You know what’s the very definition of “not fun?” When you spend the better part of a day downloading a 28-gig client only to have it not function whatsoever. It was actually going well with TERA up to that point: The registration was easy, the download started right away, and the downloader had a nice array of tools and information going on. It was only at the end, when I logged in and saw the bright “PLAY!” button that someone or something did a bodyguard “NOOOOOOOO!” and dove between me and the game, because clicking play did nothing. Not a thing.
I got out of it, started again. Nothing. Checked my firewall, virus checker, etc, nothing. Cleared out the launcher folder, re-downloaded just that, nothing. Went online and saw dozens of threads about this, followed advice, nothing. I have no idea what TERA was doing to my computer, either, because I could never find the actual game directory. Where did it go? Albania? Perhaps. But I’ll tell you one thing: When I’m just looking to give a game an honest try for an evening, there’s a limit to how many hoops I’m willing to jump through. Not that I was salivating over TERA anyway.
So I uninstalled (from where? Where was all this phantom data going and coming from?) and pondered. I needed an MMO to check out and I didn’t have time to download a huge client. Browser MMOs it would be, then, except that none really leaped out at me. Some suggestions over twitter directed me toward interesting-looking text-based affairs, but most of those required an investment of multiple days (i.e. limited adventures per day). So what?
I decided to take a recommendation from Shawn Schuster to check out a mobile title instead: Book of Heroes. But you already knew that because you saw the headline above. Clever girl.
Book of Heroes is a menu-driven RPG where you make a character (only three classes here, bub), go on quests, and mostly kill a lot of things. Combat’s a bit strategic even though you’re just looking at static pictures of mobs. I found myself figuring out different skill rotations for various fights and strongly considering how I should invest my skill points when I leveled up. A little thought into fights is welcome. Because hit points don’t regenerate between fights and sometimes you have to win several fights in a row without going back to a temple to heal up, minimizing damage and winning quickly is paramount.
It’s one of those games that gives you only a limited amount of energy for actions before having to wait for a timer to count down to give you more (or, y’know, pay money). For the start, the amount of actions seemed pretty decent, about a 10-15 minute play session with a couple hours’ recharge time. One nice little bonus is that if you leveled up, your energy level is reset.
I like how the game connects you to others. There are guilds and chat, although the primary goal of both is to throw players into “raids” — areas where you are fighting at the same time alongside your guildies to see if collectively you can overcome a challenge. The one time that I saw a guild raid I took part, and I liked knowing that I was contributing to the win.
Anyway, it’s a slick little game. I appreciate that it gives me some no-nonsense bite-sized sessions, interesting combat, and a ton of things to do. I kind of wish that loot acquisition was more than mostly money (I didn’t see a lot of gear drop in my time) and that there was more of a personality to the quests/NPCs/areas. But overall, I enjoyed it.
Will I play it again? More than I’ll be playing TERA, that’s for sure.