With the release of Guild Wars 2 much of my time in the past several weeks has been spent traversing the world of Tyria. During my travels one of the more interesting things to me is the chat that takes place between the players in the game. My previous MMO experience includes eight or nine different games but only one of those ever held my attention for any length of time. That game was Dark Age of Camelot (DA0C) by Mythic Entertainment. No matter which games you play however the chatter is still the same though it has gradually changed a bit with the games themselves. Without further ado here are some of my favorite MMO terms for better or worse.
BAF – Bring a Friend
Does this mob (monster) bring help when he is attacked? This is one of the first terms one learned especially in earlier MMO’s. It goes along well with the term Aggro (Aggressive) which refers to mobs that immediately attack you when you run near them. It always seemed a like a term that could survive in the real world. “Hey come 2 my party.” “Can I BAF cuz my BFF wants to come?”
INC – Incoming
Perhaps one of the most important terms to learn especially when working in dungeons with a team. As soon as someone yelled INC you had better be ready. The result of ignoring this message meant certain death for you and your group. It’s always the worst when a group of mobs randomly spawn right next to your group while everyone is AFK (away from keyboard) to use the bathroom.
Thanks to game such as Call of Duty and other First Person Shooters this term has a negative connotation to it. The term refers to waiting in a certain area for a specific mob to spawn so you can kill it. These are generally quest related mobs and often require multiple people to take down. It was an integral part to early MMO’s as only the people who first engage the mob would get credit for killing it.
Yep, you read that one right. In Guild Wars 2 when my character dies the penalty is a broken piece of armor and the cost of a trip to the nearest waypoint. In older games such as DAoC the penalties were much more severe. Upon dying your character would lose a percentage of experience earned for that level while other games such as Runescape also had your character drop items and money that anyone could come by and pick up. The only way to gain back a part of your experience or your goods was to make your way back to your gravestone. This was often extra difficult because people tend to die in hostile areas and, in the case of Runescape, you may be doing it without your best weapons.
It’s the unofficial victory term used in MMO’s across the globe. After beating an extremely difficult boss it is not uncommon to see the chat screen filled with Woot’s. It provides a sense of accomplishment for everyone and essentially says good game while patting everyone on the butt.
WTS/WTB – Want To Sell/Want To Buy
Guild Wars 2 has one of the best in game trading interfaces in a game to date. The trading post works more like the stock market than anything and it is a step up from the traditional auction house offered in other games. However, there was a time when auction houses didn’t exist in MMO’s or had very limited functionality. Any time you entered a major city in DAoC you would immediately start seeing messages saying WTS or WTB nonstop. You would think this would be annoying but given the nature of earlier games it really just added to the feeling of being in a major city. It felt like walking through a busy market in any city with vendors constantly shouting about their wares. You occasionally see people shouting about this in Guild Wars 2 but it is extremely rare and somewhat pointless.
LD - Link Dead
Perhaps nothing encompasses the early MMO experience more than going LD in the middle of a major battle. One second your tank would be whopping on the bad guy and then suddenly he would stop and sit there unmoving while getting beat down. This was the beginning of certain doom for the rest of the group. Upon returning the game the tank would come back and say “LD” and everyone would nod understandably. Fortunately that is pretty much a thing of the past though now we have nothing to blame our horrible dungeon beat downs on.
What are your favorite MMO terms?