Bryony reached level 70 yesterday (woohoo!) which means that she's got to choose her seventh personal trait. These traits are a part of the new race system that was implemented in Achaea just a few months ago.
Achaea has some really interesting, unique races. Okay, Bryony's just a dwarf, a fantasy staple, but most of the races are unique to Achaea. There are grooks (a water-breathing frog-like race), rajamalas (a feline race), horkvals (an insectoid race), xorani (a fire-breathing lizard race), as well as satyrs (male only) and sirens (female only). Each of these has a known racial character and an interesting backstory and role in Achaean history, and the race you belong to gives you potential allegiances to villages populated by that race. Bryony, for instance, is highly committed to defending the dwarven village in the Siroccian mountains by killing their orc enemies.
It used to be that your choice of race was really important for how effective you could be in your chosen class. Certain races, like trolls, were slow and unintelligent, but strong and tanky. Grooks were super intelligent, but very weak otherwise. And the cat-like rajamalas were extremely fast--an incredible benefit, especially for certain classes, and one you couldn't get with any other race.
This kind of system is common in MUDs, but it has its drawbacks, because it means that people can't choose the race they like best for roleplay or aesthetic reasons--at least not without the risk of being badly disadvantaged in the class they want to play. That's a pity, given how awesome the races are!
But Achaea recently put in a new system that I think is much nicer, which promotes variety and meaningful racial roleplay better. Each race now has four available "stat packs" to choose from--one with a bonus to strength, one with a bonus to intelligence, one dexterity, and one constitution. But the differences in stats between the different races is small. So the average troll is still stronger than the average grook--but an unusually strong grook is slightly stronger than an unusually weak troll.
An image of a dwarven priest, by Chris Bourassa.
There are also other more interesting racial traits: for instance, Bryony is a dwarf, and all dwarves get minor resistance to magic, fire, cold, and poison-based damage. Mhuns (a small mine-dwelling offshoot of humans) can see in the dark and walk from room to room faster. The frog-like grooks can breathe water and regenerate a small amount of health while standing in water. And horkvals, the insectoid race, have built-in armour. But these tend to serve as handy bonuses, not anything major enough to base your entire decision on.
But there's one other feature that was added to make for even more variety between different characters in their personal (not class-based) strengths and weaknesses. In addition to your basic racial traits, you also choose a personal trait once every 10 levels. For instance, in light of how much fun I've had using my bow during raids, I selected as my level 70 trait one that makes me slightly better at shooting arrows.
Achaea's administration, especially in the past few years, is notable for their capacity to listen to player feedback and is always active in implementing positive changes and exciting events. This is one of the things that makes Achaea the best MMORPG around!