The last earnings report from Blizzard shows a major decline in World of Warcraft subscriptions – I guess I’m one of them. Somehow it’s been all downhill since wrath. The story became ever less engaging, and somehow the gameplay became ever less engrossing. The radically revamped playstyles of Pandaria just never quite worked for me. So for quite a while the only MMO I played was the occasional bout of Star Trek Online.
Then I learned that my old guild had made an en-masse switch to TERA. So I started looking at some videos and it grabbed me. The gameplay is truly unique with it’s aimed-targetting combat system, some very unique classes and a combat system that’s much more movement and strategy orientated than WoW offered (indeed it could be said to be an RPG with an FPS like fighting system). The graphics are also absolutely gorgeous, indeed it is without a doubt the best graphics I’ve seen in an MMO.
I for one am enjoying it immensely – more than I’ve enjoyed WoW in ages.
Now for the promised howto – there is no single useful source of information on getting TERA to work in Linux though I did get it to work just fine there was a major catch which was not documented anywhere (indeed I think I may have discovered it).
The easiest way to get it going is to grab playonlinux. The script is disabled at the moment since it doesn’t work out of the box so you’ll have to grab the custom script as well. Run the script in PoL, and tell it to download the game, it will fetch the TERA installer and run you through the wizard, in the last tab make sure you uncheck “Launch Tera” however.
TERA requires a custom patched wine and unfortunately the current build is broken, so we need to manually revert it to the older build. Select the TERA entry in PlayOnLinux and choose configure from the right hand menu. On the general tab you will find a Wine version setting – which defaults to 1.5.28-Tera. Next to it is a plus sign button, click this. Search through the list of available wine builds and select 1.4.1-Tera instead.
This older wine build works fine with Tera but the catch is that it doesn’t handle dual monitors very well at all. So if you have a dual monitor I recommend running the game in a wine virtual desktop. Click on the Wine tab and choose “Configure Wine” from the buttons there. You’ll get the usual wine configuration dialog, under the Graphics tab select “Emulate a virtual desktop” and set the resolution you want (I suggest 1960×1024).
Now you can launch Tera, the launcher will start and begin downloading the game – be prepared for quite a wait as the game is nearly 30Gb in size. Once the game and patches are downloaded you’ll be able to log in and play.
The virtual desktop will neatly constrain the game to the monitor of your choice and prevent it from powering your other monitor off.
Have fun playing Tera on GNU/Linux.