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)
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.