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Choose My Adventure: TERA's Fate of Arun

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As was mentioned many times during our end-of-year awards and the comments surrounding them, 2014 was a much better year for adding to existing properties than releasing new ones. Some of the biggest launches of the year came in the form of expansions like Rift's Nightmare Tide, Star Trek Online's Delta Rising, and Star Wars: The Old Republic's Shadow of Revan. Choose My Adventure even took the expansion route last month by investigating World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor.

En Masse's TERA, too, received a huge update in 2014, though it launched with significantly less fanfare than some of the other major expansions of the year. Fate of Arun introduced new zones, added new dungeons, and raised the level cap (as expansions are wont to do). It also brought a new game mode in The Coliseum, a PvP/PvE hybrid arena-type thing. Perhaps most notably when compared to the other expansions of 2014, Fate of Arun is free to all TERA players.

Since TERA so often flies under the radar with MMO fans, I thought it might be fun to dedicate this month's CMA to Fate of Arun. So get ready because it's time to start slaying some big-ass monsters.



TERA so far

Followers of the MMO niche may remember that TERA launched in North America in May of 2012 as a subscription-based fantasy game. The subscription part didn't last long; TERA went free-to-play at the start of 2013. Since then it's carved out a comfortable niche among MMO players who enjoy pretty graphics, action combat, and a kill-focused leveling experience. I wrote about it a while back and concluded that TERA likely can't serve as your main MMO but makes an excellent second game you play casually or as a distraction from your primary leveling/raiding duties.

I do have a bit of experience with TERA. I purchased the game when it launched, but like many other players, I never went beyond my initial subscription month. I returned when it went free-to-play for a bit and have touched it off and on over the last two years. My main character is a Lancer (TERA's tank class), and I have always loved how active the class feels when dealing with huge dungeon bosses. The only reasons I haven't spent more time in the game is that historically it has been a bit grindy and I don't know anyone else who actually plays it. I've always described TERA to friends as "pretty good."

Thus, I'm pretty excited to dive into Fate of Arun. En Masse has promised that the expansion simplifies and streamlines some of the more tedious elements of the game while putting a premium on epic quest arcs and all-new dungeons and raids. That all sounds like a win to me.

Expanding upward

Unfortunately for me, my Lancer is only in the 30s or maybe the 40s. Which means, of course, that she's too low a level to go crashing into Fate of Arun's level 60-65 content. However, En Masse has offered to lend me a level 60 character for a month, allowing us to jump directly into the expansion and skip the stuff we've mostly seen before. The first two weeks will likely be filled with displays of disturbing incompetence (just like last month's CMA), but I think we can get it figured out. If it means relying on stream viewers and commenters to alert me to all the things I'm doing wrong, I'd say we're in extremely safe territory.

The first-week post of Choose My Adventure is usually about making a character, and this one won't be too much different. I'm going to give you options regarding the character we create and you're going to vote, as per usual. However, this time around, we're trying something different: En Masse has agreed to custom-create a level 60 character for me based on your poll results. The only change here is that polls will close Thursday night instead of Friday night so the En Masse team has time to make our character before my weekend play session.

Got it? Cool. Let's get to voting.

A matter of race

TERA offers seven races from which to choose. We've got Aman, Baraka, Castanic, High Elf, Human, Popori, and Elin. Humans are humans, Baraka and Aman are the "big" races, Castanics and High Elves are the "pretty" races, Elin are weird children-looking things, and Popori are bears. Because this is TERA, all of the races save Popori are hyper-sexualized, with Castanic likely being the most egregious. You can see all of the races in detail by checking out the official site. Men are often as naked as women in TERA, which may or may not affect your opinion on the game's armor design.

When you're ready, pick a race. (I won't be including Elin in the poll out of personal preference.)
%Poll-90567%
Next we'll need to choose dude or lady. Hopefully that one doesn't require further explanation:
%Poll-90555%
Finally, we'll need a class. We have access to eight classes for this CMA (the ninth is Elin-exclusive, so it's out). Archer is your basic ranged DPS, Berserker your melee DPS, Lancer your tank, and Priest your healer. Mystics are support healers/DPS, Slayers are melee DPS, Sorcerers are ranged magic DPS, and Warriors are evasive tank/DPS. Again, the official site can help you with the in-depth explanations.

Vote it up:
%Poll-90558%
That's pretty much that for this week. Remember to get your votes in by Thursday, January 8th, at 11:59 p.m. EST. I'll also be streaming TERA on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. EST so we can re-familiarize ourselves with the game before we go diving into the new content. What better way to remember how to play TERA than tanking a dungeon and getting everyone killed?

See you in Arborea!

Mike Foster is putting you in the driving seat of Choose My Adventure, the Massively column in which you make the rules, call the shots, and take the blame when things go horribly awry. Stop by every Wednesday to help Mike as he explores the ins and outs of games big and small and to see what happens when one man tries to take on a world of online games armed only with a solar keyboard and the power of spellcheck.

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