One of the things we had to train the few researchers who were nOObs and also keep an eye on for our analysis is how people use “WoW speak.” You know, all those combinations of letters and phrases that are unique to WoW and other MMOs – those things that when you first start playing make you go, “huh?”
So we’re making sure everyone knows how to decipher LFG, GTG, WSG, BGs, ganking, hearthing, and nOOb of course… to name only a few. Conversations about all those special words couldn’t help but make me recall back in the old days when I was the one saying huh?
I asked my fellow guildies about some of them, of course, but others I tried to figure out on my own. Aaaaand hilarity ensued.
Like AFK. “Well in context that’s obviously being away, but… K?” I thought. ” I would assume people know how to spell computer…” (of course, “AFK” means “Away from Keyboard,” not, um, “komputer”)
Then there was MT. That one baffled me for the longest time. Even when more knowledgeable friends told me, “oh, it means “mistell,” I had no idea what that meant. “What’s a tell?” I wondered. Took me months to figure out that “tell” meant whisper, which is a private instant message. In WoW they’re displayed as “whispers” on the screen (in a lovely pink), but in Everquest those private messages were called “tells.” So “mt” was a carry-over from that MMO into WoW.
A related term that seemed really obvious at first – but totally wrong – was PST. That one is often used in public Trade Chat when players are asking for a private message about buying or selling something. “Oh sure,” I thought. “That means “pssst,” like a whisper!” Um… no. It means “Please Send Tell.” (“Send tell? what? oh, right, whisper. Why don’t they just say PSW?”)
The list is long, but one more that I still like my interpretation of better than the actual origin is dots. I thought it referred to the little squares underneath the bad guy’s image that warlocks and others could put on him to do gradual damage. You know, a dot. Under their picture.