MMORPG Terms Defined MMO Terminology

Full MMORPG Terms Glossary

Below is the Full MMORPG Terms Glossary. Don’t know what an MMO Term means? Just look it up here! We have all common MMO Phrases and lingo defined here.


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1337

A numerical translation for “elite” pronounced “leet,” 1337 is a slang developed by hackers in the ’80s used over the internet. Many words from the slang have leaked to popular culture today (“kidz” is an example; using a z instead of an s is an element of 1337). It is mostly prevalent in the gaming world online where people can interact textually.


A

AE

Area Effect. Used to refer to area-effect spells or abilities. E.g. fireball, smoke grenade.

AFK

Away from keyboard

Aggro

As a verb, it refers to a hostile mob that has noticed a player and is actively trying to attack that player. As a noun, it refers to the amount of “hostility” the player has generated on the mob. In typical combat strategy, the fighter tries to take as much aggro as possible away from weaker players such as healers and mages.

Alt

Short for “alternate”. It refers to the alternate character a player has from their main character. This is not a stable category as sometimes alts can out level mains and sometimes mains become moth-balled.

AO

Abbreviation for Anarchy Online. An online game.

AOE

Same as AE. Area of Effect.

Attribute

e.g. Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, etc.

B

Bind

In certain MMOs, characters are teleported back to a safe spot when they die. This spot is predetermined by the user. The act of determining the safe spot requires an explicit action by the user. That action is known as a bind. The spot is typically referred to as a bind spot.

Bio

Short for biological. Usually used to indicate bathroom break.

BoE

Short for “bind on equip” – a term popularized by World of Warcraft. This term refers to items that become soulbound to the player after they have been equipped. In other words, the item can be traded as long as no one equips it.

BoP

Short for “bind on pickup” – a term popularized by World of Warcraft. This term refers to items that become soulbound to the player after it has been picked up from a monster. In other words, the item cannot be traded once a player picks it up. BoP items commonly cause looting conflicts and disputes during game-play.

BRB

“be right back”

Bot

Generally illegal and discouraged form of gameplay, where actions of a character can be automated to perform actions repeatedly in order to gain experience and level without actual user intervention. This practice is continually monitored by GMs and will cause suspension of service if one is suspected of botting.

BRT

“be right there”

BTW

“by the way”

Buff

Temporary boost to character attribute or combat ability


C

Camp(ing)

The act of waiting in an area to hunt a specific mob or a specific spawn

CoH

City of Heroes, a super hero based MMORPG by NCsoft

Class

Professional archetypes. In D&D games, these would be warrior, healer, rogue and mage. The most typical class types are: close-range damage, ranged damage, healing, crowd control, support.

Cleric

Typical healing class in D&D style fantasy games.

Corpse

In certain MMOs, a corpse appears where the player died. Sometimes all the player’s items and money are left on the corpse and the player is teleported back to their bind spot. Corpses typically will decay after a certain time proportional the character’s level.

Corpse Run

The act of retrieving your corpse after you have died. This is typically a dangerous thing because people tend to die in dangerous places rather than safe places.

Crafting

A general category of skills that allows players to manufacture objects from raw resources

Crit

“To crit” refers to landing a critical hit either with melee or spells. Effective damage is usually increased from a base of 150% to upwards of 250% with extra talents/skills/buffs.

Crowd Control

Refers to a set of spells / abilities that temporarily paralyze or stun other mobs or players. Crowd control is an important group support ability when fighting multiple mobs.


D

DAoC

Abbreviation for Dark Age of Camelot. An online game.

DD

Direct Damage. Used to refer to a class of spells and abilities that allow players to damage enemies from a distance. The firebolt is the archetypal DD.

Debuff

The opposite of a buff. An offensive spell cast on enemies that weakens an attribute or combat ability.

Dex

An important stat for rogues and archers. Dex usually relates to attack speed, dodge rate, and/or defense.

Dirt Nap

Slang for dead. Most corpses lie on the ground when killed.

DKP

Dragon kill points. A fairly elaborate score-keeping system used by guilds to fairly distribute loot based on participation and contribution to the guild.

DoT

Damage over time. Refers to a class of spells that deals damage over a period of time. These spells typically do more damage than DD spells overall.

DPS

Damage per second. Used when figuring out weapon speed and damage.

Druid

Hybrid class in D&D style games – part healer, part support, part fighter.


E

Eating Grass

Vernacular for dead. Most players lie on the ground face down when killed.

Epic(s)

A class of items or equipment that are very powerful and difficult to acquire. Usually found in the hardest dungeons and have the lowest probability to drop.

EQ

Abbreviation for EverQuest, one of the first MMORPGs.

Experience

A quantity gained when completing tasks/quests, killing mobs, or discovering new locations in games. Characters  level up when they gain enough experience points.


F

Farm(ing)

The act of accumulating currency or items by constantly killing a mob or repeatedly performing a series of actions.

FTL

Acronym meaning ‘for the lose’. Similar to FTW but refers to a failture. For example, ‘afk FTL : ( ‘ meaning the player’s afk status caused him or her to lose.

FTW

Acronym meaning ‘for the win’. Refers to the act, ability or event that’s responsible for a victory. For example, “Stun FTW!!” with stun being a skill or spell that temporarily immobilizes an opponent.


G

Gank

Verb. To be ganked is a term referring to one player being overwhelmed and killed by a large group. Can be either by a group of other players doing player-kill or a group of NPC monsters. Used in a sentence, “I got ganked yesterday in Fel.” Typically has the connotation that the other people had an unfair advantage (in number or level).

GM

Game Master. GM’s are characters in an MMORPG who are used by employees of the game’s creator company. They monitor the actions of the game world and answer the questions and complaints of the players. They have absolute control and power within the game. If the crime (breaking a law of the game, not the real world) committed is serious enough, they could even expel players permanently from the game.

Griefer

Title for a player who enjoys inflicting pain upon other players needlessly. If you kill newbies in a PvP game when you are level 50, you will gain no experience or benefit from the victimization beyond the pure joy of knowing you have given the player “grief.” Though griefers are almost always PKers, PKers are not necessarily griefers.

Guilds

Semi-permanent player groups. In typical games, players must use a substantial amount of capital to start the guild.

GTG

“good to go” and “got to go” – can be confusing when context is unclear


H

Heal

A spell or skill that restores the health of the target. Could also be a call for help. If a player yells ‘heal me’ or even ‘heal!’ it means they are about to die unless another player restores their health.

Health

A common attribute, also called hit points or HP, that signifies the character’s life. Usually when health runs out, a player dies.

IMHO

Simply means ‘in my humble opinion.’


I

INC

Abbreviation for ‘incoming’. When a player pulls for a group, he will use this as warning that a mob is incoming.

INT

A common stat that stands for intelligence. Often the primary attribute for spell casters, it usually relates to spell damage and/or mana pool.

IRL

Stands for ‘in real life.’

Instance

A copy of a particular dungeon for a group of players. Instanced dungeons are parallel worlds which let different groups of players explore the same dungeon in separate groups.


J

JK, j/k

Short for ‘just kidding.’ Popular in most online chat environments including MMORPGs.

Jump(ing)

Most games allow the player controlled character to jump abnormally high in a reptitive fashion (WoW) though some games penalize players with a stamina cost for jumping (EverQuest)

K

K / KK / Kay

All variants have the same meaning: okay. Used to confirm a statement made by another player. Example: “Can I have this loot? K.”

Kite

To lure a mob or player around while attacking or allowing allies to attack. A player usually draws aggro by casting a mobility reduction spell on the target. The monster tries to follow the target but cannot catch up, leaving it open to attacks or the effects of DoT (damage over time) spells.

KoS

Acronym for “Kill on Sight”. Usually refers to characters who are disliked by a particular faction. E.g., “I killed too many guards, now I’m KoS in town!”

KS

Kill Stealing. When one player attacks the same creature as another player and receives the reward for the kill instead of the person who originated combat. Newer games have mechanisms for discouraging this behavior.


L

LD

Link dead – when a player is disconnected from the game, usually caused by lag or a faulty internet connection.

Leet

Slang for “elite” Ex: ‘I’m leet’

LFG

“looking for group” Used in a sentence; “Lvl 60 Mage LFG!”

LFM

“looking for more”, i.e., after a group has been formed and more members are needed.

LFT

“looking for team”

LMAO

“laugh(ing) my ass off”

LOL

“laugh(ing) out loud”

LOM

‘Low on Mana.’ Usually said by casters to inform the rest of the group that they are running low on mana and should not expect heavy healing or offensive spells.

LoS

Line of sight. A requirement of most ranged abilities,  the view of the target must not be obstructed by any fixed obstacle such as a wall.

Loot

Currency or items that are dropped by a mob when it’s defeated.


M

Medding

Resting in order to gain back mana in EQ was called Meditating. This is the commonly used abbreviation, also shortened to Med, as in, “Don’t pull yet, I need to med.”

Mez

Short for mesmerize. A short-hand for a collection of abilities that temporarily stun or immobilize enemies. Falls into the more general category known as crowd control.

Min-Maxing

When players attempt to create their characters as powerful as they can be by crunching statistics, planning their future routes, and any other methods in order to make their characters the statistically best character possible. Optimization.

MMORPG

Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game

Mob

An AI controlled monster. ‘Mob’ originally comes from the MUD era, where it was short for ‘mobile’, to differentiate monsters that would patrol a set of rooms as opposed to monsters which would stay in one place until killed.

Mod

Abbreviation of modification. Used as both a verb and a noun. As a noun, refers to add-ons by 3rd party programmers designed to augment the game (e.g., the self-cast mod). As a verb, refers to the act of performing this modification (e.g., he’s modding the interface).

MOO

MUD Object Oriented. Users in MOOs are able to create their own content – both static and dynamic objects.

MT

“mistell”. Mistells occur frequently because of typing in the wrong name before sending a message. Also because of auto-reply features.

MUD

Multi-User Dungeon, although some prefer Multi-User Domain. These were the original textual online worlds.

Mule

In many games, due to long travel times or inventory limits, it is helpful to create a character explicitly for the purpose of being able to check auction houses or store extra items. These characters are seldom actually played and are referred to as mules.


N

Nerf

To reduce the power of an ability, item, player, or action. Usually this is a term applied when a power or ability is reduced because it is perceived to be too powerful. Mostly used in the past tense, for example – “I can’t believe they nerfed rogues again, now I can’t kill anything!”

Newbie

A new player to a particular game. Newbie is usually the nicer version of noob or nub.

Ninja (Looting)/ Ninjaing

Ninjaing refers to the purposeful looting of a drop from a monster that doesn’t follow the rules set by the group. This can take different forms in different games due to game-specific game looting mechanisms. In World of Warcraft, ninja looting refers to rolling for a BoP drop that a person should not have rolled on. Because WoW warns players when they roll for a BoP object, it is assumed that such behavior cannot be accidental. The player exhibiting such behavior is typically branded as a ninja looter. Used in a sentence: “Hey tom where did you get that epic sword for your hunter?” “I ninjaed it last night than /gquit!!”

Noob

The pejorative form of newbie.

NP

“no problem”

NPC

Non-player character ie. a character controlled by the A.I

Nuke

A spell type that deals the highest damage. Mages usually have the most nukes.


O

OMG

“oh my god” Used in exclamation or to convey surprise.

OMW

“on my way”

OOC

out-of-character – used to refer to OOC chat.

OOM

“out of mana” Said by casters who’s mana supply is depleted.

OST

Original Sound Track. Refers to the game’s music. “This game has great music, I want to buy the OST!”

Ownz

Derived from the original word “own,” both words have the same meaning: to defeat some other entity in battle or other form of competition. The “pwnz” origin is probably from the fact that the “o” and “p” keys are adjacent on the standard qwerty keyboard, and were used interchangeably by mistake in games and stuck around since then.


P

Pat

Short for patrol, a term used for mobs that have a set wandering path. In a dungeon, people will usually say “Wait for the pat” or “Watch the pat”.

PB

Point blank. Used to refer to a class of spells that originates in a radius around the caster. Typically, these spells are dangerous to the caster because they require proximity to the enemy. Specific spells are typically concatenated with the ability, i.e. pbae mez, pbae stun.

PBAOE

Point blank area of effect. These are a line of spells that effect an area around the caster. They can be either offensive or healing spells. Spells in this category are usually over powered like the Enchanter’s pbaoe in Dark Age of Camelot.

PC

Player Character.

PK

Player Killing.

PKer

Player Killer – a person who primarily plays to kill other players.

Port

Short for teleport. Used as a noun and a verb.

Power Level

When a higher level player tries to help a lower level player level faster. Most games have mechanisms that prevent power leveling.

Proc

Abbreviation of “programmed random occurence”, refers to the benefits of added damage or other buffing enhancement that occurs randomly when an item strikes or is used.

PuG

Pick up Group – a group assembled on the spot for a quest, a PvP battle, or an instance raid.

Pull

A standard hunting strategy where a player lures a single or a group of mobs to the group so that the group can hunt from a safe area instead of hunting in areas where new mobs may spawn.

PvE

Player vs. Environment. Environment stands for all monsters (mobs) in the game world.

PvP

Player vs. Player combat.

pwnz

same as ownz.


Q

Quest

Tasks that players must complete for NPCs in games. May be referred to as missions in some games.

QQ

Represents a pair of tearing eyes. Often used as an insult towards a player who complains about a game feature or turn of events. Used in a sentence: “QQ more nub.”

Qwerty

The stardard type of keyboard used across the world. The first five letters spell out the type: Q, W, E, R, T, Y.


R

Race

Refers to the playable races in a game. Most fantasy MMORPGs have fantasy races such as Elves, Trolls, and Orcs. Other genres may have unique races such as neohuman.

Raid

A more substantial engagement involving a large organized group of players typically set in a dungeon and involving difficult bosses.

Regen

Short for regeneration of health, mana, or other attributes. Also a common healing spell.

Respec

At certain high levels in some games, you are given the chance to “respec” your character. When you respec, you recreate your character from level 1 until the present level in terms of skills/powers/abilities/etc.

Rez

Short for resurrection. Refers to abilities that revive players that have just died. Typically only available to healer classes.

ROFL

“rolling on floor laughing” Usually said in response to a joke or funny situation. “ROFL he got killed by a lowbie!”

Rogue

A common class archetype that relies on speed and stealth over brute force or spells. Variants of this class are found in all genres but in slightly different names such as; thief, agent, or assassin.

RMT

Abbreviation for Real Money Trade – selling virtual currency or items for real currency.

Roll

To “roll” on an item means to type “/random 100″, where the server’s random number generator puts out a number between 1 and 100, the most generally accepted “fair” way to distribute loot and settle disputes.

Root

Can refer to a class of abilities as well as its effect. A root spell immobilizes a target. The target is then said to be rooted. Early versions of these abilities involved references to plants, hence “root”.

RvR

Realm vs. Realm. A type of player vs player combat that involves large numbers of players who belong to different factions or realms.


S

Server

Due to technical reasons, each server can only support a limited amount of players. Each MMORPG typically has several servers. Players cannot interact with players on other servers though they can usually transfer for a fee.

Shard

Synonymous with server, originally used to refer to servers in Ultima Online.

Solo

The act of playing alone, hunting mobs by yourself.

Soulbound

An item-control mechanic where an item cannot be traded. In other words, only one person can own the object and it cannot be traded. See also BoE and BoP.

Spawn

Mobs typically appear (spawn) on a given schedule. This is both a verb and noun.

Spec

Short for specification. When used in games, it usually refers to the build/specifications of your character in terms of skills/abilities/magic/powers/etc.

Spirit

An attribute in many MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. Spirit controls a character’s passive mana regeneration ability.

Stun

A typical form of crowd control that immobilizes an enemy. Skills, spells, and other abilities may have the power to stun.

SWG

Abbreviation for Star Wars Galaxies. An online game based on the Star Wars universe and published by Sony.


T

Tank

As a noun, refers to character classes that can take a lot of damage. As a verb, refers to the act of drawing aggro from mobs before other team members strike with their abilities.

Train(ing)

Duel meanings. 1) A large group of monsters stacked near each other all following one player. 2) Training can refer to the act of killing monsters to gain experience or increasing your skills.

Twink

As a verb, the act of giving currency or valuable items to a newbie. As a noun, refers to a character that is twinked. In many games, twinked characters are visually marked by their level-inappropriate gear.

Twisting

To rapidly change from one type of ability to another where the abilities overlap momentarily. In DAOC a bard sings a song that gives a buff. By rapidly changing the song several songs will overlap due to the duration of the songs continuing for a short period of time.


U

UO

Abbreviation for Ultima Online. One of the first MMORPGs, released back in 1997.”UO Rocks!”

Uber

Slang form of super from the German word. Ex: “Dude this sword is UBER!”

USA

Short for United States of America, the greatest country in the world. All other countries are lame. In a sentence: “Hey Mike, where you from? “I’m from Romania, you?” “I’m from the USA.” “GG, you win.”


V

Vanguard

A failed fantasy MMORPG by Sony. It was released with high hopes but quickly faded away. Used in a sentence “Hey I just bought Vanguard!” “Dude you got robbed!” “*#%#”


W

WB

“welcome back”

Wipe

To “wipe” means for the entire group whether party or raid to all die. However, party or raid can only continue if there is a class that can resurrect oneself, thereby avoiding the time consumed from running back from the the graveyard and regrouping at the beginning of the instance.

WOOT

Synonymous with “hooray” or “way to go”.

WoW

Abbreviation for World of Warcraft. An online game.

WTB

“want to buy”

WTG

Abbreviation of ‘way to go.’ Meant to provide encouragement but often used in sarcasm. Example: “I just died again to this boss!” “WTG, nub!”

WTS

“want to sell”


X

Xp

Short for experience points. Often earned by killing monsters, completing quests, or other achievements. When enough xp is acquired, players often level up or become stronger.

xD

A face with the tongue sticking out. Usually used in informal conversations of comedic situations. Example: “We should mess around on our alts xD”

Y

Ygdrassil

The tree of life found in many RPGs. Ragnarok Online in particular has many references to this magic tree.


Z

Zerg

A combat strategy where a large group of players rush in at the target. Seen as a simple-minded strategy that requires no skill.

Zombie

The living dead. These trash mobs are found in most MMORPGs as low level fodder.

Zone

In games where different areas of the world are parceled out for loading reasons, different areas are referred to.