Glossary of Terms for New Players

By Brennin

Also called "monster hate" or "threat", this determines who mobs attack and who they notice. Aggro is caused by several things, most notably doing damage to mobs and healing other players, as well as being of significantly lower level than a particular mob.

Aggro Radius
This is the term used for the minimum distance a mob must be to a particular player character to notice them and attack. The lower level a character is compared to a particular mob, the higher his aggro radius will be for that particular mob. Conversely, a character of dramatically higher level than a particular mob can get significantly closer to it without attracting its attention.

Random monsters, baddies, creeps, etc. Non-faction NPCs. The things you kill for XP and teh phat lewts.

When a mob or item reappears after being killed or looted. Also called Respawn.

Another term for player characters. "Yeah, I'm mostly alliance, but I have a few horde toons."

A player's primary toon. The one they either play the most, is the highest level, or both.

All other characters held by one player apart from their Main.

A twink is a character with more gear of higher quality than any one player would reasonably be able to acquire alone. Twinks are most often fed gold from characters of higher level (usually belonging to the same player) in order to buy otherwise unaffordable gear from the Auction House, though the term can be used to refer to a character who had help from other players of high-level characters to run through otherwise insurmountable quests and instances. The process of equipping one's character with excesses of better-than-average gear is called "twinking", and a character who has already acquired such items is refered to as being "twinked out". This practice is alternately derided or esteemed, depending upon one's views on the subject, and is sometimes (whether accurately or erroneously) associated with buying gold on the internet.

Both verb and exclamation, this phrase was coined to describe the oh-so-satisfying congratulatory effects that occur when a player levels their character (the flash, the sound, etc.) When a person levels, they can be said to have dinged. Additionally, when a person levels, they usually announce "Ding!" in order to recreate for their compatriots the delightful sound they have just experienced. The appropriate response is of course, "Grats!", short for "congratulations, my esteemed colleague, on your succession of levels".

Horde or Alliance, mostly, but also any of the various NPC factions. (Argent Dawn, Timbermaw Stronghold, etc.) Faction points (also called Reputation) determine how well loved you are among each faction, and at different levels grant access to recipes and items otherwise unavailable to other characters. Horde members cannot get alliance faction points, and vice versa. Faction can be gained by killing particular mobs initially, but as one's Reputation increases mobs cease to grant faction points and items must be turned in instead. "I spent all day collecting these damn beads, and my Timbermaw faction only went up by a few hundred points." (Faction is measured in thousands of points per rank.)

The act of repeatedly killing the same or similar mobs again and again in an attempt to either accumulate drops (or one especially fancy drop), gain experience, gain faction points or complete a quest that requires killing a certain number of mobs.

Like grinding, but with the express goal of collecting a particular item again and again. Does not necessarily involve killing, unless the item has to be dropped from mobs. Farming cloth, for instance, requires killing humanoids over and over again. While grinding refers to the general act of lots of repetitive killing, farming is the act of collecting lots of materials in a repetitive fashion.

The act of waiting in a particular area for a mob or item to Repop. Some unscrupulous PvPers also camp the corpses of their opponents, so as to kill them as soon as they resurrect. This is considered bad form.

The member of a party who holds the aggro, so as to spare the more vulnerable members of the party while still allowing them to do damage to the mobs. Effectively, tanks keep any mobs engaged in combat with the party attacking them (the tank) instead of any other party members. Usually a Warrior, Paladin or Feral Druid because of their higher armor levels. Tanking can be a somewhat difficult job, as other party members who are more vulnerable to damage can have the capacity to inflict a great deal of damage themselves and thus draw aggro. To counter this, tanking classes have abilities that generate more aggro than they otherwise would considering the damage they do, or simply produce aggro without doing any damage whatsoever. While almost useless in solo gaming, these abilities are crucial to group gaming and should be integral parts of any tank's arsenal.

The act of separating one mob from a group of other mobs, either by ranged attacks or simple hit-and-run maneuvers. This is important in instance runs to prevent the party from being thronged with mobs, as they tend to congregate in large groups and attracting lots of mobs very quickly is easier than one would imagine.

A Mage's ability to polymorph humanoids or beasts into sheep. This, along with the Rogue's ability to sap (see Sapping), is quite helpful in separating large groups of mobs in instances. An insurmountable group of five elites, after a sap and a sheep, becomes a far simpler group of three followed by an even simpler group of two. Doing any damage to a sheeped mob will break the spell. This is not only detrimental to the group, but is also considered bad form. Do not break teh sheeps.

A Rogue's ability to "sap" or stun a single humanoid or beast so as to negate their presence in a group of mobs. A rogue must be in stealth, and the target must not be in combat, for this ability to work. As with Sheeping, damage done to the target will break the effect. Sapping or Sheeping is a viable way to Pull groups of enemies away from other groups of enemies, as Sapping one of a tight group will doubtless attract the Aggro of the rest of the group. The Mage can then sheep another mob as they charge after the rapidly fleeing rogue and into the waiting clutches of the Tank. (get all that?)

A dungeon-type area of the game filled almost exclusively with elite mobs and usually containing several difficult bosses. Instances are different from the rest of the game in that each party who enters the instance portal enters a separate area from any future or current parties that have or will go through the portal. Each area looks the same, and has the same mobs, but only that party may participate in that instance. In effect, each party has the area all to themselves, regardless of any other parties also running the instance.

Elite mobs can be recognized by the golden dragon circling their portraits as well as the word "elite" in parenthesis in their names. These mobs are significantly harder than their level would suggest, and are usually either found in instances or other difficult areas. Sometimes, but not always, they will drop better-than-average loot. Elites always give more experience than other mobs of their level.

Less frequently seen than elite mobs, rare mobs usually have an individual name or a silver dragon around their portrait. They almost always drop better-than-average loot, but are not always any more difficult to kill than their level would suggest. They are simply more rare.

A term pertaining to the allocation of talent points into one or more of the three talent trees available to each class. Each tree lends itself toward a particular kind of play style, and grants abilities otherwise unavailable to the class. Allocating talent points in a particularly planned out way is called "Speccing", from a shortened version of Specializing, where the root word "Spec" is the shortened version of Specialization or Specialize depending on the usage. Cross-speccing is quite common, allowing a character access to abilities from more than one tree but preventing them from completely taking advantage of any one tree. A character's particular scheme of talents is called either a "Talent Spec" or "Talent Build", or can be individually refered to as in the case of "Fire Specced Mage" or "Combat Specced Rogue." A player can test out any number of talent builds with the talent calculator on the WoW website (found here.) A player is allowed to "respec" their talents after they have been allocated, but it involves visiting a trainer and paying a price in gold that increases with each respec.

Any program installed on one's computer that somehow alters the interface of World of Warcraft. These can do anything from combining all of one's bags into a single inventory window to adding a coordinate system on the world map to providing a stats-list for every item the player has ever encountered in the game. Some mods are actually clusters of existing mods, providing a package of alterations to the game. Blizzard's position on Mods is somewhat unclear; Mods are overlooked for the most part, with most GMs claiming general ignorance, but mods that cause overt alterationsto the game that would give another player a serious edge are usually grounds for banning. They're also quite hard to find and obscenely complex, so most any mod that the average player could download and install is not going to cause any problems.

A hold-over term from Everquest that stands for "Dragon Kill Points," a system by which high-end raid loot is allocated. Nominally a member of a guild is assigned a certain amount of DKP for doing things like going on a raid, killing an end boss, donating gold to the guild bank or providing crafting services for the guild. These points are then spent bidding on loot dropped during subsequent raids. This system will not be used in Psycho Squirrel Patrol ever. Apart from it only being necessary (and even then, only arguably) in end-game raiding, it is difficult to arbitrate, unrewarding for new players and it fosters an unpleasant competitiveness among guild members.

A use of the various random number generators in the WoW client. These can be accessed either through the Need/Greed window or by typing "/roll", and are most often used to allocate loot. The "/roll" function is used most frequently in the cases of discovered chests and other things that don't activate the Need/Greed function.

A system of party looting in which, on every item of substantial value (usually green or better), a window appears on every party member's screen showing the item, and with three options. Each party member can either roll "Need", "Greed", or pass on the roll entirely by simply closing the window. It is usually assumed that if the item is better than what a character currently has and they are able to use it relatively soon, they are allowed to roll Need. All others roll Greed. Need rolls trump Greed rolls, but if no one Needs an item, the Greed roll determines who gets it.

Right of First Refusal
If a situation arises where two or more characters could roll Need on an item, but the item is obviously more suited to one than another, the character to whom it is more suited takes priority. For instance, while Rogues are capable of using maces, if a mace with decent damage and +Spirit came up in Need/Greed it would only be polite for the Rogue to offer any Druids or Paladins the Right of First Refusal. If any Druids or Paladins didn't want to Need the mace, the conscientious Rogue could then roll Need after he noticed that they rolled Greed. (Note: the term applied to this concept isn't one you'll find in WoW, but it helps to define such abstract ideas if names are applied to them.)

Master Looter
A system of party looting in which the party leader gets first dibs on looting every corpse. If a nice item comes up (usually uncommon or better, depending on what the loot threshhold is set to,) the "Master Looter" will choose who gets that item from a dropdown list of party members' names. This system will not officially be used by Psycho Squirrel Patrol.

Free For All (FFA)
A system of party looting in which everyone can loot every corpse. It works on a first come, first served basis. Often this type of looting will be used by a high-level character running one low-level character through an instance.

Ninja Looting, Ninja
Intentionally violating the generally accepted method of distributing loot so as to get as many items as possible. The most common form of Ninja-ing is to simply roll Need on everything that drops in an instance, despite the needs of other party members. This is especially frustrating for other players when the item in question is BoP (see Soulbound.)

If an item can be equipped, there will be a tag under its name saying either "Bind on Equip" (BoE) or "Bind on Pickup" (BoP). This refers to the process of soulbinding. When an item becomes soulbound, it can only be used by the person to whom it is soulbound. Items either become soulbound when they are equipped, (Bind on Equip) or immediately after they are looted (Bind on Pickup.)

PvP Flag
A PvP Flag designates a character as fair game for players of the opposite faction (Horde for Alliance characters, vice versa.) One acquires a PvP Flag by either attacking NPCs with PvP Flags or by healing/buffing characters who are already flagged. When a player acquires a PvP flag the name above their toon will turn from blue to green, and a symbol of their faction will appear next to their portrait. The names of players of the opposing faction who are flagged for PvP appear in red text, rather than yellow. If no further attacks or heals/buffs are carried out, the PvP flag disappears after two minutes. One PvP Servers, the PvP flag is also activated by entering enemy zones or zones currently under contestation. (See PvP under Abbreviations.)

Ganking is a fairly ambiguous term that generally is used to mean one of two things, both of them involving one character or NPC thoroughly dominating another. The first and most common use refers to one character dealing massive damage to another over a short period of time, generally in a surprising sort of way and probably resulting in death. This usage tends to imply melee damage, but doesn't have to, and is most often applied to rogues. The second usage is somewhat less common and refers to stealing something out from under someone else's nose. This is different from ninjaing in that it involves a perfectly legitimate snatching of something the ownership of which was under contestation. Because of the dynamics of looting and general acquisition of items in the World of Warcraft, this usage will probably be seen rarely, if at all.

Damage Per Second (DPS)
In addition to the range of damage per attack listed on the stats for weapons there is the listed damage per second. This is a result of the varied attack speeds of different weapons, and can be used to determine whether a very fast weapon that does less damage per attack is in fact doing more damage over time or not than a much slower weapon whose individual attacks are like the very hammer-blows of Zeus himself. Just as worthy of consideration as the actual damage range of any weapon in question, if not more so. DPS also seems to be a short-hand used to indicate damage-dealers (e.g., "We need more DPS" in a team that's looking for mages or rogues.)

Damage over Time (DoT)
Spells or poisons that, after they are initially cast or otherwise delivered, do their damage over a period of time rather than all at once. These are usually instant cast, and because of the nature of their damage-delivery generate less aggro. Warlocks have the most facility with damage over time effects.

Area of Effect (AoE)
Any spell or effect that occurs over a specified area rather than to a specified target. (Things like Frost Nova, Reign of Fire, Blizzard, Distract, etc.) These can effect more than one mob at a time.

Some weapons, armor or other items have what are called Procs. A proc is an effect that the item sometimes grants when the character lands an attack, is attacked or casts a spell. For instance, the dagger Black Menace has the attribute "Chance on hit: Sends a shadowy bolt at the enemy causing 30 shadow damage." The word "proc" is also used to refer to the actual activation of the special attribute. So, when Black Menace launches its shadowy bolt, it can be said to have procced. The term itself stands for "Pseudo-Random Occurrence".

A spell cast either on one self or a friendly target that in some way increases their stats or abilities. Spells, potions, and some food grants buffs. When cast on a player, they appear to the left of the mini-map along the top of the screen. When cast on a party member they appear beneath their portrait and outlined in blue.

Spells that, conversely, reduce a target's abilities in some way. Some debuffs also have a DoT aspect. When a player is the victim of a debuff, the icon of that debuff appears to the left of the mini-map, near the bottom. When a party member has a debuff cast on them, it appears slightly below where buff icons would go and is outlined in red.

Hopefully you all know what an abbreviation is, but this is more a list of the various abbreviations that are used in the chat channels of WoW.

    WSG - Warsong Gulch, Battleground.
    AV - Alterac Valley, Battleground.
    AB - Arathi Basin, Battleground.
    IF - Dwarf city of Ironforge.
    SW - Human city of Stormwind.
    Darn - Night Elf city of Darnassus.
    Org - Orc city of Ogrimmar.
    UC - Undead city of Undercity.
    TB - Tauren city of Thunder Bluff.
    XR - Horde town of Crossroads in the Barrens.
    BB - (Neutral) Goblin city of Booty Bay in STV.
    GZ or G'zan - (Neutral) Goblin city of Gadgetzan.
    STV - Stranglethorn Vale.
    WPL and EPL - Western and Eastern Plaguelands.
    RFC - Ragefire Chasm, an instance in Org for lvls 13-18.
    WC - Wailing Caverns, instance for lvls 17-24.
    VC - used to refer to the Deadmines, instance for lvls 17-26. (Stands for Van Cleef, the end boss.)
    SFK - Shadowfang Keep, instance lvls 22-30.
    BFD - Blackfathom Depths, instance for lvls 24-32.
    Stock - Stockades, instance in SW for lvls 24-32.
    RFD - Razorfan Downs, instance for lvls 29-38.
    Gnomer - Gnomeregan, instance for lvls 29-38.
    SM - Scarlet Monastery, instance for lvls 34-45.
    RFK - Razorfen Kraul, instance for lvls 37-46.
    Uld or Ulda - Uldaman, instance lvls 41- 51.
    ZF - Zul'Farrak, instance for lvls 44-54.
    Mara - Maraudon, instance for lvls 46-55.
    ST - Sunken Temple (a.k.a. The Temple of Atal'Hakkar), instance for lvls 50-60.
    BRD - Blackrock Deeps, instance for lvls 52-60.
    DM - Dire Maul (Occasionally used for Deadmines, see VC), instance for lvls 56-60.
    UBRS, LBRS - Upper Blackrock Spire, Lower Blackrock Spire, instances for lvls 58-60.
    ZG - Zul'Gurub, instance for lvl 60+.
    MC - Molten Core, instance for lvl 60+ Not to be attempted without epic gear.
    BWL - Blackwing Lair, instance for lvl 60+. Harder than MC.
    AQ20, AQ40 - Ahn'Qiraj 20 and 40 player raids. (The 40 man is harder.) instance lvl 60+. (See RAQ & TAQ.)
    RAQ - Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ20), instance lvl 60+. Harder than BWL.
    TAQ -Temple of Ahn'Qiraj (AQ40), instance lvl 60+. Harder than RAQ.

    AFK - Away from Keyboard.
    AoE or AE - Area of Effect.
    Bio - Literally "biological", but more directly, "bathroom break". Nature calls!
    BoE - Bind on Equip.
    BoP - Bind on Pickup.
    BRB - Be Right Back.
    CC - Crowd Control, meaning sheeps, saps, sleeps, traps and shackles. Sometimes used for Corpse Camping.
    DD - Direct Damage Spells (spells that aren't DoT but rather do instant damage.)
    DE - Disenchant
    DND - Do Not Disturb.
    DoT - Damage over time.
    DPS - Damage per second.
    FFA - Free For All, a system of party looting.
    FTW and FTL - This one took me forever to figure out. "For The Win" and "For The Lose".
    Grats or Gratz - Congratulations!
    GTG - Most commonly "Got to Go", but also occasionally used for "Good to Go".
    HoT - Heal over Time.
    LFG - Looking For Group (an individual looking for more people.)
    LFM - Looking For More (group looking for a few more people.)
    OMW - On my way
    PST - Please Send Tell (whisper).
    PvE - Player vs. Environment. Non-PvP gaming.
    PvP - Player vs. Player.
    QFT - Quoted For Truth. Used after quoting someone. Sometimes used to express agreement with the opinion.
    RP - Role Playing.
    Rez - Ressurection of a dead character.
    WTG - Way To Go!
    WTS and WTB - Want To Sell/Buy.

    BG - Battlegrounds. Places for PvP contests, like Capture the Flag.
    FP - Flight Path, often used to refer to the Flight Master in an area.
    GL - Guild Leader.
    GM - Guild Master/Mistress, also Game Master/Mistress (the people employed by Blizzard who moderate the game.)
    GO - Guild Officer.
    GTAoE - Ground Target AoE, such as a Hurricane or Blizzard.
    Hearth - Hearthstone.
    HS - Healthstone (also occasionally used for hearthstone.)
    MT - Main Tank (also sometimes "Misstell", or accidentally saying something on the wrong channel.)
    NPC - Non-player Character. Any character controlled by the computer.
    Pat - Patrol.
    PBAoE - Point Blank AoE, such as a warlock's Hellfire.
    PuG - Pick-up Group, an instance run that results from LFG rather than from guilds doing organized raids.
    SS - Soulstone.

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