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What is in a name? -James Ohlen Reveals The Legacy System in SWTOR

James Ohlen (updated)

Hey Everyone,

This build has our first iteration of the Legacy System! At its core the Legacy system is about allowing players to create a family tree of characters. Family is pretty important to the Star Wars universe, with the Skywalker family having one of the most interesting dynamics in movie history. This version is just the foundational components that we will use to build upon in the future. Here are the features of this iteration:

  • Once your character has completed their Chapter 1 storyline, they will be able to choose a Legacy Last Name. This Legacy Last Name must be unique and is shared across all characters on that server – so choose carefully!
  • Once you have unlocked your Legacy, any and all characters on that server will now contribute to that player’s Legacy Experience Points. Much like normal experience points, when you reach certain Legacy thresholds, you will increase your Legacy Level.

We already have plans for how we will expand the functionality of the Legacy System in one of our major post-ship patches. This will include being able to shape your Legacy’s family tree, and give you a reward for all those Legacy Levels.

We look forward to reading your feedback on the Legacy System!



So announced today is a Legacy System. This system is going to allow you to choose a legacy name for your character, once they complete chapter 1.  Now up to this point we have heard that last names will not be available in game. I get the feeling this particular feature has been on and off the table so many times that saying it is not going to happen is the safest route, cause then if it does it is a bonus.


Some of the questions I am seeing come up with this system are: Do we HAVE to use the legacy system? And that question seems to be asking can I make 2 characters, one uses the surname and the other does not. Or once we created that surname all of our characters will now have it by default?


Will the name be linked to the account or the server? It is implied that the name will be across servers and factions when it was first posted this morning, but they have changed the wording and your name will only be used on the individual server.


Once your character has completed their Chapter 1 storyline, they will be able to choose a Legacy Last Name. This Legacy Last Name must be unique and is shared across all characters on that server – so choose carefully!


So far as I read through comments and concerns about this, I have come across the biggest question. Can other players be added to your family? Many are referring to sons, daughters, and spouses that are choosing to play, and want to have everyone in one family.


Seeing as this is just the first baby steps of this feature, I am willing to bet that you will only be able to use the legacy name on your own account. This of course may change, but looking at Lotro and how you can designate people as family members, they may go in that direction as well.


This particular feature is going to be a bone of contention for the RPer. Many of these players like to not have their different characters related, or even know each other. Being able to toggle this feature on and off will assist here.


This feature will make it easier for people to identify what characters are mine. Everyone has the same legacy name; they must be being played by the same person. I actually don’t mind that at all. I am not a secretive or memorable player anyway.


Damion Schubert

You can choose to do one of the following:
– Display your legacy name as your last name (“Raiel Firewalker”)
– Display your legacy name below your name

The Firewalker Legacy

– or choose to hide it altogether. This choice can differ per character.


Some of the things I can see it influencing:

  •             Not playing different factions on the same server.
  •             Limiting the number of alts on each server, and over all.
  •             Influencing even no RPers to think in terms of how the characters are related.


To clarify, a legacy name is not a last name, surname, or family name. What a legacy name would imply is the historical legacy of a group. This group could be bound by planet of birth, guild, profession, training, and so on. How it is being addressed in Star Wars is the player is the commonality between these characters, hence the account is the legacy. We are getting information that we can toggle the name to behave like a surname, a sort of title, and off completely.


I am seeing a large amount of positive responses to this system. I think it will be a lot of fun.


You can follow Rosie on Twitter at @Dawnsrose. You can also contact her directly via email at

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “What is in a name? -James Ohlen Reveals The Legacy System in SWTOR”

  1. Taldariuson 20 Nov 2011 at 4:19 am

    This is one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever seen put in to a MMO. I heard the rumors about the Legacy System before and they weren’t even close to what it actually is. I can’t wait to see it for myself. Now people will get last names and they made it so the last name actually means something, it actually has a LEGACY. Brilliant, Bioware. Well done.

  2. Maltholon 21 Nov 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The biggest contention with this so far is that it is the only way to acquire a last name and the majority seem to want a separate surname system. If you’re reading the official forums the majority of the feedback is negative on this one aspect of the system.