The Gunner or Arcane Engineer has arrived. Apparently the class name could not be two words, so it has been shortened to Gunner. It’s a lot of work to make a new weapon work with all the classes, so like the reaper, they chose the most popular races / gender combinations for the gunner: High Elf and Castanic, Female only. But unlike the Reaper introduction last year, the Gunner starts at level 1. And the rumor about the North American release requiring a toon with a level of at least 13 on the same server are not true.
The Gunner Was a Mess to Start
But the first day has been quite a mess really. Rather than the appointed time of 10am Pacific, the start was more like 11am, and the servers went down almost immediately. It was more like 12 noon before they were stable.
The PVE servers were too busy and I created a Gunner on a PVP server just to see what was up, but as soon as I did, all the servers went down for a patch and were gone for about half an hour. Later I tried a RP server [ Roll Play ] which has special rules about chat language and toon names. But that server was as busy as the normal PVE servers so I gave up on that server immediately. I need to have access to my guild banks, and my guilds are only on the PVE servers.
Basically everybody who didn’t have to work, and it looks like many took vacation, started up their Gunner as soon as they could. So the servers were loaded with everyone starting on the Island of Dawn. Unlike GW2, there is only one starting area in Tera, so all 11 channels were pretty well mashed.
The Kugai Massacre
There was at least one bottleneck. A Boss called Kugai is required in the simplified quest chain, and there is only one spawn point for the boss on each of the 11 channels. Well that was not enough. For almost an hour, there were dozens of folks standing around mashing away at the boss each time he spawned trying to get a single kill to complete the quest. No amount of pleading could cause folks to queue up in an orderly manner to let folks progress. I suspect that mashing away at that reduced the success rate to near zero. Only a few folks indicated in chat that they actually completed the quest during the hellfire during the worst times. Folks were partying up and in a party I managed to get one toon through the bottle neck and an hour later the bottle neck was gone.
There were rumors that the admins were going to make more spawn points of the boss, but after an hour the contention was over and I doubt if we see that change.
Once the servers came up about noon, I played the rest of the afternoon, and got both an Elf and Castanic to Lumbertown. I saw no more server problems during that time.
Experience to Level 12
The quest line on the Island of Dawn has been simplified yet again. GW2 has scrolls that experienced players get that jumps new toons to level 20, and there are many starting areas, one for each race basically. So starting contention and the grind of starting new toons is largely eliminated. But Tera has neither of these. There is only starting area and no way to jump past the initial grind.
The Gunner class is very accomplished but not completely over powered. There is an odd choice in that a dodge roll actually drops the cool down – reloads the gun – on a powerful AOE skill that you get at a low level. So engagement is shoot, blast, roll, blast, roll, blast, roll is now on cool-down, so you then run around shooting until the blast can work again. There are two other early skills: a stun and a timer bomb. I’m not going into all the details. There are very good videos on Youtube with all the details.
Another powerful skill is powered up after a few kills and then you can blast away with a stream of fire into the target.
Also remember that the Gunner wears plate armor, so you can actually stand and blast away at most targets and not take significant damage. The skill animations are quite striking and the sound is quite loud. Yes it’s a BFG. Not since the days of Quake 3 has there been a BFG – Big Freaking Gun – the likes of this one. But be assured that background checks are required.
There are some new hairstyles. I have not checked, but I assume these are not Gunner specific. Outside of that, the character creation process is little changed.
That Stupid Robot Mount
We were each given an extra character slot, a pile of buff goodies and an EX-TRM Robot Mount. My guess is that the EMP store sales of this stupid robot have tanked and they decided that they wanted to give us a mount we would only use to get off the Island of Dawn. They are right. I would rather ride a slow horse than this stupid Robot. It appears that the mount is permanent though. Not a 7 day mount. So if you want to ride this stupid thing, feel free.
Where From Here?
I rolled a Gunner on the two PVE servers, and I’ll work them some more, but most of my time is going into GW2 right now, so there won’t be a rush for level 65. But the Gunner looks like a great addition to the Tera suite.