En Masse Recaps First North American CB Test
En Masse Entertainment is pleased to share details regarding the first of several closed beta tests for its upcoming action MMO, TERA, which took place February 10-12. Launching on May 1, TERA represents a leap forward in MMO combat with real-time, contextual attacks and an emphasis on player skill instead of statistics.
The weekend started with the En Masse team spending Friday evening in the office watching the world of TERA come to life as players began to appear in-game. The team was struck and delighted to see players come into the game and instantly start swinging their weapons wildly. Right off the bat, expectations for an MMO were shattered as players found that clicking their mouse didn’t activate some UI element or start a cooldown timer, but instead fired off the slash of a sword or a bolt of energy.
This being the first large-scale test of the game, though, the weekend was not without some hiccups. The team experienced a few crashes while settling on their platform and game configurations. In addition, players worked together and formed virtual lines to kill the evil Vekas. Such queuing was not ideal or intentional, but did serve as a good learning lesson for the developers. When thousands of players collide, the unexpected happens. These are the elements that make MMOs so great and yet so challenging to develop and perfect. The En Masse team learned a great deal from CBT1 and will put those lessons to good use as we ramp up for CBT2.
Players were given the opportunity to explore the game’s opening sequence, the Island of Dawn. They dove into play, learned their skills, and jumped into TERA’s action-packed combat. They battled monsters and demons while searching for clues about the fate of the federation’s greatest hero. After conquering the island’s challenges, they forged ahead to Arcadia, where they helped broker a fragile peace with the faeries, uncovered the existence of the secretive Scions of Lok—to say nothing of their ties to the deva bandits in Oblivion Woods—and rendered aid to the embattled soldiers in the Valley of Titans, fighting off the Gutrend kulkari tribe. Their investigation continued as they followed clues about a secret base in Oblivion Woods, where they learned the truth: the Scions of Lok planned to wrest control of Arcadia from the Valkyon Federation. The cult’s plans didn’t end there, though, and the Scions launched an assault on the last federation outpost in the Celestial Hills—one narrowly defeated by our heroes.
(End of Spoilers!)
Here are two points that stood out from CBT1:
– The female Castanic warrior was the most popular race and class combination.
– In Oblivion Woods, players encountered their first Big-Ass Monster, or BAM, a basilisk. The basilisk accounted for nearly two-thirds of all deaths during the course of the beta test, and is certainly telling of the unique challenge BAMs present to players, as well as the challenges presented by TERA’s unique skill-based combat system.
This weekend was a big success both in terms of players getting hands-on time with TERA and for showing the team what they need to refine before the game’s May 1 release. The community is excited for the next test over the weekend of February 24-26, and will expand on the first closed beta test by opening up a PvP server and adding five more levels to explore. Be on the lookout for great—and evil—things around the corner. En Masse looks forward to seeing the world of TERA come alive once again.