Hands-on with TERA’s new Valkyrie class
Last month, TERA’s community chose the name of its new class, and next week players will get to not only see that Valkyrie in action but play her when Honorbound launches on April 11th. Ahead of the launch, I got to get my hands on the class while joining the devs for a run through if the dungeon Vault of Kaprima. Michael Santora, product manager, acted as tour guide and shared interesting tidbits about the class as we warmed up for our run on the BAMS in the dungeon. With Scott Magner (writer) as tank and Robin MacPherson (associate product manager) as healer, what could go wrong?
One should really never ask that question and tempt fate! I might have suffered a death or three in the dungeon as I played this melee class for the very first time, but it was still fun to do — and I am not even a fan of melee. Here are my first impressions of the class, and don’t forget to tune in later today and tomorrow for official livestreams showing her off.
What is the Valkyrie like? If you’ve been waiting for a Castanic who swings an enormous runeglaive to slash through enemies as if dancing a ballet, your time has finally come. The Valkyrie, whom Santora called the cornerstone of the Honorbound update, is an ancient Castanic martial order, and as such the combat is meant to feel fluid and flowing. Additionally, “Their skills are focused on setting their opponents up for high-damage crit attacks, which also generate runemarks for them to exploit and also to explode.” So there is artistry along with the art of killing. How does that translate into a bit of actual play?
The Valkyrie’s attacks are an assortment of slashes, leaping slashes, and overhead slashes. And a few more slashes for good measure. Sure, there are some other other skills, such as a charge and abilities used for pulling enemies up close, but slashes are the definitely predominant. The Valkyrie is definitely a class that likes to charge in and be right in the thick of things in order to sweep her glaive through enemies.
Some abilities generate runemarks when you land a critical hit, while others consume them. One such runemark consumer explodes them (while simultaneously giving the Valkyrie MP), and another pulls enemies close. An interesting tidbit is that runemarks generated but unused on a mob will temporarily transfer to the Valkyrie upon the mobs defeat. As Santora described, “The basic Valkyrie DPS cycle is hit things, do crits, generate runemarks and then you clear them.” During my short playtime, I didn’t master the art of drawing enemies in and exploding the runes on everything around me, but I feel like that is a strategy I would want to perfect. You can read up on all the skills on the official site.
The Valkyrie’s main attack is a slash, and the swipes do have a long, graceful fluid arc to them. Unlike other classes, her attacks do appear to — as Santora put it — “flow together seamlessly.” I have to admit that while attacking and using combos, leaping and spinning around, the Valkyrie did feel like she was dancing about while twirling that giant glaive; I really liked that the movements weren’t jerky. For all that damage dealing, her moves were not clunky or stilted.
But don’t equate grace with weak. Yes, it was likened to a dance, but to be cliche, it was a dance of death. Power-wise, the Valkyrie did seem to slice through the regular mobs fairly well. She also felt pretty effective in the dungeon group. We had three Valkyries in our group, and they seemed to slice through the BAMS lickity split; boss fights didn’t go on too long, and deaths were relatively easy to avoid on most fights. (Notice I said most, as one fight found melee dying repeatedly because we just had trouble getting away all the time.) As much as I am not a fan of melee classes, I’d play Valkyrie because I liked the feel of the movements and how all of the attacks flowed together.
Watch more Valkyrie
You don;t have to take my word on it. If you want to see the Valkyrie for yourself, be sure to tune into En Masse Entertainments’ Twitch channel later today and tomorrow. On both Friday and Saturday, April 7th and 8th, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT, Community Manager Sean “Spacecats” Gibbons will be playing the Valkyrie and answering questions from the community. Find out more about her abilities, and watch the rune system in action.