TERA's fifth and final closed beta test has arrived! Starting this Friday, players will be able to venture into Eldritch Academy, Cultist's Refuge, and all earlier dungeons for the last time before we start our open beta. This event will use the same build as the previous closed beta test meaning no huge patches to download for returning players! Be sure to read Producer Chris Hager's recap of Closed Beta Test 4 for insights into what features we've got planned for TERA after Closed Beta Test 5.
In this last event, the Valkyon Federation, bolstered by a surge of new soldiers, strikes back at its foes, reestablishing control of troubled realms, and upsetting the meticulous plans of its enemies. In an effort to destabilize the federation and disrupt its momentum, Thulsa has decided to launch attacks at the relatively unprotected capital—Velika. The evil god is gathering a small army of monsters to fling them at the City of Wheels. The Mysterium's arcanists detected Thulsa's plans and alerted Fraya, who sent word to Velika. With little forewarning, will the federation be able to defend the city and thwart Thulsa's machinations? Be ready for a call to action in the evening hours of Friday and Saturday!
Hard to believe that we're less than a week away from our last Closed Beta Test and PAX East! Time is flashing by, and we are a few scant weeks away from early character creation and launching our live database. We're moving at a furious pace, and we have some great surprises in store (more on this in a bit).
Closed Beta Test 4 started with the epic return of the Dragonfall server (Closed Beta Test 1 veterans may remember its short-lived appearance). We were also able to make some incremental tweaks to PvP, improve our behind-the-scenes moderation, and reduce player hit points from levels 1–15 by 30 percent, and then restore those hit points gradually in levels 16–20. The idea behind this experiment was to increase the excitement and difficulty of the new player experience. After looking at your feedback and analyzing our internal data, we concluded that it didn't improve the excitement and difficulty enough. Our next tweak will increase the difficulty of named creatures to see whether we can get people's pulses racing! We'll be looking for feedback on this experience in our mid-April Open Beta Test, so stay tuned.
The Closed Beta Test 3 results of our Be Creative, Be Smart, Be Lucky contest series are in! TERA fans were challenged to be creative, be smart, or be lucky in one of three contest series being held during our closed beta tests. Participants captured footage, designed infographics, cut videos, or simply played their characters to the level cap for a chance to score prizes from Logitech and En Masse Entertainment.
TERA's fourth closed beta test starts this Friday! Before we tell you what's new, we want to let you know that we'll begin deploying a new patch for TERA on March 21 at 3:00 PM PDT for about two hours. During this time you won't be able to patch. This isn't a long-term solution, and we're working on a more seamless experience for future patches. Once we verify the patch was successful, we'll open it back up so you can download the 9 MB update.
As a result of the feedback we've received during previous tests, we've made significant changes for Closed Beta Test 4. Most importantly, we have increased the difficulty between levels 1 and 15 by decreasing the player's hit points. We hope this will create more challenging and interesting gameplay. Those hit points will gradually be added back in as the player levels from 16 to 20. Also, in the heat of PvP, it can be difficult to see your opponent's level. To simplify this, we've made it possible to see the level of another player by aiming your crosshair at them. We've also doubled the character limit for all chat channels, making it easier to communicate with other players. For complete details, please see our patch notes.
We're burning through time as we get closer to launch. It's hard to believe we just wrapped up our third closed beta test (CBT3), which was a ton of fun with more players than ever, and we're just days away from our fourth (CBT4)! It won't be much longer before our early character creation, open beta, and launch! There's electricity in the air in the office, and everyone is more energized than we've ever seen as we push toward the finish line.
Be creative, be smart, or be lucky in one of three contest series being held during our final three closed beta tests. Capture footage, design infographics, cut videos, or simply play your characters to the level cap for a chance to score prizes from Logitech and En Masse Entertainment!
TERA's third closed beta test begins in two short days! Before diving into what's new with the game, we have a heads-up to share. On March 8 at 10:00 AM PST, we're deploying a new patch for TERA. You won't be able to patch for about two hours while we integrate it. This isn't a long-term solution, and we are working on a more seamless experience for future patches.
We've been listening to you and have some great improvements in place for Closed Beta Test 3. We've made some small tweaks to the PvP system based on your feedback. It's now uncool to kill players six or more levels lower than you, and players who do will receive the red name of shame, with their punishment left up to the community. For the exact details, please see our patch notes. Our design goal is to give players the tools to run the PvP server and set a framework that encourages meaningful PvP but doesn't let asshats ruin it for everyone else.
As we gear up for Closed Beta Test 3 coming this Friday, we want to look back at the previous event and see what went well, what could use some tweaking, and what you as players enjoyed.
In Closed Beta Test 2, the biggest new addition was probably our player-versus-player introduction. We opened two new PvP servers with an open-world PvP design (short of safety zones in cities). This combined with a guild-versus-guild declaration system made for an interesting weekend! To sum it up, the PvP players REALLY like killing each other. Across our two PvP servers, players racked up over 50,000 kills and over 150,000 PvP battles. We've also seen the formation of roughly 2,000 guilds, and the result was a ton of GvG battles.
Many of you -- our earliest-adopter fans -- experienced problems with our online store in the last 24 hours, for which we are sorry. If you read our previous update you will have learned that a mission-critical ecommerce system failed and the backup system didn't come online -- not exactly the most shining moment for our young company. This problem not only knocked out our store, but those of several other major game companies too, since we all utilize the same e-commerce provider for our online storefronts. Bad news!
The good news is that these systems are now back online after the provider's largest response effort in six years, and in the event you'd like to take the plunge, it is possible to use the online store to get TERA just in time for this weekend's second closed beta test event.
Boy oh boy, it seems like trouble comes knocking just when things most need to go right. TERA's second closed beta event starts in just a couple of hours (Friday, February 24 at noon PST), and our online store won't finalize purchases of TERA to player accounts—what gives?!?