For
the uninitiated, I would like to let you in on a little-known or spoke of
secret — gaming, like being the President of the United States, at least as
current President George Bush has described it, is hard work. As the electronic gaming industry matures, the
sophistication of the games, both in terms of content and technology, continues
to increase. This means that gamers like me have to become more sophisticated in
how we approach these games. We’ve come along way since Pong.

Perhaps
no other game genre exhibits this increased sophistication as well as the
massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). The combination of the
traditional role playing rules first established on the tabletop, such as the
elements that require players to track statistics, traits, armor values, and a
myriad of other minute detail, along with an internationally diverse population
of avid online gamers can make this genre intimidating for first-timers.
Besides deciding whether to be good or evil, a troll or an orc,
human or dwarf, you must also master the vocabulary. MMORPG jargon is a strange
mix of programmer shorthand, game-inspired abbreviations, a dialect
affectionately known as “leet speak,” and
game specific naming and game-play conventions. It is a mess of influences that
even the most skilled linguist would have trouble mastering.

In the
interest of camaraderie with the TechRepublic-based World of Warcraft guild
dubbed Technologia, I have developed this glossary of common
MMORPG terms. These are the words, phrases, and abbreviations you are likely to
see in the chat box of any one of the current games on the market. These are
not terms I created; they are the terms players have by consensus agreed upon
to use to simplify communication within a game. A long run-on sentence typed
out during a heated battle could cause the group to be completely wiped out, so
brevity is essential.

The
Internet is full of glossaries explaining the meanings of these words, so I
have stuck to what I think are the most essential for our group in Technologia.
For more extensive research, you’ll have to do some Internet searching on your own. However, I will post this list on
the Technologia Wiki page so the guild and other interested parties can add to
it as necessary. Who knows, someday the Technologia Wiki may be the definitive
source for these terms.

Common and general terms

Term

Definition

Description and notes

MMORPG

massively
multiplayer online role playing game

The
game genre World of Warcraft exists in

Mob

mobile
object block

A
programming term that refers to all computer controlled entities in the game.
These computer controlled characters may also be called monsters, bad guys,
etc. Mob remains in use because it is easy to type.

N00B

New
or inexperienced player

You
can substitute newb and newbie.

Leet speak

A
form of chat that mixes numbers and characters to substitute for English

Frowned
upon in most quarters.

Gank

To
kill be killed by another player in a surprise attack

In
some circles ganking is considered bad form.

Grief

To
kill other players with the intention of causing them frustration and grief

Being
labeled a griefer could ruin your gaming
experience.

Kill
stealing

To
kill a Mob another player was in the process of attacking

World
of Warcraft and other contemporary games have made this practice practically
obsolete, but it was a major problem in earlier MMORPG generations like EverQuest

LFG

Looking
for group

Use
this when you trying to find a pickup group to play with.

PUG

Pickup
group

For
those times when you can’t find your guild mates.

LOC
or loc

Location

The
exact coordinates of your current position or position you want to reach,
usually expressed Vertical X Horizontal (64 X48).

Loot

The
object you find on Mobs you defeat in battle

Most
of the objects you find are good for either wearing,
selling or questing; very little should be thrown away.

Bio
break

Taking
a break for a biological function

Usually
precedes a BRB and/or AFK.

BRB

Be
right back

Similar
to AFK.

BBL

Be
back later

Usually
precedes a log out from the game.

AFK

Away
from keyboard

It
is good game etiquette to let your group know you are away.

Buff

To
cast a spell that increases a beneficial attribute of another player

For
example, increasing the intelligence or strength of a player.

Debuff

To
cast a spell that decreases a beneficial attribute of a Mob or another player

For
example, decreasing the intelligence or strength of a player or mob.

Mana or Power

The
element necessary for casting spells

A
caster needs to have enough mana or power in order
to cast their spells.

Nerf

To
reduce the capabilities or attributes of a specific class or type of
character

When
players feel their characters have be reduced in
power in an attempt by the developers to balance the game play, they will
often claim they have been nerfed.

OOC

Out
of character

Chatting
out of character, for example about last night’s football game or episode of
Survivor.

PL

Power
leveling

When
a more advanced character helps a lower level character quest and hunt mobs
for experience.

Camping

To
stay in one area waiting for a specific mob to spawn

Sometimes
more than one player or group will be trying to kill certain a specific mob,
causing a conflict.

Ding

The
sound effect of gaining a level

For
some players, gaining a level is such a big deal that they will announce that
they just “dinged”

Grats, or congrats

Congratulations

When
someone announces they just dinged you type or say “congrats.”

Proc

Weapon
process

Some
weapons have magic or poison or a special attack that has chance to activate
during a battle. This is called a process and when it happens you say your
weapon “proc’d.”

PVP

Player
versus player

Fighting
against player controlled characters. This is the opposite of PVE.

PVE

Player
versus environment

Fighting
against Mobs and other game controlled enemies. This is the opposite of PVP.

Alt

Alternative
character

Many
players have at least two characters available to play in their MMORPG. One
is the main character they play most often and one is the alternative
character they play less frequently.

Main

Main
character

Many
players have at least two characters available to play in their MMORPG. One
is the main character they play most often and one is the alternative
character they play less frequently.

Resisting,
resist factors, resists

A
measurement of your one’s ability to resist spells and attacks

All
mobs and players have some measurable ability to resist melee and magic
attacks. Knowing this resist factor can determine the outcome of a battle.

Rez or res

Resurrect

If
you die in battle, some players of certain classes can resurrect you. You
would say, “I need a rez please.”

Roll

“Roll”
a random number between 1-100

During
the course of a playing you will come across loot that more than one player
needs or wants. To determine who gets that item you roll for it. In WoW, it is a slash command /random.

Slash
commands

A
set of in-game commands that start with the “/” character

For
example, /random, /laugh, /dance

Train

To
run for you life trailing angry mobs behind you.

Training
was a common occurrence in previous MMORPGs. In Everquest, for example, mobs would follow you for as long
as your were in a zone. That meant that you could potentially drag nasty
angry mobs to unsuspecting bystanders causing them grief. This is one of my
favorite train stories
.

Uber

An
exceptionally skilled player

As
in, “you are so uber!”

Exp

Experience

As
you complete quests and kill mobs you earn experience points that eventually
translates into leveling your character. Don’t forget to say Ding!

Leveling

To
achieve the next level

One
of the ultimate goals in an RPG is to improve the abilities of your character.
Achieving a new level is one measurement of this improvement.

Corpse
run

Running
to your corpse after losing a battle with a mob

In
EQ a corpse run was necessary to collect your equipment. WoW
has eliminated much of the pain from dying for which I am eternally grateful.

Zerg

To
overwhelm the enemy with excessive numbers

Zerg is a reference to Starcraft a
real time strategy game. The tactic is frowned upon by some because the
victory is assured by sheer mass of numbers and not by superior tactical skill.

Zone

The
boundary between areas in the game universe

As
the technology of MMORPGs has improved, the number
of zones has been reduced.

AH,
Bazaar

A
marketplace where players can sell items to other players

As
the number of players increased, a system that allowed for efficient buying
and selling between players became a necessity.

LD

Link
dead

MMO
games are complex systems. Interruptions are inevitable which is generally
designated as going link dead.

Med

Meditate

When
you stop fighting to rest, eat, drink or take other steps to recover your
health and mana you are “medding.”

Pop

Popping
or respawning mobs

In
close quarters, mobs will respawn near your group,
often while you are medding or in the middle of a
fight. When that happens, you alert the group by typing “pop.” As
in “pop behind us,” or “pop left.”

Att

Attributes

An
attribute is a trait associated with a specific character or mob. Common
examples include: intelligence, stamina, strength, agility, and dexterity.

BOE,
BOP

Bind
on equip (BOE) and Bind of pickup (BOP)

The
most desirable weapons and items in an MMORPG will usually become bound to
you, which means that you cannot sell or give them
away. Some will bind when you pick them, others will bind when you first wear
them. When looting you should always be sure which method applies.
You will incur wrath if an item you cannot use becomes bound to you because
you inadvertently picked it up.

Farming

Playing
the game for the specific purpose of acquiring desirable items.

The
game developers frown upon players that farm the best items for the sole
purpose of selling them to other players at inflated prices.

GM

Game
master

A
game master is a representative of the game developer playing a character
inside the game. GMs can help you with in-game problems like anti-social
players and harassment.

Guilds

A
semi-permanent group of players with common interests.

Technologia
is the guild formed by members and friends of TechRepublic members.

Instance

A
specific area that exists in a state particular to a specific group of
players.

Instanced
areas are usually dungeons where there is a specific goal to achieve. As you
progress toward that goal, the instance reflects it by not respawning mobs and other obstacles like locked doors.

Mule

An
alternative character whose job is to carry items for your other characters.

Because
storage space is limited, some enterprising players will create a low level
character that operates as a bank for other high level characters.

Nija looting

Jumping
in to loot a unique or hard to find item before anyone else in your group has
a chance

This
practice has been mitigated somewhat by game mechanics, but can still occur.
Don’t loot something special until it has been rolled on or other
arrangements have been made to fairly distribute the item.

PC

Player
controlled character

A
character controlled by a player and not by the game.

Solo

Playing
without a group

Sometimes
you just want to do things by yourself. Some classes are better suited for
solo game play then others.

Twink

A PC
with gear and weapons that would normally be found on a character of higher
level

One
way to make your character more powerful is to twink
it with gear normally reserved for players who have achieved a higher level.

Twisting

Casting
magic spells quickly and in a certain sequence.

Some
classes can chant buffs that will last a certain amount of time. By casting
the spells at specific intervals you can effectively keep several chanted
buffs active at the same time. A very advanced skill.

Leech

Stealing
experience and/or items

Sometimes
a player will follow closely behind a group or higher level player as they
perform a specific quest. The group does all the work clearing a path to the
quest and the leech can then complete the quest without doing all the work.

Pet

A
companion for your character

Some
classes can summon or tame a pet to fight along side them. Some players also
like to by a non-combat pet to travel with them. Many consider non-combat
pets to be status symbols.

Vendor
trash

Loot
that players won’t buy

Only
one of the computer controlled vendors is willing to pay you for some items.
The majority of loot you receive from mobs will fall into this category.

Raid

A
large group operation

Groups
are generally limited to five or so members. However, special raid groups can
be created for high-end encounters, usually involving 10 to 40 or more
players.

Named
mob

A
mob with a name

Named
mobs are generally tougher then their generic contemporaries. A wolf named
Fang is going to be tougher to fight then the starving wolves that hang
around him.

Elite

A
mob with more hit points and better equipment

An
elite mob is going to be considerably more difficult to defeat in battle.
Elite mobs are usually found in instances and in boss battles that end a long
quest string. Elites also grant considerably more experience if you are
victorious.

Grinding

Killing
mobs for experience without regard to a quest or other goal.

Grinding
may be necessary at the end of some levels as a means to reaching the next
leveling plateau.

Tactical terms

Term

Definition

Description and notes

Tanking

Assuming
the group position of taking the most agro from Mobs

A
tank is usually a warrior or other melee specialized character. Because of
their inherent high armor factor, they can take more damage than most
characters. For healing classes, it is much more efficient to heal only one
player in a group as opposed to all group members. Choosing a tank is a
fundamental group tactical decision.

Aggro

Aggression

Aggro is a measure of a mob’s interest in a specific character.
In many groups you want the tank to hold aggro so
other less hearty characters don’t get any damage.

Spouse
aggro

Spousal
aggression

As a
companion to aggro, spouse aggro
is when a player’s spouse interrupts play with real life. As in, “Stop
playing that game and pay attention to me for a change.” When this
happens, all a player has to say is “spouse aggro”
and the group will know all it needs to know.

Add

Additional
mobs

During
a battle a mob not part of the original battle may join the fight. Group
members should announce an add so everyone knows
there are more to fight.

BAF

Bring
a friend

If
you pull one mob for a fight, it will bring at least one friend – so pulling
one really means pulling at least two.

KOS

Kill
on sight

Many
mobs will try to kill you without provocation.

Con

Consider

To
consider the fighting ability of a mob before engaging it. In most games mobs
are color coded to make it easier to identify a trivial encounter from an
epic one.

Crit

Critical
hit

Most
damage dealt by a player will be within a range. When the maximum amount of
damage for that attack is reached, it is called a critical hit.

DD

Direct
damage

An
attack or spell that does direct damage to a specific target.

DOT

Damage
over time

An attack
or spell that does damage to a target over a specific span of time. For
example, 10 points of damage every second for 10 seconds.

AOE

Area
of effect

Doing
damage to mobs standing within a certain range radiating out from the spot
where the spell was targeted.

PBAE

Point
blank area of effect

Doing
damage mobs standing within a certain range radiating out from the caster.

HOT

Heal
over time

Healing
a target a certain amount over a specific span of time. For example, healing
for 10 points every second for 10 seconds.

Channeling

Casting
a spell that requires that you don’t move

To
get the full effect of a channeling spell, the caster must not move or be
interrupted by a mob during a specific time.

Kiting

A
tactical technique that reduces the amount of melee damage taken

For
some casting classes, an effect fighting technique is to cast a spell run for
a bit cast another spell and run some more. Like flying a kite, the mob
follows you until it is dead.

Mez or mes

Mesmerize

A
form of crowd control. The player casts a spell or initiates an attack that
mesmerizes a mob for a certain amount of time. While “mezzed,” the mob will not participate in a fight.
Damage will often break a mez, so players should be
careful not to break mez until the proper time.

OOP
or OOM

Out
of mana or out of power

As a
caster it is your responsibility to inform your group when you are out of
power and cannot cast until you create more.

Pulling

The
art of initiating a battle with a mob

Pulling
is an art form. A good puller can make a grouping experience pleasant while a
bad puller will likely lead to frustration. Some classes are better at
pulling then others. Some players have an affinity for pulling, but many
don’t.

Root

Casting
a spell or an attack to hold a mob in place

A
form of crowd control where a mob is held in place by some form of magic for
a certain amount of time. Damage will often break a root, so players should
be careful not to break root until the proper time.

Threat
list

The
ranking a mob uses to determine whom to fight next in a group encounter.

A
tank tries to keep on top of the threat list, but healing or doing a large
amount of damage can cause the mob to move a caster up on the threat list.

CC

Crowd
control

A
tried and true technique where certain party members will take steps to limit
the number of mobs actively fighting during an encounter. Taking a group of
mobs on one at a time is preferential to taking them all on at once.

Stun

Casting
a spell or an attack that will stop a mob from fighting

Part
of the crowd control options. Stun usually doesn’t last as long as other CC
techniques.

Stacking

The
ability for one spell to co-exist with another spell

Some
spells stack and compliment other spells, but some spells will cancel the
effects of another spell. Every game has different rules about what can
stack, but the general rule of thumb is that spells that have the exact same
effect will not stack. In other words, you cannot get a stamina increasing
buff from two casters and multiply the benefits.

DPS

Damage
per second

A
measurement of how much damage a player, weapon, or spell can do. DPS is used
to compare one item with another or one spell with another.

Game specific

Term

Definition

Description and notes

WoW

World
of Warcraft

My
current addiction

DAOC

Dark
Age of Camelot

My
previous addition – a MMORPG set in medieval times (more or less)

EQ

EverQuest

The
first addiction for many

EQ2

EverQuest 2

An
update to EQ

COH/COV

City
of Heroes and City of Villains

An
MMORPG for superhero or supervillain wannabes.

NBG

Need
before greed

A
looting regimen that says you should loot what you need before you loot what
you want to satisfy your greed.

PST
or PSW

Please
send tell or Please send whisper

Seen
in chat conversations – a request for a personal conversation that others
cannot see

WC

Wailing
caverns

An
instance dungeon in WoW

WF

Westfall

A
area in WoW

UC

Undercity

A
capitol city in WoW

TB

Thunder
Bluff

A
capitol city in WoW

RR

Redridge Mountains

A
area in WoW

RFD

Razorfen Downs

An
instance dungeon in WoW

IF

Iron
Forge

A
capitol city in WoW

GS

Goldshire

A
area in WoW

LBS

Lower
Blackrock Spire

An
instance dungeon in WoW

UBS

Upper
Blackrock Spire

An
instance dungeon in WoW

This
list, as long as it may seem, only scratches the surface when it comes to the
vocabulary of an MMORPG. This somewhat intimidating “insider
knowledge” has discouraged many from trying this computer game genre. But
much of the vocabulary is merely an abbreviation used out of necessity because
most communication is done through chat. If you have been wary of jumping into
a game like World of Warcraft because of a perceived learning curve, you should
set your mind at ease. While the vocabulary can be rather extensive, it can all
be learned as you play. This is where a guild like Technologia is very helpful
– we are just some geeks having fun and helping a new player get their MMORPG
game in order is just part of the mission.