December 8th, En Masse Entertainment will be setting yet another new class loose in the free-to-play, action combat MMORPG TERA. The update, dubbed “Knockout” for reasons that will probably be apparent, will also bring two new dungeons, new armor sets, and a slew of enhancements and changes to the Exiled Realm of Arborea (see, I bet you thought I forgot what TERA stood for!)
I had the chance to sit down with the team from En Masse and check out one of the two new dungeons and, of course, the new Brawler class. As Patrick “Treeshark” Sun, Producer, kicks off the demo, he describes what the new class brings to TERA. In Patrick’s words, the Brawler adds a new tank to the game that doesn’t quite follow the rules of your typical MMORPG tank.
With that, Matt Denomme, Senior Producer, Donna Prior, Community Manager Team Lead, Scott James Magner, Writer, Treeshark, and I set off to run the new “Kalivan’s Dreadnaught” dungeon taking place inside (and outside) an airship that’s having a bit of a rough time as we enter.
You see, the Brawler isn’t aiming to keep a target’s aggro through the normal rotation of “threat” based abilities. Yes, the Brawler does have a provoke ability when things go awry, but the main threat generation from Brawlers comes from the damage they dish out. So, in a nutshell, if you’re the type of DPS class that loves to burst damage things until you pull off of the tank, tanking as the Brawler class may be one hell of an option for you.
The Brawler wields Powerfists, basically huge metal gloves that are used to smack the crap out of anything that gets too close. Build up rage and you’ll be all set to unleash some pretty impressive combos. Yes, TERA is known for combining attacks, but in the Brawler’s case, I mean literal combos. Ever play a fighting game and you see that lovely little combo counter in the corner? Your Brawler has that as well. Keep those numbers climbing and your Brawler’s damage output climbs as well. Get the idea now? Tank through brute force. Tank well and you’ll be outputting even MORE damage that will in turn keep that target’s threat on you the entire fight.
To end there would do a Brawler a disservice though. In classic fighting game style, the Brawler can even juggle monsters using abilities like “Airborne Kick.” Yep! Smack them into the air and don’t let them land while you continue to dish out the punishment. During my dungeon run (with multiple Brawlers in the party) it was damn satisfying to see waves of trash mobs constantly in the air flailing around as my press cohorts and I juggled them to death.
Building Rage also opens a number of both offensive and defensive abilities your Brawler can trigger. My favorite of these was Calamity Rage which basically turns your Brawler into an air strike of its own that deals fantastic damage to a targeted area.
While punching the hell out of things was fun, I did find that some abilities left my Brawler a bit vulnerable to telegraph abilities. You can maybe chalk this up to me jumping onto a new class at max level and not having much experience with the abilities, but it seemed to happen more often than in previous previews I have attended. Triggering some abilities left me in a bit of an animation lock that caused me to end up getting slammed more often than not. Certainly knowing the boss fights and anticipating certain attacks likely helps with this so new Brawlers may want to know the fights in and out to perform at optimal levels and not drive your healers crazy.
All in all the Brawler seems like a blast to try out, but yes, it is gender and race locked like previous new additions to TERA. When I asked about this trend of late, I was given the reason I expected. Resources. Yes, the team at En Masse would love to drop new classes with male and female models and multiple races unlocked, but resource wise this would mean that new classes are fewer and far between. It’s also interesting to compare some of the new classes to original TERA classes. Doing so though does make some of the older classes look less “action-y” than they once were so maybe we’ll see some additions in the future.
The Knockout update will also revamp PvP and PvE gear to streamline the process a bit and one new feature that dungeon runners may enjoy is the new “Rez for Gold” system. Die in a dungeon and you’ll have the ability to spend some gold for an instant, on the spot resurrection. This feature can only be used a limited number of times per dungeon run though, so take the healer’s rez when you can do so.
All in all, the update looks like another solid one for TERA which has seen a huge increase in players ever since the Steam launch.
Our thanks to the En Masse team for taking time to provide us with the preview!