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Constructive Feedback for EME in Regards to Tera

This took three hours to write so I hope someone reads it all the way through!




Constructive feedback. EME asked for it, and so I'll give it, and I have more than plenty enough to give so grab a snack and enjoy.


Hello to all of EME who may read this,

I'm going to open this up with a pretty harsh truth - this game's population is dwindling because it can't hold onto new players. RPGs live and die by their ability to do this and Tera is having an exceedingly hard time doing this as of late. This fault can be traced to both BHS's decisions as a developer, and EME's decisions as NA's regional publisher, but I'm not here to insult, so I'll move on.

One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

My friends and I who have been playing this game for about two and a half years now have gone back and forth regarding a handful of things Tera can do better to hold onto the RPG crowd longer than it is. I've decided to take the time to detail these things below. This list will detail things that Tera can do better, things that it is doing wrong (in our opinion) and relevant examples.

SECTION 1: STORY AND QUESTING

As it stands, the story to this game is almost nonexistent, and that's a huge problem. You can argue that those looking for it can go find it and that is true - but this puts Tera right on the same level as Destiny with their Grimoire cards. People did not like it, and it caused a lot of problems within the community that essentially came down to asking why it wasn't just put into the game.

Fixing this will require work from BHS, because it's a developer sided series of fixes. I understand EME does not actually work with the code of this game. Here are a few suggestions as to what can be done to help actually fix ailing problems of this game, rather than put a Bandaid over them.


Island of Dawn and a Player's First Few Hours:

Revert the original 1-20 questing story back to what it was before. Get rid of Anya and Stepstone Aisle, they're both completely useless and serve no good function that IoD didn't already do better (while looking better to boot, keep in mind first impressions are important and Stepstone is a dingy, dirty looking place in comparison to IoD). Bring back taking the Pegasus to Lumbertown and starting your quest from there.

For Island of Dawn, to separate the 'old' island where everything was fine and normal from the end-game BAM hunting grounds, you would need to make it so that anyone Lv 64 or lower can go to 'old' IoD, and once you hit 65, you'll instead go to the BAM-hunting grounds version. I believe an easy way to do this would be to have an 'instanced' version where anyone under 65 loads into when they click to go there, and anyone at 65 will go to the one we have now.

For those who REALLY want to go to the old IoD, you could possibly just add an "Island of Dawn (old)" teleport scroll, so if you are introducing a friend to this game, you can do so and run around with them. However, XP and item drop throttling would absolutely apply, so you could not help them fight mobs or do the IoD quest.

The Story - To Solo, or Not to Solo?

Give the option to run the story completely solo. Since the story quests already take you to the dungeon teleportals, adding in a second option to run solo would effectively be the same as having a normal and hard mode option to current end game dungeons (along with the fact that we used to have a Solo option for story dungeons, so it would be more appropriate to say, bring the option back).

These solo dungeons would obviously not have the Joy of Partying buff that the party version has, and it would not have nearly as high of chance of dropping higher tier loot - but it is done this way on purpose to not throw off the solo player's gearing or leveling through the story.

For example, Bastion of Lok, if you do the Solo version first, once completed, the player can receive a system-generated post that congratulates them on clearing their first dungeon and maybe gives them a trinket item or something, and suggests that 'for a harder challenge' and 'for better XP and better rewards' they can queue up with others to run the normal 5-man version. This allows the player to make their own decisions on whether or not they want to do the dungeon with others for better loot, or to power-level an alt, or if they are new, to avoid all of that hassle and just enjoy the story at their own pace.

I understand this means those solo players would not be used to partying if they did the entire story solo - however as it stands now, we have people queuing up for end-game dungeons of all tiers barely understanding how their class plays, or with awful crystals, which is FAR more detrimental to the overall player's experience than simply getting used to coordinating with a team. I hear about it all the time - players getting kicked because they are auto-attacking, or because they have bad crystals. This constant rejection from the community can and will drive newer players away at no fault of their own, other than they just simply don't know because they haven't been taught yet.

A solution to even this partying issue would be that - assuming someone did the story entirely solo, you can generally guesstimate where their level will be when they begin the final story arch leading up to the fight with Dakuryon in Arx Umbra. Retooling the XP so that they end that story quest - effectively 'finishing' the game up to this point - they will be at or around Lvl 62-63. After finishing the story, you speak to Dougal for example, and through the use of in-game story and dialogue, he would effectively point you in the direction of queuing up for Sabex Armory.

This could be done as simply as a series of text boxes indicating that while the fight with Dakuryon is over for now, the Archdevan army is still a problem. Scouts have located an armory of theirs that supposedly has a powerful artifact in it, and they want to send in a squad to check it out and destroy it if possible. He will specifically tell you that this is an extremely dangerous task and that you must go in as a group, as several attempts to send one person in have failed.

This would provide new players their entry into IMS'ing for dungeons and getting used to working in a group. Doing this around Lvl 63 with the below-detailed reduction in leveling speed would mean they would have to run group dungeons several times before hitting 65, and thus, would get the necessary practice required for doing end-game dungeons.


Leveling - How much? How fast?

Guys, you have to slow down leveling for new players. My friend who never played this game before actually locked himself out of the story because he out-leveled the dungeon level requirement by doing the story quests in between the dungeons. And he only ran each dungeon once to complete the story quest. He did not have Elite, he did not have an XP booster, and there was no leveling event going on at the time. He simply picked up the game, installed it, and started running quests; and by time he got to Saleron's Sky Garden, he broke the story quest line because he leveled too fast.... by just completing the story quests.

A lot of new players are having a hard time in this game because they are leveling up too fast and don't have sufficient time to actually get acclimated to their class before they hit level-cap. This causes a huge problem because they get kicked from dungeons, or get yelled at and belittled by other players who have had more time to play who curse them out and shame them for not being good at their classes. This causes a lot of players to quit and not return, because apparently just by playing the game, they're doing it wrong, and with limited dungeon entries per day, they're being walled off from vital and required resources by the very same community they're supposed to play this game with from now on.

The first solution to this is detailed above - allow players to take their time and play through the game solo. The casual payer should take a couple of weeks to grind through the game as a solo player, which is a lot more time than they have now before hitting 65 to get better acquainted with their class.

Another way to do this is to remove, or at least decrease the Joy of Partying buff for party dungeoning. Removing this would not only slow down the overall progression of the players as a whole, but if people REALLY want Lv 65 alts quickly, they can buy a leveling scroll (one of which you should absolutely update to make a character Lvl 65, not 60). Reduce its cost so not as many people are put off from buying the leveling scroll, and with slower leveling overall, you don't push players up in levels too fast, and you incentivise the ones who want max level alts to just buy a scroll instead.
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Comments

  • JerichowJerichow ✭✭✭✭
    2: CRAFTING AND INDUSTRY

    Crafting and industry... where do I even begin? At this point if someone told me crafting in Tera didn't exist, and I was a new player, I would legitimately believe them. In a way, this is one of the 'smaller' problems Tera has, but for an industrial/crafter like me who spent eight years at $30/mo ($15/mo x2, or about $2,880 total) for two characters to run a mining and industrial craft in EVE Online, this to me is probably the one that hurts the most.

    RPGs are great because they are a world to live in, they're a world where you have the choice to do one thing or another, to follow one profession or another. You can be a fighter and run dungeons all day, or a hunter that goes after big game to sell for profit in the open world, or be a gatherer/crafter and make things the fighters and hunters use. You could be a healer that carries bad teams through dungeons, and on your off-time you gather/craft potions to sell for gold. You can be a trade broker mogul and make millions off of buying/selling/trading all day. The options are limitless.

    But in Tera, you really only have three options. Run dungeons, do dailies, or play the trade broker. The absence of any form of industry, low or high tier, early on, or in the end-game is incredibly off-putting to a lot of players like me who take joy in that. I loved running around gathering stuff to make potions like Health Droughts or Eclipse Potions. I loved gathering and crafting scrolls to give to my friends and cousin who hated it, but were happy to compensate me with gold for a couple of stacks of Crit Factor scrolls, and the joy of finding a Plentiful Pilka Plant and getting "Fine Pilka Fibers (4)" three times in a row was great.

    Here are some options I think would really bolster the industrial side of this game:

    Bring back the old options like Health Droughts, bring back the HP/s or MP/s potions. Allow people to buy the ones we have now that have 30 second CD's but only heal a small bit of HP, but also allow people to craft, or buy on trade broker better potions that heal for far more. Let me have the choice of using a 30s cooldown potion as a small pick-me-up, or if a 70,000 damage flat, unblockable, non-i-frameable attack is coming and I'm at 40,000 HP, let me chug that gigantic red jar of Koolaid that'll instantly heal me for 36,000 HP and let me barely survive, but goes on CD for three minutes.

    When I run my Lancer and use Adrenaline Rush, it's not uncommon that I run out of mana before it's over, even with a Nostrum. Let me have a Mana Elixir X that restores 131mp/s so that I can actually sustain my mana throughout that rush by using it at the same time I use AR. Could I get by with the current potion we have now? Sure, but I have to stop my rotation in the middle to click my hot-key for mana pots, versus I use the Elixir at the start and then can freely face-roll my keyboard through the duration of my buff. The point is - the option would be there, and people would take it, providing a reason for gatherers to go out and gather/craft/sell.

    I could say etchings need a rework but I'm sure you've heard it dozens of times now, so I won't touch up on that.

    Give gathering materials more meaning by making more things need them, and by making it so that even high tier, BIS level gear needs the bottom-most tier items to craft. Reworking the upgrade system to need gathered materials to upgrade from Guardian, to Twistshard, to Frostmetal, and even up to Stormcry would mean that even the lowest tier items like Verdra Plant would always be in demand.

    Taking a page from EVE Online's industry book - requiring low tier items to be used in even the best, latest-end-game gear means that even the lowest, most common items need to be gathered and refined into higher tier items, and then again up through a repeating refinement process to the top-most tier items in the game would ensure that every material in the game is always needed. Making it so that upgrading end-game gear, even just the upgrade step, not enchanting, would mean that people are always going to be needed to gather everything and refine it into what that particular player needs in order to upgrade their gear. This strongly encourages players to take the industrial profession, and the demand would ensure that they always have a reason to gather/craft.

    This does mean that auto-mining pets like Felicity would need to be removed. I had seen in Highwatch one time, quite literally an army of the exact same looking Reaper template, all with the same name save for a 1, 2, 3, etc added after their name, all with Felicity AFKing outside of Highwatch gathering Goblu essence. This would need to stop or this one item would completely derail the entire industrial side of the game. People would get mad, yes, that their Felicities do not gather anymore, but it would be necessary to make gathering a relevant profession in this game again. With BHS's help it could even be possible to change Felicity to be an auto-gathering pet, perhaps even one with unlimited stamina that doesn't need pet treats or pet food to keep going - just to differentiate it from other pets.

    Also, having much higher tier Vanguard rewards for gathering would be another way to encourage the profession. Or even have specific vendors like the ones in Velika in each of the crafting hubs offer rewards for bringing them specific things like Refined Pilka Plant x100 for a decent chunk of gold.

    Removing the production points system would help too, or perhaps tie the production point limit into what your highest ranked mastery is - where you gain X number of production points for every point above 0 your highest skill is. So if you skill up to 500 in Alchemy, and you gain 5 production points per skill level, at 500 you'd get an additional 2,500 production points, and after passing the Artisan test, you get a 1,000 point bonus, and the amount of production points you consume in that profession is reduced. This would put you at 7,500 production points, and more if you specialized in that one field. Continue this up to Rank 800 and pass your Master level test and you'd peak at 10,000 points, and your point use reduction in that field would go down even further giving you effectively more than 10,000 production points in that field to work with. This would HIGHLY incentivise people to rank up to master in something in order to get the far better point management.

    Doing all of this while bringing back player-crafted leveling gear (that players would actually use since they are not leveling nearly as fast) and your industry side of the game grinds right back into motion. There might be a few kinks to work out as things go on, but it would surely be a better state of affairs than we have now, would it not?
  • Really good feedback here. Honestly has me interested in the other things you haven’t posted yet.
  • nice, i'd also like to add in my two cents here.
    been playing since rift's edge patch an the biggest problem driving me away from the game is the ridiculous repetitiveness of the game and almost complete lack of updates.
    You can say that the game was getting gear and dungeon updates every 6 months or so, except those updates didn't bring in anything new at all. The gear was exactly the same as the old one, just a small stat boost, no new appearances, exact same acquisition methods and dungeons were almost identical, same setup and mostly reskinned bosses. There was nothing new being added to the game.
    This was made so much worse with the utter lack of story in the game. They are just chucking these dungeons and bosses out with barely the slightest regards to story. Everytime we get a new dungeon rotation, all we get is either a small cutscene or a dialogue box which halfheartedly explains how the dungeon/boss fits into the story. We don't get any extended quests or whatnot to build up the story and lore.
    For example, the old game, about the god's civil war and the argon invasion had an engaging storyline, extended story quests, compelling npcs like jelena and elyeon and the dungeons fitted seamlessly into the storyline. Shandra manaya was such a good boss not only because it was unique and very challenging, she was a compelling boss, with a whole backstory, personality and motives and was someone the player has been trying to fight for the whole argon war storyline. The player had become attached to her, we wanted to know more about her, and we WANTED to fight her. Not to mention the gear drops from her were unique and visually amazing. In comparison, a newer boss like Lilith, we have absolutely no engagement and no story going on for her besides a single line, " she wants to resurrect lakan".
    I feel the game has been deteriorating ever since the lawsuit where some of the main writers and artists were fired and the game took a completely direction and turned into a non-engaging repetition of mindless grind. I don't mind grindy games but at least make it compelling.
  • Low level dungeon boss weapons are better. They are eligible for +12.

    Slowing down the leveling process to teach the classes is useless. Most dungeons have little to no mechanics until LoT where there is a wipe mechanic then very little mechanics again until 65 where all mod tier up dungeons have one shot and wipe mechanics.

    Crafting is fine. Gathering was terrible but it can still be profitable if you have etching.
  • > @Fluffnificent said:
    > Low level dungeon boss weapons are better. They are eligible for +12.
    >
    > Slowing down the leveling process to teach the classes is useless. Most dungeons have little to no mechanics until LoT where there is a wipe mechanic then very little mechanics again until 65 where all mod tier up dungeons have one shot and wipe mechanics.
    >
    > Crafting is fine. Gathering was terrible but it can still be profitable if you have etching.

    Uhmm you are missing the point. Crafting definitely needs some changes at the moments it’s hardly profitable....
  • bring back alliance territories also. civil unrest is only once a week, alliance was everyday. I know people will say that players exploited it or fed kills and all, but its the same one or two guilds that win cu every week. I miss running with my old guild doing daily bams in alliance territories. plus it would give people a chance to pvp again.
  • EllexemEllexem ✭✭✭
    Some other suggestions for improvement

    Areas of Testing
    AKA a training room mixed with a proficiency test. Have it be a solo instance where you can select a test that you wish to perform. No, you don't get blocked from content if you fail. (Or I suppose you could tie access to higher tier stuff to passing them, but that might be too problematic.) This is supposed to be a threat free area where you practice basic competency at doing things. Where the game will also guide you through the process.

    There can be tiers to the tests, so that you can increase your proficiency and have some more challenge.

    Achievements can exist for them, perhaps even with titles.

    Now, here's a list of ideas for tests:
    • Test of Dodge: A mob takes a swing at you. Slowly. You get a target area on the ground. You can only walk around for the first version. Get out of the way. Manage that 5 times. Walk out of an attack as the basic one. Use your iframes to survive attacks as a higher tier. Use dodge/mobility skills to get out of the way. Some class specific variations. Increase the attack speeds of mobs. There is no killing here, there is only avoiding. Have a cancel test button you can click on in case you get stuck in some perma-stun/stagger/knockdown effect and can't get out of range of the dummy mob.
    • Test of Facing: Mobs have facings, learn this. Sub-divide into a front, a side, and back section. The specific side that you are testing for is the only one that you can actually damage, the rest just ignores damage. The mob doesn't hurt you, though it will start moving for higher tests. You are expect to do things like wait for it to start an animation lock attack and then back crit it. Repeat something like 5 times. Have a movement speed bonus at the start when the mob moves. Higher difficulty versions where you actually have to use your own mobility skills to get to the back. -- Tie crystal use into the test. So it shows you practically what they do. Have indicators of where you hit. (Maybe a for this test only target ring on the mob that clearly shows the facing areas. -- For extra fun, allow the full library of mobs to be selected, so you can practice on all of the BAMs.)
    • Test of Block: You need to block 10 attacks in a row. A test for tanks.
    • Test of Linking (Concepts?): Skills boost each other, with proper glyphs. You need to do attacks that chain like that. So a mob that has ludicrous mitigation to basic attacks but any kind of damage boost gets amped. Have longer rotation skills here. Might not have many tiers really. This is more of a concept check. (And probably should be part of the test of burning.) Add in things like lock-on targeting, circle at distance X targeting, and other such things. So you can get some extra practice for using such skills.
    • Test of skill chaining: The spacebar test... *cough* You need to chain skills for quick activation. Just chain them. Do it 5 times. (This is really more training for learning how your ping affects you, when in the animation you have to start to get the chained quick activation off.)
    • Test of Simon Says: Mechanics for dummies. Stack up into a circle. Place 5 circles on the ground without any of them killing a practice dummy. Move out of a delayed circle. A thing spawns that has an active timer, run over to kill it. Activated item variation. A big ground effect (persistent variation). The mob will one-shot in a direction, dodge. And all of the other things that you can encounter. Teach you how to do them, what to watch out for (with those nice big arrows).
    • Test of Knowledge: Mob attack animations and patterns. Watch them. Learn them. Try to block/avoid them. Build up the library of basic BAMs (and even bosses). Pair it with you actually fighting them. (So you can do training without burning any dungeon entries for bosses. The BAMS you could of course seek out in the open world, but this way you can both watch how they attack and then try things without risk, to get you comfortable with fighting them. Can always just have the open world BAMs count as a live test if you fight them while level appropriate.) So you can have tiers for that one in a sense, as BAMs of various types add more attacks as they get to higher level. You need to successfully avoid/block them a number of times, then you can get a certificate for that tier. Or kill a number of them.
    • Test of Burning: A personal DPS/target dummy tester. Just some basic thresholds that you can have to beat to get the relevant tier. In a sense a gear check too for the higher tiers. (Could also see use as a theory crafting tester, so you can try to figure out good crit factor thresholds, or to experiment with glyphs and rotations in a cleanroom environment where you can control for certain variables.)

    Probably missed some ideas. A number of the tests also would really be tied to some kind of big list of mobs and certain attack types that you need to have dealt with.

    The ultimate point being something where you can have a list of requirements that you can add to content where players can check what they should know and an easy link to follow to learn more about it. Maybe on the welcome screen, maybe on the dungeon details. (Say you need Dodge II or III or this, DPS IV for that. Block III for that part. SImon Says VI for the mechanics, ...) A new player both getting a list of what they should know and be able to do and a place where they can get that knowledge without getting screamed at for not having it. At least the grounding to learn the details for the encounter in question. (Though having those be available could also perhaps help some.)


    Crafting and Professions
    I'd favor turning this part into something that is more active gameplay, if you will. That crafting is something where you can have player skill play a role and that there is a degree of progression. (Okay, so full on crafting classes could perhaps be interesting, but that would probably be a step too far for the current TERA.)

    So less, here is a list of recipes, there the resources, and here a limiter on your production, maximize your profit, and instead more a feeling of a supporting profession that can even stand on its own that enables the fighting side with their efforts. With a side order of some puzzle solving for the crafters. A bit of a symbiotic relationship, where the fighting side can acquire certain materials that the crafting side then turns into the tools that the fighting side would like to progress.

    How to do that? Well, more detail. Call it a more varied upgrade system. So that you actually develop a piece of equipment as you level up. Sort of merge the crystal system with sub-components that you equip into items. So you pretty much pick a weapon/armor framework item and then slot in all of the parts. Increase the attack value here, make it have more impact there, over yonder could be a boost to a class skill, upgrade the power source/hookup of the weapon with that one, let it actively draw mana from the user with that option. Intakes for consumables so that the weapon could go through certain types of crystals, noctenium, mana cartridges, and whatever else. Really could go wild with that stuff.

    Bottom line being, you could have parts of weapons that you click together. The parts being upgraded from dungeon drops or from profession created items. (Be it that you fuse them into existing ones to get a better one, somewhat akin to the enchanting system of old. Or just straight up swap them out.) The framework can need replacing at certain points, reminiscent of the current end-game tiers. (Or upgrading the framework itself.)

    Make it more interesting to actually create a working piece of gear. (Or let someone else worry about it by just buying a fully made kit from a crafter. / Maybe throw in a sort of 'contract' system where you can give a crafter access to the item, to let them work on it without the need to actually trade it. Have the costs set out in the contract, be able to add dropped items you collected to the deal, and only receive it back after both sides completed their agreed contributions.)

    That you have an actual design process for the crafting. Where how pieces can slot together, which connectors they have, what power draws they have, what power hookups the framework can provide, and so on can provide a sort of puzzle like challenge to put something together. Having the right pieces and the right ideas for how to put it all together can be a factor for player skill.

    By letting players optimize for certain use cases, and introducing a dynamic of consumables boosting a weapon's performance (or in extreme optimization cases being required for it to even work), you could add more variety into gameplay and gearing.

    Alchemy could make numerous consumables. Weapon- and Armorcrafting could of course make the actual components for the weapons. Do sub-assembly construction where you could have lower skilled crafters build up parts. A design phase where you slot things together. Mix things. To add some actual gameplay aspects into crafting.

    But that would probably all end up being too much effort for too little gain.


    I can't say I'm a fan of the idea of making the leveling harder for the sake of making crafting and drops more relevant. TERA is already rather unforgiving of mistakes when you aren't overgeared, and that new players don't always make the step to the 'Don't get hit' style of combat seems to be one of the key stumbling steps, given how supposedly many just give up in the level 20-30 range.

    I don't even want to really think about how dungeons would go if people only have the bare minimum ilvl crafted gear to even enter.

    To say nothing about the 'wonders' that is the mercy of the RNG. (I've lost count of the number of times I've failed to either get anything at all or to get a piece of armor that was at least usable for the class I was playing from dungeon drops. And that's with the default where you only roll on stuff that you can even use, if there is anyone who can in the party.)

    That part would have to change as well if you want to feel like you are actually getting rewarded by the dungeon. Because the potential payoff of getting that superior +3 item does not make up for all the times where you get nothing. People are already unhappy with the current RNG heavy aspects in the high-end gearing.
  • I like most of the feedback, but solo-mode DGs are a waste of effort: they can already be solo'd. As a true newbie (1st char), I ran several dungeons completely solo at the level of the dungeon on ninja. It was tedious compared to group, but not all that hard. The really insanely annoying part wasn't the game. It was the few players that deliberately borked the quests when I would queue up to complete them with a group. I'd let 'em know and they'd charge ahead and screw it so I couldn't complete it with the group.

    FFXIV has an effective solution that might work here, though to fully implement it would be too much for BHS. First, their sub-cap DGs are actually quite challenging at the level with a semi-experienced group. They have level-syncing. You can go back and do them, but you are reduced in level to match the DG. They also have a serious system in place to reward people for helping newbies and they have a very good story line.

    For Tera, I'd somehow find a way to let newbies know that the game just plain doesn't start until 65. The classic MMO player WILL try to do the stories to level rather than rush to 65 and then do stories or IOD VGs while waiting on LFG or IMS, which is the Tera model. And, we absolutely must turn around the newbie antagonism. I'd do it with rewards for helping a newbie learn things (L65 things, not sub-cap stuff).

    If BHS has the resources to fix things, I'd also rework all the story quests so it's absolutely impossible for someone to bork the DG part of a story. If you kill the last DG boss, you are DONE. No needing to use objects that someone destroyed to mess with you. No NPCs to talk to (who you can't reach because you get punted on disband). No protect-the-NPC phases that can be skipped (they shouldn't be there at all). No little "talk to this NPC before killing last boss" (that if you skip forces a rerun). Make the natural rush to complete be good enough. Why? Because chances are you won't be able to rerun it via IMS. You will have to solo it to complete it because you only get one chance via IMS. You're too high level after that. And, chances are very good that even if 3 other groupies are nice, at least one will simply ignore you and rush to solo the final boss anyway.
  • FRSTYFRSTY ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    @counterpoint
    Take some notes. I know it’s not your job, but if you truly want TERA at the potential we all know it could have, give it a try. A lot of people look up to you on the forums, you’re very knowledgeable, you’ve been here for a long time, and you’re extremely good at writing and defending your arguments.

    @Jerichow
    Thank you for taking the time to write this, great read and I support everything you said, looking forward to reading more.
  • edited January 2018
    Jerichow wrote: »
    One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

    The ironic thing about your post and all that follows is that, actually, it seems they're very keenly aware of this issue, but they took the exact opposite approach to solving it. They doubled down on action combat as the key selling point. Consider all the changes they made in the last few years:

    1) The new tutorial map places a greater, more focused emphasis on action combat throughout.
    2) The changes they made to dungeons and the addition of vanguard quests (and phasing out of side-quests) keep a greater emphasis on combat rather that the world/lore/NPCs.
    3) The speeding up of the leveling process (and the option to level via dungeons, BGs, BAMs, etc.) gives people more ways to level through combat.
    4) Crafting was refocused to have basically no use except to support the gearing process either directly or indirectly.
    5) Gear drops simplified during leveling to allow people to level how they chose, rather than being forced into the typical RPG pattern.

    There's basically no side-systems, no deep engagement in the world/lore, just... action combat.

    My conclusion, in seeing the changes they've made over the years, is that they're running in the exact opposite direction of making the game more RPG-like, and explicitly trying to make it be more like "a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements." My guess is that it's because they decided to double-down on their strength rather than spend an enormous amount of time/money shoring up their many weaknesses (some of which you touched upon).

    For this reason, although the feedback is constructive, I think it's an extremely tough hill to climb to convince the very top people at BHS to change the game's development direction that will affect all markets worldwide. Most of these decisions were probably made supported by various forms of retention data/metrics that we unfortunately don't have. And even if they did agree conceptually, it would likely take a year or more before the effects of any such course correction would be felt. Will they think the game too old now to warrant such a dramatic re-imagining to "bring the RPG back"? (A more fundamental question, perhaps, what even is their vision for TERA five years from now? Do they have one?)

    I do think some of TERA's biggest problems are vision-related; namely, the lack of a clear vision and effective focus. They've got too small a team to pretend they can be all things to all people, and spent too much time doing all things poorly. But even if they do cast a vision and make it clear, I think it's likely this will leave some players behind realizing that BHS's vision doesn't align with what they want in a game. That would be painful, but at the same time, may be the only path forward for the long run.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read, even if I didn't entirely agree with some of the specific suggestions.
  • Jerichow wrote: »
    One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

    The ironic thing about your post and all that follows is that, actually, it seems they're very keenly aware of this issue, but they took the exact opposite approach to solving it. They doubled down on action combat as the key selling point. Consider all the changes they made in the last few years:

    1) The new tutorial map places a greater, more focused emphasis on action combat throughout.
    2) The changes they made to dungeons and the addition of vanguard quests (and phasing out of side-quests) keep a greater emphasis on combat rather that the world/lore/NPCs.
    3) The speeding up of the leveling process (and the option to level via dungeons, BGs, BAMs, etc.) gives people more ways to level through combat.
    4) Crafting was refocused to have basically no use except to support the gearing process either directly or indirectly.
    5) Gear drops simplified during leveling to allow people to level how they chose, rather than being forced into the typical RPG pattern.

    There's basically no side-systems, no deep engagement in the world/lore, just... action combat.

    My conclusion, in seeing the changes they've made over the years, is that they're running in the exact opposite direction of making the game more RPG-like, and explicitly trying to make ti be more like "a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements." My guess is that it's because they decided to double-down on their strength rather than spend an enormous amount of time/money shoring up their many weaknesses (some of which you touched upon).

    For this reason, although the feedback is constructive, I think it's an extremely tough hill to climb to convince the very top people at BHS to change the game's development direction that will affect all markets worldwide. Most of these decisions were probably made supported by various forms of retention data/metrics that we unfortunately don't have. And even if they did agree conceptually, it would likely take a year or more before the effects of any such course correction would be felt. Will they think the game too old now to warrant such a dramatic re-imagining to "bring the RPG back"? (A more fundamental question, perhaps, what even is their vision for TERA five years from now? Do they have one?)

    I do think some of TERA's biggest problems are vision-related; namely, the lack of a clear vision and effective focus. They've got too small a team to pretend they can be all things to all people, and spent too much time doing all things poorly. But even if they do cast a vision and make it clear, I think it's likely this will leave some players behind realizing that BHS's vision doesn't align with what they want in a game. That would be painful, but at the same time, may be the only path forward for the long run.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read, even if I didn't entirely agree with some of the specific suggestions.

    if they are so adamant about tera being action combat game and slowly killing the lore, then they should just make everyone level 65 at the start and then as we play through the game we get better and better gear.
  • tisnotmetisnotme ✭✭✭✭
    .
    Jerichow wrote: »
    One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

    The ironic thing about your post and all that follows is that, actually, it seems they're very keenly aware of this issue, but they took the exact opposite approach to solving it. They doubled down on action combat as the key selling point. Consider all the changes they made in the last few years:

    1) The new tutorial map places a greater, more focused emphasis on action combat throughout.
    2) The changes they made to dungeons and the addition of vanguard quests (and phasing out of side-quests) keep a greater emphasis on combat rather that the world/lore/NPCs.
    3) The speeding up of the leveling process (and the option to level via dungeons, BGs, BAMs, etc.) gives people more ways to level through combat.
    4) Crafting was refocused to have basically no use except to support the gearing process either directly or indirectly.
    5) Gear drops simplified during leveling to allow people to level how they chose, rather than being forced into the typical RPG pattern.

    There's basically no side-systems, no deep engagement in the world/lore, just... action combat.

    My conclusion, in seeing the changes they've made over the years, is that they're running in the exact opposite direction of making the game more RPG-like, and explicitly trying to make ti be more like "a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements." My guess is that it's because they decided to double-down on their strength rather than spend an enormous amount of time/money shoring up their many weaknesses (some of which you touched upon).

    For this reason, although the feedback is constructive, I think it's an extremely tough hill to climb to convince the very top people at BHS to change the game's development direction that will affect all markets worldwide. Most of these decisions were probably made supported by various forms of retention data/metrics that we unfortunately don't have. And even if they did agree conceptually, it would likely take a year or more before the effects of any such course correction would be felt. Will they think the game too old now to warrant such a dramatic re-imagining to "bring the RPG back"? (A more fundamental question, perhaps, what even is their vision for TERA five years from now? Do they have one?)

    I do think some of TERA's biggest problems are vision-related; namely, the lack of a clear vision and effective focus. They've got too small a team to pretend they can be all things to all people, and spent too much time doing all things poorly. But even if they do cast a vision and make it clear, I think it's likely this will leave some players behind realizing that BHS's vision doesn't align with what they want in a game. That would be painful, but at the same time, may be the only path forward for the long run.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read, even if I didn't entirely agree with some of the specific suggestions.

    over time i also have seen as you say counterpoint that they went in this direction and yet to me like Jerichow has posted I feel that this was the wrong direction for the game and affected it in the opposite than planed even tho it may have been a patch temp fix for its time , I believe its been more detrimental than good long term
    and I'm not usually agreeing with what I see Jerichow wright
  • edited January 2018
    Jerichow wrote: »
    One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

    The ironic thing about your post and all that follows is that, actually, it seems they're very keenly aware of this issue, but they took the exact opposite approach to solving it. They doubled down on action combat as the key selling point. Consider all the changes they made in the last few years:

    1) The new tutorial map places a greater, more focused emphasis on action combat throughout.
    2) The changes they made to dungeons and the addition of vanguard quests (and phasing out of side-quests) keep a greater emphasis on combat rather that the world/lore/NPCs.
    3) The speeding up of the leveling process (and the option to level via dungeons, BGs, BAMs, etc.) gives people more ways to level through combat.
    4) Crafting was refocused to have basically no use except to support the gearing process either directly or indirectly.
    5) Gear drops simplified during leveling to allow people to level how they chose, rather than being forced into the typical RPG pattern.

    There's basically no side-systems, no deep engagement in the world/lore, just... action combat.

    My conclusion, in seeing the changes they've made over the years, is that they're running in the exact opposite direction of making the game more RPG-like, and explicitly trying to make ti be more like "a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements." My guess is that it's because they decided to double-down on their strength rather than spend an enormous amount of time/money shoring up their many weaknesses (some of which you touched upon).

    For this reason, although the feedback is constructive, I think it's an extremely tough hill to climb to convince the very top people at BHS to change the game's development direction that will affect all markets worldwide. Most of these decisions were probably made supported by various forms of retention data/metrics that we unfortunately don't have. And even if they did agree conceptually, it would likely take a year or more before the effects of any such course correction would be felt. Will they think the game too old now to warrant such a dramatic re-imagining to "bring the RPG back"? (A more fundamental question, perhaps, what even is their vision for TERA five years from now? Do they have one?)

    I do think some of TERA's biggest problems are vision-related; namely, the lack of a clear vision and effective focus. They've got too small a team to pretend they can be all things to all people, and spent too much time doing all things poorly. But even if they do cast a vision and make it clear, I think it's likely this will leave some players behind realizing that BHS's vision doesn't align with what they want in a game. That would be painful, but at the same time, may be the only path forward for the long run.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read, even if I didn't entirely agree with some of the specific suggestions.

    if they are so adamant about tera being action combat game and slowly killing the lore, then they should just make everyone level 65 at the start and then as we play through the game we get better and better gear.

    Maybe not 65 at the start, but look at all EME's other games: no open world, just lobbies and instances with a focus on combat. (Sort of like Phantasy Star Online used to be? Haven't played the new one, but I assume it's the same.)

    I'm not saying that's what I want from the game, as I like the "RPG" side a lot too. But it really feels sometimes that this is more where they're headed with this game. They seem to not really know what to do with the open world, and so are making it less and less relevant as time goes. At least with games EME's other games, you know what you're in for -- even though, personally, that would never have attracted me to the game in the first place.
  • ElinUsagiElinUsagi ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Jerichow wrote: »
    One of, if not the single biggest reason my friends and I see that Tera can't hold new playeris because it's advertising itself as something that it's not. Tera is a game advertised as an MMORPG, but after playing it for a a few days, or even a few hours - most new players are seeing that this game is in fact, NOT an RPG. It's a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements. People come looking for an RPG, when they see that this isn't what they were looking for, they leave.

    The ironic thing about your post and all that follows is that, actually, it seems they're very keenly aware of this issue, but they took the exact opposite approach to solving it. They doubled down on action combat as the key selling point. Consider all the changes they made in the last few years:

    1) The new tutorial map places a greater, more focused emphasis on action combat throughout.
    2) The changes they made to dungeons and the addition of vanguard quests (and phasing out of side-quests) keep a greater emphasis on combat rather that the world/lore/NPCs.
    3) The speeding up of the leveling process (and the option to level via dungeons, BGs, BAMs, etc.) gives people more ways to level through combat.
    4) Crafting was refocused to have basically no use except to support the gearing process either directly or indirectly.
    5) Gear drops simplified during leveling to allow people to level how they chose, rather than being forced into the typical RPG pattern.

    There's basically no side-systems, no deep engagement in the world/lore, just... action combat.

    My conclusion, in seeing the changes they've made over the years, is that they're running in the exact opposite direction of making the game more RPG-like, and explicitly trying to make ti be more like "a true action combat game set in a fantasy world with RPG elements." My guess is that it's because they decided to double-down on their strength rather than spend an enormous amount of time/money shoring up their many weaknesses (some of which you touched upon).

    For this reason, although the feedback is constructive, I think it's an extremely tough hill to climb to convince the very top people at BHS to change the game's development direction that will affect all markets worldwide. Most of these decisions were probably made supported by various forms of retention data/metrics that we unfortunately don't have. And even if they did agree conceptually, it would likely take a year or more before the effects of any such course correction would be felt. Will they think the game too old now to warrant such a dramatic re-imagining to "bring the RPG back"? (A more fundamental question, perhaps, what even is their vision for TERA five years from now? Do they have one?)

    I do think some of TERA's biggest problems are vision-related; namely, the lack of a clear vision and effective focus. They've got too small a team to pretend they can be all things to all people, and spent too much time doing all things poorly. But even if they do cast a vision and make it clear, I think it's likely this will leave some players behind realizing that BHS's vision doesn't align with what they want in a game. That would be painful, but at the same time, may be the only path forward for the long run.

    Anyway, it was an interesting read, even if I didn't entirely agree with some of the specific suggestions.

    if they are so adamant about tera being action combat game and slowly killing the lore, then they should just make everyone level 65 at the start and then as we play through the game we get better and better gear.

    Maybe not 65 at the start, but look at all EME's other games: no open world, just lobbies and instances with a focus on combat. (Sort of like Phantasy Star Online used to be? Haven't played the new one, but I assume it's the same.)

    Sadly, for those doing end-game content, the game has turned to be an instance based game instead of an open world game.

    This is one of the things why I left Vindictus and it's sad Tera became that, an instance based MMORPG.
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