I wanted to give TERA a Backpacker post next week, and i’m surely still going to do that, but there’s news for EU/Russian players i’d like to get out there and give a short comment.
TERAs new server
Tera NA seems to be quite successful, especially since they released the game to Steam. It is so successful that they opened up a new PvE server yesterday, and of course, yours truly went in to make a report on that.
To get some quick impressions out: there were other players. Lots of them, as well. It wasn’t exactly like the normal launch day, but close enough. It’s really good to see an MMO doing well for itself once in a while- and TERA seems to do just fine….the north-american edition, that is.
Tera is one of the most beautiful MMORPGs you can play- if i remember correctly, this beauty extends to the 10-20 zone, as well. I don’t know what zones look like after that, but the first two are green, there’s villages, trees, animals, everything. The character models look great, as does the “armor”. Yes, it’s skimpy, but the way your armor fits to your character is simply very good looking (my english is leaving me here: think the opposite of the hair-through-armor-thingie).
Fighting is fun, although it also is a bit much for my tastes- i think TERA would do better if there were fewer, tougher fights, but maybe that comes later on. The questing, though? Oh dear, the questing. It seems so generic, the lore a bit lifeless- of course, i can’t really know, since i never read even one piece of quest text in that game, but it feels a bit like Rift, which is also a very nice game in and of itself, but lacks a cohesive world and lore design, in my opinion. With TERA, i feel the same way. Still, it is fun, it is beautiful and it isn’t a bad game at all.
You’re successful with OUR game
So here come the news: starting tomorrow, june, 11th, players from certain EU countries and Russia won’t be able to download En Masses version of the game through Steam anymore, a decision made by En Masse because of the, and i quote, “influenced by external pressure from the publishers of TERA in these regions”. So Gameforge. Don’t know who it is in Russia. And now i’m going to take a deep breath.
See, whenever a german company is involved in publishing an MMORPG, i roll my eyes and count that game off. And so far, i haven’t been wrong on a lot of cases. Sometimes i feel the internet is still some kind of magic box to german companies- a place where you can still do marketing the old way, behave as though there is no competition, ignore what customers really want and just try and feed them what you want them to want. Also, protectionism is big in germany. Instead of thinking “hey, let’s see how we can bring our version to Steam, as well, and be quick about it”, the first reaction is to make sure that other guy- selling and distributing the same game Gameforge does, making it known, bringing it to the attention of new players- stops doing just that.
Yes, there’s the possibility, and a huge one at that, that Steam’s TERA will “steal” customers from europe and bring them to the US. But why is that, exactly? TERA is a game some players avoid because of the european publisher and the fact that lags can hurt your game experience in a significant manner. These players choose not to play the game because of the publisher. Now, i haven’t made my research, but i can make some guesses: Gamerforges f2p model is more restrictive/pay-2-win/expensive than EME’s version, customer service, including general communication, will be close to being non-existant, game updates will come slow, as will the news about game updates and the servers won’t be high-end. These are just guesses, of course, but i have my own experience.
The launcher. I downloaded TERA europe not too long ago and when you install the game, it will, of course, update itself. Then something strange will happen: it will seem to be stuck at 0%, the launcher will give no sign that it is still working and you are going to wonder why that is. You’ll do research, of course, and you’ll find out that, maybe, your launcher isn’t stuck but is still working in the background- all the while showing 0% and an error message during a GB big download. You might find out that there’s some kind of console command to enable you to watch the launcher’s activities in a DOS prompt. If you are patient enough to do that, you’ll be able to determine whether your client is updating itself or indeed hung up/crashed. I repeat: the gameforge launcher will show 0% progression and an error message during download/update. This is bad.
So my advice to potential TERA players from europe- lag doesn’t matter that much, do yourself a favor and download EME’s version either through Steam or through EME’s website. The former won’t be available anymore come tomorrow. The latter should work just fine, even after that. By the way, if you downloaded the game through Steam as a european, it will continue to work, but it won’t be showing itself in the shop anymore. So if you uninstall it, you might be unable to reinstall TERA through Steam.
My advice to Gameforge: you know, putting restrictions on players and/or forcing them to pay you (and only you) and restricting your “competition” (in publishing the same game) is not really a thing that works out very good. Try good customer service, community management, a fair shop, quick updates, communication with your player base and fixing your launcher.