(Call them Tanks if you want to, but the lancer and warrior are so much more than just front-line fighters. Stop thinking about lines, and instead consider spheres: lancers define the battlefield by their presence and TERA’s combat is truly three-dimensional. Attacks and abilities hit or miss depending on what direction a character is facing, and “up” is a direction you’ll need to defend against.)

The warrior also defines the battlefield, but with light armor and quick attacks it’s not where he stands, but where he doesn’t that’s important. Attacking and dodging in a wide radius of swinging swords, the warrior harries and confuses the opponent in a truly unique way that keeps enemy attention securely on the warrior.

Or rather, where they just were.


Healing in TERA isn’t point-and-click UI management. Mystics and priests need to keep an eye on every aspect of a battle, and are just as often in the thick of combat as the outskirts. With a dizzying variety of heals, buffs, debuffs, and conditional abilities, these versatile classes are a must for any group, but equally competent when adventuring on their own.

Damage Dealers:

I mentioned four roles above, because in my mind it’s time for the “trinity” to become a “foundation” of four. TERA has both melee (berserkers and slayers) and ranged (sorcerers and archers) damage classes, and a truly successful party will want at least one of each kind.

The axe and sword-wielders deliver big hits and bigger crits, relying on strength and agility respectively to crush enemies. Berserkers excel at large groups and powerful sweeping attacks; slayers focus on denial attacks and setups for massive critical hits.

Archers work best at range, but have an incredible attack rate, dwarfing that of any other class. More hits means more crits, and they’re no slouch in that department. Sorcerers will be familiar to any player of spellcasters, but like the priests and mystics above, they rely on strategic placement of spell effects and quick movement to maximize damage.

All of this might seem like standard MMO fare, but remember that at no point in the above combat scenarios are you using anything but your own reflexes. No fireballs, heals, or axe-blows will ever land properly if you the player don’t first position yourself for success.

True Action Combat isn’t just a marketing buzzword, it’s a redefinition of gaming. If you think you know how to play an online RPG, you haven’t played TERA yet.

The rules have changed.