Why Tera's Active Combat System Rocks
ByDate: Nov 30 2016 Views:
Tera’s combat system has been ahead of its time since the game’s release, but despite many other games attempting to mimic it in different manners, nothing has compared. Using a true active combat system, Tera has really offered up something that just isn’t that common in the MMORPG genre: the ability to get away from tab-targeting and shifting towards forcing you to keep up with everything that is going on. While I won’t be focusing on the game itself here, I do want to look at the combat system and what makes it so special.
Active Blocking and Dodging
This is probably one of the best parts about active combat… you get to actually take part in whether or not you are going to maneuver away from an attack. For example, you can roll through targets, jump back, strafe, or even straight up block. All of these give an opportunity to take down foes that would otherwise be unmanageable, and also lead to a great system when it comes to mechanics. For example, bosses can require a tank to block their team or they will die, and many encounters require DPS and healers to be aware of what is going on and actively move away using different skills. This especially has an effect in PvP, where correct maneuvering away from enemies can make the difference between winning or losing a skirmish.
It is worth noting that some games have emulated this part to a point, such as Guild Wars 2 with its rolling dodges, but not to the extent of actually allowing body blocking allies from being hit by enemy attacks. And the first time this is experienced, the usual response is a feeling of how awesome that is to see.
In Tera’s combat system, fighting is not as simple as targeting an enemy and spamming a specific key. Just like players can dodge and move, so can enemies. As a result, most encounters involve a lot of movement to keep up with enemies, and even ranged players have their own tricks, such as leading enemies based on where they are moving. It is worth noting that there are a few select skills that do still use the targeting method, but even those require you to point towards allies or enemies, and are not as simple as hitting tab to get a target. As such, every skill, in some way or another, requires you to be aware of your distance, which direction you’re facing, and keep up with the battle if you want to actually be efficient.
True Skill-Based Combat
All of this ends up boiling down to combat that is based on individual skill, rather than luck or gear. It is true that as you over-gear PvE encounters, they do start to become a lot easier, but if you are taking part in the later content or are dealing with PvP, learning how to play effectively is imperative. Taking two players of the same class and gear will show huge differences in how they fare in battle – each player is different, as is their ability, and this truly shows within the game. However, it is worth noting that a player that severely over-gears another in PvP and is not taking part in an “equalized” battleground will generally win the battles.
Getting Used to the Learning Curve
This appears to be what turns a lot of players away from the active combat style of Tera: it does have a somewhat steep learning curve. If you are already used to first person shooters and the like, it will be much easier to adjust to, but for players that have only played games where you either click to target or tab to target, it is a huge difference in play style. This can lead to an overwhelming feeling when it comes to “getting it” and fully comprehending what is going on and what you should be doing wrong. The game does go through a lot of quests and other things to help teach, but each player will learn at a different speed. And at the end of the day, if you are just getting into it, it is going to take a way to get on the same battle level as those that have been around since the beginning. But even then, it is well worth taking the time and effort, as it is a style that is still unparalleled in the MMORPG space. Whether you choose to play a healer, tank, melee DPS, or ranged DPS, you get that true feeling of accomplishment as you make your way through the game, take down enemies in PvP, and clear dungeons, such as the new raids. Because at the end of the day, this is no longer about targeting someone or something and spamming the #1 or some macro until they are down – it is about actively participating in the battle, analyzing what is going on, and reacting accordingly.