The Exiled Realm of Arborea
Official Tera Online Box Artwork
|Publisher(s)||En Masse Entertainment|
|Designer(s)||Yong-Hyun Park (chief producer)
Byung-Gyu Chang (chief strategy officer)
Huang Cher Ung (art director)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||KOR January 25, 2011
JP August 18, 2011
NA May 1, 2012
EU May 3, 2012
|Genre(s)||Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
The Exiled Realm of Arborea (officially abbreviated as TERA) is a 3D fantasy themed MMORPG developed by Bluehole Studio. The game was released in South Korea on January 25, 2011, in Japan on August 18, 2011, in North America on May 1, 2012, and in Europe on May 3, 2012, with closed and open beta testings taking place before the launch dates. NHN Corporation, NHN Japan Corporation, En Masse Entertainment and Frogster Interactive Pictures publishes the game in these regions, respectively.
TERA has typical MMORPG features such as questing, crafting, and player versus player action. The game's combat uses a real-time battle system that incorporates third person camera view. The player targets an enemy with a cross-hair cursor rather than clicking or tabbing an individual opponent (which is called the "Non-Target battle system" by the developer). The Players need to actively dodge enemy attacks. A keyboard and mouse or a control pad can be used to control the character.
The developers collaborated with CCP Games and their successful use of "PLEX" for Eve Online as a way of deterring gold farmers. As a result, TERA released a currency called "Chronoscrolls" that works similarly, as it allows game time to be purchased with real money and sold for in-game gold. The use of Chronoscrolls is only available to users who have purchased the game either digitally or physically. Those with the "Discovery Edition" cannot use Chronoscrolls.
In February 2013, Tera in North America and Europe transitioned to "Tera Rising", which changed the subscription model to a "freemium" design (free play plus buyable premium status and customization options). The developer has promised no time, level, or content restrictions for free players after this update. Players who purchase a 30-day "Elite" status will receive increased dungeon rewards, in-game discounts and other metagame advantages. Due to the new model, the "Chronoscrolls" mentioned above are being phased out, and are no longer sold by the developer, nor usable to extend game time. Existing chronoscrolls can be sold to merchants for 2,000 gold.
The Japanese and Korean versions of Tera also became free to play in December 2012 and January 2013, respectively.
On the official website the following backstory for the game was revealed: 
- About a millennia ago two omnipotent titans Arun and Shara entered into formless voids and for reasons we can only guess, fell asleep.
- The titans started to dream. Dream of a world that took form on their backs known as Tera.
- The first beings to call Tera home were twelve godlike beings dreamt up by the titans, but it wasn’t long before the gods started fighting.
- As the dream continued new creatures took place called mortals, they were less powerful but far more numerous.
- Arun dreamed of ambitious Elves, clever Humans, honor bound Amani, powerful Giants, scheming Devas, and mischievous Poporis.
- Shara dreamed of sly Sikandari, dark Gulas and Vampires, fierce Wendigos, strange Faeries, and serpentine Nagas.
- The mortals were forced into the divine wars of the gods, which eventually left the gods dead, imprisoned, or otherwise diminished.
- The mortal races didn’t escape unscathed. Some—like the Sikandari, and most of the Giants—were wiped out but others rose from the wars such as the Barakas and Castanics.
- Now that the gods were gone the seven races; Amani, Barakas, Castanics, Elin, High Elves, Humans, and Poporis must band together to fend off a new enemy.
- A metallic race from the underworld called Argons; their goal is to take over Tera and wake the titans to end their dreams and destroy Tera.
Characters may be one of seven races:
- The Aman, a race of draconian humanoids
- The Baraka, a giant, intelligent race
- The Castanics, a demon-like race
- The Elins, an innocent nature loving race
- The High Elves, a race of traditional and elegant humanoids
- The Humans
- The animal-like Popori.
The Baraka, Elin, and Popori are gender locked (only male Baraka and Popori, and female Elin exist). Both males and females are playable for the rest of the races. Elin were projected as Female Popori.
The Archer is a “Ranged Damage Class,” using a bow and wearing light armor. They have the lowest health pool with no defensive advantages to compensate, making them more challenging to solo with. This class is known to possess a wide range of abilities to help control the fight by using traps and ranged attacks, which reduce attack speed, snare, and stun. Archers' damage scales based on the distance to the target. Within 10 meters, damage is unchanged. For every 3 meters past 10, damage is reduced by 15%. The exact scale is 11-14 meters, 15%, 15-18 meters, 15% The basic Arrow attack extends to a maximum range of 19 meters, but suffers a 1.5% penalty from the damage dealt at 18 meters. Despite this scaling, the biggest benefit to Archers is that they have the choice to remain at a safe distance, as most incoming Area of Effect attacks have an effective range of 10 meters. Their two charged attacks actually have a "kickback" component of pushing the Archer back 2-4 meters (depending on charge), meaning a well timed attack with an incoming AoE would create a simultaneous evasive maneuver and attack. In PvP, their stuns and high damage from their stances make them arguably the best PvP class.
The Berserker is a “Melee Damage Class,” using a two-handed axe and wearing heavy armor. This class is the heaviest hitter in the game but also the slowest. They can stay in the frontlines of a battle by blocking any attacks with their axe and provide powerful burst damage with charged attacks, where they unleash a single massive strike. Berserkers eventually become relatively fast at dealing massive damage through the use of certain glyphs and skill rotations. They are similar to the Sorcerer in speed and damage dealt, but have greater mobility and defense. In PvP, Berserkers are a constant threat as they can potentially one-hit KO a player with a big critical hit from their charged attack. As such, they are able to bully and keep other melee classes in check.
The Lancer is a “Blocking Tank,” using a shield with a lance and wearing heavy armor. The Lancer is the most defensive class in the game as they can use their shield to completely guard themselves and allies standing behind them from incoming attacks. Possessing the highest survivability of all the classes, Lancers also have the lowest damage output in the game, excluding the healing classes. In PvE, Lancers are generally accepted as the main tanking class as they are able to mitigate all incoming damage without any risks, compared to the much stricter dodge timing required by the Warrior. Lancers have two key skills that allow him to hold the attention of the enemy: Shield Counter with the extra threat glyph is their main skill, which can only be used after a successful block; Challenging Shout is their second skill, of which its large range can be used as a way to pull enemies from a distance. In PvP, Lancers serve to support the party by constantly harassing the enemy's support classes with stuns and interrupts while mitigating as much damage as possible to the party. Most notably, Baraka Lancers can make use of the game's collision detection by simply being large enough to block off key doorways with their body.
The Mystic is a “Support Healer Class,” using a scepter and wearing cloth armor. The Mystic provides more utility than the traditional healer by being able to create health and mana pickups instead of directly healing the party. This means that skilled parties who proactively avoid damage by dodging will actually benefit much more from a Mystic healer as the mana pickups will allow damage dealers to use their skills without any downtime. However, this means that Mystics are constantly running around the battlefield to keep the party optimized with heals, mana, or buffs. Between Mystics and Priests, Mystics are much more difficult to play. Mystics are most notable for being able to summon temporary minions to help with healing or to draw aggro while soloing, and for their powerful crowd control abilities which makes them invaluable for initiating team battles in PvP.
The Priest is a “Primary Healer Class,” using a staff and wearing cloth armor. This traditional healer class uses a stationary style of healing, where healing doesn't require as much mobility on the Priest's part. This makes Priests much easier to play than Mystics, who must move around constantly to keep the party optimized. While Mystics specialize in boosting a party's offense, the Priest excels in keeping the party alive. Priests have all kinds of heals for any situation, and can cover the entire party with a temporary damage absorption shield. In PvP, Priests take on the tank role as the entire enemy team will naturally focus on the Priest. Their many heals gives them immense survivability and makes them quite difficult to finish off as the Priest's party will be picking off any pursuers.
The Slayer is a “Melee Damage Class,” using a two-handed sword and wearing light armor. This class naturally excels in soloing because of the innate crowd control capability it possesses through knockdowns. Their high chance of knockdowns is always a huge threat in PvP, while in PvE it provides breathing room for the group. Slayers hit extremely hard and move very fast in combat, which makes them powerful in any situation. This class is very popular because it's easy to play as well as being very reliable, which cements its position as a staple role in both high level PvE and PvP.
The Sorcerer is a “Weak Magic Damage Class,” using an arcane disc and wearing cloth armor. Sorcerers are capable of great sustained burst damage, and are able to restore deplete their own mana pool relatively quickly within a very short time. Sorcerers, as the traditional glass cannon, output the average DPS in the game by maintaining a fast and continuous barrage of spells at the cost of survivability. In PvE, they are the most reliable source of DPS as they are generally out of harm's way and their spells are good. In PvP, they are invaluable in team fights by forcing enemy groups to scatter to avoid their powerful AoE spells.
The Warrior is an “Evasive Tank” or "Melee Damage Class," dual-wielding twin swords and wearing light armor. Warriors are the other tank in the game, relying on well-timed dodges to avoid incoming damage. As a result, Warriors are the hardest class to play in the game as it requires the player to become familiar with attack patterns to dodge efficiently, while the Lancer can just hold block whenever they feel threatened. Despite their light armor, Warriors actually gain higher endurance ratings than Lancers in the endgame due to their extremely good gear scaling, which means they take less damage from hits. However, Lancers will still easily outlast the Warrior due to the reliability of their block mechanic. Despite the obvious advantages of a Lancer tank, Warriors are more than capable of tanking all endgame content; it just requires a different approach. In a damage role, Warriors excel at it as they have high mobility to stay on their targets, which also makes their play style feel like the traditional thief/rogue class. Warriors are very powerful in PvP as their tanking nature gives them lots of natural survivability while their fast attacks keeps the target pinned down. Casters are especially vulnerable to Warriors and have a very difficult time trying to escape. Warriors are a popular class due to their high-speed nature.
|GameRankings||76.35% (17 reviews) |
|Metacritic||77/100 (35 reviews) |
TERA has been met with generally favorable reviews, citing the action-based gameplay, huge and widely varied seamless world, the exciting and recurring BAM fights, the ease of using the game's auction house (called the Trade Broker) and lush, detailed graphics as the games high points. The option of using a console controller also provided much satisfaction for players that wanted to play an MMORPG without relying on a keyboard and mouse. Criticism is directed at the game's generic collect/kill/rendezvous quest grind to level up, with some quests backtracking simply to talk to the same NPC. Player killing is commonly done in the Open World and has been met with a lot of praise due to the freedom and constant action it can bring to daily questing and traveling. Critics have targeted the Nexus Wars feature as a blatant rip-off of Rift's system. 
In March 2013, after switching to a free-to-play business model, the game passed 1.4 million registered accounts.
In 2007, NCsoft filed a complaint to South Korean gosu gamer authorities and brought a civil action for damages and an injunction to Bluehole. The Bluehole founders and employees, formerly employed under NCsoft and working on the Lineage 3 development team, were convicted by a Korean criminal court for the theft of valuable trade secrets from NCsoft in 2009. In 2010, a Korean civil court held these individuals, along with Bluehole, liable for misappropriation of trade secrets, awarding NCsoft about $2 million in damages and issuing an injunction against utilizing trade secrets for monetary gain. The damages were later reversed by an appellate court, but the injunction remained in place. Both the criminal convictions and civil judgement are presently pending on appeal before Korea's highest court. Despite the injunction, Bluehole developed and released TERA in South Korea.
On January 9, 2012, NCsoft filed a civil action in the United States against Bluehole and its U.S. subsidiary En Masse. NCsoft seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the launch of TERA in the United States, or damages for the substantial harm that the launch will cause NCsoft. They assert claims for copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, breach of confidence, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment under the laws of the state of New York.
TERA short stories are available for sale as E-books in English at En Masse Entertainment's official site. 
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- Mike Williams (27). "TERA goes free-to-play in Japan and Korea". gamesindustry international. Eurogamer Network Ltd. Retrieved 8 February 2013. "Korean online operator NHN has announced that announced action MMO TERA will be going free-to-play in Japan and Korea. NHN publishes the game in both regions, with En Masse Entertainment handling the North American and European releases of TERA. MMO Culture has translated both announcements, which state that TERA will convert to the new business model on January 10 in Korea and mid-February in Japan. The Japanese operation has already gone free-to-play, but the in-game cash shop has not gone live yet."
- "The story of Tera".
- "List of Classes".
- "Archer Class Description".
- "Berserker Class Description".
- "Lancer Class Description".
- "Mystic Class Description".
- "Priest Class Description".
- "Slayer Class Description".
- "Sorcerer Class Description".
- "Warrior Class Description".
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- "Court papers from the lawsuit".
- "Bluehole Studio NOT Guilty in Trial".
- "e-books reference".