Guild Wars 2 vs TERA

Does one game have to win over the other, or do they each have unique strengths, both in gameplay and business model that a player might enjoy both? Let’s dive in!


I’m not trying to play it safe when I say I fully see the benefits to both TERA and Guild Wars 2. That said: I can see myself being a whole lot more enticed by the latter.  It’s just far more “new” to me, even though I’m loving TERA’s combat and world.  What gets me about Guild Wars 2 is its sense of exploration and discovery.  Meanwhile the combat and politics of TERA are what have me solidly enjoying that title.  Luke and I are each going to briefly talk on three core components to any MMO and see how the two games stack up against each other.

Class Progression

TERA really doesn’t offer much in the way of class-differentiation… at least early on.  The true difference between classes in TERA comes in the form of how each class plays completely different in combat.  You get crystals to slot out weapons and armor with bonus stats (which becomes hugely important later one), and you get glyphs to tweak skills from level 20+ (also hugely important).  But by and large the Lancer’s core skills and way of playing stays the same between players, with crystals and glyphs being the customized part of your play experience.  So if you’re the type of player who really wants to change the way your character plays, TERA won’t necessarily work for you.  If however, you’re all about min-maxxing? Well then, En Masse’s game is up your alley.

Quests and Adventure

This is another area in which one game goes the tried and true route, while another tries to shake things up.  There are plenty of folks who claim the MMO design isn’t broken and doesn’t need re-shaping.  Those folks will likely love the questing in TERA, and loathe the all-public events in GW2.  But me? I put up with the questing in TERA, well written though it is, because the combat and group content is fun enough to get me through “kill this, and collect this”.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  GW2’s events are still about killing and collecting, but like WoW did in 2004, it’s a refinement of the mechanic that disguises the “quest grind” in a way that makes it feel new, different, and altogether fun. I also love how GW2 puts a player in the world of Tyria and says “Go find stuff to do.” The explorer in me loves that.  And while I love the beautiful world of TERA’s Arborea, there’s a lot less focus on exploration.