Paeroka’s Ponderings: Racial skills?

Paeroka's Ponderings featured image for columnI have recently tried hopping into Elder Scrolls Online again and as I want a fresh start, I looked up guides and possible builds for the classes, to get a feeling for which class I may want to play. While I did that, I noticed that several posts about builds (e.g., this one or this one) come with suggestions which race you should pick as they have different advantages and disadvantages when combined with a certain class or in some cases, with a certain playstyle of a certain class.

I like racial skills in general as they give a little bit of flavour for your character, but I also know that in the grand scheme of “balance”, they are very difficult to implement.

Guild Wars 2 has racial skills, but they cannot be used in structured PvP! Every race has several skills they can use. I know that at some point, I used one of the elite skills to call a golem, but I have not used any in quite some time. With the game’s restriction to just a limited amount of skills, you tend to use the best ones available for your build and these are usually not the race-specific ones – there is even a recent discussion about these skills in the forums. Personally, I do not even notice the skills exist most of the time, because I focus on my class’s skills instead. So yeah, being able to call a golem as an asura is fun, but both my warrior and my mesmer have more important skills to use than these and it’s just this little bit of flavour. I could call a golem if I wanted to, you know?

GW2 Asura with golem

Rift has racial abilities, too. The linked list is not up-to-date for dwarves, though. At some point, Trion removed damage from falling, so their racial ability was changed to give them the “Dwarven Breakfast“. This one saves me a bit of gold as I need to buy less food to regenerate health between fights. Of course, if you’re a better player than me and know how to avoid damage from simple mobs in the world outside, you may see this as even less important. The other races’ skills are mostly about increased movement speed, but none of them can be used in combat. The second set of racial abilities is an increased resistance towards one of the elements. E. g., a dwarf gets +20 water resistance. My level 70 dwarf cleric currently has 5631 water resist, so this +20 seems negligible. It may have been more impactful when the game first released. But it is only for defense, so nothing that ever affected your offensive power.

I remember years ago, in World of Warcraft, the Undead had a racial skill that was considered very handy in PvP: Will of the Forsaken. Getting out of Fear (you cannot use any skills for a few seconds except for skills that remove this effect) is just a really cool and important thing in PvP fights and it used to give immunity to such effects for a few seconds on top of breaking the current spell on your character. Blizzard has nerfed this racial skill, but it’s still nice to have! In general, I remember there being lots of heated discussions about the racial skills, mostly for PvP environments, but some were also quite useful in PvE. In PvE, it was mostly relevant if you were looking to min/max your character – still, not a lot of people chose dwarf even if the racial skills were nice to have. :p Since I haven’t been actively playing in any competitive way, I do not know how important racial skills are in World of Warcraft, but I did also find a more recent discussion about them and it looks like most players are not influenced by these skills when creating a new character, but a few actually are. Which lets me to conclude that the way Blizzard is still handling the racial abilities is worse than how Trion and ArenaNet implemented them in their games. If you ask me, racial abilities should never be more than just flavour and it should not be mandatory to choose a certain race if you want to maximize your damage output!

Now let’s take a look The Elder Scrolls Online again: I have found this reddit thread from about a year ago where some say that race is a stronger factor in PvP while others say it’s more important in PvE and somebody says it doesn’t matter because fights are too easy anyway. :p This thread from May 2015, this thread from July 2016 and also this thread from December 2016, have players discuss back and forth whether it makes a big difference or whether choosing what you like should be more important when creating a character, but as I mentioned above: Guides for certain class builds actually list recommended races!

I thought about playing an Argonian sorcerer, but when I read that I will miss out on 10 % max magicka, it sounds like a lot. Or when people say something to the effect of “well, you can play an Argonian, but…”, it just makes me not want to do that. If I turn out to be just a mediocre player and chose a less-than-optimal race, I would feel bad playing with others. So, a possible mediocre skill level should probably at least be paired with an optimal race (for me personally, not saying others should do that as well). Apparently, making an Argonian sorcerer is not a good choice. In fact, if you want a meleeish sorcerer, go with Redguard, if you want a caster sorcerer, go with high elf. If you want a healer sorcerer, go with Breton. So you better make your choice – not just about class and race, but also about how you want to play said class – before creating your character!

Elder Scrolls Online Breton Sorcerer

Needless to say, I am still torn and have created several characters, but I am not sure which one to try now. I love melee characters that have some utility/spells to use and my favourite races in Elder Scrolls Online are Argonian and Orc… But I also don’t want to be laughed at by other players for choosing the worst possible combination. Even if it turns out not to be a big deal at all, I greatly dislike feeling this insecure and if you ask me, racial skills should never even have such an impact on players in the first place!

P.S: Orc as stamina sorceress is what I am going to try. It did come up as suggestions when I researched for orc-class combinations and it is one of my two favourite races, so it seems “safe” to choose.

I regularly have rants and ramblings in my mind, but never really know if I should post them, so “Paeroka’s Ponderings” is where I will try to give these rants a place. Sometimes they will make sense, sometimes they won’t.

Announcing the winners of our Wintersday 2016 Giveaway!

First things first, we’re running a little late here. Preparing the food for our family Christmas took longer than anticipated. So I will not be able to send out the emails with the codes yet. But we didn’t want to leave without at least announcing who’s won yet. All winners will receive emails from us tomorrow in which we will ask for your address if the prize is a physical item or your in-game name, so that we can send out the in-game items to you!

GW2 Wintersday 2012

A big thank you to everybody who participated. We enjoyed looking at all these gorgeous pictures! And since we did receive so many good ones, we decided to add another in-game package. In other words, we added a 9th winner!

Now it’s time to announce the winners (listed with what you’ve each won):

Lynyrd Skillert (Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Snowflake Glider, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat)
Arielle (Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat)
Akira shen (Item Package worth ~ 100 gold and 1 code for a Festive Hat)
win32.executioner (Item Package worth ~ 100 gold)
Andovar Edoras (1x size L light grey t-shirt with white GW2 logo in front & a HoT lanyard keychain)
thevalliant (1x size XL black t-shirt with white charr on it & a HoT lanyard keychain)
Eevy (1x size M black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo)
hugo (1x size XL black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo)
Flurdy (1x size S black t-shirt with metallic green HoT logo in front)

And now, before we leave for our family Christmas, we want to take this moment to wish Happy Holidays to all our readers! Hopefully, wherever you are, you are well and can enjoy the holidays and use the time to relax a bit before 2017 begins.


Guild Wars 2: Wintersday Giveaway 2016

GW2_Advent_Christmas_Polar Bear

This giveaway is closed! Winners will be chosen and announced at a later point!

(You can find the German translation below / Scrollt runter für den deutschen Text)

It is this time of the year again: We are having our annual Wintersday Giveaway and ArenaNet gave us some sweet prizes to give away this time.

In order to participate in this giveaway, we ask you to share a scenery screenshot from Guild Wars 2 with us: It has to be a wintery picture, e.g., from the new map Bitterfrost Frontier. But any wintery place will do (especially if you don’t own Heart of Thorns and cannot enter the new map, of course!). Your character may be present in the picture, but for it to be a scenery screenshot, please hide the user interface!

Make sure to read the rules. Here’s the short version again: One entry per person. If there are more participants than prizes, we will choose the best scenery screenshots. If there are more “best screenshots” than prizes, the best screenshots will enter the winning pool and we will randomly choose the winners from that pool. You need to enter before the deadline of December 24, 9 am German time – Winners will be drawn shortly after the deadline (before we’ll leave celebrating Christmas with the family!).

These are the digital prizes:

  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Snowflake Glider, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat
  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold, 1 code for a Mini Angry Wintersday Gift & 1 code for a Festive Hat
  • Item Package worth ~ 100 gold and 1 code for a Festive Hat

These are the physical prizes:

  • 1x size L light grey t-shirt with white GW2 logo in front & a HoT lanyard keychain
  • 1x size XL black t-shirt with white charr on it & a HoT lanyard keychain
  • 1x size M black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo
  • 1x size XL black t-shirt with grey/green picture and small green HoT logo
  • 1x size S black t-shirt with metallic green HoT logo in front

Wintersday Giveaway 2016 Guild Wars 2 t-shirts

When leaving a comment, please leave a link to your screenshot (you can upload it here, for example:, and state if you prefer winning a physical prize or a digital one (and please leave your preferred t-shirt size). We will try to distribute prizes according to preference between winners, but can’t guarantee that you’ll get your preferred one. Also, digital prizes will go from first to third prize according to the order winners are drawn. Also please note that in order to send you the t-shirt, we will need to ask you for your address if you have won. The giveaway is open for participants from all over the world and we will pay for the postage unless you’re living in a remote area with insane shipping costs. ;)

Es ist wieder Zeit für unseren jährlichen Wintertag-Giveaway und wir haben ein paar tolle Preise von ArenaNet zur Verfügung gestellt bekommen!

Um am Giveaway teilzunehmen, müsst ihr einen Kommentar mit einem Landschafts-Screenshot aus Guild Wars 2 hinterlassen: Es muss eine winterliche Gegend zu sehen sein, z. B. von der neuen Karte Bitterfrost-Grenzland. Aber jede winterliche Gegend aus Guild Wars 2 zählt (vor allem natürlich für diejenigen unter euch, die das Addon Heart of Thorns nicht haben und die neue Karte deswegen nicht betreten können!). Euer Charakter darf zu sehen sein, aber damit es als Landschafts-Screenshot zählt, müsst ihr das User Interface ausblenden.

Lest bitte außerdem die Regeln. Hier ist die Kurzfassung: Ein Beitrag pro Person. Wenn es mehr Teilnehmer als Preise gibt, werden wir die besten Screenshots auswählen. Wenn es mehr “beste Screenshots” als Preise gibt, werden die besten Screenshots in einem Topf landen und wir werden aus diesem zufällig die Gewinner auswählen. Euren Screenshot müsst ihr vor diesem Datum hier im Kommentarfeld hinterlassen: 24. Dezember, 9 Uhr morgens nach deutscher Zeit – die Gewinner werden kurz danach ausgewählt werden (bevor wir zu unserer Familie verschwinden, um Weihnachten zu feiern!).

Hier sind unsere digitalen Preise:

  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold, 1 Code für einen Schneeflocken-Gleitschirm, 1 Code für ein Wütendes Wintertagsgeschenk & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut
  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold, 1 Code für ein Wütendes Wintertagsgeschenk & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut
  • Itempäckchen mit einem ungefähren Wert von 100 Gold & 1 Code für einen Festlichen Hut

Und das hier sind die physischen Preise:

  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe L: Hellgrau mit weißem GW2 Logo und ein HoT-Schlüsselband
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe XL: Schwarz mit weißem Charr-Aufdruck und ein HoT-Schlüsselband
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe M: Schwarz mit grau-grünem Bild und kleinem grünen HoT-Logo
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe XL: Schwarz mit grau-grünem Bild und kleinem grünen HoT-Logo
  • 1 T-Shirt in Größe S: Schwarz mit metallisch-grünem HoT-Logo

Wintersday Giveaway 2016 Guild Wars 2 t-shirts

Hinterlasst einen Link zu eurem Screenshot (ihr könnt diesen z. B. auf dieser Seite hochladen: gebt außerdem an, ob ihr lieber ein T-Shirt oder einen der digitalen Preise gewinnen würde (außerdem auch eure bevorzugte T-Shirt-Größe). Wir werden versuchen, euch euren bevorzugten Preis zu geben, wenn ihr gewinnt, aber wir können das natürlich nicht garantieren. Die drei digitalen Preise werden vom ersten bis zum dritten in der Reihenfolge, wie die Gewinner gezogen wurden, verteilt. Das Giveaway ist für Teilnehmer weltweit geöffnet und wir zahlen natürlich das Porto, um euch das T-Shirt zuzusenden – außer ihr wohnt an einem Ort mit hohen Portokosten (wie z. B. einem Inselzuschlag).

Making friends in Rift and Guild Wars 2

Last week, Rift’s expansion “Starfall Prophecy” launched and yesterday, Guild Wars 2 released another content patch. Both games made me very happy as the patches feature my most favourite animal ever. Guess what animal that is!

No, not dogs. Although that’s true. Not rabbits either, although those are also my favourite animal. But no, my third “favourite animal”: Dragons!

Guild Wars 2 added a baby dragon, Aurene (not with this patch, but with a previous one – or else I wouldn’t mention her here as I do not want to add spoilers just one day after the patch’s release!). But seriously, a baby. dragon. How cute is that? I feel like Hagrid with Norbert!

Baby dragon Aurene in Guild Wars 2

And in Rift, there’s Tasuil. A dragon who at the beginning of the expansion story gets into trouble, because he accidentally broke something. Again, I don’t want to add any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that. But I felt so bad when Tasuil kept apologizing. The poor thing didn’t want to do any harm, after all! It was an accident.

Rift Tasuil Dragon

To top the cuteness overload of dragons, you can apparently earn Mini Aurene in Guild Wars 2. I assumed ArenaNet would add her to the shop to be bought with real money, but the pieces needed to get the Mini are crafted! I definitely have to get that one as fast as possible!

If only Rift gave us a mini Tasuil as well… on the other hand, he’s disguising himself as a corgi while we’re out exploring the comet. I guess that counts for something as well, right? And while he’s with me, I can take out one of my mini corgis to have two corgis with me.

Tasuil disguised as corgi

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (September 2016)

Guild Wars 2 Bookahneer's GeekwatchFirst of all, we have Rift and some tiny news about its upcoming expansion “Starfall Prophecy”. We still do not have a date for the expansion’s launch, unfortunately. I speculated about the time range before, but other than that, it’s all guessing. Of course, us players are getting impatient as we would love to hop into the new content right away! But the latest post about it was a definite “no launch date yet”. However, we now know that there will be a beta (since Trion usually does these with Rift, it was to be expected, but confirmation is still nice!) and that news about beta will come “well before we announce a date”.

Thankfully, Guild Wars 2 will launch its next piece of content update “Rising Flames” next Tuesday, so I won’t have to starve for too long with nothing to do (totally ignoring the fact I also just got World of Warcraft’s Legion… :p). I am not hyped as with Guild Wars 2, I strongly prefer not having any expectations and then just enjoying what’s given to me. However, I like that there will be a new map again!

Atlas Reactor Charr Freelancer Rask

Last piece of news from me but most exciting: Atlas Reactor just got a launch date! The game will officially release on October 5. From everything I have seen and experienced, I can tell you that I am confident that this game is ready for release! But you do not need to trust my words here, as you can hop into the game for free already (note that there will be a wipe prior to release!). And from September 15 (wait – that’s today I just realized) until September 25 the game will be in open beta and you will get everything unlocked! The game will be free to play when it launches but certain things are locked until you pay a one-time fee (all heroes, called freelancers here, will be unlocked then, for example).

“Bookahneer’s Geekwatch” is the place where we take a look at all those little pieces of gaming news that have attracted our interest and/or talk about what’s recently been in the spotlight of other fansites.