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Five of the nine playable races in Ashes of Creation.[1] From left to right: Dünir female, Dünir male, Niküa male, Vek male, Ren'Kai male, Kaelar male.

Ashes of Creation offers nine playable races.[2][3]

Parent race Races
Aelan Humans KaelarAlpha.pngKaelar.[4] VaeluneAlpha.pngVaelune.[4]
Dünzenkell Dwarves DunirAlpha.pngDünir.[4] NikuaAlpha.pngNiküa.[4]
Kaivek Orcs Ren'KaiAlpha.pngRen'Kai.[4] VekAlpha.pngVek.[4]
Pyrian Elves EmpyreanAlpha.pngEmpyrean.[4] Py'RaiAlpha.pngPy'rai.[4]

Verra is a world with rich and diverse cultures. Much of its important history has been dominated by the major races. Humans of the coast and plains, Orcs within the hills and the marshes, Elves in the forest and the riverlands, and the esteemed Dwarves of the mountains. The major races have held dominance through countless wars and skirmishes between the lesser races of Verra. Decades may pass between these flareups of violence. There are many minor races on Verra. Some of the minor races exist in makeshift villages or tribes if you will. Some of the major villages among the minor races are comprised primarily of the Giants, less reputable sects of Human, Gnomes, and Halflings. The Halflings are not Halflings in a traditional sense but actually half-bloods of different races.[6]Steven Sharif

Wandering the darker places in the world lie truly sinister abominations of creation. The great churches of civilization often dispatch heroes of the state to eliminate these threats to mortals. There currently exist four great nations on Verra. This is 25 years roughly before the fall: The Aelan Empire, Pyrian Kingdom, the Kaivek Protectorate, and the nation of the Dünzenkell. There was not always only four great nations. Long ago the races were more divided into many nations and city states.[7]Steven Sharif

In the 7,000 years of recorded history, wars upon wars were fought. Some for land, others for resources, many for beliefs. Royal houses stood and fell over the years. Some now long bereft of lordship. Many city states exist in Verra. Some self-governed bastions of democracy and republics alike. Others are vassal states at the behest of their benefactors.[8]Steven Sharif


Aelan capital city Aela Alpha-2 concept art.[10]

Pictured is concept art of the former capital city of the Aelan empire![10]

Aelan Humans are split into two races: Kaelar and Vaelune.[11]


KaelarAlpha.png Kaelar (pronounced Kay-lar[18][19]) are a playable Aela Human race in Ashes of Creation.[11]

Build. Order. Civilization. These are the foundational principles of the Kaelar. Their empire in the old world spanned the largest of all, and they plan to do the same in this world. Extremely loyal to their roots, the Kaelar will rise to the challenge.


Latest Vaelune character model 3D renders.[20]

Forged in the heat of the desert, the Vaelune have a Djinn influence that plays a part in who they are.[20]

VaeluneAlpha.png Vaelune (pronounced Vay-lune[18][19]) are a playable Aela Human race in Ashes of Creation.[11]

Trade. Law. Hardship. The Vaelune were forged in the heat of the desert, and through the ages became a blade that bends, but does not break. Through the development of a complex web of relationships and savvy negotiation, the Vaelune grew into one of the wealthiest empires in Sanctus, despite having few natural resources to exploit themselves. Their environment has taught them what it means to kill or be killed, whether through the beasts of the desert or the snakes in the market square.[22]


Dwarf concept art.[23]

Dwarves are born with the beard attached to their skull and it just takes time for the beard to grow out of the skin, but the beard is there from the start.[24]Steven Sharif

Dünzenkell Dwarves are split into two races: Dünir and Niküa.[25]

Deep in the mountains of Verra legend tells of a forge created by the gods, from whence all Dwarves are originated. Fabled to be the first created of the major races, the Dwarves are said to have arrived on the continents with ships made of stone and steel. Dwarven smiths and craftsmen are found far and wide across Verra. The center of the Dwarven race is the nation of Dünzenkell, found deep in the northern mountains. Dwarven society tends to be heavily matriarchal and their clans existing under the oftentimes eldest matriarch. Dwarves are closely connected to one-another by alliances forged between family guilds. The Dwarven child is marked at a young age with his or her guild sigil. Some dwarves banished from Dünzenkell or having chose to walk a path alone will often have their sigils burned from their skin.[26]Steven Sharif

The Dünzenkell nation, deep within the mountains of Verra exists the oldest nation in the world. The Dünzenkell have been known as many names over the ages, but only one name has graced the highest mountain, within which their capital has stood since the beginning of recorded history: Dün. The Dwarves of the Dünzenkell rule through a council of guilds. A royal family is chosen once every 200 years by this council to rule. Currently the right to rule falls on the shoulders of King Grimlay. It has been nearly 400 years since a king has lead the Dünzenkell. Traditionally this role falls to the matriarchs of the family. Expeditions are often sent into the Underrealm from Dün; and there many believe lies the source of secrets among the Dwarves and their success with mastering artisanship. Untold magic lies deep within Verra. It's source not known to many. Dünzenkell has long benefited from this source though. It has fueled the expansion of the Dwarven kingdoms throughout the northern mountains.[27]Steven Sharif


Latest Dünir character model concept art.[28][29]

This is some work that's been done to amend the dwarven body and appearance from the Dünir's perspective. It's still a work in progress. However it's very important that you guys recognize our goal is to take community feedback into account when we're developing the game and that's the whole purpose of a transparent development process.[30]Steven Sharif

DunirAlpha.png Dünir (pronounced Doo-near[18][19]) are a playable Dünzenkell Dwarven race in Ashes of Creation.[25]

Stoic. Tradition. Forge. Most of the peoples from the old world would see a mountain and think nothing of it. The Dünir saw a defensible home where riches abound. The Dünir take immense pride in what they craft and what they build: fortifications that seem impregnable, warhammers that never break, or beautiful gems for their royalty are all in their repertoire. Don't be deceived by their stout stature. They're pound for pound the strongest warriors the world has ever known.


NikuaAlpha.png Niküa (pronounced Ni-koo-ah[18][19]) are a playable Dünzenkell Dwarven race in Ashes of Creation.[25]

Family. Freedom. Courage. Where the Dünir saw mountains as home, the Niküa saw it as a prison. How could they complete the great hunt inside a cave? The craft of their brothers doesn't elude them though; they too are highly skilled artisans. Instead of jewelry for nobles, the Niküa see crafting as a right of passage and advancement of the family. Will you progress your people from the mountains of your ancestors?


Kaivek Orcs are split into two races: Ren'Kai and Vek.[34]

The Kaivek have always adhered to a strict code of tribal loyalty... Roughly thirteen centuries [before the fall], a leader named Ran'Kal united the clans into a nation called the Kaivek Protectorate. Kal taught that all Orcs answer to the protection of the divine order. This teaching expressed the belief that it was the will of the gods that all Orc kind should have superiority over the nations of Verra. For it was only through the unity of the clans that the people of Verra would be lead to enlightenment. It was the teachings of Kal that lead the Kaivek to pursue campaigns of conquest across the lands of Verra. Where the Orcs were once nomadic and divided before Kal, through his leadership they became a powerful nation united in conquest. Trophies of each city conquered is found in the capital city of Ren. [Just before the fall] the Kaivek Protectorate have adopted a policy of peaceful coexistence with their neighbors. Having endured centuries of conflict, leaders rose among them echoing the teachings of peace. These recent reformations have once again begun to lead to a fracturing of the Protectorate. Some unrest among the clans have called for a culling of those who are unworthy of the protection from the divine order.[35]Steven Sharif


Ren'Kai updated character concept art by Emanuel Gonzalez.[37]

I like the influence, almost what appears to be somewhat scaly on the arms and the back and the skin: A little bit- I mean it looks like he may have some type of influences of Dragonborn in his lineage or something?[38]Steven Sharif

Ren'KaiAlpha.png Ren'Kai (pronounced Ren-k'eye[18][19]) are a playable Kaivek Orc race in Ashes of Creation.[34]

Honor. Power. Tranquility. Through staying centered their power only grows. The Ren'Kai believe in ultimate focus and controlling their immense power. When a Ren'Kai becomes enraged though, there aren't many men or beasts who can live and tell the tale.

The developers have alluded to Ren'Kai or their parent race, the Kaivek, possibly having a Dragonborn lineage.[38]


Vek female character model 3D render.[39]

They're a very suspicious culture. The division between the Ren'Kai and the Vek was not a very happy and peaceful one.[40]Steven Sharif

VekAlpha.png Vek (pronounced Veck[18][19]) are a playable Kaivek Orc race in Ashes of Creation.[34]

Celestial. Purpose. Fate. When one stargazes they find beauty lies beyond our world, when The Vek stargaze they find fate lies beyond our time. Star maps, numerology and prophecy are integral parts of each Vek's life. Great leaders read the heavens for how wars will go, which empires will rise and fall, and the Vek often ask themselves "are we too late?"

The Vek are astrologers.[42]


Pyrian Elves are split into two races: Empyrean and Py'Rai.[45] Pyrian are the parent Elven race from long ago:[46] The ancient elves.[47]

For over 4,000 years the Pyrian royal family of Eradal has endured. The kingdom has seen its share of wars. The kingdom's borders encompass the great forest of Erinthia. The capital of Amera is among the oldest and most beautiful cities in the world. Its royal families can trace their lines back to the days of the Dark Fires. The Pyrian universities of magic and martial studies are unparalleled in the lands of Verra. Many of the citizens of the Kingdom venture out into the lands of Verra wishing to spread their knowledge of art and science to their fellow Verrans. These ventures are often subsidized by the royal households of Pyria for hopes it will foster a better relationship with their Human neighbors. Once a close ally of Aela and the house of Lyneth, the Pyrian Kingdom and Aelean Empire ended one of the bloodiest wars in Verran history. Eighty years have passed since the last bloodshed; and although tensions have subsided among the citizens of the two nations, there remains a heightened level of distrust among the Empire's new rulers and the royal family of Pyria.[49]Steven Sharif

The Elven race is generally a secretive one and exists within the Pyrian kingdom. Primarily a patriarchal society, Elves tend to keep within the natural borders of their forests. It has only been over the past millennia that the Riverlands have begun to see colonies of Elves exist. Elven scholars, dignitaries and pioneers can often be found in many of the human cities: Though their presence is rarely seen in sites other than archaeological, academic or diplomatic. Rumors do abound throughout the darker circles of Verra that there lies a particular lineage of Elves that exist within the Underrealm of Verra.[48]Steven Sharif


Tier 2 (Level 20) Empyrean leather armor 3D render.[51]

Empyrean leather is stitched with Erinthian silk, a substance only found in the monsoon seasonal pools of the Forest of Erinthia. These delicately formed strands of silk provide the armor with extreme flexibility.[52]

EmpyreanAlpha.png Empyrean (pronounced Em-peer-e-an[18][19]) are a playable Pyrian Elven race in Ashes of Creation.[45]

Imperial. Pride. Culture. Though not as numerous as the Kaelar, the Empyreans are a force to be reckoned with. Elite military forces and a highly structured government. The people of the Empyrea surely have a plan to carve their place in the world.


Py'rai character 3D renders.[53]

Q: Do I have to have antlers as a Py'rai character?

A: That is really the predominant characteristic that stands apart between what traditional wood elves from a fantasy sense have been and what our approach has been with Ashes of Creation. So the answer is Yes, players will have to have some form of these antlers.[54]Steven Sharif

Py'Rai node architecture concept art.[55]

Their architecture is infused almost with the surrounding trees and vegetation.[56]Steven Sharif

Py'RaiAlpha.png Py'Rai (pronounced Pie-ray[18][19]) are a playable Pyrian Elven race in Ashes of Creation.[45]

Nature. Balance. Fury. All things come to balance in time, and nature always has her way. Don't let their love for nature fool you though, the Py'Rai rarely take prisoners. Whether by bow or spear, the Py'Rai's legacy will take root.


Tulnar character model concept art of the three base influences.[57]

The Tulnar society has more of a caste like system, where based on what physical features you show, based on where your ancestry and lineage lie between the races that came together to make the Tulnar, determines your order in that caste system to a degree. So when players get to create their characters and determine whether they are going to have heavy influences of reptilian, mammalian, humanoid; that's going to determine their reception from NPCs as well when they interact with those Tulnar PCs.[58]Steven Sharif

Underrealm concept art.[59]

How will the Tulnar perceive their ancestors, the children's, children's, children, of their ancestors returning back to Verra? I think majority of the disposition is going to be, these are the descendants of those responsible for the tragedy that befell our world... And I think that you'll see a disparity between the younger Tulnar and the older Tulnar and their reception to those who are coming new. I think that's normal. I think that's expected. I think that creates an interesting tension; and I think that is a nice contextualization to some of the stories that might be told and interfacing between the Tulnar cultures and those of the returning descendants.[60]Steven Sharif

TulnarAlpha.png Tulnar (pronounced Tull-nar[18][19]) is a playable race in Ashes of Creation.[61][5] The (ancestors of) the Tulnar fled to the Underrealm to escape the Corruption that befell Verra.[62] The Tulnar is a combination of four major races and many minor races that were left behind on Verra after the apocalypse.[63][64][65][5]

They're a combination of the leftover races, not just the leftover major race populations, but the leftover minor races as well; and that's what gives them their attributes that are bestial, or reptilian, humanoid; and that players can use sliders to influence the visual representation of. But in a similar fashion, their cultural markers are also going to be a combination of different influences, so they're very differently constructed culture than what is found in the other eight races.[63]Steven Sharif
  • Tulnar stands for "the forgotten".[5]
  • Prior to the portals opening, the Tulnar existed as a decentralized tribal civilization with rivalry between various factions. Certain Tulnar tribes were able to develop Metropolis scale constructions in the Underrealm. These locations will not be present at the start of Alpha-2.[66]
Q: By the time the portals reopen, the Tulnar have been down there for an awfully long time, so are they thriving, or are they just surviving? How much civilization are the Tulnar building underground?
A: One thing I want to talk a little bit about with regards to the Tulnar culture is that they are not a super centralized nation. They're not a super centralized civilization. They are relatively tribal-like, citystate-like. Even at some of the higher points when it comes to their factions and having spent a significant amount of time- an indiscriminate amount of time at this stage, you may learn more about that as you get into Verra, but having spent an amount of time in the Underrealms, those factions sometimes can be at odds with each other and not all Tulnar are going to be friendly to the other Divine races, or even to each other because of that. So, there's still some rivalry between those groups. Now, when we talk about what is the apex of Civilization that some of those tribes have accomplished; some of them have accomplished some pretty significant construction and development in the Underrealm. So much so, where you have a Metropolis-sized location in the Underrealm for the Tulnar. So that's not something that's going to be present obviously at the start of Alpha-2, but it is an intended location where you can see really the Tulnar civilization and their culture.[66]Steven Sharif
  • Tulnar eat many things![71]
Were the Tulnar a result of corruption in their creation, or was it purely a crossbreeding between the multiple minor and major races that existed in the Underrealm during the after the apocalypse? They are not a result of corruption. So there is no corruption that was that was taken into account during their creation.[75]Steven Sharif

Minor races

Minor races on Verra include Giants, less reputable sects of Humans, Gnomes, and half-bloods of different races.[6]

There are many minor races on Verra. Some of the minor races exist in makeshift villages or tribes if you will. Some of the major villages among the minor races are comprised primarily of the Giants, less reputable sects of Human, Gnomes, and Halflings. The Halflings are not Halflings in a traditional sense but actually half-bloods of different races.[6]Steven Sharif

NPC races

NPC races have language specific dialog trees, greetings, and incantations.[77][77][78][79][80][81]

Changing race

Once selected, a character's race should be final.[82]

Your primary archetype selection and your race selection should be - because they have gameplay influences - should be final.[82]Steven Sharif

Racial appearance

The races in Ashes of Creation are primarily humanoid in appearance. This was mainly driven from a lore perspective as well as savings in animation and character design.[83]

I didn't feel that it was necessary to recreate the wheel on races from a fantasy perspective. I'm not sure how much that would add to the flavor of the game. Obviously I think that we're capable of doing unique things within the cultures and I think we are doing that specifically, like an islander dwarf race. I mean that really hasn't been seen before. Or a stargazing noble Vek looking race: Those things are still unique and they still bring innovation to the idea of what these races can be, but at the same time there's a familiarity there that players can feel comfortable with in the traditional fantasy setting.[84]Steven Sharif

Aelan appearance

Vaelune have Jinn influence in their lineage, which manifests as an essence-like rupture in their skin after stepping through the divine gateways.[86]

The Vaelune have an interesting lineage and there is some influence there that when the Vaelune step through the portal, some portions of their body begin to exhibit this almost essence-like rupture in the skin; and you guys are going to see some examples of that in the future; and it is a bit of some Jinn influence in their lineage as a race that sets them apart from their Kaelar counterparts.[86]Steven Sharif

Dünir dwarven appearance

Latest Dünir female character concept art.[87]

The female Dünir models have received some upgrades![87]

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Facial hair is characteristic of the Dünir, not the Niküa.[91]
  • Female Dünir beards will not match that of the male. It will be more of a braided option that is not as voluminous.[91]

Pyrian appearance

Py'rai male in-game footage.[92]

From a character customization standpoint, these will be adjustable: Their length, their size, their width, their color, whether or not they'll have features like flowers that can bloom on the actual antlers, if they have buds, how do those antlers interact with climates as you move into them, do they bloom?[93]Steven Sharif

All Py'rai will have antlers, but their length, size, width, color, and other components can be adjusted via the character creator.[93][54]

  • The horns are a unique feature of the Py'Rai, but it may be possible to remove them.[94]
  • Py'rai will be capable of having brown skin.[95]

Ren'Kai Appearance

Ren'Kai are large and 'buff' in appearance.[98][99]

Vek are "goblinesque" in appearance and have a somewhat "contorted" stature.[97][99]

Tulnar appearance

Tulnar character model concept art of the three base influences.[102]

There's a number of minor races and major races that all sought refuge within the Underrealm and we talked about how this particular player character race was going to have a pretty unique approach when it comes to character customization because with that background there comes different species influence in the race itself and we want players to be able to dial up or down those influences as they see fit between the humanoid, the simian or mammalian, and the reptilian influences; and as you dial those things up, your base body- if it exceeds a certain percentage threshold- will assume the form and stance of one of three primary types of influences that exist for the Tulnar. And now what you're going to see is those three distinct influences and you can be of course a hundred percent in one if you wish and you'll be very similar to what you're going to see here from the concepts; or you can mix-and-match and you can blend between the different influences.[103]Steven Sharif

The Tulnar race does not have sub-types. Instead, players will be able to significantly customize the appearance of Tulnar characters based on three base influences; or blend between these different influences.[103][63][104][105][106][107]

Races are primarily humanoid in appearance.[83]

  • There are feline and bestial components that can be scaled up when creating a Tulnar character but Tulnar do not equal furries.[108][104]
  • Catgirl and Loli Tulnar are not able to be created.[108]
Tulnar do not equal furries, but there are definitely some bestial components that you can scale up when you're creating your Tulnar character, so you could max that setting I guess. Whether or not that would give you what you would think of as a furry, I guess it's going to be up to your interpretation of what a Furry is.[104]Steven Sharif
Q: Will character creator allow us to make Tulnar that might look somewhat like Kobolds from Pathfinder or DnD?
A: I wouldn't say exactly, but there's definitely elements of Kobolds that you could incorporate in a character creator with the Tulnar, yes.[110]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Mammalian Tulnar may have snout features, fur and inverted knees.[111]
  • Reptilian Tulnar may have more circular eyes and head shape, and scaly skin.[111]

Racial skins

Racial skins are cosmetics that enable a player to change their character's racial appearance.[112][113][114][115]

  • Racial skins transform the appearance of the character to that skin. The original racial appearance of the character is entirely replaced.[112]
  • There are plans to create other racial skins.[119]
  • Some potential future ideas include undead and werewolf (lycan) skins.[120]
  • Racial skins can be toggled on and off.[115]
You're changing your race over to that, which means that you won't look uniquely different if you were a Vek angel or a Human angel.[112]Steven Sharif

Artistic influences

Asian influenced Ren'Kai architecture.[121]

Character races are super important. These are the choices that we make at the onset of our adventure in an MMORPG: what race- not just mechanically aligns with our decisions, if those races have game mechanics behind them from a stat perspective, but visually and culturally and historically: What are these? What do these races represent? So it's important that visually they're distinct. And everyone's seen fantasy games do Elves, so everyone's seen them do Humans, everyone's seen them do Orcs: There's an established expectation almost behind what these traditional fantasy races represent; and there's a risk, because whenever you're creating a new IP or a new story or a new world- a new Universe; a realm in which things don't have to always be the norm, you can take a little bit of creative liberty to redefine some of the aspects of a particular race; and that can be a good thing, because it's something that is new to players. It's something that is unique to the realm that we're building- the surroundings that you have. So what we wanted to do was push a little bit more on the unique side of what the Py'rai would look like from a visual perspective.[122]Steven Sharif

You will see in the different races that are available from a player character standpoint a lot of different influences that reflect many cultures in the world: Not just European, not just Africa, not Mesoamerican. These cultures are going to be present in many of the races.[132]Steven Sharif
The idea is just to find a base component in the real world as a starting point and then to begin to fantasize.[123]Steven Sharif

Racial mounts

Characters are able to obtain racial mounts via a quest in that race's starting area.[133][134]

Each starting area will have a different quest line that will yield a different type of starting mount. But by default you don't just choose human and here you get a horse, so to speak. Because you can be a human in our game and choose to start in a different racial area- at a different Divine Gateway- and as such then you could follow the quest line that gives you the Orc mount.[133]Steven Sharif

Racial weapons and armor

Armor racial appearances in early Alpha-1.[135]

Violet light and myself are wearing exactly the same armor set right: Same stats, same everything, but it drops for her it looks one way, it drops for me it looks another way; and... a small part of that is gender, but then the other part of it is race. So because I was a Vaelune in that playthrough my armor was in the Vaelune style; and when she picked it up it was in the elven style because she was an elf. So that gives you an example of sort of the breadth of looks that we're going for and how we try to capture like who you are as as a character and allow you to build your look that way.[136]Jeffrey Bard

Dünir and Empyrean racially styled armor concept art by Keith Kovach.[137]

We have essentially sets that exist across all races; and each race that dons those armor sets is going to have their own racial influence on the presentation of those particular sets. So that's something that's unique in how each of the races get diversified.[78]Steven Sharif

Weapons and armor are not race locked, but armor will take on a racial appearance.[78][138][139]

The customization of equipment per race is really focused on Armor sets not Weapon props. Weapon props will, from a model standpoint, will translate pretty one-to-one across the races.[140]Steven Sharif
Let's say for example you have the Eagle set or something, right: The Eagle set has in art, it has a thematic design that's going to include certain attachments to the armor. It's going to include color palette and theme. It's going to have some aspects to it that define it as the Eagle set, right. When a Elf wears the Eagle set or when an Orc wears the Eagle set, you obviously have two different cultures there; and you don't want to stomp out that culture by assigning a de facto 'This is the Eagle set and this is how it looks on everybody.' What we want to have is cultural influences play a role in showing how that set looks.[140]Steven Sharif
When you say, what if I'm an Orc but want to look like an Elf and I want my Eagle set to be the Elf representation? Well the issue becomes there that Orcs have a different organic model. You know, their body is different than that of the Elf. So, from a scope-creep standpoint, it's one thing to add different influences that represent the cultures that are donning the armor; it's another thing to adapt each influence as a matrix that can be worn pretty much by everything. From a scope perspective, that's a very difficult task for the character artists to tackle. So instead what we've done is, in order to facilitate a variety of cultural representation between the races but allow for the sharing of assets like different armor sets, we give different representations of those armor sets to each race.[142]Steven Sharif
Q: Since a single armor set will look different on each race, how will we have large varieties of in-game achievable gear for each race if we have to make nine different looks for each set?
A: The approach for that is to create a modular piece set for armor creation; and the way we achieve that is by two steps: So, on the modeling side, each race has these geo sets basically where you're creating pieces of the armor for heavy plate armor, for medium, for robes; and you get to grab those modular pieces and mix and match as design makes a request for a particular set to the art teams. So, design comes along and they say, "hey we have a theme for a set that we want to create", so let's use Carphin in that example; and that theme from design's standpoint is going to include color, it's going to include materials, it's going to have an etymology for the set to give a background so that they can incorporate certain types of attachments- whatever they want to include on the art side. Then, the character team says, "okay let's take our base sets of geo and let's mix and match those pieces to create the Carphin set and then we're going to do a materials pass on it, and then we're going to do a color pass on it"; and that way we have a lot of essentially pieces of the puzzle to create these many different unique sets. Now we can also deform pieces across from race to race. So, even if we create unique geo on a per-race basis, we can grab the pauldron from the Human set and put it onto the Vek representation; and the end game there is that we have a particular set, for example Carphin, and that Carphin is communicating the theme; and when you don the armor for the Carphin set- you've acquired the Carphin set and you put it on- it is going to look Vek if you're a Vek. It is going to look Kaelar if you're a Kaelar, but it is still going to have the identity and the theme of the Carphin set.[143]Steven Sharif

Racial benefits

Character benefits in Ashes of Creation are tied to that character's background rather than their race.[144][145]

We want players to have the freedom to choose the race they want to play because they're excited about it, and avoid situations where players feel forced to play a specific race because of gameplay benefits.[146]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Stat growth

Racial augments

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Racial augments are based on a character's race and are available to each class.[154]

Racial influence on nodes

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[156]

We have essentially sets that exist across all races; and each race that dons those armor sets is going to have their own racial influence on the presentation of those particular sets. So that's something that's unique in how each of the races get diversified. Additionally, the more that one particular race contributes to a node's development, it's going to manifest in that particular node's architectural influences. You're going to see the architectures of those races become manifest within the nodes as well: That's another way that we diversify each race and we present each race's culture in the game as through those architectures, through those props that exist, through the tailoring of the armor sets that the NPC might wear, to the different factions that exist. Factions will have their own affiliation with different races as well. Each race will also have some different nomenclature when it comes to the lore, or comes to locations in the world. They're going to have their own language influences as well: The way they speak is something that's going to be distinct between races; when you have dialogue trees with particular NPCs. So all of those things really go into setting an immersive world where the cultures have their own identity.[78]Steven Sharif

Cultural influences manifest in many ways, from node and gear aesthetics to NPC languages and lore.[78][157][158]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[159]Steven Sharif

Racial influence on node layout and style

Racial architecture of the same Village (stage 3) node on different servers. Dünir Dwarven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom). Alpha-1 Non-NDA screenshot.

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py'rai would have a Py'rai village with Py'rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py'rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py'rai narrative.[160]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py'Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py'Rai Node.[158]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[161][162]

The way that the node system is built is that they can exist across a spread of 18 biomes, but at the same time have to represent the cultural influence of these cultures that are intrinsically a part of a specific biome.[12]Steven Sharif
Currently the way that the platform system is set up, is it's capable of adjusting the topography of the node's footprint, regardless of the surrounding terrain. So the reason for that is we want to have flexibility in the presentation of the node's layout and how it is essentially both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a mechanical standpoint with node sieges- how it's constructed and that construction should have the ability to take on a variance of different types of topography. So it shouldn't be dependent on the surrounding area. Now that's not to say that the surrounding area isn't going to have some influence over. So for example... we're experimenting a little bit with the platform tech and putting up a node up against the side of a mountain or on the edge of a cliff or something that has a beautiful vista. Those are things that we're going to test out obviously as we continue to work on the node tool and how that platform system works, but the idea is to have the node independent of the surrounding terrain.[163]Steven Sharif
Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[162]Jeffrey Bard
All nodes, whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure, has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[168]Steven Sharif
  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[162]
    • It should be possible for a node to complete several building projects within a mayor's one month term in office.[169]
Q: How long would you say it will take players on average to fill/build up a node completely from wilderness to metropolis?
A: It's one thing to get a node to a certain level: it's another thing to develop the node; and I can't really give you an on-average expectation, because there's a lot of variables at play. There's how many citizens does the node have attracted to it; what's the type of traffic that the node is attracting to it based on things like its tax rates, or the specialization that it chose to spec into, based on the building types it's chosen to build. All of those things are variables that can affect the quote-unquote "average build-out time" of a particular node. So it's difficult to give you an average when there's so many variables along those lines. But the idea is that if there is a particular project that players are interested in in developing based on the node stage, that they would have the ability to complete several of those projects as within a single term of a mayor; and a term of a mayor is one month.[169]Steven Sharif

NPC racial interaction

Depending on the cultural influence of the node activates certain types of quest lines and/or sponsors. Some of those are shared, some of those are general. Some of those relate to a progression path that is a first time user experience. Those will be constant across all culture types. Some of them, however, are predicates that spawn when certain story arcs and/or events, or commissions or buy orders become present within the node; and those might change based on the cultural influence of the node. So there is a separation between those populations.[171]Steven Sharif

Starting areas

Alpha-1 early preview starting area.[172]

There is no railroaded driven theme park experience here. You will have the opportunity to create your own destiny in that regard, which means you don't have to necessarily follow the quest line nor do you have to participate in events or experiences around the starting area. Now it may be more beneficial to do that; and in that regard I guess there could be a meta around doing that, but you could branch out proceed to other areas and do different content.[173]Steven Sharif

Starting areas (starting zones) are located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.[174]

  • Starting areas include expeditionary NPC settlements that serve as initial quest origination points.[175] Lore-wise, these settlements represent scouts that were sent ahead of the main expedition back to Verra.[179]
    • These settlements are designed to acclimatize new players entering the world.[179]
    • While it may be advantageous to do so, there is no requirement for players to play through any specific starter zone content.[173]

A problem that a lot of MMOs have is that those starting areas become just vacant of players and it's so sad because the greatest aspect of an MMO is that community that you get to experience, so one of the great things about the node system is that it really works from new player acquisition standpoint, where these nodes tend to develop larger near the starting location areas around the world; and it brings these players back to those locations if they're citizens and want services within those cities. So, as new players enter the world they're going to actually be surrounded most likely by more population because people are coming back to those larger nodes.[180]Steven Sharif

Tulnar starting area

Points of interest will exist that represent Tulnar npc structures. In the similar fashion that the starting areas around divine gateways will include expeditionary npc settlements not tied to the node structures but serve as initial quest origination points.[175]Steven Sharif

Tulnar have a starting area that does not involve a divine gateway.[69]

  • Points of interest exist that represent Tulnar NPC structures in a similar fashion to the starting areas around divine gateways.[175]
Tulnar have the same option of starting at any of the divine gateways. Their civilization, though within the underrealm, has also begun to explore the surface.[68]Steven Sharif

Unlike the other races, the Tulnar won’t be returning to Verra. Instead they will be returning to the surface from the Underrealm for the first time in generations.[62]

Alpha-0 starting area

In Alpha-0, players started at an Empyrean divine gateway.[181]

Racial quests

Quests may be based on a character's race.[170]

Different quests may relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node. This won't lock out content, but will add flavor to the quests.[170]

There might even be different directories of the quest that exist for specific races, and even though you're sharing a quest to kill a boss, if you're human and I'm an elf, I will have a different arc potentially that leads in a different direction than you, even though we took the same quest; and this can relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node unlocking different arcs for cultures that share the primary culture of a node - not that locks out content but it gives a flavor in a different direction so that not everything is so cookie cutter.[170]Steven Sharif

Race matters because narratives have paths that also are influenced based on the primary contributing culture to the node... If you're a Niküa and you have you're in a Niküa node that's predominantly Niküa, you're going to have certain services and/or abilities as a member of the Niküa race that other races may not have access to... They may have alternative quest lines, but they won't have specific ones. Now those specific Niküa quests will then relate to the meta-narrative that's present in the world and they'll start to direct some of that meta-narrative; and that'll be beneficial for your kind because it will unlock certain content for your race that other races haven't unlocked yet. So there is an incentive there to see progression along that line now in order to curb the progress of a dominant race.[159]Steven Sharif

Quests that are race specific, title specific, or guild specific will likely be less than 10% of the total number of quests. 90% of quests should be able to be shared by everybody.[182]

NPC racial interaction

Depending on the cultural influence of the node activates certain types of quest lines and/or sponsors. Some of those are shared, some of those are general. Some of those relate to a progression path that is a first time user experience. Those will be constant across all culture types. Some of them, however, are predicates that spawn when certain story arcs and/or events, or commissions or buy orders become present within the node; and those might change based on the cultural influence of the node. So there is a separation between those populations.[171]Steven Sharif


Community guides

See also


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