It’s a weird feeling coming back to an mmo after a long absence. It still feels very similar, your characters is there where you left it and still looks the same and everything else on first appearances still seem the same.
And then the little things start slowly showing themselves to you, just little fleeting moments at first until that’s all you can see. There often not even entirely that bad either and some are rather welcomed but it’s still an experience that often feels overwhelmingly negative. You can’t help but want everything to go back to the way it was before in your memory.
That memory of course is often a lie. Those rose tinted glasses infect your past feelings more and more as time goes on until now, upon going back I’m not even sure what is real anymore. What changes are imagined, which ways are real and what are the actual impacts. For Tera that’s both easy and insanely hard to tell.
The main thing I’m wondering right now are the changes to soloing, in that it is now a completely accessible way to play. I seem to remember it being the domain of only the more hardcore and solitary types as it just wasn’t the optimal or easy way to play and now it has just become the way.
Skills have been changed and some even added to make soloing, and killing large amounts of enemies much easier. It seems standard for a single person to just round up a bunch then knock em down relatively quickly which certainly makes the quests take a lot quicker. Support seems no longer needed either. Where you would need a tank or heals to limit your damage now there are a wealth of health orbs dropping off every few mobs, I never even had to use my own. Even the Bams drop these quite often after a certain percentage of their health.
I’m not sure how I feel about these changes either. It just seems so against the past vision I had. A core understanding about the game and it’s encouragement of group play… was that an illusion. Was it as interesting and fun as I remember. Or is it just another case of the whole – “keeping of with the joneses” style of development where abandoning their individuality seems a necessity after a couple years.
I wonder about this as well as my experiences so far are of a completely elitist, and antagonistic population. A dungeon culture that expects absolutely perfection at all times without any of the self reflection you might expect. No help given. No advice or tips – just trial by fire and then, an execution upon non completion. People rage, accusations fly and people drop group. I don’t understand this new culture – or is it new. Was I just part of that elitist culture beforehand. I did have a constant group of friends needing heals, and a guild to do stuff with too. Is that all just something I completely missed the first time round. Has it devolved since then, or is this but another symptom of a hardcore crowd left to fester.
And then there are all the little things that slightly change the experience. The new catch up mechanics for getting gear, the wealth of dailies and token systems. And how some things are seemingly the same, like enchanting yet different at the same time. requiring a slightly different procedure. Oh, and people driving around it little cars. Some seem welcome enough, others making the process more enjoyable yet other parts, I’m not sure but don’t have the context or understanding to really make a decision.