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WoW vs. TERA - A World of Warcraft Player's Perspective on TERA

Updated Fri, May 04, 2012 by Xerin

World of Warcraft is no stranger to MMO launches, like the recent launch of The Exiled Realm of Arboreai or TERA. TERA, for those not in the know, is an eastern MMO developed by Bluehole Studio and brought to North American by En Masse Entertainment. It was released originally on January 25th, 2011 in South Korea and was released here stateside on May 1st, 2012. Like with any game launch, trade chat ignites into a flame war with players rallying the cry to leave WoW en masse because x, y, or z game is obviously superior.

Then again, if that was true, trade chat would long be a dust bowl and the streets of Azeroth empty. Yet, does that mean that TERA, yet another WoW clone, shouldn’t get the chance to impress those interested in a change of scenery between now and MoP? Should we just throw away a game because we’ve “been there and done that?”

Probably, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make an exception. Especially for TERA, an MMO that brings something new to the table. It’s the first big title to feature action combat in a persistent world. Gone are the auto-targeting, players in TERA need to use skill and crafty mouse/controller work to line up their punches. Is this mechanic enough to earn the exception or should we all turn our heads and sigh? Well, let’s see.

Comparing Red Apples and Blue Apples

Let’s face it, like Rift, AION, Warhammer Online, and the leagues of other popular titles that have launched through the years, TERA is a direct clone of WoW. Imagine WoW with a better graphics engine, a political system, eastern inspired graphics, and a different combat system and you have TERA. We have to be honest with ourselves, TERA isn’t Guild Wars 2 and it doesn’t bother to dive too from the status quo.

Yet, I consider that a good thing. Why buck what works? Why not just iterate on it to make something better? That is where we get to TERA’s main selling point: combat. That’s where WoW and TERA differ by leagues. Why you ask? What’s the big deal? Well, in WoW you click on an enemy and use your skills to attack it. In TERA, you click on the screen and attack like in Space Marine, Fable, or Skyrim. You can use a plethora of skills, but you’ll need to use a targeting reticle to land them.

The difference is so big that I would say that it’s the biggest change a “WoW clone” has made in many years. Is it a good change though? In my recent GW2 vs. SWTOR article, I make reference to how players don’t like change. They like what they’re used to and anything with a learning curve is “icky.” We’ve seen a lot of neat games with cool mechanics saunter away into the sunset because players didn’t “get” the game. Multiple MMOs have been swatted down like flies because they tried to move away from class archetypes or classes or removed major mechanics to be different.

Yet, combat in TERA isn’t some harebrained scheme crafted by a group of hipsters bent on changing what we see as mainstream. The combat is satisfying to everyone because it’s easy to get into, you simply point and click. Skills are easy to use with a bit of practice, simply aim in the general direction that you want to melt faces and use your skill for maximum face melting power. I’ve played through a few classes and I can tell you, no matter what you play, the battle system is tons of fun. A lot of people on the Internet agree.

Of course, the battle system has a learning curve. If a monster is bashing you in the face then you are playing the game wrong, to use gamer speak. A lot of players coming from WoW complain that health regen is too low, a hallmark of eastern MMOs, when the point of the game is to not take health damage unless you’re a tank (currently the Lancer).

Overall, combat is the biggest difference and the biggest selling point to me. It’s what makes me want to say that everyone should give the game a chance, but at the same time, it may or may not be enough to keep players stuck to the game for more than the first month.

Visually Stunning Breadcrumbs

There is more to TERA than the combat though. One of the reasons I picked TERA up, beyond my enthusiasm for MMOs, was the graphics. The zones are not only huge, but populated with large explorable complexes scattered in the distance. If you see a tower on the horizon then odds are you can climb that tower and adventure within it. You’ll be hard pressed to find an MMO with better graphics and you can truly see how dated WoW’s graphics are whenever you switch between the two.

This is one area where TERA dominates WoW, because not only are the graphics appealing, but the game runs smooth as butter on older machines. A quick test on my netbook showed the game running about the same as WoW and I’ve had no lag problems to report, even on my dated machine. TERA proves that you can get efficiency and graphics to coexist.

Yet, this isn’t enough to scream “victory” for TERA, by no means. RIFT and AION were very pretty as well, although I don’t believe as pretty as TERA, but WoW has had a lot in the graphics contenders in the past few years. SWTOR is another game where I can easily say the graphics, especially in some zones, knock WoW out of the arena. Yet, WoW’s graphics are familiar, warm, and appealing years and years after launch. So we’re not exploring new territory here.

Questing and adventuring are the same ‘ol same ‘ol. You go to a quest NPC, chat for a bit, and then rush off to fight. Cutscenes exist and are pretty neat, but that’s standard fare for modern MMOs. The only thing that stuck in my mind was the ability to try your class a level 20 in the prologue, removing that “buyer’s remorse” of picking a class, playing it 10 or 20 levels, and then wanting to be something different.

Social Gaming

On the social side, I do have to give the nod to WoW as the glorious winner in MMO combat. TERA has launched with a group finder, something SWTOR won’t receive until patch 1.3. However, TERA suffers from one huge problem: there is one tank. Lancers are the only class that can queue as tank and they’re also one of the slowest classes to level with. Finding a tank is hard enough in WoW, with Death Knights, Druids, Paladins, and Warriors capable of queuing as a tank.

Then there is the politics system, which I find to be nothing new. ArchLord had something similar to the Vanarch back in 2006 and that system wasn’t that thrilling to me. It’s like someone running for the president, none of us mere mortals will have the chance to reign as the Vanarch, so who cares? I think systems like this is neat, but they need to have a lot more roles and let the common player duke it out for a small fiefdom, instead of having handful who can rule the whole world.  Exarchs are rulers of smaller areas, but my understanding is that you’ll need to be Vanarch before you can run for Exarch, which strengthens my point. The system is neat, but I'm not sure it's for me.

TERA also requires a lot of grouping in order to get through the game quicker. Since Lancers are in high demand and Warriors are hard to play, tanks are hard to get and healers are about as rare. Luckily, since TERA focuses on avoidance instead of mitigation, groups of random classes can take on BAMs (big a$* monsters) and other tasks with ease, but grouping is still important.

Conclusion

I’m currently playing both TERA, WoW, and SWTOR at the same time and loving all three games. That’s just me, though. I think TERA has a lot of charm, but ultimately won’t beat WoW’s age or polish anytime soon. That’s not to say you should turn away from considering it, but your average WoW player will probably be happier with WoW once TERA’s combat system’s freshness wears off.

What do you think? Do you think TERA is awesome or do you think it’s another MMO in the long pile of available titles? Let us know in the comments section below.


Is Tera free to play yet? I might try it.

Yes Tera is free to play.

Yes Tera is free to play.

I think the author of this article uses the words "WoW clone" a little too loosely, and as a result commits a disservice to the reader.

Most cars have 4 tires, an engine, a body and a steering wheel. Yet, reviewers don't call every new car that contain these features a "Ford clone". Similarly, MMOs are going to share a lot of common features with WoW, just by virtue of being an MMO. But unless a game is indeed IDENTICAL in every way to WoW (Alganon is a good example of this), calling it a clone doesn't accurately inform the reader.

I would have found it far more helpful if the author had gone into more detail as to how Tera compares or contrasts to WoW. How does level and skill progression compare? What about the interface - is it easy to use, or clunky and obviously of foreign origins? How does the player base compare to most WoW servers? Are players generally helpful and friendly in chat, or does Barren's chat come to mind? What about quests and NPC dialogue? Well-written, or suffering from bad localization?

A good review article doesn't need to wade into the minutia of every variable in a game, but I think it helps when writing to keep in mind what information you're wanting to convey to your audience and how best to present that information.

Well, I played the OPB and I guess I can give some input in those areas, you mention.

The questing for starters is made 90% of go kill X number of these or pick Y item that drops from Z monster, plus a few gathering ones and the BAM ones, if not for the combat system this would be very bad but since mobs have different attack patterns and it's action combat you don't get as bored as you would think, WoW was like this in vanilla but as expansion comes they've always tried to implement different kind of quests in between the typical grind. However when you fight your first BAM in TERA it feels so cool and fun, that you would do it gladly again, and you will have several chances to do so against different opponents.

On class variety and customization WoW is far superior, 10 classes with 3 different specs each and 16-17 gear slots that can be gemed, enchanted, reforged and change appereance for wow side, beats the fact that TERA only has 3 armor pieces (gloves, boots, and armor that covers everything else), plus one weapon slot (dual wield and lance and shield are merged into one item), that be socketed with crystals that are red or blue (ATK/DEF) depending on the piece, and that only some can be enchanted, which does not add special stats but increase its own by a bit, this can be done up to 9 times, becoming easier to fail and lose the reagents the more you do.

PVP can't say much because I didn't bother, except the fact that WoW has 2 factions to start with (alliance and horde) and TERA none, we know WoW has world PvP, BGs, arenas, and TERA so far had outlaw system which works on pvp servers, deathmatch and guild pvp. On outlaw you basically become hostile for a while and can kill anyone in your way if in a pvp zone, this could be very annoying, because sometimes people would do this just to get stuff you're killing and they need for quest, or you could be in a group to kill a BAM and either get ganked while doing it or be killed on your way to it and the respawn points are not in graveyards close like in wow but all the way back to town, but then again if you don't like that just don't get into a pvp server. Deathmatch is 10 vs 10 battle, and guild pvp works by one guild master challenging another and then having your guild mates fight each other over long periods of time from what I understood, again I didn't try any of the last 2 so just commenting what I read.

The Interface was pretty clean I liked it, I'm full of mods on WoW but I didn't really feel the need for them in TERA, you can scale the UI and reposition everything, which is something WoW has been lacking all these years.

To finish I had a lot of fun in TERA specially after I started killing BAMS and going into dungeons, if you play with someone while leveling like I did not only it rewards you in exp but makes the game a lot more enjoyable. Sadly as a WoW player I have to admit that end game content is the most important part for me, I don't know what TERA will offer there, but without much customization and very little gear to obtain I don't think it will last long, so I'll recommend this game for everyone to give it a try but I don't think I would stay after the first month you get with the game.

Agreed, he uses that term very very loosely...

Had to stop when he said that every MMO is based off WoW and nothing more then a clone to it. WoW has been out for a long time yes but the mother of all MMOs no. I used to play KoD (Kingdom of Drakkar) which was a 90s pay as you go 2D MMO that featured a priest that healed, a paladin that tanked, a barbarian that swong axes, a thief that stealthed and a sorcerer that casted spells ... Does that mean that this retro game was nothing more then a clone to WoW as well? Heck Blizzard was not even considered cool till '95 which was AFTER the real mother of MMO started back in '91, Neverwinter Nights.

Kids want to press 1, 2, 3, 1. They don't want to use their fat hands to constantly be pointing something or their clumsy minds to figure out how to dodge. That's why wow is #1, its as simple as it can be.

This would not explain the huge success of RPGs like skyrim, would it now. I tried Tera in a beta and was disapointed by the range limitations.. What's the point of being able to aim if it does not become skill based? There's no auto targeting, but it's really hard to miss anything from the "range" you are even as a "ranged" class. I think that the tera combat is too simple if anything. It all sums up to hit 3 times one for combo, dodge, hit 3, run left, hit 2 and start over... nothing really new here.

I know I just roll my face across the keyboard

Wow clone =/= Minimap and a skillbar. Yes, many things are similar, but there are HUGE differences, like the combat, the political system... pretty much everything you mentioned : /

Imagine YOUR physical clone, with a different hair color, different mannerisms, different facial features and different exercise habits.

Oh wait, that ISN'T a clone.

wow copied many other games. funny how unique everyone thinks wow is

wow copied many other games. funny how unique everyone thinks wow is

I originally pre-ordered Tera, but after playing in the Beta and seeing how 'not up to par' it was I cancelled my pre-order. For me Tera is just an updated Aion, which is a game I played for 2-3 months after launch and then cancelled. The reason I say Tera is 'not up to par' is because I've also been playing in the Guild Wars 2 Betas and that game is a lot better and has not even announced a launch date yet. I disagree that the graphics are so much better in Tera. I'm currently playing SW:TOR mainly and I think the graphics in that game are much better.

To be honest I haven't cancelled my subscription to WoW because of my guild/friends in the game, but SW:TOR is the only MMO to take me away from WoW for this extended period of time (since SW:TOR Beta). In comparing Tera to WoW I would say that in graphics and many other areas you described it is better, BUT WoW is 7 years old! Tera is NEW! I actually think there are some free to play MMOs out there that are better...

Waite a minute SWTOR graphics are way better then Tera are you kidding Me. And You say there are some free to play MMOS out there that are better?? What are you smoking cause i want some of that shit. SWTOR FAil end game gets boring as hell Pvp in that game is terrible. Its great that you cancelled your pre-order one less person trolling in general chat how they dont like the game and so and so MMO is way better. IM not ganna say one MMO is better then the other. Im just ganna say Tera is new and just came out with a different style of play. I guess leave the people in Tera who has true skillz play Tera and let All the other people who dont want change to stick to wow and SWTOR. Ps Tera Is an Awesome game!!

More realistic graphics don't necessarily mean BETTER. Maybe he likes stylized graphics better, as do I. Tera has amazing graphics, but you can't compare SWTOR to it as they are different art styles. This arguement that anything other than realism is crap is getting old. I don't see anyone bitching about Shrek saying OMFG Jurassic Park had better visuals! Why must games all be compared to one standard! I guess the next Mario should be built on the Unreal engine!

Mario using the Unreal3 engine...I must say, that would be.....BAD ASS.

I just wanted to reply to this comment !

First of all, I agree with you when it comes to graphics. Tera´s graphics are so nice nd great. However, when we talk about gameplay, you will simply see that Tera isn´t that different from other MMOs. Compared to WoW, it won´t last because of WoW´s huge fanbase, original MMO-style and great end-game content. Compared to SWTOR, it won´t last either because of Star Wars´ stoy-telling, though I like Tera more. nd last when comparing to GW2, it won´t last, because GW2 is simply having great graphics, amazing gameplay nd can prob be the best MMORPG in the world when launched.

So, Tera online, is a great MMO-game but can´t really beat the best MMOs out there. It can compete in my different ways, but it, still, doesn´t have that special ''thing'' that can make it the best!!

It is pretty hard, though, to find a free MMO that can be compared to Tera online, but games like Perfect World, can easily compete with it through the amazing gameplay, and great end-game content.

Erm, isn't having a different combat system automatically make it no longer a WoW clone? Last time I checked Blizzard didn't invent fantasy, orcs, swords, magic, or MMOs. If having a skill bar makes it a WoW clone, then wouldn't WoW be a DAoC clone, or maybe even an EQ clone. I admit I stopped reading at first after you said different combat system and yet still a WoW clone. Only today did I even bother reading the rest because frankly it sounded like the story would go on that WoW invented everything and why this game is just a sad cash grab.

After reading past that you give some decent bits about the game, namely how combat works and the need to group more often.

WoW... An Asheron's Call clone. Copied the UI and combat system. WoW... A DnD clone. Most of the WoW races were from DnD, which in turn was taken from Lord of the Rings. Which has its own MMO developed by the developers of Asheron's Call, the game WoW was cloned from. And SOMEHOW LotRO is a WoW clone...?

Regardless of the fact literally every MMO has been dubbed a WoW clone at some point, Runes of Magic is the only real WoW clone out there.

WoW... An Asheron's Call clone. Copied the UI and combat system. WoW... A DnD clone. Most of the WoW races were from DnD, which in turn was taken from Lord of the Rings. Which has its own MMO developed by the developers of Asheron's Call, the game WoW was cloned from. And SOMEHOW LotRO is a WoW clone...?

Regardless of the fact literally every MMO has been dubbed a WoW clone at some point, Runes of Magic is the only real WoW clone out there.

I belive Tera is a fun refreshing game that has someting new to offer, however it is sitll a long shot from beating Wow. Although Wow is a much older game and has had much more time to develope through several expansions. Tera is a new game and hasent had time to grow and develope, i Expect that in time Tera will give wow a "run for its money. Im not saying Tera will ever be better than Wow but it has the potential to be just as good.

Wtf? Is this author retarded? He or she calls TERA a 'WoW clone' but clearly stated things that are different from WoW. Ei: combat, visuals, political system, targeting, etc.

And only one tank? Did the author even play the game? Gladiators are tanks as well, albeit they take more skill to do so.

Just wanting to put my two cents in here, I find it odd that nobody else so far has yet to mention how Tera is more like a common cross of an MMO with hack-and-slash type console games. In more perspective, I believe Tera probably has more in common with games like the series of Monster Hunter games, rather than WoW or SW:TOR or etc. At least, that's what Tera reminds me of.

No, I don't think Tera is a Wow killer, which seems to be how everyone wants to rate these new games, but I have been playing it instead of wow for my last few weekends and enjoying it very much. I love the graphics and the races, and the hands on fighting system. As a casual player with a full time job and significant other, I think this game will keep me interested for a while. Also, it's kind of nice not to worry about having my heirlooms to make me viable in low level pvp, when I get to it.

Tera online is a great game that is worth playing. But it can´t beat WoW, nor has the ability to be the best out there. The great graphics are, simply, not enough to make it compete with games like GW2.

"TERA is a direct clone of WoW. Imagine WoW with a better graphics engine, a political system, eastern inspired graphics, and a different combat system and you have TERA" - Ehhh... wtf you talkin' 'bout.. If the graphics engine and everything is better, combat sytem different and all that, how is it a clone of WoW then...? You seem retarded.... it is nowhere near the same as WoW other than the fact it's an MMORPG.. But then again... Everything is a WoW clone... Like gta 4 if you switch out the guns with swords and set the time back a bit add some dragons and stuff then you have yet another WoW clone, right...???? You are fucking retarded.. Fuck blizzard for making Diablo 3 the worst game of 2012 btw...

Besides the fundamental components that classify a game as an MMO, what more could they change to make it differ further from WoW? What some people don't realize is that although WoW is an MMO, that doesn't mean all other MMOs are like WoW or are 'WoW clones.' it just means that yes, Tera is also another member of the MMORPG genre.

The trouble with this article is that I didn't get past the "Let's face it, this is just another clone of WoW", when really it isn't. It's an MMO and that's where the similarities end. You obviously don't know anything about video games and why you're writing articles about them is anyone's guess.

Guess what, by your logic, Mr WoW-fanboy, World of Warcraft is a clone of Ultima Online and Dungeons and Dragons, so really what you mean is that TERA is just a copy of them? Never heard of them games? No clue what I'm talking about? That doesn't surprise me. Your a douche.

Lol this guy got ripped apart by everyone maybe he'll research before writing another one

Lol this guy got ripped apart by everyone maybe he'll research before writing another one

Lol this guy got ripped apart by everyone maybe he'll research before writing another one

Lol this guy got ripped apart by everyone maybe he'll research before writing another one

LOL I read WoW clone and stopped reading your garbage article first thing about writing things like this is you have to be unbiased
and if you think everything is a WoW clone your either semi retarded and/or twelve years old I'm going to say the former as not many twelve year olds write articles like this but the first 10 seconds of your article was completely wrong
0 out of 5 stars for you
do your homework before you say everything is WoW clone

First, SOME writers listed above have some good points, but, I've played WoW for years and feel the saddest thing is how much they have dumbed it down. It use to be a challenge with a great sense of accomplishment completing quests and Bosses. Now it is as if they made it juvenile to attract the tweens and younger for the all important dollar. I doubt I will bother with the next release MoP.

Some of you guys are harsh and your comments rude to the original writer. He gave his honest opinion. I found it informative. I have not played 100's of other MMOs so I don't know all their mechanics. I just wanted to know if Tera would be a good, challenging REPLACEMENT for WoW.

IS SW:TOR worth the $15/month. Best of luck, Great gaming all.

I've played all the mmo's I can get my hands on and everyone of them is diff. Obviously the person writing this is wow fanboy comparing everything to wow. Don't believe the hype. Play and decide on your own.

I played wow for over 7 years mostly as a healer and played SWTOR to max level and did a few flashpoints and some pvp. I started a Elin Mystic a month ago and hit 60 today. I'm in a good guild that helped me out. I have a 142 gs right when I hit 60. Tera is a neat game and so very different than wow and swtor. SWTOR is a wow clone but Tera is nothing like wow. It is a mmo but vastly different than wow. I don't think that Tera will ever get any bigger. It is a game for hard core gamers. This game is not for casual gamers. You really have to know what your doing and be on your toes. I'm not very good at it yet and I hope I can figure this out. I'm used to tanks pulling bosses away from healers and staying out of stuff on the ground. In Terra you have to move around a lot as a healer. You can just stand far away and heal. In wow I could just face the wall and ignore what was going on and play whack a mole. In Tera if you get anywhere near a boss it will kill you and your heals have almost no range.

The game is also designed so that don't bother leveling a healer unless you know somebody else or are in a guild or your ok with begging strangers for help. You can not level as a Mystic by your self unless you want to use the South Park method of killing a lot of pigs over a large amount of time.

You do indeed use the Term WoW Clone too much, and Tera is a very much different game, i do not see where they are the same, every MMO should have abilities a form of mounting etc.. just because they do does not make the game a clone if thats the case, your just a clone of me.. or vise versa lol... Tera is by far more interesting in wow and The lancer leveling you are not accurate I have leveled my Lancer from 1 to 50 in 2 days time. The game its-self is very much unique and can honestly not be compared to WoW, All World Of Warcraft has is the time its been going and its subscribers.. Once those Subscribers open their eyes and try Tera There is no going back.. I look at WoW now and Im disgusted with it and I have played it since Beta.. So.. Tera is by far more interesting in every way in my opinion and should be recognized for that.

You do indeed use the Term WoW Clone too much, and Tera is a very much different game, i do not see where they are the same, every MMO should have abilities a form of mounting etc.. just because they do does not make the game a clone if thats the case, your just a clone of me.. or vise versa lol... Tera is by far more interesting in wow and The lancer leveling you are not accurate I have leveled my Lancer from 1 to 50 in 2 days time. The game its-self is very much unique and can honestly not be compared to WoW, All World Of Warcraft has is the time its been going and its subscribers.. Once those Subscribers open their eyes and try Tera There is no going back.. I look at WoW now and Im disgusted with it and I have played it since Beta.. So.. Tera is by far more interesting in every way in my opinion and should be recognized for that.

You do indeed use the Term WoW Clone too much, and Tera is a very much different game, i do not see where they are the same, every MMO should have abilities a form of mounting etc.. just because they do does not make the game a clone if thats the case, your just a clone of me.. or vise versa lol... Tera is by far more interesting then wow in my Opinon. and The lancer leveling you are not accurate I have leveled my Lancer from 1 to 50 in 2 days time. The game its-self is very much unique and can honestly not be compared to WoW, All World Of Warcraft has is the time its been going and its subscribers.. Once those Subscribers open their eyes and try Tera There is no going back.. I look at WoW now and Im disgusted with it and I have played it since Beta.. So.. Tera is by far more interesting in every way in my opinion and should be recognized for that.

You do indeed use the Term WoW Clone too much, and Tera is a very much different game, i do not see where they are the same, every MMO should have abilities a form of mounting etc.. just because they do does not make the game a clone if thats the case, your just a clone of me.. or vise versa lol... Tera is by far more interesting then wow in my Opinon. and The lancer leveling you are not accurate I have leveled my Lancer from 1 to 50 in 2 days time. The game its-self is very much unique and can honestly not be compared to WoW, All World Of Warcraft has is the time its been going and its subscribers.. Once those Subscribers open their eyes and try Tera There is no going back.. I look at WoW now and Im disgusted with it and I have played it since Beta.. So.. Tera is by far more interesting in every way in my opinion and should be recognized for that.

Also I apologize for my spam... I can not delete the posts lol.. It would appear it reposted its self..

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