Massively Exclusive: En Masse talks TERA's Dungeon Assault

TERA Dungeon Assault
TERA: Rising's new Dungeon Assault content patch is prepped for launch today, bringing with it new dungeons, new game modes, new bosses, and high-end gear. Among the added encounters are Wonderholme (a 10-man raid), Channelworks (a three-player mission), Kezzel's Gorge (a seven-player tower defense game), and Shattered Fleet (a five-player "BAM beatdown").

Also new today are the Conjunct, Visionmaker, and Bloodrave armor sets, which represent the most powerful armor on offer once fully leveled and upgraded. We spoke with En Masse about the state of TERA: Rising, the thought process behind the new encounters, and how the studio answers some common fan complaints.

Check out our interview and exclusive video and images of the Channelworks dungeon after the break.

Massively: Are you able to discuss how many active players TERA currently has? What about in the west vs. the east? Relative to launch?

En Masse: Unfortunately, we can't really speak to how many players TERA currently has in terms of west vs. east. But I can say that TERA: Rising has over two million players, and the response to the transition from the previous monthly fee business has been overwhelmingly positive so far.

TERA Dungeon Assault
Is the Dungeon Assault patch primarily intended for existing or former players? What is the dev team doing to attract brand-new players?

While Dungeon Assault is definitely a great addition for existing and former players, it was designed for more than just the hardcore audience. These dungeons add not just new content but new gameplay mechanics to TERA, which should be engaging for all types of players. With this series of updates, we've also streamlined the leveling curve to focus more on new players as well as brought in new content that gives players an option for leveling up with PvP gameplay versus just questing.

TERA Dungeon Assault
What is the thought process behind developing dungeons of varying sizes? Is it tough to balance around groups of seven or three? What are the challenges of building content like tower defense scenarios that aren't necessarily common in (MMO)RPG titles?

It's definitely not an easy one. I would say that the dungeon is still focused on player combat, but we also have tower defense elements that give players more variety in how they choose to defeat the boss. It's fun to mix things up a bit and not go with the same old raid formula.

TERA Dungeon Assault

How do players "level up" the new special armor sets? Do these sets offer bonuses or abilities other sets do not?

The new special armor sets are "leveled" (enchanted) the same way our current armor sets are. If a player puts in the legwork to upgrade the armor sets, they'll offer bonuses that are more powerful than any current set in the game.

What future plans do you have for new TERA content? How frequently can players expect large updates going forward?

There's a lot of exciting updates coming up including brand-new worlds, enemies, and game mechanics, but also refreshes to existing systems in the game to make TERA better as a whole. As far as frequency, we've taken great efforts in streamlining the updates coming in from the development team and will be able to quickly patch fresh content as it's ready to launch.

TERA Dungeon Assault
Are there plans for more story-driven or solo content? How do you answer player criticisms that TERA is already fairly dungeon-heavy?

I'm excited about some future updates that will push more story and solo content, and we'll be making announcements on that later. I think that criticism depends on where you hear it from. We get a lot of feedback that there aren't enough dungeons in TERA as well, so we try to keep a good balance on what type of content should come up next. Our goal is still to get high-quality content out there. This time it was in the form of new dungeons, but our last updates included a new PvP battleground (with cannons, airships, and tanks) and the Alliance system, which introduced a game-wide faction system involving both PvP and PvE gameplay mechanics.

For the latest updates and to download and play TERA: Rising for free, we encourage everyone to check out the official website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks for your time!

When readers want the scoop on a launch or a patch (or even a brewing fiasco), Massively goes right to the source to interview the developers themselves. Be they John Smedley or Chris Roberts or anyone in between, we ask the devs the hard questions. Of course, whether they tell us the truth or not is up to them!
This article was originally published on Massively.