Character Creation  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Character Creation  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network DiceTalk!: How Do You Make a Character? Sat, 10 Feb 2018 15:04:59 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

For many, the first experience in Dungeons and Dragons is the creation of their first character. Whether it's brainstorming with friends or an idea that pops up in the shower, everyone eventually has to put the idea on paper. Making this first character is a step into their own fantasy, allowing them to roleplay a different experience. You can create whatever you wish. Though the rules are there to help guide you along to a balanced game, you and your Dungeon Master can venture to whatever creative idea comes to mind.

As was said in the last installment, you can create whatever you want. It's your world, so dare to imagine. A first look at the rules and books might be daunting, but here we'll break it down for you and make it easy to understand the process of making your first character. This guide will go over the bare minimum and basics needed. For more in-depth information, don't be afraid to consult the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki or pick up the Player Handbook and Xanathar's Guide to Everything!

Basic Terms

Starting out, there are going to be several terms used throughout the guide that someone new may not understand. We'll just go through them quickly:

  • Strength (Str) - How strong you are
  • Dexterity (Dex) - How nimble you are
  • Constitution (Con) - How healthy you can be (generally important for everyone)
  • Intelligence (Int) - How "book smart" you are
  • Wisdom (Wis) - How "street smart" you are
  • Charisma (Char) - How well you can talk yourself out of a situation
  • Modifier - The bonus you get from the six attributes above. Depending on the number, you get a bonus.
  • Armor Class (AC) - How hard it is to hit you
  • Attack Bonus - How well you can hit something
  • Proficiency - Certain skills and abilities get a proficiency bonus. This will be +2 for level one.

RPG classes list.

Picking Your Class

In the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, there are 12 classes, and each is unique to itself. On their own, they play unique roles in the fantasy genre, and there is a niche for everyone. For every class, there are several subclasses that help you customize your character even further. Each has unique abilities and brings something different to the table.

Your class will also dictate your starting gear, skills, and hit point (HP) total. Here we'll give a brief description of what each class is and is adept at.

Zealot - Berserker - Ancestral Guardian - Storm Lord - Totem Warrior
A savage throwing itself into the fray, using its rage to become an indestructible power. Generally favors Str and Con.
Saving Throws: Str and Con.
Skills (Choose two): Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 12

Lore - Blades - Valor - Whispers - Glamour
One who favors music, reflexes, and their silver tongue to get through life. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Dex and Char.
Skills: Any three on your sheet.
Max starting HP: 8

Knowledge - Life - Trickery - Tempest - Light - Nature - War - Grave - Forge
A living tank of righteousness and the healer of many. Generally favors Wis.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): History, Religion, Insight, Medicine, and Persuasion.
Max starting HP: 10

Hand - Shadow - Sun Soul - Kensei - Four Elements - Drunken Master
A disciple of balance and master of martial arts. Generally Favors Dex and Wis.
Saving Throws: Str and Dex.
Skills (Choose two): Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 8

Vengeance - Devotion - Redemption - Conquest - Ancient - Oathbreaker
A warrior of the gods, fights for a sacred oath, and smites their foes with radiance. Generally favors Str, Con, and Char.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Athletics, Insight, Religion, Persuasion, Medicine, and Intimidation.
Max starting HP: 10

Hexblade - The Great Old One - Archfey - Celestial - Fiend
Wielder of foreign magics, making a pact with a patron is the route you go for power. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Wis and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, Deception, History, intimidation, Investigation, Nature, and Religion.
Max starting HP: 8

Divine Soul - Draconic - Wild Magic - Storm - Shadow
Magic runs in your blood, and no one can stop you from unleashing the power stored within. Generally favors Char.
Saving Throws: Con and Char.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion.
Max starting HP: 6

Conjuration - Abjuration - transmutation - Nercromancy - Divination - Evocation - War - Illusion - Enchantment
Gandalf, yes you are the old man who sat forever to read books and have pages of spells, but your power is infinite. Generally favors Int.
Saving Throws: Int and Wis.
Skills (Choose two): Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, and Religion.
Max starting HP: 6

Champion - Samurai - Cavalier - Arcane Archer - Battle Master - Eldritch Knight
A master of combat and weaponry, generally the easiest and straight forward of all the classes. Generally favors Str or Dex.
Saving Throws: Str and Con.
Skills (Choose two): Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Perception, Survival, Medicine, Intimidation, History, and Animal Handling.
Max starting HP: 10

Moon - Dream - Shepard - Land
The protector of nature, shifting into all forms for her protection and wielding magics of the wild. Generally favors Wis.
Saving Throws: Int and Wis.
Skills (Choose two): Arcane, Nature, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, Religion, and Survival.
Max starting HP: 8

Thief - Assassin- Swashbuckler - Scout - Arcane Trickster - Mastermind - Inquisitive
Silent but deadly, the classic thief sitting in the shadows, ready to pick any lock. Generally favors Dex.
Saving Throws: Dex and Int.
Skills (Choose four): Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth.
Max starting HP: 8

Beast Master - Hunter - Horizon Walker - Gloom Stalker - Monster Slayer
The hunter in the wilderness, can track any creature and makes friends of any beast they wish. Generally favors Dex and Wis.
Saving Throws: Str and Dex.
Skills (Choose three): Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Survival, and Stealth.
Max starting HP: 10

Choosing Your Race

There are many races throughout the stories of Dungeons and Dragons, but there are a select few that you get to play in this iteration of the game. Some of them get specific bonuses for their culture, while others get special abilities. Whatever you wish to choose, your race can either maximize your efficiency  or just be chosen fun. Some of these races also have subraces; these provide added variety and help boost other attributes. Here are the races and some of their perks.

  • Human - +1 to every ability score, and like all humans, can adapt to any situation.
  • Dwarf - +2 to Con and are a hardy people. Variants include Hill Dwarf (+1 Wis) and Mountain Dwarf (+2 Str).
  • Elf - +2 to Dex. Generally long-lived and influenced by nature. Variants include High Elf (+1 Int), Wood Elf (+1 Wis), and Dark Elf (+1 Char).
  • Half Elf - +2 to Char and +1 to two other attributes. Fairer than humans but more rugged than elves, you have the best of both worlds.
  • Half Orc - +2 to Str and +1 to Con. Generally tough and adaptable, much like their parent races.
  • Halfling - +2 to Dex. A small but proud people, your luck and bravery are renowned. Variants are Lightfoot (+1 Char) and Stout (+1 Con).
  • Gnome - +2 Int. A small people that are extremely cunning. Variants are Forest Gnome (+1 Dex) and Rock Gnome (+1 Con).
  • Dragonborn - +2 Str, +1 Char. Gain a breath weapon, a resistance to your element.
  • Tiefling - +1 Int, +2 Char. Some hellish traits and spells in regards to your heritage.

More specific information on each race can be found in the Player Handbook or on the Dungeons and Dragons Wiki.

Rolling Your Attributes

Attributes list.

There are several systems to rolling your stats, and they all depend on your Dungeon Master's preference. But generally, people just do the straight elite hero spread: 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8.  All these numbers will go into whatever attributes (Str, Dex, Con, Wis, Int, Char) you wish to have. Depending on your class, you may have higher Str then Dex, or vice versa.

On your character sheet, you will also have an area for modifiers. In the D&D system, there is a scale that has increasing modifiers depending on how high your attribute is. These modifiers will be used throughout your character sheet, dictating how good you are at certain skills, attacks, and evading attacks from enemies. Here is the table for attributes to modifiers:

Ability modifiers.

 Picking Your Background

A new feature of 5th edition is the idea of a background for your character. This generally is to help new players figure out where their character came from and what has impacted them up to this point. These also give special skills, perks, and even more customization for your character. 

  • Acolyte - connections to your religion and institution.
    Skills: Insight and Religion
  • Soldier - military recognition and influence.
    Skills: Athletics and Intimidation
  • Urchin - you know the city secrets and where to find them.
    Skills: Sleight of hand and Stealth
  • Criminal - special connections and basic rogue skills.
    Skills: Deception and Stealth
  • Outlander - you can survive in the wild far more easily.
    Skills: Athletics and Survival
  • Noble - you have the name and wealth to back it up.
    Skills: History and Persuasion
  • Charlatan - able to talk a scam into anyone.
    Skills: Deception and Sleight of hand
  • Entertainer - able to put on a show and greatly please.
    Skills: Acrobatics and Performance
  • Folk Hero - you can easily find friends among the common folk.
    Skills: Animal Handling and Survival
  • Guild Artisan - have guild connections and lodging.
    Skills: Insight and Persuasion
  • Hermit - you find meaning and discovery in your solitude.
    Skills: Medicine and Religion
  • Sage - you know your stuff and are a researcher at heart.
    Skills: Arcana and History
  • Sailor - you know the ships to take and knowledge of the seas.
    Skills: Athletics and Perception

Tying Up the Loose Ends

Example Dungeons & Dragons character sheet.

Once you have completed all the other steps, it's time to fill in the rest of the numbers. Skills are generally class-specific, but they are a core part of the game. You will also gain two skills from your background. This generally dictates what you specialize in throughout your life. 

From whichever skills you picked, you add your modifier plus your proficiency. You will also do this for your saving throws that you get from your class. This will be the total you will add to your dice rolls. From there, your attack bonus depends on whether you are using a ranged or melee weapon. If a weapon can ever be used as melee, you will add your Str modifier and proficiency. The total will be your attack bonus.

Example from above: Str modifier: 3 + Proficiency: 2 = Attack Bonus: 5

This works the same for any ranged weapon. You will add your Dex modifier and your proficiency. This will be your attack bonus for ranged weapons. Last is your HP. At level one, you start with the max from your class plus your Con modifier.

The Rest Is Up to You!

From here, everything else is up to your imagination. Work with your Dungeon Master if you have trouble coming up with traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws. The background and subclass are always good places to look for some inspiration. As always, the Wiki and Player Handbook are valuable resources if you want more detailed information. 

All that is left is a name for this character you have created! Now you have a completed character sheet.


Hope you enjoyed this guide to creating a level one character! Next time on GameSkinny's DiceTalk!, we'll go over what it means to be a DM and offer some tips for first-time DMs. Let us know in the comments below what characters you have created! Until next time, keep rolling, gamers. 

A Guide to Getting Started in Durango: Wild Lands Fri, 22 Sep 2017 11:34:28 -0400 Stephanie Tang

Post-apocalyptic survival is definitely not a new thing in video games -- particularly since we've long since been beaten to death and antipathy by the zombie craze. And post-apocalyptic dinosaur games are also fast-becoming a thing, with games like ARK and Horizon Zero Dawn already out and making waves. Fueled by a generation and a half that grew up on Jurassic Park, they're pretty damn good and doing great. 

Enter NEXON Korea (a subsidiary of the main NEXON company) working with What! Studio to bring you another hit to add to the roster. Durango: Wild Lands is a mobile MMO spin on the genre, where players are thrown through a time warp into the prehistoric era. Here they must band together to fend off dinosaurs, starvation, and (let's face it) some fast-disintegrating clothes.  

The game hasn't officially released yet, but it is looking good and was already nominated for Best Mobile/Handheld at E3. A limited closed beta ran late last year/early this year, and now it's currently in open beta on the Google Play Store... but only in a select number of countries -- the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Vietnam, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. 

Unfortunately, the biggest chunks of the gaming markets are sadly out of luck - looks like you've still got some waiting to do. But in the meantime, you can still peruse this beginner's guide to Durango: Wild Lands so you'll be ready to play when the game releases in your region.

Note: For those of you who can play it, keep a charger handy. This game eats your battery like crazy.


Character Creation/Class Choice

The game throws you on a moving train of people where you must choose, almost at random, which character you wish to play as. Each one will have certain bonuses that correspond to a certain play style, but at a glance it can be a little tough to figure out which will be the most applicable to you.

If you're anything like me, you pick the one in the cutest skirt and go on blindly from there. You then learn that you can customize your character's appearance and clothes in a fairly in-depth character creation menu. (Go figure.) This part happens after you choose your class and is fairly standard and self-explanatory. So don't worry -- you'll get the chance to look exactly how you want to look.

If you're not like me and actually want to know what these bonuses are and how they affect you, this is what you need to know:

Seat Class Skill M/F
1 Soldier Melee M
2 Office Worker Building F
3 Job Seeker Defense F
4 Engineer Weapon Crafting M
5 Homemaker Cooking F
6 Soldier Melee F
7 Homemaker Cooking M
8 Attendant Craft Clothing M
9 Office Worker Building F
10 Farmer Farming F
11 Farmer Farming M
12 Attendant Craft Clothing F
13 Engineer Weapon Crafting F
14 Student Gather M
15 Student Gather F
16 Job Seeker Defense M


There are 8 classes and a choice of male/female for both. The class and gender is far more important at this stage of the process, because you can customize appearances almost immediately after.

  • Note: What you choose at the very beginning won't necessarily impact your life choices forever -- if you've got the skill points to spend, you can push them into one path, another, or more than one if you want to. But if you decide to commit right from the beginning, you'll get to where you want to go much more efficiently. 

Here they are, in general order of ease to play/usefulness as a starting character:

Job Seeker

With an extra bonus in Defense, this character gets a boost in several different stats, including HP and defense, and a higher health regen rate. 

Note: A highly recommended class for starting out with, especially in a survivalist game. Choose this one if you want to choose an easier, well-rounded character class. (You may need to ignore the fact that the character's life story is kinda... pathetic.)



Choice 1 if you usually enjoy combat in MMOs. This is fairly straight-forward and allows you to learn a number of attacks very quickly right from the beginning. In spite of the name, it will also give you a boost in learning weapons too. 

Note: Unfortunately you won't get a chance to test out what the combat system actually feels like before you make your character choice. It can feel a little clunky; the game combines timed mobile game controls with an isometric view. However, being good at killing things is handy in any MMO.


This gives you the skills to craft both weapons and tools. No matter what skill you choose to specialize in, you're going to need to have at least some basic tools to work with -- this is in fact the first kind of crafting the game introduces you to!

Note: Another decent choice to start with as a newbie. Whether you like combat, survival, or hunting/gathering, you're not going to get far working with only your bare hands. 


Eating a necessity is dino-land, so it stands to reason that the food that you make also ends up being rather important too. Cook food that can regen your stamina, HP, and eventually provide your character with extra buffs as well.

Note: This class compliments almost everything that you might want to do in this MMO because food is such a necessity to keep you alive and fit. 


Gather resources from the wilds to supplement any kind of crafting; in the beginning of the tutorial you learn to gather dates (and in my case, pretty much never stopped). This skill will help you figure out what ingredients are useful and how to gather them. As you progress, higher and higher-level resources can be gathered.

Note: While important, you will find that you can do a lot of this regardless of whether or not you pump your base stats into this skill. 


Considering how quickly your neat little uniform falls into a torn and ragged mess, this will give you a boost in crafting better clothes that will help maintain your stats and keep you alive. The more your skill increases, the longer your defensive gear lasts.

Note: Extra nice to have if you're anything like me and enjoy being a pack rat because you are able to increase carry capacity. Also nice to have if you're like me and blunder into rivers without looking too closely and soak yourself. While handy, this skill is starting to get a little niche according to play style. 

Office Worker

This character gives a crafting boost in building - houses, villages, and all the stuff that you can make inside (e.g. Furniture/Workbench, Installation/Decoration) improving areas that have been eroded away and improving human civilization.

Note: If you're just starting out on your first character, this may not be of much use to you to learn the game right away. The boosts this character provides certainly benefits you more later on when you start working with other players to build tents, houses, village parts. 


Once established, farmers can craft farm tools, make fertilizer, and plant crops.

Note: This class bonus is also most beneficial to you later on in your character journey when you've begun to develop a village and to support it agriculturally. To get to this point, you will likely push your skill points elsewhere first. 

There are other skills in the game, but these aren't ones that you gain automatic bonuses in right from the get-go. They are: 

  • Surviving: increases as you gather basic resources, build shelters, and craft tools
  • Slaughter: helps acquire meat, leather, and bone from a dead animal
  • Archery: skill in slings, bows, and crossbows


That's all for now! Good luck creating your character! And stay tuned for more Durango: Wild Lands guides here at GameSkinny.

5 MMOs with The Best Character Creation Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:56:11 -0400 stratataisen




Despite being over 10 years old, Aion’s character creator still is gorgeous as ever and holds up well against some of the newer MMOs of today. When you dive into the game and create your first character, you’ll find many options to choose from. You could go with one of the numerous presets Aion provides, or you can use the facial and body sliders to create something uniquely your own.


That wraps up our list of the best character customization systems in current MMOs! What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments -- and share some photos of the characters you've made using these in-game creators!


Blade & Soul


This fantasy, martial-arts MMO boasts a highly customizable character creator -- and it has a right to do so. Blade & Soul has a wide variety of faces, hairstyles, and colors -- plus it allows you to further tweak those features with the use of sliders.


And don’t worry if you’re afraid you don’t have the talent to make an amazing looking character, because the game allows you to use presets if you want. What are presets? They are characters that another player made that you can load into the game and use in the character creator!


Black Desert Online


Black Desert Online is by far the prettiest and most in-depth on the list in terms a graphics and customizations (my graphics card weeps just thinking about it).


In this Korean sandbox MMO, you have the ability to tweak everything -- and I mean everything -- on your character. Much like EVE Online, you can hover your mouse over sections of your character's face and adjust them accordingly. This also includes where the hair falls against your character’s armor and face. You can even take a hairstyle and give it a cut to make parts shorter or use extensions to make it longer.


Of course, having such control over features can lead to some fun and terrifying results. Get the video above to 2:47 and you’ll see celebrity recreations along with some more...abstract results.


APB Reloaded


If you thought EVE had a lot of sliders and details to choose from, then allow me to blow your mind with APB Reloaded. While this open world, third-person shooter MMO has changed hands in both developers and publishers, it still has an insanely in-depth character and clothing customization system.


Not only does APB Reloaded allow you to customize your character's physical look (including tattoos), but you can also customize what they’re wearing. And I don’t mean picking from some preset items, although those are available. The game allows you to pick from a gallery or create graphics of your own to make your clothes uniquely yours.


You can also use it to recreate the clothes of characters from other games. There’s an example of this in the video above, as a player remakes from Overwatch with the use of APB's character and clothing customizer.


EVE Online


I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wait...EVE Online? Aren’t you flying a ship and look at charts for most of the game?’ Yes, yes you are. But in spite of that, this game has a character creator -- and a pretty impressive one at that.


One of the first things you’ll notice in the video is the quality of the graphics and character model, which are quite good. Next, you’ll want to note how you can pick every little detail from facial features and hair to body type and clothes. Not only that, but you can even pose the character how you’d like for their character portrait, including facial expressions.


There’s one small detail that I love about this character creator. It almost feels silly to say, but look at how each section of the body is highlighted by the outline of the muscles as your mouse passes over them. Lovely.


One of my favorite pastimes in any MMO, or even a single player RPG, is the character creation. I could sit there for hours tweaking face sliders, hair options, and skin colors -- practically never getting around to the actual game. I think part of the addiction to this feature, for me anyway, is to see how many different ways you can make a completely badass character or a completely silly one. Or even recreating celebrities and characters from other game.


In most MMOs, when you go to create a character, you’ll have a decent array of choices to customize your avatar -- like different faces and hairstyles, skin and hair color choices, and sometimes even little extras like earrings, tattoos, or pets. But then there’s some MMOs whose character creators dwarf all others, as they give you sliders galore and allow you to tweak almost every detail on your character.


The next five games in this slideshow have some of the most in-depth, granular character creation you'll find in any MMO on the market right now. 

Torment: Tides Of Numenera Class and Character Creation Guide Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur

It's only been an 18-year wait, but we finally have a successor to the groundbreaking CRPG Planescape: Torment. It may be set in an entirely different universe and shifted from one tabletop RPG ruleset to another, but there's no doubt developer InXile absolutely nailed the feel of Torment in this spiritual sequel.

Culling out all the facial feature reconstruction and overly large list of racial options from bigger name RPGs, Tides Of Numenera instead focuses on how your character approaches problems and faces the extreme oddity of the Ninth World.

Choosing The Best Class in Tides of Numenera

In Planescape: Torment there were multiple ways to play, but it was clear there was one obviously intended path over the others. Playing a mage with all your points in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma resulted in experiencing the largest portion of the game in a single playthrough.

Your first inclination may be to repeat that pattern and play a Nano with  Read Surface Thoughts – and that does offer some interesting insight into the game world – but it's not a strict necessity. Your first two companions will already be Nanos with high Intellect, and many of the game's early Skill tests require Might pools instead, so don't be afraid to put your points there in fear of losing out on dialog options. 

Keep in mind can easily raise your Speed and Intellect Pools by 1 point for free by talking to Aidan in Cliff's Edge and O in the Fifth Eye Tavern, so it may be worth it to save those points for other Stats.

The Jack class actually has the widest range of options for picking your starting Exploration Skill (used very frequently in dialog choices) and strikes a balance between the Glaive and Nano on the combat/magic front.

When picking your class, keep in mind only the Glaive can take medium or heavy weapon training at the beginning unless you utilize a specific Descriptor, so you'll want to stick to a light weapon if playing either a Jack or Nano to avoid the -15% inability penalty (marked by two red dots).

 A Glaive, Jack, and Nano

Numenera Character Creation

Following the segment where you try to make sense of why you are falling from a moon to the planet below, Tides Of Numenera has you actually play through character creation, moving through a world of shifting living metal while recalling past lives of the Changing God.

Each conversation segment features three clear-cut options: the route of Might (Glaive), Speed (Jack), or Intellect (Nano). The options are incredibly obvious: physically moving something or using intimidating threats, deception/guile and fast reflexes, and finally using brains over brawn or outright magical abilities.

The final conversation option at the mirror will determine your Descriptor (which can be manually changed later and are described below). Don't worry if you want to change your mind on the class either -- that too can be manually changed after the mirror segment as you select your Stat breakdown.

Keep in mind that the maximum for any starting Stat Pool is 11, typically achieved by bumping that Stat to 9 and then taking a Descriptor that bumps that Stat up by a further 2 points.

Echoing the rules-light tabletop Numenera RPG, your character's Exploration Skills are much more freeform than in many other role-playing experiences and are very self-explanatory. For instance, the Smashing Skill gives you a bonus to any tests or conversation options involving breaking things, and it could come up in just about any scenario involving that concept -- even ones you don't quite expect.

The only exceptions are Cypher Use, which lets you use additional cyphers beyond the normal maximum, Running, which lets you move further during a Crisis before or after attacking, and Endurance, which gives bonus Health.

Below we break down each class' Ability options and Exploration Skills available at character creation.

Choosing Might, Speed, or Intellect Options


Your jack-of-all-trades starts with the versatile Flex Skill, offering +1 training level in any Exploration Skill. After picking your Stats, you can then choose from an Ability and additional Exploration Skill.

Ability Choices:

  • Trained Without Armor -- bonus 10% to evasion and willpower while wearing light armor
  • Hedge Magic -- automatically succeed on the next Quick Fingers or Smashing task undertaken that day
  • Sucker Punch -- deals weapon damage + 3 and dazes the target if they already have a negative fettle applied
  • Infuse Weapon -- next attack deals damage of any type you choose
  • Practiced In Armor -- reduces Might and Speed costs associated with wearing armor

Exploration Skill Choices:

  • Anamnesis
  • Concentration
  • Cypher Use
  • Deception
  • Endurance
  • Healing
  • Intimidation
  • Lore Machinery
  • Lore Mystical
  • Lore Natural
  • Perception
  • Persuasion
  • Quick Fingers
  • Running
  • Smashing
  • Stealth

Picking the Jack


Your fighter class starts automatically with the Opportunist ability, which lets you end your turn prematurely but then make an attack with a bonus to hit anytime an enemy moves within range, as well as Practiced In Armor, which reduces Speed and Might penalties associated with wearing armor. 

Unlike the other two classes, a Glaive also chooses to be skilled in either medium or heavy weapons. After picking your Stats, you can then choose from an Ability and Exploration Skill.

Ability Choices:

  • Unfailing Precision -- 10% bonus to critical hit chance with attacks
  • Skill With Defense -- 10% bonus to Evasion and Willpower
  • Taunt -- forces one target to attack you instead of any companions
  • Hook -- snare a target and pull them towards you during a Crisis

Exploration Skill Choices:

  • Endurance
  • Running
  • Quick Fingers
  • Smashing

Picking the Glaive


Your spellcasting class begins with the Onslaught ability, an incredibly versatile medium range attack that lets you choose the type of damage to overcome resistance. More importantly, it also gets the Anamnesis Skill for free, offering a bonus to any task involving remembering previous experiences of the Changing God.

Ability Choices:

  • Scan Thoughts -- surface thoughts of NPCs will appear during dialog
  • Resourceful -- gain bonus training level to Cypher Use Skill
  • Innvervate -- remove all negative fettles and heal 6 Heatlh
  • Adaptation -- gain bonus to armor and resistance for 3 rounds
  • Quantum Step -- teleport an ally a medium distance during a Crisis

Exploration Skill Choices:

  • Lore Machinery
  • Lore Mystical
  • Lore Natural

Choosing Nano Exploration Skills

Character Descriptor

Finally, your Descriptor choice (which is the same list for all classes) offers a bonus to certain skills and stats while applying a penalty to others.

Your Descriptor will have already been chosen based on the dialog options at the mirror, but here you can change it if you don't like the specific bonuses and penalties you received.

Keep in mind what Exploration Skill you chose when picking your Descriptor, as you may want to go with a Descriptor that gives you a bonus Skill rather than raising the level of an existing Skill. You can even gain the normally Glaive-only heavy weapons ability with the Wrathful Descriptor.

Your Descriptor can also lower a Skill below the unskilled rank to the inability rank, which gives a 15% penalty to attempting anything associated with the Skill.

  • Cautious -- bonus to Perception and Stealth, penalty to Initative
  • Charming -- bonus to Persuasion and Deception, penalty to Willpower and Intellect
  • Clever -- bonus to Intellect, Deception, and Willpower, penalty to Lore Mystical and Lore Machinery
  • Graceful -- bonus to Speed and Quick Fingers, penalty to Smashing
  • Intelligence -- bonus to Intellect and Anamnesis, penalty to Concentration
  • Learned -- bonus to Intellect, Lore Natural, Lore Machinery, and Healing, penalty to Persuasion and Deception
  • Mechanical -- bonus to Lore Machinery and Concentration, penalty to Deception
  • Mystical -- bonus to Cypher Use and Lore Mystical, penalty to Intimidation
  • Observant -- bonus to Perception and Concentration, penalty to Running 
  • Rugged -- bonus to Endurance, Lore Natural, and Resistance, penalty to Lore Machinery and Deception
  • Slick -- bonus to Persuasion and Quick Fingers, penalty to Endurance
  • Stealthy -- bonus to Light Weapons, Stealth, and Deception, penalty to Initiative and Running
  • Strong -- bonus to Might, Intimidation, and Endurance, penalty to Quick Fingers and Intellect
  • Strong-Willed -- bonus to Willpower, Concentration, and Intimidation, penalty to Lore Machinery and Perception
  • Swift -- bonus to Speed and Running, penalty to Stealth
  • Tough -- bonus to Armor, Resistance, and Endurance, penalty to Evasion 
  • Wrathful -- bonus to Heavy Weapons, Intimidation, and Smashing, penalty to Concentration and Stealth

Picking a Descriptor

Focus in Tides of Numenera

There is one additional aspect of character creation that isn't actually chosen until you've explored some of the Sagus Cliffs area and leveled up the first time: picking a Focus.

Your Focus option will be a more detailed description like Brandishes A Silver Tongue, Breathes Shadow, or Masters Defense, but will change based on your class and dominant Tide.

When you reach this point of the game, your main consideration is whether you want a Focus that provides a combat focused option, like Counterattack, or prefer something that makes more dialog options available, like Natural Charisma.

 Choosing a Focus

With all your base options chosen, you are now ready to explore the Ninth World! Let us know: what class did you pick, and what Exploration Skills and Descriptors do you like best?

Eve Online Character Creation Tutorial (Alpha Clone) Mon, 28 Nov 2016 03:39:24 -0500 Serhii Patskan

CCP Games has released a new expansion for Eve Online, titled “Ascension,” on November 15, 2016. It has turned the cult space MMORPG into a free-to-play game. The free model has a few limitations though, but you can always switch to the paid subscription at any time.

The free-to-play state is called “Alpha Clones” and the subscriber state is called “Omega Clones.” The free-to play model has been designed to revive the MMO and help new people join its fantastic universe without spending any money.

However, such new players may find it difficult to choose a right character for themselves in the beginning of the game. For this reason, we present you with a simple character creation tutorial for Alpha Clones, so you can start playing Eve Online right away.

Choosing Your Race

The first thing you need to choose before creating a character is the race. There are four races in Eve Online, and it doesn’t make much difference for the paid subscribers which race to choose, but if you play as an Alpha Clone, then you have to be sure about your decision.

What defines a race is the type of ships that you will be able to use in the game, and paid subscribers can choose any race and pilot ships from other races as well. However, if you've chosen a free-to-play model, then you will only be limited to the ships of your race.

So, if you want to know which race fits you the best, here are the main differences in their ships:

  • This race uses heavy ships with a lot of armor.
  • Due to their tankiness they are quite slow.
  • They have an ability to use drones.
    • Drones are more sophisticated than missiles, and probably not the best choice for complete beginners.
  • Their main weapons are lasers.
    • They’re great because they never run out, as energy weapons use crystals instead of the typical projectile ammo.
  • This race carries strong shields on their ships.
  • They are much faster than Amarr, which makes them great for PvP.
  • Caldari ships mainly use missiles.
    • This type of weaponry is good for long range combat.
  • Their main weapons are a hybrid of projectiles and lasers -- which makes things easier, if you can’t decide between the two.
    • Hybrid weapons also have the highest DPS.
  • This race has the best Tech 1 boats in the game.
    • Choose the Gallente race, if you want to develop an Industrial type of character, as their Industrial ships have the highest number of bonuses.
  • Their frigates are much faster than Caldari or Amarr.
  • Gallente specializes in drones.
  • They also use hybrid weapons.
  • This race has the most versatile ships in the game.
    • If you really can’t decide what kind of ships you want to pilot, then choose Minmatar.
  • They also have the fastest ships in the game.
  • Minmatar specializes in missiles.
  • Their main types of weapons are projectile turrets.

Once you’ve figured out which of these four races you want to choose, comes the next big step -- Bloodline.

Choosing Your Bloodline

In the Alpha State of Eve Online you are limited to developing skills of the race of your choice, while in Omega State you can gain skills of other races, too. Each race has three Bloodlines and three Ancestries. However, these only affect the appearance of your character, so choose the one that fits your aesthetic taste the most. This choice has no influence on the set of skills.

Later in the game you will have the chance to choose what type of activity you want to do -- whether it's Mining, Exploration, Trading or something completely else. So, you need to put certain skills into a Skill Queue that will fit your character the most. You can check an entire list of skills available for Alpha Clones in Eve Online at the bottom of this page.

It is important to know that there are certain skills that simply must be included in your Skill Queue. Here they are:

  • Hull Upgrades – an absolutely necessary module that will improve the survivability of your ships.
  • Shield Upgrades (Caldari, Gallente, or Minmatar only) – improve the shield protection of the ships.
  • Drones and Light Drone Operations (Amarr or Gallente) – increases the number of drones that you can use at once (up to 5).
  • Weapon Upgrades – another highly important module that improves all types of weapons on your ships.
  • Astrometric Acquisition and Rangefinding – two of the most important skills for Explorers. They help you scan signatures with more efficiency.
  • Mining Frigate – if you’ve chosen Mining as your main activity, then you must train this skill for your Venture frigate -- the best mining boat for an Alpha Clone.
  • Trader and Broker Relations – are needed for Traders who want to maximize the number of their orders and reduce the fees from these operations.

When you’re done choosing your Bloodline, Ancestry, and Education, you can adjust the appearance of your character. After an in-game tutorial, you can start your mission. And remember, you can always create a new free Alpha Clone if you don’t like your first build.

Come back soon for more Eve Online guides at GameSkinny!

The best computer role-playing games of our decade. Mon, 18 Apr 2016 04:29:53 -0400 Joshua Potter

The role-playing genre has long been the cinematic crux of gaming. From humble roots in games like Adventure on the Atari 2600, where you simply controlled a square wandering an 8-bit world, to modern powerhouse games like Final Fantasy XV that strive to revolutionize graphics engines, players have always craved the immersion granted by classic RPGs.

For PC gamers, there's a special sub-genre of RPG that is near and dear to our hearts -- the CRPG. These computer role-playing games were all the rage a decade or two ago, and have recently been making a bit of a comeback. Hallmarks of the genre included RPG elements like classes and customizable stats, turn-based combat, and often a top-down perspective. In light of this resurgence for CRPGs, we decided to round up some of the best ones from the past decade. Here they are.

1. Diablo 3

Leading the list is Activision Blizzard's own Diablo 3. Many gamers know the Diablo series from its predecessors, and held high expectations for the third installment. Naturally, the high expectations were hard to meet, and Diablo 3's initial release was shaky at best, due to issues with players not being able to play the game at all, or the in famous real money auction house.

After restructuring their staff, Activision Blizzard's game began picking up steam again. Following a new expansion, the removal of the auction house, reworks to the classes, and the introduction of "seasons" similar to other sports, Diablo 3 was able to become one of the best action role-playing games in the genre.

2. Divinity: Original Sin

With 11 different classes, attributes, and ability modifiers to define your character, talent and skill points to invest in, and a huge crafting system, Divinity: Original Sin really has a lot going on for it. The series is also cooperative, making for a great thematic adventure you can share with your friends. The game even uses an in-game relationship system based on how your characters choose to respond to the NPCs and the choices they make. There is also a turn-based system for combat, making Divinity: Original Sin stand out against its competitors, since it embraces its roots so well.

The game's humor is well established, and you are able to customize your character's attitude and choose a class right from the start. There are also several classes unique to the series, such as Wayfarers, the dexterous mages, or Enchanters, the manipulators of minds.

 3. Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity, similar to Divinity: Original Sin, has a selection of 11 classes, and races familiar to the Dungeons and Dragons crowd -- dwarves, elves and your occasional godlike being. The game includes skills that will be familiar to veterans of role-playing -- such as athletics checks and survival. This allows you to specialize your characters not only for the purposes of satisfying an objective, but also adding that extra layer of personality to who you're creating.

If you're looking for a single player experience to emulate the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition experience, this game is one of the hottest out there.

4. Torchlight

What sets Runic Games' Torchlight apart is just how gosh-darn cute it is! The character sprites for this game are amazing. To start it off, you get to pick a pet to accompany you throughout your adventures. Your pet is able to fight alongside you in combat, and even tote your trash loot back and forth between towns. My dog being able to barter with merchants for wares is pretty extraordinary, but I think I have some ideas as to how he gets it done.

Similar in feel to early Diablo games, Torchlight was able to make an otherwise unfriendly and difficult genre of gaming feel welcoming and accessible to anyone. If you're looking for a less complex way to enjoy a dungeon crawler, or just want a fun way to enjoy an adventure with friends, this is a great place to start.

5. The Witcher

The Witcher series brought something new to the classic computer RPG genre; mixing together the elements of a 3rd person action game while still retaining a feel of a turn-based RPG. While movement in the first iteration of The Witcher is free, the main character Geralt only attacks as frequently (or infrequently) as the weapon he has equipped allows. This adds the strategic element of swapping between available weapons, and use of spells to try to maximize the damage you're dealing to enemies while keeping yourself healthy. This made the game notoriously difficult to players new to the franchise, and gave the game the attention it deserved in order to escalate into the action RPG franchise it is today.

That's the end of our list. Despite being numbered, there's no right or wrong choices here, every single one comes with a stamp of approval. All of these titles will be able to give you that sense of satisfaction your role-playing heart could ever want.

Fire Emblem: Fates - Boons, Banes, and Talents Guide Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:23:17 -0500 David Fisher

Hello everyone, RR-sama here! Fire Emblem: Fates is out now, and everyone's out to create their very first avatar. However, I realized that there isn't much coverage of the most important feature for the character customizer: Boon, Bane, and Talent.

While these two options won't make the earlier parts of the game particularly hellish, it will affect how your Avatar performs in the late game. As such, I've collected information on each one and compiled it into this short list so you don't have to! 

Let's start, shall we?

Stat Changing Traits


The first stat-altering trait is Boon. Boon affects which one of your stats will have higher chances of gains upon level up, as well as which one will be your highest base stat. Unlike Fire Emblem: Awakening, the boon is described with a trait rather than the actual stat for reasons unknown. They are as follows:

  • Robust - Health Points: Increases your maximum health.
  • Strong - Strength: Increases your physical damage output.
  • Clever - Magic: Increases your magic damage output.
  • Sturdy - Defense: Reduces the physical damage you take.
  • Calm - Resistance: Reduces the magic damage you take.
  • Deft - Skill: Increases hit rate, critical hit rate, and the activation chance for some offensive skills.
  • Lucky - Luck: Increases hit rate, and evasion; reduces enemy critical hit rate.
  • Quick - Speed: Increases evasion, and double hit chance.

Bane is the second stat-altering trait. Bane, as the name suggests, affects which stat will have the lowest chance of gaining a point on level up, as well as which stat will be the lowest base stat. The bane traits are as follows:

  • Sickly - Health Points: Decreases your maximum health.
  • Weak - Strength: Decreases your physical damage output.
  • Dull - Magic: Decreases your magic damage output.
  • Fragile - Defense: Increases the physical damage you take.
  • Excitable - Resistance: Increases the magic damage you take.
  • Clumsy - Skill: Decreases hit rate, critical rate, and the activation chance for some offensive skills.
  • Unlucky - Luck: Decreases hit rate, and evasion; increases enemy critical hit rate.
  • Slow - Speed: Decreases evasion, and double hit chance.

For newer players, I recommend the Calm and Dull combo. This allows you to withstand magic damage easily (which is a big factor in this game), and lets you make the most of the Avatar's base class. As such, I also generally recommend avoiding the Sickly or Excitable traits if possible, only because Magic damage is a serious pain in Fates, and having low HP isn't exactly fun either. They are, however, recommendable if you want to make a glass cannon character, or want to make the game more difficult.


The Talent options are base classes from either Nohr or Hoshido. While they aren't particularly important, they do affect small details in the game. For starters, the player can use a Heart Seal to change to one of these classes. Also, any character who achieves an A+ or S Rank with the player can use a Friendship or Partner seal to change into this class. Lastly, the Avatar's children can also change into this class using a Heart Seal, provided that Nohr Noble is not their base class.

The classes available are as follows:

  • Archer
  • Dragon (Wyvern Rider)
  • Ninja
  • Apothecary
  • Mage
  • Troubadour
  • Cavalier
  • Knight
  • Fighter
  • Mercenary
  • Outlaw
  • Samurai
  • Oni Savage
  • Lancer (Spear Fighter)
  • Diviner
  • Priestess
  • Sky Knight (Pegasus Knight)

On a premeditated run, I would suggest picking a class that you want your spouse or child to have. This helps create more variety in strategies and ability options. This also affects your A+ support character as well, so be sure to take that into consideration if you want your units to have faction-exclusive units.

Other Guides

This is all you need to know about character customization for now! Be sure to check out my other Fire Emblem: Fates guides for more tips, tricks, and strategies, including:

Other Guides:

WWE 2K16 Creation App is an easy way to create wrestler monstrosities Sun, 13 Dec 2015 03:40:02 -0500 Clint Pereira

What are character creators for if not to make the most horrifying face ever? I mean, you could play as your favorite fictional character or celebrity, too. If that’s your thing.

With the WWE 2K16 Creation App, you can quickly make your dreams of a Nicki Minaj versus Miley Cyrus match happen quicker than flint.

Now, instead of tweaking all the values like some kind of Bethesda nerd, you can just upload a picture into the Creation App on your iOS or Android device.

And voila!

Too horrifying! Put it away!

You can also use the app itself to take a photo on the fly. So, you can take pictures of ugly things and make them into wrestlers on the go.

Keep in mind that your content exists on the app, so inappropriate pictures aren't allowed. Any shots of your butt or, uh, other parts will probably get flagged rather quickly.

Preorder Bonus Gives Elder Scrolls Online Players More Character Creation Options Thu, 28 May 2015 21:56:29 -0400 K.W. Colyard

Gamers who preorder The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will have the option of playing as any race/alliance combination, publisher Bethesda Softworks announced on Tuesday. Those who do not preorder will be limited to selecting one of the races associated with their chosen alliance.

The game has three alliances: Aldmeri Dominion, Daggerfall Covenant, and Ebonheart Pact. Each alliance is composed of members from three Elder Scrolls races. Because gamers may only play cooperatively with members of the same alliance, having the preorder bonus means not being forced to sacrifice playing as your favorite race to fight through Tamriel with your friends. You will still have to agree on an alliance, however.

The bonus is part of the exclusive Explorer's Pack, which also includes a Scuttler vanity pet and a collection of treasure maps, and is available for preorders of both physical and digital copies. The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is available June 9th on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Pillars of Eternity Character Creation Guide Sun, 05 Apr 2015 15:09:29 -0400 Robert Guthrie

Obsidian has stopped at nothing to make Pillars of Eternity the absolute epitome of the isometric RPG, creating their own world, combat system, and roleplaying ruleset to match the CRPG genre, rather than relying on imperfect translations from Dungeons & Dragons.

While this has propelled Pillars of Eternity to immediate success and made it wildly popular, it does present some issues even for veterans of the genre. Without being able to rely on their knowledge of pen and paper RPGs, even experts of games like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale are finding themselves a little confused.

Well, fret no more adventurer -- we're here to explain all of the nuts and bolts of the character creation system and help you make the best character to fit your desired playstyle, whether that's sneaking, charming, or smashing your way to victory.


There are six playable races -- referred to in-universe as 'Kith' -- and Obsidian has done a pretty bang-up job of keeping them balanced. They all have varying stat bonuses and racial abilities, but there's nothing stopping you from making a savage Elven Barbarian or a hulking Aumaua Rogue. Your race will impact some dialogue options and character interactions, but not as much as your culture and background do.

Human: +1 Resolve, +1 Might  

The most common of the races in Pillars of Eternity, humans are well-suited for any role. Their bonuses to Resolve and Might make them strong picks for damage dealers or tanks, and their bonus ability is a good choice for any character. Paladins, Monks, and Barbarians are best suited to make use of a human's stats and abilities.


Human sub-races all have the same unique ability, so the choice is mostly cosmetic.

  • Meadow Folk -- Fighting Spirit (One per encounter, 5 seconds after being reduced below 50% Endurance, Humans temporarily gain bonuses to Accuracy and Damage)
  • Ocean Folk -- Fighting Spirit
  • Savannah Folk -- Fighting Spirit

Aumaua: +2 Might

Aumaua are enormous water-loving humanoids, and the strongest of the races in Eora. The significant Might bonus makes Aumaua great picks for any kind of damage dealer, though the sub-racial abilities tend to be more helpful for front-line warriors and martial combatants. Aumaua make great Barbarians, Fighters, Paladins, and Chanters.


Aumaua sub-racial abilities aren't as universal as some other racial bonuses, but they're powerful in their own way. Towering Physique can be a crucial bonus for tanks and melee combatants and Armed to the Teeth is very useful for adapting to combat situations (or cheesing the game with as many loaded Arquebuses as you can carry, if that's your thing).

  • Coastal Aumaua -- Towering Physique
    • Coastal Aumaua gain bonuses to defend against Prone and Stun effects. 
  • Island Aumaua -- Armed to the Teeth
    • All Island Aumaua gain an additional Weapon Set.


Dwarf: +2 Might, -1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution

Short but sturdy, Dwarves are natural explorers and a great choice for any hardy adventurer. Their racial bonuses are a great fit for any warrior or martial combatant, but they also make excellent Priests and Chanters, since neither class relies heavily on Dexterity. 


Both Dwarf subraces have abilities that are specific, but useful, to certain classes -- Hale and Hardy makes Mountain Dwarves a good pick for tanks and melee fighters, and Hunter's Instincts can help casters, ranged classes, and DPS be more effective in some difficult fights.

  • Mountain Dwarf -- Hale and Hardy
    • Mountain Dwarves have a bonus to defend against Poison and Disease attacks.
  • Boreal Dwarf -- Hunter's Instincts
    • Boreal Dwarves gain +15 accuracy against any creature of the Wilder or Primordial types.

Elf: +1 Dex, +1 Perception

Not quite as populous as Humans, Elves are the second most common race you're going to encounter in the Dyrwood. Their stat bonuses and racial abilities make them well-suited for just about any class, but they are especially adept at ranged combat.


Accuracy bonuses are very rare in Pillars of Eternity, so if you're building an archer or gunner and want the best mechanical option, a Wood Elf is hard to beat. Some of the toughest enemies in the game deal frost and fire damage, making Pale Elves a very strong choice for tanks.

  • Wood Elf -- Distant Advantage
    • Against any enemy that is more than 4m away, Wood Elves gain bonuses to Accuracy, Deflection, and Reflexes.
  • Pale Elf -- Elemental Endurance
    • All Pale Elves have increased Burn and Freeze damage reductions.

Orlan: Resolve +1, Might -1, Perception +2

Small, quick-witted, and with huge furry ears, Orlans are definitely cut from a different cloth, but their stat bonuses and racial abilities make them pretty well suited for a wide variety of adventuring roles. Orlans, despite being a small, can also make great tanks and damage dealers.


It might not seem like much, but a critical bonus like the one that Hearth Orlans recieve is significant, and makes Orlans surprisingly dangerous in combat. The defense bonus that Wild Orlans recieve after being subjected to a will attack is nothing to shake a stick at either.

  • Hearth Orlan -- Minor Threat
    • When attacking any target that is also being targeted by a teammate, Hearth Orlans convert some of their Hits into Crits.
  • Wild Orlan -- Defiant Resolve
    • After being subjected to a Will attack, Wild Orlan temporarily gain a bonus to all defenses.

Godlike: Dex +1, Int +1

Probably Obsidian's most unique new race, Godlike are offspring who have taken on aspects of the gods. They can come from any race (you can choose which of the other Kith to model your Godlike on) and their unique features prohibits the use of headgear. Their racial abilities are powerful though, and more than make up for this. Because the abilities are triggered by the Godlike losing endurance health, Godlike make very good Monks, Barbarians, and tanks in general.


Most Godlike racial abilities depend on the Godlike losing endurance, except for the Death Godlike ability, which is triggered by the enemies' endurance. This makes Death Godlike excellent damage dealers, though it also has good synergy with Paladin abilities that triggered off of kills. Fire Godlike, Moon Godlike, and Nature Godlike respectively get damage reduction and a fire aura, healing, and bonus stats when they reach a certain endurance threshold. This mechanic synergizes excellently with Monk and Barbarian playstyles, but is great for any kind of front-line combatant.

  • Death Godlike -- Death's Usher
    • When Death Godlike attack an enemy with 25% or less Endurance, their damage is increased.
  • Fire Godlike -- Battle Forged
    • When reduced below 50% Endurance, Fire Godlike glow like metal in a forge, gaining Damage Reduction and doing a small amount of fire damage to any creature who hits them in melee.
  • Moon Godlike -- Silver Tide
    • Every encounter, when reduced below 75%, 50%, and 25% Endurance, Moon Godlike generate waves of healing moonlight that restore Endurance to them and their allies.
  • Nature Godlike -- Wellspring of Life
    • Grants a bonus to Might, Constitution, and Dexterity when Endurance is below 50%.


Your class is probably the most important part of your character creation process. Each of the 11 classes plays differently and has its own strengths and weaknesses, so make sure you pick the one that fits your playstyle.


Starting Stats: 

  • Endurance: 48 + 16/level (Very High)
  • Health: 6*Endurance (Very High)
  • Accuracy: 25 + 3/Level (Average)
  • Deflection: 15 (Low)
  • Skills: Athletics +2, Survival +1

Powerful and deadly on the battlefield, the Barbarian is Pillars of Eternity's best brawler and melee damage dealer. Their starting ability -- Carnage -- gives the barbarian a small AoE on melee attacks, allowing them to deal out damage to groups better than anyone else.

Even though their Endurance is the highest in the game, Barbarians aren't the best tanks (though they can fill that role just fine). Their abilities make them best suited for dealing high amounts of damage to as many enemies as possible, and their innately high endurance means that they don't need to put a lot of points into Constitution.

Might is the most important stat for Barbarians, giving them damage, and Dexterity will help them get more attacks in. Intellect will increase the duration of your self buffs and the area of your AoEs (including Carnage), so definitely don't dump it. Defensive stats like Resolve and Perception are useful if you don't have enough tanks, but for survivability the Barbarian gets the most out of just a couple points in Constitution.

Recommended Starting Ability:

  • Frenzy -- A huge DPS increase and an ability that synergizes well with later talents. 

Starting Stats: 

  • Endurance: 36 + 12/level (Low)
  • Health: 4*Endurance (Low)
  • Accuracy: 25 + 3/Level (Average)
  • Deflection: 25 (Very High)
  • Skills: Lore +2, Mechanics +1

Chanters are Pillars of Eternity's take on the Bard, a versatile class with buffs, debuffs, summons, and a few damage spells, all based on their Chants. The Chanter has always-on, low power chants that provide bonuses to his allies or penalties to his foes -- these chants 'cycle', and after three cycles, the Chanter can speak a more powerful invocation, allowing them to summon help or blast their foes.

Chanters are a very versatile class -- because their chants are not heavily dependent on any stats, they can easily be built as tanks, off-tanks, or ranged damage dealers. They work very well in the back line or just behind the tanks where their chants can affect the largest number of people.

Intellect affects the size of your chants and invocations, so it is probably the most important stat for chanters. The rest of your stats depend on what role you're going to play -- Constitution and Resolve for tanks, Might and Dexterity for damage dealers.

Recommended Starting Chants/Invocations:

  • Come, Come Soft Winds of Death -- Drains endurance from enemies. Small, but can add up over time. 
  • Dull the Edge, Blunt the Point -- Reduces enemy damage.
  • But Reny Daret's Ghost, He Would Not Rest -- Summons a Phantom until the end of combat, a very strong ally against most foes.

Starting Stats: 

  • Endurance: 30 + 10/level (Very Low)
  • Health: 4*Endurance (Low)
  • Accuracy: 25 + 3/Level (Average)
  • Deflection: 20 (High)
  • Skills: Mechanics +1, Stealth +1, Lore +1

The Cipher is an entirely new class built for Pillars of Eternity, a hybrid warrior/spellcaster that can attack their enemies' minds and souls, and provide buffs to their allies. The Cipher is probably Pillars of Eternity's most complicated class, but it is also one of the most powerful. They cast spells from a pool of Focus, which can be refilled by attacking with their weapons using Soul Whip. This requires the Cipher to balance regular attacks and spells, making them well suited for a skirmishing or ranged combat role.

Ciphers have some tanky abilities, but the class is clearly built for a battlemage type of adventurer, someone focused on dealing damage and controlling the battlefield. Dual wielding fast weapons or attacking from afar are both great ways to build focus and deal damage -- the Blunderbuss is especially powerful on a Cipher because each bullet in the cone builds focus.

Intellect affects the size and duration of all of the Cipher's spells, making it crucially important. Might is needed to boost damage and Dexterity will help the Cipher get more attacks in, increasing Focus generation.

Recommended Powers:

  • Mind Wave -- A strong attack with good damage and a lot of control.
  • Soul Shock -- A high damage AoE.



Starting Stats:  

  • Endurance: 36 + 12/level (Low)
  • Health: 4*Endurance (Low)
  • Accuracy: 20 + 3/Level (Very Low)
  • Deflection: 20 (High)
  • Skills: Lore +1, Survival +2

A throwback to old-school D&D, the Druid is still just as fresh and interesting as all the other classes in Pillars of Eternity. Most of their abilities are pretty familiar -- shapeshifting, spellcasting, nature abilities. What is cool about the Druid is how well all of this works together. Druids can cast spells while Spiritshifted, gets talents to help their abilities work together, and have some very neat synergies within the class and with others in the party.

A Druid can be built just about any way you can imagine -- a dedicated spellcaster, a shapeshifting tank, or as a damage dealer. In many ways, their spells are better than a Wizard's, making the Druid a great choice for someone looking to control the battlefield or call down hurt on foes from afar.

Unless you're neglecting spellcasting entirely -- and you really shouldn't -- Intellect is still the most important stat for a Druid. Might will probably be your second priority, and after that it depends on what type of Druid you're intending to create.


Starting Stats:  

  • Endurance: 42 + 14/level (High)
  • Health: 5*Endurance (High)
  • Accuracy: 30 + 3/Level (Very High)
  • Deflection: 25 (Very High)
  • Skills: Athletics +1, Lore +1, Survival +1

Another pen-and-paper classic, the Fighter is Pillars of Eternity's best frontline combatant and tank. Their base ability, Constant Recovery, grants them Endurance regeneration that, when combined with their high health and deflection, will keep them in the fray longer than anyone else. They can also engage the highest number of enemies at once, have abilities that are excellent for disabling foes and controlling the battlefield, and they're just plain tough. Fighters can also be very formidable damage dealers, having access to damage and accuracy talents that increase their skill at arms.

Your Fighter is going to want to be at the front, whether or not they're a dedicated tank. The constant endurance recovery allows even DPS-specced Fighters to stay in the fray and keep enemies from sneaking around to your weaker casters.

If you're building a tanky fighter, Resolve, Constitution, and a little Perception are the most important stats, but don't neglect intellect -- it determines the length of your self buffs. If you want to deal damage, focus on Might, Dexterity and Intellect -- don't ignore defensive stats, but the Fighter's high innate deflection make them less crucial.

Recommended Abilities:

  • Knock Down -- Good for tanking and controlling, but not shabby on DPS either.
  • Disciplined Barrage -- All around a good ability, more accuracy never hurts.

Starting Stats:   

  • Endurance: 42 + 14/level (High)
  • Health: 6*Endurance (Very High)
  • Accuracy: 30 + 3/Level (Very High)
  • Deflection: 25 (Very High)
  • Skills: Stealth +1, Athletics +1, Survival +1

Another fantasy staple, the Pillars of Eternity Monk continues the tradition of bare-fisted combat, but with a cool new mechanic. The Monk's starting abilities help make this class unique: Transcendent Suffering gives the monk bonus damage while unarmed and Wounds power the Monk's special attacks. Wounds are generated by taking damage, which is why you might want to consider a race with an ability based on taking damage, like Human or Godlike. In addition to being very tough, Monks are capable of dishing out serious damage and laying down a lot of battlefield control.

Sicne you want to be taking damage, the front line is the only place for a Monk. They can be built as tanks, but since you want to be taking and not deflecting damage, its better to leave them mostly unarmored and have them fight alongside your dedicated tanks.

Might and Dexterity are crucial to Monks, but Intellect is important too -- abilities like Torment's Reach and all self-buffs can be improved by Intellect. The Monk has plenty of base HP, but more constitution is a good idea -- it allows you take more damage and generate more wounds.

Recommended Abilities:

  • Swift Strikes -- If you're generating enough wounds you can deal a lot of damage with Swift Strikes.
  • Torment's Reach -- Very powerful if your Monk has decent intellect, allowing you to dish out AoE damage like a Barbarian.
Starting Stats:   
  • Endurance: 42 + 14/level (High)
  • Health: 5*Endurance (High)
  • Accuracy: 25 + 3/Level (Average)
  • Deflection: 25 (Very High)
  • Skills: Athletics +2, Lore +1

Defenders of the innocent and champions of faith, Paladins make excellent tanks and support front-liners due to their auras and party-based abilities. The Paladin's starting ability Faith and Conviction gives them innate bonuses to all defenses, helping them stand at the front of the fray without fear. Though they don't have the regeneration of a Fighter, they will take fewer hits and have abilities to help them mitigate damage.

Paladins can deal decent damage, but they best way to build them is for front line tanking or off-tank support. The auras they give and the buffs they can deal out can help your melee attackers survive, and they are capable of dealing impressive burst damage, even if they're not top DPS. Because of the way Flames of Devotion works -- dealing damage based on your overall weapon damage -- it's best to give your Paladin a big two-handed weapon and go to town.

Resolve, Perception, and Intellect are important for a front-line Paladin, though you can trade some of those attributes for more Might if you want to focus more on damage than tanking.

Recommended Abilities:

  • Flames of Devotion -- A high-damage per-encounter attack that can have a lot of utility based on the Order you choose.
  • Lay on Hands -- Not the most impressive heal, but good for keeping a single ally alive.

Starting Stats:   

  • Endurance: 36 + 12/level (Low)
  • Health: 3*Endurance (Very Low)
  • Accuracy: 20 + 3/Level (Very Low)
  • Deflection: 15 (Low)
  • Skills: Athletics +1, Lore +2

The dedicated support class of Pillars of Eternity, Priests come with a pretty big set of tools to deal with threats - not just by healing, but by buffing, debuffing, disabling, and nuking. Their starting ability Holy Radiance is an AoE heal that also burns and frightens vessels (undead). Their starting stats are pretty abysmal, making them less than ideal in a combat role, but with the right items and talents they can make passable tanks or reach fighters.

The best role for a Priest is as a supporter -- putting them close to the front line or in the middle of your formation is best so that their Holy Radiance and close AoE spells can have the most effect. They aren't much good at dealing damage from range, so it's not a bad idea to put them in heavy armor and have them soak up some damage.

Intellect is the most important attribute for Priests, since it affects range, area, and duration of their healing, buffs, and debuffs. Might is important too, since it increases the intensity of their healing. Dexterity for faster action and Constitution for front-line Priests are worth considering as well.


Starting Stats:   

  • Endurance: 36 + 12/level (Low)
  • Health: 5*Endurance (High)
  • Accuracy: 30 + 3/Level (Very High)
  • Deflection: 20 (High)
  • Skills: Stealth +1, Survival +2

The only dedicated pet class, the Ranger launched with some issues, but the recent patch pushed out by Obsidian has made them more than viable. Their starting ability is an Animal Companion that doesn't deal much damage but has high DR and is very good at flanking or pinning down opponents for the Ranger to deal with from afar. The Ranger gets a lot of disabling and high damage abilities that make it very good at taking out single targets, especially with the help of its companions.

Obviously Rangers make excellent ranged DPS adventurers -- whether its with a bow or a crossbow or a gun, they have all the necessary tools to dish out damage from the back line. But melee DPS is still generally higher, and with pretty good base stats, Rangers can perform well in a melee DPS role, fighting with a reach weapon or up close with their companion's help.

Might and Dexterity are important to Rangers, as is Intellect, which will boost the duration of their DoTs, debuffs, and buffs. If you're making a melee Ranger, Resolve and Constitution are useful as well.

Recommended Abilities:

  • All of the animal companions and starting abilities are viable, but Stags, Bears, and Boars are good starter companions and Wounding Shot has more synergy at the start.

Starting Stats:   

  • Endurance: 36 + 12/level (Low)
  • Health: 4*Endurance (Low)
  • Accuracy: 30 + 3/Level (Very High)
  • Deflection: 15 (Low)
  • Skills: Stealth +1, Mechanics +2

Rogues are the kings of single target DPS. Their starting ability, Sneak Attack, gives them bonus damage against any foe that is Blinded, Flanked, Hobbled, Paralyzed, Petrified, Prone, Stuck, Stunned, or Weakened. Rogues can inflict some of these conditions themselves, but obviously they work extra well with a party that can help out by adding some of their own.

Rogues work extremely well as both ranged damage dealers and as melee ones. Attacks made within the first two seconds of combat also gain bonus damage from Sneak Attacking, making Rogues into high-damage strikers with guns or crossbows. Though they have low health and defenses, Rogues get plenty of tools to escape Engagement or survive close combat, so there's no need to worry about getting up close.

Rogues rely most heavily on Might and Dexterity, but Intellect is important for maintaining buffs and increasing the duration of DoTs and debuffs. Perception can be useful for surviving attacks and triggering interrupts.

Recommended Abilities:

  • If you're planning on making a ranged Rogue, pick up Crippling Strike to keep foes away, otherwise Blinding Strike will help you survive in melee. Both are very useful options.

Starting Stats:   

  • Endurance: 30 + 10/level (Very Low)
  • Health: 3*Endurance (Very Low)
  • Accuracy: 20 + 3/Level (Very Low)
  • Deflection: 10 (Very Low)
  • Skills: Lore +2, Mechanics +1

Nukers, debuffers, and controllers, Wizards have possibly the most diverse spell list and the best tools for managing the battlefield. Their starting ability Arcane Blast gives them a decent nuke with a daze effect that can be used every encounter, but their real strength comes from their spells - many of which are completely game changing.

The Wizard has probably the fewest options in viable builds -- their starting stats are very low and their Endurance is the lowest in the game, so you want them as far as possible from the front of the battle. You can adjust your attributes depending on whether or not you want your Wizard to be more support or more damage focused, but you certainly want them in the back.

Intellect is the most important attribute for Wizards, giving them larger AoEs with bigger 'safe zones' for your team, and Might will help those AoEs pack a bigger punch. Dexterity is the third attribute you want to invest in if you have spare points, as it will allow you to cast more often.

Recommended Spells:

  • Chill Fog -- An excellent AoE with good damage and a slowing effect. Useful throughout the entire game.
  • Fan of Flames -- Tricky to aim, but very high damage and excellent against tough enemies like Phantoms.
Masahiro Sakurai Breaks Down Clones and Balance in Super Smash Bros. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:07:18 -0500 KieraB

New moveset clones and costumes abound in the Super Smash Bros. 4 universe, and creator Masahiro Sakurai sought to clarify the differences between the two.

Sakurai admitted that the Smash Bros. series wouldn't have nearly as much value among its fanbase if all of the characters for every roster were similar. As such, he emphasized the importance of making sure that each character in the roster is unique and playable enough for inclusion.

To illustrate this point, Sakurai made examples of Fire Emblem characters Marth and Lucina, both of whom are included in the Super Smash Bros. title for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. He explained that there were "reasons" for the inclusion of each one, despite the appearance of redundancy.

"Each was originally a color variation, but during development, they were given balanced characteristics. Since their functionality had differences, forms were separated from each other."

Lucina was the first of the clones to be split-off from her muse, since the creative team opted to make Marth's combat moves more standard. As a result, he was made "easy to handle for novice players."

Any differences between her and Marth are made very slight, such as their sizes and the attack power distributed through their sword strokes; however, they were slight enough to have Lucina in her own spot on the roster, becoming a separate character entirely. Super Smash Bros. Melee saw this same occurrence with Roy in Lucina's place, while Ike replaced Roy in Brawl.

Other such clone pairs include Doctor Mario and Dark Pit, who each take after Mario and Pit, respectively.

Unlike the clones' difference in fighting attributes, alternative costumes such as the male Wii Fit Trainer or the Koopalings -- versus the canonically female Wii Fit Trainer and Bowser Jr. -- are confirmed to remain unchanged between costumes. In Bowser Jr.'s case, he would simply be replaced with whichever of the Koopalings the player chooses, and the fight is on.

With Sakurai's insight on how the characters were designed and made to function, players should find experimenting with different fighters )and reuniting with old ones) in this new Smash installment all the more enjoyable and -- dare we say -- smashing. SSB4 is in stores now.

5 Reasons Dragon Age: Inquisition is on My 2014 Must-Play List Sun, 05 Oct 2014 18:33:42 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

I've posted a few articles where I mention I'm a budget gamer, and that I have to choose carefully when it comes to what games I invest my time and money in. 

This year has already seen the launch of some big name titles, and even though there's only a few more months in the year there's still plenty of exciting titles that have yet to be released. If I had to choose only one of these games to play, it would have to be Dragon Age: Inquisition. Throughout the year, BioWare has supplied fans with plenty of chances to see what features make Inquisition one of the most anticipated games of the year, including character customization and crafting discussed in a video posted earlier this week

1. Multiplayer

Inquisition is the first Dragon Age game to have multiplayer mode. There are three multiplayer co-op campaigns in the game where you and your friends can play agents of the Inquisitor, completing side missions to further your ultimate goal. Four players can participate in the multiplayer missions, playing characters with their own personalities, motivations, and fighting styles. 

2. Friends and Enemies

Inquisition wouldn't be a Dragon Age game without plenty of dragons to fight. The dragons have been updated for Inquisition, and are much bigger than dragons in the other games. Players will now have the ability to tell their team to target a specific area of the dragon, such as a leg or the head. 

In addition to dragons the Inquisitor will have to fight against several new creatures working for someone known as "The Elder One." Previous Dragon Age games have thrown demons, skeletons, and similar creatures at the player. Inquisition's enemies are even creepier, giving the game a very dark feel.


In order to fight all of these enemies, the Inquisitor has even more people on their team than the player had in previous Dragon Age games. The Inquisitor is assisted by nine companions and a few advisors who all want to help save Thedas. Of course, they have their own motivations as well, and some may or may not get along with each other. Your choices throughout the game not only affect your character, but also influences what happens to all of your companionsas well.

3. The Keep

Like most BioWare games, Dragon Age: Inquisition has an extensive storyline, which will be affected by your choices in previous games. Rather than having the option to import saved characters, BioWare has created a program called "The Dragon Age Keep,"which enables players to recreate what happened for them in the previous storylines, and then import that information into Inquisition. This allows players to have a lot of flexibility whether they have played Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2, or not. By using "The Keep" you only need to enter information into the program instead of playing the game again just to change one or two choices. 

4. Open World

If you disliked Dragon Age 2 because of the limited areas then you'll be happy to know that Inquisition takes the player character all over Thedas. The places you are able to visit range from "blistering deserts to demon-infested swamps." This is definitely an exciting aspect of Dragon Age: Inquisition, because so far we've seen only a small portion of the world in Dragon Age. 

Not only do your choices affect the storyline, but you can also affect the world around your character. If you hunt a specific type of animal in an area, then you'll begin to actually affect the animal's popularion and you'll encounter that animal less and less. 

5. Character Customization

The sneak peek of the character creation shows that players have a bunch of detailed options to make their characters look however they want. You are once again able to choose your voice, just as you could in Dragon Age: Origins. You also have plenty of options when it comes to facial features, including various beard options and the choice of having a broken nose, or not. 

There is also a color wheel to choose the inner and outer color of your eyes, as well as the makeup for your character. The character generation is so detailed, you even have the option to choose your eyelash color. 

Overall, I think what I am most looking forward to is exploring the open world of the game. When playing Dragon Age 2, I always felt limited because there were only certain designated areas one could go to in the game, and often areas that were supposed to be different looked very similiar to areas I'd been in before. Hopefully, Inquisition will allow players, including myself, to feel less restricted because of the open world and all of the other options this Dragon Age game will have.  

ArcheAge Beginner's Guide Mon, 05 May 2014 10:28:08 -0400 GabrielKross

I know how overwhelming it can be to pick up a new MMO after playing another one for years. In this guide I'll cover all the in-game basics. Everything from character creation to User-Interface. Hopefully after reading this, you'll be able to play ArcheAge with ease.

Currently ArcheAge is in Alpha. If you weren't lucky enough to get invited to Alpha, you can still buy your way in with Founder's Packs. The Archeum pack gets you into Alpha for $150. You can also get the Gold or Silver pack for Beta access. Once ArcheAge enters launch the game will be free-to-play.

Character Creation:

There are four races and two factions in ArcheAge. The Nuian and Elves make up one faction, while the Firran and Harani make up the other. Each race has its own story and racial traits.


Called the Conquerors of the Continent, Nuians possess a deeply spiritual culture that revolves around Nui, the Goddess of the Hereafter. They revere the beauty and harmony of their fallen kingdom and fight fearlessly to maintain the traditions that brought them to power.

  • Nui's Blessing: Favored by the Goddess of the Hearafter, Nuians receive extra benefits from visiting her realm, doubling the time their stats areincreased after being resurrected.
  • Warrior Architects: Frequent rebellions and civil wars have led the Nuians to become quick builders, reducing construction time for houses and castles by 30%.

Elves seclude themselves deep in the forest, avoiding other races as much as possible. Though envied for their beauty, their behavior is considered incomprehensible: hoping for an honorable death, they seek out danger no matter the odds.

  • Endurance Training: Trained for combat from the day they can walk, Elves posses increased physical ability. This stamina allows them to hold their breath underwater for an extra 20 seconds.
  • Lithe Flow: The decades spent around Gweonid Lake make most elves talented swimmers, increasing their swim speed by 5%.

The restless, nomadic Firran roam the wilds, fueled by dreams of reclaiming their former glory. They believe every life – no matter how small – is not only valuable, but plays a critical role in the natural world. All Firran strive to find their purpose and play their part.

  • Catlike Reflexes: the Firran's quick reflexes allow them to twist their bodies as they fall and land more nimbly, decreasing fall damage by 20%.
  • Strong Claws: The Firran's long, non-retractable claws allow them to climb trees and ladders 30% faster.

Harani are survivors in the truest sense, capable of extreme and heroic acts serving the interests (and preservation) of their people. Practical, cunning, and family-minded, it is no surprise the strength of their new kingdom rivals the strength of the kingdom they lost.

  • Portal Mastery: The far-flung Harani empire has forced its people to master the use of portals for quick travel, reducing the cast time and cooldown of their Recall ability by 30%.
  • Jungle Tamers: Settling the jungles of Mahadevi taught the Harani to be efficient in their labor, reducing the time required for logging trees and gathering herbs by 10%.

The appearance section has a ridiculous amount of options. The only thing that is really worthy of a mention at the moment is the hair color bug. If you try to change hair colors you need to swap hair styles and then swap back to the style you want. Otherwise the color change doesn't register. You'll have to do this each time you select a new color until the bug is fixed, so decide on a color before you decide on a hair style.


There are six basic skill options. You can read more specific details on these in my skill set guides.

User Interface and Controls:

In the image above I've labeled all of the important sections of the in-game user interface. I'll cover basic controls with E.

Character Status - A:

This area shows your character's current condition. Character health, mana, status effects, and summoned pet are all located in this section.

Target Status - B:

This area shows the status of your target, whether it's friend or foe. It works like the Character status section, but instead of showing pet information to the right, it shows target of my target data.

Chat Window - C:

This is your chat window, all in-game communication will be here. You can customize your chat window to filter out certain chat channels if you so choose. How you utilize your chat is totally up to you.

Labor and Experience Meters - D:

Your Labor meter controls your ability to gather, mine, craft, and build. For every 100 Labor you spend your max Labor increases by 10. Labor restores over time, recovering 5 Labor every 5 minutes regardless of whether or not you're logged in. I'll cover more about the Labor system in upcoming guides. Your experience meter stretches across your entire screen, and tracks your progress in your current level.

Skill Bars - E:

With the default set-up you have 2 skill bars, the button inputs are 1-9, 0 -, =, and the same 12 buttons with Shift. You can have up-to 4 skill bars for your character, however more slots aren't necessary until later. Your movement controls are; W forward, S backward, Q move left, E move right, A turn left, D turn right. You can also use your mouse to control camera and turning.

Map and Time of Day Meter - F:

The map has three size options controlled by the little button that has an M on it in the above picture. This button will show S, M, or L depending on the current size of the map. the cog-wheel beside that button turns the mini-map on and off as well as mini-map icons. The meter to the right indicates the time of day within the game.

Quest Tracker - G:

This tracks the status of your active quests. to open the full log just click one of the active quests. You can close the quest tracker by clicking the button in the upper right corner of the tracker. To open it back up click the button again.

Additional Menus - H:

I'll list them in the order they appear from left to right.

  • Character (C): Displays character details and equipment.
  • Bag (I): Opens inventory.
  • Quest Log (L): Another way to open the Quest Log.
  • Skill Window (K): Displays your Skill menu.
  • Map (M): Displays the map.
  • Vocation: Displays Vocation menu.
  • Community: Opens social menus.
  • Webmail Inbox (Shift B): Opens Mailbox.
  • Home: Opens Home menu.
  • Help: Opens Help menu.
  • Menu (Escape): Opens options menu, and logout options.

For more guides be sure to check out my ArcheAge guide directory.

Check out our sister site Guild Launch to find an ArcheAge Guild or create a free ArcheAge guild site.

WildStar: Character Creation Guide for all Races / Genders Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:05:06 -0500 Katy Hollingsworth

WildStar is one of the most talked about games of the year--we saw enormous ads at PAX East, hype around their closed beta, and curiosity around their player housing feature. Carbine is full of talent and boasts experience on some of the most popular MMOs of all time.

They're no stranger to character creation, and the importance of full customization. While there are limited slider scales mostly designated for facial features, thereare plentiful hair colors and styles, along with a wide range of skin and eye colors.

Embedded below are character creation videos for each race, with both genders, starting with Exile.

Human, Exile

Aurin, Exile

Granok, Exile

Mordesh, Exile

Mechari, Dominion

Chua, Dominion


Draken, Dominion

Cassian, Dominion


Overall, given the style of the game design, character creation was something that I found myself spending time in just because I enjoyed it. I was okay with taking the time to create a character that I liked looking at, and there were enough options that I could really make something I liked rather than rushing through with an unsatisfying character.

New Character Creation Revealed for The Elder Scrolls: Online Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:57:09 -0400 The Ian M

Zenimax and Bethesda's new MMORPG The Elder Scrolls: Online is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated titles in recent memory, and just today they released a video detailing character creation! 

The video is narrated by Jared Carr, the art director for The Elder Scrolls: Online, who starts off with the bold yet, ambiguous statement:

"Going into this we made a conscious choice that we wanted our character creation system to be very robust."

 The video definitely lives up to that statement! Just take a look at all the different options:


 The ESO team is offering up a ton of notable options including:

  • Changing height regardless of race
  • Different body types, from fat to skinny
  • Control over details as seemingly inconsequential as hand size
  • Hundreds of different hairstyles, tattoos and skin options

Carr also stressed that they understand how important it is to many players that their characters look exactly how they want, and then proceeded to show hundreds of different options!


What do you think of the new character creation system? Worth the wait?

Grand Theft Auto Online Will Feature Micro-Transactions Wed, 25 Sep 2013 20:25:09 -0400 Brian Armstrong

Rockstar confirmed today that Grand Theft Auto Online will include at least some form of micro-transactions when it launches on Tuesday.

After an article on was posted, citing a report from Eurogamer that GTA Online may include micro-transactions, Rockstar released a statement verifying this to be the case, at least on some level.

After talking about all of the things players can do in GTA Online to earn in-game cash and Reputation (which is the stat that will help solidify your ranking in the community), such as going on crime sprees together, competing in street races, and playing in sporting events, they went on to say that players can even purchase in-game dollars through real-world currency via the game’s store, and though this might raise red flags for some, Rockstar addressed the issue by saying:

"The game and its economy have been designed and balanced for the vast majority of players who will not buy extra cash. There is no in-game paywall and nothing that should disrupt the balance of the game. You don’t have to spend real money to attain the cars, guns, clothes, flash and style of a high-roller in Los Santos, but can if you wish to get them a little quicker."

Rockstar even provided a list of things they are working on for the first few weeks of content updates in GTA Online, all of which, will be free.

  • The Content Creator: The Content Creator will launch with tools to tailor and publish your own Deathmatches & Races.
  • The Beach Bum Pack: Featuring 4 new amazing beach fun vehicles, over 300 new items of incredible down tempo leisure wear and 2 new but not remotely relaxing weapons.
  • Capture the Flag: GTA Online’s take on the classic CTF mode including the ability to make your own using The Content Creator.
  • Heists: This update will introduce full-on cooperative Heist missions that will require careful planning, teamwork and sharp execution – along with the Heist Planning Board for your apartment.

Don't Put Away Your Wallets Just Yet

But if the report from Eurogamer is true, players will be asked to pony up some pretty hefty real-world dollars if they want to improve their quality of life in-game rather than work for it. The report said players will be able to buy items ranging in price from £1.99 to £13.49 (about $2.69 to $18.24). The report said “in-game cash packs are available in four sizes: a $100,000 Red Shark Cash Card costing £1.99, a $200,000 Tiger Shark Cash Card priced at £3.49, a $500,000 Bull Shark Cash Card costing £6.99, and a $1,250,000 Great White Shark Cash Card priced at £13.49.”

On the bright side, Rockstar is saying a lot of the right things when it comes to offering players what they want.

"The ultimate shape of GTA Online will be determined as much by you, the player, as by the work we put in. What you like and don’t like, what you play and what you want will determine how the game develops and what it turns into."

"We are planning for a constant stream of new content, tweaks and updates in the weeks and months ahead."

"The first couple of weeks we expect to be heavily focused on tuning the experience as it goes from internal testing to the reality of being played by tons of people in the real world so that all the usual teething problems for an online game are overcome. We hope it will all run incredibly smoothly, but please bear with us if it doesn't, and help us fix any and all problems!"

"One thing we are already aware of, and are trying to alleviate as fast as we can, is the unanticipated additional pressure on the servers due to a significantly higher number of players than we were anticipating at this point – we are working around the clock to buy and add more servers, but this increased scale is only going to make the first few days even more temperamental than such things usually are. This is part of the problem some of you have been experiencing with the iFruit App and some Social Club services – we apologize in advance for this and thank you for your patience in this area."

But Is This All Going to Be Enough?

Rockstar already has one of the most successful and popular games of all time on its hands, and adding in a multiplayer component is just another feature that is sure to entice players to jump in. What about you? Is Grand Theft Auto Online shaping up to be what you had hoped? Let us know in the comments below.

Final Fantasy XIV Official Character Creation Benchmark Thu, 01 Aug 2013 14:20:07 -0400 GabrielKross

The Final Fantasy XIV Official Benchmark, which allows you to create characters, is out. The Final Fantasy XIV Twitter account just tweeted it out moments ago.

The Benchmark is designed to score your computer on how well it can run Final Fantasy XIV. The Benchmark supports a 1920X1080 on top of the standard 1280X720 display. This allows you to see the world as if you were actually playing the game. 5.1 Channel surround sound will also be present within the Benchmark. You will be able to control the language settings to fit your individual needs. You will need at least Windows 7 or 8 with Direct X 9.0c and a minimum resolution of 1024X720 to run the benchmark.

The Scoring

The following are the scores for what your computer is capable of.

  • 7000+- Easily capable of handling the game on max settings.
  • 5000-6999- performs exceptionally well at the higher settings.
  • 3500-4999- should perform well at higher settings.
  • 2500-3499- can consider switching to a higher setting depending on performance.
  • 2000-2499- can run the game at default settings.
  • 1500-1999- capable of running the game but will experience minor slowdown.
  • 1000-1499- capable of running the game but will experience considerable slowdown.
  • Under 1000- cannot run the game.
Character Creation

The Benchmark also allows you to create and save character data for use during beta phase 4 and the official release version of Final Fantasy XIV. The default character shown during the Benchmark cutscene is a Mi'Qote male Paladin; you can set the Benchmark to use one of your created characters that you have saved instead. It's a pretty unique system and I have yet to see another company use it for their games.

So while we wait for the game to enter phase 4 of the beta let's go play around with the character creation.

You Are Who You Play? Part 2 - Avatar Empowerment Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:22:53 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

Building a Better You

Continuing into the MMO psyche, we take a look at another theory into the motivations behind the choices players make for character creation and game play.

Numerous studies on this topic were performed by Nick Yee of the Palo Alto Research Center, who is also a gaming consultant.Getting beyond avatars created; merely for advantage in-game play (like chosing a particular race due to their magic ability, or another based on their skill with a favorite weapon), why do we make the choices we do?

“Studies have shown that, in general, people create slightly idealised avatars based on their actual selves,” says Yee.

Idealized in the sense that the avatar is us - but how we see ourselves at our best or perfected. He also noted there is a compensation effect happening the farther one gets from their avatar actually representing themselves.

"People with a higher body mass index, likely overweight or obese, create more physically idealised avatars, [which are] taller or thinner. And people who are depressed or have low self-esteem create avatars with more idealized traits, [such as being] more gregarious and conscientious."

Out of Character Experience

There is also science to show that your avatar make actually affect you.

Yee spent the last decade observing players in Second Life and World of Warcraft, noting the effects that avatars have on human behavior and interaction. Not just in-game, but right after playing or even well beyond.

One interesting experiment involved having participants wear virtual reality headsets and stand in a room together with a virtual mirror. The twist was that the reflection they saw was not their own, but one of several pre-determined looks. They were either an average, attractive or unattractive face.

Curiously, the unattractive-faced people were less confident, keep more personal space and revealed less of themselves in conversation. And this was based simply on how they saw themselves in relation to the others in the room.

"People unconsciously conform to the expectations of their avatar’s appearances. We’ve termed this phenomenon the Proteus effect, after the Greek god who could change his physical form at will" - Nick Yee

This effect is similar to psychological tests where people were given various uniforms to wear and subconsciously changed their behavior based on what they were wearing.

This idea was played to the comedic hilt in the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs and Elmer's behavior changed radically based on what hat they were wearing.

So, in terms of a game avatar, if you're playing a handsome, bold warrior in-game you could be more likely to exude confidence, tenacity and determination. Your avatar can actually alter your identity.

A different group study from Yee's had participant look at ads featuring real products and then fictional ones using their avatar as the spokesperson. Can you guess which products were found more attractive?

Projection vs. Disconnection

Unlike the previous study in Part 1, Yee found that players view their avatars in different manners. Less than 45% of players polled saw their avatar as an idealized version of themselves.

This result dipped for young adult players vs. kids and teens, but rose again in older adults. Also, it is curious to note that women felt more strongly than men when it came to idealizing themselves through their avatars.

Conversely, about the same number of players saw their avatars as mere pawns or pieces to control on a playing field. Men outnumbered women in this mindset, nearly two-to-one in young adults; but women were less connected to their avatars in their late teens and older adulthood.

This feeling of attachment to an avatar also seemed to affect how much time and energy a player was willing to invest in their character. Overall, the more connection a player felt, the more willing they were to play longer.

Another interesting statistic has to do with age/gender and in-game vs OOC (Out of Character) behavior. Yee's study found that the older a player was, the more likely they were to behave in-game and OOC similarly as opposed to younger players.

This result is also seen in which players are more likely to exhibit bad social behavior in-game. Following the statistics for instance, a griefer or troll is more likely to be a younger male teen or adult while older players and younger females are more likely to experience game drama due to avatar projection.

Social Motivations

Though questing and achieving are high on the game goals in most MMOs as well as competitive and co-op aspects, according to Yee's studies socializing scored even higher.

When he broke down game experience into categories Social, Immersion and Achievement had the highest results with Social scoring 23% of player motivation. This score included activities like chatting, being in a guild, being in a crew or group, and socializing with in-game friends.

This factor may indicate why avatar creation, development and attachment plays such a strong part since it affects socialization which is large part of the average MMO gamer's experience.

Jumping to Conclusions

Nick Yee has dedicated many years to his studies and worked with various universities, think tanks and research groups around the world. His expertise has been sought out by gaming companies to help them better develop MMORPGs that will be successful.

The volumes of his work cannot begin to be approached in this series, and I highly recommend you go to if the idea of game psychology interests you. It is very eye-opening (like a study of gender roles in MMOs for instance or game economies).

More studies and more reading to go as we continue to delve into your avatar's psyche.

You Are Who You Play? (Part 1) Thu, 18 Jul 2013 22:58:03 -0400 Capt. Eliza Creststeel

As games get more complex, as character creation grows more in depth, and as players use gaming as a bigger part of their social identity, the type of character they play and how they play becomes more insightful about that person.

Though MMORPG gaming for many is an escape, often you cannot escape the parts of yourself revealed in your game play.

Pre-Fab Vs. Customs

A majority of games still have protagonists that are completely pre-made. Originally, due to limitations of processing and memory, the main character was a singular figure. The most popular characters had universal themes or easy to identify with personalities; like a well-meaning Italian plumber suddenly thrust into a whimsical world.

As the technology allowed, pre-made options became multiple choice questions. Menu options added a broader and broader variety of types and abilities in hopes of having one that every player could identify with and want to play

MMORPGs lent themselves to character customization since part of playing a character is having control of who they are and how they grow.

So what does your character say about you?

Player Create Thyself

The growing complexity of character design and social interaction has led to a number of psychological studies probing how online personas contrast or compare to their real-world counterparts.

One of these studies (Psychology, Character Creation and Avatars – Representation in Virtual Worlds - Staffordshire University) breaks down how our avatars may represent ourselves:

  • True Self - A virtual version of how the player sees themselves. But, keep in mind its how we see ourselves, not exactly as we really are.
  • Heroic Self - This avatar is a variation with exaggerated attributes and actions, either positive or negative (for the villain in us).
  • Power Self - A ramped version of yourself, usually geared to maximize abilities for the best in-game results.
  • Fantasy Self - This variation is the player personality and aspects inside a body with appearance and abilities that could never exist in the real world.
  • Random - These characters exist to create interesting combinations or ability choices or 'What if' concepts. This type of character tends to be created by players who are not interested in playing within the normal parameters of the game or do not play along traditional questing and story lines.

This theory may be more fitting to deduce what kind of game one would play as opposed to actual character choices. Because in many MMOs, character options may be limited. For example, fantasy games by their name are geared toward fantasy self personas, since you can play as other species and have magical abilities as a standard part of the game.

Because of the variety of studies and theories regarding the psychology behind characters and social gaming, these studies do not all find the same conclusions; so future discussions will contrast these other ideas and explore other aspects of personas and avatars.

The Importance of Customization to Me Wed, 17 Jul 2013 15:58:42 -0400 GabrielKross

Customization is a very important thing to me. I get annoyed when I see 52 bazillion people playing the same design for a character. I mean most multiplayer games have some customization but I've not seen any game go as far as Final Fantasy XIV. I have seen at least 30 variations of the same model that I used during the beta. That pleases me because I was using a less popular model.

TERA's customization

I would love to see more MMOs follow in Final Fantasy XIV's footsteps as far as customization. The only game that I can think of that matches XIV's level is Tera. I enjoy playing Tera for that reason too, however most people just use the standard models in Tera so the players aren't using the options. TERA offers several costume items that make up for the lack of player customization usage.

High hopes for a future game

I haven't played The Elder Scrolls Online yet, I haven't been lucky enough to get into the beta. I am actually expecting The Elder Scrolls Online to support a large character customization. We shall see I guess, here's to hoping Bethesda doesn't let me down.

Why I want to see more customization

The more customization available, the more believable the world is. I play games to distract myself from life. I need games that feel somewhat believable, so that I can just lose myself in them. Seeing 100 characters that look just like mine in 10 minutes is not believable. So developers please make more games that are customizable so that I can enjoy them!