[Tera | D3] Beta Weekend

There were a couple of free betas this weekend, as Diablo 3 and Tera ramped up numbers to stress test their servers and I spent a few hours poking around in each locale.

Tera was an interesting game. They claim the first responsive MMO-combat system. While it isn’t the only game I’ve seen that requires you to watch the beady glint in your enemies eyes to block, dodge, and run, it is done rather well. The game can be played with mouse/keyboard or a PS3 controller, and I’ll admit I was a bit worried about how the controls would work when I first jumped into the game. However, the swivel mouse movement (similar to Skyrim) was pretty responsive and I found it easy to get a hang of the differences in movement/combat faster than I’d thought.

Because it was a stress-test weekend, I had difficulty getting more than one character made, so I focused on a lancer, the shield-wearing tank. Resources are the standard health, mana and stamina, although stamina plays a different role in Tera than I’ve seen elsewhere. As you fight, your stamina gradually diminishes, and so too does your ability to regenerate health and mana on the battlefield. I honestly didn’t play long enough to see how far my stamina would stretch, but in general, I hate returning to town/camp, and am a bit leery of the mechanic over time.

To be honest, I don’t really understand the premise of the game beyond: we discovered a new island and all the evil happened. Hopefully that storyline will develop a bit more as you get further along in the game. I had a hard time with the color palette which consisted of a ton of pastel colors, and seemed rather bland, even with the nice variety of critters they had running around.

Personally, for a Tera-like experience, I think I could find a F2p system that I liked just as well. It didn’t engage me as much as I’d like, although I will say the epic L20 battle as an introduction to your class was pretty cool.

Fortunately, by that time, Diablo had stopped tossing me Error messages for log-in, and I was able to run around a bit. I started with a demon hunter, which is similar to an amazon. While I’ll compare these to earlier D2 characters, the game-play has changed a bit from 2 to 3. Stat allotment got tossed, and now your character will automatically granted stats on leveling. However, the tree-system has changed quite a bit, and in a really interesting way.

There are base skills which unlock at certain levels. As you level, each of these base skills can have up to 4 variations. In addition, also unlocked as you level, different glyphs become available that allow you to change the “flavor” of each skill, such as type of weapon damage, etc. Skills/glyphs can be changed on the fly as you move throughout dungeons, and all in all (I maxed at 11, I can’t tell you much beyond that) it looks like it’ll provide a lot of variation.

Each class also has a set of skills specifically for defensive purposes. With the demon hunter, in addition to my standard snaring shot, I also got a trap that would snare enemies, I could turn invisible, or cartwheel my way out of reach. It made the burn and kite that is fairly standard for Diablo games a bit more interesting, as I had to choose which defense I thought would be best between standard runs and the final boss.

Another interesting side-note is the, well, side-notes. When you kill new enemies you get this fancy new button “New Lore.” It’ll pop up good ol’ Deckard Cain to talk to about the beastie, which I thought was a fun touch. And no more hording little red and blue spellbooks to identify your items or get back to town. /cheer

I also had some company for a bit with my one of my guildmates, and the group-play works out seamlessly. I remember setting up LAN connections with the hubby so we could destroy the minions of darkness in D2, and while it was easy enough, it took some prep time. With the new battletags, inviting other players to your dungeon is as easy as sending a group invite in WoW. Battle standards allow you to catch up with your friends mid-dungeon, even if you’re just running back to town to sell.

All in all, if you’ve played Diablo in the past, the transition will be simple enough. It’s still a point and click system and it’s heart, although instead of 1-4 being potions, you’ll now have some extra abilities. The mood is still dark and dreary, with the standard demon/angel motif we know and love.

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4 thoughts on “[Tera | D3] Beta Weekend

  1. I was looking forward to Diablo 3 probably more than any game since the original announcement of WoW some 9 years ago, sadly the beta for me left me wanting badly. The reduction from 8 players to 4 players in a game is incredibly disappointing to me, I was expecting an expansion to say 12 or 16 to be honest. Then there was the whole scrapping of the PvP system for release which is even more disheartening. Hopefully the game as a whole far exceeds the beta and makes it worthwhile to play beyond the initial rush to max lvl.

  2. My feelings on D3 were similar to Serp’s. I enjoyed it but it didn’t feel like there was a lot of meat on it’s bones.
    I was expecting something that deep and engaging but I doubt it will keep my interest when I hit max level. I really thought it was going to be designed to have staying power due to the real money auction house being a source of revenue for Blizzard. Playing the WoW AH is second only to raiding for me. I was looking forward to a game that had a lot of thought and effort put into the AH. However the D3 AH appears to be purposely designed to be aggravating to use. (Which isn’t hyperbole. I mean exactly that.)

  3. That’s interesting, because I wondered how much that stuff was going to matter to players. I personally can care less about co-op games and AH sales, but I think it’s because I wasn’t looking forward to those changes: I just wanted the gameplay to be similar enough that I’d still find it fun.

  4. Do any of you know if mods will be available? Also I am not suprised there will not be pvp when it is launched. Just for the fact that could over whelm the people that have not played in a while. I have several people at work that are just waiting for D3, just because I got them hooked on D2.

    I thought the gradual skill and defensive concept was pretty seamless, I never felt lost as to what was going on with loot or skills. I think the game play is similar to the new mustang or camero, new style with some of the good feels. When I logged with my first character and the dark music started I got a chill.

    The group play is easy to catch up when at the main city touching someones standard places you with them. I thought that was cool. The text for chat was small and I did not spend anytime playing with settings. The AH features I only spent a few minutes on because I knew my time was limited.

    I did however level my BS to max and opened what new gear could be crafted by him and unlocked new patterns for me. Also nice way of clearing the crap blue gear no one would want, you (I forget the name) disenchant them for mats. The mat system early is pretty basic almost too basic.

    I did get a yellow rare item, when it dropped it was unknown I had to click on it to Identify what it was. It showed me it was rare and leather head piece but no stats. So after I clicked it the stats showed up, similar to when you craft your own items. Each items shows you how many stats will be on the item but not what stats. Which is why when I was crafting pants and they had intellegence on them I partied with Windsoar and dropped the loot and she could pick it up. Seems when crafting all the items have some rng to the stats, except the ones he crafts for you. I for get his name the guy we help and killed his wife for him.

    I had a great time playing and can’t wait for more.

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