TERA Interview: ‘Focused On Making TERA The Best Game It Can Be’

En Masse Entertainment’s Senior Product Manager answered our questions about the future for TERA.

Posted By | On 30th, Apr. 2018 Under Article, Interviews


TERA is an MMORPG that garnered a lot of attention at the time of its release due to its distinctive style and combat system. The game saw a greater surge in popularity once it became free-to-play. Although TERA is still faced with some challenges, it’s clear that players continue to find reasons to go back to this game. The game was also recently released for consoles, so there’s a lot to be excited for when it comes to TERA’s future.

To find out more about the game’s current status and plans for the future, Gamingbolt reached out to En Masse Entertainment and the company’s Senior Product Manager Matthew Denomme provided the following answers.

TERA

"Since Open Beta we’ve launched the game fully and, with more players, we’ve identified a number of other issues that we are working with the game’s developers to sort out as soon as possible."

TERA has gone through numerous changes since its launch. What are your thoughts on the current status of the game and player satisfaction?

The TERA development team continues to support the game and is constantly adding new content for players to engage with, including new dungeons, classes, events, social features, and other quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes. TERA’s longevity and players’ continued engagement with the game I think speaks to the quality of Bluehole’s ongoing development support and En Masse’s live service support for the game, though there is always room for improvement. Non-gender-locked classes and overall support for PvP content I think are two areas where players would like to see us improve, and we’ve made some strides recently in those areas with the addition of battleground leaderboards and the male brawler in March 2018’s Counterpunch update.

We recently got some insight into what Bluehole has in store for TERA for the remainder of 2018 and beyond, and we are really thrilled with what they’re planning…and we think players will be too!

What kind of feedback did you received from the Open Beta of the console versions and what kind of fixes players can expect in the future?

The Open Beta revealed some bottlenecks: areas where players cluster during leveling or shared social spaces that contributed to poor performance, and in some cases crashing and client freezes. We remedied this during our second Open Beta a week later by adding more channels (think separate instances of the same area) and that seemed to help a lot. While these areas still suffer some performance issues, they are no longer a roadblock to players.

Since Open Beta we’ve launched the game fully and, with more players, we’ve identified a number of other issues that we are working with the game’s developers to sort out as soon as possible.

What can you tell us about the rebalanced dungeons? How do the changes keep the difficulty fair while still rewarding players?

Every dungeon in TERA has a purpose, whether it’s introducing new players to group dynamics at level 20, or speeding you along to better gear at level 65. With the introduction of last year’s progressive enchanting system, we were able to provide players with that gear as soon as they reach level 65, which also allowed us to retune dungeon content that players were skipping into challenging and relevant end-game experiences.

As you mentioned, challenge versus reward is something our developers take very seriously, and when we take a dungeon out of the mix, it’s always with an eye to bringing it back with new and improved mechanics, and more rewarding gameplay.

When is the next major content expansion for TERA? When will we see new stories, quests and continents?

Every content release moves the needle a little bit farther, but to your larger question all I’ll say for now is: Keep Looking Up.

What are your thoughts about bringing TERA to consoles especially with how successful games like Neverwinter have been?

We’ve had our sights set on a console release for a while now, but our priority has always been making TERA the best game it can be. Moving to Steam was an important first step, as it helped us gauge the impact a wider player base would have on not only our servers, but the TERA play environment. With the lessons we learned there, consoles were the next logical step, but we didn’t want to rush in half-cocked. So we took a couple years to get our business plan aligned with the needs of the players, while at the same time rebuilding TERA from the ground up with consoles in mind. We like the result, and we know that players will too.

tera

"Like all free-to-play games, we have cosmetic items available in our store for players who want to customize their look, or are looking for a snazzy mount to fly around TERA’s friendly skies."

In this age of newer competitors and the like, where can TERA go from here? Could a sequel possibly happen at some point?

Anything’s possible, but right now we’re still focused on making TERA the best game it can be. And really, after over six years of live service, TERA is kind of its own sequel!

Does the game have any sort of microtransactions or loot boxes?

Like all free-to-play games, we have cosmetic items available in our store for players who want to customize their look, or are looking for a snazzy mount to fly around TERA’s friendly skies. Our loot boxes have been carefully designed to provide value without disrupting either game play or the in-game economy and often include items with unique properties like the ability to be dyed different colors.

The game is now confirmed for the PS4 and Xbox One, which also means it will support the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Can you please let us know the resolution and frame rate it will run at on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. And the resolution and frame rate on the base PS4 and Xbox One versions?

TERA does not have any specific support for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, though it does gain some passive performance benefits when running on both resulting in higher framerates and an overall smoother experience.

On the base models as well as the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, the game runs at 1080p and targets 30fps, though the framerate is variable and can go up or down depending on what’s onscreen at any given time.

What is your take on the recent trend of games as a service model and the possible controversial monetization practices arising from it?

Games as a service don’t need to rely on controversial monetization practices necessarily. At the core of a service model is a dedication to the long-term commitment to a product both for developers/publishers and players. It’s about finding products that appeal to your audience and also fit your game design.

Is there anything more you’d like to tell our readers?

TERA’s got plenty to offer any gamer. The combat of a character-action game, the deep gameplay and customization of an MMO, stunning graphics, a soaring soundtrack, and epic enemy encounters. If you’re looking for your next gaming obsession, TERA may well fit the bill!


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