TERA vs Aion

Beau Hindman of Massively fame wrote a brief twitter thinking that Tera will suffer the same fate as Aion. I don’t think so, and my reasons why are way too long to tweet, so here they are.

Aion’s systems were never planned well. Two player factions simply cannot work in a game, because one side will dominate. Open world PvP from level 25 up is fine, but you can’t also force people to endure a very long PvE grind while getting ganked and interrupted while doing it. You also can’t release a game with very dull PvE content and boring character abilities.

The systems not being planned well led to the population drying up and unbalancing itself. A lot of people left the game at many points. I left at 32, because I couldn’t see grinding 18 more levels while being unable to defend myself from twinks. Some people get defeated by the grind way before then. Others reach 50 and give up in disgust because the endgame content is just a grind with little fun. This winnowed a lot of people out.

The PvP and rifting for those who remained wound up being unbalanced because people on the losing faction (usually Asmodean) either left the game or rerolled. And when it came time to move servers after a merge? All the Asmos went to one server, with the others being one faction servers. PvP dried up.

NC Soft West is either clueless or powerless. They could have fixed it. They could have tried to balance the game better to avoid bleeding players out, and redistributed population to healthier levels. They have done nothing.

For Tera to have that same fate they need to repeat many of these mistakes. I don’t think its possible to. Aion was bad at a systemic level from launch: time just showed the flaws. I don’t know if Tera is.


2 Responses to TERA vs Aion

  1. Drew says:

    Beau seems like a nice enough guy, but is one of the worst MMO critics I’ve ever read. I suspect we could insert the following phrase “…will fail because it is not F2P.” and that would satisfy half his arguments. He’s a F2P “fanboi” and it shows through easily.

    You’re spot-on about AION, but I think one thing you left off was that the big draw of the game – massive PvP for forts, etc. – kills your average PC. I finally made it to level 25 and took part in one of these sieges – even with the characters turned off (yes, you can do that and just see name plates) it was an absolute crawl. Really turned off my interest in progressing much farther. Shame, too, because I liked the nice graphics, chain-skills, and some other things here and there about AION.

    I shouldn’t have to drop all the graphics settings to minimum on a pretty solid PC just to play this part of the game. Never had that problem in WG in WoW, for what it’s worth, with maxed settings. (Yes, I now WoW can run on a toaster – but that’s another part of the appeal.)

  2. Dblade says:

    I did that myself, with the same result. The fort aspect wasn’t a draw for me because I’ve never been one for large-scale PvP. I like smaller gang engagements. Plus that style of PvP is dominated by level-capped players. My problem was that getting to level cap was too annoying due to rifting and vet/noob power differential.

    Beau is repeating the conventional wisdom about TERA. I admit because of Aion I have the same worries, but if it fails it will be for different reasons.

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