Terms 101

Are you new to MMOs
or just a bit rusty on what all those terms mean? VTTH presents Game
Terms 101 to help you decipher what is being said around you as you
wander into Telon and other gaming worlds.





Additional NPCs for the party to fight,
arriving usually of their own accord. "Adds incoming". This
is often unintentional and undesirable. One instance is while fighting
an enemy or group of enemies, another enemy appears very close to you
and comes after the party.

"Away from keyboard"

When a player is not present at the keyboard, taking a break. Some
games show this status in the game so that your group members are
aware that you are not there. It is considered polite to inform your
group how long you expect to be gone.

1. To have aggro means that the enemy
mobs are focused on the player. Sometimes this is done intentionally,
as in the case of a tank, othertimes it is unintentional and undesired,
as in the case of a group's healer gaining aggro.

2. When a mob is aggro'd, it will attack non-hidden players within a
certain radius. Depending on the MMO being played, the ability to hide
can vary and be based on class and race.
Alternative, usually lower-level character(s)
that are played in addition to the main character of a given player.

"Area of Effect"

A spell or item that deals damage in a given area, as opposed to
doing damage to a single enemy. Also called "AE".

Used to let the player's group know
that they are taking a quick bathroom break.
Boss Mob
The main mob of an enounter. Generally
the most difficult in an area that a quest or set of events is required
to get to.

"Be right back"

This is another way of letting those around you know that you will
be away from the game, or situation, for a moment. For instance, if
one were to leave the group's area to go and replenish supplies, one
could say "BRB heading for more suppiles."

1. Casting a spell on another player
to give them better stats for a short period of time. These stats could
be increased health, strength, defense, speed, or other effects.

2. A spell that has been cast onto a teammate that increases stats for
a short period of time.
1. A spot chosen by a
player or group of players to stay in and engage enemies from. The spot
is usually safe and so long as the players do not move too far, no undesired
monsters will come close enough to engage them. Often, the only person
to leave the camp is the puller.

2. To stay in one spot in a dangerous area. This spot is a safe spot
that mobs can be pulled to, so that no one accidentally aggros a nearby
mob during combat. Also used in some games when an enemy player hangs
around a slain opponent, waiting for a "rez" and an easy kill

"Crowd Control"

A general set of ability types that involve limiting the actions
of others. The meaning of the various types varies from game to game,
but in general, "roots" immobilize a character (cannot walk,
but is otherwise free to act), "snares" will slow the rate
at which a character moves, "mesmerizations" or "mezzes"
completely freeze the character in place until the character takes
damage or the mez experies (sometimes also called "sleeps"),
"stuns" completely freeze the character in place even if
the character is taking damage, "charms" allow the charmer
to take control of the charmee, and "fears" cause the character
to run around in random directions unable to act.

Character class, a character's archetype
and career (e.g. fighter, rogue, bard, paladin, necromancer, etc.)


1. to examine an NPC or PC to determine its level relative to the

2. adj. - The relative level or difficulty of a target NPC or PC,
usually displayed as a color code.


"Corpse Run"

The process of returning from the place your character appears after
death, to the place the death occured to recover one's body. This
generally is needed to recover the items that are typically carried
such as armor, weapons, and coin


"Direct Damage"

A type of spell or ability and directly damages a traget.

1. Casting a spell on an enemy to give
them reduced stats for a short period of time or to remove a buff that
the enemy previously received. These stats could be decreased strength,
defense, speed, or other effects.

2. A spell that has been cast onto an enemy that decreases stats for
a short period of time.
Refers to the sound a game makes when
you achieve a new level. Used to alert others to this achievement "Ding

"Damage over Time"

1. A move or spell that continuously wounds a character over time.
A common one would be poison, that may deal 15 damage every 2 seconds
for 30 seconds.


"Damage per second"

1. Damage per second, a standard way to calculate the damage dealt
to others (500 damage in 2.5 seconds = 200DPS).

2. Describing a character class which is known for pumping out a signficant
amount of damage per second. ("We need to bring some more DPS
classes for this encounter.")

Most commonly refers to a mob leaving
behind equipment when slain. Sometimes refers to the equipment itself
as a noun, "The princess drops a nice shield." or "I
got a sweet drop last night off the ogre chieftain."

"Damage Shield"

A spell or ability that deals a certian amount of damage anytime
the one "waering" the damage shield is attacked.

In some games, an Epic Quest is designed
for each of the classes. Completion of this quest leads to a reward
of an extreamly rare class specific item.

1. A type of teleportation spell that is made for removing a player
or group from a dangerous situation

2. The process of being taken from a dangerous situation by the aid
of a spell cast. These types of spells are known for their limited
range making the need to get close to the caster critical to one's

A technique of using specific flaws
in the game mechanics, system architecture, or world geography to give
oneself an advantage over other players, access otherwise hidden or
unavailable content, or bypass intended elements of the game design
or NPC AI.
Many games represent how groups of Mobs
and NPCs feel about your character through a value representing your
"faction standing" with that group. There are often ways to
alter your faction standing either positively (such as completing quests
for members of that faction or killing members of opposing factions)
or negatively (such as killing members of the faction or completing
quests for opposing factions).
To repetitively gather resources in
an area.
In PVP, When two or more players kill
one single player. Used when a powerful character kills a far weaker
character; when a player is busy fighting an NPC and is killed by another
Describing a class, race,
skill, spell, abilities, or other aspect of the game that is perceived
to be underpowered.

"Game Master"

A person employed by the game to offer in-game technical support,
customer service, and assume a policing role. Also called a CSR.

To repetitively kill mobs in a area,
usually to get experience in order to get to the next level.
A collection of players that are working
together towards a common goal.

"Heal over time"

A healing spell that heals an inital amount and then continues to
heal over set intervals. For instance: Heal 1500 + 1200 over 30 seconds,
every 5 seconds.

A character class whose skill set is
a mixture of two other classes.
INC or Incoming
A message
denoting the arrival of NPCs for the party to fight, after aggroed by
a player.
An instance is a part of the world (normally
a dungeon) of which a private copy is made and reserved for a player
or group of players, as opposed to a non-instance dungeon or location
where the player(s) can meet other players of their own side or the
opposing side, with all the consequences that brings to the gameplay.
To prevent a mob or group of mobs from
successfully attacking by continualy moving. Commonly used by caster

"Kill on Sight"

1. Mobs that will attack players without provocation are said to
be KoS. As in "I'm KOS to the vampires in the pyramid".

2. A description of a mob that is KOS. "The guards are KOS to


"Kill Stealing"

When a player engages and kills a mob that was being fought by another
player, possibly receiving loot rights and experience.

When the game client freezes up or moves
slowly, either due to large amounts of content being loaded from disk
and into memory or from large amounts of data being sent from the game
server to the client. Typically exhibits itself as a momentary freeze
in the game client, after which the game will quickly act to catch up
with the current game state, either by moving players around to where
they are now or having them seem to run around at increased speeds.

"Looking for Group"

Used as an advertisement when a player wishes to team up with other


"Looking for More"

Used as an advertisement when a player is looking for more members
for their party. Can also be written with a number if a specific number
of players is sought after, "LF2M for quests".


Refers to equipment that is picked up from the corpse of a slain

The main character played by a given
player, usually the highest-level or first created character for that
The pool of magic points used by a player
when casting spells or using other magic abilities. This term is used
even in games that officially call magic points other names such as
Combat at close range, e.g. with swords
or clubs, as opposed to ranged combat with arrows or spells.
To keep a target stunned unable to move
until the duration of the effect expires.

"Main Heal"

A player designated in a group to keep the other members of the party
in good health. Also used on raids for the same purpose on a larger


"Master Looter"

The person that is designated to loot all items from any kills. At
the end of the group's session, they will distribute the loot among
the participants in a predetermined fashion. The advantage is that
it negates the chance for ninja looting to occur when grouping with
people you aren't familiar with.

A mob is an NPC. In normal usage, MOB
will usually refer to an enemy, though strictly any computer controlled
creature is a MOB. The term is an abbreviation for Mobile OBject.

"Main Pull"

A player designated in a group to be the one responsible for bringing
mobs to the group. Typically this is done in a fashion in which the
Main Tank will "pick up" or "pick" the mob off
the trail of the puller once it is in range of the group.


"Main Tank"

A player designated by the group or raid as being responsible for
attacking the most difficult mobs and keep their aggro, to prevent
the mob from attacking the healers or other players that might not
be able to withstand much damage.

A character created for the sole purpose
of holding items for a "real" character; in certain games,
many players have a "main" character, whom they actually play,
and a "mule" character, whom they use as a trader or crafter.
The act of intentionally
weakening a skill, ability, feature, or class in the interest of game
balance, usually carried out by the game's designers.
A term that is used to
describe one that is new to a game. There are other forms of this term
that are used that are derogatory and refer to a player that has little
skill and often makes an annoyance of themselves.
Ninja Looter
The act of looting a corpse
out of turn. A player doing this when the group hasn't decided who is
actually going to get it will be labelled a ninja looter. This is typically
not a good label to have as the player might have problems getting into
groups and raids at a later time.
Non-player character, a character that
is controlled by the game.
A term for direct damage
spells, often used as a verb to indicate the act of repeatedly casting
such a spell on a specific target ("nuke the healer!")

"Out Of Mana"

Desribes a player who has used up all their magic points and is
no longer able to cast.

A group of players fighting
together towards a common goal. Also known as a group.
A new set of files that
must sometimes be downloaded and installed by each player. These files
usually contain updates and bug fixes to the game, and sometimes contain
new features, new quests, new content, or any other addition, deletion,
or alteration of the game.

"Point Blank Area Effect"

A spell or ability that will deal damage to all mobs near the caster.

1. Player character, a character in
the online world who is controlled by another human player.

2. Price check, when a player wants to get the price of an item from
another player.
An NPC that can be controlled in some
limited way by a player. There are some pets however that are not able
to be controlled. For instance in EverQuest, the Enchanter pet was an
NPC that would silently follow its master and only attack if their master
was engaged in combat.
1. Player killer, a player who kills
another in PvP. PK can often refer to a player who aggressively kills
others without being provoked.

2. To kill another player in PvP. Often used in a negative manner, such
as a level 50 killing a level 30. The term PK is rarely used for an
even, fair fight.

"Private Message"

Most games have a system that allows players to speak privately through
/tells or other means..

An expression used to alert the group
to the arrival of a mob
1. A procedure
associated with a specific item, that would activate (usually with some
random chance) when the item was used. Typically this is a spell associated
with a weapon or piece of armor that may activate when used or hit.

"Please Send Tell"

Used when a player wants others to contact them regarding something.

The term used to describe the process
by which a mob is engaged and brought to a group to be killed.

"Player vs Environment"

Describes player interaction with the environment, usually involving
combating NPC mobs.


" Player versus Player"

Describes when two players engage in combat or describes a system
that allows this.

Built-in goals or objectives
that are issues to the player by NPCs, and which, when completed, often
yield specific rewards, such as equipment, money, experience, or faction
A large group of players gathered to
work together towards a common goal. This is typically to complete a
quest or encounter that is impossible without such numbers.
The process of recovering lost hit points,
mana, stamina, or other aspects of the character.


The act of bringing a dead player back to life at the location of
his or her death. Many variations on the abbreviation exists, like
"Ress", "Rez", "Rezz".

The full state of the game world is
usually not saved permanently on the game servers continuously, but
is done at intervals. To fix a big problem with a gaming world, the
game may be rolled back to a previous state. Players possessions, their
whereabouts, their state, etc. will all be rolled back and appear to
be in the same state as they were on that point in time. Due to the
consequences to all the players this action is only done as a last resort.
To repeat a
message (often a request to buy, sell, or find a group) many times in
a public area, disrupting the normal flow of communication. In many
communities, this is considered a minor but punishable offense and can
result in suspension of chat privileges, a fine, or a temporary suspension
of play.
The moment when a particular
mob appears or reappears in game.
Spawn Camp
The act of waiting near or at a location
where a mob will appear in game with the intention of killing them immediately.
A player who intentionally
aims to keep all of the mob's aggro, by doing so, protecting other party
members who can heal the tank or damage the mob more effectively. A
tank should generally have high hit points and armor class. Also, any
combat-oriented class that primarily uses melee rather than ranged combat.
A skill that allows certain
classes to know what creatures and/or players are within a certian area.
1. A train
is the name given to the event in which a group or player has engaged
more computer-controlled enemies then they can handle, and in attempting
to flee the battle have strung along a large number of these emenies..
Due to how the computer controlled enemies are programmed to move and
follow player characters, they often line up behind one another, and
closely resemble a rail locomotive and its train of cars.

2. The act of purchasing or learning new skills or abilities often done
when achieving a new level.

3. The act of intentionally or accidentally drawing a train of mobs
to another player or group of players.
Term for the repetitive grinding many
games require to reach the highest levels.
A method of cycling several powers,
spells, or abilities with limited durations at once. This term was first
popularized by bards in Everquest, but can refer to any type of ability
cycling which requires a player to repeat a keystroke sequence to keep
multiple effects running.

"Want to Buy"

Want to buy, when a player wants to buy a specific item from another


"Want to Sell"

Want to sell, when a player wants to sell a specific item to another


"Want to Trade"

Want to trade, when a player wants to trade a specific item for another

A tactic in which overwhelming
numbers of players are sent at the enemy, disregarding tactics or casualties.
1. A subdivision of the virtual world;
usually accompanied by loading of new content or some other transition.
These areas also have distinctive styles and often are designed with
a certain level in mind. For example, a zone may be a forest area that
is meant for level 15-20 players.

2. To move from one zone to another. Can also be used as a fleeing tactic
in a battle that has turned bad for the players.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.