Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tera Online: Lets Go Berserk

On 7th July, NATera had launched quite a special patch that, well, we all already know it from KTera, but still quite significant nonetheless. Even though this patch went live about a month ago, but there were not much of a peep because, hmm, I suppose people haven't adjusted to it yet.

But it have been for a month, surely, people should have given their feedback about this patch. After all, its quite an important patch. I won't lie to you though, there are pros and cons about this patch. But before we go to that, let's what makes this patch so much important than the other.

Its the same reason why I'm writing about this patch even though it was released a month ago. This patch, actually introduce a new hybrid class. Well, not brand new, new. But it made an existing class into 'interchangeable mode'. Specifically, the Berserker class. Now Berserker originally know to be one of the most powerful damage dealer in the game. Wearing the heaviest armor, and pack an incredibly powerful punch, this class is the juggernaut in its department.

However, Berserker is unique in a way where its the only damage dealer class in the game that uses a blocking skill called Axe Block, where all other damage dealer classes uses fancy evading skills dubbed as the i-frame (Invincibility Frame) for survivability. Though Berserker do have an i-frame skill called Evasive Smash, but you'll only get it at level 60, which at that point you already nearing the end game content. So before you get to that, you gonna spend a lot of time blocking.

Doesn't that mean Berserker actually already tanking even before the patch? Well, some people (like me) do, while some people don't. Because one, all Berserker's offensive high dealing damage skills are needed to be overcharged to be fully utilized, so some players opt to overcharged the skills even when they are eating damages from the mobs just so that they can deal back even higher damages. With heavy armor, Berserker can afford to take damages from the mobs. Second, Berserker doesn't have skills for appropriate tanking other than their blocking skill, But they do have a skill called 'Staggering Strike' that allow them, hmm, tanking for a while. It just not feasible at endgame content though because mob bosses would have resistance against that skill.  

In Tera, tanking is more than just blocking the damage. There are things such as 'generating aggro/threat', 'keeping the boss nailed on the spot', and 'infuriate the boss', that needs to be considered. Before the patch, Berserker doesn't have skills to maintain proper aggro, though with their high damage dealing, they pretty much can hold aggro throughout the boss fight. But just blocking won't cut it. You need more than that if you want to go professional tanking.

Which leads us to the the next bit here. The patch introduces new skills for Berserker. As you can see, Berserker now can enter 'Intimidation' mode where they can generate more aggro from their attack. In a way, its similar to the Warrior class that can change their 'stances', whether to defense (D-Stance) or damage dealer (A-Stance). But because Berserker have always been the damage dealer in the group, so they only get a turn on/off mode called 'Intimidation'.

You can see from the patch of 'Go Berserk' new skills for Berserker, that the skills are only usable when Intimidation mode is active, with the exception of Overwhelm. Oh yes, you can use Overwhelm even you are not in Intimidation mode. You can see from the skill tool tip, that this skill is incredibly useful for the Berserker, who before this was just a heavy lumbering juggernaut. But now, Overwhelm will allow Berserker to dash into a fight and just... crush anything that stand in their way. Yes, take that you sneaky double roll evasive back stabbing Slayer!

Anyway, its great that they make the Berserker much more mobile. They needed that, especially with new classes introduced (Gunner) and coming in (Brawler). Not to mention it added new flavor to the whole class balancing and dynamic. Before this, out of 10 classes in the game, only 2 classes can properly do the tanking which are Lancer and Warrior. And oh boy, how that make Lancers and Warriors the scapegoat whenever a raid goes bad. Well now, no more finger pointing game and everyone can just suck it up.

The only hiccups with the 'Go Berserk' patch is that, Berserker receive their baptism in the spirit of tanking only at level 65. Yes, all the way at the end game content. So anyone who have been playing Berserker without ever using the Axe Block skill, much to the frustration of the healers, might find this new changes a little bit too sudden.

There is also issue with, hmm, the existing specialized classes. For example, Lancer is known to be the pure tanking class while the Warrior is a hybrid tanking/damage dealer class, and everyone is annoyed that their place would be taken by the Berserker new hybrid class. Well, boo-hoo.

I can never wrap my head around this 'my spot' or specialty thing, among the NA Tera gaming community, because in 5-man or more party, who even gives a shit if there are more than 1 tanking class in the party. So what if we have 3 tanking class, and with 2 of them are hybrid, means more fun for us. Unless of course, you are NOT playing for fun.


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