So if my post yesterday got you curious and you’d like to take a few tentative steps into the world of TERA, I wanted to write a few words of wisdom for you today.
1) Picking a Race
If you want to play a male character and want to avoid awkward clothing choices, you are fine everywhere except Castanics and a few of the High Elf light armor pieces. If you want to play a female, the choices are a bit trickier.
Amani is hands down the easiest, because they are the most “inhuman” and thus even the most revealing pieces are really just showing off what amounts to stone. But if that’s not your cup of tea, you still have some options. If you plan on going with a light armor class (Sorcerer, Priest, Mystic), the High Elf is probably your best bet. While the character models have overly large uh, assets, the armor choices tend to be more modest and classy – longer hem lengths and so on. If you want a medium armor class, humans are probably your best bet. Despite some really egregiously bad fashion outfits, a goodly number of them (especially endgame) are rather awesome.
If you want a heavy armor class…well, as annoying as they can be, the Elin are probably your best bet here. Every other female heavy armor set for the other classes is some variation on the chainmail bikini. That’s not to say you can’t find exceptions, or make your own.
TERA has a fantastic template/remodel system in place. You can visit an NPC and for a fee move the appearance of one armor set or weapon to another. Even better, if you don’t possess one you like, there is a template shop that sells the appearance of almost every set you could wear for a reasonable price. So you should be able to find something. And even the most scantily clad race class combo usually has some fun outfits that aren’t over the top. Even the Castanic light armor babes:
The TD;DR here is that Humans are the fantasy standard, Castanics are your emo/hipsters, Amani/Baraka are your BAMF‘s, Popori/Elin are your cute/furry, and High Elfs are your high fashion/high society types. Their outfits and emotes will reflect these trends.
2) Picking a Class
Pick what you want, but please please please be aware of the difficulty ratings on the class selection screen. They are there for a reason. Please know that there is no class you cannot have fun with and no class you cannot master. None of this is rocket science. But some classes do require a little more supervision and a little more time to get the hang of.
For example, the Warrior class spends a lot of time on the move in the philosophy of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – you are not going to stand in front of a mob and just pound on him, unlike other MMO’s Warrior classes. If you are curious, TERA provides a complete list of each classes skills on their Game Guide on the main website (for example, here is the one on the Warrior). These guides are great and really give you some insight into how the class plays.
If you are a tank, your choices are Lancer (traditional tank) or Warrior (evasion tank). If you want to heal, you can go Priest (traditional healer) or Mystic. The Mystic is very different in that while it has direct heals, it also has some interesting mechanics. For example, it can drop healing orbs on the battlefield for its teammates to pick up as needed. For example a good mystic teammate might drop an orb right behind the mob so their warrior tank can snag on as he does his evasion roll. This “fire and forget” style healing is matched with some “fire and forget” dps in the form of pets, so you have some great potential – but at the cost of a more difficult class to play.
On the DPS front, you have your ranged options – Sorcerer and Archer, and your melee options – Berserker and Slayer. The Warrior also doubles as a solid melee DPS choice, if giant two handed weapons are not your thing.
3) The Starter Island
The Isle of Dawn has been streamlined from the games launch. Gone is the confusing flashback opening where you play a level 30 version of yourself on the initial invasion of the island, in fact it looks like that has been written out of the narrative altogether. I mention it only because if you are an explorer type, you will notice that about half the starter island is depopulated. There are tents, gathering hubs, and even clearly marked quest items on the ground but its a ghost town.
If you just follow the quests and narrative given now though, you won’t even encounter those ghost areas. The island will take only an hour or so to complete, and you will end up in the capital city at level 11 with clear instructions on where to head next. None of the mobs on the starter island will aggro on you. They will pop the alert icon (an exclamation mark, and they will turn and face) which will get you prepped for mob life in the main game, but none of them will then aggro after that alert phase and start attacking you first. (ETA: Except maybe the boss treeman you fight early on, I can’t remember at the moment).
The island doesn’t take long to move around, and you will get a free mount at level 11. But if you want, you can spend $5 on Amazon and get the Quick Start Bundle, which has some nice one use buff potions and a mount that you can use right away. Also you may want to check and see what goodies you have been given. Hit the Alt or Esc keys and then the box looking icon to the right. There you can open the ingame store or check item claim. I had a bunch of items in there I didn’t know about when I started and I don’t know if they were gifts because I had an account before the F2P transition or what. Its worth a looksy either way.
The storyline of the game is explained in cutscenes that occur at the beginning and end of the island time. But if you want the short version – this island has sprung up for some unknown reason and is being tamed and investigated. For some it might hold clues to the real conflict at hand – the Argons. It is against this invasion that the races of TERA have united (mostly) and you have been conscripted into. But before taking on the enemy on the frontlines to the west, unblooded recruits like you are being tested by troubles that have popped up on the home front. Explore the island and its mysteries, report to the capital, and then get your next assignment – uncovering the source of the unrest and fey attacks on the forests north of the capital and its centerpiece, Lumbertown. Is there a link between the island, these attacks, and the Argon invasion? That’s for you and your friends to uncover.
4) Gathering and Crafting
If you are into crafting, start gathering now. You won’t really be able to craft until you hit the capital, but its good to start now. Even if you don’t craft, start gathering. Gathering actually grants you one of three random buffs that increases you speed, stamina, or healing. And these stack multiple times. In other words, TERA actually compensates you for the time to take to stop and gather resources. Wild idea, I know, and I love it.
You can gather everything and craft everything. There is no limit on learned skills, the only limit is the time you wish to put into crafting. Thank you TERA!
5) Into the Big Bad World
Before you leave the capital, make sure you check in with the inventory expansion guy. He will give you the first one for free, and the second one is only 15 silver, which will be very affordable even just off the starter island.
Once you are in the big bad world, be aware that mobs will come fast and hard, and its entirely possible in dodging and moving you will aggro a second one. Keep moving and use those class abilities to their fullest. You should have several healing potions from starting gift crates, use them early and often. If you don’t have any, craft or buy some. Bombs are nice as well, use them to supplement your DPS or AOE attacks.
Play around with those skill chains and don’t be afraid to switch them up based on the tactics of the mobs you encounter.
And always remember to use campfires and bonfires to get the full stamina boost for your character – why would you not go into combat with a 20%+ buff to your HP and MP? And while you are there, don’t forget to throw a charm or two into the fire for those additional buffs as well.
And finally, if you need anything, give me a yell. I’m not on every night, but I’m happy to help if I am on. Since I tend to play a variety of characters, just shoot me an email (see the About Me page) or a tweet (@Harbinger_Zero) with your character name and my awesome phone (which is always with me) will buzz with a notification. And I will track you down and help you in any way I can!
Good luck and good hunting.