We sat down with Lead Writer David Noonan of En Masse Entertainment to get some key questions answered about TERA's most dangerous class: the sorcerer!
ZAM: What about unique specializations for the sorcerer? Some MMOs prefer to separate their caster classes by the elements they wield, but this doesn't appear to be the case with TERA. Will players be able to create a Sorcerer that best matches their play style?
David: As a general rule, every sorcerer gets access to the whole spell book-nothing is walled off. In TERA, you express your specialty in two main ways. First, there's a glyph system that lets you customize certain parameters of each spell. Second (and more importantly), you match your play style in a really obvious way: by playing! It's not a question of which spells you possess or which elements you can wield. It's a question of which spells and abilities you actually use! You've got access to all of 'em, but which ones you use is up to you.
ZAM: How do you think the sorcerer's damage stacks up in comparison to other DPS-focused classes, like the slayer?
David: The sorcerer is absolutely top drawer for damage. As he walks through a zone, he's leaving smoking corpses behind.
ZAM: One of the biggest headaches for any veteran of the caster archetype is when enemies decide to camp out right in front of your face. What sort of tools did you give to the sorcerer class to help them deal with more persistent melee threats?
David: The sorcerer has a whole toolbox for exactly that sort of thing; I'll mention two of the most common countermeasures. First is the "low-impact" solution-a series of magic-aided back steps that whisks you out of harm's way. And for a more "permanent" solution to those slack-jawed, drooling melee types, sorcerers have something called "Pillar of Flame."
ZAM: The class reveal notes that the sorcerer has access to several slow-casting spells that are direction based, rather than target based (like Magma Bomb). Is it a requirement that sorcerers have a target in sight in order to cast these spells, or will they have the opportunity to manually aim their spells at locations where they guess their opponents will be?
David: You have the opportunity to aim spells where the bad guys are going to be-that's central to the sorcerer's play style. If you like a sense of anticipation in battle, the sorcerer is the class for you.
ZAM: A common practice in any game with strong AoE characters is to gather up hundreds of little creatures for the sorcerers to mow down in one giant fireball. Will there be any unit caps on AoE damage, or slight penalties for hitting more targets beyond an optimal number?
David: TERA handles that issue with monster design, rather than hard-boiling penalties into the sorcerer class. We've intentionally created some opportunities for you to nuke massive groups of enemies from orbit, but TERA's monsters can be pretty clever. Some are even smart enough to scatter when they see a sorcerer winding up that AoE spell…
ZAM: Finally, it seems as though the sorcerer is one class that really adapts to the situation he or she is placed into. What do you think are the key differences in play style that a sorcerer will need to switch between when going solo or when adventuring with a group?
David: The core gameplay remains the same for the sorcerer, whether you're solo or with a group. The biggest difference is that, in a group, you have more opportunities for mayhem. Whether you can take advantage of those opportunities is a test of your maneuvering, situational awareness, timing, and teamwork. But it's always fun to gather your friends and light bad guys on fire, right?
ZAM: And that's all we have for this latest class reveal on TERA's sorcerer! This certainly seems like a heavy firepower class that no adventuring group is going to want to leave home without! Thanks for answering our questions!
David: You're welcome. In 2011 we'll take the wrapper off TERA and you can try a sorcerer for yourself!