Pax East gave me the chance to get my first taste of TERA which you can read about here but last weekend I took part in the open beta which was a whole new experience. I wont overlap too much with Chris’s article because I have a whole different point of view on this. Unlike the self confessed “MMO Addict”, I am an MMO newbie, and this is my story.
While visiting Chris last weekend I got to play TERA on his freshly built amazing PC. It’s really difficult to put into words how excited I was to play after my first taste of the game at PAX, but I’ll give it my best shot. But this was different, than the demo I played, this was starting from the beginning, making my own character, following my own path playing the game! Anxiously I played with the character creation to get my High Elf Sorcerer just the way I wanted her. She looked amazing even if I had wanted to give her red hair and couldn’t, I loved how she came out all the same. Then it was time to start the Prologue here I tried to control the game with a wireless controller connected by its charging cable. Not so successful, at all, whatsoever, even a little bit. At this point I figured I’d get a real hands on education in MMOs and play with a keyboard and mouse, it can’t be that hard, right?
My initial reaction to playing with the keyboard? “zOmg WTF?!” and the harder I tried, the worse it was. One thing’s for sure, this experience gave me a deep newly found respect for PC gamers around the world who use the keyboard and mouse to play each and everyday like second nature. The closest I get to this mastery of the keyboard is typing and Photoshop shortcuts. My inexperience also seemed to be costing my sorcerer’s life many a time adding to my frustration. The beautiful game I had wanted to play so badly was making me really upset.
A trip to walmart for a wired controller and a new warrior character maybe an hour later I was back in business. The next few hours of play completely made up for the awful experience that had been the hour before them. I was slashing my way through enemies and running quests like a pro with the occasional hiccup of awkward transitions between keyboard, mouse and controller that was sometimes required. Honestly this was entirely forgivable to me because I was having so much fun.
When I had to go back home I decided to give playing on my PC a go. Seven (my PC) can run the whole Adobe Suite like a pro so I figured TERA would be cake; Boy was I wrong! While downloading the game’s patch I ran the test to see if it would run alright. It told me that my RAM was amazing, but my CPU wasn’t up to snuff, more specifically my graphics card. But the bar on the graph was halfway past “Minimum Requirements” so I thought “Oh well the graphics wont look 100% but it’ll be alright”; Wrong again! The game loaded but looked absolutely terrible, so I thought maybe I’d leave the city I was in and it would get better. Aside from how it looked, it lagged so badly, like it took 1.5 minutes to turn around. Much to my disappointment the game was unplayable on my PC.
This first real experience with TERA, and MMOs in general has been bittersweet. I’m not deterred though, I did pre-order TERA and was playing it again this weekend. I just need to make some adjustments to Seven (I ordered a new graphics card on Friday). This has been quite the educational adventure and I’m looking forward to more in the future. Just hopefully the next foray will be more fun and less nerve wracking. Despite everything, I know I’ll look back on this someday and laugh.