When the TERA update called Secrets & Shadows goes live, players will be able to check out the next class to be added to the game, the Elin Ninja. We had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Senior Producer Eric Han to find out more. See what he had to say in our exclusive interview.
MMORPG: Why the ninja for this new class? What makes her stand out from pack?
Eric Han: Well, ninjas are pretty awesome! The popularity of ninjas in entertainment and gaming is universal, whether in the US, Asia or across the globe. En Masse is happy to add ninjas as the 12th class to TERA’s fantastic true action-combat classes. As gamers ourselves, we’re excited for the Secrets & Shadows update, since we’ve been eager to play the ninja along with the other content.
Right from the beginning, the ninja is a lot of fun to play. She starts with unique moves like Decoy Jitsu, and builds to Death Blossom, Fire Avalanche, and Skyfall—which are fast, flashy, and introduce a unique play-style to TERA. She’s hands-on like the warrior, crazy-maneuverable like the reaper, plus very controlling with stuns and knock-downs. I really think our community will have a great time with the ninja class and all of the other new content this update has to offer.
The Story of TERA: Secrets & Shadows
MMORPG: Are you worried the community will be upset with another elin-only class?
EH: To be totally honest, it does come up. We’re conscious of the feedback our players give us, which includes the race and gender limits on some of our classes. At the same time, the elins are one of the most popular races, and the way the ninja plays makes a lot of sense for the elins. TERA is a global game, and players in other countries are also considered when a new class is designed; so we understand our developer’s thinking to serve a global community. Plus, they’ve done an amazing job on the ninja to make her culturally relevant for our players, so we know our players will find her fun to play.
We sincerely welcome players’ feedback, and we do listen to their comments. It’s something we look at every single day, and also something we regularly present to our development team. We want our players to know we care about their experience in TERA. We try to stay transparent and keep an open line of communication with our players to address if and why we can’t fulfill all of their requests. But most of all, we want them to enjoy playing the game.
MMORPG: What sorts of other new content will the update bring?
EH: There’s a lot of content with this Secrets & Shadows update. It’s quite large considering our last update was only a few months ago, so 2016 is off to a fantastic start for TERA. Most prominently for this update, we added the awesome new ninja class, three new max-level dungeons, two updated fan-favorite dungeons, new gear sets, flying mounts which I know our community is eager to get their hands on, along with more updates to our class balance overall, and a new interface to seek out and apply to guilds in game. It’s pretty beefy!
MMORPG: Can you give us an overview of the new dungeons and how they'll challenge players this time?
EH: Our two new dungeons continue the storyline that left off at the end of Fate of Arun, when the arch-villain escaped to locations unknown.
Making their way through the cell blocks and living tissue of the archdevan’s Demokron Factory, 7-player raids will find some of TERA’s most challenging boss fights to date. Three boss encounters culminate in a battle with a tree-like monstrosity that gets tougher any time there’s no one directly in front of it. In addition, the Demokron Factory has a few non-combat secrets to uncover.
The Shadow Sanguinary features the return of our favorite villain—Dakuryon. Players better have some fast footwork, because when the bosses aren’t trying to kill them, the dungeon itself might be. Dakuryon’s sprawling hiding spot and the bosses within are chock full of all the blood-magic madness you’d expect from the archdevan megalomaniac.
MMORPG: What about the flying mounts? How will they add to the game, other than letting players fly? Traditionally flying mounts have been seen as somewhat controversial due to their ability to skip content.
EH: I don’t think flying mounts are controversial in TERA. The game world of TERA is so beautiful, and mounts are one of the best ways to see it. From the beginning, TERA used the pegasus to transport players across the world, and players have clamored to control their very own. Internally, we often talk about how the landmarks in TERA are so enormous and monumental that you never get to see them while you’re riding around on the ground. The scale is just amazing on some of these locations. Flying mounts give players the ability to see our world from a new perspective.
MMORPG: Will the story be progressing with this update? Will there be content for solo players as well as groups?
EH: Yes, there absolutely will be story progression in Secrets & Shadows. It will shed some light in the lore of TERA. You guys have an exclusive on our new story trailer at this time (see above!), and we’re excited for your readers to learn about Dakuryon’s horrible new plans for the world we love. This is an opportunity for groups to face Dakuryon head-on in his own home. Meanwhile, the new Celestial Arena offers solo players some special rewards. I don’t want to give away too much, but I can definitely say that players will be in for the fight of their lives.
MMORPG: Any updates to PvP and battlegrounds?
EH: Yes! PvP will be improved with the class changes I mentioned earlier, we’re always working with our developers to improve balance. In addition, we’re already improving battleground rewards leading up to Secrets & Shadows. PvP players have been asking for better incentives to play battlegrounds and we recently added new reward boxes to the battleground merchants in response to this request, but we’re not finished yet. Players will continue to see improvements even after release.
MMORPG: Is there anything we've missed you want to be sure to mention?
EH: Hmm, I guess I’ll just say that I feel really lucky to be working on a game with as much history and as many dedicated players as TERA. I want to do everything in my power personally, to continue to evolve TERA—to ensure our fans, old and new, continue to enjoy our awesome action MMORPG. All of us here at En Masse play TERA, and we look forward to seeing you in game!