MMO Terminology

What Does That Mean

You might be surprised to know that online gaming isn’t just for kids or young adults. The large variety of games can attract people of all ages to spend their weekends, or evenings letting go of stress and frustrations by blowing up buildings, killing monsters or just letting out some steam.

Pirate101 is one of these games. Back in 2013 AARP Highlighted both Wizard101 and Pirate101 as beneficial games for older adults.

If you’re a gamer you already know all of these gaming terms. But if your new to online gaming, or you’re an older adult just getting into gaming you may have seen these acronyms in the news, or heard your kids or grandkids talking, or perhaps you read them on a game blog like this one and wondered what they stand for or what these gaming folks are talking about.

Gaming Terminology

An avatar refers to an image that represents an online user. Avatars are commonly used in multiplayer gaming, online communities, and Web forums. The image can be a picture of anything, but they are often unique to a specific individual.

These are more powerful enemy creatures, often located in hard to get to locations, such as dungeons. Boss enemies typically appear at the end of storyline segment and must be defeated before the game can progress to the next level.   Some Boss Creatures have special, unique items that they drop once defeated in battle.  See Pirate101 Central’s Portal:Creatures for more information.

Online multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest allow users to create custom characters. These characters serve as the players’ avatars.  As the player progresses in the game, their character(s) may gain items and experience, which allows the avatar to evolve over time.

In MMORPG games, Companions are the non-player characters (NPC) that follow you around during the progression of the game. They take part in the storyline, help you with quests, and assist you in Battleboard Combat. See Pirate101 Central’s Portal:Companions for more information.

Creatures are the individual enemies that a player fights in Battleboard Combat throughout a game. Strength and abilities of enemy creatures will increase as a player progresses through the game’s storyline and gains abilities and powers.

A gaming tactic where a player, or someone hired by a player, performs repetitive actions to gain experience, points or some form of in-game currency. Farming usually involves staying in a game area with that generates endless numbers of items or enemies.  In Pirate101 items can be farmed by defeating enemies, or completing specific quests. For instance, Armada troops at the Machine in Florenza, will drop Skeleton Keys once defeated. They won’t drop the keys every time, so you will have to battle these enemies several times; that’s farming.

These are items that provide powers or equipment to your game Character. They include Personal Equipment such as Clothing, weapons, Jewelry etc. In Pirate101 you will also find gear to outfit your ship; Ship Equipment includes items such as Sails, Anchors, Cannons and Armor. Most games also include “other” items such as Card Packs and Elixirs in Pirate101.  Visit Pirate101 Central for information about Pirate Gear.

A Massively Multiplayer Online game. A computer game in which a large number of players can simultaneously interact in a persistent online world.

A Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. A computer game in which a large number of players can role-play simultaneously and interact in a persistent online world. The first MMORPG is believed to have shown up in 1996, Meridian 59. It wasn’t until 1997, with Ultima Online, that the genre started to become popular.

MUD(s) –
Originally Multi-User Dungeon, with later variants Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User Domain; are multiplayer real-time virtual world games. Usually text-based, MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat. Colossal Cave Adventure, created in 1975 by Will Crowther on a DEC PDP-10 computer, was the first widely used adventure game.

A non-player character (NPC) is a video game character that is controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer. Non-player characters serve a number of purposes in video games. In Pirate101, NPCs make up your Captain’s Crew and are used to advance the storyline of the game.

Resetting specs for your character or companion(s). You are given the chance to rebuild your character’s ability set or specifications. This is often granted for free as a result of game changes that can, over time, rendered your character or companions weaker. This term originated in the MMO game called Dark Age of Camelot (DAOC).

A role-playing game (sometimes spelled roleplaying game and abbreviated to RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making of character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.  While it isn’t a true RPG, Adventure was created by William Crowther in 1972 and is credited with being the first computer based RPG. Crowther was an avid Dungeons & Dragons player, and has credited that game with his inspiration to build Adventure.

World of Warcraft. The most successful of MMORPG games launched to date is World of Warcraft, which has released four software expansions and has more than 10 million players. WoW was first announced by Blizzard at the ECTS trade show in September 2001. The game was released to the public in 2004. To date, no MMORPG game has been able to surpass WoW’s success.

You might be interested in the History of Online Role Playing from Mashable. A history of RPG, how it started and evolved into a multi-billion dollar business.

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