When Patch 1.2 went live in Star Wars: The Old Republic, it introduced players to the Legacy system. In a nutshell, what the Legacy system boiled down to was giving players an assortment of upgrades they could earn by playing more - level a character to 50 and you unlock that character's race for all subsequent alts; finish the class stories and you earn cool abilities; plus a handful of other unlocks. These unlocks were legacy-wide - they affected all characters on that account on that server.
Patch 1.3: Allies builds upon the legacy of the Legacy patch, but the upgrades are per-character instead of global. These new upgrades allow players to follow a narrower, more specialized leveling path for their new alts. While the initial offerings of the Legacy system were intended to add flavor and style, the Perks system gives players the tools they need to make leveling new Legacy alts quicker and more efficiently.
There are 5 categories of Advancement perks, each with 5 tiers, that allow the player to focus more narrowly on one aspect of the game and still level quickly. These perks are all cumulative and tiered: each new tier can only be unlocked by first purchasing the tier below it, and the effects from each tier stack with one another. The full bonus from each category can be quite significant (+30% XP gain at Tier V), but also quite costly in terms of credits, and the top tier requires Legacy Level 25 to unlock.
Advancement perks have the most profound impact on gameplay while leveling, but will be entirely useless for characters already at the level cap. Picking these up early on means the new character will hit level 50 much faster, especially in combinations tailored to the player's play style. For example, combining Class Mission and Exploration bonuses will shoot a PvE character to endgame quickly, just by following normal planet progression. Combining Warzone and Space Mission bonuses means the character can level efficiently without ever setting foot on alien soil for PvE.
Improved Warzone Experience - increases XP gain from PvP; total cost 275,000 credits
Improved Flashpoint Experience - increases XP gain from defeating enemies in flashpoints; total cost 275,000 credits
Improved Space Mission Experience - increases XP gain from completion of space missions; total cost 150,000 credits
Improved Class Mission Experience - increases XP gain from completing class missions; total cost 275,000 credits
Improved Exploration Experience - increases XP gain from discovering locations on maps; total cost 150,000 credits
These perks change the flow of companion affection gain through gift-giving and conversations, and increases their effectiveness at crafting. There are fewer tiers here, so maxing these ones out is cheaper. Again, these bonuses are per-character and not legacy-wide - it affects all companions for the character that buys the perk, but not any of the companions for any other character on the legacy.
The boon here is that companions will max out their affection earlier. Some companions are super-fussy about things like cold-blooded murder or helping little old ladies across the street, and others are notoriously difficult to shop for because of their inscrutable tastes in gifts. Maxing out companion affection and completing their storylines gives Legacy benefits all on its own, so speeding up the process can be worth doing.
The Legacy of Crafting seems considerably more expensive than it is worth, particularly now that augment kits can be used to add augment slots to anything. It is possible to eventually recover that 350k-credit investment and have it pay off in the very long run, but it's probably quicker and cheaper to just buy an augment kit and shoot for a non-crit crafted item.
Legacy of Altruism - Increases affection gain via gift-giving (+30% at Tier III); total cost 90,000 credits
Legacy of Persuasion - Increases affection gain via conversations (+30% at Tier III); total cost 90,000 credits
Legacy of Crafting - Increases the likelihood of gaining an augment slot in a crafted item. +3% chance at Tier III, total cost 350,000 credits, requires Legacy Level 20.
Legacy of Leadership - Companions return quicker from selling junk items (5 seconds at Tier II). Total cost 60,000 credits, requires Legacy Level 10
Travel perks consist of a series of single-destination quick travel skills similar to the Fleet Pass, and a tiered chain permitting characters to buy the Speeder Piloting skills earlier. The Priority Transport skills function more or less the same as the Emergency Fleet Pass, but use a separate, shared cooldown.
Priority Transport - Capital World (Korriban, Hutta, Tython, Ord Mantell) - 20,000 credits, Character level 10, Legacy Level 10; The Outlaw's Den - 50,000 credits, character level 25, Legacy Level 10; Fleet Vanguard Vessel - 50,000 credits, character level 40; The Black Hole - 150,000 credits, character level 50
Speeder Piloting - allows the purchase of the tiered Speeder Piloting skills at 10, 30 and 40 (instead of 25, 40 and 50). Note that the cost of training the skill IS included with the perk - Speeder Piloting I at level 10 costs 40,000 for the perk, which is only 5,000 more than the regular level 25 skill.
These expensive perks are essentially town services you can deploy out in the field, ostensibly to save the need to run back to a major settlement to fire off mail and pawn trash loot. The Field Respecialization perk allows for swapping out skill points more or less on the fly, but it is not a true "multi-spec" feature - it costs money each time and there are no pre-made "sets" to quickly swap between.
These are more "quality of life" upgrades than anything else, but they are still useful after the player has reached level cap and has maxed out his companions' affections.
Field Repair Droid - summons a vendor droid to repair broken gear. At higher tiers, this vendor offers more services (buying, selling) and can be summoned more often. Total cost 350,000 credits, requires Legacy Level 25
Field Mail Droid - summons a droid letter carrier. At higher tiers, this droid can be summoned more often. Total cost 100,00 credits, requires Legacy Level 12
Field Respecialization - allows players to reallocate skill points, the same as a Skills Mentor NPC. Characters must pay for each respec the same as usual. Perk cost 200,000 credits, requires Legacy Level 10.
While the rest of Patch 1.3's major features seem mostly directed towards improving group content, the Legacy Perks feature is something that can be appreciated by anyone regardless of play-style. Soloers will get just as much use out of some of these perks as group-focused players.
How do you feel about Legacy Perks? Let us know in our comments!