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The Donn's New Player Guide to SWTOR

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > New Player Help
The Donn's New Player Guide to SWTOR

Sonnak's Avatar

01.16.2013 , 11:33 PM | #1
First I want to say Welcome to SWTOR! I will do my best here to give a fair run of SWTOR in hopes new players won't feel overwhelmed by the game when they first come in.

SWTOR by Bioware is a continual of the game they started with many years ago and for many of us are huge fans of that expanded upon the SW universe found by George Lucas. Knights of the Old Republic is the game I speak of. So if you were a fan of KOTOR 1 and 2 you will enjoy this game a lot.

I will say this. SWTOR is a great Casual MMORPG. The game revolves around story of each class and every mission you take will take you into it's own little world even for a brief moment so you truly feel like your part of a movie than just a point and click game. I won't lie. I have played LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) for 5 years now and as much as I love the story in that game I do not read the walls of text that show up in the game so for Bioware to make it all voiced and I watch it and feel like it's a movie is much more fun for me.
As well SWTOR is easy to learn. The tutorials you get when you first start playing will teach you everything you need to know for the most part to get a gist of what to expect in the game so if your one of those gamers who like to wing it. I wouldn't. Read the tutorials and then carry on with the knowledge they have given you.

Now I did say Casual. This can be bad news for those gamers who pick up a game for a month and then chew up all the content in 30 days. For the gamers who have way to much time to play this game probably doesn't house a lot for you since you will be Max lvl in a week or so and then have your Rakata gear in 3 days with Dread Guard waiting around the corner. (Or Hazmat) Well I say this to those players. So long! You won't stay long so I won't waste my time.

Anyways though. The game houses some tough fights but in my years of playing MMOs the fights in this game are pretty straight forward and to the T. Maybe a few tricks but nothing hard pressed to learn. Which is great for gamers who never Raided (Ops in this game) in other games but always wanted to and can now have a chance without spending 6 hours a night learning the Dungeon.

So now to a few tips I wanted to get to.


Okay so I come across players who don't know some game lingo. Perfectly fine! We all had to learn at some point so I will point out a few much needed terms to know.

Aggro - This is a term meaning Enemy Hate. Usually tanks want it but everyone will get it. Do anything as a group and somehow your building Aggro. Aggro management goes into class descriptions but for all intents and purposes this just means enemy hate to you or others in your party.

CC - Crowd Control. This is a broad term that encompasses other terms I will go into in a second. In small terms this is anything a character does that hinders an enemy in some way such as slowing the movement to putting them to sleep for a while. Here are a few CC terms you will come across.
MEZZ - A mezz is a skill or ability that will put an enemy down for an extended period. In SWTOR this is usually around 9s to 60s. A mezz will be broken if the enemy is attacked.
STUN or DAZE - A stun/daze is not a mezz but works nearly the same. A stun is a temporary cc maneuver that does what is says. Stuns the target for a few seconds. Many classes have these abilities and are highly useful in fights.
ROOT - A root is a skill that places an enemy in place and they cannot move for a period of time. These can sometimes be broken by damage so be careful of what you hit when a player roots an enemy.

Next term I will go into is known as an INDUCTION BAR.

An induction bar is any skill or ability that has a bar that builds or descends to use. Some are known as CHANNEL SKILLS. These skills take time to pull off but usually are powerful abilities when completed. On a defensive standpoint you can find these Induction bars found atop an enemys HP bar on your UI panel. Helps to know what and when to interrupt if your paying attention.

INTERRUPTS - This is an ability or abilities that players have access to that will do as it says. Interrupt an enemys current action. This is easily found when you see an INDUCTION BAR (or CHANNEL BAR) running and you will use this skill to end that attack/skill before it completes. All classes get a skill that does this so be ready to learn it and use it as this skill will be highly used while playing the game! A special note is that all finale bosses of every class story have a channeled ability that is so powerful that it will instantly kill your character if they manage to execute it so you must learn to interrupt enemy inductions or you won't finish your story.

LFG - Looking For Group. You will use this to speed up finding a party in chat for missions you may need to accomplish.

PST - Please Send Tell. Usually following a LFG post for when you want someone to send you a whisper or private message (for old chat room users) to the mission you are looking to do or what ever you may want a message sent to you for.

PUG - Pick Up Group. This is a term meant for any group that was randomly created in any way. SWTOR has a number of ways this happens but if your in a group where you don't know everyone. It is known as a PUG.

PREMADE - This term is used mostly from PvPers. It is a group of players who before something is started are formed in full. Usually full Guild Groups and the such are referred to this for different play types.

PVP - Player Vs Player. This is a term used for referring to playing the game against other players. Typically found in Warzones in SWTOR for PvP where Galactic Republic will fight Sith Empire.


I went through some of the basic terminology you may come across. Now I will go into the classes. All in all. All classes are balanced to a degree so no 1 class says PICK ME FOR MAX DPS TO KILL STUFF! All classes can destroy and thrive so play what YOU will find fun. Not what everyone in the game says is the best because that is a personal opinion.
Course with that I will always go with Jedi Sentinel / Sith Marauder but that's just me.
Now to clear this up. Every class you have access to is mirrored on it's opposing faction. So both factions have same classes in the end so do not worry about not being able to play a Tank or Healer on one side but not the other.


Tank - The tank Is the person who takes the brunt of the damage from the enemy for the party and protects the others from harm. High Health but lower DPS than DPS classes. Has high survivability.

Healer - The healer revitalizes the party and removes harmful effects from party members. Typically has low health and is what is called "squishy" as they tend to wear armor that is not very strong.

DPS - Damage Per Second. DPS classes deal the damage. They have moderate Health and survivability.

Support - Sadly in my opinion the only real Support characters in the game are the healers who almost all have a CC ability that lasts 60s which makes no one class a true support class but this class type usually buffs the party to be stronger in combat while CCing enemies to make the fight easyier on the party.


Here I will give a gist of all the classes with a touch onto the advanced classes. While in game you can look at the advanced classes quick glance before making a character to give you a broader perspective of what you may want to play.

Jedi Knight / Sith Warrior = Melee DPS or Tank

Jedi Consualr / Sith Inquisitor = Mid Range DPS, Tank or Healer

Trooper / Bounty Hunter = Ranged DPS, Healer or Tank

Smuggler / Imperial Agent = Ranged DPS or Healer


While playing you will come across vendors that offer purchasable gear you can use while lvling up. Now while playing I have learned a few things. One thing is that Credits are far to small at low lvl and you want to have as much credit as you can get when low lvl so as to maximize your skills as you lvl up. So my heed to you is to not buy any gear at low lvl with credits from vendors. Why? You will out lvl it before you fully enjoy it and will have lost a lot of credits on gear that will be outdated to quickly.
Planets offer you PLANETARY COMMENDATIONS that you can use to BARTER for gear at special vendors for gear. Use this instead of credits. I found my first time playing though I spent more credits than I ever needed to and paid the price for it sadly.
If you havn't found out CUSTOM gear yet you will soon. CUSTOM GEAR is orange grade gear that you can get MODIFICATIONS for to improve as you lvl. Get mods over fluff gear as I see it to make sure your gear is good to go and your saving credits. Just make sure you keep up to date on your mods as you lvl so your Custom Gear is viable for the lvl and planet you are on.


Look. I know you all want to be max lvl to do all the max lvl stuff. I get it. Thing is though, your skipping a lot of really neat things Bioware has in the game set to aid you in playing and just simply to help you get to max lvl. On your first play through. Please. Slow your roll and relax. The game is free! Your not paying for this thing to play and if you are your still going to get your moneys worth so stop rushing from one area to the next without picking up missions and what not.
The biggest one I see players doing is after they leave the starter planet they skip the Fleet and go right to Dromund Kaas or Coruscant and wonder when and why they don't have an advanced class. Thing is if you weren't in such a damn hurry you would of noticed the mission givers right through the first door you came out of that gave you these missions.
Until you know what is going on. Pick up those missions as you see them and do them! After your first time through you will know what to skip and what not to.
Same goes for completing missions from planet to planet. Stop skipping missions to get to next story arc to continue your story and then jump planets before your ready. Your hurting only yourself as if you do this your going to be barely of lvl to do the planet your rushing to and will have a hard time playing.
You can comfortably do the main missions + class mission on each planet and skip the bonus series without worry of being under lvl for the next planet. Do the bonus series to ensure a smooth play though.


I actually had a huge thing to post about PvP in this game I wanted to put here but alas I am running out of time to post so I may do a separate post at a later date for new gamers and PvP.
First thing in PvP is you can start doing this at lvl 10. If you want to pvp I suggest doing this at lvl 10 to 30 or 40 in hopes of being ready on the maps by lvl 50 which is a WHOLE separate pvp bracket.
Some things you need to do.
First. Learn the maps and what the goal of the maps are. Multiple ways to get it done but in the end you need to know what the end goal is and where you need to be to get it done.

Second. Learn class roles. Every class has a purpose. Knowing what that purpose is will determine how to handle them. Learning the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy is key to victory.
This second tip is a huge one. Some gamers love to 1v1 people for what I call "***** showing". If you plan to stop the enemy you need to understand them. You need to know what skills to interrupt to properly handle a class. Healers are a big one. Healers will always make your day annoying. Learning what skills on a healer to take care of is key to survival.

Third. Play your role to it's fullest. So many times do I go into matches where Healers want to DPS instead of healing and the team falls because of this. Bioware's PvP system is very fair. You will be rewarded for anything you do so stop trying to be something your not and look at the big picture.
Your in a team now. No longer is it just you and your companion. The team is only as strong as it's weakest link so don't be the weak link! If your a healer. HEAL! If your a tank. Tank! Meaning Guard your healer or someone who is the primary target of the enemy to make it harder on them to take them out. You will be surprised at how well a PUG PvP group can come out on top when everyone becomes 1 on the battlefield.

PvP in SWTOR is really fun and rewarding from lvl 10 through 50. This stands as the only game I have played where I really do enjoy pvping and pveing at the same time in a game. A lot of MMOs I like one or the other but here I enjoy the entire game and that is rare.

I know this little guide is short and doesn't cover everything in the game but I hope some of what I posted really does help out new gamers get the gist of a few things in the game and helps them.

Knowledge is Power. Sharing this Power is how you turn a Newb into a Veteran.

guitarwiz's Avatar

01.17.2013 , 08:44 AM | #2
Some good tips...Thanks.