alt="TERA human slayer"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/93037"
style="width: 250px; height: 229px;">

As MMORPG races go, humans are seldom a talking point. But style="font-style: italic;">TERA
Lead Writer David Noonan delves deeper into how this most familar of
races will impact 2011's signature action MMORPG.





Ten
Ton Hammer:
Traditionally,
RPGs present humans as a jack-of-all-trades race at best, and an
uninspired, plain vanilla, stat baseline race at worst.  From
the dev diary, it sounds like humans play an important role in the
federation and world of style="font-style: italic;">TERA 
large, despite being adopters more than adapters.



How do you avoid making style="font-style: italic;">TERA's
humans the embodiment of RPG mediocrity?



David
Noonan:
For starters,
it’s important to be realistic. Humans are going to be the
baseline as the breadth of human experience is so vast that even an
MMORPG can’t contain it all. So we’re narrowing the
focus on TERA’s
humans, emphasizing their nomadic past and their present-day status as
the people who are trying to hold a fractious federation together.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/93022"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 326px;"
alt="TERA human archer"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/93022">

Human
archer

Ten
Ton Hammer:
Humans are
typically the most played race in any given MMOG or RPG. That's in
keeping with mainstream sci-fi and fantasy IPs, where the protagonist
(from Luke Skywalker to Conan the Barbarian to Jean Luc Picard) is
almost always human. We seem to be wired to want to play what we are.
Do you feel compelled to build more content around the human race,
given our predilection to roll human?



David
Noonan
style="font-weight: bold;">:
We don’t do human-only (or baraka-only, or elf-only) quests in style="font-style: italic;"> TERA.
What we do instead is a lot of content that explores the
humans’ past and present-day situation (and likewise, that of
the other races). If we do our jobs right, that should be interesting
content whether you’re a human or not.
As you level up in style="font-style: italic;">TERA,
you’ll gain an appreciation—if not a complete
understanding—of all seven races.



Ten
Ton Hammer:
Are humans an
easier or harder race to write about, since your audience already knows
a fair amount about being human?



David
Noonan:
Overall,
I’d say they’re a bit easier for exactly that
reason. You have that common ground, and you don’t have to
reestablish humanness the way you have to establish amani-ness or
castanic-ness. It’s a double-edged sword, however. As you
write about humans, you have to take care that you don’t
accidentally write something too close to a real-world human culture.
You can’t create a human culture that lives alongside a river
and builds immense triangular buildings, however, because of all the
other associations with real-world Egypt.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/93023"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 326px;"
alt="TERA human sorceress"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/93023">

Human
sorceress

Ten
Ton Hammer:
In keeping with
the dev diary and the traditional versatility of the human race, is
just about every class and advancement path open to humans?


" style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman";"> style="font-style: italic;">The human silhouette is
probably closest to the elf silhouette—but that
isn’t to say that the two are terribly close. Unlike a lot of
MMORPGs, TERA’s human have a decidedly athletic build."

David
Noonan:
You bet!
(That’s not uniquely human—other races get the full
complement of classes, too.)



Ten
Ton Hammer:
According to the
last dev diary, the Federation plays a key role in human destiny. The
desire for cooperation is seemingly a key human strength - not just in style="font-style: italic;">TERA
but in the real world as well. Cops beat criminals, for instance,
because they can call in more support than criminals. Have you chosen
to embody those social strengths in any tangible ways in the game,
perhaps by group buffs and other leadership or guild advancement skills?



David
Noonan
style="font-weight: bold;">:
I can’t give away too much, but suffice it to say that humans
have specific abilities that reflect their history, outlook, and
aptitude. (Again, the same is true of the other races in the game.)



Ten
Ton Hammer:
Will humans have
a wider variety of customization details (tattoos, scars, skin tones,
hair styles, etc.) to up the variety level for style="font-style: italic;">TERA's
most plain jane race?



David
Noonan:
I’d say
that the humans and the poporis have the most variety in terms of their
visual identity. The odds of your human looking like my human are slim,
indeed—and that’s before you even get into
differences in clothing, armor, or weapons.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/93021"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 326px;"
alt="TERA human in action"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/93021">

Human
in action!

Ten
Ton Hammer:
In PvP (and we
don't know much about style="font-style: italic;">TERA
PvP yet), knowing what race and class you’re facing is often
a key to success. The action in style="font-style: italic;">TERA
is pretty fast and furious. Assuming that humans have their pick of
classes, will you attempt to differentiate different classes among
humans by their sheer outline or "silhouette"?



David
Noonan:
 The human
silhouette is probably closest to the elf silhouette—but that
isn’t to say that the two are terribly close. Unlike a lot of
MMORPGs, TERA’s
human have a decidedly athletic build. The men have significant muscle
and bulk in their shoulders and torsos, and the women look more like
Olympic athletes than runway models. The elves tend to be much leaner
and slimmer. (Keep in mind that I’m describing the default,
and players have the ability to customize their looks.)



In a fight, there’s an additional point of
differentiation—the animations that accompany each attack.
Humans run, dodge, and swing their swords differently than the other
races. It’s a difference you pick up on an instinctive level
after you’ve played style="font-style: italic;">TERA
for a few hours, and it becomes second nature after that.



Ten
Ton Hammer:
Bonus round - Do
most humans in style="font-style: italic;">TERA
prefer cake or pie? And why?



David
Noonan:
 I’d
say pie. There’s something about cake that makes humans feel
a little uneasy. Maybe it’s the layers (unfair separation!),
maybe it’s the frosting that hides what’s
underneath (show us what you’ve got!).





Ten Ton Hammer thanks David Noonan and the En Masse team for taking the
time for this Q&A. The humans among us prefer pie, too.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our TERA: Rising Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
Jeff's interest in online games stretches back to organizing neighborhood Unreal tournaments as a teenager, but when a college roommate introduced him to EverQuest, an interest became an obsession. Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game since.

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