Each of the races starts with different base stats. The base stats include Strength, Vitality, Dexterity, Quickness, Intellect & Wisdom. The first two affect maximum health, the second two affect maximum stamina, and the third two affect maximum mana.
Orks 25 Str / 20 Vit / 20 Dex / 15 Qui / 15 Int / 15 Wis
Dwarves 20 Str / 25 Vit / 15 Dex / 17 Qui / 15 Int / 25 Wis
Humans 20 Str / 20 Vit / 20 Dex / 20 Qui / 20 Int / 20 Wis
Wolves 20 Str / 20 Vit / 20 Dex / 25 Qui / 20 Int / 15 Wis
Elves 17 Str / 15 Vit / 25 Dex / 20 Qui / 20 Int / 20 Wis
Alfar 15 Str / 15 Vit / 20 Dex / 20 Qui / 25 Int / 20 Wis
Early on these differences are noticable. Later on it will not be significant. Still, I suggest using Orks/Dwarves if you plan to do melee, Elves/Alfar if you plan to be a mage, and Humans/Wolves if you plan to do archery or want to explore multiple combat styles.
Racial talents, supposedly significant, are planned but have not been released yet.
There are five basic styles, or methods of combat: 2H Melee, 1H Melee w/ shield, Dual Wield Daggers, Archery and Magery. Each have their pros and cons.
2H Melee is more agressive, while 1H Melee is more defensive. 2H Melee does about 50% more damage than 1H melee and hit targets further away, but activating your shield "V" reduces all damage by about 90%. Daggers do comparable damage to 2H Melee but you have to be very close to your target. Melee is gear dependent since you get hit a lot. There is a lot of down time since there are no bandages, eating does not restore health, and affordable potions have very limited use.
Archery is easier to level than Magery, but Magery has the largest variety of abilities of any fighting style. Archery requires arrows, which are both expensive and can be looted off your corpse if you die. Magery does not require reagents early on, so is cheap for beginners. Archers run out of stamina when attacking, while mages run out of mana.
Since you can choose all fighting styles, it doesn't matter which you focus on first. If you are playing with friends, know that it is more difficult to have a mixed melee/ranged group because the ranged group hits the melee very often.
A player of your own race or its ally will appear blue if friendly, and red if their affiliation is below 0. Racial enemies are also red.
If your attack hits someone not in your party, you go rogue a.k.a. gray for 10 seconds. Anyone can attack you without penalty. If you hit him twice, you go gray for 2 minutes. It's best not to attack if gray to prevent the 2 minute duration.
If you have negative affiliation, you name becomes red and anyone can kill you without penalty.