When it comes down to game guides, it’s always the question if the product lives up to the hype. I’ve seen plenty of so-called strategy guides over the years come and go, with sleek looking sales pages only to see that the actual guide is some hastily thrown together Word document with a bunch of screenshots to boost page numbers.
So I was more than a little sceptical the very first time I gave Killer Guides a try (which back then was for RIFT). Known for making class and leveling guides available for pretty much all major MMO titles, at the time Killer Guides had over 200 guides for titles such as World of Warcraft, Aion, and Rift. They apparently had a few people in early beta versions so I was able to download some of the content already several weeks before the game went live. They recently added TERA Guides to their ever growing portfolio and I decided to see if the quality lives up to it.
First things first though – the site offers two types of memberships: Life-time downloads of individually purchased products and an all access pass membership that includes access to absolutely everything on their site. Having purchased 3 single guides from them in the past and finding the manuals a great help during my time in Rift (and later on SWTOR), I got their all access pass.
Here’s where things get interesting. Their TERA guides have actually been available (while in development) weeks before the official game launch. I’m still baffled how a third party guide company actually gets their content out faster than official guide publishers (I assume they are not allowed to publish it any earlier).
For TERA I’ve started with their general TERA guide. While layout-wise things haven’t changed much, it appears that the level of details has even increased dramatically since earlier games. Mind you, I was quite happy with earlier guides (otherwise I wouldn’t have upgraded to their all access pass), but after seeing the TERA line there was apparently indeed a way to improve on the concept.
I particularly liked the leveling chapter, which includes some unique strategies I haven’t seen anywhere else. Tested them, and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Some tips are so simple yet I missed them. If the guides weren’t of a (rather restrictive) single user license, I’d would have loved to share some pointers here.
Other solid sections include a reference on glyphs and equipment. While it’s a general guide with a focus on leveling, it still provides a solid insight into optimizing individual characters and classes. If you’re a min-maxer who really needs to get that last 7% of efficiency for your archer, berserker or lancer, you can probably get your hands on one of their class guides (which are of equal size to the main guides, but focus on a single class alone).
PvP is definitely one of the more competitive aspects in TERA, so it was good to see that it got its own, thorough section in the guide. While I’m still not yet a Vanarch candidate, I think I now got a much better picture on how to pull my weight in the battlegrounds. However, for the real in-depth analysis of individual classes, tactics and counters though you’ll have to pick up a class-specific guide from them.
From a long time gamer who got his hands on the first batch of TERA guides over at Killer Guides, I would say if you decide to buy a guide, this one is your best bet. All of their guides come with life-time free updates so when the game gets patched or an expansion comes out, you get access to the updated content at no extra charge. Aside from an all access pass for all game guides, there’s also TERA guide bundle that only includes the TERA guide set.