It won’t be long now and the Secrets & Shadows update will be upon us in the free-to-play MMORPG TERA. This weekend, I sat down with Patrick Sun, Producer, to get the scoop on the latest update AND scored an MMOBOMB EXCLUSIVE with the first look at flying mounts in the above video! Check out the video and then sit back and read up on the upcoming patch.
Magicman (MM): Patrick, it’s nice to catch up with you as always. For readers that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do day to day on TERA?
Patrick Sun (PS): Hello MMOBomb readers, my name is Patrick Sun and I am the Producer for TERA at En Masse Entertainment. As Producer, my responsibilities on the game span a wide range, including serving as our point of contact with the game’s developers, planning and designing events, scheduling and preparing game updates, releasing new items, etc.
MM: So… Secrets & Shadows is the latest update coming to TERA in the West and we can expect it this month. Give us the overview of all the new features coming.
PS: Secrets & Shadows is a highly-anticipated and content-packed update for TERA. It features a new playable character class in the Ninja, the addition of flying mounts which you saw the video for today, three new end-game dungeons along with two new end-game gear sets, and a whole whack of new additions, changes, and fixes.
MM: You mentioned flying mounts. Why now for that feature? TERA’s been around for a while and resisted the call to fly. What makes now the right time?
PS: TERA’s developers, Bluehole Inc., and En Masse Entertainment are always looking for new ways to surprise and entertain players. TERA’s beautiful graphics and game world have always been one of its defining features, so we figured why not let players view it from a new perspective while also adding a fun new gameplay system and means of travel.
MM: Will flying be restricted in any way? Like is it limited to newer zones or only in certain locations?
PS: Upon their introduction, flying will be restricted to what we’re calling “free-fly” zones. These include the newly revamped Island of Dawn, Val Oriyn, and the city of Velika. There are plans in the future to add flight in other zones in TERA.
MM: Many long time World of Warcraft players bemoan the addition of flying mounts and its impact on the ground game (both PvE and PvP) in the game’s world. Has the development team weighed these pros and cons? How did flying win out?
PS: We’re not the dev team, and as such it’s hard to speak entirely on their behalf. But it’s clear to us that there was a ton of thinking that went into these mounts. As mentioned above, flying mounts are being implemented in just a few zones to start, two of which are PvP-free and don’t require exploration. In the third, level 65 players have already finished their quests, so the transition between flying and ground movement is more cosmetic than anything else.
In TERA, you’re not going to see people dropping out of the sky to gank someone—our combat just doesn’t work like that. Likewise, you won’t see someone hopping on their mount and flying away from a PK’er in the middle of a fight.
MM: Sticking with shadows, the new ninja class is also coming. Tell us a bit about what makes it unique.
PS: The ninja is TERA’s twelfth class. She is a nimble, hit-and-run fighter with additional ranged attacks made possible by her over-sized shuriken. Her increased mobility and ability to harness “Chi” to unleash unique fire-imbued attacks make her unique among the other classes.
MM: Again a class that is race/gender locked….while we get it from a resources side of things, classes seem to be coming fast and there is no male class love. What’s the deal with sticking to females?
PS: It’s important to remember that as TERA’s North American publisher, we’re just one of seven territories that Bluehole services with one global build. We get a lot of feedback on this, and we make sure to emphasize it when planning for the future. But as a developer Bluehole has to make design choices that are in the best interests of the game as a whole, not just our players or players in some other market.
MM: You have to be getting a ton of feedback with players not being happy with gender locking period, I know we do on our site every time we cover TERA. Do you think maybe having a longer delay between classes so that they aren’t gender locked might be more beneficial?
PS: In terms of benefiting the game, the absolute best thing we could do would be no new classes at all. Fate of Arun is an excellent example of a major update that was not centered on a new class, and we got a lot of positive feedback from both new and veteran players about it.
But that having been said, there are a lot of benefits to the game as a whole with new classes. New classes come with a ton of other systems and features, like class balancing and dungeon tuning. I’d hate to delay that stuff for the sake of getting one class exactly right for everyone, everywhere.
MM: Dungeons, dungeons, and raids. Dakuryon is back, we’ve got dungeons of 7 person, 5 person, and even solo varieties coming. Can you walk us through them?
PS: Dakuryon is one of TERA’s big bads, and after featuring prominently in our Fate of Arun storyline he makes his return in the “Secrets & Shadows” update. Players might recall that Dakuryon narrowly escaped at the end, and Secrets & Shadows will allow players to finally get their sweet revenge and go toe-to-toe with Dakuryon in the Shadow Sanguinary.
Additionally, we have the Demokron Factory, a 7-player raid dungeon set in in one of Dakuryon’s underground labs that lets players face-off with some truly twisted monsters.
Finally, Secrets & Shadows debuts a new solo dungeon called Celestial Arena, where the best of the best face off against a series of challenges guaranteed to test their skills.
MM: Any other surprises in store this month?
PS: May 2016 marks TERA’s fourth year of live operations. We’re cooking up some additional anniversary festivities surrounding the update, so watch out for those!
My thanks to Patrick for taking time out to chat with us and for the exclusive trailer!