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Interviews: E3 2011 - An Interview with the Lead Writer

By Guest Writer on June 30, 2011

E3 2011 - An Interview with the Lead Writer

Thanks so much for talking to us today. I would like to start off by asking what aspects of TERA do you feel really differentiate it from current MMOs?

David Noonan:

I think the combat system really differentiates TERA. ‘Real Action Combat’ changes all the game dynamics. There is much greater emphasis on the geometry of combat. Players must understand tactics and strategy. Simple ‘tank and spank’ won’t get the job done.


In the demo the point was made that even the healers have to hit their target with their heals. I tend to play healers in MMOs as I am not the most coordinated of people. Do you think this combat system will exclude those without great hand-eye coordination?

David Noonan:

Well it’s more than just being fast and coordinated. Action combat is for healers as well as tanks. With the fast pace of the game, foresight is really important. It’s not just about hitting your target but rather anticipating where players are likely to be. So I do think TERA is a game that everyone can play. Plus there is so much to do with emergent game play and actually directing the story of TERA that players can be engaged at many levels.

You are referring to the political system of TERA, correct? How do you think that will enhance TERA game play?

David Noonan:

It’s very exciting. Players really will be directing what happens in the world. The story will constantly change based on what players want.

It seems a risky approach. How do you expect to keep the game balanced with the political system? How are you going to prevent a dominant group from controlling a region for a long period of time?

David Noonan:

Individual players and their guild will only control a region for 3 weeks. We really expect a lot of churn in the local power bases so we don’t think game balance will be much of an issue.

Asian MMOs have a reputation for not appealing to the western market as they tend to have a much slower pace to leveling than westerners prefer. Are western players going to face this type of game pace in TERA?

David Noonan:

Actually we are taking it pretty seriously to adapt TERA for the Western market. TERA feels authentically western. Leveling in TERA will be about what you would expect compared to other western MMOs. The combat system also helps here-level grinding isn’t quite the grind, when every PVE fight feels different.

Tell me a little bit about the solo play of TERA.

David Noonan:

The solo play will feel the same across the classes. Each of the classes has a good mix of skills for group combat and for single combat so that a healer can solo pretty easily-just like all the other classes.

Ok so things like gear won’t really change how a player solos? What is TERA’s philosophy on gear?

David Noonan:

Gear in TERA is meant to provide incremental advantages. TERA really is about individual player style of play so for example for healers, the same attributes that make you heal more also improves your attacks.

How about PVP in TERA? Players can either be elected or take a province by force through PVP. Does that mean that all of TERA is open world PVP?

David Noonan:

Not exactly, players will have the choice to be on a server that has PVP in most of the world with a few safe zones or choose a server with PVP only in designated zones. So it really is about player choice.

TERA also has a system that it is really meant to reduce PVP abuse. Every time a player attacks another player, they have to pay a fee in game gold with the higher the level differential-the more the cost. For players of equal level, the cost is manageable but it really becomes prohibitive for high level players to run around and gank lowbies. You might do it once or twice when your friend joins for the first time but you aren’t likely to make a practice of it.

Ok, thanks for that explanation. Let’s switch gears a bit and talk about end game play. What will be available for the max level players?

David Noonan:

We think there is a lot of content to keep high level players interested. We have several end game instances as well as high level PVP. But I think the most engaging thing will be the political system. High level players can campaign to be elected to office or building that great PVP team for dominating the battle grounds.

What about raids?

David Noonan:

We won’t have any raids for more than 5 players upon launch but they are in the planning stages and will be available shortly after launch.

Again to switch topics, when will TERA be available?

David Noonan:

We haven’t announced a launch date yet but I can say we are on schedule.

Are you in closed beta yet?

David Noonan:

Not yet, we are still in testing with focus groups but again, I think we are in a good place.

Ok thanks for that. Before I let you go, let’s end with a run down on the available classes for play.

David Noonan:

Sure. We will have 8 classes at launch. There are 2 tank classes. The warrior is more mobile and mitigates damage by moving while the Lancer handles damage with better armor and constitution. In fact the Lancer’s shield not only protects him but those behind him. You can even line up multiple Lancers and form a shield wall for defense.

TERA also has 2 melee DPS classes-the Slayer and the Berserker. The Slayer has a lot of swooping attacks for multiple targets. The Berserker has more damage-over-time type of attacks. He can also block things with his axe. In fact, he can function as a great emergency tank.

For range DPS, players can choose the Archer or the Sorcerer. This is really about style of play. The Archer has slightly more single target attacks and the Sorcerer has more AOE attacks but both classes have both types of attacks.

Finally for heals we also have two types-the Priest and the Mystic. The Priest has a lot of primary or direct heals. The Mystic has a pet and more raid-heals. The pet can also help heal. Mystics can direct their pet to heal one side of the battle while the Mystic heals the other.

Thanks again for taking this time with us today.

David Noonan:

My pleasure!

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