Tips to ensure your first hours in Arborea are as painless as possible.
We’ve been playing Bluehole Studio’s exciting subscription-based MMORPG for the majority of the past week and even though publisher Frogster has made some significant strides in localising the distinctly Korean TERA for a Western audience there are a handful of things you need to be mindful of before you jump in.
Here are more than a few tips to make your trip up to level 11 and off the starter island as quick and enjoyable as possible:
Choose Your Class/Race combination Wisely: If you’re new to MMOs we’d definitely recommend trying the Sorceror class, simply because this archetype can cause lots of damage from far away and doesn’t rely on any other classes to progress. Choosing melee-centric classes, like the Lancer, are also interesting but there’s less margin for error when fighting foes up close, whereas the Sorceror can usually jump out of trouble or slow down their prey leading to an easier exit. Each race has their own special set of skills which can be applied to any class, so again think hard about what sort of fighter you want to be. If you want to be a magic class, you can go wrong choosing either a Castanic or a High Elf. Make sure you read each character and race description before making a decision.
The Prologue: For some reason MMORPGs love to chuck players into ill-thought out prologue acts, granting your character high level powers during the first twenty minutes of your playthrough even though really you have no clue how to make the most of your powerset or what on god’s green Earth is actually going on – unfortunately TERA does exactly that. Don’t worry though as the crushingly dull coast section lasts no longer than 30 minutes so just grin and bare it.
Welcome to Starter Isle: Okay well it isn’t actually called ‘Starter Island’, TERA is a lot more original than that; it’s actually called Dawn Island – you know like it’s the dawn of your character’s life…Anyway the whole point of Starter – sorry Dawn Island is for you to get to grips with TERA’s combat and the relatively open questing system. Basically you’re stuck on this island until you reach level 11. The good news is you can experiment with combat as much as you want here without any punishment, but the bad news is you can’t use mounts to get trek between the area’s two different settlements, which you will be doing regularly.
Check your Quest Log: Occasionally when you’re given a quest, like taken down a local boss NPC, the map won’t update unless you go into the Quest Log and click the target you’re looking for. We think this is another mechanism to allow players to engage with the story rather than just being a bug, but bare it in mind as it’ll prevent you from spamming chat with annoying requests demanding to know where Vekas is. You’ll thank us later.
Don’t Be Afraid to Grind: Like other MMOs any NPC that has an quest for you to do will have a giant exclamation mark floating over their head, and there’s usually a lot of text associated with each activity. Occasionally you’ll find yourself under levelled and without any questing content to do thanks to certain missions being level gated. When that happens just pick on some local monsters that are at your level and start banging heads together. It sounds crude, but it doesn’t take too much grinding to get your character enough XP to be eligible for the next quest.
Use Teleportation Scrolls: There’s a lot of running back and forth in TERA, so it’s always worth keeping a few Safe Haven teleport scrolls handy just so you aren’t continually commuting and wasting time.
Don’t Buy Anything: The starter zone is really there just to ease you into the game. It’s impossible to get any loot on Dawn Island that’s worth a damn, despite the presence of gold farmers and bots, and the vendors aren’t supplying any good stuff either. Don’t buy armour, weapons, crafting tools or any other low level junk. Save your money until you hit capital city Velika, that’s where the really great goods are being sold.
Join a Guild: Again this is an obvious tip really, but it cannot be overstated. Wondering the wilderness alone really isn’t what TERA is all about and due to the fact that guilds can number in the hundreds of players, leaders don’t tend to be very selective about who they want to join up. Make sure they speak the same language as you and have a large contingent of players who play at the same time of day as you do. This way your chat will always be filled with interesting banter and you can finally switch off the increasingly annoying ‘Area’ chat channel.
Tackle Instances on Your Own: On the starter island no instance is too difficult to be tackled on your own. In fact usually an AI healer henchman will join your instance if you’re under levelled. There’s only two instanced missions on the starter island and they don’t take too much skill to complete on your own. Just make sure your character is at the same level or above the suggested bar.
XP Allocation: As the vast majority of TERA’s quests take place in the world, it’s very easy to get involved in fights where you won’t get any XP. The first person who attacks an enemy claims ownership of their target and as long as they cause the majority of damage to he, she, or it they are granted the XP reward. Basically don’t attack anything that is already fighting, as you’ll be wasting your time. While in a group this effect is negated if you’re questing with a fellow aggressor. There were specific times during our playthrough where we thought we had killed a boss only for a higher DPS (damage per second) capable class to steam in and take all the credit. When this happens just wait for the monster/s to respawn and try again.
Getting to level 11 only took us a few hours using these tips as our guide. If you have any more feel free to put them in the comments below.
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