Dungeon Assault A Q&A with TERA Producer Patrick Sun
TERA: Risings Dungeon Assault update hits servers today to add four new dungeons and a new assortment of loot said to be the most powerful in the game. We recently had the chance to
kidnap speak with TERA Producer Patrick Sun to find out more about what the update has to offer, the reception of last months Alliance update, and corral a few small details about whats next for TERA.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell our readers your name and what it is you do for En Masse Entertainment on TERA?
Patrick Sun: Hello! My name is Patrick Sun, and Im the producer of TERA here at En Masse Entertainment.
Ten Ton Hammer: TERA recently launched its Alliance update, expanding the political system and opening up new alliances for players to join. Can you tell us how this has changed the games dynamics and how players seem to be reacting to the new political position of Exarch?
Patrick Sun: Its changed player behavior quite a bit! Open World PvP felt somewhat hectic before, but now players have objectives and incentives to group together and have mass battles. The race to become an all-powerful Exarch has been fierce and players are loving the power of ruling on a server-wide level. Its been great seeing how the different guilds choose to team up to combat the idea of a super faction. There are also quite a bit of PvE objectives in an Alliance, so its something for everyone.
Ten Ton Hammer: TERAs content release schedule seems to have increased its pacing since going free-to-play earlier this year with new content releases hitting servers often just over a month from the last. Since the free-to-play patch, youve added a substantial amount of new content with the Kelsaiks Raid update (May), the Corsairs Stronghold Battleground update (July), the Alliance update (August), and now the Dungeon Assault update (September). Can we expect to see this near monthly cadence for new content continue into the future?
Patrick Sun: The world of TERA has definitely changed the past few months with all the additions that weve made. Our goal is to continue delivering the highest-quality content as soon as its ready, but some months will of course be bigger than others. That said, players can expect there to be monthly updates to TERA whether theyre bigger event content or important bug fixes, quality of life changes, and more game modes. Theres still a lot in store for TERA and these first few months of free to play have merely scratched the surface.
Ten Ton Hammer: TERAs Dungeon Assault update comes with four new dungeons, each designed for different sized groups with Channelworks designed for 3-player teams, the Shattered Forest for 5, Kezzel's Gorge for 7, and Wonderholme being the big one for a group of 10. Can you tell us a bit about the four new dungeons and what each one will offer players in both experience and rewards?
Patrick Sun: Wonderholme is certainly the biggest dungeon, and offers the best rewards in terms of gear. It also has most unique bosses and dungeon mechanics that are more than just who has the best DPS.
Kezzels Gorge brings about a new giant boss that is intent on destroying one of the cities in TERA, but the town is only fortified enough to withstand a few attacks. Players will deploy new tower defense mechanics to take down the giant before it succeeds. They have the option of just using the weapons on their back, or the help of environmental traps like cannons, drills, and barricades placed along the way.
Shattered Fleet and Channelworks offer players the chance to get the new Zenith accessories that drop. Shattered Fleet takes players through the unstable wreckage of pirate ships to act revenge on the monsters that took them down. Channelworks takes you deep into the sewers of the Veritas District to fight alongside defense sentries to discover and take down who, or what, is behind the city water stoppage.
Ten Ton Hammer: The 10-player Wonderholme dungeon seems to draw inspiration from Lewis Carrolls Through the Looking-Glass. What sort of enemies can players expect to see deep within Wonderholme? Is there a twisted version of a Mad-Hatter or other types of enemies running around that may be inspired from the Wonderland stories that players should keep their eyes peeled for?
Patrick Sun: The developers love and definitely took inspiration from Through the Looking-Glass and you can tell as soon as you set foot in the dungeon. The environment is rich and vibrant, and full of fun design and gameplay mechanics. The enemies and bosses, however, take cues from the world Lewis Carroll conjured, but will be more unique to the TERA world. Depending on which one of the many rooms players find themselves in, enemies vary from a one-eyed giant clown trying to crush you to a grub-like caterpillar boss swallowing players whole.
Ten Ton Hammer: One of the dangers listed in the Wonderholme description is environmental hazards. Can you tell us what sort of hazards will be within the dungeon, and can players expect to see a few of them in the form of unexpected booby traps?
Patrick Sun: Wonderholme is certainly not designed to make your life easy, even if you disregard all the enemy monsters trying to kill you. To use one room as an example, levers have to be flipped in sync with moving platforms requiring perfectly timed jumps over pools of acid. And sometimes, its not enough that you have to kill a giant crazy jester boss, you have to do it with giant Indiana Jones-style rolling balls trying to crush you at the same time.
Ten Ton Hammer: The Dungeon Assault update boasts to have the strongest gear for the game yet. Can you tell us a bit about the new Wonderholme, Strikeforce, Steadfast, and Nightforge items as well as the new Zenith set items and what class of characters may benefit most from each?
Patrick Sun: The Wonderholme and Steadfast sets are the ones that drop directly in the dungeons. The Steadfast set is the lowest tier of the set, but you have the option of transforming a fully enchanted Steadfast set into a lesser enchanted Wonderholme set if you wish. Also, the Wonderholme sets come in a variety of flavors that are focused on different aspects of combat. Maybe you like faster attack speed, or you favor higher damage or crits. There will be a set for each of those suited to your class.
The Strikeforce and Nightforge sets are crafted. The good news, is that if you currently have the best in class gears, they are used to craft the new sets. Strikeforce is specifically a PvP set, forged from the old Conjunct set. Nightforge can either be a PvP or PvE set. The PvE version is only forged from the old Visionmaker set, but the PvP set can be forged from either the Bloodrave or Visionmaker sets. Each set will have versions that are beneficial towards a certain class, so I cant say that one set is better than another in that sense. Whether you wish to PvP or PvE will definitely sway which direction you go, though I suspect that most players will want both sets handy just in case.
Ten Ton Hammer: One thing that many players have been inquiring about is the possibility of a level cap increase. Do you see this as a possibility in the future?
Patrick Sun: I certainly would not rule anything out in terms of the future.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell us anything about whats next for TERA beyond the Dungeon Assault update?
Patrick Sun: For the immediate future, well be planning to refresh some existing systems players have been requesting such as crafting, achievements, and tweaks on alliance, but the long term updates are still under wrap. Ill be sure TTH gets the scoop as soon as were ready to talk!
Ten Ton Hammer: I like that answer. My last question has to do with Easter Eggs. I know, a bit of a deviation. We all know that devs often hide little Easter Eggs in their work as nods to various other games, literature, and pop culture and we all often get a chuckle when we find them. Asking you to directly give it away would spoil the surprise, so instead I ask this if there are new Easter Eggs to be found with this update, where should players keep their eyes peeled to find them?
I know players sometime like to just gloss over the text in an MMO to skip to the fighting. If you like easter eggs, I would suggest not doing that.
Ten Ton Hammer: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Patrick Sun: No problem!
Theres been a ton planned for TERA even before we went subscription free. The player base and community has grown immensely along with our dedication to bring fun and unique content to the game as its ready to launch. Keep a lookout for exciting new events, festivals, and content coming soon!
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us. For the latest, we welcome both veteran and new players to find out more on the official website, Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Ten Ton Hammer.