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Unraveling the Update 1.2 Legacy Perks

By on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:10 am, in Article, FORCE Exclusives, SWTOR  |  Comments: 10 comments

To many Star Wars: The Old Republic players, the details on patch 1.2 came as a breath of fresh air in an endgame that seems to already be getting a bit stagnant. In case you didn’t catch the update, here’s a link to BioWare’s video announcement. 1.2 promises a lot of cool additions and features we’ve been waiting a while for. New content across the board, some majorly-needed UI adjustments, some class balance adjustments, new gear, guild banks, PvP adjustments, crafting additions, and finally, a complete legacy system.

The legacy system is something that created a lot of varied fan feedback from early on. Most players loved the idea of a surname, but many didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of a family tree imposed upon all of their characters on a given server. Most of us decided that the idea of rewards for such a system created a sense of uniqueness among players and would give the game a fun spin. It was a disappointment when the rewards didn’t make it into TOR’s launch, but now we’re able to take a look at them and figure out just how they stack up to our expectations.

Chiss

There are a couple of different legacy rewards. First of all, we have the legacy race unlocks. Players who have leveled a certain race to level 50 will be able to make new characters of any class of that race. A player could, for example, make a Chiss Smuggler, Mirialan Bounty Hunter, or Pureblood Sith Jedi Knight, but only if they have leveled a corresponding Chiss, Mirialan, or Pureblood Sith to 50. Players are also able to purchase these unlocks with a substantial amount of credits, which makes the whole feature a little more accessible.

This is an interesting addition. Many players are pleased with the ability to level any race and class combination of their choosing. Some are unsure about what this means in regards to Star Wars lore, but it’s important to remember that Star Wars lore in itself is far and wide-encompassing. Thanks to how easy it is to travel within the galaxy, it seems logical that a Sith Pureblood might be able to sneak off-world and learn the smuggling trade undercover.

Now, the big debate comes in when comparing this addition to what happened during World of Warcraft’s Blood Elf racial addition. What happens in an MMO when new races are added? They’re suddenly everywhere. People love playing with new toys. It’s a simple fact. In the Star Wars universe, it may seem logical that one Sith Pureblood sneaks off to become a Smuggler, but what about when 200 Sith Pureblood suddenly appear in Tython and all over the Republic Fleet? Doesn’t a bit of authentic Star Wars immersion then disappear?

That’s a hard question to answer. I honestly think it does, although it’s hard to say for sure until we actually see what kind of effect this has on the general population. Not everyone is going to have a Sith Pureblood leveled by that time, and not everyone is going to be interested in making characters that seem pretty rare in lore. It’s a shame that BioWare spent all this time making races inclusive then suddenly opened them all to everyone under the right circumstances. I would rather see new races added altogether. I can’t help but feel like it’s a lazy move.

Smuggler Force Choke

Then we have the newly-revealed legacy abilities. Players will be able to link certain characters together based on their relations in their family tree, and when certain characters are closely related, they will be able to “share” certain abilities. A daughter of a Sith Inquisitor, for example, will be able to chuck lightning at enemies, in a limited state, even if that daughter is a Republic Trooper. The limitations will be related to spell strength and cooldown, and these spells will be disabled during PvP combat.

This addition is quite interesting, and honestly, not exactly what I expected. A lot of folks are surprised by this one, just because of how ridiculous it seems upon first glance. Here our characters already have a considerable amount of spell bloat, and a Trooper is suddenly able to shoot lightning? A Smuggler, as pictured above, is able to use Force Choke, which is the iconic Sith Warrior move.

Here’s my problem with this addition: it’s also lazy. Instead of coming up with a new set of abilities, gear, or some cool ways to socially interact, they decided to toss over abilities already in use to other characters with the hopes that players will think it’s super cool to chuck lightning on every character. It almost seems like a desperate attempt to get our attention.

I understand the supporting argument. If a parent of a child is Force sensitive, it does make sense that their child has some Force abilities. It doesn’t, however, mean it automatically makes sense that they cast a Force ability that is both rare among most sources of canon, and generally considered difficult to learn. And sure, Luke was able to use a blaster as well as a lightsaber. It doesn’t mean he was able to fire off something like Pulse Cannon.

Ensign Temple, an Imperial Agent companion, is Force sensitive, yet she is in Intelligence. She has one ability that can be considered derived from the Force. She can randomly fire off an energy ball, called Force Burst. She can’t chuck Force Lightning at enemies. She can’t Force Choke them.

I would have been happy with abilities similar to Temple’s. New versions of infused abilities that show a bit of creativity and give players some neat ideas to work into RP storylines would have been awesome. Tossing over iconic class abilities just because they look “cool” just doesn’t seem that creative.

Don’t get me wrong– I love the idea behind the system. I love the fact that RP players will able to come up with cool additions to their storylines and timelines based on this addition. It’s fun to customize, and players will enjoy being able to do so. The system itself seems enjoyable, and being able to come up with custom family histories is a cool option. The menu for the legacy family tree is shown above (click to make it larger).

The overall theme of the legacy system is indeed customization. One of the major themes of the entire game is customization. A player’s ability to become a writer of their character stories and not just a mere bystander is an underlying theme in The Old Republic. It’s a great path for BioWare to progress down. Now if only they did so with a little more creativity, and a little less copying and pasting, everyone, I think, would be happy.

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  • LukeLicens

    I don’t think anything, anywhere, at any time has ever managed to make EVERYONE happy.  There are always those people who can only be happy when others aren’t.

    • Robnholly

       I think when Adam and Eve first decided to consummate their marriage, everyone was happy.  Of course since that time, excluding the time during their pregnancy, there have been more and more unhappy people with every decision.  :-)

      • Guest

        Not so sure about the Adam and Eve part but its sure as shit that the world is becomming more and more unhappy with every decision

  • Hegar

    Is there any restrictions based on race with the family tree? Can my Zabrak inquisitor and my Cyborg Agent have a Twi’Lek child?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laura-Hardgrave/100000713622505 Laura Hardgrave

       I believe there are no racial restrictions whatsoever. I guess it’s supposed to be assumed that adoption occurs quite frequently, etc.

  • Mysterys

    I would personally have wished for a legacy system as being like a “guild perk” that “you” can manage. Yeah, okay that’s from WoW but I am a former player so it is the only thing I can relate to. I would have like a faster leveling / gathering / etc…. experience rather than having “yet another” ability that is added to the big list we have.
    I am rather disappointed seeing I was “waiting” for this to come out to create “alts”. I guess i should not have waited. =(

    • JlocksJedi

       Yes i’ve been waiting too to make alts, I suppose reasing that i’ve got to hurry up and level the Species I want to play… :/ mabey if they added an extra character slot to enable an making that legacy species character as it seems pointless to then delete high level characters just to start a new one with the same story…

  • Ziffel

    As a friend explained to me SWTOR is a mix of Bioware’s long standing history of RPG mashed together with the like of current MMO games. If its to succeed it has to appeal to more than one type of user, which is always going to be a tough goal to achieve. I’ve played other MMO’s before and I agree that some parts of 1.2 may be seen as “Lazy” development, but as stated, its not JUST MMO or RPG players that are being targeted. The other thing to remember is that there are limited resources for development no matter what’s said major developments are coming out a LOT quicker than some other MMO’s when they first started.

  • Vynastus

    I have to agree that this may look like “lazy” development, however, no one understands what goes into coding and fixing the issues they are working with right now. The fact that they have finally fixed the ability to customize your UI is one of the largest parts of this patch. I am disappointed in the legacy stuff, but the customizable UI was my only complaint – I wanted the ability to use addons at least to clean it up but this is the best of both worlds. They are really starting to work itself into the general MMORPG realm by the addition novelty pets, guild banks, and the PvP ranking systems. Overall, I am very excited for this patch.

  • Nce1968

    Personally, I’m really excited for the Legacy system, and 1.2 in general.  The UI stuff is absolutely my favorite part, but Legacy is a really cool concept.  I have serious alt-itis, so I’ve already made several alts, but I probably wouldn’t have made anything other than Human characters anyway, so it doesn’t bother me. I have only 2 out of 7 characters that aren’t human (Chiss IA and Miraluka JK). 

    All that said, I’d kill a kitten to get macros.  Seriously.  

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