Here’s something that’s becoming more frequently-done in today’s market: one of the most critically-awarded MMOs in history is going free-to-play in time for Valentine’s Day. I say “critically-awarded” because the game in question, En Masse’s action MMORPG TERA, is the latest subscription MMO to make the jump from paid access to freemium.
To give you a sense of how TERA works compared to other MMOs out there, I’ll start by mentioning how combat works – or rather, how it doesn’t work in the genre conventions that you’re probably used to. Instead of selecting an enemy to engage battle with, you approach the enemy and then start punching buttons for your basic attack, defensive and skill commands until you either subdue your foe into total submission. Think Legend of Zelda meets World of Warcraft and you’ve got the basic idea.
TERA’s storyline is fairly straightforward as well, and is one of the more unusual fantasy tracts I have ever seen. The game world itself, for better or worse, is literally the dream world of two slumbering titans. Unfortunately, the dark forces that players encounter on the newly-discovered Island of Dawn threaten to reshape that dream into a nightmare. Further complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of a notable participant of a failed expedition to the island, thus setting up an impetus for you to go back for a second attempt.
You can see for yourself how TERA compares to other MMOs without any financial burden when the free-to-play launch kicks off in February 2013. And for those of you who have been subscribed to the game (whether now or previously) you can expect to get some very special founder’s benefits as well. These include free access to the full eight character slots, an exclusive in-game mount and four available bank storage tabs at no additional cost. Such implements, of course, will be available for purchase after the transition (including a subscription-based elite service tier for those who are interested in such things). Better yet, the unlimited free trial remains in effect, allowing new players to start building out their in-game persona that will transition over when the free-to-play access begins in full.
Source [TERA Website]