Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's In A (Legacy) Name?

On Saturday I finally finished Chapter 1 in Star Wars: The Old Republic and was able to select my legacy name.  The legacy system sounds interesting as all your characters on a server are part of a family and have the same last name.  As I typed in the name I thought of the long journey that brought me to typing those four keystrokes.

Back in 2006 I started playing my second MMORPG, EverQuest 2.  The second character I created was a female wood-elf ranger/alchemist.  Since she was an alchemist, I wanted to name her Rosemary after the medicinal herb, but the name was already taken so I settled on Rosemarie.  Eventually she became my main and I spent three years sneaking around Norrath gathering materials to make potions.

In 2009, Rosemarie reached max level in EQ2 and I moved over to Eve Online.  Having acquired the nickname Rose, I brought the name over with me to New Eden and created the Vherokior mystic Rosewalker.  I didn't choose Rosewalker as a takeoff on Skywalker; I envisioned a mystic walking around with rose-colored glasses.

Eve being Eve, CCP enticed me with a Power of Two promotion into creating an industrial character on a second account, the Vherokior drifter Wandering Rose.  Given the origin of the Vherokior as desert nomads, I thought the name "Wandering" fitting.  And over time, Wandering Rose grew from a bit player to the CEO of my personal corporation who, when not supporting Rosewalker in an auto-cannon fitted command Hurricane, flies around in a stealthed blockade runner.  So over time I didn't give up the love of sneaking around but my female avatar now didn't set up from range but instead wanted to get up close and personal with the enemy.

That brings the story to Christmas 2011 and the release of SW:TOR.  Having a pilot in Eve who loves flying a blockade runner, creating a Smuggler was a natural choice.  But would I go back to my roots and choose the ranged dps path of the Gunslinger or the more up-close and personal support style of the Scoundrel?  I chose the Scoundrel.

And what name did I choose?  My character's name is now Skitane Rosa.  That is bad Bulgarian for Wandering Rose.  I say bad because skitane is a noun, not an adjective.  But when I selected the name I didn't know if "Rosa" would still be available since legacy names are unique.  Besides, I like the sound of Skitane better than the other Bulgarian words for wandering.

So my character's name is Skitane Rosa.  I know that when BioWare came up with the legacy system they were only concerned with their own game.  But for me my legacy name reaches back through the years and across virtual worlds.

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