But, alas, to make me a fixed figure for the time of scorn.

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

            – Excerpt from High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

As it was when I wrote about my enjoyment of the small detail of a turning horse’s head in Lord of the Rings Online, there are elements to Tera which are just breathtaking. Contrails form from your mount’s wingtips as you fly between locations; I haven’t worked out if they’re random or based upon the environment being passed through, but it is a simple moment of delight when they appear.

I’ve deleted the two thousand or so words which I wrote next, because many people have already judged the game and those who play it, and I cannot bring myself to present a justification for my playing it to the MMO equivalent of Freud’s inner circle.

Suffice it to say that I feel this is a game which tried not to bridge the chasmal divide between Eastern and Western cultures, but launched itself wholly across in an attempt to forge a beachhead, and found itself firmly repelled.

My time with Tera will shortly be drawing to a close, but I don’t regret having played it, for I have had joyous encounters on my journeys within both the world and the game, where I discovered a different culture of design, all of which I happily feel has been a worthwhile expansion to the universality of my MMO experience.

2 thoughts on “But, alas, to make me a fixed figure for the time of scorn.

  1. Van Hemlock

    Bleh, to hell with justification.

    Play what you like and quit what you don’t, and you don’t owe any of us a word of explanation.

  2. ArcherAvatar

    First, I whole-heartedly agree with Van Hemlock.

    Second, I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable with folks dismissing the numerous negative or non-plussed opinions on TERA as being simply racial or culture in origin, and therefore unworthy of value as objective (or subjective) opinions formed from personal experience of the game.

    In point of fact, the game shares many of it’s most glaring flaws in common with most other MMOs on the market (you want a list … again? … sigh… kill stealing, resource node competition, restricitve trinity-based class roles, linear quest hubs, wall o’ text quests, waiting “in line” for quest objectives, etc, etc, etc…) The fact that the game originates in Korea has absolutely no bearing on these matters whatsoever.

    While there are “personal taste” issues that are more cultural in nature with respect to the game’s graphics, there are plenty of “western” gamers who are more than familiar with anime style appearances (like myself) who still find the character graphics of TERA as “a bit over the line.” I have a comprehensive library of anime DVDs, and generally consider myself a fan of the genre with a great appreaciation for it’s distinctive look, but I still don’t care for the character graphics in TERA.

    There are far more than “issues with the graphics” that are causing this game some problems in gaining popularity… after a day spent in it’s recent beta test, it was quite clear to me that regardless of how beautiful the game was (imo) and how interesting certain facets of the combat system were, there was simply too much of the game mechanics still firmly stuck in the past for me to be able to tolerate it for very long.

    (and “yes” those game mechanics are very much “in the past” for me… since playing GW2 beta at least…)

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