How To Build Your Characters Skill Tree



There are always two halves to a text game; roleplay and combat. One or the other may be more developed, but they always do exist. In the MUDs I frequent, the combat is very intricate. It is difficult to understand and follow, and even more difficult to master. Often, players find themselves wanting every single edge they can find in text game combat, which is understandable: winning is fun.


Usually each race in a text game has some sort of bonus attached to it, such as a some sort of balance boost, stat bonuses, et cetera. In addition, there are a few races that possess just the right racial balance to greatly compliment a large selection of classes. Usually, this has something to do with balance or tankiness. Have you ever noticed the abundance of troll warriors or cat-like rogues or elvish mages in most MUDs? Perhaps people like playing the stereotypes, but usually the intent behind these race/class combinations is combat-related.


Now it is perfectly fine for these stereotypes to exist, but doesn't it seem a bit trite if there are three million characters of each one in every text game out there (three million may or may not be an accurate number)? Surely some people want to be different, and surely some of these people still want to partake in combat. Even more surely (have I worn that word out yet?), these people probably want to have a fighting chance in combat, but how can they compete with these min-maxers?


Well, I bring good news: it is very feasible to do well in text combat without having to min-max! Admins and coders have put some love and care into their combat systems, and in almost all cases they would love to see everyone have an equal chance at doing well in it. For this reason, they tend to pay attention to thoughtful input and make changes where change is due. You should always talk with other players to see if something in a MUD is actually imbalanced before you suggest a change. From your perspective, something may be terribly, terribly broken... while from another it could be completely fine.


More importantly, mold your text game character into something you actually want to be, and then work with what you have. If you want to be a frog with swords, go for it! Keep in mind though that certain races will not pair well with certain classes no matter how hard you try. If you choose a bad race/class combo, you're basically shooting yourself in the foot when it comes to combat.


Remember also that you don't have to go to either extreme. There are more "neutral" races in most text games, like human, that can do just fine as any class. In my experience, these less extreme races are very workable. If possible, choose a class that has various kill strategies. If you set your opponent up this or that way then you don't need this or that statistic, and you need only type "blah" to get the kill. In general, a large amount of experience and skill in the MUD's combat system will enable you to deal with and overcome minor disadvantages, or just a lack of advantages.


While at a glance powerful racial advantages may seem too good to pass up, they are really not all that necessary for text game combat. I know the phrase is trite, but where there is a will there's a way! Don't stop yourself from roleplaying a certain race because you want to get into combat. Be different!

If you would like to try out some great online roleplaying games, check out these text adventures.


Chris J. Johnston is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from

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We feel a need to min/max because our "enemies" are doing it, and we don't want to fall behind. Lusternia suffers from a case of bloat with 600 different things you can use to buff yourself or attack the other guy. Thank goodness we have artifacts, trade skills, and all sorts of things to keep the game interesting, but there really is just so much going on that it's overwhelming even to us veteran types.


Most people who write combat systems now are unwilling to share them with others because it's become much less about getting more people involved in the joys of fighting and much more about winning at all costs. Everyone says the other guys are the real jerks and, in a way, we're all right about that.


As for roleplay versus min/maxing, my character has remained fiercely loyal to his guild and commune since day one... which can sometimes feel like a ball and chain in regards to skills. The people have always been awesome, and the roleplay is usually pretty good, but our skills have fallen behind for various reasons, and it's made things much less fun at times. The Envoy system is very slow, and sometimes the decisions make no sense to players, but it's all we have to make changes happen.

I've never been able to be a proper combatant in anything but MKO (which was half because my main character was a vampire without shame), so I can't really talk with the same skill as some of the veterans, but I definitely find that the need to "min/max" is obviously present in even the lives of the noncombatant individuals. There are always those awful ganking sorts, and not having the proper skills at their proper levels makes you a target for the shameless irritations of the games.

I change race once a month with my elite membership credits cause they burn a hole in my pocket and I have this inability to save up for stuff. But I do love how in IRE online text games, the classes were designed so that a number of races can do suitably well. For example, I thought Rajamala Priest would be crap bashing compared to Troll Priest, but with all the passive healing skills and no equilibrium penalty, I can hit stuff really fast and get lots of criticals before something even has a chance to hit me! As a Troll priest, I'd dole out heavy damage but sometimes I died because I'd get low health and still be off balance so I couldn't leave the room. As a speedy little Rajamala I'm just like, hit/hit/hit/run. Just an example of the versatility of the class/race combos and how you don't have to 'specialize' in just one 'character build' in online text games. Also, a 'frog with swords' wouldn't be a half-bad race/class combo! Paladins have an Intelligence based skill called 'Purity' that goes through shield, nifty little tool during raid melees ;)

It's not really that. It's actually because, other than maybe magi, there is no class that Rajamala is not suited for.

I haven't seen a class that Raj wouldn't do well in except, as you said, magi.


*dang double post*

Combat and Roleplay can mix in very well with each other. If you've seen "Lord of the Rings" then you know what I'm talking about. In that movie, Aragorn tries to be the rightful leader, with pure roleplaying style, but with a hint of combat willingless. He shares his thoughts with his fellowship and inspires them to do better.

In Achaea, it really isn't so different. We can still roleplay, and be fearless in combat without ever losing our resolve. Some people, however, are selfish. When it comes to combat, they refuse to share their secrets in fear that their secrets will backlash upon them one day. I find this silly, as sharing often leads to better combat experience for all, especially for younger ones starting out and trying to become better.

Sometimes, that secrecy is as much a part of the roleplay as anything else. The Occultists, for example, are forbidden from discussing their abilities with anyone--especially rogue members of the occultist class. I'm sure there are plenty of people who do withhold combat secrets, but my experience has always been that combatants are quite generous with that much so that enforcing the aforementioned secrecy within my House can be much more challenging than it ought to. ;)

They communicate most of the info OOCly to the rogues, yes?

I started out... as a Human Runewarden, went Atavian Paladin, so not much changed. About... a RL year ago, I changed Class and Race again. Troll Runewarden. I love and hate it. Tanky as heck, but I can't get over how SLOW they are. I agree there needs to be balance with races, but sometimes, it's a bit much. 


I try to RP as a Scholar, that's the path I walked to getting Knighthood, but I still defend, because that's House duties ruling over that. I suck at combat, but I have to RP a defender. 


I know it's hard for Shallam to really be able to Roleplay with raids happening so often, but the admin shouldn't have to take steps to stop it. The playerbase that raids needs to understand that sometimes, people here don't get a break from things to take a breath. Why should they force the game to become a job to the player? It's just going to make people ragequit. 


But that's my opinion

I've lost count of the number of times someone has "kindly advised" me to change race, that I would somehow be "better" if I reincarnated into something "Tankier".  Then, we square off in a fight and they end up surprised by how hard I hit and how much damage I take.  I think I'm doing just fine as I am, and I've come by the nickname "Tankla" earnestly.

Nobody ever bugged me about my race until I went Siren. Then all of a sudden I had EVERYONE saying "Why are you Siren when you can be *insert any other race here*?" Even people that don't even really know anything about me. When I respond and usually it's as simple as "I'm happy with my race, thanks." people still tell me "But *insert race here* is better." Better for what? I don't bash and I am not involved in combat. Why would I care about being the "best" race?

I find anyone talking about 'best race' deplorable. Hit them!

Yer just insecure cuz you know that your own race is INFERIOR! :P

It's kismet that I was just discussing this very thing earlier in the Imp forum, particularly the idea of fearing (or sometimes embracing for extra challenge) the dreaded broken build. And while I agree that the game should be less about following a perfect build order and hoping for the maintenance of status quo I can see a goodly amount of reasoning behind it as well.


Here in the big blue room we see it all the time. Everyone is familiar with the idea of a claymore so let's begin with that - not everyone can even heft a claymore, let alone swing it a few times. Realistically with 20 pounds of chainmail on you're going to get tired swinging even a 15-25 lb sword about pretty quickly. Yes, yes: "magic!", "fantasy!" I understand but in an RP sense it doesn't make sense to give a gnome or an elf a weapon which outmasses them (compensating for the displaced center would require a ridiculous combat style and probably result in many wounds) which is why the dirk and dart or rapier or bow, respectively, make more sense.

If someone is effectively handling a broad sword or mace as well as armor and a shield you can expect that they're a big fellow (or gal) - not saying one needs to be Brock Lesnar but...


Now, not to say that martial proficiency doesn't involve a certain requirement in terms of skill and technique as well but once one gets away from Tolkien elves to the more slender/frail Gygaxian/Arnesian it makes sense to specialize in something which equalizes the playing field. So you wind up (again out here) with Okinawan Karate or Wing Chun or a Franchi SPAS-15 - but when you're dealing with people as well trained as you (in-game) why not use that particularly flair for the explosive one has and blast someone away with a well-placed gust of concussive force or hypnosis; perhaps the particularly diminutive can sap strength best with the shallow-but-effective slices of poison-coated stehl? In other words even the playing grounds.


Now perhaps that is combat-centric, but the realm is a dangerous place and it's fortunate that the Divine have seen fit to resurrect us howsoever many times we ask - so long as we ask nicely. But being stabbed/crushed/eaten/exploded still hurts. One needs must work with what one's given (or chooses) in order to avoid such painful and sometimes incredibly messy ends. That's just nice and practical.


BUT this isn't to say that one is bound by the idea that "all elves are archers" or "love the woods" - in Imperian at least there are no particularly small races (a la gnomes) which means anyone could reasonably expect to be a full-plate bedecked knight bearing forth glorious or diabolical ruination. Less likely is a Norrjin or Xiur predator, due to size and intellect - but wouldn't it be quite amusing to see a Xiur shamming around as "Verbal" Kint?

Myself I decided upon a profession that looked interesting and looked up the best races for it and decided to go with what was posted as only middling . My reason? I remembered the RP questions (see below). The RP possibilities seemed quite interesting. I constructed the backstory and a shallow family tree for an incredibly zealous and xenophobic Muamrite Dunestrider powered not by some tragedy in his past or perceived threat, but because the Shaahri desert is strictly AM, which means I would have grown up in that environment and could reasonably be expected to view the other circles with (depending upon my mood) pity, contempt, scorn, mistrust, disgust, and an underlying sense that they were a blight upon the realm which must be extinguished.


And while I understood this could potentially leave me with a handicap the ridiculously complex skills/affliction web of combat makes endgame play (PVP) into something which even the "worst" build could potentially master to great effect. And if I die more often than I win in a fight - oh well, my character spends more time in libraries and tromping across mountains to learn about the realm than he does learning how to fight. He hates the sin, not the person and wishes to convert and welcome all into the true way and feels no sorrow or shame dying in pursuit of any mission - exploration or conversion or "protection of the realm".

Imperian, at least, even has a pacifistic Divinity.


So I suppose this is all my way of saying that my biggest suggestion is that my fellow newbies should focus less on borrowing outlandish concepts from SquareSoft and more on creating a real character. This may even take a few tries - I've met many a player who spent almost as much time on remorts as leveling.


Sit down. Or stand up and walk around if that's how you think. Watch TV, read a book - although I don't suggest you knick a whole character referring to others can help you flesh yours out with bits and pieces. FILL IN YOUR VIRTUAL PUPPET. Make a personality based upon your plan of a past for your character. Plan out a potential future - not "this is exactly what will happen to so-and-so" but goals, aspirations, hopes and dreams. Think about why your character  wants these things. Remember little things matter too: Does your character love exploration? If so they won't get far if they're addicted to succulent meals and opulence. My character gets a lot of mileage out of the fact that his iron stomach doesn't retract from even the squirmiest of meals - so long as eating it won't kill him. But he'd think several times about accepting a delicious stew from an enemy even if his broken and emaciated body were discovered in a crevasse.


Is your character "evil" or "good" or "good by doing evil" or "evil but convinced it's good"? Why? What's the motivation? Would your terrible malefactor kick a puppy out of the arms of a blind orphan? Why would you do such a horrible thing? No, seriously - why? Were YOU an orphan, were you raised amongst cutthroats to believe might makes right, or does it just give you the tummy giggles? Make up various mundane and fanciful situations and consider how your character would act in them and think about WHY they would act that way. Are you a mindless patriot, a jingoist, a wilting flower who avoids unplanned fights and prefers to trap your "pursuer" in a web? Do you think "honor" outweighs life or would you whittle an oar into a sword to concuss your foe with a hidden advantage and win a fight? Would you help a fellow citizen out of quicksand? A foe? Would you (cruelly?) smile as the latter suffocated? Would you push them down?

Google for some questionnaires, or read some charsheets: Here's some much more detailed advice I stumbled on in highschool: www.➡.ws/CharGen


My big suggestion whenever it comes to RP vs combat is to suggest that everyone know their character well enough to "sit down" and "chat" with them. Or, alternatively interrogate them for their crimes against reality. Know your role, then you can play with it. Combat (and a profession/class) will spring out of that.


Course you might just enjoy puppeting a soulless killbot - to each their own.

Can't commend the administration enough in the games that have introduced statpacks, its really opened the door for more racial focused roleplay without hampering a persons decision on whats stat's to choose as the two are completely seperate now.


It means you can now have lithe, agile trolls, or extremely strong elves...adding to the diversity of the game which can only be considered a good thing.

I am a squishy Tsol'aa and I love it. I die, but eh, so does everyone. My character was born a Tsol'aa and will remain a Tsol'aa quite happily I feel. I take it easy when hunting, know my limits and am gradually building on the artifacts. Happy I am!

Mmm Tsol'aa :)

As a grook, I envy the fortitude of the Tsol'aa

Really don't dig the reincarnation.

Heh the racial rebalancing was great for atavians.

I don't see why combat and roleplay need to be exclusive. The best race will be the race you will have most fun with, taking into account every facet of your time in your favourite MUD. Just because you decide to go with the min/maxed race that everyone knows is the best for the min/maxed class, it doesn't necessarily mean you cannot roleplay. There is nothing in the list of disadvantages that states "This race is unable to take part in roleplaying".


On the other hand, there are many examples of people not choosing the best combo just because they don't want to play such a character. Female kephera in Lusternia comes to mind. A lot of people agree they are one of the better caster races in the game, but because few people want to be bugs, they are not as frequently chosen (despite the race having a very rich history).


I think the most important thing is that you have fun. The best race/class combinations are the ones that you get most fun out of, whether that is by being a great fighter or a race/class full of culture that you would like to work with, or something in between. After all, we all play our MUDs for fun, so why should we limit this for ourselves?

I honestly do, of course there are some racial skills that are never used the Dracnari firebreath comes to mind, but on the other hand its all about fun in the end. I'd rather have fun than be the best fighter in game if that means sacraficing the ability to enjoy it.

 A minor complaint: If you are a player that willingly and knowingly chooses a race for roleplay purposes despite it screwing you over in terms of combat please, please, please don't make a point to mention it every day over GT/HT/CT/OT.

For a long, long time in Achaea we had a veteran player whose character was a Grook. He decided to become a priest and up until the day he stopped playing all we heard was how hard life for him was as a weak Grook trying to smite things with a massive mace. I understand you enjoy roleplay and I applaud you for sticking with your choice but then accept the fact that it weakens you in terms of PvE/PvP and move on. Nobody is forcing you to roleplay that character so why act like the role was forced upon you?

Ohgod, that is terrible. I'd have been tempted to snub :s

The most important thing in a text-based game is to have fun, and by being pleased with your character (a.k.a the choices you made for race, class, etc.) you are actually one step closer to experience a wonderful time. After all, nobody forces you to play, so if you are going to spend some time in front of the computer, at least make it worth it by doing whatever you want =)

Complete freedom is one of the many things IRE MUDs offer us.

Racial advantages and disadvantages add variety and depth to the game, same as classes with diverse skillsets. I play a Grook - I don't have a lot of health. This is the only race I've been as this character and I have no intention of switching. Learning to play to my racial strengths and weaknesses has been as challenging and fun as learning to play to my classes strengths and weaknesses.


I dislike the min/maxing mindset. My character's motto is 'skill before strength'. Whatever race and class you choose to play, you're only going to be as good as you are familiar with your character and her abilities. There are plenty of terrible combatants with lots of artefacts. I would rather have no artefacts and be the best combatant I can be playing skillfully then get some kills on account of min/maxing stats instead of being well-prepared, playing smart, and looking for positional advantages.

My biggest problem with not having statpacks is it forces those that don't want to focus on RP and what to 'win the game' are forced to go races and such that would grant them certain skills and powers.

Luckily we have the trait and race specialization system now. 

I personnally find that race is more of what you want to play, I love playing fae or anthromorphic characters because they are interesting to play and different then human.

Back in my pen and paper rpg days, I used to do the min/maxing powergaming bit...

At some point along that road, I realized it was much more fun to stack as many disadvantages as possible, and give the GM a hard time dealing with my roleplaying, instead...


The same has kind of carried over into my mudding. Because, let's face it. Glomdoring needs at least on bouncing psychotic furrikin druid.


I guess more towards the combat and mechanical side, though: With the big piles of advantages and disadvantages available to every race in lusternia, it's pretty easy to find some facet of the raise that would be applicable to any class. Pick something you want to roleplay, as your first priority, and then learn how to use what you end up with.

holy crap. pen and paper. last time i joined one was in highschool, which was roughly a decade ago.

The only in games benefits of choosing a race is combat
related. What would be an interesting and probably welcome new feature is if
muds could develop an in game benefit for race selection other than combat.
While some games (IRE muds including) have benefits for races, MOST – not all -
of them can be duplicated through the learning of other skills in survival,
bonding/metamorphosis, vision, etc., or are negligible (being able to harvest a
bit more, or get a slightly quicker sleep regeneration).

What would be riveting would be some more in game benefits
in regards to race selection on active in game level. “What are you talking
about, Zoph?” Well, perhaps community areas restricted to races, or quest lines
only able to be done by races. Perhaps access to special skills? Better yet, a
trial/intro area specific to that race with some neat quest/storylines related
to that race in. Granted, building new newbie areas and quests sucks, and is
time consuming, but I think newer players would be more enveloped into it, plus
celani need stuff to do so why have them build another mid-level area that only
a few people will frequent when something awesome like this could be added to
the world.

Problem with that is, people would just race-hop when they want to do a certain quest, then change back. Which makes no sense at all.

You see a little of this with the free reincarnation anyways, but at least it's limited by finds...

I initially chose my current race in Lusternia based on how I liked how Lucidians were - their appearance, stereotypical nature and history. I didn't care so much about the stats, bonuses and disadvantages mainly because I wouldn't really know how to choose based on those. However, I learned later on that the stat elements and racially-imposed advantages and disadvantages have a bearing on some aspects of playing my character. Like a friend tells me, though, there are ways to work around those perceived downs and turn your character into the sort that you love and are able to work with pretty well. It's a matter of enjoying your character and knowing how to tweak and adapt.


why pick just one race when you can spend 1000cr and change race once a day!

Thats what I did too! Definitely think it was a great investment of credits, despite how long it took to save them all up. Having a gem allows me to go for a high int class for raids, and then after the raid is over, to switch to a tanky, stronger race for hunting. Ok sure, so you can't really RP your race if you are switching all the time. But I think its a fair trade off!

It is unfortunate that many folks choose race on the basis of min/maxing rather than roleplay.  I would prefer the system as it is then taking away some of the advantages and disadvantages currently given by race choice.


I suppose it is changelings who really get the best benefit since they can flex to the race that has the best advantages at that time.  It does seem that few people who have cameos actually roleplay the race they are changed into.

I find the idea of Min/Maxing to be a tad boring. I'm in it to have FUN, not sit down and do maths for three hours to play.

I do agree here... If I wanted to play the Min/Max game, Id be playing Eve Online... Oh wait...

someone gotta do it!

I have to admit that I'm just as guilty of fits of min/maxing as everyone else, but the way of the 'world' as it were, is that there are times when combat is more necessary than the RP aspect. I've been... lets see. Atavian, rajamala, troll, satyr, troll again, and dwarf. Every change I made was for combat purposes only. But I do think that the admins do a decent job of evening everything out so that there is just as rich an experience of RP as there is for combat.

I think the problem is that you don't get anything for being a good RPer and you get a lot of rewards for winning combat. Being able to RP the heck out of dwarf magi or a grook paladin is all well and good in theory, but when there's XP, gold, credits, and tournaments on the line, I think a lot of people won't want to be kicking themselves for choosing the more interesting class combination, they'd rather win, and all other things being equal, the appropriate race/class combination can be the difference between victory and defeat.

I agree with this statement completely, and I'm glad I read through the comments before posting, otherwise I would have said something just like this. There's a lot more reward involved for those who min/max than for those who want to have quirky fun.

Play the game as you want to play it. Get a kick out of min/max? By all means, go for it. Rather have an interesting roleplay combination? Then go with that. 


Keep in mind though, there was a first for every "cookie-cutter" method. Usually they are the easiest way to get something done. But that comes at a cost, it will make you predictable, and your flaws might be well known and exploited. Enter the alternative way, or even the not-optimized-at-all way. Suddenly things become a whole lot less predictable. And such a combination might find itself winning due to sheer unexpectedness. 

Skill counts for far more than stats. If you have the stats but not the skill, they're pretty irrelevant. If you have the skill, you don't need minor stat boosts to win.

I wish they could set it up so people could have their own unique flavor or build without losing anything in the way of effectiveness.

While true that a troll soldier may indeed hit ever so slightly harder than say and elf soldier while both have maxed out strength, the actual difference rarely matters in combat because of skills. The higher skilled one is, and the knowledge to use them better than the opponent play a much larger roll in what determines the winner. Not just with soldiers, but any class. Overall game balance is often achieved so each class is perfectly capable of winning fights against any other race/class combination. So there isn't a huge perk to the stereotypical race/class combinations if you don't know how to handle the skills you spend time learning for said class in the first place.

Additionally, most MUDs give all players the opportunity to change class at any time, often with less penalty at lower levels so you can try each and find what suits your character best.


I choose troll as a race because it suited me as a gamer and what I found to be the most attractive of the races at the time.  Achaea's trolls at the time had an experience gain penalty and no physical resistance (that they do now).  Clearly, min/max was not a consideration, nor did I realize that a lot of aspects as a druid class benefitted more from other races' advantages.


To summarize, I personally don't care to min/max because in the setting of a MUD, "winning" isn't just fighting other people. 

I really like the racial specializations, however, this does tend to ensure that a city/commune has a majority of those races.  I know in Lusternia, some races are rare to find roaming about, aside from NPCs, and there are races I would love to be that wouldn't allow me to do what I wished to do combat wise.  Stat packs really interest me, and would love to see what they are all about in another IRE game, and perhaps they could find a home in Lusternia if they are anything good!  I just know there are races out there that I would love to test drive, but would be giving up a lot just to do it.

I play a trill Harbinger in Glomdoring for pretty much one reason - it's the highest charisma I can get without being faeling. I think the racial specs are pretty awesome, really, but i think it weights things a little too much (especially for Shadowsinger Faelings) for the min/maxers. Meanwhile, some races (mugwump) have pretty much no love.


I would absolutely love to see stat packs in Lusty. I've only played a very little of Aetolia and Imperian, but the idea of statpacks always seems great to me, especially since it allows for a bit more openmindedness about race/class combos. There's some fighter races I'd love to play - but I only play as mage/bard/guardian types, and as much as I want to play a bear, I'm not going to have the 9 int of a Tae'dae on my Aquamancer. But I'd love if someday I could look at someone and see 'He is a sagacious Igasho and ..' before they melt my face with cosmicfire.

I'm so happy to be playing Aetolia after reading this article (a bit late, but, yeah). With statpacks, any race can be good at anything, meaning that race is about what I want to play/portray rather than 'this has more int/str/con/whatever'. With the upcoming changes to forging ("The biggest change to the system as it currently is, is that weapons no
longer have their own range of statistics. Essentially what this means
is that you can forge a weapon according to your tastes - such as a
quick longsword or a heavy rapier.
"), there won't be any more min-maxing as far as weapons go. I love it.

I can not agree more with this statement. As it is I can use my artifact gem to disgiuse as any race for RP purposes as often as I feel the need, and still maintain my statpack for the pk/bashing aspect. I also am looking forward to the weapon changes as they will be a huge change for my character.

When I first started out, I never paid much attention to how race would affect combat. Eventually, I picked a race for the sole reason for better hunting/combat alternatives, but it's only after being a particular race for a long time did I lean towards roleplaying the traits of the race slightly. It's more easier for me to roleplay being a Dragon than a Troll though..

Something I like about MKO is how any race can do very well with any class. Though, I don't see anything inheritantly wrong with min/maxing. Some enjoy roleplay and making odd race choices, and that's great. Others like finding that one combination that gives them even a slight edge. Whatever is fun.

To me, race-hopping is one of the worst aspects of the game. I mean, I can understand some people might grow bored if they could not change, but the way most people go about it is so terribly occ you can't help but feel jarred.



I would have to agree with you. Changing race every now and then is fine; however, people do it so often that it is no longer within the boundaries of role playing.

I'm not a combatant, but there are benefits to maxing out your race/class combo for hunting as well. However, when I reincarnated my character for that purpose, I regretted it almost immediately. Atavian may not be the best race to play, but it's what fits Ephram. So since I've switched back, I've dealt with the lack of fun perks to the class and have enjoyed the fact that he has wings again.

Roleplay decisions should take into account how you feel about a race. But if you WANT to have a horkval monk, then by all means go for it. Just because it's an ideal combination doesn't mean you can't RP it.

In the IRE Realms there is so many choices to choose from. I would've never thought that a Dwarf Sylvan would be able to tank as much as it does, but they can! They've made it to where you can pick and choose and eventually you figure out which is better and what isn't so good. But on the plus side, there isn't really TOO many BAD choices in IRE. They've developed it to where each race is suitable for each class, some are better for specific classes because of certain additives, where as other ones are better for ONE class simply because your overpowering. So its up to you to decide which one you wanna be.

I like this article but I don't see the issue of race/profession being very consequential.. maybe it's because of the new changes to Imperian with statpacks. I can be whatever race I want (a dwarven mage or a sidhe knight) and choose the appropriate statpack. 


I do agree, though, that a racial choice should factor in roleplay and not simply focus on the benefits each race offers. Racial benefits/disadvantages are necessary for various reasons so the solution wouldn't be to make all races equal. However, in my mind the benefits/disadvantages aren't too influential overall. I do enjoy ALERTNESS as a Sidhe, though. 

I defnitely choose my race with roleplay factor in mind first. I have a mental image of my character and find myself completely unable to play things like Horkval and Grook simply because I can't picture the image. I personally need to play something that at least moderately resembles a human. I actually prefer the elven equivilent in games as their features and strengths most closely resemble my ideals. It's tough however because I came to Achaea from the 'hack and slash' genre and love stats!

Min and Maxing your stats dont seem to do much good against skilled rogues in MKO who regularly sneak up behind me and cut my throat (you know who you are. heh). Roleplaying is fun yeah but when it comes to combat you dont want to be the poor fool who gets killed every single time so min and maxing your stats makes some sense. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses so just make the most of what youve got weather your an elf, human troll and whatever class you are.  We now have the option in MKO of changing our class without losing our old skills, so if your a weak human magician (or whatever) become a berzerker soldier too and kick some a**

Min/Maxing is fine. If you want to become a Troll Monk to hit hard, do it! It may not be exciting for some folk, but for other folk doing a 2000 hit torso combo is at the top of the excitement scale. It's all about your personal preference.


I've probably been every class and every race, all sorts of combos, yet I prefer to min/max purely for the combat edge.


With a few notable exceptions I found out that everyone min/maxes eventually. Or maybe it's just the people around me. Even if they don't do combat, people prefer to take races that are suitable to their classes. When's the last time you saw a Mhun Sylvan or a Human Infernal who stuck to that combination for long? It's not wrong. Reincarnation is treated as something fairly common in Achaea and most people accept it as is.

I have thus far resisted the temptation to min/max, but it is VERY tempting to switch my character from Atavian to Xoran for the combat benefit.

I think the problem is exacerbated by a sometimes narrow range of "good" race/class combinations. For example, Knight classes are at a major disadvantage if they do not have the fast balance recovery of Mhun or Rajamala.

It would be nice if future development of races and classes could make more combinations viable combat choices. These would have different optimal strategies - some relying on speed, some damage, and so forth.

I hear people cry about people who min/max and forsake race RP so they can be better at combat all the time.  It really comes down to what your focus is. For a character who is devoting their life to combat, choosing to forsake their birth race, die, and reincarnate into a foreign race so they can become the warrior they have always desired is very valid and acceptable RP.

I feel too many people min/max these days (myself included). Racial roleplay is such a potentially rewarding experience; however, very few are able to engage in it. They often pick their race for the sole reason of combat utility. While that in itself is not a bad thing, but it can limit your fun RP wise.


Sometimes taking the less traveled route can be both fun in combat and roleplaying. You get to roleplay as an interesting race/class combo while finding out new and innovative ways to succed at your class combat wise. I'm not saying you should go out and be a Troll Magi, but there are several more interesting choices that are not the min/max.

When I was but a newbie who joined Achaea, I was asked if I even cared about combat, simply because I was an Atavian. To me, I chose to become an Atavian simply because I thought that the look of a casual Atavian was best fitting for my jester and my personality, and I've always liked the concept of having big white fluffy wings and flying yeah. So when I found out that I couldn't participate in combat, even as any class, at top tier, as an Atavian, it did pull me down a bit as I was hoping that combat would not interfere with my roleplay. It would be nice for all races to be somewhat equally balanced, although I understand some race-class combinations go better than others, there shouldn't be a race (Atavian for exaple) that is not a good combination with -any- class at all due to its stats and features, but rather have different races with different features, each with a similar level of advantages and disadvantages.

I like them, in a way, it adds a lot of atmosphere. Also, it's easy to deal with them because each type of build has its own strengths and weaknesses. An experienced combatant can play on those well.


In Aetolia, you're allowed to choose a statpack that functions independantly of your race - so combat choice can exist side by side with imagined aesthetic inclinations. I like this very much because I never fancied the idea of playing a furry Raja just to be fast. :) 

Statpacks FTW. Great part of Aetolian combat. I also love my gem of adaption. (Lets you change statpack any time you change class) That way I don't have to choose two similar classes for my stats to be right or choose a middle ground stat pack. It is my favorite artifact, end of story.

One of the better ideas in a long time!

its popular.Therefore everyone does it.As long as everyone does it its popular.And down that road lies madness and circles of chop'd logic


I feel that some players are addicted to combat, and it becomes an obsession. All they use roleplay for is to find a reason to kill someone. Combat is all fine and dandy, but not when its your only source for entertainment in the game.

Hmm... I like to be myslelf in roleplay. Not exacly myslelf (I don't know magic, nor am evil) but not too far from me.

Personally, I have a habit of chosing races I find either interesting or aesthetically appealing and attempt to wing it from there. I've been low-conned warriors, overly-strong mages, and just rolled with it. Sometimes it works better than others!

Mhun serpent no. 29387 chipping in here - some of the min/max combos make sense roleplay-wise. For example, mhun serpents - mhun aren't the beefiest guys out there, and presumably want to avoid becoming a pair of mhunskin shoes (or avenge those who do), so something that allows them to stack piles of dead knights makes sense. More of an IC explanation than the fast balance recovery, anyway.

Grook dual wielding swords sounds funny, perhaps you could slice people up as they laughed at you.  My belief is that if you like how a certain race looks or feels, that's the one you should be, don't be uncomfortable in your own skin just to get a small edge.  For me, breathing fire and being intelligent, though fit, is a triple-win.

This is some great advice! I've always been involved in some form of min maxing just by nature. Whether it's a text based game, a graphical game or even a pen and paper game - I've always just gone for what's going to get me the most out of my character. With Achaea I've tried to step away from that, I'm playing a class which looked fun rather than anything else. Who knows, maybe I'll enjoy it more.


I'm a little indecisive though, so the one plus side to min maxing is I give myself less of a choice I guess. *Grin*

In a complex game like Achaea, there are numerous ways to be effective without being a combatant.  A leader, a philosopher or debater, a strategist, or even a ritualist or researcher...all these things can accomplish far more than yet another combatant.  They're harder, of course, but far more rewarding.

If what I've heard is true, I'm not really a good race for my class, jester. I'm not about to change because of combat though, I'm pretty sure I'll never be a good fighter, but that doesn't really bother me. I can see why some people would want to change though, some race/class combinations must be really hard to play. I agree that some races are made for certain types of classes because of the skills they're born with, it might be very hard to play a character that goes against the 'rules', if you want to call them that. 

I went from Rajamala to Troll, and do not have one regret.  Hunting is glorious now.  Very slowly glorious.

Due to racial disadvantages, (as well as being made even worse during the last race overhaul), I can count the number of active reasonably-high-levelled tae'dae on one hand. And still have fingers left over. That hasn't stopped me from sticking with it though! I enjoy it, and regardless of how many people say 'it sucks, go reinc', I'm overall happy with my choice. Being tanky compared to the squishy max int/speed races is nice at times too!

Yes please! Having low health can be a bummer if you don't have the credits to get all the goodies that make this less of a problem.


I picked my race for RP reasons, and am going to stick with it. It can be kind of "tough" when I see those better races every now and then. When I think about it, it wouldn't be as fun if I wasn't the race I picked.

Makes alot of sense to me, was surprised at the actual good comments here and interesting points of view. I'm a little sad that as an undead tsol'aa I have now no racial skills but hide... but oh well

You don't have to min/max to be sucessful, rather its a choice you make for your character to be more powerful..

This is true. It's not mutually exclusive!

I am not too big on being the biggest and baddest, but instead building a reputation on who I am.

Or you can just pay huge amounts of money and get -everything-.

Which brings you up to standard.

While I do not agree with the sentiment of min/maxing myself, I believe one thing that would prevent it is statpacks. Aetolia has a wonderful system of statpacks, in which race can be used more as a roleplaying machanism due to each member of a race being able to vary.

I was born human, and human I shall be. I do not like to reincarnate into a Troll just because they are very powefull and more convenient in min/maxing. They smell...


I like changing race whenever i feel like it :P

Great article.

I like the RP aspect, but most people do not look at the race that closely in the RP context. I find the biggest reason people ask or check race is for combat purposes.


How ever that said, I do not look at race from either aspect, but more what extras I get like Atavian fly or Tsol'aa swinup|down.


I guess that can be sort of an RP choice, but not a big one.


Maybe that explains why I am not a good combatent. :) NOT


With regards to race, maybe it's not that players don't RP properly, but maybe they don't know enough about the race to RP it well?

Unfortunately, RP and combat can exist somewhat very close. Min/Maxing things may seem to always work for some people.. but maybe others don't quite do that and yet they are more powerful..


Although I am one of those troll warriors, I agree with this article.

Indeed my diadem eq recovery is great

Definitely without speed you are dead

There are choices about which order you can learn your skills in - Riding or Vision first - but there isn't any real customisation possible within each class in Achaea. I choose to be a druid, but I don't choose what type of druid I want to be. They're all the same.

I regret changing my race to suit the stats... I really don't like roleplaying my current race and really wish I hadn't done it!

I really like that statpacks, it means I can be a dwarf and still be viable in combat.

Are wonderful things!

It's always the issue. RP as a rajamala is great fun, for example, but it gets stuffed because so many just choose it because the race is fast. Racial RP seems to be all but lost because of all this.

Statpacks are awesome, but I'm not sure if it would be better for Achaea or worse.

Statpacks ftw. And ogod min/maxing is evil o.O

gotta love MkO stats system.

Doesn't everyone want to be a frog with swords?

I'd rather Achaea adopted a stat pack system like Aetolia has. Then race doesn't really matter as much and you can choose whichever for RP reasons only.

Still quite a few horkval magi.

Isn't it like this now with race specialisations and traits?


Also in general, why is there no date to articles and comments?

Seems to be true for the IRE games I have tried: Guild skills before the rest! Maybe if there is one skill that is clearly a PK thing, and you don't want to PK, then you can skip on it. For me, maxing Nihilism means getting the most damage out of my attack, and maxing Necromancy means the awesomeness that is being an archlich. While some other skills are great to have maxed out, these two I wouldn't want to go without. Tarot as a tertiary is something I'd like to keep as well though, so much utility :D

Yep, everyone in MKO goes for class (would be guild in other IRE) skills mostly.

Credit comment.

in Achaea, I only choose for RP but I Max it out also

Since the race changes in achaea I think things are alot more balanced than they were before.

yes, I agree.



In Lusternia, there are about a trillion ways to buff yourself, many of them quest-related or trade-related or otherwise not related to you guild choice.  Would be nice to see more "path separation" within the skills themselves, but that's just so much more work for the admin.  I like the balance there is now regarding the skill choices.

Tsol'aa didn't do so great considering the racial traits. The hiding is nice but eh, its annoying to rehide after leaving a forest/garden. Still, I love playing Tsol'aa and thats purely for RP the same with the spec I chose which also has her not care too much for those with gems. I'll admit, I was tempted to go horkval just to bash for dragon but its not worth it to me. Achaea did become more balanced with specs and traits, but I kind of like the more variation you see in Lusternia but thankfully we have some trade skills and seafaring looks promising, so long as stuff happens out there, instead of the sub-division style wandering around for days/hours.

It seems absurd to say that RP is half the game and combat is the other half. It's also absurd to separate the two in the first place. Combat should be integral to RP, but too many folks just kill for the fun of it and don't do it for any apparent RP reasons.



trans primary skill, trans secondary skill, have fun with the rest.

I'm a Serpy Mhun with a single transcended skill.  It's not that bad, but, the bashing is utterly obnoxious compared to what it was like as a Monk