TERA (video game)

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Tera online box artwork.png
Original North American cover art
Developer(s)Bluehole Studio
Designer(s)Yong-Hyun Park
Byung-Gyu Chang
Huang Cher Ung
Composer(s)Inon Zur
Rod Abernethy
Cris Velasco
EngineUnreal Engine 3
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • KOR: 25 January 2011
  • NA: 1 May 2012
  • EU: 3 May 2012
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • WW: 3 April 2018[1]
Genre(s)Massively multiplayer online role-playing game

TERA (short for The Exiled Realm of Arborea) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Bluehole Studio. The game was released in South Korea on 25 January 2011, in North America on 1 May 2012, and in Europe on 3 May 2012, with closed and open beta testings taking place before the launch dates. NHN Corporation, NHN Japan Corporation, En Masse Entertainment and Gameforge publishes the game in these regions, respectively. In February 2013 the game was renamed to TERA: Rising concurrently with the game's launch to the free-to-play model.

In September 2014, the game was renamed to TERA: Fate of Arun in the same patch that added a new level cap and expanded TERA's horizons with the new continent in Northern Arun: Val Oriyn "cut off from the rest of the world for centuries, Northern Arun is a land of savage jungles, colossal ruins, and the undiscovered homeland of the Barakas." The patch became effective on December 2014 in America and Europe.


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.[2]

Characters may be one of seven races[2] allied with the Valkyon Federation. Each race has a set of unique "racial skills" that gives them minor advantages. Races also have their own unique animations for many class-specific skills. TERA also has 13 classes (as of October 2017)[3], each with their own unique abilities and attributes.

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.



The two beings, Arun and Shara, titans of unimaginable power, met in a formless void. Somehow, Arun and Shara fell asleep and began to dream. As they slept, the Exiled Realm of Arborea began to manifest itself around them. Today, both Arun's and Shara's bodies form the two continents the Exiled Realm of Arborea is made of.

As both titans continued to sleep, their dreams came to life. Out of this dream, the first twelve god-like inhabitants of TERA emerged not long before a terrible war amongst them took place.

Yet, Arun and Shara remained in their dream-like state and simply out of their imagination, the first mortals came to life. The mortals and gods fought each other in great divine wars, leaving most of the gods dead, imprisoned, or otherwise diminished. Even some of the mortal species got wiped out; however, others emerged and today, most of TERA's races form an alliance fighting menaces beyond their world.[4]


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 purchasable 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.[5]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 77/100[6]
PS4: 68/100[7]
XONE: 63/100[8]
Review scores
PC Gamer (US)64/100[13]
The Escapist3.5/5[14]

TERA has been met with generally favorable reviews,[6] citing the action-based gameplay, huge and widely varied seamless world, the exciting and recurring Big Ass Monster (BAM)[15] fights, the ease of using the game's auction house (called the Trade Broker) and lush, detailed graphics as the game's high points.[16] 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.[16] The game's musical score received praise for its varied and emotionally charged tracks ranging from epic orchestral pieces to more mellow tunes.[17] 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.[18] 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.[18] Critics have targeted the Nexus Wars feature as a blatant rip-off of Rift's system.[19]

In March 2013, after switching to a free-to-play business model, the game passed 1.4 million registered accounts.[20]

On 5 May 2015 TERA's new patch 31.04 was released in which the game became available on Steam. Along with being available on Steam, the gunner class was released and new dungeons were added. Bluehole Studio also released inactive character names, making them available to new characters.

By March 2017, TERA had over 25 million users worldwide.[21] As of 5 May 2017, TERA has over 26 million registered players worldwide, including over 6.6 million in North America.[22]

On 9 October 2017 Gameforge announced the openings of three additional, new servers for English, French and German players to the already existing four servers. [23]

On 29 September 2018, Enmasse Entertainment succcessfully ended the long-running highly debatable success of TERA's North American servers.[citation needed] After a long-overdue server merge on September 18, which combined the populations of five remaining servers (from the previous 2016 merge) into two as an effort to help concentrate dwindling in-game populations, the North American publisher for TERA decided to end its ongoing war against third-party application developers by submitting a DMCA takedown on GitHub, a web-based hosting service that housed many third-party applications and tools that improved the overall functionality of TERA.[citation needed] As a response to Enmasse Entertainment's lack of understanding of the game and its players' needs and opinions, as well as the publisher's failure to respond adequately to constructive criticism by both TERA players and the developers for the targeted third-party applications, the majority of TERA NA's players have expressed massive dissatisfaction and have ceased playing TERA NA.[citation needed] TERA Gameforge's European servers quickly saw a rise in player population due to the migration of players from the North American servers to the European servers.[citation needed]

In the days following Enmasse Entertainment's attack on third-party application developers, the North American publisher received massive public backlash from its playerbase.[citation needed] On 10 October 2018, Enmasse Entertainment reached out to a known third-party application developer by the name of "Caali" to discuss matters related to third-party applications; "Caali" was then offered a paid position by Enmasse Entertainment as a third-party contractor to develop an official modding platform for TERA Online.[citation needed] This decision by Enmasse is presumed to have been brought upon by the massive migration of players from the North American servers to the European servers, thus pushing the North American publisher to change their attitude regarding third-party applications and going into great lengths, such as recruiting a developer against whom the publisher had already taken legal action, in order to save their remaining player population.[citation needed] "Caali" has since rejected Enmasse's offer to work on an official modding platform and has stood by his decision to discontinue third-party application support for TERA NA, but has offered insight on potential solutions for Enmasse's TERA, as well as for all TERA versions developed by Bluehole Studios, although it is unclear at this point whether Bluehole Studios and the regional publishers for TERA Online will take steps towards improving TERA Online to the extents that "Caali" has suggested.[citation needed] As such, TERA NA may or may not successfully revitalize its population in the upcoming months.[citation needed] Furthermore, the fact that Enmasse had taken legal action against third-party application developers and has since been forced to void their legal action is seen by many as a "out of jail free" card for all third-party tools related to the game, and it is clear that this decision may anger players who are strongly opposed to unofficial modding of the game.[citation needed] As things currently stand, Enmasse has not only alienated the players that use third-party applications, as those who have already migrated to the TERA EU servers from this incident are unlikely to move back to TERA NA due to Gameforge's better handling of in-game environments (such as events, dungeons, economy, items, etc.), but Enmasse has also offended players who are against the use of third-party tools.[citation needed] In conclusion, this incident has proven to have been, and will likely continue to be, massively detrimental to Enmasse Entertainment and TERA NA.[citation needed]

Trade secret civil actions[edit]

In 2007, NCsoft filed a complaint to South Korean gosu gamer authorities and brought a civil action for damages and an injunction to Bluehole Studio. The Bluehole Studio founders and employees, formerly employed under NCsoft and working on the Lineage III 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 Studio, 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. Despite the injunction, Bluehole Studio developed and released TERA in South Korea.

On 9 January 2012, NCsoft filed a civil action in the United States against Bluehole Studio and its U.S. subsidiary En Masse. NCsoft was seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting the launch of TERA in the United States, or damages for the substantial harm that the launch would cause NCsoft. They asserted claims for copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, breach of confidence, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment under the laws of the state of New York.

On 18 April 2012, En Masse Entertainment announced they were found not guilty in the Korean civil actions.[24] However, three employees were found guilty.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Makuch, Eddie (10 March 2017). "PS4, Xbox One Getting Action MMO Tera This Year". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b Park, Andrew (13 March 2010). "Spotlight On – TERA: The Exiled Realm of Arborea". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010.
  3. ^ "TERA - Free to Play MMO". en.tera.gameforge.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  4. ^ "TERA". TERA. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ Williams, Mike (27 December 2012). "TERA goes free-to-play in Japan and Korea". gamesindustry international. Eurogamer Network Ltd. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b "TERA for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. ^ "TERA for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  8. ^ "TERA for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  9. ^ Lindberg, Mikael (4 June 2012). "Recension: TERA". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  10. ^ Deesing, Jonathan (8 May 2012). "TERA Review for PC". G4. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  11. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (16 May 2012). "TERA Review". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  12. ^ Grayson, Nathan (25 May 2012). "TERA Review". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  13. ^ Savage, Phil (6 June 2012). "TERA review". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  14. ^ Funk, John (17 May 2012). "TERA Review". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  15. ^ "TERA Online: What Are BAMs?". gamingduty.com. 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  16. ^ a b "TERA review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  17. ^ "TERA Game Review". MMOs. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b "TERA Review". IGN. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  19. ^ "TERA To Feature "RIFT" Like Invasions". Lorehound.com. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  20. ^ Williams, Mike (20 March 2013). "TERA crosses 1.4 million after F2P switch". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  21. ^ "F2P MMORPG Tera PS4 & Xbox One Versions Out in 2017". PlayStation LifeStyle. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  23. ^ "TERA - Free to Play MMO". en.tera.gameforge.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  24. ^ "Court papers from the lawsuit" (PDF).

External links[edit]