TERA Producer Sam Kim Answers Ten Ton Hammer Readers' Questions

Posted Sat, May 29, 2010 by B. de la Durantaye

As anticipation builds up for the surprise MMOG that no one knew about until recently, TERA builds a larger fanbase daily. We got a chance to speak with the devs at GDC, but now it's time for the fans to ask their own questions. We got in touch with En Masse Entertainment Producer, Sam Kim, to answer your questions.

kitsunegirl asks: Will there be different armor sets in both look and stats? 

Sam Kim: Most definitely.  Aesthetics are an important part of MMO play that we can’t ignore. We know that you demand your character look different from every other Human, High Elf, or Baraka exploring the world of TERA. We also recognize that stat assessment—figuring out which gear works best for you and your play style—is a key way you demonstrate your skill and knowledge as a player.

A Typical TERA Battle
A typical battle in TERA

ZeroMerc asks: What kind of death penalty is there?

Sam: Death should sting, but it shouldn’t maim. It varies by level and by “frequency of demise,” but suffice it to say that the consequences of death include some degradation in your performance (paid off with a brief time away from battle). The biggest death penalty is the obvious one: If you died, you probably didn’t achieve what you set out to accomplish when you put yourself in harm’s way. 

kitsunegirl asks: Will there be social tools, like walking and sitting animations, cosmetic outfits and the like?

Sam: We’re working on a lot of that now. You’ll have a whole arsenal of emotes and other RP-friendly tools in the game.

revolution77 asks: What sort of advantages does each race have?

Sam: That’s something we’re still working on, but far and away the most important factor in race choice is the aesthetic one. You’re going to be staring at this character for hundreds of hours, so we’re giving you a wide array of options at character creation so you get something you like. We also want to avoid the situation where  every member of Class X must be a member of Race Y, or you’re just 5 percent less effective. That’s no fun.

ZeroMerc asks: Will there be personal or guild housing?

Sam: While we’re considering all of our options, we aren’t ready to discuss details yet.  Stay tuned.

revolution77 asks: Since the IP is original, how much of the lore is worked out? Do you have a clear vision of the past? And how far ahead is the story planned?

Sam: We’ve got hundreds of pages of lore, stretching from thousands of years in the past to…well…let’s just say “some time” in the future. Our writers have a wiki of staggering complexity to keep track of our cast of thousands.

Vivid TERA landscape
Vivid TERA landscape

ZeroMerc asks: Will duels be just one on one, or can you have teams?

Sam: We have full support for both. Around the office, we’re finding group duels to be a fun way to spend that inevitable “five or ten minutes while you wait for everyone to show up” time.

renoduv asks: Is there a microtransaction store planned?

Sam: We’ll talk about details of our revenue model when we’re closer to launch.

ZeroMerc asks: How many character slots will be available to each account?

Sam: Lots! (Though we aren’t announcing the number just yet.)

vintrex asks: Zerging in open world PvP is a pretty big issue, as it becomes a tab targeting button mashing fest where it takes no skill. Will TERA have any mechanics to avoid zergs from massing up, or allow small guilds to survive in open world pvp without having to join in the large mess of a battle?

Sam: Well, for starters, kiss tab-targeting goodbye. You have to actually aim in TERA, and thus focus-firing becomes a matter of player communication rather than a target-of-target macro. You can assemble a zerg, but keeping it cohesive is a matter of leadership skill. 

One thing we’re noticing as we play TERA at the office is that small groups employing hit-and-run tactics can rule the day. You’re small enough to communicate efficiently and act without delay, unlike that big disorganized group you’re facing. While there’s certainly strength in numbers, that strength isn’t the sole factor that determines who wins.

ZeroMerc asks: Will "boxing" be possible, where one player controls more than one character?

Sam: With our action-based combat, where everyone is moving around and actively targeting (that means you too, healers!), I’m having a hard time imagining it. The limiting factor is the player’s ability to actually pull it off. Subject to the usual limitations of multiboxing, however, there’s no inherent barrier.


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