, showing you the rewards you will earn. Also it has a built in display of the daily and weekly objectives and their rewards. The list of quests allow you to teleport directly to the action, find a group and turn in your quests from wherever you may be. These improvements are slick, easy to understand and will really help old and new players alike to progress and complete everything, if that is what you like to do. It takes the somewhat mundane process of leveling, and makes it more efficient. Right now it’s only for levels 60-65, but hopefully one day it will be adopted to the early levels too.
We had the opportunity to tackle Bathysmal Rise, one of the four new dungeons added. The dungeon is gorgeous, taking you deep under the sea to battle the ancient weapons contained within. The walls are glass so you are given the distinct feeling of being in an Aquarium. Massive sea creatures swim by as you battle the mechanical monstrosities within. Immediately upon entering you are standing in front of a giant turtle guarding the entrance to the rest of the dungeon. Be warned, he is a tad upset (as I would be), stuck in a room able to see all that water around him but unable to get to it. He has some interesting mechanics, like making you hallucinate.
All the bosses inside that will take some time to learn how to counter and avoid their abilities. Not wanting to spoil too much of the dungeon for you, I won’t talk about each boss, but the final one is insane. There is so much going on, it’s like you are dancing. Having to move in or out depending on the boss abilities while destroying orbs that will overtake the area if you don’t clear them all while trying to damage the boss. As a sorcerer for the battle, I think I was dead more than I was alive. The sheer amount of moving, trying to aim while also avoiding everything made for a great encounter. If TERA’s combat is your bag, you are going to love this dungeon.
The Coliseum is a new PVP battleground that puts an exciting spin on the PVP experience. For those like me that are really good at PVE but not so much at PVP, this is our way in. The concept is simple but has some twists that will keep it fresh. Rather than battling the other team directly, in normal MMO fashion, you race the other team in downing three waves of BAM’s and mobs. As you compete, you earn Coliseum points that allow your team lead to purchase buffs for your team to help kill the BAM’s quicker or Debuffs for your enemies (the other team). It’s a bit MOBA-like, really, but without the annoying tower/minion game. And since gear is level set upon entering the Coliseum, this is a challenge of skill, how well do you know how to play your class, work as a team and make strategic decisions in buff and debuff purchases? Competing allows you to earn PVP gear that can be used in the other PVP arenas.
The Fate of Arun is jam-packed, stunningly beautiful and supremely challenging. With upgrades to old systems and plenty of new content, it’s likely to appeal to both the veteran TERA players and new folks looking for something to play. Be sure to log in anytime between now and to claim the Northern Initiative pack to help you prepare. Included in the free pack is Fate, a white tiger mount that provides HP-restoring while riding, which will greatly decreases your downtime while leveling. Also included are some Potions, Charms and Campfires. While it has been over two years for the first expansion to hit TERA, my initial impression is that it has been worth the wait. If you have taken a break from TERA or never played, Fate of Arun is definitely something you’ll want to take a look at.