Game specific jargon

I’ve noticed that different games like to use different names for the same (or similar concepts). Guilds for example are known in Everquest 1/2 and WoW as guilds, Lord of the Rings Online calls them kinships, and Warhammer calls them Regiments (or sometimes guilds as in Living Guilds, they’re a bit inconsistent). Warhammer also gets confusing because they sometimes refer to their different races (such as dwarves, high elves, etc.) as Armies and sometimes as races. Classes are sometimes known as professions. Talent trees are known as specialisations.

Sometimes these different names stick with players, and sometimes we revert to common nomenclature. I think races will always be known as races rather than armies. Although I really like the idea of guilds being known as Regiments, I suspect it’s mostly the RPers who will go with that and everyone else will call them guilds.

Back when WoW was in beta, the old warcraft players referred to mobs as creeps, because that’s how they were known in Warcraft III. That didn’t really gel with the player base, who like their mobs to be known as mobs (it’s an old MUD term). They also like their mezzes to be mezzes (mesmerise, a form of crowd control spell from Everquest), their procs to be procs (this is more complicated and refers to a type of magical weapon which occasionally produces some special effect like a lightning bolt or debuff when you hit something with it, again this is an old MUD term), and their NPCs to be NPCs (another old term from Dungeons and Dragons).

Do you like the Warhammer specific terms?


9 Responses

  1. I don’t like the term “career.” I like class. I also don’t really like “regiment.” I like guild.

    I don’t think many people will use the term “regiment.” Three times as many syllables as “guild.” Kind of like “mob” is shorter than “monster” and “pat” is short for “patrol.”

    But if the game is fantastic, It won’t matter. I’ll probably still use the terms mob, guild, class, etc.

  2. I have a feeling that WAR will end up having the same “jargon” as WoW. Careers will become classes, Classes will become professions, armies will become races, regiments will become guilds, realms (for some players/or for those who know “realms” as servers) may become factions, and maybe, just maybe, RvR will become PvP.

  3. I use guild all the time in LotRO! Creeps vs Freeps has stuck though for the PvMP there.

  4. I’ll probably be stuck in the old ways of saying it, like class. I must say that I never use ‘guild’ in LotRO anymore, but rather ‘kin’.

  5. It’s honestly how language works — and not just in the MMO culture. What term becomes popular in one place is hijacked for use in another, to where we refer to all adhesive medical strips as “Band-Aids” and fling up our palms with a hearty “talk to the hand!”

    MMO culture will continue to go through flux, but we are starting to settle down with a large core of vocabulary that will remain in place for years to come. Ding, guilds, etc.

  6. You should not change something unless you can improve it. I feel that applies to game design as well as engineering in general.

    AoC, as I understand, uses the same item quality system as WoW (green uncommon, blue rare, purple epic …), and I think that’s brilliant. If I play a new game I want to spend my time learning neat new mechanics and playing the game. I don’t want to spend my time learning new colors for item quality because that doesn’t make the game better (only different).

    I would give games a little leeway on guild names, although seeing as how WAR devs consistently refer to guilds as “guilds” I don’t think see how they can make a good case that the “regiment” term is necessary.

  7. @Syp Oh, I agree. I just think it’s interesting and I wonder if using different jargon changes how we see things.

    The one term I really can see taking off in Warhammer is scenarios instead of battlegrounds. I like that already! It’s actually a better term to describe the little instanced PvP games, I think.

  8. Scenarios is a minor improvement imho, but I think people will revert back to BGs once the game launches mainly because it’s quicker to say “BG” in both text and Vent and they’re still basically the same kind of thing we’ve seen in DAOC/WoW. Some of the situations or scenarios are different, but it’s still sandboxed, instanced RvR when you get right down to it.

    Guild > Regiment
    Mob > Monster, creep, npc, etc.
    Flag > Banner
    Emblem > Heraldry

    One of the most common things people do in games is to truncate character names and create acronyms for guilds. Snafzg will most definitely become Snaf and Legion of Steel will most definitely become LoS.

  9. And Book of Grudges becomes BoG 🙂

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