Thursday, September 28, 2017

Howdy, everyone,

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair here, and today I am going to reveal the details of another Race. Those created at the beginning of time to tend the fires of the underworld: the Stoneborn!

Eldest of the races, the Stoneborn are not mortal beings of flesh and bone. They are enchanted creatures shaped of raw earth and living tree, with skin of living stone and beards of twisted vines and earthen roots.

The elder races – the Elves and the Fae – call them Stoneborn, but the younger races call them Dwarves. This name is odd, for they are massive creatures, almost as tall as men and easily twice as wide. They are dwarfish only when compared to those of Giant blood (and perhaps that is where the moniker originates).

As the earthmen were shaped by the gods at the beginning of time – not borne of them, as the other races – there is a set number of Stoneborn in our world, and this number is ever-shrinking. When a Stoneborn warrior dies, that is one less servant to tend to the fires that burn in the belly of our worlds.

Crowfall Stoneborn Sculpt Watermarked-1024x762

Due to their affinity with the earth, their Racial Powers and Bloodline Passive are themed appropriately.

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. These basically use the same technology as our Discipline (sub-class) Runestones: they can be attached to a vessel 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 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 leeway for creativity here. We can do practically anything we want, so we figured why not make each race unique?

OK, let’s get to it!


Look familiar? It even has a mouse-over tooltip just like a Discipline Runestone, because that’s basically what it is.

The Stoneborn Racial Discipline grants an attribute bonus to Strength, Spirit, and Constitution; and additionally, they 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 that 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 three Passives that can be active at any time.)

The Bloodline Passive circumvents that limitation as it is a free Passive – and by “free”, we mean that it doesn’t chew up one of your three 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 have to load it in the powers UI, it is always active when you are playing a character of this race.

The Stoneborn Bloodline passive consists of:

  • A large reduction to the duration of any Knockdown that they suffer from,
  • A Damage and Healing Buff for a short period of time after they suffer from any Knockdown, no matter what the duration is of that Knockdown.

You may want to be careful about using a power that has a knockdown component in it against a Stoneborn as it can, and will, come back to work against you.


Additionally, this Race offers two Active Powers that you can choose to add to your Power Tray (or not).

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

The second power is Stone Skin, which activates a six-second duration buff that increases all mitigations by 50% and removes all active poisons currently affecting you. The downside is that all incoming healing is reduced by 50% while the buff is active.

As a reminder, the planned line-up of available classes for the Stoneborn at launch includes: Knight, Champion, Myrmidon and Cleric. The powers above (both active and passive) will be available to ALL Stoneborn characters regardless of Class.

Because the Stoneborn were created beings designed to be the workers of the earth, they were all created as males. Their lore also indicates that “the Stoneborn do not take wives and never reproduce,” so there is no such thing as a female Stoneborn. They will only be playable as male characters.

Crowfall Stoneborn Detail Watermarked-1024x918

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

The Stoneborn will add an interesting new element to Crowfall combat, thanks to their natural durability with both their Bloodline Passive and Active Tray racial powers.

That’s it for today! Hope you like the sneak peek at one of the upcoming races headed to Crowfall in the not so distant future!

Thomas “Blixtev” Blair
Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment

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