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13 December 2011 1 Comment

SWTOR for the WoW Player

If you’re thinking about checking out SWTOR, and you’re not yet familiar with the game, you might find this useful: SWTOR for the WoW Player, a guide at Torhead, written by yours truly.

There’s some amount of argument within SWTOR’s fanbase about comparing SWTOR to WoW, and I do understand why people get frustrated with it – it does neither game any favours. It’s irksome to see people insist that “so, this class is basically a shadow priest then”, because it isn’t.

That said, there are plenty of points of similarity between the games, although there’s very little that’s truly identical. And comparisons are inevitable, because WoW is the 900-pound gorilla in the room, and a big fraction of SWTOR’s potential playerbase will understand WoW terms and concepts. WoW itself had to put up with the same thing when it first launched: many mechanics were described in terms of their Everquest equivalents, because EQ had been the big popular MMO before WoW – even though far fewer WoW players were familiar with EQ. I remember being very confused about what people meant when they said “medding” (sitting down to eat and drink, after EQ’s Meditation), “mezzing” (CCing, after EQ’s Mesmerize – I think), or even “rezzing” (since the rez abilities of the classes I’d played at that stage weren’t called Resurrection).

Gradually, as WoW’s player base filled with people who didn’t have Everquest experience, many of these terms died away and were replaced with WoW-related terms. Mezzing became sheeping, for instance. Other terms stuck around, such as “proc” (which originally stood for Programmed Random OCcurrence), or “mob” (for Mobile OBject, though this one’s from MUDs rather than from EQ).

I’m willing to bet that the same thing will happen to SWTOR. To start with, the jargon will be all derived from WoW – Quick Travel will be called ‘hearthing’, all crowd control will be called ‘sheeping’, and so on. This will make plenty of people grind their teeth, but I’m pretty sure it’s inevitable. As the SWTOR playerbase grows over the life of the game, though, and fills with people who’ve never played WoW before, I’m willing to bet the same thing will happen. Quick Travel will become ‘QT’, and if you say ‘hearthing’, people will look at you funny.

One Response to “SWTOR for the WoW Player”

  1. Kristalys 31 December 2011 at 21:47 #

    I was/am a WoW player of 4 years (currently too in love with SWTOR to play WoW) and though I’ve used the terms “proc” and “mob” the entire time, this is the first time I’ve ever heard where these words derive from.

    Thank you so much for the entire article and your blog in general, but especially for finally giving me some history behind those two WoW terms.


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