I got some time into TerA this morning before I collapsed into a heap of lard, so here's some beginning thoughts.
Graphics - The graphics available in the beta are not the highest res that will be available iirc. That said there isn't an MMO that touches this game so far. There's some clipping, but nothing like Western titles. Love the armor designs, monsters. Animations are pretty smooth all around. I think the render distance and LOD could afford to be pushed up since it's an Unreal game and I have insane performance. HKS made note of some stuttering which could be because he's still running a dual core. But he gets stuttering on a lot of games so I'm not 100% sure. Really looking forward to ultra detail textures.
This is an Asian game, so the graphics are naturally a step above foreign titles in style alone.
I've judge the graphics more when I get out of the starter zone.
Sounds - Standard fare so far. Much better than Western titles, e.g. blizzard, but not up to Lineage 2 standards. Dialogue sounds like a western game, e.g. not much emotion atm. I was hoping they'd have stepped up the monster SFX since K beta but not from what I've heard so far, though combat sfx is pretty damn good. I was also hoping they'd have stepped up the music since K tera too but no dice so far. I mean, it's decent, but I was hoping for John Debney. I guess I can't be too picky.
Gameplay - As I'll describe in my videos, it feels like Lineage 2 with WoW framework and a somewhat ARPG control system. I say somewhat because as I compare this game mostly to God of War, it is not as responsive as an ARPG. For this part I'll go in-depth.
I'm playing a Warrior currently, which is regarded to be underpowered in PvE DPS on TL from what I last read. I'm playing on a PvE server since I'm not interested in playing open world pvp with americans. HKS plays Archer.
As the game's servers don't seem to go through AT&T we don't get the ludicrous latency issues we get on WoW. So, hits and movement and stuff are all reasonable and function as you'd expect. Even though it's a beta only in one instance did I have server-side lag, and it could just as easily have been Canada being Canada.
Like the trailers and youtube videos suggest, it's an ARPG combat system. So, no statistical misses - weapons seem to have hitboxes. Including enemy hitboxes. This means that, yes, every attack is AoE and some attacks can hit targets in a wide berth or even behind you. Several enemy attacks have actually killed me because they hit me from behind him with a wide sweep. I think the game might even have Z axis detection on weapons - it's Unreal, of course - so the one flying enemy I encountered it seemed my attacks could much more easily miss him.
The enemy types on the starting island are fairly limited, you've probably seen them so far. So I'll describe the two major ones that aren't AoE.
There's Runekeepers, which have a dynamite toss ability and attack reasonably fast. I find that, as leather dps melee, avoiding their attacks can actually be pretty difficult. We were killing these guys when they had 5-6 levels on us, so keep in mind our damage and their damage was scaled accordingly. So, they had the potential to crit you for half your health. Avoiding attacks matters at that stage. Their basic melee attack sometimes comes in dual swings - the jump isn't enough to avoid both. This meant that it was more beneficial to play a little defensively like I have to in GoW, which means darting in an out and baiting attacks, then flanking. It's a welcome change over all the other rpg's in general I've been playing.
However, a handful of attacks/animations I have need to be cancellable faster. I have a sweeping AoE that currently is available out of my jump. If I jump and then use this attack I am guaranteed to eat damage from the enemy because I can't start moving again for quite some time, and jumping is rarely enough to avoid damage. So, I've died several times because I tried to attack after jumping with that ability. This is a tweaking kind of thing; you could probably bring control back faster with a backswing value somewhere. HKS tells me some other people whined about this sort of thing. So far it's not too colossal of a deal, I have to be less greedy. Unlike Aion, these combo attacks are available for much longer after their preceding attack. So, it's safe to jump, then run, then go back and use it. I'm just a DPS min-maxer so I tend to be greedy.
The second enemy type is the cliche big slow guy. Some of his attacks always hit behind him. All enemies of both types have this red eye glow kind of deal. Very Asian. You see it/hear it and it basically tells you "avoid this attack". Because at the level difference we were at, it hurt a lot if you didn't avoid it. Bosses and such will no doubt have very similar "signature" precursors to attacks. That's how these games work. The question is, will they overdo it like hotkey mmos e.g. WoW, or will it be balanced more like ARPG's?
Currently, this game seems to me to be like what Vindictus should have been. Vindictus was wholly and utterly disappointing once you got past the lolphysics hype. Mobs don't give much exp when killing them currently, so I suspect we'll have to start question soon (@ level 8-9 right now iirc). This is unfortunate. So far from what little I've seen, the questing is basically standard MMO fare. This can be good or bad - I heard it's fast to level, so it can't be too Aion/Lineage-like in terms of exp gain. But I'd prefer grinding to actually be viable in a game like this. I just like fighting over running back and forth. So, I think mob exp income should be considerably increased, since it's dropping off massively as we reach the mob's levels and we can't leave the island until 11.
HKS does more damage if he's closer to a target, which is kind of an interesting way of balancing ranged. Archers actually have quite a short range, and it seems like mages and such are the same way. This is the offshoot of ARPG balancing - ranged classes can be stupidly OP, even moreso than in normal MMO's, if you aren't careful. Currently, mobs rarely ever get the chance to even touch him, and he's never come close to dying. Meanwhile I've probably died at least a dozen times.
Both players can mine a node e.g. ore at once, both get credit, skill up, and experience. Why has it taken this long for this to happen in an MMO? It also seems you get bonus exp for being in a party but I'm not 100% sure. If this is the case, why has it taken this long for this to happen in an MMO? I think the last MMO that didn't punish you for being in a fucking group was Tabula Rasa. Think about it for a moment, and then realize how utterly stupid punishing group exp/drops is.
Any other mechanical things, like campfires, you probably already know about if you've been watching the game.
This is just a preliminary review, I'll post more when I've played more. Of course, the video will show all of these. Though the quality will probably suck since it'll be coming out of vegas (I'm cropping out a lot of unnecessary fighting and such).
HKS informs me we are running the high res textures. I also discovered that parties cut exp in half.
Warning: dialogue contains politically incorrect content. Viewer rearsore may occur.