So let's talk Legacies. We've been accumulating that Legacy XP, dinging those Legacy Levels, but what are we going to get for our time invested?
First up, a little video review of what we've been told is upcoming (details, as always, are subject to change, but this is straight from the horse's mouth, where in this case "horse" means "James Ohlen"):
The textual portion:
The Legacy System actually allows each one of your new characters to join a family tree, and all the characters within that family tree gain benefits. It's going to unlock abilities and powers that you normally wouldn't have access to.
The video itself isn't a big revelation, per se; there's really only a few things to actually see:
An almost-certainly-not-final graphic depicting a family tree being formed (specifically the Vizla Legacy, which seems to be missing its namesake).
A character fighting two droids, who was confirmed later by Daniel Erickson to be a Miraluka Sith Warrior.
What I find most interesting about that latter part is that it shows up while James Ohlen is talking about "abilities and powers you normally wouldn't have access to." Well, yeah, I suppose a miraluka (the blind, Force-using Republic-only race) having access to the Sith Warrior (an Empire-only class) would be different, sure.
But enough rehashing. Let's talk things I'd like to see. My blog, my wishlist - after the jump.
I don't have a huge list, but they're all things that would make the replay experience valuable for me - and since BioWare is betting heavily on story, I'd say you'll see more things that encourage replay and the level-up game rather than things that impact endgame.
But First, Groundless Speculation
First, a question of implementation. It's been mentioned before that you'll have a "family tree" setup (including relations like "family friend"), but how does that tie into the system of legacy levels? My guess is we're going to see something like skill trees. Each Legacy Level will probably give you a choice of Legacy Perk, and the implementation of Legacy Perks will require certain relationships in the tree.
The other alternative is that each level adds a new "slot" on the family tree, but in that case, why would you continue to gain levels about 8? Legacy is server-constrained and capped at 50, and you can only have 8 alts on one server. Clearly there's some reason BW's concerned about the rapid growth of Legacy Levels, since they recently nerfed the amount of Legacy XP needed past 50.
This "Legacy Perk" idea forms the basis of a lot of my wishlist, and if the final Legacy System is nothing like it then you can probably throw a lot of my ideas out the window, but I have a feeling this is going to be close to the final implementation.
Cross-Faction (or Same-Faction) Race Swapping
It's all but confirmed by the Miraluka Sith Warrior, but since race is so cosmetic anyway, adding this would be trivial. Even for some of the choices we don't have it makes sense - how many twi'lek trooper NPCs are there? Answer: on the Republic side, a heck of a lot. Using the speculated perk system above, perhaps you get things like the following:
Blue Bloods: If you have a Chiss in your family tree, you can choose Chiss as a race when creating a Smuggler or Trooper.
Peace is a Lie: If you have a Miraluka in your family tree, you can choose Miraluka as a race when creating a Sith Warrior or Sith Inquisitor.
I'm Not Bald, I'm Aerodynamic: If you have a Rattataki in your family tree, you can choose Rattataki as a race when creating a Smuggler, Trooper, or Jedi Consular.
Sweet Ink: Your Republic Zabrak characters can use Imperial Zabrak tattoos and coloration, and vice-versa.
Just What We Needed, More Aliens: If you have a Mirialan in your family tree, you can choose Mirialan as a race when creating any Imperial character.
Redeemed by the Light: If you have a Sith Pureblood in your family tree, you can choose Sith Pureblood as a race when creating a Jedi Knight or Jedi Consular
Taking Up Arms: You can choose Twi'lek as a race when creating a Trooper or Bounty Hunter.
New Races Altogether
Probably the biggest shot in the dark, and also cosmetic, but how about new races? We know the animations transfer to non-player races - look at the Rodian smuggler trainer outside Fort Garnik, or Ashara Zavros doing anything. Their two biggest concerns seem to be that playable races need to (1) be humanoid in shape, and (2) speak Basic. That unfortunately does rule out Wookiees and Rodians - no Rodian in the game speaks Basic outside of rare oddities like the Jedi Knight trainer on Tython, and Wookiees are physically unable to do so - and some others, like Ithorians - my goodness, that head. They also seem to need to allow some degree of customization; it's a running joke between Xindrola and I that every Kel Dor in the game is played by the same Kel Dor, because their models are identical. but it does open up some other possibilities.
Snips - You may choose Togruta as a race when creating a character of any Force-sensitive class.
You're a @#$#ing Cat - You may choose Cathar as a race when creating a character of any Republic class.
Heart of Steel - You may choose Droid as a race when creating a character of any non-Force-sensitive class. (This is highly unlikely for many, many reasons.)
Sullustans - You may choose Sullustan as a race when creating a character of any class. (This is incredibly unexciting.)
And that's just the beginning. There's also the Sarkhai (Nadia Grell's race), Mon Cals (VICTORY OR NOTHING), and more. I've actually heard this brought up in guild chat, and there's one race everyone can agree they'd roll an alt of:
You know what would make the Consular more interesting? Not throwing balls of dandelion fluff at people. I kid, I kid. But let's face it - Telekinetic Throw, Telekinetic Wave, and Disturbance really lack the oomph of Force Lightning, Chain Lightning, and Lightning Strike.
And while Mortar Strike and Death From Above are both really cool, you know there's bound to be someone who'd rather have the other faction's version, even though Mortar Strike would look super-ridiculous coming from a blaster pistol (more than it does from a blaster rifle, even).
How about some tradeoffs? Obviously the few abilities that are functionally different would probably be exempt from this (Unity and Sacrifice come to mind), but many abilities are simply rebranded. This could complete the image from the "race-swapping" perks - if your Sith Pureblood was redeemed and is serving as a Consular, perhaps he still can't help but throw lightning. Or perhaps a Miraluka Sith Warrior still uses some of his Jedi-learned abilities, despite serving the cause of the Empire. You could swap abilities one-for-one, or you could swap abilities in packs.
If you really wanted to get ballsy, you could allow access to your mirror class' proficiencies. After all, they certainly drop even for the opposite faction - I get sniper rifles all the time, even though only companions can use them, and I'm sure the Empire is just as inundated with blaster cannons. This seems unlikely - weapons are a large part of class identity - but I'm just throwing it out there.
Lightning Does Strike Twice (Consular):Your telekinetic powers use the animation of the corresponding lightning power. (The inquisitor version: Pushing You Around)
Rocket Boots (Trooper):Your Mortar Strike uses Death From Above's animation. (The bounty hunter version: Heavy Ordinance).
Shout, Shout, Let It All Out (Knight): Your Blade Storm uses Force Scream's animation. (The Sith warrior version: Speak Softly And Carry A Big Lightsaber)
New Abilities Altogether
I'm really racking my brain trying to figure out what brand new abilities you could get access to from the Legacy System - after all, the exact wording was "abilities and powers you normally wouldn't have access to," but that doesn't rule out new things altogether. The only idea I had:
- Distress Beacon: You can summon one of your family members as a secondary companion. They are not controllable, scaled to your level, and will assist you in combat automatically based on their class, advanced class, and specialization. Lasts one minute.
There are lots of times I've wished I could have two companions, even just for one fight - maybe calling in Kyzur to heal Fortress & Kira while tackling a tough foe. What if you could briefly summon a family member to assist? Obviously, they've got their own stuff to do, so they won't be able to hang around to permanently replace your companion, but I think it could be a fun combat cooldown.
An Heirloom-Style XP Gain Feature
As much as I like the story, the actual leveling process in SWTOR is a bit of a slog sometimes. That's just MMOs for you. To speed up the process, World of Warcraft implemented heirloom gear - bound-to-account gear that you could mail to your characters which gave them scaling stats and a stacking XP bonus for each piece worn.
This is not the way I'd like to see this go in SWTOR. While an XP-boosting feature would be nice, I don't want it to take the form of mail-able gear. This creates several problems - having to mail gear around to alts of the same type, having to have multiple sets of gear when (at least in this game) very few classes share each type of gear (specifically: 2 per faction), cross faction mail would have to be implemented, and it encourages not taking upgrades. No thank you!
Let's just have stacking XP bonuses. Maybe investing 1 perk in XP Boost gets you a 5% gain on all XP, 2 gets you 10%, 3 gets you 15%, and so on. It doesn't need to be anywhere near the mindboggling leveling speed of WoW's heirlooms, but a way to boost XP gain would be a nice mechanical benefit for altoholics.
And That's Just The Beginning
I'm sure, if I really thought about it, I could come up with some off-the-wall stuff I'd like to see in the Legacy System. (A crafting perk that lets you access your family member's craft skills! The ability to link family trees between players (though that could create its own tensions in real life)! Shared family vaults!) The above is just some things I think are more realistic than some of the crazier ideas... although the Droid idea is pretty wacky.
So, go nuts: what would you like to see in the Legacy System when it debuts next month?