TERA online has already been out in Korea for over a year and has attracted a large and steady player base. However, the game being released in North America on May 1st will be vastly different. This is because En Masse Entertainment, the studio responsible for bringing Bluehole Studio's "True Action MMO" to the west, was not simply going to "translate" a Korean product.
So, straight from the horse's mouth, I give you "10 Ways En Masse Changed TERA Online for North America and Beyond!!"
Achievements! (All regions)
What's an MMO these days without cheevos? From simple things like completing quests to killing TERA's Big Ass Monsters, (BAMs) the game will launch with a plethora of challenges for the achievement hunter in all of us.
Chrono Scrolls (NA Only)
Much like EVE Online's highly successful PLEX system, Chrono Scrolls will allow in-game gold to be spent to buy real world playing time. Each Chrono Scroll is equivalent to one month of play time and can be purchased directly from En Masse and delivered to you in-game. You can then trade them with whomever you wish. En Masse hopes this will cut down on in-game gold farmers. One can only hope. It's also looking to be a rather profitable venture for En Masse, just ask CCP.
Re-tuned Leveling Curve (NA Only)
Korean players like to grind, that's just a fact of life. However, American gamers simply loathe the idea of a "Korean Grind-fest" and En Masse was well aware of that. So, what they've done is re-tuned the leveling curve so that players will get more XP from questing and less from grinding. This will allow for a smoother and "less grindy" leveling experience that En Masse believes western players will appreciate. I, for one, am all for the change.
Rested XP (All Regions)
In keeping with the trend of making the game "less grindy" En Masse also spearheaded the idea of TERA having rested XP. Not only will a rested XP bonus make leveling easier, it actually encourages players to take breaks from playing in order to level faster at a later date. This is something I think we can all agree is a great idea.
Currency Changes (All Regions)
En Masse asked that the in-game currency be changed to Gold, Silver and Copper. Why? Because it just makes more sense, that's why! Hooray for common sense. Mainly a cosmetic change and more "westernization" than anything else, the G,S,C system is more familiar to western players.
Controller Support (All regions)
Another change spearheaded by En Masse, they felt this was one of the first MMOs that could truly be used with a controller thanks to their True Action Combat. They've done extensive testing with 360 controller mapping and I for one am very interested in seeing how TERA plays with a controller in the long term. Aren't you? For you hybrid types, you can also play with both a controller and keyboard while binding different sets of controls to each.
Net Moderator (NA Only)
Because making trade chat suck less is everyone's problem, especially En Masse's! Powered by Crisp, TERA hopes to have some of the best moderation around. According to their website:
Protecting your users from spamming, trolling, scamming and gold-faming behavior is vital to the success and reputation of your game. Previously game developers have developed basic moderation tools and simple technology such as keyword filters to try and put a stop to negative behavior but these rarely make any impact and the manual management of users simply isn’t scalable. Crisp was created to develop proprietary technology that would deal with the issue of accurately spotting online behavior. Crisp’s patented approach has been proven to detect all kinds of online behavior; it is developed by some of the world's leading technology and behavior experts and is designed to deal with huge datasets and detection in real time. Crisp behavioral analysis engines take into account multiple signals from content analysis, the user’s reputation and their social connections to determine the probability of a specific behavior match.
So listen up all you trolls, spammers and would be gold farmers out there, En Masse is committed to weeding you out of their system, and they're willing to pay top dollar to do it. I'm all for that. Let's just hope it works.
Reputation and Daily Quests (All Regions)
Much like achievements, what would a modern MMO be these days without rep grinding and daily quests! However, En Masse promises more than just daily deliveries. You'll even, "Ambush dragons and rescue soldiers trapped behind enemy lines." They also promise rep specific mounts and that you won't go, "Killing a thousand furbolgs just to go through a tunnel." The furbolg thing is a WoW joke, and it's sad that I get it…
Rewritten and extended quests (All Regions)
Because here in the west we don't skip quest dialogue! We want to read it all, and we want it to be well written! Well, that's a big fat lie, but En Masse doesn't care. They wanted to polish TERA as much as possible for harsh western critics before launch so they went ahead and rewrote every quest in the game. Then they went and added a ton of new quests. What can I say? It's an impressive effort… even if it was a bit unnecessary.
Account Armor (NA Only)
Because MMO identity theft is serious business. Much like Steam Guard, Account Armor will send a code to the email address you have registered to your account any time someone tries to login to your account from a new location. It's for your own good, so get used to it.
Keep in mind that some of these changes are being implemented (or already have been implemented) in all versions of the game, not just North America. However, they were all conceptualized and/or spearheaded by En Masse Entertainment.
Now, you may have read this entire list and said to yourself, "Wow, they're making this game more like WoW!!" and you'd be right. Yet, is that such a bad thing? If you combine everything that people love about TERA Online (The visuals and the combat) with everything people love about World of Warcraft (Pretty much everything else) isn't that a recipe for success? En Masse sure seems to think so. Find out for yourself when TERA Online launches on May 1st.