Our Fate of Arun Review
Our own Franklin Rinaldi couldn’t have said it better: “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.” On December 16th, En Masse released the first full TERA expansion, new level cap and all, into the wild. It may not make new fans of people who have already dismissed the F2P themepark, but for those who’ve always enjoyed Arborea’s mix of action, questing, and dungeoneering there’s a lot to love in the free expansion Fate of Arun.
Let me start by saying that Fate of Arun is not a “new feature heavy” sort of expansion. While there are a host of upgrades to the quality of life experience, by and large Fate of Arun is more about giving you more of what TERA does best: combat and dungeons. There are no new classes or races to play with (though the Korean version did just get the awesome Arcane Engineer), but this is more of a vertical expansion than anything else. Fate of Arun focuses very much on making some of the original release’s issues disappear, even if not fully.
Questing is still a linear experience from 60 to the new level cap of 65, but where the 1-60 game left you with little choice other than run from exclamation to exclamation the new Quest Tracker (for expansion content only, sadly) gives a much clearer picture of what you should be doing. There are simple daily tasks like collecting this or that for the Vanguard forces which also break up the methodical linear story quest you’re sent on through each zone. You can queue for dungeons, PVP, and even the new PvEvP Coliseum right from this singular UI. Plus you can teleport directly to areas where you should be doing things. The whole experience seems aimed at making the 60-65 leveling as smooth as possible and less grindy in so doing.
The new Vanguard Initiative quest UI is something the whole game could use.
The new dungeons are some of the game’s best yet, with Bathysmal Rise being my own personal favorite of the bunch. Huge monsters are kind of a thing in TERA, and BR makes solid use of them throughout, along with some very interesting new fight mechanics that are a whole lot more than “tank and spank”. See the video from MMOHDTV below for a good walkthrough of the fights. But beware spoilers!
If you never quite enjoyed the linear path through TERA's leveling content before, chances are you won't like it much here, either. But I found the Vanguard Initiative UI more than helped make up for whatever shortcomings the Eastern design of questing and multitudinous mob placing force upon the game. Yep, TERA's zones are still randomly populated with hundreds upon hundreds of identical mobs with little purpose or direction other than to act as your punching bags. I'll admit this is a problem in a great deal of MMOs, but others tend to make their mobs look a little more carefully placed whereas TERA just says "here's a crap-ton of bad guys, hit them hard".
The Coliseum is a new sort of PVP Battleground, but rather than directly fighting the other players you're working against a team of three to see who can take down the most mobs the fastest. It's indirect PVP as it were, sort of a challenge to see what three player composition, all in equal-leveled equipment can best take down the BAMs. While you fight the monsters, you'll also be buffing your team and debuffing the other to gain an advantage. For fans of PVE who want to wet their toes in competitive play without directly fighting someone else, it's actually a lot of fun and uniquely TERA in the action.
Still one of the prettiest games on the block, MMO or otherwise.
Crafting upgrades and enchantments has been made easier too, as you'll be able to break down items anywhere in the world through a simplified UI. This makes the upgrading of your existing weapons much smoother, and an easier process overall. TERA still suffers from what I would call a "not enough armor or weapon models" problem, but it's hardly something to call a dealbreaker on a whole free expansion.
Overall, there's a lot to love in TERA: Fate of Arun. The game is still the best example of action combat in any MMO to date, and that hasn't changed. If you love and play TERA regularly, than this expansion is a no-brainer as it's entirely free of cost. If you've been away for a while, but enjoyed the game before, then now is the perfect time to come back and see all the new content and changes. But if you've never really enjoyed what TERA has to offer, it's unlikely that Fate of Arun will change your mind. Definitely worth a look for fans though, so get in there and get to questing.