LW to Blender: the use of Weight Maps in B?

While still a steenkeen’ noob, I’ve noticed a certain LACK of weight map support in Blender. It certainly doesn’t seem to play the key role it does in LW.

Is it just not there, or does B use a different terminology?

Vertex groups seem to be a much bigger deal in B than LW, but I thought they are rather a ON/OFF situation, rather than the gradation possible w/weight maps.

Vertex groups aren’t a “on/off situation”, they are weight maps. Though their use is almost exclusively confined to modifiers - there aren’t any built-in editing tools that rely on weights.