The Legacy System is a sort of server-wide achievement and activities tracking system for your characters. Currently a work in progress, the SWTOR Devs have recently released some details on how they plan to evolve the system. Some highlights:
- ability to identify the family relationships between your characters on any given server. (i.e. you can make your characters the sons, daughters, brothers, cousins, friends of your main character.)
- points will eventually unlock abilities, perks and “bind on Legacy” items.
- legacy perks will range from attacks to the ability to customize your next character’s in-game experience.
- an example of the game experience customization is spending legacy points to buy a speeder bike at a much earlier level than your first character, thus allowing you to traverse the world more quickly (a perk I would definitely splash out on.)
After you complete the first Chapter of your class story, you will be alerted that you have an opportunity to choose your Legacy Surname. Choose carefully and consult spell-check or Wookieepedia before hitting enter on that name– it will stay with you across all your characters on that server and can not be changed (though it can be hidden if you discover you’ve made a mistake.)
When Do I get My Legacy Bar?
As soon as you have access to your Legacy surname, a second tracking bar will appear below your experience bar. That is the bar that will show you your legacy progress.
What Gives me Legacy Points?
Pretty much any activity that has you out and about in the world exploring and killing mobs will award you with legacy points. You will start to notice that every time you are awarded with XP for a new codec discovery, completing a quest or killing a mob that you will receive a small amount of Legacy experience as well. As you start rolling alts, everything they do from the moment they are rolled onward will grant you legacy points after you have unlocked the Legacy on your primary character. This includes alts of the opposite faction but rolled on the same server as your first legacy character.
Thoughts on Your Legacy Name
When you roll new alts, you will want their names to work well with your Legacy name, provided you plan to show it. That’s why you may want to skip the comedy legacy name or one that works only with your main, and think a little more broadly about what you plan to do within your SWTOR family of characters. Are you *really* going to want all of your characters running around with that other MMORPG reference as a Surname? In a year ? Two years? I pose the same question to all the folks who have rolled characters using the Game of Thrones universe as their naming platform. Similarly, I’ve seen a number of folks running around with a surname that is exactly the same as their primary character’s name. I can see that working for your alts, but I have to say, especially with jokey names, it looks a little off to see a toon running around the Imperial fleet with their first name repeated.
Hands down, the best place to get ideas for your SWTOR characters’ names is Wookieepedia. You can browse through the pages and see hundreds, perhaps even thousands of great first and last names you can tweak and make your own. Other good places to research names:
- babynames.com (browse through alphabetically)
- thinkbabynames.com has a fun random name generator and allows you to browse names by gender
- historicalnames.com has a great list of surnames, complete with coat-of-arms
- mythindex.com has both Greek and Roman names from mythology that can be great building blocks for creating a new name
- SWG Stratics Random name generator
Contrary to what you might think from some of the names you see running around or trolling general chat, SWTOR does actually have a naming policy, as found in the Terms of Service. As of this writing, they include:
- You may not use any names that violate the General Rules. This includes the use of names that are hateful, defamatory, racist, ethnically offensive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, or any other language that is offensive in nature.
- You may not use names that are harassing or defamatory to other players or employees of EA, BioWare or LucasArts, e.g. EASUX, Timsretarded, and Biowaresux.
- You may not use names of any EA, BioWare, or LucasArts employee or service related to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
- You may not use names of copyrighted or trademarked characters, materials or products, e.g. Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper.
- You may not use names from popular culture or media, e.g. Lady Gaga or George Lucas.
- You may not use names that are religiously or historically significant, e.g. Jesus, Winston Churchill.
- You may not use proper names of areas within Star Wars for character names. Guild names, however, MAY use the proper names of specific areas to help promote role-playing and realm pride, e.g. Defenders of Tython or Protectors of Hutta.
- You may not use proper names of non-player characters within Star Wars: The Old Republic, e.g. Darth Malgus, Satele Shan, Yoda, Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker.
- You may not use names containing titles or ranks within them, e.g. General Supertrooper, Captain Tim, Darth Timmy, Knight Wakey.
- You may not use names that refer to drugs or that are drug related.
- You may not use names that contain an inappropriate phrase, sentence or any fragment of a sentence or Leet speak, e.g. uberhaxer, xxspeederxx, lolface, rofl, Noobwhacker, TimmyF**k, kock, fuk.
- You may not use misspellings or alternative spellings of names that violate any of the above rules, e.g. Hamsolo, Yooda, DorthVader.
- You may not use gibberish names when creating character, e.g. ajsdu, rifndsw, qweszs.
It appears that as with many other MMOs, enforcing the name policy is done both within the character creation interface (for obvious items such as popular character’s names), and enforced through other players reporting your name. The latter is most likely to happen when someone has an offensive name. Penalties for villating the naming rules can include being assigned a new name, being asked to rename your character or, in extreme cases, account closure.
I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about the Legacy System, as the Devs get closer to rolling out these updates and more in a future patch.
UPDATE 4/12/12 With Patch 1.2 going live today, there are now a number of legacy unlocks available to you. See a few in my PTR post, and there will be a new post on Legacy incoming from me soon.