Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Howdy, everyone!

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair here, and today I am going to reveal the details for a handful of the Races coming to Crowfall. Yes that’s right, multiple races in one update! In the past I have been revealing a single race a time; however, as we get ready to bring 5.3 update to our TEST environment, I no longer have time to do that. So, I am going to combine a few races into this one update.

You may have seen some earlier versions of these races in one of our Crowfall Live! Twitch streams, but this update should still provide you with some new information and updates goodies for things that might have moved around or been refined.

Today, we’ll cover the Humans, the Nethari, the High-Elves and the Wood-Elves.

First, a quick refresher from our lore pages:

The most prolific of races, Humans can be found across all the known worlds, with cultures ranging from savage nomadic tribes to civilized societies led by philosophers and scholars. A short-lived but highly reproductive people, the Race of Man glories in the quest to achieve greatness. The cornerstone of humanity is to discover that which has not been discovered, to build what has not been built and to conquer that which has never been conquered.


To the common eye, most Nethari appear no different than other humans. Skin tone, eye and hair color are generally not indicative, as these vary with almost the same degree of pigmentation as seen in other humans. The few elements that mark someone as a member of the Nethari – short hair, and a series of fiery tattoos emboldened on the shoulders, arms and face – are cosmetic in nature, not given at birth.

Yet the Nethari claim to be a separate race from man. By written tradition, it is said that Arkon, Lord of the Sun, choose one particular tribe of humans to rule all the others and, as proof of this, ensorcelled the blood of his chosen people with fiery breath stolen from Lyessa the Mother Dragon. This blood, passed down through many generations, is said to be the reason why Nethari tattoos burn with an eerie incandescence.

Scholars of other races dispute this tradition, claiming that the effect comes not from their blood, but instead from the ink that is used in the application of these marks. Nethari take great offense at this suggestion, and wars have been fought over the insinuation that their blood is no different than that of “common men.”


Though long fallen, Aelfmuire stands throughout history as the pinnacle of learning, art, statecraft and magic. The kingdom and her people, were beautiful and cruel. Two elves ruled in Aelfmuire; a prince and princess who were brother and sister. It is said they convinced Malekai to teach them the language of the gods, the Songs of Creation and the Words of Power. In doing so, they gained mastery over the elements of fire and frost, and with this knowledge came a lust for power and this knowledge, never meant for mortals, split them asunder. The kingdom was broken and Aelfmuir was no more.

Sun-Elves, descendants of Prince Talem, worship fire. They resettled in the desert worlds that lie closest to the sun, building cities of stone and bone and sand. It is claimed that the Church of Fire stole the Songs of Creation from the Sun-Elves, and that they twisted these ancient rituals into mock-prayers to the god Arkon, Prince of Light. For this grave injustice, Sun-Elves hate all Humans and have sworn to destroy them as a race. In this hatred they are blind and do not differentiate between men of different nations or faiths.

Moon-Elves, scions of Princess Aleshi, worship frost. They left the ruins of Aelfmuir to settle in the frigid forest worlds that lie close to the moon. They have renounced the gods and seek to live in quiet solitude, away from the foolish conquests of men and the wicked machinations of their distant cousins.


According to the bards, there was a time when the Elves were one race, long before the Celestial War that broke brother from sister and pitted family against family. It is said that in this time, Cybele, the Virgin Goddess, lured away certain of the Elven children, enticing them to wander freely in the woods, to dance and feast by moonlight with her cousins the Elken and the Fae. It is easy to lose track of time in Cybele’s wood, dancing and singing and feasting from one night to the next. Some of these children never returned to their families, unaware as the centuries passed and the Elven kingdoms were lost to war and time.

The Wood-Elves are rumored to be the descendants of these children. Mysterious and savage, they differ from their more civilized brethren; they have given up the elegant life of Elven society and prefer the isolated solitude of nature.


As with all Race reveals, I will illuminate what the goals are for the various aspects of the race. As a reminder, this means that some of the information is repeated from previous updates (I do this because people reading this may not have read a Meet the Race update before!)

First: how do Races work? Well, technically, each Race is represented with a unique Racial Runestone – which is a collection of powers and passives relating to that Race. Under the covers, these are using the same technology as our Discipline (sub-class) Runestones; they can be attached to an avatar and will fundamentally change the attributes, powers, skill maxes, and passives of that character. Race Runestones change the character at a more fundamental level, though, determining which art and animation assets are used to render this character. As such, they are automatically baked into the character at time of creation and can’t be changed subsequently.

These Runestones will change how the character is played; equipment slots can be added or removed and that can, in some cases, even grant new “modes” like stealth or ranged combat that unlock a dedicated power tray.

As a high-level goal, we want each Race to offer very different and very significant gameplay elements. The standard for MMOs in recent years is to offer extremely watered-down versions of racial powers, or even worse, to forgo racial benefits entirely. This design decision has led to Race selection being little more than a cosmetic choice for most games.

We don’t like that, so we’re going in the opposite direction. Since each race is encapsulated with a Discipline (which can effectively be a sub-class!) we have a lot of power, here… we can do practically anything we want! So, we figure, why not make each race unique?
OK, let’s get to it!



Look familiar? They all even have a mouse-over tooltip just like a Discipline Runestone… because, under the covers, they are!

Additionally, all races get a Bloodline Power (a free passive)…

What’s a Bloodline Power? Great question!

In our Meet the Elken update, we introduced the concept of a Bloodline Passive. For anyone who missed it: every race will get one a unique Bloodline Passive, which represents a latent magical benefit passed down throughout the generations as a result of your character’s lineage.

(Passives, as a reminder, are exactly that: a buff or effect that hangs on your character at all times. Any number of things can grant you a potential Passive, like your Class, Disciplines or even an item – but you normally have a limit of only 3 Passives that can be active at any time.)

The Bloodline Passive circumvents that limitations, as it is a free Passive – and by “free”, we mean that it doesn’t chew up one of your 3 passive slots. You get the benefit of this passive power automatically (and permanently)!

The Bloodline Passive is different for each Race, and it is automatically equipped; you don’t do not have to be loaded out in the powers UI. It is always active when you are playing a character of this race.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the Racial Runestones in detail.

The Human Racial Runestone grants:

  • An attribute bonus to Strength,
  • An extra Slot on their Power Tray to loadout an extra Power,
  • An extra Passive slot, to allow players to loadout an extra Passive Power

The Human Bloodline passive consists of:

  • A 5% damage reduction from all sources,

Additionally, this Race offers 2 Active Powers, which you can choose to add to your Power Tray.

The first power is their race specific right-click Dodge power Sidestep.

The second power is Candle that Burns, which activates a 12 second duration buff that increases all damage by 25%. The downside for the Human is that the resource cost of all powers is increased by 25% while this buff is active.

The Nethari Racial Runestone grants:

  • An attribute bonus to Intellect.

The Nethari Bloodline passive consists of:

  • A 25% increase to their out-of-combat health regeneration,
  • As well as a 5% reduced chance to be critically hit when damaged,

Additionally, this Race offers 2 Active Powers, which you can choose to add to your Power Tray.

The first power is their race specific right-click Dodge power Zealot Rush.

The second power is Call Flames, which Applies a Fire based Damage over Time effect to their target, as well as power applying a 10% Fire Damage Buff to the caster for 15 seconds.

The High-Elf Racial Runestone grants:

  • An attribute bonus to Intellect,
  • 5% bonus to all elemental mitigations (fire/ice/electric)
  • A bonus Amulet equipment slot (yes they can wear 2!)

The High-Elf Bloodline passive consists of:

  • A 25% chance every time they use a Dodge power to refund the cost of that Dodge power.

Additionally, this Race offers 2 Active Powers, which you can choose to add to your Power Tray.

The first power is their race specific right-click Dodge power. (Since we haven’t built this race yet, they temporarily have the old Ranger dodge.)

The second power is Humiliate, which applies a debuff to their target that increases the resource cost of all powers by 15% for 30 seconds. Definitely do not want this placed on you in combat!

The Wood-Elf Racial Runestone grants:

  • An attribute bonus to Spirit.

The Wood-Elf Bloodline passive consists of:

  • Trailmaster, a 25% increase to their out of combat movement speed.

Additionally, this Race offers 2 Active Powers, which you can choose to add to your Power Tray.

The first power is their race specific right-click dodge power Dissipate, which blinks them forward. (They will stop if they collide with any obstacle such as a wall.)

The second power is Camouflage, which is a toggle style buff. While this buff is toggled on, they remain in the Survival Tray, and the caster is standing still; they are considered stealthed. Camouflage does not give them an extra power tray, and will slowly drain their stamina over time. If they move at all, or run out of stamina, the stealth effect breaks. However as long as they stand still, it is possible to avoid being detected.

As usual, there is no in-game difference for races that offer multiple genders (it’s purely cosmetic). All 4 of these races offer both Male and Female versions.

The planned line-up of available classes for each Race at launch is as follows:

Humans - Knight, Templar, Ranger, and Cleric.
Nethari - Confessor, Templar, and Assassin.
High-Elf - Knight, Confessor, Assassin, and Frostweaver.
Wood-Elf – Ranger, Druid, and Frostweaver.

…and, again, this is the planned list at launch. One of the benefits of splitting the Races & Classes up now is that it opens up the ability for our team to add more Race/Class combinations over time. If this is a particular race/class combination not planned for launch that you find particularly interesting, please let us know on the forums!

The racial powers above (both active and passive) will be available to ALL Classes that are available to that Race.

Now that we’ve split our Archetypes into Races and Classes, we’re taking the opportunity to make our Races unique and interesting. Races are unique in terms of attributes, equipment slots, powers and Bloodline passives (which are always on, and don’t chew up one of your 3 passive slots).

All four of these races (Humans, Nethari, High Elves and Wood Elves) will add interesting new elements to the Crowfall race line-up, and you can expect them to be popular in combat, thanks to a wide variety of Bloodline Passives and Racial Powers.

That’s it for today! As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the forum and we look forward to seeing you in game!

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair
Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment

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