Soon after I logged into Tera last night someone posted on the LFG channel for two BAM quests I had for the Aurum Road zone. I’ve been getting worried at how little grouping I’ve done so I thought, what the heck I’ll jump on in. I soon learned just how bad my habits carried-over from other MMOs were…
I was paired up with a warrior and a sorceror for killing some giant lizards including the same quest BAM from the last session. During the quest to kill three lizard BAMs we gained another two players (slayer and archer). The lizards died pretty quickly and the healing was easy so we moved onto the next set of BAMs, the vulcans near a beach.
I died very quickly in the first BAM fight to a charge attack, and twice more on the second BAM of the trio. It was just embarrassing! All of a sudden it felt like I was playing a different game to the previous dungeon runs and BAM fights I’d done when my character was level 20-24. I was literally being two-shotted by these things if I got remotely close enough.
Of course “don’t get close to it!” would be the solution, BUT to heal in Tera you have to position. You have circular AoE heals that have a finite range, you have one that drops a smallish circle of AoE heals in front of you where you point but that has limited range as well. So staying at extreme range and healing (hello WoW healers!) doesn’t work at all. Often the tank will turn the BAM away from the group but that increases the range the healer is from the tank and potentially makes targeting the all important lock-on heal very difficult!
In the end I got a lot better fast, for a few seconds I was ready to give up but I persevered. Instead I created a new healing toolbar setup to make it easier – having all my heals on function keys was a bad idea for an action combat game! There was one more death to a kuma for the final BAM quest but again each BAM has totally different tactics so you can get surprised (and killed) learning to fight a new one.
Tera actually has two penalties for death. First is the stamina drop which can easily be fixed if the party is patient enough to wait at a campfire. This is very important as it can mean a 20-30% difference in total health and mana for a character!
The second penalty is linked to the character customisation system with crystals. Crystals provide minor ways to augment your character’s stats, to reduce damage received and increase damage dealt etc. However they can break on character death. I’ve died a few times spread over the 38 levels I’ve played this character but never experienced a crystal shattering before. After this play session I realised I had lost two. At this level it’s pretty irrelevant, I have spares in my bank and can just slot whatever or buy specific crystals in town. But as I reach level 60 (the cap) the idea is to buy crystals for a specific purpose or ‘build’ and then use crystalbind scrolls to prevent them from shattering. I have some of these valuable scrolls already in the bank but I’ll be leaving them alone until I have some gear worth protecting.
A final note on community. Once again I was very pleasantly surprised by a pugging experience in Tera. I was clearly not prepared for fighting BAMs at this level (38), my toolbars were badly organised and in all probability my character’s gear isn’t very good (so my total health is lower than it should be). There was never a complaint and the organiser of the group was careful to allow my stamina time to regenerate after the deaths. There wasn’t any “gogogo” or party-chat complaints – only patient waiting and a focus on getting the quests completed, a very good session in the end!