TERA launch-day roundup

TERA - character creation screen
We've devoted a ton of virtual ink to TERA over the last couple of years. Since the game's long-awaited North American launch day is finally here, we figured it was high time to collect our best coverage in one handy post.

Click past the cut to find a little bit of everything to help you start your Arborean journey off on the right foot. We've got detailed gameplay impressions, video, exclusive lore, and plenty of information about everything from crafting to the endgame political system. If you're playing TERA on launch day, join the discussion in the comments and tell us what you think of the game!

Collector's edition unboxing
So what's contained therein? You probably know already if you pre-ordered: a map, a handsome box, a compass, and of course, the game itself. But there are lots of specifics to cover, like the quality of the extra little collectibles.
Human racial video and producer letter
Perhaps you'll be more interested to know that the studio has extended the inaugural subscription rate deal; have an active subscription to the game by May 31st and you'll wind up with long-term discounts on the subscription price.
Frogster responds to censorship controversy
The post begins with an apology for the lack of transparency in the matter of removing the blood effect slider from the game without mention; it goes on to promise that "the gore slider will be back with the original three different graduations and blood will still be spread on the ground during combat," though it's important to note that the feature will be patched back in shortly after launch.
New Island of Dawn prologue video
For those not yet in the beta, here's the down-low: Players begin their journey aboard a ship bound for the Island of Dawn, and as anyone familiar with fantasy tropes knows, getting on a ship bound for an unknown land is often just a prelude to a terrible shipwreck.
En Masse responds to TERA lawsuit rumors
The piece states that "after extensive Korean proceedings, Bluehole Studio was not found to have made any use of any NCsoft trade secrets in the form of source code or game design." It also notes that NCsoft product performance has suffered since TERA's Korean launch more than a year ago.
TERA's early game more challenging than most
En Masse Entertainment is highlighting something it calls improved early play, which in a nutshell means that fresh-face Arborean avatars won't be killing 10 rats or delivering 10 rat tails while serving time on the TERA equivalent of a newbie island.
En Masse releases TERA launch cinematic
The clip shows off all seven playable races and makes a great jumping-off point for delving into TERA's lore and backstory. It sets up the conflict between the Valkyon Federation and the soulless argon army that threatens it, and the clip also hints at why players are gathering on the game's newbie Island of Dawn.
TERA tweaks economic systems
For starters, the trade broker has been vastly improved with "robust search features," while private stores have been abolished in order to make the broker the true hub of the game's economy. Enchanters will be pleased to know that the penalty for failing an enchantment has been removed, so while an enchantment can still fail, it won't weaken the target piece of equipment in the process.
Jef takes the TERA beta for a test drive
Ultimately, TERA is like that cute girl I sat next to in some semester long past. We chatted, there were some shared interests, and I definitely wanted to spend some more time with her. How much time? That depends on a number of factors, and while this is all pretty exciting, it's still too early to tell just how exciting, you know?
Elisabeth plays TERA at PAX East
The developers have done a wonderful job with the implementation of the combat system they've chosen. While this demo didn't really cover PvP or more open-world PvE, what we saw was compelling and inviting. I can only hope (and test, soon, as the next open beta is mere weeks away) that the rest of the game is as well-constructed.
TERA crafting guide
En Masse recently released a fairly detailed tradeskilling guide, and while it won't tell you exactly where to get rare materials, it does give you plenty of info on the basics. TERA features six different crafting disciplines, and your character can learn them all at any time. There are no training costs; all you'll need to worry about is finding patterns and raw materials.
TERA demo and dynamic events at GDC
"It's been a helluva year since we've been at GDC last," TERA Producer Chris Hager started, "and everyone wants to know what we've been doing for the past 365 days."

Matt weighs in on TERA's first beta weekend
Ultimately, I really enjoyed my time in TERA, though it wasn't without its quirks and foibles. The combat certainly stands up to the hype, and it really is a unique experience that you can't find in any other MMO on the market today. That said, there are some curious artifacts that betray its Korean origins, such as long HP regen times, self-rooting ability animations, and the Elin.
TERA's rocky road to release
What a difference a year makes, eh? February of 2011 found me drooling over my keyboard as I devoured all the screenshots and gameplay footage leaking out of TERA's Korean launch (yes, the westernization process really has been dragging on for a year). Fast-forward 12 months and the game is losing a little bit of its luster because of certain En Masse decisions and in spite of the fact that the firm has a potentially awesome MMO on its hands.
TERA political system highlighted
As the video outlines, players can win their office through direct battle with other candidates or via popular vote, depending on which method suits each individual. Once in office, players will have a variety of powers -- taxes can be raised or lowered, important NPCs can be added or removed, town features can be edited, and a player can make a lasting impact on the game world for good or bad.
TERA lore: A day in the life of a naga-claw rider
Naga clawriders are deadly foes. Take an elite naga trooper, already twelve feet of armored muscle and serpentine grace, and mount him on a crab the size of a tank, and as strong. The clawrider's connection to his mount is mysterious, but so powerful that the rider will die if his mount does. As to how they're connected, nobody who knows the secret has lived to tell it.
Matt visits En Masse, plays TERA
At this year's PAX, I had the distinct pleasure of being able to get a hands-on preview of TERA at En Masse's own studio (which has the most amazing view I've ever seen, by the way). After a short presentation featuring TERA's healer trailer, we (Rubi, another journalist, and I) were tossed into the boots of a variety of DPS characters. I took on the role of the Sorceress, with Rubi with me on the back lines as an Archer.
TERA's server vs. server endgame content
En Masse also trotted out the first mention of its plans for server vs. server combat. The system is designed to provide additional endgame content via PvE and PvP. "It's going to have players from other servers coming to your territory, on your server, and invading your space," Hager explained. He went on to mention how guilds will need to ally with one another to repel the invaders, and if the alliance proves strong enough, take the fight back to the invaders' home turf.
This article was originally published on Massively.