TERA PVP: Where Latency and Hitbox Size Affect Outcomes


I’ve been reading through the comments posted on YouTube for my first TERA video, and Beta testers reported combat issues related to latency.

This morning I watched the last set of duels that I streamed on Saturday, and from the footage it looks like latency (or lag) impacts the quality of PVP combat.

Check out the following TwitchTV video for duels between Razer (level 5 Female Elin Slayer) and Kennedy (level 5 Female Elin Archer):
http://www.twitch.tv/taugrim/b/308466267

At several points in their duels, what Kennedy and I saw was the same: Razer was able to hit Kennedy even though it looked like Razer was clearly out of melee range. This prevented Kennedy from knowing where his opponent was, and therefore how to target and how to counter. Given that I saw the same thing that Kennedy was experiencing, we wondered whether the issue was Razer’s Internet connection. He checked and his ping time to our Vent server was low.

Keep in mind the latency occurred in 1v1 combat with very few players nearby. That said, the issue really isn’t whether the Beta server was tuned, how many people were nearby, etc – rather the issue is that given the importance of positioning in combat, TERA is by design more sensitive to latency (lag) compared to your typical non-action MMORPG. Games typically have higher “lag” as the number of combatants increases, so there is the risk that the quality of combat in TERA may drop in mass PVP.

Aside from the latency issue, in TERA the hitbox is based on character race, gender, and size. The benefits of being small (“it’s harder to hit me”) outweigh the downsides (“it’s harder to heal me”). I’d rather take less damage than be easier to heal, because that would mean there is less reason to heal me in the first place. In general, I believe that character race, gender, and size should not have any meaningful impact on game combat, to allow players the flexibility of creating a character that suits their personal preferences not game mechanics.

UPDATE (2012/02/13 noon PST): before you pull the “OMG NOOB TERA IS IN BETA” card, keep in mind TERA went live in Korea on January 25, 2011 – over a year ago. What is in Closed Beta is the version of the game that is being managed and operated by game publisher En Masse for NA.

Developers tend to localize games for new markets with via language (text and voiceovers), tweaks to XP, and content availability, not via changing core game mechanics. I observed this with Aion, which was live in Korea before going live in NA in 2009 and with Allods Online, which was live in Russia before going live in NA in 2010.

So what we can reasonably expect are fixes per Beta testing related to the localization process and changes to En Masse’s server environment and infrastructure, but probably not to the core game code itself.

UPDATE (2012/02/15): some folks are claiming that FPS games have lag too, and that it isn’t a big deal.

Let me frame a critical distinction between FPS combat and TERA combat.

In FPS games, you can run and gun – the action of firing a weapon does not cause you to move in a predefined path. Weapons in FPS games have a “reload” timer but they do not in themselves restrict mobility, unless the player chooses to do something like aim their weapon by using a scope.

However, in TERA, when you use an attack ability, you move in a fixed path for that ability. Keep in mind one’s ability to attack and defend are heavily dependent on positioning.

Therefore I expect lag in TERA to be more detrimental than lag in an FPS.

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Posted in PVP, TERA, Video
62 comments on “TERA PVP: Where Latency and Hitbox Size Affect Outcomes
  1. nallard says:

    I think my biggest problem with Tera was that I often felt like I didn’t have very good control over my character. Sometimes the response was sluggish (because of animation) or I was locked into movements I didn’t want by my attack. If I’m going to PvP, I want to be able to respond quickly to changing situations. Sometimes that means cancelling a cast or a channel.

    I like the idea of targeted attacks (and heals), but in practice (in Tera at least) it felt too clunky for my taste. I’m sure some of that goes away with time and familiarity, but I don’t want to learn to compensate for a system…I want to learn how to use a well designed system.

  2. Tippocalypse says:

    Great article and video, Taug. Thoughtful opinions, as usual.

    I too was intrigued by TERA since early last year when they announced it. Having read yours, and some others’ opinions, I decided not to preorder just to get into beta.

    Maybe they’ll fix some of these issues, but ultimately, if it’s a question mark whether or not one can perform well in PvP after grinding to max level, I can understand them not wanting to invest the time.

  3. On a side note from Latency issues, I also don’t think it is a good sign when 35 Korean servers got merged down to just 15 last summer. Apparently Korean players were not having a “lot” of fun with this game.

  4. Sonatta says:

    Everyone start download dat pron.

  5. omegamf says:

    Steven Gilder :

    On a side note from Latency issues, I also don’t think it is a good sign when 35 Korean servers got merged down to just 15 last summer. Apparently Korean players were not having a “lot” of fun with this game.

    Have to realize that ONE of the biggest issues that the Korean playerbase has with this game is that it’s not ‘grindy enough’ for them. with a few minutes and google you can find Korean based articles explaining their discrepancies.

  6. Germaximus says:

    Thats all fine and dandy but not all PvP has to be about “beating the best.”
    You can PvP for fun too and if you do latency bothers you a little less.

    Thats one reason why games like WoW made PvP instances.

    • taugrim says:

      Germaximus :

      Thats all fine and dandy but not all PvP has to be about “beating the best.”
      You can PvP for fun too and if you do latency bothers you a little less.

      Thats one reason why games like WoW made PvP instances.

      If you don’t mind latency in games and having it affect combat (PVP or PVE), you’d be the first of any gamer I’ve ever dialogued with.

      The first.

    • Gothic90 says:

      PvP for fun, is, by definition, for fun.
      I don’t see where the fun is if you cannot hit anything due to an outside, uncontrollable force.

  7. Gothic90 says:

    Well, I was watching Steparu’s Tera streaming today and he said he did not feel latency to be such a big issue in PvP.

    If his feelings are true, then the Korean server quality must be very good, or the test server is rather crappy or overloaded. I hope it’s just a test server issue.

    Still, hitbox + ability move patterns + collision detection means that positioning is a little too important in this game, for melee classes and especially lancer.

  8. conwolv says:

    Considering this is just a beta, I hope this is something that will be worked out over time. As far as we know is this a major issue in the Korean version of the game?

    The stop-on-animation mechanic bugs me a bit. How are you supposed to dps while kiting if every ability stops you? Also, how are you supposed to DPS someone kiting you when you do catch up if you’re forced to stop while they keep moving? Seems clunky.

    • Gothic90 says:

      I heard on Taug’s chatroom that there are skills you learn after lvl16 that remove the self-root.
      Also, there are videos such as this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIuqscxl5BE
      It seems that the character can indeed do damage while strafing. Still, haven’t played, don’t know the details.

    • taugrim says:

      conwolv :

      Considering this is just a beta, I hope this is something that will be worked out over time. As far as we know is this a major issue in the Korean version of the game?

      The game is BETA for NA via En Masse.

      But here is the thing a lot of people simply aren’t realizing: TERA went live over a year ago in Korea.

      This is not a new game.

      There will likely be no meaningful changes to the game for NA aside from localization of language (text, voiceover) and content availability.

      This is how MMOs typically worked when they’re rolled out to new markets. The game engine and core mechanics remain as-is. We saw this with Aion (Korea first, then NA), Allods Online (Russia first, then NA).

      • conwolv says:

        It also depends on if it was server related lag, as they were beta servers so they might not be the final hardware running the servers on the backend and may have been fairly overloaded.

        It also shows what will happen on a highly populated server. So something to fix for certain.

      • Tao says:

        The difference is that this is not the same company. You are stating here that because AION did not change anything, Tera will not. The fact that you stated “there won’t be any differences” is incorrect. Mainly because Tera has Focus Group Tests involving the west from even before Korean Beta. They had a Community Test a year ago. In ever case En Masse has taken suggestions made by the players, and implemented them. Most of what you see in Tera such as LFD, Achievements, Controller options. This was all created by En Masse, not by BHS.

        En Masse is the western wing of that company, and they have stated, and proven to people many times they have the ability to change the game. Most people involved in the Tera community, played it over 2 years ago. Including me. I have seen suggestions I made listened to, and added into the game. People are invested in Tera because they have seen and played it. It is not something like SWTOR or GW2 which almost nobody played, or was/is largely hidden by skeptics. Tera’s success is largely due to it’s ability to persist and become popular through an absurd level of doubt and hatred. More than any other MMO has ever had in the west. And this is after playing MMOs for 15+ years.

        It’s not just rampant fanboyism, which you seem to dismiss Tera fans as. Many of the old hats have reasons as to why we like Tera. When you get past the below average newbie zone, and start soloing Basilisks, Kumas and Naga BAMs. It’s a case of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. The armor is sexy, the world is beautiful, and you have controversial races. Does that mean that this is the game in it’s entirety? Of course not, and people would be silly to think that. The game launched early, but is now one of the top MMOs in Korea in large part to a years worth of content, and listening directly to not only eastern, but western fans. From the very, very start of Tera’s creation, the west was involved. They planned to go global, and be a AAA MMO. I, and many other people feel that there is a severe gulf between players, and casual observers. That is why they have been practically handing out beta keys, they want people to come and be judgmental, because they are confidant that when you brush back the patina of negativity and bias, the game is really, really good.

        • taugrim says:

          Tao :

          ….

          First off, thanks for posting constructively instead of flaming me.

          Before I respond to what you wrote, let me clarify something.

          I want TERA to succeed.
          I want MMORPGs to succeed.
          I want the MMORPG industry to succeed.

          Why?

          Because as I have documented on my blog, I have been very concerned for a couple years that Social Gaming could kill the MMORPG market:
          https://taugrim.com/2010/01/05/social-gaming-may-kill-traditional-mmorpg/
          https://taugrim.com/2011/12/06/2011-bounceback-year-for-the-mmorpg-industry/

          The more MMORPGs succeed, the more investment will be made in the space, which means more viable options for a gamer like me.

          Tao :

          The difference is that this is not the same company. You are stating here that because AION did not change anything, Tera will not. The fact that you stated “there won’t be any differences” is incorrect. Mainly because Tera has Focus Group Tests involving the west from even before Korean Beta. They had a Community Test a year ago. In ever case En Masse has taken suggestions made by the players, and implemented them.

          I am confused by what you wrote above.

          Bluehole Studio is the game developer.
          The game publisher for Korean TERA is NHN Korea.
          The game publisher for NA TERA is En Masse.

          Look at what En Masse wrote about their own company:
          http://www.enmasse.com/company/
          “Our flagship product, TERA, developed by Bluehole Studio, is already captivating players in the East, and will very soon be making gaming history in the West, thanks to our team of experts in localization, marketing, platform, operations, and security.”

          That sounds like a very typical game publisher model.

          Tao :

          This was all created by En Masse, not by BHS.

          I think you have it backwards.

          BHS founded En Masse.
          BHS developed the game.

          http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/24/korean-firm-launches-en-masse-entertainment-to-make-western-online-games/

          Tao :

          En Masse is the western wing of that company, and they have stated, and proven to people many times they have the ability to change the game. Most people involved in the Tera community, played it over 2 years ago. Including me.

          I’m just curious, if you’ve been playing the game as actively as you have been, why is it you believe EM is the developer and not BHS?

          Tao :

          I have seen suggestions I made listened to, and added into the game. People are invested in Tera because they have seen and played it.

          Tera’s success is largely due

          TERA’s success?

          It sounds like the game struggled in Korea and Japan:
          http://www.mmoculture.com/2011/06/tera-korea-major-server-merge-coming.html
          http://www.mmoculture.com/2011/12/tera-japan-massive-server-merge-coming.html

          35 servers merged to 15 in K-TERA.
          10 servers merged to 3 in J-TERA.

          Tao :
          It is not something like SWTOR or GW2 which almost nobody played, or was/is largely hidden by skeptics.

          SWTOR sold 2MM copies and has 1.7MM active players, most of whom are paying:
          http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/02/01/ea-reveals-swtor-subscription-and-sales-numbers-beats-financial/

          It would be difficult for anyone to be playing GW2, given that it’s not live yet.

          Tao :

          Tera’s success is largely due to it’s ability to persist and become popular through an absurd level of doubt and hatred.

          From the very, very start of Tera’s creation, the west was involved. They planned to go global, and be a AAA MMO.

          Oh FFS – does it matter where or by who a game was developed? Nope. What matters is the finished product.

          I’m not biased, I’m objective about my concerns about this or any other game. You don’t have to agree with me. I’m not calling *you* biased, am I?

          I just disagree with what you wrote, largely because so many points you wrote are incorrect, based on what I found searching on Google for a few minutes.

          The issues mentioned by posters who constructively documented their concerns makes TERA not sound like a AAA game to me:
          http://www.mmoculture.com/2011/06/tera-korea-major-server-merge-coming.html

          You want an example of a AAA-quality game at launch? See RIFT. No bots, no broken economy, no grind, sufficient endgame contnt at launch.

          Tao :
          That is why they have been practically handing out beta keys, they want people to come and be judgmental, because they are confidant that when you brush back the patina of negativity and bias, the game is really, really good.

          En Masse only sent out 1000 Beta keys for Closed Beta 1.

          All of the people I know who participated in CB1 had to buy the game to get in.

          • Tao says:

            No problem. I don’t actually hold anything against you. I actually think most of what you say is correct about the game. The questing is boring at first. But what keeps me playing is the combat system. In the end questing will be 2-3 weeks. Then that’s over. At the end game however, what keeps you playing? it’s not the quests, but the game play.

            To reiterate I never stated EME was the developer. Bluehole Studio was created specifically to make Tera. They created En Masse Entertainment specifically to bring Tera to the west. BHS’s relationship with NHN is one of mutual business cooperation however, as they are not subsidiaries of NHN itself. However EME and BHS share a unique relationship of psuedo co-developing companies made of both east and west. For instance the lead writer, over the entire TERA project is David Noonan. Who overseas both K and NA teams. Legally EME is a subsidiary. In terms of roles, They are partners.

            When I stated that the Achievements and such was added to Tera because of En Masse, I did mean that they added the system to the game. Because as they themselves stated, Asians markets and Western markets want different things, and they possess the tools to make changes to Tera. Over two years they have been implementing things we have wanted, and asked for. So when they say “we will be having things in our game that even KTera won’t have” I can look at a timeline of things that they have done, for me, that I wanted, that I asked for. To inspire consumer confidence that they are honest.

            Tera’s popularity has not failed however. Articles from a year ago show that when Tera launched in Korea late January show that Tera did start off strong, and fall in subscriber base. Specifically because of a lack of content. These articles are a year old, however. And none of these “credible journalistic sites” seem to remark on the fact that Tera is now, as of January 2012 the 5th most played MMO in Korea, and 9th most played game. Ahead of both Starcraft and Starcraft 2

            This is largely due to the rapid influx of content patches that they have added to the game. After release provided them a stimulus of increased funding.

            This is just what’s being added to Tera this month. And this is just the first half of this patch. At the end of February the level cap will become 60, and it will introduce new 1-40 leveling content to fix the issues western players have had with the game. This was in the pipeline, months before last week’s beta.

            Keep in mind the very same thing happened in RIFT. Early release, Hype, Falling numbers, Server merges, Lack of content. Followed by rapid influx of content, and in a year they have reached a million active subscribers.They are now doing quite well for themselves, and so is Tera. But you don’t hear anything but year old articles, that are a year out of date being recycled over and over. People would never think to do the same thing with RIFT as it’s preposterous to blame an MMO for issues it has since corrected for a year now. But people do it with Tera, because they want it to fail. I’m not saying that you want Tera to fail.

            About SWTOR and GW2 I was merely remarking on the fact that their betas had often been secretive, and they tended to quash any footage of the game that was not authorized by them. Even during Tera’s korean beta, it did not have and NDA, and neither did any of the western tests, going back 2 years. It’s a comparison only in that Tera has been very open about what it is. And it encourages people to come try it.

            Regarding the Beta last week. They invited every FGT/CPE/Contest winner they’ve ever had to test last weekend. 1000 CBT1 keys were handed out. Many dozen other keys were sent to fansites to give out, and they invited fansite staff themselves. The press, and if that wasn’t enough. On their own forums they told people that if you preorder Tera and cancel your preorder, you still get your beta keys. And they are likely ramping these tests up, each test to stress their servers up to Open Beta.

            But I do think given the chance you would love Tera just like your guildmates. No MMO is perfect. Tera certainly isn’t. But I feel that in many ways Tera is not being given the fair chance it deserves.

          • salems says:

            Please disregard this guy….He still believes there is good pvp in star wars.

            • Paravian says:

              There is good PVP in SWTOR. Classes are relatively balanced and gameplay is sound. With out derailing this thread, what are your concerns with the PVP in TOR?

              • taugrim says:

                Paravian :

                There is good PVP in SWTOR. Classes are relatively balanced and gameplay is sound. With out derailing this thread, what are your concerns with the PVP in TOR?

                1. low FPS with any kind of scaled combat
                2. faction imbalance on most PVP servers

                • kharma200 says:

                  LOL @ good pvp in SWTor… there is no pvp in SWTor. There are battlegrounds and the 8FPS lag in Ilum – that results in people camping outside of the Alliance base for hours to earn valor points. LOLOL.

                  You can run around and level to max without ever being ganked and factions are ridiculous to begin with.

                  SWTor was never going to have “good” pvp. It was always a secondary side game of warzones. The fact that they couldn’t even do that right is hilarious. BG’s still have imbalanced numbers and you can’t even put an entire guild team in one.

                  Anyone who says swtor has good pvp – immediately loses credibility. And his comments regarding Tera based on a lowbie are absurd. Level to max, on a pvp server, participate in GvG and the city politics… and then base your judgement on how good or bad the game is. But for goodness sake, make sure you do a review with someone who actually likes and thrives on open world FFA pvp.

  9. Irishbrewed says:

    Thanks Taugrim for the time and the feedback on this game. Although I am not sure why this game is on anyone’s radar but I was interested just to see if Griefer Gary would be proven wrong about its eminent failure, guess not. This thing looks terrible from a pvp perspective.

    • taugrim says:

      Irishbrewed :

      Thanks Taugrim for the time and the feedback on this game. Although I am not sure why this game is on anyone’s radar but I was interested just to see if Griefer Gary would be proven wrong about its eminent failure, guess not. This thing looks terrible from a pvp perspective.

      Most of the folks at GAMEBREAKER believe the game has issues, but one of them loves it. My guildees who tried it (Cool, Kennedy, Ryndar, and Swartz) also liked it a lot.

      I like the combat concepts but have issues with the implementation.

  10. Irishbrewed says:

    Well let’s be honest pvp is a beast to balance and takes serious commitment/time to fine tune a “new” mmo to get even close to balance. Nothing against Asian mmo’s , but they haven’t delivered on the pvp front and to add this HIT BOX no targeting design just compounds an already complicated system.

    Man it would drive me up a wall if I can’t target… Too random for me. Thanks again for the write up on the game man. I guess Vee Neck might of called it…

  11. poisonman says:

    yea with being stuck rooted in animations especially for melee fighting each other in group PVP it will make they really easy to AOE bomb without really anything they can do because they are stuck rooted in place until the animation is over.

  12. poisonman says:

    “it will make THEM really easy to AOE bomb” rather, spelling fail

  13. gtdead says:

    I don’t really know what to make of this post but I’m still prolly gonna buy the game even without playing beta since I find it more attractive than gw2 (gameplay wise). I don’t mind the hitbox difference (wow for example had obvious best races for pvp, no point in denying it) and while latency issues can be harsh there have been too many games that had same problems. Swtor is a prime example of ranged having an obvious advantage cause even minimal latency can make melee animations not go off. WoW had latency issues that people used to abuse (gouging after blink for example? Iceblocking spells that obviously had hit them?). Games evolve and devs try new things, leaving the autoattack behind. It’s only natural that there are going to be problems.

    Waiting for the western devs to fix whatever latency issues on release is indeed naive but they are supposed to make it better with time. If they are going to forget about this game when it’s out then well, none is going to play it anymore and the western audience is very demanding.

    Also in my opinion the whole “animation getting in the way” is getting old. Animations have movement patterns and there are animations that those tha respect free movement and others that don’t.

    Anyway, it will be a while till this game is out and I will have to compare with gw2 to find the game I really want to play, but right now my sights are on Tera.

  14. Soujiro89 says:

    Good to see that you’re not gonna stick with that game! Let’s see some more SW:TOR! :D

    • taugrim says:

      Soujiro89 :

      Good to see that you’re not gonna stick with that game! Let’s see some more SW:TOR! :D

      SWTOR continues to be a lot of fun for me.

      I’ll be playing multiple games at a time, if there are multiple offerings on the market that are fun for me.

  15. NoGoal says:

    I’m wondering why nobody mentioned Age of Conan so far. It has similar combat mechanics and suffers from similar issues (read lag and ´clunky´ feel).

    But I would argue that all games suffer from that. Using grapple in SWTOR can make your target warp back and forth preventing you to use melee abilities; using interrupt, while it works, has severe animation delay; etc.

    From what I read, balance isn’t great. Some classes (Berzerker) can 1 shot others, ranged classes are still superior, etc. I also found it funny to read devs think that sneak is imbalanced but having a lot of cc is fine for them.

    Oh and active racial skills are freaky. There’s a complete heal with 2h cooldown, a 3 mins speed buff with 30 mins cd, a 3 mins cc resistance with 1 hour cd,.. Long cooldowns don’t make skills balanced and, even less, fun.

  16. chin says:

    taugrim why is your crosshair never on your opponent but hovering over them? is this done on purpose? you will miss some swings and skills if you continue to do this. or are u stating all race hit boxes should be made to the height of the crosshair so you dont really have to aim other than facing your opponent?

    • taugrim says:

      chin :

      taugrim why is your crosshair never on your opponent but hovering over them? is this done on purpose? you will miss some swings and skills if you continue to do this. or are u stating all race hit boxes should be made to the height of the crosshair so you dont really have to aim other than facing your opponent?

      The crosshair for a melee class doesn’t really matter. To land an attack, you need to put your opponent in the path of the animation.

      However, for a ranged DPS or healer, in general you have to line up the crosshair over your target to land an ability.

  17. Hollister says:

    The thing that annoys me the most about this post by the author is just how irresponsible it is on a couple of fronts. He’s writing an assumption that this game is simply a 100% port from Korea (and will never change) and that simply isn’t true. They have stated that this game has a dev team separate from KTera and that dev team has full control over any changes they want to make based on NA feedback / testing, etc.

    Last thing I want to point out as I’ve said in another post here is that latency is always going to affect the outcome of a fight in any MMO you play, but your problem wasn’t latency.

    Taugrim, respectfully, you made 1 fatal mistake when deciding to monitor PVP in this game: you left your system settings cranked up on high when it is clear to me in the first 5 seconds of your video that your computer specs are not up to par for this game. If you want some advice, all you have to do next time is put everything on low. “Latency” and “Poor PC performance” are two different things.

    I agree 100% with you that there should be NO difference in races and hitboxes. That is a big problem because it will be “world of midget pvp” like you said.

    • taugrim says:

      Hollister :

      The thing that annoys me the most about this post by the author is just how irresponsible it is on a couple of fronts.

      So it’s “irresponsible” for me to document my experience and opinions, especially those that are backed up from actual game footage?

      In that case, let me introduce you to the Internet. It’s full of irresponsibility.

      Hollister :

      He’s writing an assumption that this game is simply a 100% port from Korea (and will never change)

      I don’t recall writing any of that.

      Hollister :

      They have stated that this game has a dev team separate from KTera and that dev team has full control over any changes they want to make based on NA feedback / testing, etc.

      Actually what En Masse says about their own company shows that you don’t understand how their business model works.

      http://www.enmasse.com/company/

      “Our flagship product, TERATM, developed by Bluehole Studio, is already captivating players in the East, and will very soon be making gaming history in the West, thanks to our team of experts in localization, marketing, platform, operations, and security.”

      En Masse isn’t a game developer. They are a game publisher. For TERA, the game developer is Bluehole Studio.

      Hollister :

      Last thing I want to point out as I’ve said in another post here is that latency is always going to affect the outcome of a fight in any MMO you play, but your problem wasn’t latency.

      Incorrect.

      Positioning in this game is *everything*. You can’t block or land blows effectively with latency, especially compared to other games.

      Hollister :

      Taugrim, respectfully, you made 1 fatal mistake when deciding to monitor PVP in this game: you left your system settings cranked up on high when it is clear to me in the first 5 seconds of your video that your computer specs are not up to par for this game.

      Explain why Kennedy and I saw the *exact* same thing. The issue is not my computer. That was the whole point of showing the video.

      /sigh

      Hollister :

      I agree 100% with you that there should be NO difference in races and hitboxes. That is a big problem because it will be “world of midget pvp” like you said.

      That is the only objective comment you made in your post.

  18. Blazek says:

    I’m actually surprised no one else has mentioned this, but while TERA has been live in korea for a year, En Masse is a new company with new servers to host the game; and they have been having server issues, made apparent by the fact that they had to take one down at the start of the beta weekend.

    While I would agree TERA will be terrible if lag persists into retail, but i’m not going to jump the gun and call it bad due to 1 beta… there are several reasons the lag could have happened in the video you posted and that could be directly fixed by En Masse, as long as players send in their feedback.

    Personally I had a lot of fun and achieved 22 on my Slayer; combat started to feel much more fluid and rapid as I gained abilities and learned about combo attacks.

    • taugrim says:

      Blazek :

      En Masse is a new company with new servers to host the game; and they have been having server issues, made apparent by the fact that they had to take one down at the start of the beta weekend.

      Understood, and agreed.

      Blazek :

      While I would agree TERA will be terrible if lag persists into retail, but i’m not going to jump the gun and call it bad due to 1 beta.

      Here’s the thing, if you think of this from a larger frame of reference:

      1. every MMO in existence has lag / latency issues the more players that are involved in PVP combat. So it is safe to assume that TERA will have lag / latency once you get to more people around

      2. the combat design for most games is no where near as sensitive as TERA is with respect to positioning. And therein lies the issue. Lag / latency screws up position-based combat

  19. Blazek says:

    taugrim :

    Here’s the thing, if you think of this from a larger frame of reference:
    1. every MMO in existence has lag / latency issues the more players that are involved in PVP combat. So it is safe to assume that TERA will have lag / latency once you get to more people around
    2. the combat design for most games is no where near as sensitive as TERA is with respect to positioning. And therein lies the issue. Lag / latency screws up position-based combat

    I hear ya, I used to participate in large scale combat on DAoC religiously. My main point was that I am going to see how things pan out over the next several betas; if the lag continues to be an issue then i will likely not pick it up at retail.

    • taugrim says:

      Blazek :

      taugrim :

      Here’s the thing, if you think of this from a larger frame of reference:
      1. every MMO in existence has lag / latency issues the more players that are involved in PVP combat. So it is safe to assume that TERA will have lag / latency once you get to more people around
      2. the combat design for most games is no where near as sensitive as TERA is with respect to positioning. And therein lies the issue. Lag / latency screws up position-based combat

      I hear ya, I used to participate in large scale combat on DAoC religiously. My main point was that I am going to see how things pan out over the next several betas; if the lag continues to be an issue then i will likely not pick it up at retail.

      Did DAoC have the same style of animation-based attacks, self-roots with abilities, and hitbox size variations?

      • Blazek says:

        taugrim :
        Did DAoC have the same style of animation-based attacks, self-roots with abilities, and hitbox size variations?

        the DAoC reference was more towards the first point, large scale combat = more lag and back then some players were still running off 56k, ugh.

        A better comparison would be Darkfall as it did have a similar combat system. Even playing on the euro servers for Darkfall i would get around 150ms yet I had very few issues with lag for PvP combat. Pretty often I could nail people with arrows as they were trying to run away in small scale combat. Melee So i mean it is very do-able with a non-lockon targeting system with some latency issues present. The problem is if En Masse can really lock down the server latency issues.

  20. […] P.S. Before you ask, I’m on the fence about playing TERA because of the combat mechanics. […]

  21. Sviel says:

    Having played as a melee class in the beta and doing a good deal of pvp, I’m wondering where you experienced this.

    I never had a single latency issue, though on a zerker (or any melee) the relatively large hitbox is less at risk than an arrow. Even so, none of my ranged guildmates had any latency issues even during 8v8 combat.

    Zerker attack animations technically root the character, but it’s understandable since you’re swinging an axe as tall or taller or you. It never felt clunky though, especially once skills hit the ranks where I could move while charging them.

    PvP balance wise, it’s too early to comment. At lvl 22 (the cap in that beta), most classes are missing quite a few skills. Notably, I didn’t have any of my gap closers. As such, dueling ranged classes was a real pain, but if I caught them, I could hit hard enough to make it worthwhile.

    The instances where you see a zerker one shotting another class wouldn’t ever take place in an actual duel. To accomplish that, you’d need a full charge and a crit…meaning your opponent would have to remain immobile for 4+ seconds. Given that you’re slowed while charging and the squishy classes all have means of gap creation, the circumstances never occur.

    Hitboxes are not a huge deal either. Assuming you’re accurate enough to hit a square meter target, it makes little difference how much more there is. Any advantage is slight, in terms of targeting, and doesn’t affect melee classes or Sorcs/Priests/Mystics (mostly AoE or ground targeted attacks). In other words, only archers really feel anything.

    That said, lag like what’s in the video is potentially a serious problem. However, it’s such an isolated incident that I’m not too worried about it.

  22. Philip says:

    I have seen videos of higher lvled people moving and attacking at the same time i hear you can use glyphs and skills to modify skills to allow u to move

    So maybe some more expermenting is needed taugrim milk the beta my man

    • Torathin says:

      So you want me to have to level up and glyph just to have a decent playing and pvp experience?

      The mechanics of how an MMO feels is important to my enjoyment of the game. If right off the bat an MMO doesn’t realize that if the initial experience for the player isn’t fun we aren’t going to keep playing.

      Just watching the preview, even if Taugrim had made no comments, I would have been put off by what I saw.

      Taugrim gives his opinions on an MMO as he sees it and that is why I trust his opinions and come back here for news and commentary. I would have been disappointed to have another review saying “it’s not so bad, not so bad, give it time…”

  23. Nhoj1983 says:

    Hear what your saying. Not sure it’s going to change my mind about the game but I do have fun playing the game. Didn’t see the same issues you did when pvping myself.. but I did run a different class and I almost always play very late. Still it sure did happen to you a lot in that video can understand why anyone would be frustrated with it. Honestly though the stops don’t bother me. On the lag side. I’m not doubting you in the least. When I watched a vid of a battleground I thought lag could make this hard. If it’s sporadic I’ll deal with it(have in many games in the past) if it’s all the time well.. then the game might be in worse condition than I thought based off my experiences. I really want to see some more pvp before I make a decision. Otherwise I LOVE tanking in this game. Would be a shame if the pvp is unplayable.

  24. Marko says:

    game went live 1 year ago on korea, but they probably made the localization from the korean cbt files, and they will do it also from live ones when it hits live. they arent making a new game because of language change, they are using the korean core files, and if its cbt on eu and na now,i believe that they are using cbt korean files for it, and the live files are sitting and waiting with localization done for when it comes live in na and eu.

    i have casual lag spikes playing latest sneak-peek events, very rare to happen. i was doing pve on crowded places and barely noticed lag, just a casual spike as i said, very casual really.
    on cbt1 we will try the pvp and ill see if all in the article is really true, since there was no pvp options on the last betas, only dueling.

    still, im quite sure the lag wont make pvp unplayable, at least not to a point that was simmilar in aion at abyss area, that was unplayable.
    and btw, europe publisher is Frogster, not EnMasse wich is only for NA market.
    and after that lil fail, im wondering if the article itself isnt just a try to make tera look bad and make others not to play it….. we all saw the criticism that was made when SWTOR had theyr 1st big bug, total over-reaction, game was fixed in few days, not taking lots of time like many said. play the games to see it, dont go after everything you read or see. just my 2 cents.

  25. Bruce Chirrey says:

    quick question – How do you eliminate latency issues besides having a GCD? SWTOR player here and I used to play AOC. In AoC there was no GCD and combat was pretty fast paced till they ruined it with bad game management decisions. The bad thing about AoC was some combo-cancelling exploits and third party programs. The GCD of SWTOR is not really that noticeable but it does give a slight delay to combat.

    • taugrim says:

      Bruce Chirrey :

      quick question – How do you eliminate latency issues besides having a GCD? SWTOR player here and I used to play AOC. In AoC there was no GCD and combat was pretty fast paced till they ruined it with bad game management decisions. The bad thing about AoC was some combo-cancelling exploits and third party programs. The GCD of SWTOR is not really that noticeable but it does give a slight delay to combat.

      Latency and GCD have nothing to do with one another IMO, not sure why you are conflating the two.

      In terms of eliminating latency issues: you try to optimize the heck out of your network communication code, make it lean and fast while keeping it robust and secure.

  26. gtdead says:

    I don’t think that this is about gcd. Pretty much every skill on tera has a “channeling time”, its not that the guy that presses the buttons faster wins, unless there is a flawed queueing system behind skill usage or an animation cancelling exploit. If you watch the link the problem is that the position doesnt register correctly due to latency and this is a major problem on a positional combat mmo. This particular observation could be either a animation bug, a server/client problem or a general latency issue. Time will tell if it’s just an oversight, a problem that can be fixed/get better or a gamebreaking issue that will kill the game for pvpers.

  27. Y-Yorle? says:

    Germaximus :

    Thats all fine and dandy but not all PvP has to be about “beating the best.”
    You can PvP for fun too and if you do latency bothers you a little less.
    Thats one reason why games like WoW made PvP instances.

    Most of my fun in PvP comes from good solid combat and I think if there’s one PvP’er that embodies this idea, it’s Taugrim. As far as have seen on all his streams he doesn’t mind loosing at all as long as it’s a good, smooth and fair battle in which he’s outwitted. out-skilled or anything similar.

    I also love learning from other’s playstyles and as such Taugrim’s vids are very good to look at, especially because of his calm voic, logic in his explanations and the lack of hardcore background music in his vids (thank gawd!!! xD).

    Some of the best PvP matches I have had (not just in swtor), were the ones where could feel I won or lost because of my own skill and not by being out-geared, out-lagged or because someone chose the smallest hit box possible without some sort of trade-off. Maybe Tera hitboxes, if they insist on keeping them like this, would be to make smaller hit boxes sustain a lot more dmg then the ones with a big hit box. Then again, I also still consider it a design flaw to have different hit boxes. For example, in Aion the hit boxes were all the same size. The reason people picked small PvP chars was because people instinctively tried to click on the small body, while they could have just clicked anywhere near it. xD

    If I win in PvP it’s of course a very nice bonus, but if I loose because of things like lag or unresponsiveness then it just becomes frustrating for me. It takes away any feeling of fairness and almost feels like I am placed involuntarily in a lottery. And while I certainly can understand people enjoying a lottery, I don’t think most of these people play PvP games with the idea they’re stepping into a lottery and hope lady luck smiles on them.

    However, I do understand where you were coming from. PvP isn’t all about being the very best (although some may disagree with me here, but to each his/her own). I just honestly think you misunderstood Taugrim intended purpose for his comments on Tera’s combat he was trying to make and perhaps Taugrim missed how you misunderstood him, etc, etc. xD

    Bottomline, you two are on the same page when it comes to your thoughts of ‘fun in PvP’ the way I see it. :)

  28. kharma2001 says:

    I played in the beta and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had no issues with lag at all. I had a tough time adjusting to the movement at first – then I stopped using my keyboard and started using the joystick on my G13 Gamepad, combined with my Naga mouse… and the difference was amazing.

    I found the game and the combat incredibly fun and I can’t wait for the next CBT. My guildie made a video of some 3v3 pvp that we engaged in. There was about 30 of us all fighting in different battles in the same area. None of us had the lag reported in this post – which makes me suspicious. Here’s the video if you’re interested: http://youtu.be/SJ37MCoH4_0

  29. Cas says:

    One of the best nights of MMOing since early RIFT

  30. Cas says:

    Look at that…seriously. Not seen anything like it for a while.

  31. Cas says:

    Oh yeah, good luck finding lag on those video too!

  32. Valkyriez says:

    Nice vid’s Cas. The element of self rooting is still there but the PvP actually looks pretty darn good.

    • id_korax says:

      “Self rooting” has been in every action game, every fighting game ever made. In Tera you can cancel some attacks with combo/block/dodge but not all attacks. This is to make combat more dependent on skill. Aiming, positioning, hand eye coordination, etc.

      We’ve pretty much already proven Taugrim just made up everything. Go watch his duel video, he’s level 5 in the newbie zone, surrounded by people, right where everyone turns in their quests and he says he has high lag.

      Then he says Tera “roots you” after comparing it to Streetfighter which roots you as well. The amount of bias and make believe is staggering.

      • Valkyriez says:

        Whoa. I get your point Korax and will have a look. I think it slightly unfair to accuse Taugrimm of bias though. If anything, over the years I have come to see Taugrimms views are generally trying to nullify bias from other players. I will admit he has a slip here and there with regards to game bias, but his points on Tera aren’t invalid.

        Tera looks good, and Cas’s video’s show some spectacular world PvP with minimal lag. Here’s a thing to consider though. If all the NA servers are locally stored/located, as an Oceanic player I really do have no interest in this game. The general latency for me to play on NA servers is sitting around 200-500 ms. With games with a lock on target and GCD, it isn’t all that horrible but is still an issue. I realise this is straying away from your point but for me it’s the big issue. The general latency of american players is 5-50 ms, which accounts to less then 0.1 of a second. For me to play at 500ms I would be gutted and spat out quite regularly.

        For US players ranging between 5-50ms, I cant see latency being a big factor. With lag spikes in heavy pop areas, then yes it will be an issue.

        Nothing could be worse then the FPS from Ilum in SWTOR though. I average 180ms with solid comp specs, and it drops down to 5 or so for me due to bad coding/threading.

  33. id_korax says:

    En Masse confirms that all hitboxes are the same exact size in the NA version

  34. Cas says:

    id_korax :

    En Masse confirms that all hitboxes are the same exact size in the NA version
    http://i.imgur.com/sHseO.png

    Thanks for that

  35. rptb1 says:

    I was expecting this, and thanks for confirming it. Any game in which the client is authoritative about player position is going to present different versions of reality to different players. This is why WoW-like targeting exists, and why arrows and spells curve around corners when the server has decided that they are going to hit. Tera’s weapon-art-intersects-hitbox system simply cannot be consistent to all players unless everyone has to wait for the server to arbitrate before playing any animations, and that’s going to make a game seem highly unresponsive. It’s going to be possible to set up situations where I think you are *never* in melee range, and you think I’m *always* in melee range. I don’t see how this can be avoided. Free targeting can’t get around it.

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