Thomas “Blixtev” Blair here!
In the past, our method of revealing a new archetype had always been to do it with an update titled “Meet the <Archetype>”, i.e. Meet the Ranger, Meet the Champion, etc.
Well, an interesting wrinkle in the ongoing shift away from archetypes to separate races and classes is that we’re now going to have to do twice as many updates to finish out the chart.
Today, I am going to reveal a race. This one has been working its way through the character pipeline and is now entering the animation phase: the Elken (or, as it is more commonly known, the “Mur-DEER”).
As this is the first time I am revealing a race, I will also illuminate some of the goals for the various aspects of the races. Since ALL of the races are being split out into separate runestones, we may have to go back and do updates for those as well. (I don’t expect we’ll revisit the classes unless something dramatic changes.)
First, how do races work? Technically, each race is represented with a unique racial discipline runestone. These are just like other discipline runestones except that they are automatically baked into the character at the time of creation and can’t be changed.
These runestones offer a variety of powers, passives, stat adjustments and, in some cases, even additional equipment slots (to allow them to equip specialty and/or secondary items).
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 figured, why not make each race unique?
OK, let’s get to it.
THE ELKEN RUNESTONE
Look familiar? It even has a mouse-over popup just like a discipline runestone… because, under the covers, it is.
The Elken racial discipline grants a wide array of benefits:
- Elken receive an attribute bonus to both Strength and Constitution.
- They receive a perception bonus that is applied when they use any “Reveal Stealth” power.
- They gain increased range on any ranged power they activate,
- Additionally, they get a Bloodline Power (a free passive)…
What’s a Bloodline Power? Great question!
We are introducing a new concept for Crowfall races: the Bloodline Passives. Every race will get one of these, and they represent a latent magical benefit passed down throughout the generations as a result of your character’s lineage.
In terms of gameplay, these are free passives – and by “free”, we mean that it doesn’t chew up one of your three passive slots, and you get the benefit of this passive power automatically.
The Bloodline Passive is different for each race and it is automatically equipped. It doesn’t have to be loaded out in the powers UI; it is always active when you are playing a character of this race.
The Elken Bloodline passive is Trailmaster. This passive increases your out-of-combat movement speed by 25%.
Additionally, this race offers two active powers that you can choose to add to your power tray (or not).
The first power is Head Butt. This power uses a hold-to-activate input model. When used, it will cause your Elken to charge forward, dealing damage to, and knocking down, any enemies caught in your path.
They second power, Gestalt, activates an effect called Shadow Sight for eight seconds. When a character has Shadow Sight active they will be able to spot nearby stealthed characters within a local radius. The area of effect for this will increase based on your Perception stat. (Increasing your Perception will increase the effective distance of this reveal.)
Note: Perception is the opposing stat to the Stealth stat on any character, the distance at which a character can be seen or remain hidden depends on the interaction between these two opposing stats.
The Elken race will be able to play the following classes: Ranger, Knight, Confessor, and Templar. The powers above (both active and passive) will be available to ALL Elken characters, regardless of class.
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).
Elken is the first one we are revealing and provides a nice example of things to come. We can’t wait for you to get in and try out ALL of the new race disciplines as they come online.
That’s it for today! Hope you like the sneak peek at one of the newest races headed to Crowfall!
Thomas “Blixtev” Blair
Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment