TERA (video game)
Original North American cover art
Huang Cher Ung
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|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 January 25, 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 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.
Characters may be one of seven races. 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 12 classes (as of August, 2016), 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.
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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.
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TERA has been met with generally favorable reviews, citing the action-based gameplay, huge and widely varied seamless world, the exciting and recurring Big Ass Monster (BAM) fights, the ease of using the game's auction house (called the Trade Broker) and lush, detailed graphics as the game's 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. The game's musical score received praise for its varied and emotionally charged tracks ranging from epic orchestral pieces to more mellow tunes. 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.
On May 5, 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.
As of March 2017, TERA has over 25 million users worldwide.
Trade secret civil actions
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 January 9, 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.
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