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List of MMORPG acronyms and abbrevations

Started by Nehemia
Post #48663

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Today I shed a tear of Nostalgia when I scoured through old PvP videos, and then it hit me. A lot of good MMORPG acronyms have faded from existence, or its definition has derailed into something that inaccurately describes the original. (Hence they need to be revived for TESO!)

So I decided to put together a list that includes these good oldies. Also I placed typical terms that haven't changed, but are there for players new to MMORPGs to check out:

The list will be updated, and if you think something should be added, post below.

The List:


Aggro = Aggression, typically used to describe the artificial intelligence's desire to attack the player.

Auto-attack = The character attacks automatically against the target. Typically to describe regular attacks in automatic target environment.

AoE = Area of Effect, usually to describe the range of abilities effect, or that the ability affects in an area instead of a single target.


Buff = An spell casted on self or target to strengthen ones performance temporarily, typically fighting oriented.

Burst = Maximized damage dealt for short window of time. Usually a peak in average damage dealt during a fight or amount a massive amount of damage in few seconds of time. Damage based procs are often classified as bursts.

Burster = A character focused on dealing high inputs of damage momentarily, usually the aim is to cripple the enemy or act as a decisive amount of damage in order to win a fight.

Build = A term to define all allocated points to your character. I.e. the overall customization of your character on macro level (for micro level, see "Spec")


Channeling = Abilities that are channeled by constantly casting it, usually restrict player from doing something else while channeling, such as attacking. Channeled abilities are the most common abilities used in twisting (see below).

Competitive = Originally used for a character, ex. a class being capable of being up to par with others. Originally comes from "Being able to compete with others." ie. to match the level of effectiveness and efficiency in battle.

Crowd Control = Manipulating a large number of opponents through a set of skills that hinder their actions. Typically misused in a way that the term only applies to effects such as stuns or other paralyzing effects. However CC may refer to for example AoE minus damage dealt debuffs.

Crowd Controller = A character specialized in AoE buffs or debuffs.


Dancing = The act of rapidly changing ones play style. Usually through variables such as "stances", to change ones focus on combat, for example from offensive to defensive.

DAoC = Dark Age of Camelot, possibly the most notable Realm vs. Realm MMORPG.

Debuff = As opposed to a buff, an spell casted on target to weaken ones performance temporarily, typically fighting oriented. Sometimes confused with Damage over times, as debuffs are typically not classified as damage dealing abilities.

Disable = An ability to momentarily restrict targets actions. As opposed to crowd control, disables are single target, and the term only covers the abilities that restrict ones actions.

Disabler = A character specialized in "disabling targets actions", for example through stuns.

Disjoint = The act of nullifying an incoming effect. Typically breaking target-lock or to evade incoming effects through an ability that "disjoints" a projectile between the caster and and the effect. Example: Ability does not hit a stealthed target, the caster nullifies incoming projectile by going into stealth, hence disjointing the incoming projectile, and its effects are nullified.

DoT = An spell casted on target to harm the target over time, possibly applying side-effects. DoT may also refer to passives, such as passively dealing damage over time in an area.

DPS = Damage-per-second, usually variable of DoT abilities. Today also used to describe the average amount a character deals per second.

DPSer = A character specialized in dealing high average damage per second.


Evac = A more rare term, a cry out for help to be teleported away from a fight or to order friendlies to evacuate the area through method of fast travel, such as teleport.

EQ = Everquest


Gank = An assault upon unsuspecting enemy, typically in higher numbers. This term is often misused to describe unfair fights, however the term originally had nothing to do with the fights fairness.

Ganker = A character specialized in surprise attacks

Gimp = A character / ability that is sub-par, unable to compete with others.

Glass Cannon = A character specialized in high damage at the cost of ones survivability. Usually characters classified as glass cannons have subpar survivability in comparison to the average.

GM = Grandmaster, having an attribute / skill maxed out
or = Member of the games official staff, admin.
or = Guild Master, a leader of a player made faction, such as Guild.

GS = Gold seller, or sellers. People who actively trade the games ingame currency to real currencies. I.e. sell in game gold. The marketing methods of following sellers usually include spamming, and gold sellers have had questionable methods of acquiring their tradeable goods.


HoT = Heal over time, typically spells and abilities that heal the actors (usually friendlies) in an area over time.


Juking = Act of avoiding damage through constantly breaking Line of Sight. Typically describes escape situations where the player attempts to be visible to enemy player as little as possible. A single "juke" means breaking line of sight once to lets say, interrupt a casting of enemy's spell.


INC = Incoming, a word to warn other players of upcoming combat. Typically used to warn others of incoming danger.

Item P / S = Item prefixes and suffixes. Used to describe items stat variables, prefixes are typically titles put in front of items name, where as suffixes are after the items name. Ex. "Peerless Crossbow of Ruin" Where "Peerless" is the prefix, and "Of Ruin" the suffix. Players may use terms as "Looking for Xbow with 128 dex P & Unholy proc S"


Kite / Kiting = Act of positioning yourself in a way that the enemy is incapable of reaching you in terms of attacking you. Applies universally to players and NPCs, no matter the form of attacking.

KS = Kill steal, act of abusing games mechanics to "steal the kill" from your friendly in order to gain whatever resources might be in for the one who originally fought the enemy. The term varies between games mechanics and how loot and experience etc. are distributed, but typically applies to minimum amount of effort in order to enjoy the spoils of a fight, usually denying the resources from the player who did all the work.

KoS = Kill on Sight. A term used for enemy / neutral faction your faction (ex. a clan or guild) wants to kill on sight, without questions asked. Typically used for ones nemesis, or nemesis's. Can also apply to situations where an NPC faction wants to kill you on sight.


LF = Looking for. Typically used when the player is searching something in a chat. Ex a trade or a group.

LoS = Line of sight. A term used in describing whether the view to target is obstructed by ex. a wall. If the target is in ones line of sight, your character can see and perform actions towards him.


Mask Casting = The act of hiding ones spell or attack animation. Usually used where the characters ability casts and auto-attacks are separate. The abilities are used in a way that the auto-attacks do not hinder ones casting speed in order to maximize the damage output between auto-attacks and casts.

Med / Medding = The act of meditation, typically resting in order to regain health and / or mana or waiting for certain skills to become available. Used in older MMORPGs where the "resting" ability was named "Meditation".

Min-Maxing = To maximize ones performance. Typically used for character building, where the goal is to build a character to be as powerful as the games mechanics allow.

Mob = NPC character controlled by the AI. Shortened from mobile, originally used for mobs that patrol certain areas as opposed to standing still. Today the term has become used to describe all AI controlled enemies.

MS = Movement speed, typically the rate of characters run speed
or = Meat-shield, a character who could take extremely high amounts of damage, but was sub-par in everything else.

Mule = Typically characters used for storaging, trading or transportation of goods and items. Due to inventory limits or long travelling distances, mules were a good alternative way to keep a person supplied in other areas in the game. These characters were seldom actually played, hence they worked as "mules."


Nerf = To reduce power and performance of actor, ability or action to a high extend, drastically weakening it. This term is usually misused in MMORPG balance changes where even the slightest balance change is classified as "Nerf", whereas originally the term applied only when ex. a class was "balanced" in a way that it actually drastically hindered the class, putting it outside the league of others.

Nuke = A damaging ability, typically spammable ability that is ranged and one of the highest damaging abilities available for said class.
or = High damage per mana consumed ability.

Nuker = A character specializing in typically ranged (and spammable) damaging abilities. However Nuker can just as well be of melee range.

NPC = Non-player character, a character controlled by the A.I instead of a player.


OP = Over-powered, something that is vastly superior to the standards considered as level of power in game. Something is "OP" by purely game mechanics wise, and is flat out over powered in terms of balance. This term has been misused and derailed to the level that nowadays even players are called OP, whereas the term should only apply to game mechanics.


PK = Player killer, a player who focuses on slaying other players.

PuG = Pick up Group, a Group composed of people whom were selected by random or "Just picked up", but hold mutual interest towards an objective.

Pre-casting = Act of preparing a spell outside combat, and holding it ready until you reach combat. This was done in older MMORPG's to get your first spell thrown at your enemy without cast time. Such feature hardly exists in todays MMORPGs.

Proc = A chance of effect occurring, such as chance on hit on a weapon or chance on block for a shield. Ex. Critical strike is a standard proc. Original term was "programmed random occurence."

Proccer = A character that is designed around proccing, and its efficiency comes from procs alone.


Realm vs. Realm = Player vs. Player combat that involves large numbers of players who belong to different factions or realms. Usually set in a specific area and having 3 factions. The term originated from Dark Age of Camelot.

Regen = Regeneration, act of regenerating health, mana or other attributes. Originally used for being capable of regenerating in combat, as opposed to meditation which was outside combat.

Regen toon = A character who's survival and combat effectiveness depends on his regeneration abilities or passive amounts regenerated.

Root = An ability that completely restricts ones movement speed (and in some cases actions) for a period of time.

RPK = Random player killer(s), a player or a group who attack any other player they see without any specific reason.


SB = Shadowbane

Solo = The act of playing alone.

Snare = A debuff that reduces the target actors or players movement speed temporarily to a fraction of the original speed for a short time.

Slow = A debuff that reduces the target actors or players overall speed temporarily, such as attack and movement speed. Also used for longer duration movement speed slows that are not as efficient as snares.

Spawn Camping = The act of waiting for a certain NPC to spawn in an area in order to kill it for its loot. This term is not to be confused with Corpse camping, which refers to waiting for a player to spawn in an area.

Spec = Originally short for "specification". Usually refers to how the player character is built in terms of attributes and skills. These days the term has come to apply to "specialization", when characters are first defined by and restricted to classes. Not to be confused with "Build", as Specs equal the stat allocation to define the range of skills and attributes chosen to support the specialization of your choice. Whereas "Build" includes every single stat point allocated.


Tank = A character of high survivability that's threat or level of danger increases during time in a fight. Typically designed to force opponents to make a tactical decision of either ignoring the tank and take the consequences, or down the tank first. The term has derived to PvE to describe characters that manipulate the aggro mechanics in Player versus Environment, and the tank characters have become a vague description from a term that was originally called "Meat shield." A character that was capable of taking high amount of damage, but that was everything it could do, whereas originally tank characters were separated by the "threat factor."

Toon = The players character, usually used in games where players typically have multiple characters, toons.

Train = The act of kiting a large group of enemy NPCs. Typically used for clearing large areas at once or MPK'ing (Monster player killing) where the train is brought to a group of players so the monsters would kill them.

Twisting = Act of rapidly changing from one type of ability to another in order to get the abilities effects to overlap momentarily.


Utility = A broad definition for supporting skills, this means that the skills do not necessarily affect Health, mana or other resources in terms of healing or dealing damage. Utility includes buffs, debuffs, auras, snares, roots, stuns, dispels, escape abilities and so forth.


WoP = Window of Opportunity, the time period where sieging your enemy cities / owned structures is allowed.

Wipe = Situation where a whole group got killed, an annihilation.


Xp = Shortened from "experience." Typically points required for level up or to become stronger.

Xbow = A crossbow


Zerg = A large unorganized number of people who rely on numbers to succeed. "We got zerged" usually is used to describe being crushed under overwhelming numbers. The term is used as negative tone towards players who rely on unbalance of numbers to get the job done.
This post was last modified: September 14th 2013, 04:13 AM by Nehemia

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Post #48922

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Nice list @"Nehemia". It'll come in handy for a lot of people new to MMOs.

I know it isnt used much anymore but you might want to add Precasting. I have still seen it used occassionally.
(on a side note-the term gank has always been a negative term in the almost 20 yrs Ive been playing MMOs, but thats not a big deal.)

edit: OP is another you could add
This post was last modified: March 9th 2013, 06:11 PM by Balkoth

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Post #48923

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Thankyou for this!!
This post was last modified: March 9th 2013, 06:02 PM by Yhunder
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Post #48931

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PuG = Player un-guilded or not running with a organized guild group

a lot of people don't understand what it means and usually think its something offensive when its not.
This post was last modified: March 9th 2013, 06:21 PM by Artarius Aetius

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Post #48933

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Thank you! I'm an ex-player of WoW, but I'm still unfamiliar with many MMO acronyms.

Also, a list of game acronyms would be useful for the sake of discussion. It took me quite a while to figure out what "DAoC" meant.

BTW, what does "RvR" mean? I think it's "Raid vs. Raid", but I'm not sure....

By arrow. By blade.
By tooth. By claw.
By shock. By frost. By flame.
The Aldmeri Dominion will dominate Tamriel.
Our enemies will fall until the Throne is ours.

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Post #48939

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If your taking it from where I think you are @"Octagonapus97", it means realm v realm (ie faction v faction or alliance v alliance). But depending on who said it, it could be something else.

And yes, game acronyms are a whole other monster. hehe That list is potentially huge.

and yea @"Artarius Aetius" thats one I forgot, that im sure @Nehemia will want to add.
Its an interesting terminology for PuG though. We always called that a pick-up-group, but it comes down to somewhat the same thing. The idea being that it refers to groups or individuals added to a group that dont normally run together.
This post was last modified: March 9th 2013, 07:00 PM by Balkoth

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Post #48961

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Faction & Race:
Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer)
PuG = Pick up Group, a Group composed of people outside you Guild or normal friends list that you join to quest with.

Glass Cannon = A caster that has low HP & Armor but does Large Amounts of Damage.

Camper (or Piker) = a Player that joins a group and hides (usually at the start of the quest) and does not participate in the quest with the goal of leaching XP off the rest of the party's work. (I think the mechanics in TESO's xp system put a stop to this)

Zerging = Running as fast as you can swinging blindly with no regard for the rest of the party.
Or Running as fast as you can to try to finish a quest as fast as possible with no regard for story line or quest enjoyment, playing only for completion.

Zerger = A player that runs forward (usually leaving the group behind), blindly swinging with no regard for tactics or team play.
And / Or a player trying to finish the quest as fast as possible with no regard for story line or quest enjoyment.

Leroy Jinkins = an idiot that Zergs off and agros every thing on the map before the party is ready and causes a party wipe.

I am Dyslexic! Please don't flame my posts because I can't spell or have poor grammer. Being a Spell Check Troll or a Grammer Nazi takes away from the topic, and makes you look petty. Just because I can't spell does NOT make me stupid or my point less valid.
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Post #48969

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Aggro (Aggression) - Is when aggressive monster detects and starts attacking a player.

MPK (Monster Player Kill) - Act of training a large group of monster into another player or a group.

Zombie - Act of repeatedly resurrecting a player upon wipe in order to keep the monster's aggro or it's current status before it vanishes or resets. The "Zombie" will keep doing the same action until the rest of the group fully recovers to finish the job.

Train - Acting of aggroing a huge group of monster in order to clear an area so other players can progress through.

KS (Kill Steal) - Act of stealing other players monsters.

GS (Gold Seller / Gold Spammer) - Act of trading in game gold for real life cash.

Noob - A player that shows signs of being new or clueless

Enmity (Hate) - Amount of hate of a monster towards a player.

BR - A group of players who will get upset if you don't communicate with them using their native language, even though you are playing on a North American server.
This post was last modified: March 9th 2013, 11:43 PM by Tarantadu
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Post #48985

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How bout Bio-Break? :)

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Post #49009

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Aye, I appreciate these suggestions. I will be updating the list once this hangover is done.

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Post #49216

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(March 10th 2013, 03:23 AM)Nehemia Wrote: Aye, I appreciate these suggestions. I will be updating the list once this hangover is done.

hair of the beast man.. :)

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Post #49483

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For all the old school EQ players(Hey, you had DAoC in there):

SoW=spirit of wolf


KEI=Koadic's Endless Intellect


Ah, forget it, it's been too long to remember them all...
This post was last modified: March 11th 2013, 01:10 PM by Leighton Karidian

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Post #49636

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@Nehemia - you should have way more likes for this list. Thanks for such a good and through list of acronyms.

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Ebonheart Pact ─ Casual to Moderate ─ North American.
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Post #49658

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D2: Being warped back to your home/spawn point by a spell from either yourself or party/group member
RMT: real money trader. (See gold seller)
LFG/LFP: Looking for group/party
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Post #49728

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(March 11th 2013, 01:09 PM)Leighton Karidian Wrote: For all the old school EQ players(Hey, you had DAoC in there):

SoW=spirit of wolf


KEI=Koadic's Endless Intellect


Ah, forget it, it's been too long to remember them all...

I decided to keep game specific acronyms out of the list, just because we'd have tons of irrelevant acronyms when it comes to knowing the basic "MMORPG" terms for TESO players.

@Glassweaver Glad to be of service, I decided to make such a list since there are little topics for me to write about (make articles). So this was a good way to serve the community and spend some of my freetime.
This post was last modified: March 12th 2013, 01:47 AM by Nehemia

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