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Making Items Useful

By Garrett Fuller on October 29, 2010 | General Articles | Comments

Making Items Useful

Just yesterday TERA came out with an item report on its new site. The game is looking to make some great changes in how we view MMO loot and gives some ideas on what players can expect in terms of armor, weapons, and equipment. This is something I have always felt very strongly about. The look and equipment on your character really defines your personality as a player. TERA has some good ideas when it comes to loot, let's go through what they have announced.


The first announcement is that there are ten times more items in the game than were shown off last year. There was also talk that items did not keep pace with the leveling curve and monster encounters. The folks at TERA have fixed this issue and now offer more options on a better curve to compete with the monsters in the game. This could have been a serious issue and it is a good thing they caught it before launch. Nothing is worse than facing down a giant monster with a rusty sword.

TERA has also bolstered its crafting and token system to interact with loot and equipment. Now you have many different paths as a player to take in the game to get the best gear. Also there will be PvP rewards for battleground encounters that allow players even more access to loot. While all of these avenues are common MMO methods to get the best gear, TERA had not mentioned much about them in the past.

The dev team at TERA mentions that they want "useful" loot in the game. They don't want player backpacks filled with junk loot that they are just going to sell. This is something that other MMOs do, but they don't do it enough. Warcraft for all of its loot systems still has a large amount of junk loot while leveling a character. The idea of all loot being useable in a game makes perfect sense. Even if I find a junk sword, I should be able to melt it down and make something else out of it. Rather than just quick sell all of the items.

One area I have always felt very strongly about is individual items in MMOs. You should be able to craft one epic item for your character in the end game that is yours alone. If the game could put some kind of minor crafting matrix in that allows you to custom design a weapon, players would go bonkers over it. I know other games do this, but it is something that helps set players in an MMO apart in an endgame. TERA makes mention of this in their article but do not reveal the true scope in which this plan will be implemented.

Another area that is very important in MMOs is dyes. It is amazing that after all these years some games still do not allow players to dye their armor or gear. It is one of the true ways to make your guild or character stand out. This level of customization should really be a core element in an MMO. TERA makes no mention of dyes. Let us hope they will add this system to the game.

The two areas which give players a lot of room for options is in the power crystals and the enchanting ability. Power crystals give players the chance to enhance items to give them the most punch. Allowing them to optimize their attacks or spells, with this system in place it seems to be one of the best for player customization on items. The enchanting ability allows players to combine and rework items to make them better. Like any enhancement tool in a game, it offers various slots for players to add items into the system and make changes. These types of tools in any game are always important to give players the feeling of customization but also adding in a way to maximize stats.

TERA seems to have some standard systems for MMO loot with a few nice twists for players with the Power crystal system offering the best options. As TERA moves closer to launch hopefully we will start to get gear lists of items and more information on the customization features.

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