Syp asks how an AAA MMO with a Metacritic score of 81% can fall off the radar in a fortnight.
I haven’t played TERA (yet), but would like offer up some theories:
1) Too many betas
As I suggested in Bio Break’s comment section, TERA has managed to launch during the perfect storm of games. Most bloggers I read that like trinity-based MUDs are either playing Diablo 3, GuildWars 2 Beta, Mysts of Pandaria beta or The Secret World.
2) Tired genre
The fantasy genre, while highly popular with the target demographic, is saturated with established titles. If swords and sorcery are your thing, you are probably already getting your fix somewhere else.
3) New IP
Linked to point 2, TERA’s collection of races and zones mean nothing to me. That is not to say that I am adverse to trying exploring stories in new worlds, far from it, but developers need to convince me that their world is a place where interesting stories take place. A hackneyed creation story and the usual collection of humans, elves and wolf-men does little for me.
4) Dodgy Elin race and representation of women
If you are going to go down the new IP route, try to avoid creating content that is offensive to many gamers. I think this how been sufficiently covered in detail elsewhere. Blame Huang Cher Ung (Art Director)!
5) People feeling burned by SWTOR
I have a theory that a lot of people are feeling new MMO fatigue after playing SWTOR and are taking a holiday from the genre.
6) Action MMO issues
En Masse have put a big emphasis on the fact that their game boasts ‘real-time action’ mechanics – where players have to aim and dodge attacks to be effective.
Although the WoW system of hotkey/castbar/cooldown combat is getting a little tired in 2012, what it is does do is somewhat level the playing field for gamers running at different latencies. I suspect this combat mechanic may make the game unplayable for those of us who struggle to maintain a low ping.
7) Not fun enough
The beta feedback from GuildWars 2 triallists is that game is very fun and offers something different. Sadly the best that I have heard about TERA is that the grind is not as a bad as you might expect.