After logging into the game, the players are presented with a list of servers. Each server will be able to accommodate about 7,500 players simultaneously. As they scroll through a list of servers, players will be able to see if the population on each server is full, high, medium, or low (based on the number of characters created on it, not the current number of people playing on it). They will also be told what region the server is, whether North American, Australian, or European. At launch Asian servers will not be supported. Some servers will also be flagged as “Role playing preferred” servers, but there will be no option for a PVP or PVE server, all servers will be PVP. Servers will be named after great cities of the world, including Rome, Athens and Shanghai. Players can only create one character per server.
Once they have selected a server, players are taken to the character creation screen. Here they can choose what race they want to be, and allocate their starting stats. They will also be given the opportunity to decide what city they want to start in.
Choosing a Race
There are ten races to choose from. Each race will have a description, including some of their traditional racial armor, fighting style, and special abilities. The player will also be able to view a Political Map that shows the current status of their server’s world map (who controls what and where the borders currently lie).
If one race controls more than 40% of the total landmass, no new characters of that race can be created (the button for that race will appear “grayed out” to the player).
There will also be special bulletins the player may see depending on the status of the server, requesting their help for a specific race. For example “The Celts are badly outnumbered and are in danger of being subjugated in their homeland! Will you join them in their noble fight to drive back the invaders and take back what is rightfully theirs?” These will sometimes be accompanied by permanent bonuses, such as any new Celt that is created has a permanent +15 to morale and +2 to Constitution.
In addition to these bonuses, there will be penalties associated with choosing races that are overpopulated. For example, if the Chinese had 30% of the world's population, new characters created of that race would be informed that they would receive 40% less starting gold and have a -3 to Memory until the population evens out. These penalties scale with how unbalanced the population of each race is. (This feature is important to keep the war even, while still allowing players to have the choice to play as the same race as their friends or guild.)
The ten races are Aztec, Frank, Greek, Chinese, Celt, Norse, Indian, Zulu, Persian, and Muslim. Players can see what a sample male and female of each race might look like.
Allocating Stat Points
After selecting a race, players see a screen describing their race’s starting physical stat points. Players can distribute a number of discretionary points among the physical and mental attributes of their character. All characters start out with 100 points in every physical stat, and 30 discretionary points to place elsewhere. This is to encourage players to choose a race based on personal preference rather than statistic bonuses.
All characters start with one point in every mental stat, so that the points will be their own decision. An exception to this is that a few races have a small natural bonus to a particular mental stat, such as Greeks having +1 to Knowledge. Players are given 25 mental stat points to distribute.
As players use skills that correlate and are based off certain physical stats, the stats will increase or (slowly) decrease. Therefore, their stats will reflect how they play, rather than defining it. Stats won't rank up from offline training. Mental stats will change very little over the course of the game. For example, learning 80 skills or learning 10 skills in two hours will increase Memory and Learning speed by 1 each, respectively.
Customizing the Appearance
The player then proceeds to edit how their character looks. There are sliders that control each aspect of a human body. They can edit the size and length of their eyebrows, the depth and breadth of their chin, their weight, their height, the thickness of their chest, etc. They can also choose whether they will be male or female. For every set of features, there is a button labeled “random” that the player can push to be given a random set of features for that category. Hair color, length, and style are especially customizable. The goal is for the player to feel that their character is as unique as they are in real life. Players can also choose a starting "birth ability," which has some negative and some positive effects. An example of this would be immunity to a certain poison.
Choosing a Starting City
Depending on their race and the status of the political map, the player will be given a choice of starting cities. Every race will always have at least one starting city, their capital. However, if the player’s race has conquered more territory, then the player can choose to start at a city closer to the frontlines. Players can only start in cities controlled by their race, and may never start in another race’s capital.