Turning free to play is a transition most subscription MMOs undergo in their life. In fact, there are few subscription MMOs even left anymore, World of Warcraft, EVE, and RIFT being the only popular ones that come to mind. For some MMOs, going free to play marks their last breath, the developer’s final effort to squeeze as much money out of the product before player numbers dwindle into the mere hundreds and servers shut down for good. But for other MMOs, it serves as another chance to succeed, a rebirth if you will. Turning free to play is what saved Lord of the Rings Online from death and gained it a dedicated playerbase. Turning free to play is also the only reason people still play Star Wars: The Old Republic. So free to play definitely has its merits, as it takes MMOs off of life support and gives them a second chance.
Now, prior to going free to play, TERA wasn’t necessarily on its death bed per se, but subscription numbers were slowly dropping and it wouldn’t be long until Enmasse Entertainment would have to start worrying about how the game would bring in enough profit to keep the company up and running. Such problems have thankfully been remedied however, due to TERA‘s almost inevitable transition to free to play. But even if TERA no longer costs so much as a cent to play, is it still worth your time? Well, yes, really.
What was unique about TERA at launch, and still is, was its “True Action Combat”. TAC allows TERA to play like an action game, with combat being entirely dependent on actual aiming and reflexes, unlike the combat found in World of Warcraft, where the player locks on to an enemy and simply presses spell buttons. Those who have never played an MMO probably have a hard time realizing just what that means, but for the MMO veterans out there, TERA‘s unique take on combat is refreshing, intelligent, and downright fun. TAC also allows for TERA to be played with a controller, so for those who simply want an MMO that allows them to sit back, relax, and play without much effort, TERA is ideal.
I’d be mistaken if I deemed TAC the only notable aspect of TERA however. The game boasts a political system which allows high level players to partake in a government council, dictating the game’s economy and other players’ interaction with the world. TERA also boasts breathtaking scenery and striking graphical fidelity, and not just by MMO standards. The games looks quite stunning, especially when you’re navigating your way through a shady forest grove to see a glimmering rainbow emerge above the trees and the grass sway in the wind. I’ve played a fair amount of MMOs; none of them look anywhere as impressive as TERA, either in art style or technicalities.
So go try it out! If you like action games, you’ll like TERA. If you like immersive fantasy worlds rendered in a glorious display of bright colors and lifelike textures, you’ll love TERA. If you like MMOs , you’re probably already downloading TERA. And if you like player driven in-game governments that determine geopolitical and economic factors in a persistent game world with thousands of players, then you’re probably already playing TERA.
Written by: Bradley Schmidt