An introduction to Buffering and Canceling for TERA's melee classes
Dear Warriors (or any other melee class for that matter),
Please stop whiffing.
For those who aren't familiar with the term, you may ask, "what exactly does whiffing mean?" It implies something more than just a simple miss, which could be no fault of your own. A whiff is generally more of an error in execution resulting in a miss, consuming time and potentially leaving yourself vulnerable or having other consequences. There are some times where you may want to whiff on purpose, but that's an exception and related to other tactics.
I’m sure many of you who browse TERA videos have seen many Warriors whiffing entire attack chains into the air and wondered if the animations are designed to be that long and restrictive and how this could affect game play negatively. These videos feature players who have not yet learned the art of properly positioning and spacing themselves, as well as not having a full understanding of some game systems. There's no reason to keep whiffing attacks if you’ve missed any of the hits and are no longer in range, and it's easy to learn how to avoid this.
Two important things to consider.
1: the Buffering System. TERA has extremely lenient buffering for inputs which can store successive moves of your chain significantly in advance of any perceivable intuitive link point. You can think of it as a wide queuing window, even if it isn't exactly that. One solution is to stop mashing. Time your taps and you can start, stop or continue the chain responsively based on your needs.
2: the Canceling System. A very high number of moves allow for movement skill or block canceling. Essentially, by using a movement skill or block after the animation for a skill has started, you can cut it off and transition immediately into another action without having to wait for the previous animation to fully play out. This technique allows you to reduce wasted time on whiffed attack animations. By doing this, you can simultaneously recover and reposition or evade.
Additionally, a common complaint is how many melee attacks move the player forwards as part of the move. Please don't complain about this. Despite potential initial difficulties with spacing and aiming, this is a very strong tool that you can use to your advantage if you develop a feel for it. Get a sense of the speeds and travel distance and timing. Don’t be too lazy to triangle or circle around a stationary enemy and take advantage of when the movement strongly assists your ability to maintain pressure and offense.
There you have it - some very basic and very foundational principles of melee classes (and really a lot of the classes still fit) in TERA. Keep an eye out for more of our tactics based articles in coming days.