Tera – Time to Balance All Classes

Warrior
Warrior

What are all those red orbs?

They make up for your class not being able to heal.

This is a warrior working Solo at level 59 in Tirkai Forest. As you can see, killing a few bears drops a ton of these orbs of two types, long term and instant heal.

As it turns out, I didn’t need them very often. But sometimes you get a ton of them, and sometimes you get none. So if you are working an area, and you don’t need them now, you might want to let them lie about on the ground in case you do need them.

But why do we need these random heal drops? In my view, it’s because BlueHole designed the Tera classes based on Dungeon activity and the Holy Trinity of Tank / DPS / Healer rather than designing balanced classes that could solo PvE and PVP.

Styles of Play

There are obviously different styles of play in a complex MMO. MMOs were originally designed around what is known as PvE or Player vs Environment. The original Everquest didn’t have any PvP or Player vs Player, which has recently become very popular. But what remains the same is that characters start off at a lower level and need to be “Trained” to higher levels. Even the Reaper, which starts at level 58 needed to be trained to level 60, and more recently 65 to reach the end game content of Tera.

As one travels around the game and meets other players, one finds several styles of play:

Follow the PvE quests to level your character. These quests are in two categories: Story and Zone. Story and Zone quests often take the player into Dungeons where teamwork is required and the Holy Trinity is required to vanquish the high level Bosses and stronger foes in the Dungeon. A Dungeon is an Instance in the game where only a limited number of players can play at a time.

Participate in Dungeons exclusively, or as exclusively as possible, to level the character using only this type of content.

Participate in PvP, either in the open world or in Instances designed for this purpose. These instances such as Corsair Stronghold, is a 20 on 20 match similar to Capture the Flag in many other games. Open World killing provides experience in PvP servers, but if one abuses, or griefs, lower level players, one eventually builds up reputation as a bad actor.

It is possible, for about $50, to purchase a level upgrade to level 60 instantly. I recently met someone who had done this, and then I proceeded to teach them the finer points of being a Priest.

In PvP group combat, Healers can be effective and make the difference. But Tanks have no distinct role since other players do not obey the rules of Aggro [Aggregation]  that are obeyed by the Artificial Intelligence governing “mobs”.

When one looks at the classes of Tera they have predefined Roles in the Holy Trinity:

  • Healer: Mystic, Priest.
  • DPS: [Damage Per Second] Warrior, Slayer, Archer, Sorcerer, Gunner, Reaper, Berserker
  • Tank: Lancer, Warrior, Berserker [sometimes]

So How Does One Solo?

So how does one Solo in PvE with these classes?

Pots and Bandages – There are potions and bandages for both Health and Mana. But these cannot, generally, be used in combat, and take a long time to recover your health. So, if you can wait on them, you can probably just wait for your health, or mana, to recover itself.

Crystals – Crystals on your armor can recover health, and Crystals on your weapons can recover mana. These are a very good idea when working solo in PvE. They can make the difference in standing around between fights and being able to quickly move on to the next kills. But the recovery with these is slow. Not like healing from a Mystic or Priest which is large and instant.

Berserker Skill – The Berserker – an Axe wielding Plate armor class – has a Vampire Strike skill that heals. When used carefully, it keeps one healed for continuous fighting. No other class has a skill like this.

So, now we have a Hack to allow Solo players to quest. The Healing Orbs dropped from kills.

Slayer
Slayer

This dark environment shows easily how many orbs are dropped by a few kills. The size or strength of the mob [foe] does not matter. Apparently there is just some chance of the drop when you kill a mob of any strength. Different, higher power orbs are dropped by BAMs [Big A__ Monsters]. These are dropped not just on the kills, but during the fight so that you can heal up as you work on the BAM.

These Orbs are a Hack – IMHO

Warrior
Warrior

It seems to me that all the classes should have been given skills to Self Heal. This is what Guild Wars 2 has done. In fact, GW2 completely breaks the Holy Trinity by design with all classes able to Self Heal and Resurrect players and the only Tanks are the pets for Rangers [Archers] and Elementalists [Sorcerers].

Archers and Sorcerers Are Disadvantaged

While this hack works when the player can dodge, Archers and Sorcerers are disadvantaged to a large extent because their skills have long activation times. This means that these classes find it hard to get out of the way of attacks, or have their skills interrupted when they are jumped by lots of mobs at once.

Warriors and Slayers solo much more readily because they have a higher rate of damage and quicker cool-downs on their skills. Since they are Melee classes they are just quicker.

The Mystic is an ideal PvE class. It has self heal, and a pet that acts as a tank. IMHO, Archers and Sorcerers should be given pets to act as tanks and heal skills. The Berserker is also an excellent solo class. Heavy armor and a self healing skill make it almost unstoppable.

Gunners are Well Balanced

Gunner Solos a BAM
Gunner Solos a BAM

Gunners are very well balanced for a Solo class. They do high damage, have a heal robot pet, and wear plate armor. Most folks remark that Gunners are Over Powered. But much of their strength comes from their Self Heal bot, and the very good Crowd Control skills which can hold the foes – BAM or many lower level at a time – at bay while the cool down timers of their other skills reset.

After playing all the classes through all the content from levels 1 > 60, I also played Gunners through that same content. I never had a problem with a Gunner being overwhelmed in PvE in the Open Environment, and saw several cases of 5 man Dungeons being completed by only three gunners of appropriate level.

Time to Balance the Rest of the Classes

The Archer and Sorcerer need tank pets and self heal skills. The Reaper, Slayer and Warrior need their self heal skills too and then we can get rid of pots and these stupid Heal Orbs that drop from kills for some classes. The Lancer has a self heal skill, but it has a very long cool down. As if it would be cheating to use a Self Heal. Seriously?

– ww