Recently, En Masse made a small change to the Vanarch system in MMO TERA. That’s where players are able to elect a representative, who is able to impose taxes, set PvP on (or off), and act in player-impacting ways that many MMOs simply do not allow. It’s quite a powerful position, so it’s unsurprising that guilds have quickly found ways to harness recent changes, and use them for their own benefit.
The recent TERA update has seen the Vanarch election process tweaked: Players may now rise through the ranks simply by taking part in guild-vs-guild combat. On paper, this is a worthy aim, set to reward gamers who battle it out against other people and enjoy a bit of the multiplayer content the game has been designed around.
However, in reality? Gamers are greedy. Developer En Masse is seeing larger guilds splitting in two and then fighting against each other, falsely “kill feeding” their way to the top. If a guild is of a decent size, electing a representative to political office is nothing more than spending a short while in PvP and reaping the rewards.
This shouldn’t be too surprising (to anyone other than En Masse, perhaps). What’s also unsurprising is the fact that other, non-split-guild TERA players are a little bit upset by their colleagues’ behaviour, starting lengthy forum threads to discuss the problem (and suggest answers).
What is a little surprising – and rather interesting – is the official response from En Masse. Technically, the official responses from the developer, as nobody seems quite sure whether or not this particular style of gameplay is an exploit or not. Is it really playing the system, or is it just playing the game?