Speaking MMOG (WoW)


One of the most interesting aspects in MMOGs is the game world essentially becomes a giant sandbox to play in. The game designers provide the bare essentials, and the players using their own imaginations and their game experiences create their own stories.

One of the problem with MMOGs is that each MMOG tends to develop their own vocabulary, a sort of dialect associated with each game. While some terms and acronyms flow from game to game, some terms are game specific. This makes telling stories about the game events to non-players pretty difficult. Each storytelling session pretty much entails defining all the player actions in non game vocabulary in order for it to make sense to the layman.

Interestingly enough, Blizzard has published a glossary of in game terms that are used in WoW in order to get the new player started.

For instance, here is a typical conversation in EQ following a server patch. (A server patch is when they update the game servers with new code which fixes problems or updates the game with new changes).

OOC: Player A: What did they nerf this time?
OOC: Player B: What's with the lag?
Player C auctions "WTB FBSS, PST!"
Player D shouts "22 War LFG!"
Player E shouts "Don't group with Player Z, he just ninja'd a SBS"
Player F shouts "DING!" Player G shouts "grats" Player H shouts "WTG!" Player I shouts "80 gtg" Player J shouts "HG headed to BF!"

As you can see, to a normal person, these terms and abbreviations mean next to nothing. It's very difficult to derive any sense of meaning, especially without context. To a player of MMOGs, but not EQ, they can understand probably 80% of the conversation above, and to a player of EQ, they should be able to understand 90-100%. Not much of the above flows into standard everyday English, but it's still interesting that "nerf" (which means a negative change) has flowed from MMOG to MMOG, as has "Ding" - which is what players say when they level up. The interesting thing about "Ding" is that despite the games not having a "Ding" sound, players who have immigrated from one MMOG to another have brought the term over. This is especially apparent in a game like Dark Ages of Camelot, which is not at all bell like.

OOC: Player A: What did they nerf this time?
Player A is asking in the Out of Character Channel what changes the developer made to lessen the power of the players.
OOC: Player B: What's with the lag?
Player B is asking in the Out of Character Channel why the network latency is so bad.
Player C auctions "WTB FBSS, PST!"
Player C is Wanting To Buy a Flowing Black Silk Sash, and if someone selling to Please Send a Tell. Tells are a way of sending direct player to player communication.
Player D shouts "22 DRU LFG!"
Player D is a 22nd Level Druid looking for a group. DRU is short for Druid, one of the player classes in the game.
Player E shouts "Don't group with Player Z, he just ninja'd a SBS"
Grouping is when Players team up in order to kill monsters. Ninja'd is short for Ninja-looted, meaning Player Z just took the loot from the monster's corpse without any kind of group democracy deciding who gets the loot. SBS stands for Shiny Brass Shield, an item within the game.
Player F shouts "DING!"
Player F has gained a level of experience.
Player G shouts "grats"
Short for Congratulations.
Player H shouts "WTG!" Short for Way To Go.
Player I says in Group "80 gtg"
Player I is saying to his Group he has 80 percent mana and is Good To Go.
Player J shouts "HG headed to BF!"
Player J is shouting a warning to the players that a Hill Giant is headed towards Befallen. Befallen is one of the dungeons in the game, and Hill Giants are Level 30 monsters placed in low level player zones who hit for 70 or 80 damage, effectively killing any low level player in 2 or 3 hits.

Despite the information passing that occurs within the game via these channels, a good deal of information is passed on via the online message boards and forums that people look at while they are not playing the game. In-game chat messages are short and efficient, except during the game's downtime, where players can.

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