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Lost in how disappointing the game was and how poorly this system was implemented, SWTOR really had an idea that any level based game should openly embrace: the Legacy system.
But instead of focusing on the details of how SWTOR implemented it, lets call it for what it really is: Account wide alternate advancement. And this should be an MMORPG staple.
All level based games suffer from the max level syndrome. Most games, once you hit max level, your character is 100% done with progression. Then it turns into gear progression, which isnt improving your character at all beause once that gear is taken off the imporvement vanishes. Its temporary improvement.
EQ was one of the few smart ones, it realized this issue and implemented AAs. Problem is, and Rift with its watered down version of AAs has experienced this, is it makes people not want to play alts. but account wide AAs? Not only are you heling your main, you are helping your alt as well.
Now SWTOR chose the Legacy System to act differently, and a smart implementation of a non-character progression system can work for the right type of players. RP types can have more options to unlock for housing for instance. There always stuff like WoW's heirloom gear that can be tied to it for altaholics, or appearance gear. The key thing is to give lots of choice so they can customize their account how they want to.
I hope more games jump on this idea.