Guide to MMORPGs and the Concept of How to Play

by Lucky


NOTE: This guide gives general information on MMORPGs, not just SW:TOR specifically.

As such, some of the more specific topics and concepts may not apply to in SW:TOR.


Hey, and welcome to the prospective MMORPG world! Before I begin, I should bring up a few things.

MMORPGs are by far the most complicated and, in my opinion, one of the most fun types of Video Games around. What do I mean by this? Well in general, most MMORPGs have all of the following:


  • An economy created entirely around the player-base, usually by the means of an Auction House to sell items of value (Which, depending on the server drop or spawn rates, can, and will, vary in value.
  • A PvE (Player vs. Environment) endgame commonly referred to as 'Raiding'. This is where (and I am taking cues from WoW on this one) 10, 25, or 40 real people get together in a group and work together to accomplish an otherwise impossible feat while alone.
  • A PvP (Player vs. Player) environment which would include the Warzones that have been announced, and World PvP (Not confirmed, but is assumed to have). This is where people that have the need to be competitive and have an interest in Team-based PvP, Individual PvP, or Small Group-based PvP have fun.
  • A Crafting System Crew Skills that Players utilize to create very useful items that wouldn't be able to be obtained any other way.
  • And finally, an RP element where players act out the role of their Avatar's class and race (Ex. A Smuggler being overconfident about what he/she can accomplish or being in it for the money, nothing else.)

Don't be intimidated by all of that, for the most part, no one really does all of that all the time. Everyone usually picks something that sounds like fun, and chooses that as their main activity, subsequently joining a guild (Community) of that nature, then the rest is more on the side. Also, there are usually server choices to play on based around those interests (PvE Servers, PvP Servers, RP PvE Servers, and RP PvP Servers) but that does NOT restrict you to doing the activities that the server is based around. For example, someone interested in PvE, and built their character for it, can participate in PvP, just not do as well as people who build their character for PvP.

Now, if you are more of a visual learner, like myself, I have some links to videos that show you what most of this involves.


PvE (Player vs. Environment) Raiding

PvP (Player vs Player) Teamwork
Economy Crafting
RP (Role Playing)  


Now, ALL of those videos (except for the crafting video, which is actually confirmed content in SWTOR) are from WoW, purely to just give a general idea of what to expect in each feature.

Guilds in MMORPGs

Guilds are groups of people that share the same interests and play the game according to those interests. For guilds, a small one is around 10 active people and a large one is around 40+ active people.

For PvE

It is not necessary in the earlier levels to be in a guild to accomplish anything. In fact, you never even have to join a guild, but if you are interested in completing end game content with a group, it is recommended to join one.

For PvP

There isn't a need for being in a guild, even at max level. You can always queue up for PvP matches, guilds for PvP (based on my understanding) just allow you to make pre-mades for queued up PvP matches, and PvP open world with a large group.

For RP

Again, based on my understanding, I would strongly encourage joining a guild from the start. Joining a guild on an RP server is important because you develop stories based on who you play with, you can't really do that all that well by yourself.

(If anyone has more experience with PvP or RP guilds, feel free to correct what I said based on those two subjects.)

Logging Off

Whenever you need to leave for an extended time, such as to go to sleep, you need to log off. In some MMORPGs, there are rest zones that give a benefit for logging off in those areas. That, I believe, was introduced in WoW, and it worked like this: if you logged off in those rest zones, you would get a rested bonus, which would grant you 200% Experience while fighting monsters, and it would increase 1 bar of bonus Exp. every 8 hours or so you spent inside a major city or Inn. You don't have to log off in any of those zones, but if you don't, you don't get the Exp. bonus.

When you do log off though, all of your possessions are stored on your character while you are offline, they will never leave your person without your consent. When you log back in, you will be in the exact same place you left off, no worse for the wear, however, if you logged off in the field, you could end up being attacked by the indigenous creatures there.

MMORPG Communities and their Views on you and Other Players

Another thing I would like to bring up is that you are constantly playing with hundreds of people at the same time, whether you are talking to them or not. That is actually a part of the definition of MMORPGs which stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. When you log into a server, you are essentially moving into a new, very large neighborhood. This is the community that you will make some friends in, find others that you can't stand, and overall, build a reputation for yourself as either a friendly, helpful player or a mean and selfish player (Note that public opinion changes all the time, some people can just dislike you for being overly friendly or like you for your harsh attitude).

Generally, the types of behavior that most other players would like to avoid playing with are:

Global Chat Trolls

These are the people that will start arguments over the smallest disagreement with their opinion, or otherwise shake up the community with something that really only matters to them (Ex. Getting kicked out of a guild, claiming that said guild is unfair in some way due to their treatment.)


Everywhere else, people tend to agree that ninjas are awesome (With the possible exclusion of Ninjas vs Pirates) but in an MMORPG, everyone despises a Ninja. Ninjas are players who put their selfishness ahead of the group (Generally when they have control of who gets rewards from defeating a particularly tough boss type monster.) and steals EVERYTHING that the entire group worked hard for, subsequently leaving the group immediately. Nobody likes a Ninja, and when someone is accused in a Server wide chat of being a Ninja it essentially damages their reputation so badly that they will have a very hard time finding a group, and it also becomes difficult to clear their name if wrongly accused. This tends to lead to Ninjas switching servers (Usually a paid service) to a server where no one knows them, or changing their name (Also usually a paid service).


These are people that are very annoying, particularly bad at playing the game, or brand new to the game (Defined in that order). While most don't like to group with 'Noobs' or 'Nubs', no one has a problem with 'Newbs' if they are willing to learn from their mistakes, simply because it is a common truth among ALL MMORPG players, we were all 'Newbs' once. Keep in mind that this terminology is generally used as an insult towards other players, and not as a new name.

Gaming Equipment

Most endgame groups/guilds will require you to download VOIP program, such as Mumble or Ventrilo (More commonly referred to as Vent) and have a headset to talk on any Mumble/Ventrilo server that your group/guild might have. Generally, there isn't a need to have a headset for any activities outside of endgame, and even then, some guilds will not care if you don't have a headset, sometimes it will be enough to have Mumble or Ventrilo downloaded, just so you can hear what they are saying.

As for the other gaming equipment (Such as gaming mice and keyboards, they aren't really needed if you key-bind (selecting skills and setting them to specific keys on your keyboard) or if you prefer to click all your skill buttons. Granted, if you have all that equipment already, you might as well use them, but they aren't needed.

Group Dynamics

Group dynamics are always important, so always know what your class is able to do effectively. If you are playing the role of a tank, your main job is to use taunts, AoE (Area of effect) attacks and the like so creatures won't attack your teammates. You will soak up damage due to your heavy armor, plus you will always have a healer to keep you alive so don't worry about dying. If you play a healing role, your job is to make sure no one dies on your watch (Which, regardless of how good the tank is, boss type monsters can still use AoE attacks to damage you and your teammates). Finally, if you are playing a DPS (Damage Per Second) class role, your job is to attack the boss type monster constantly unless otherwise stated (To the best of my knowledge, the only exceptions are if adds (More on this below) are involved or if the boss turns temporarily invincible/starts getting healed by something).

The following roles are only applicable in raids. In smaller groups, tanks and healers take the roles of both the Main and Off/Raid Tank/Healer.

If you are the Main tank, your job is to make sure that the boss type monster only attacks you, unless the boss mechanics require a you and a second tank to trade places (Which is rare). If you are the off tank, your main job is to make sure any enemies (More commonly referred to as adds) other than the boss are attacking you.

If you are the main healer, your job is to make sure that the main tank does not die. The raid healer heals everyone else, so don't worry about the rest of the group. If you are the raid healer, the most important thing to know is triage. Triage is to help whoever needs healing the most at that moment.

Regardless of what environment you find yourself in, your role will be explained to you before the raid starts. If it hasn't been explained, or you think you missed it, just ask before anything happens.

Notes On Subscription Based Payment

Finally, and I think this is what makes a lot of people choose not to play MMORPGs, is the monthly subscription that most (Well developed) MMORPGs have. The way I see it is, $15 a month (Not yet confirmed for this game) sounds like a lot at first, but when you think about it, it really isn't. Essentially, if you personally can afford to buy one brand-new Video Game every 4 months (Equivalent to $60 or the exact retail price of Console games today), you can afford this game.

That, as they say, is that. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, I appreciate it!