Ok so I would like to point out that I beat the prelude in like 10 minutes, and there was never any thread of dying as a berserker. I wouldn't call it fun but it wasn't as hard as people were letting on IMO.
Prologue is needed feature. Many newcomers have problems with starting area, prologue explains most of the, if you follow. If you skip it and do not read quests or tooltips its your own fault. However It should be shippable always.
YOU CAN BYPASS PROLOGUE. LOG OUT THEN LOG BACK IN.
SELECT ISLAND OF DAWN.
I bypassed it. I care about levels not story.
I mentioned this elsewhere, but it applies here as well. The prologue is supposed to be part of a tutorial, not a playground for veteran players.
I think all indicators of level should be removed from the Prologue. They serve absolutely no purpose there (why do we need to know we and everything else in the Prologue zone is level 20?) and it seems to only be leaving players confused.
I also think the number of abilities we have access to in the Prologue should be cut down, perhaps to whatever we have at level 10 (or 12 if that's when we get the Retaliate skill). The number of abilities being thrown at new players is not an issue that can be resolved by just teling them to read their skill boxes. Keep in mind, when the first closed beta tests started months ago and most people on this forum were "new", all you saw were new players spamming their right and left mouse click abilities (the only two you had), spending several minutes getting a feel for just those two moves upon first arriving via pegasus at the Island of Dawn.
Point is, people that have played Tera for a while now have forgotten what it's like to be brand new. Also, some classes have skills that are more complicated than other classes. Several class skills can't even be tested out prior to getting in combat because they require mana to use, and some classes (like the Slayer and Berserker) generally have zero mana outside of combat. Reading a skill summary is not as effective without sampling the skill and seeing it visually play out.
There are also too many generic NPCs present for the final fight, in my opinion. It gives a poor impression of BAM fights, and rarely is the BAM focused on you - meaning you can just sit there facerolling your skill buttons. I'm not even sure if I needed to be there; they could have probably taken care of it without me.
I also think the wave of demon adds in the final BAM fight is unnecessary and may overwhelm new players.
Lastly, the final BAM (the second one) in the Prologue needs to actually KO the player's character, even if it's damage over time coming from unavoidable AOE attacks or environmental damage. Because it is completely possible to be at nearly full health when everything suddenly fades to black, and that's just going to confuse players and leave them scratching their heads wondering what happened. People want a clear reason for essentially losing.
So my take on the prelude.
First I should say that I've never played Tera, not been in the beta and so logging in last night was my first experience of the game. I have played many years of MMOs though so a tera noob for sure, but that's about it.
My initial reaction was wow, we're starting at lvl 20? That's unexpected!
Closely followed by "where are all the colors?" The Prelude looks awfully drab - you go from the character editor and this richly colored setup to a very grey and oddly colored intro. This didn't feel immersive, it felt disappointing - I wanted to get a chance to look and wander and just see what this game looked like instead I got grey.
Then there's the weirdness of not being able to use mouse movement and getting used to the mouse based attacks. I've spent years getting used to keys for attacks and mouse for all movement (mouse look and both buttons down to move forward, strafing with my left and right mouse wheel). Not that I particularly mind doing it different and seeing how the default Tera setup works, I appreciate that it's a very different style of play and I'm OK with learning it, but that doesn't detract from the oddness.
Anyway, I didn't get to play for awfully long (say 15 minutes :( ), it was late and I had to crash. I'm hoping to get far further tonight.
I thought the prologue was too much to throw at a brand new player and I say that as someone who's been in the past several CBTs and relatively comfortable with every class.
1. There's no introduction to your skill set. There's a reason why most games only give you 1-2 abilities at a time, so you're not overwhelmed. This was overwhelming.
2. It's impossible to remap your hotkeys. Two of mine were locked onto function keys, which I NEVER use for attack abilities. The result was combat was extremely awkward.
3. The mobs during the Elleon(sp) gauntlet hit abnormally hard. I'm saying this as someone who routinely gathers up about 8+ enemies and AoEs them down with nary a scratch. Trying to do that in the prologue -- at the insistence of the tutorial "Now would be a good time to use your AoE" etc. -- nearly got me killed. Maybe that's more representative of the game at high levels, but that's nowhere near the difficulty someone will be facing for a long while.
4. There's inadequate healing. There is a campfire after the gauntlet, but it doesn't replenish you. The bandages you have are the starting ones that heal for piddly. Yes, you have some potions, but that brings me to #5.
5. Your 'party' does not assist you at all except for perhaps some DPS. I at the very least expected the priest to function the same way as the mercenary in Dark Revelations, but his heals only affect NPCs not the player. So, you're thrust into a BAM fight, where you are now tank, DPS, and responsible for your own heals (so you'd better save those potions). Even Dark Revelations wasn't that brutal and you don't encounter that until level 11 when you're much more familiar with your class and the game mechanics, not a 5-10 minute newbie.
The thing is, when you finally do get to Island of Dawn, the game isn't like that at all. I think the way the prologue is now is going to be a potential turn off because it's just too much too soon. The concept is cool, but here are my suggestions on how to fix it:
1. Make a functional campfire after the Elleon(sp) gauntlet. Why not? It's another good opportunity to drive home that you can use fires to heal up and restore stamina.
2. Have the priest NPC act as the priest mercenary in Dark Revelations and heal you.
3. If you're going to start off players at level 20 have some small class dedicated tutorial to go over the abilities at least. You need to get a feel of attack times, damage output, cooldowns, etc. before jumping into gauntlets and BAM fights, IMO.
4. Allow remapping of abilities, obviously.
I think if there are tools to give the player a little more support it would be fine as is, but even veterans are saying they've died during the prologue. Is that really the starting impression you want to give especially when everything after that is significantly easier?