A Weekend of TERA

I’ve spent most of the weekend playing TERA, in the last stages of the mmo’s closed beta stage.

TERA has been touted as a new breed of MMO, with enhanced combat and tactics, relying on timing and position, as well as aiming.  The game world is massive, with gorgeous graphics, and there are seven character races and eight classes to choose from.

TERA has been in the news for their races and clothing designs, though.. with the European version of the game having censored versions of some models.  I’ll come back to that..

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Minecraft Mods – Technic Pack

I’ve mostly ignored Minecraft’s various mods so far.. nothing really leapt out as a must-see, and I just didn’t have the enthusiasm to face the hassle of setting them up.

However.. a friend has been trying out the Technic pack, which adds a big pile of mods to the game.. building, industrial machinery, more creatures via Mo’ Creatures, and from Millénaire, NPC villages which grow as the villagers work in them.

Minecraft itself has to be downgraded to version 1.7.3 before the pack can be applied.  So that I can play on the multiplayer server still, I need to have a second install of Minecraft.. or a second copy of the game’s bin folder at least.  I looked into creating a batch file to switch between the modded version and vanilla version, but that would rely on naming the folders “bin” and “bin(1)” rather than something memorable.  As I want to keep a backup copy of the modded version anyway, it should be easy enough to just copy that over when I want to play the mod.

So, into the game..

I spawned right next to an Indian village, with a few small buildings, and NPCs going about their business.. collecting wood, making bricks, and if I headed into the town hall, one or more would come running to trade with me 🙂

I decided to avoid gathering resources directly within the village in case it turned them against me.. but I was lucky enough to come across loads of blocks of wood from trees which were despawning all around, and ended up with a full stack of wood without having had to strike a single tree!

I’m still only at “Stranger” status with the Village Chief, though as I bring more goods to trade, this reputation should improve and I’ll be able to get more interesting things, including housing which isn’t so easily destroyed..

My friend had warned me against building too close to the village, as they will expand onto you if it’s in their plans.  I moved to the next flat piece of land and made a small house, containing a workbench and chest, and a bed for passing the night in safety.. or so I thought!

The Mo’ Creatures part of the pack adds.. as you’d guess.. more creatures, including werewolves, big cats, and Ogres..

I awoke from the third night’s sleep to a smashing sound, grunting, and the realisation that my house was being destroyed around me by three large Ogres!  I ran away, not wanting to take them on with the wooden sword I had to hand.. and when I came back there wasn’t much left..

In case you don’t want to be surprised like this, Mo’ Creatures has a few adjustable settings.

I have reduced the number of Ogres.. for now.  They drop Obsidian, so when I have a bit more gear, I will be hunting them for it!

Werewolves were another threat I’d been warned against, with the recommendation of just running if I saw one.  It’s a different matter during the day, though.. and I was encouraged to attack the “hobos” wandering around for their loot.. as well as for the fact that they were the Werewolves’ daytime form.

As well as the hostile creatures, there is a nice variety to the wildlife.. rabbits, cats, fish, horses.. even pegasi and unicorns, which a friend has been busy trying to breed..

For my part, I still need to create a saddle, find food, and even tame a horse, before I can worry about breeding them 🙂

I came across some dolphins too.. and I even managed to get a ride on one by clicking him.  I couldn’t repeat it when I tried, though, as the other dolphins just threw me off!

The trees are another great thing about this mod.. more variation, with a few types of fruit trees too.. and some insanely large trees dotted about, which remind me of our attempt at a giant tree on our old multiplayer map!

I also found an Oil Slick, but I think I’m quite a way off building any of the industrial machines which I’d want it for.. so I’m leaving it alone for now.

Before I start ripping apart the countryside, I want to see quite how much my little village can expand.. they’ve already started! 🙂

Terraria

A new game appeared in my friends’ group over the weekend – Terraria.  As I have a silly number of unplayed games in my collection, I was going to give it a miss.. but they kept talking about it with such obvious enthusiasm that I started to feel a bit left out..

Terraria is a 2D scrolling adventure game which has a few similarities to Minecraft.. you start in a randomly generated world, with trees and other resources to gather.  Once you have collected enough goodies, you can craft items: weapons, building materials and decorative items.

There are monsters, ranging from coloured slime with little health, right up to some fairly tough bosses, which you can summon when you’re ready to take them on.  Unlike in Minecraft, the appearance of monsters is not limited to the night-time.. so while you could build a shelter and hide, it’s far better to get out there and fight!

As you find better resources and loot, you can craft stronger weapons and armour.. you can also level your character up with items which increase your total health and add a mana pool.. and you will need to do this if you’re going to take on the bosses! 🙂

Another dissimilarity to Minecraft comes in the form of the NPCs you can attract, should you build shelter for them to live in, and met a few requirements.  The merchant has a range of items for sale, the nurse can heal you, the Arms Dealer sells guns, and the Guide.. well..

The Guide got me into trouble.

I started out in the world knowing very little about the game, as I wanted to experience and learn as I went along.. and seeing the Guide, I expected I’d have to follow him along a little way before getting into the game properly.

However, he led me off the grass and onto a manky grey surface with spiky weeds.. Corruption, which I’m told is not normally this close to spawn.  The spiky weeds hurt, so I decided to leave the Guide to his wandering and go back to the grass.. but before I got back I met my first monster, the Eater of Souls!

I found I could take one point of health from him with my pickaxe, but before he was dead another appeared.. this was too much to handle on top of the damage from the weeds in the Corruption, and I managed to die within one minute of spawning! So much for an easy game at lunch 😉

After respawning I tried to explore to the left, but met Slimes, as well as a rather high mountain.. then night came, bringing zombies, so I went to dig down and instead met some kind of worm.. more death!

Eventually I went after the Guide, hacking away the spiky parts of Corruption so I could walk there.. I found him trapped in water above his head, still alive apparently, and as soon as I’d made a path he headed back up the hill.  I cut a path down into one of the caves, and trapped him there!

I was surprised how quickly the corruption spread across the dirt tiles.. I came to take screenshots at the end of play, and found it had grown like this.. 😮

Terraria also has a multiplayer mode, and after a friend set up a server I joined them.  Multiplayer allows co-op and PvP, which you can toggle on individually.. you can also form teams which adds a little indicator to show which direction and how far away your friends are.

Both friends had played for a while already, and as characters keep all their equipment and resources when they enter a world, they already had some decent gear.  As I was now on my home PC, and the game has no Steam cloud support, I had to start from scratch, but I didn’t mind as I’d barely collected or looted anything yet.

I was given a better pickaxe, as well as some bombs and some other random items.. I went exploring for resources while one friend built a large tower and filled it with rooms.. this meant the NPCs started to arrive, though till I’ve earnt more money I can’t buy from them. 😉

He also went and summoned the Eye of Cthulu.. I got killed trying to take a look at him the first time, but after being given hearts and levelling up somewhat, I was able to take part in the second fight! 🙂

We fought him from a platform, so there was plenty of room to avoid him as he swung past.  As well as attacking you by himself, he fires little eyes at you.. the magic boomerang came in handy for those, killing them before they got too close 🙂

The Eye’s second phase was a little creepier, as the pupil and iris were replaced by a mouth full of sharp teeth..

It wasn’t too much longer before we killed him though.. the flaming arrows, magic boomerang and Undoer’s spiky ball of win made sure of that! 🙂