Star Wars the Old Republic™ (SWTOR) has introduced a new handling of characters and accounts within MMO’s by means of their Legacy system; but what exactly is it that makes it worth the while of their players and is there maybe more to it than just characters bound within a family or namesake? Scoring each piece as they are reviewed herein this examiner aims to detail.
Nearly every MMO has given their players a means or opportunity to create and play more than one character within the game, SWTOR has brought a new dish to the plate with their legacy system however. While some players out there may find only one character satisfactory to the effect and perspective of the MMO they are playing, the developers of SWTOR very much aimed to preserve the integrity of the roots from which their MMO was developed Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic™; encouraging players to seek out the full affect of their game and the tale it involved. While not fully played into the cinematics of their quests there are key players in the telling of their story that will intersect within the stories of each class available to play. Rather than hope their players would clue in to this, they created a ‘legacy system’ to entice them to play other ‘toons’ as alternate characters are typically referred to by MMO players. In SWTOR’s legacy system all the alternate characters under one account are bound under a name which can display as a surname, ‘legacy of’ title under their name, or not at all. This is not the full enticement by any stretch, though in terms of assisting players in identifying each other this certainly scores fair. The only real down factor, which with their current populations and desire to keep an increase cannot really be helped, is that these legacy ‘names’ are no longer exclusive on the server as they once had been.
Names areall players’ characters have to share within this legacy system at all; there are definitely a number of enticements available once a player has unlocked their legacy especially for the entire account on that server being played. Once a class has been maximized to the current top level of 50 all characters are given an emote command (character animation within the game) of that class, as well as a class-specific attack that can be used once a player has triggered their ‘heroic moment’ a ditch effort ability to heal both the player and their companion during combat repeatedly for a brief period. Still more enticing than simple glamour from animations or even assaults is the fact that as each companion to the character is maximized in ‘affection’ this will not only provide a presence bonus for the legacy but depending on the role of that companion other bonuses as well; healing increases, critical chances, among others. This certainly creates an incentive even for improvements to the founder of a legacy.
Reaching still further into their creative genius, the developer’s introduced legacy items to their game as well. Legacy items are bound to the name of the legacy, or a player’s account, and not the individual character. By means of the in-game email system, players can send these items to alternate characters on the same server. While for some older MMO’s this is nothing of true virtue, since Everquest™ and others thereafter have clung to binding items and equipment to the characters that acquired or used them, this is a major step in a relaxing of the regiments such a mechanic enforced. SWTOR is definitely not exclusive in offering this side of the mechanic or idea, but it certainly is a welcome incentive for helping the advancement of other characters of the players.
Stepping within their creative marketing of this system, along with incentive to play the other classes and in affect fully experience their game, the class buff abilities of each character/toon within a legacy will receive the buff of that class within the legacy once advanced to the unlock of this. Each class within SWTOR has unique buffs they can cast that will last for 1 hour before needing recast. Once a player has advanced a class from either faction to the unlocking point at the end of chapter 2 in their class quest, the affects of that buff are applied from the cast of each character. The real genius behind this ploy is; there are 3 chapters to each class story currently within the game. Once to this unlock a player should be pulled in hook line and sinker to their class quest, why not finish that final chapter and get the final benefits offered as well?
While other MMO games have role players that hope to create incentives in their MMO culture, stories, and tales, the developers of SWTOR have created strong and enjoyed system of enticements for players of all types. While there are still bugs, teasers to spend cartel coins as opposed to credits towards unlocks, and long efforts required on the part of the player, the legacy system as it is offered within SWTOR certainly works its means with all it has to offer; making the score of 4/5 difficult to deny.