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Let the Wookie Win

Most of us are enjoying TOR and, perhaps in this spirit, my first editorial here was fairly tame. I picked a small group of bug fixes and Quality of Life improvements that I, and many of my fellow subscribers, would like to see. There are, however, some aspects of this game which are not merely inconvenient or troublesome; they are deeply flawed, and it is better to confront this truth directly, head on, and sooner rather than later. An MMO is a very big ship, and TOR is a bigger one than most. If any corrections are to be made, they will take a very long time. Let us begin now, and let us begin with BioWare's single biggest mistake: the Legacy system surname. 

It is important to note that others have already begun this conversation. We have written about the Legacy system here and Sebaya gathered your opinions and feedback. Sa Chi has discussed it in a brilliantly titled column at All the Galaxy's a Stage, "The Brady Bunch Legacy," and he expanded his thoughts elsewhere. Baraslan and the gang at Beyond the Grind have developed the BTG 9000. While discontent with the Legacy system is easy to hear, there is a quick and clear rebuttal that we should not ignore: the system is not revealed yet. All we know for sure is that the Legacy system defines a surname for all your characters on one server; you can choose to hide that surname or display it as a title instead. Legacy levels, acquired over all your characters on that server, will grant small benefits in character creation or for the levelling-up process. The Legacy system is intended for those of us who like to make multiple characters, in other words. It may unlock new class/species combinations. BioWare recently announced the system would roll out in a more developed form in March with Update 1.2 and they showed us a Miraluka Sith in a trailer.

All of this is well and good, and the benefits unlocked by Legacy levels may very well be a boon to roleplayers. They may be a jar of candy so tasty and high in calories that we forgive the drawbacks to the system. The drawbacks are, however, quite serious and they hinge on the one part of the system we do know: the Legacy surname. 
Rolan "Dragon" Storm Case in point. BioWare shouldn't say anything about families and similar experience from the start. Introduce syst...
Glzmo While the legacy surname is quite a mistake, In my opinion there were much bigger ones. Like the lack of Chat Bubbles (p...
BrianDavion Legacy system isn't exactly designed to be a super RP friendly thing. When BW said they'd not be enforceing RP...

In case you haven't been keeping score, this site published seventy stories in the month of December. That's more than many blogs manage, and the amazing staff here did it even while there was a brand new game to play. While the rest of us were shopping, wrapping, and unwrapping presents, taking our new RC cars out for a spin in the driveway, cooking dinner for eight and then packing up the tree, the reporters and senior staff were keeping us engaged here day by day by day.

Most of my work as Managing Editor is behind the scenes. I polish stories before they are published and help reporters with their projects before they are even written. But as an Editor, I also have access to the front page whenever I want it. So I've decided to use that and at the same time make some more tangible and visible contributions to the site with occasional editorials under the title Let the Wookiee Win. This is the first.

An editorial is aimed at creating change, and I thought for our first run around the park we would start with some specific, highly targeted improvements that could and should be made to the game. Other writers here have already touched on some hot button issues for roleplayers -- like chat bubbles and dissatisfaction with the Legacy version of surnames -- so I have picked three different "quality of life" improvements to zero in on. These are improvements which make roleplaying easier, which strengthen the community, and which are relatively easy (if anything in MMO design can be said to be easy).

Draxus Great read, Doc. And although I would agree that character background panels are indeed useful for establishing immediat...
Shimazu I thought this was going to be a post about PVP :V
DoctorComics My thanks to everyone who has read and written here today. All your comments are very helpful to me and to future column...
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