Race Abilities


Logical, yes, but it seems to never end up being fun in the end.

I am struggling to come up with any examples in my past where I know someone that has enjoyed making that decision. They either didn’t care about the racial at all (and purely chose based on appearance), or the racial was their primary decision point (and they either didn’t care about appearance, or were sad that they couldn’t choose the appearance they wanted)


Someone should make a poll for this, just to see what people think about it.

  • Racial abilities provide large bonuses to combat/gameplay
  • racial abilities provide small bonuses to combat/gameplay
  • races should not have abilities
  • appearance and abilities should be chosen separately


Though I did vote for races having unique abilities on that survey, I realize now that it wouldn’t really be for the best. I, for one, will probably be one of those players who wants to do everything with one character, so having races with their own abilities would probably ruin that for me anyway :yum:


Since they have neither individual abilities nor do we have bunch of “npc’s” / quest givers and probably no story around them (correct me if I understood wrong until now), for personally me we are talking here about skins not races. I think you should change the wording here, if you want to explain the skin variation as “races” in public announcements. This is leading to complete misinterpretation I guess. It has nothing to do with the common MMO understanding of races.

It’s just a decorative possibility to indivualize your skin.

for me by the way doesn’t matter, if they get specific abilities. If there are abilities, i would not make these abilities influence professions or fighting techniques too much, else I would have to choose my skin according to my favourite gameplay. And until now I am not fan of every skin :wink:


@TheRacial traits would limit my ability to choose my race purely on its aesthetical appearance” faction:
I´ve played a lot of RPGs, all of them included racial abilities (some were even pretty substantial), but I´ve never felt obligated to pick a certain race solely because its bonus would fit my playstyle the most. So I´d be really interested to know if someone really ever picked a race with a good bonus over one whose appearance he/she liked.

All that issues really could be solved by clever racials that are a mere gimmick (not mandatory for certain playstyles yet awesome to have)

  • Nightvision
    Valuable Ores/creatures get highlighted in the darkness
  • Ruminating
    Consumed food adds a HoT to the player which additionally heals x% worth of the HP of the food consumed
  • (Really) Slow health regeneration while swimming
  • Reduced fall damage
  • Resistances to certain elements

(Please don´t quote me on those examples)

You won´t be able to do that anyway since you can only pick 3 out of 8 professions.

Independent of the racial skill discussion I think that the devs are dropping quite a lot of concepts regarding gameplay-affecting customization lately

  • Purely cosmetically wearables instead of the bonus-giving sets that were planned at some point
  • Now the races won´t affect the gameplay

And I have my doubts that the skilltree and weapon-modding will be able to make up for this.

Describing the gameplay of my character basically went from “I´m a night stalking Catrace hunter/gatherer/defender using protective heavy stone armor in combination with a frost lance” to “I´m a hunter/gatherer/defender with a frost lance”.

Visual customization is nice and everything, and allowing every player to look however he/she wants is also a good thing but if the game lacks customization that actually affects your gameplay it will be dull nevertheless.


I played many MMOs/RPGs and everytime the racials mattered I knew I should have picked another race for what I wanted to accomplish ingame but I always chose lore and/or appearance over the skills.
This is far less of a problem if the fighting, for example, is skill (human skills, reaction time etc.) based. So in PvE you can make up for it with your skill. And since there won’t really be PvP (yet) this wouldn’t be a problem either.

But if the system is more hotbar based then you get the ■■■■ beaten out of you just because you didn’t want to play the way the devs wanted that race to be played.
And a lot of MMOs are hotbar based. So I felt more than obligated to pick a certain race most of the time.

But yes clever racials would surely help to make it less of a pain to choose between appearence and traits.
It would at least pull the racials out of the negative for me^^

That’s the current plan and I’m still fighting it :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Nothing is set in stone^^


I’ll admit, I’m in the group that would prefer not to have racial skills. Perhaps racial emotes (as with SWTOR), but non-gameplay changes are where I draw the line. I vaguely remember in LoTRO (certainly the early years, I haven’t played as much since) that if you wanted to be the better Tank, you picked Human or Dwarf. There just wasn’t a question about it.

Maybe you’ll all consider this a dumb thing to suggest, but if there are people that are looking for the initial character choice to really matter, and there are people who are against racials being a deciding factor compared to the look/style of them, why not decouple the two? You’d be making race choice entirely cosmetic, and then letting people pick the personal talent that best defines how they want to/enjoy playing. Especially if, for those people who feel that tying a skill to a race is important, they chose a personal skill which exemplifies their chosen race. Perhaps there could be a specific ‘suggested’ skill for a given race.


You keep coming back to the “but it never mattered!” and then propose things that DOES matter. It seems like you are arguing out of a corner due to pure stubborness while having run out of proper arguments (i have sadly done that many many MANY times. I try to give up when i know im screwed though)

I will

EXTREMELY Convenient ability for miners and pretty drastic gameplay changing. Including the fact they would have to make it work.

Food could work in one of two ways. Either they give health from start. Making the ability either useless or food is tiered so you can use lower tier food

so really just a better version of the above mentioned skill

Could allow for some pretty kamikazi moments to just fundamentally allow you to survive. This one in particular is in TERA online. The reason it works well there is because you CANT die from fall dmg, you can only go down to one health. In here if you could die it would negate a pretty big factor

GG. good luck trying to be an effective fighter without this trait.

Now an argument that i also see used “it can be made up for in gear!” which I think is true. And honestly these mentions would be bloody epic AS gear. The problem is just that if you put it in racials you pretty much say to people “Pick 1 gear type that you will carry with you the entire game” which i also think it will be harder to balance around. Using one of your “dont quote me examples above”. Resistance

Imagine there are 3 “types” of chestplates you can pick. You can either pick increased speed plate, more health plate or increased resistance. These things would obviously be somewhat balanced out since picking ONE means you can pick THE OTHER (at the same time). So you can play as a nimble and quick character, a pure health character or a character with focus on fighting elemental enemies. Now if you allow a race to have elemental resistance FROM SCRATCH they can then pick health too. and then those two would stack. making it unbalancedly easy to fight elementals.

Indeed they started by saying they would minimize purely aesthetic wearables but at the same time they said they wanted people to feel and look unique. I could already see then that those two were fairly… Contradicting. So I too was a bit confused when they said they have decided for wearables to be exclusively skins. But there was a long discussion on that somewhere else.

They have dropped many awesome systems. like the tier system which i think was badass but just not what they wanted so they dropped it. There are just some realities which we as gamers do not see. Like how much energy and work goes into making even small things

Also I just want to point out that i find it interesting how the actual post says “We decided to make these systems to offer more freedom to people and not lock people into generic one race does that, another race does another thing” and people use the argument “But that means one race wont do one thing and another race wont do another!” i’m like… Yeah. Thats what they just said.

Yeah i feel pretty much the same. I will pick a worse race if it looks better but i still KNOW i picked a worse race. Also @Vastar what is interesting was the argument

Because when i think on it. almost every single MMORPG i have played had classes locked to certain races. I have ALSO played a good amount of Asian MMORPG’s where they have GENDERLOCKED classes or even CHARACTER SPECIFIC classes.

Personally i always play female characters when i have the choice. I simply find it more enjoyable. Which also means that if i go into a game thinking “I want to play archer” and the archer is male. I will just look at the female specific classes and pick one of those. In the RACE SPECIFIC cases there have been MANY cases where i personally was like “I want to play this class, but its locked to this race which i dont feel like playing. Guess i have to pick something else” So even if you try to use OTHER MMORPGs as an example and say “i never felt forced to pick a race due to its passives” i can simply say you were forced to pick a certain race for the other reasons. It doesnt matter how awesome i think Draenei looks in WoW. If i want to play Warlock i HAVE to pick another race! Those are the places i think that racials fits because race choice is a major choice and is part of the gameplay. But when they decide that they DON’T want for people to be forced into a certain race then i think it makes perfect sense they wouldn’t have racials.

tl;dr: The only reason i see for not having racial abilities tied to gear rather than the races themself is a sort of “we want race choice to matter!” while at the same time saying “It won’t force you to pick certain races!” Which i personally… Find really contradicting.


… And also smaller bonuses can be tricky. For example a night vision, even a small one, is OP if there will be even the slightest pvp worlds, faster running (even 5%) the same.

Only stuff like “change skin color in bright light” or “swing the arms to look funny” would be racial abilities which do not matter on gameplay choices. So please stop with the idea to have neat racial abilities without a game impact for certain roles, cuz there are non of those.

And if you say “but all other MMOs do it” I just say: that’s why I loved GW1, cuz all people had to be humans. The most MMOs with racial skills annoyed me cuz they pressed me into certain choices … and those MMOs who did not had so minimal racial abilities that I laughed at them first but realized later that even those have an ingame impact.

Please NO racial abilities … Thx.


I can´t remember saying that racials never mattered.

Just because you assume that a trait would benefit a certain profession more than another, If the traits a neutral and benefit every profession equally this really isn´t an issue at all. And I´m sure that the designers of Boundless could come up with such racials if the´d decide to implement them.

WoW, I´d never thought that there are people disliking racial traits


Legit question. Can something be utterly ignored and still matter at the same time?

Using the same wording “Just because you assume that a trait wouldn’t benefit a certain profession more than another DOESNT mean that it wouldn’t.”

Good luck figuring those out. So far you havent given any example. that is both substantial AND wont favor certain playstyles.

as @TheBirne said

And they decided not to. Which seems to be what you are protesting. is it not?

i’d never thought there were people who dislike more options and freedom to pick what they want (Actually i knew that there would be people like that. But I want to feign surprise to support my position too! :smiley: )


I’d rather pick special abilities through the skill tree. Maybe those special abilities have variants which are slightly different depending on your race.


Extremely interesting idea. But as far as i can see that would lead to the exact same problem of “If you want a certain thing you have to pick a certain race” just with the difference that it comes later rather than in the start wouldn’t it? or am i getting the suggestion wrong?


The differences would be minor, if you specialise in a certain field then the skill tree would let you. For example, a mining trait that only makes one type of ore glow. The differences could not really mean anything just differences without mattering that much. This would make certain races better at doing specific things in specific situations so there would be more variety.

Or you could have an overview for your race, for example a telepathic/foresight race would be able to see things through walls up to a certain distance, be it animals, ore, etc. On the other hand another race like a “old” race might have debuffs and buffs in certain non-physical areas.

You could spin this otherways probably.


sorry, but I want to be honest and dont want to talk through flowers: THIS would be not only very powerful, but also balance breaking if the other races don’t get similar strong abilities … which all support certain roles … so just drop this idea.


Well, in WoW, all my friends who were diehard min/maxers would do it. A few of them even race changed after racials were tweaked (e.g. undead).

Similarly, it was pretty common to hear “if I want to be a warrior tank, what race should I choose?”, etc


Sorry… you could give other races strong abilities like having a greater yield on kill/smelting etc of a material… You could probably think of other ideas with enough time… Also if you read my answer

Your race ability is catered towards that profession, so it would be made useful in that profession… For example, the mining profession has the whole skill tree and then a race specific skill at the same point in every tree for every race. Let’s take mining for example.

X race is telepathic, they might be able to have short range wall hacks for ore.
Y race is more precise, they might be able to mine faster in high light and when they are only mining one specific block.
Z race is more brutish, they might be able to do less damage than Y race and X race on one block, however they would be able to do a small amount of damage to surrounding blocks every hit.

Which is better? It depends on the situation… If you balance the numbers correctly then they can all be good and different without having unfair advantages…

… so just consider this idea.


Alright since i already got started on the guilds and beacons topic i wanted to provide another rant here and HOPEFULLY clear up some misconceptions (if there are any)

first to start with this which was put in a direct reply to me [quote=“Vastar, post:30, topic:4411”]
WoW, I´d never thought that there are people disliking racial traits

I want to clear up that i do not dislike racial traits. What i do dislike though is trying to argue that you can create racial traits without affecting gameplay or favoring things.

I’m going to start with a radical statement. I do not believe that any things touching gameplay which isn’t Perfectly identical can ever be balanced. They can only ever be fair. Now this sounds utterly insane but think about it for a bit. “Balanced” implies that they are “equally good”. Or as in proposed for racial traits

I believe that this is fundamentally impossible. To distinguish between what i call balanced and fair. Balanced means that EVERYTHING in EVERY SITUTATION for EVERY PLAYSTYLE is equally good. By “Fair” i mean that EVERYTHING can be assigned a point value from 1 - 10, where 10 is the best. For every playstyle. For example to start a bit broader and look at gaming in general. If you look to any of the other MMORPG’s which allows for choices to be made there are obvious differences. looking at for example the classic holy trinity which is tank, dps and healer. The thing which is good for a healer might be completely useless for a dps and the other way around. If you look at crafting. Cloth might be useless to a Blacksmith but at the same time metal is useless to a tailor. Which you can see neither cloth nor metal is “balanced” since it isn’t equally good for everyone. but it is “Fair” because they both have value to different people.

Now to focus a bit more on B< where there atm has been proposed picking a few skill trees out of a list of skill trees. I think it was mostly agreed that the dominant 5 playstyle suggestions are Fighter, Builder, Craftsman, Trader, Material Collector. Obviously these are very very different. And they would also apply the point values on racial abilities. Using some of the previous suggestions. Elemental resistance might be a 5 for a fighter who plays in general, 8 for a fighter who farms elementals and a 0 for a crafter who doesn’t leave his house. Obviously these aren’t balanced. Meaning that as suggested by @olliepurkiss if you WERE to pick a character with that racials as a fighter and then decided to respec to crafter you lost “5 points” which could have been spent on something else. Now another racial might be “Increased Destruction speed” which might be a 0 for a fighter, 6 for a builder, 1 for a craftsman and 10 for a material collector. So again if you start as a material collector and then switch to a fighter you lost “10 points”. That is pretty much the essence of Min/Maxing. Figure out which combination of things to use and learn for you to reach a maximum amount of points. Which is why i think that alot of the suggested racials could work nicely in the skilltrees or on gear because then anybody can reach their own amount of maximum points for their playstyle. even if they decide to respec completely. Even something as little as 1% dmg increase, 1% hp increase and 1% movement speed increase would have point values and NOT be balanced.

Considering the direction they are going in which appears to focus a lot on freedom of build (with limitations not to max anything) i do believe this purely aesthetic system fits A LOT better. Now other games which focuses on more limitations and focuses on making people use the most effective build with what they have gotten can get away with those racials. Because after all. even if you respec a warrior in WoW you can’t start throwing fireballs.

This is why i believe that no matter how miniscule you want to suggest a racial to be they will never be balanced. Only fair. And Fair simply isn’t good enough with the proposed system.



It’s so nice to be witness a conversation about a topic I don’t feel passionately about. For once.


I want to see different races with not only design differences, but I have not enough time and powers for participate in discussion :disappointed_relieved:
Good luck for all and let the most wise of us would be a winner.