Tera: gathering buffs, stamina and campfires

Tera has short-term bonus effects (buffs) from simply gathering materials in the world. This style of buff-by gathering has been done before, for instance WoW flirted with this in the Burning Crusade expansion although only for a couple of the expansions’ herbs (see Dreaming Glory tooltip in screenshot below).

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The Tera screenshot below shows a tooltip for one of the three different buffs my character had on at that time. You get a random one from a small set each time you gather and some of them will stack for a higher bonus.

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This system ties in loosely to the stamina mechanic. The small red heart under my character’s blue MP bar is the stamina meter. When you are in a rest area or near a campfire you regenerate stamina. You lose stamina as you adventure out in the world, if you die you lose almost all of it. Stamina below 100% reduces your maximum HP and MP (health & mana in other games). So stamina has a noticeable effect on your character’s key statistics.

This then also links in to another system I really like, the campfires. Quest hubs all have a central feature, a giant permanent bonfire-style campfire. Being near this fire regenerates your stamina. So these fires, with the stamina mechanic as encouragement, are a set of public spaces where characters naturally gather for 30 seconds or more while their stamina returns. A great chance to look for help, share some buffs or even some RP! TERA_ScreenShot_20130203_190340

The above screenshot shows the glowing shield effect of a charm triggering. You find charms of different kinds dropping from killed monsters. You use one to ‘throw it on the fire’ which gives a buff to all nearby characters. There are defensive and offensive versions. Again a great little system for giving you an edge, tied to the need to return to a base to recover your strength. Each time you return to the base you have a chance to meet other players’ characters in the open world, so more chance of grouping up and more chance of interaction between players.

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There is a portable short-lived campfire item as a random drop (possibly you can craft them as well?). These are used to restore stamina in dungeons or when questing – and to recover from the stamina loss caused by a character death. They also offer the chance to apply charm-buffs.

A simple inter-linked set of systems, that somehow gel well for me as a player. I always loved ‘drive-by’ buffs as a benefit of multiplayer games, the charms offer all characters of any class the chance to give such bonuses. The gathering buffs are just a good idea in general, I was disappointed that WoW dropped the idea after TBC.

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