Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the “True Action MMORPG”

TERA is definitely an interesting MMORPG, and when I reviewed it I had a lot of praise (and some criticism)  to share. The “True Action Combat” battle system definitely sets the game apart from the rest of the market, creating a refreshing experience that many were looking forward to.

The launch of a MMORPG, though, is only the beginning, and more than a month after release of TERA, the player base has its collective eyes firmly set on the future.

I finally had a chance to have a chat with En Masse’s Senior Producer Brian Knox about TERA‘s launch and what awaits those that will brave the continents of Arun and Shara in the upcoming few months. You can find my questions and his answers below.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

Giuseppe: Licensing a Korean MMORPG and completely re-structuring it to appease the Western market is a quite unique initiative. How did the idea come to be? What made you chose TERA between the wide and varied offerings coming from the Korean market?

Brian: TERA is an awesome game, but it takes more than an awesome game for a MMO to succeed. The service and quality of updates are just as vital. Bluehole Studio’s commitment and promise to support TERA in the West made it the perfect fit. There’s a ton of great content coming out of Korea, but without the support of the development team to listen to the Western community, the chances of success are low. An awesome game like TERA as well as a committed development team felt like a recipe for success.

G: How does the synergy between En Masse and Bluehole studio work? Does En Masse have to work only with the assets and content Bluehole produces, or does the Studio actually listen to the input given by your company and your players in order to add new content and features to the game?

B: The Western market has a dedicated development team specifically created for Western content. We set the priorities here at En Masse, then schedule and develop them with the dev team. The process is collaborative, with both sides offering ideas and suggestions for future improvements and features. We meet multiple times a week via videoconference to hash out what’s next and what we should allocate development to in the future.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: It’s been over a month after the official launch of the game. How did it go, seen from the other side of the curtain? Are you guys happy with the state of the game at the moment?

B: So far we’re happy with the results. Our launch was really smooth. We were able to avoid the queue nightmares most MMOs suffer by offering free character transfers within the first week of service. This was a first for an MMO. On top of that, we have already rolled out multiple patches adding content as a result of community feedback. Currently, we’re focused on attracting new players. We’ve just begun offering a streaming demo and a seven-day trial as two new ways to check out TERA. Playing the game and understanding what we mean by “true action combat” is what really brings our players in.

G: What are the biggest challenges that you foresee for the development and continued success of TERA in the near future? How do you plan to face them?

B: We need to continue listening to our fans and improving TERA, while at the same time broadening the game to appeal to more players. We will improve TERA bit by bit, and we aren’t afraid to take chances. The great thing about a MMO is that when you try something new, you can change whatever turns out to be unpopular with the player base.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: One of the major points of criticism towards the game is the repetition of quests that send players to kill a certain number of enemies. What’s your solution to make the leveling process a bit more varied and less repetitive?

B: We have spent a great deal of time writing and creating quests here at En Masse, but also in diversifying the questing system with a variety of new quest types within our daily quest system. TERA’s a fantastic game for combat, so we want to make sure to keep that as a factor, but with every MMO, there’s room to grow and add content.

G: Are there any plans in place to expand the endgame? Are there any traditional multi-party raids in the future of TERA, or do you plan to focus on the Nexus feature?

B: We will continue to add new dungeons, improve the nexus, and add more support for multi-party raids. You will see a ton of this—plus more—in our big end-of-summer update .

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: At the moment Crafting is very costly due to the extremely high number of runes required to create almost every item. Are you going to mitigate the material requirements in the future?

B: Crafting is something we are looking at continuously because it has a huge impact on the economy. We need to make small tweaks here and there and watch the repercussions of the change. This is a system we know isn’t perfect, and we want to address the issue thoroughly.

G: There are a few areas of the world that are fully built but include no NPCs, enemies or playable content. An example is Velika Outskirts. Do you have anything planned to make those areas more dynamic?

B: That is a very timely question. We are actually adding some interesting props and materials in and around Velika in the future. We hope that these can be used for more community events and interaction.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: Player and guild housing is always a hot topic between MMORPG Players. Is there any chance that we’ll see anything like that in TERA?

B: We are looking at guild housing a bit more seriously than player housing, but we haven’t confirmed a direction on either at this time.

G: The lore section of the TERA website doesn’t include much content at the moment, and I know quite a few players that are struggling to figure out a background for their characters. Is there any plan in place to expand it, adding more details on the history of the world and its races?

B: We have a ton of this information internally and we are working on getting it out externally. Our writers want nothing more than to share the lore of TERA. Look for more and more updates to our website as the game grows.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: At the moment the game is a little light on options for roleplayers. There’s no way to walk instead of running for instance. Is En Masse going to implement new features like those in order to cater to the roleplaying community?

B: We have just implemented custom emotes in our latest patch. We love our roleplaying community, and their server is going strong. We expect the latest addition of emotes and guild-versus-guild combat to be great tools to roleplay with. We’re also looking to the area around Velika as a place to give players some extra tools for roleplaying.

G: Seasonal events are always quite popular in MMORPGs, are you planning to offer that kind of events in TERA as well? What about dynamic, GM-driven events?

B: We are working on seasonal events. Our first big one will be Halloween, and we have some cool stuff in store for you.

Interview: TERA Producer Brian Knox Talks About The Future of the

G: The MMO-Fo campaign is without a doubt one of the most original and aggressive marketing stunts I’ve seen for a MMORPG. What sparked that idea?

B: The game itself was the inspiration. Playing TERA and getting into the combat made you realize how lame MMOs have become. We wanted to find a way to really highlight this difference, and we felt that Bas Rutten and the MMO-FO campaign would be a good way to deliver this different message. We also had the side benefit of getting some MMA fans interested in TERA.

G: Thanks a lot for your time. Anything else you’d like to tell to our readers?

B: We are thankful to all of our players and the thousands of hours they have already logged in TERA. We’re committed to listening to you guys and growing the TERA community—each and every one of you.

Join the Discussion

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  • SecksX

    The game is awesome except one thing: QUESTS!!!!! and the Leveling process is damn too long and booring. Also the instance matchmaking isn’t optimal at all.

    • Cat

       lol, leveling is fast in this game, even for casual players. I love TERA and still having a blast. The crafting definitely needs some work though.

  • Guest

    While the devs try to westernize the game as much as possible what I believe is that “westernization” is what really kill this game from the start, this & censorship and then they try to convince every1 that this is a mature 18+ game made for adults yeah right…  

    • Honestly I’d rather have slightly more dressed elins (because that’s basically the whole big “censorship”. Nothing to call home about), than the original massive grind of the korean version.

      But that may be just me.

  • Geuts

    A NEW EXCITING WAY TO ROLEPLAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS: Added new emotes. Good job EnMasse, keep up the good work.

  • Aster151
    lol it’s not all peaches and cream and the senior producer is a compulsive liar.

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  • Sadly Disappointed

    This has got to be the best Question and NO ANSWER I have ever read.  Seriously, TERA is doomed and it shows just by this guy’s answers, or lack therof. 

  • Vardi

    If they dont change anything in 1 year I going to leave Tera. Well one year isnt too long cuz of the engine and design of this game

    • Germs

      You giving it a year? This game was full of potential… now its just another korean mmo with nice graphics… this dev sucks at even giving us hope for this game.  It will be free to play in 2 months if that!

  • Gunnr80

    nexus is unplayable on a Alienware with an I7 processor 8gigs of ram and a GTX555 and Roadrunner Internet, these guys are bullshiting them selfs if they think the community is happy with the game we have been given. Combat system is great, everything else about this game is bad and this is coming from one of their bigest supporters pre launch. In a game they made it so easy to reach the max level they should of thought about end game content. 2, 5 man dungeons that u have run over and over and over is not enough to keep anyone happy except a bunch of koreans. Not launching with battle grounds was their bigest downfall. The American player base wants viable PvP, what we have at the moment is flaging to gank someone and then running for our lifes as everyone else in the area see’s a red name so its ok to hit them. I think the best thing enmasse could do at this point is fire every single retard they having working for them now and hire new staff from the community, people who have a clue about long term MMO success and what it takes. Right now they have a staff full of people who are good at advertising and thats about it.

    • RandomPerson644

      I can agree on the stuff you say except the last part, if they fired their staff the game would be screwed…its not like you can pick up some random hobo that knows how to code and design and whatnot…

  • Carnage

    I was expecting the interviewer’s questions to be simple, and I was surprised to see crafting come up as an issue. As I expected, Mr. Knox’s replies were roundabout and vague. The number one problem with NA TERA is that En Masse’s public relations team does not answer their customers’ questions regarding core issues like class imbalances, skill bugs, repetitive grinding, etc. Therefore, us players have no choice but to sit in the dark, hoping that these problems become fixed or alleviated come next patch. I implore En Masse to have at least one staff member to answer questions on the forums; someone who is preferably on the development team. The players over at WoW have their key issues addressed on their forums, so why can’t we?

  • cold

    To most of the people bitching, its an MMO… its going to need to be out for awhile for it to gain more and more content as every other god damn mmo you’ve seen. Don’t even argue with me I’ve played mmo’s from everquest to lineage 2/wow. It takes time, also yeah nexus is like aion forts, but you need to run them on low ass settings to play the game.

    • RandomYandere

      Thing is, there were several end game dungeons (before the cap boost from 58 to 60. NA didn’t see this mind you) that En Masse took from level 58 and dropped them to various lower levels…

      So rather than just up the level of the monsters by two and change the loot tables to give lv60 gear, they dropped them, to the 30’s and 40’s where you might run them once or twice (or in the case of SoA, never). If you’re really lucky, they’ll drop you some incredibly broken tanking or healing gear. Lance that blocks more than a standard level 58 gold, or a staff that heals as much as a level 59 staff?

      It was a half assed move to put dungeons in the way of a way to fast level grind. They should have just bumped these old end game dungeons and say “Hey look, we have a whole BUNCH of end game dungeons for you to run!” instead of “oh and uh, yeah we only have two dungeons you have to run over and over again”

      There’s a reason questions like what they are planning to do with end game content were dodged. They fucked up on changing the dungeon levels, and then they proceeded to release perhaps the most awful large scale event. Nexus is a whole other kind of broken. Broken as in,: 1 FPS on great hardware with everything set to minimal, but it’s ok because you just need to show up to do nothing, you’ll get same credit as someone who did help. Oh yeah and now do this for 10 weeks if you want the decent Revered gear, because while Korean Tera gets almost 30 of these nexus a week, we only get 6 on the weekends.

  • whydidthisgamesucksobad

    People still play this???… I really like ktera…was really hoping for tera na to be a hit…played with 4 of my friends until our month was up then unsubbed…there was absolutely no reason to play this game anymore…being able to aim and dodge does not hide the fact that at 60 there is nothing to do.. pvp is horribly broken, crafting is stupid and pointless, and that from 0-60 you have been doing the same 10 …collect 10 of this plant, kill 20 of this mob. 

    A game I have been waiting for to come out in NA to play with my buds let me down..

    ill be back when this game goes f2p

  • Hotboy

    I think it is hilarious how so many people expect there to be so much content from release. Barely any high end MMO’s come with barely any end game content. Quit your bitching and be patient. End of summer they are adding BGs, dungeons, raids ect.

    • Ran

      Although you kinda negated your statement with double “barely”, but I completely agree with the point you’re trying to make.

  • Bram

    Sadly EU-frogster servers will never ever see new content. The servers are pretty much dead as they are right now.

  • Catalot

    How about forcing the EU Frogster to give the paying client in the EU what they paid for too ???

    • Knox works for En Masse Entertainment, that has absolutely nothing to do with Frogster and the European version of Tera. They have literally no title to “force” Frogster to do anything.

      Personally, given the track record, I already knew that the European service wouldn’t be up to par, so I have always been determined to play on the US servers.