A few days ago we reported about the new advanced class details that was given to us during Gamescom. Although alot of detail was still vague, the official SWTOR website has now updated us with the latest.
The main goal of the Advanced Class System is to allow you to customize your character according to your play style. So far, we’ve announced the Advanced Classes for the Sith Warrior and Jedi Knight. Today we’re letting you in on the names and specializations of the remaining Advanced Classes! Please be aware that since the specific class details are still under development, the information provided below may be subject to change.
We’ll, be updating the class pages with more information in the months to come, so be sure to check back for our future Friday updates.
To say that people are unhappy with some of the names is an understatement. Particular “Jedi Wizard” is drawing a lot of fire. In fact the first thing anyone who sees that list tends to say can be best summed up as “WTF, Wizard? Are they serious?” Of all the names listed everyone I’ve talked to (without mentioning anything in advance) singles out “Wizard” is seeming an extremely poor fit.
In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say that they think that it’s the best possible name; the closest anyone defending BioWare here will come is saying something like “it’s just a name”. It might be just a name, but it’s a name that anyone who wants to play the class will be referred to for as long as they play the game. It seems so incredibly ill-fitting for Star Wars (and in particular for Jedi) that all it can do is constantly sour the experience playing. It does the exact opposite of making you feel like a Jedi and instead calls to mind settings like Warcraft, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, casting fireballs and teleporting and turning people into sheep.
In fact, ever since the announcement of that name I’ve got this recurring thought of Luke waking up in Ben Kenobi’s cave with the old man hovering over him saying “you’re a wizard, Luke”. He then goes off to the school for Jedis and Wizardry under the tutelage of Professor Yodalore where, together with his friends Herleiame and Han Weaslo he fights the evil Lord Volpatine and his Darth Eaters. And don’t get me started on Chewbacca in this nightmare. Wizard indeed.
Those defending the name say that the word “wizard” has actually been used in the movies and thus is part of canon. They’re referring to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in which Uncle Own says “That wizard is just a crazy old man” about Old Ben Kenobi. People have already pointed out that this is said in derision, but I think it’s more than that. To me that sentence shows Owen’s complete and utter ignorance as to what a Jedi is by calling Obi-Wan something he’s exactly not. The rest of the movie then lifts Luke out of the ignorance of his upbringing (represented by his aunt and uncle) as he discovers what a Jedi really is.
It would be utter irony if BioWare’s designers show such utter ignorance as to what a Jedi is by adopting that exact name. And that’s rather worrying for the rest of the game as well; if they get this so incredibly wrong then what else, something that’s possibly of much larger consequence, will they get wrong?
The only ray of hope here is, as the news article mentions: “Please be aware that since the specific class details are still under development, the information provided below may be subject to change.” If there’s any chance at all of BioWare ever listening to the reactions of its fanbase, then they will indeed revise the name as the rage on the forums over this is quite strong. If they don’t listen to this, then I don’t think they’ll ever listen to anything the community says. And numerous suggestions for a better name have been made (my personal favorites being “Sage” and “Mystic”), though at this point pretty much anything is better.
And though I’m singling out Wizard as, by far, the worst offender in non Star Wars sounding names it’s certainly not the only one. Other that have drawn ire include Sorcerer (though, while I’m not enthusiastic about it, I think there might be a bit more precedent for it being used by certain Sith), Shadow (yeah, Consulars are definitely getting the short end of the stick name-wise) and Powertech (which indeed sounds also absolutely ridiculous).
The fear I have here as well, next to these names appearing in SWTOR, is that with these names apparently being approved for use it’s just a step away from them becoming officially part of the lore. Thus letting the Star Wars franchise slip even further into mediocrity. Star Wars has always walked a precarious balance between science-fiction and swords-and-sorcery, but this would tip the balance too much.