Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Things MMO Players Assume You Know

This article is aimed at players new to the MMO scene, those who have no idea what LFG means or that haven't ever seen a Need / Greed loot window pop up on the screen. I'm going to try and cover the really basic stuff that manuals and tutorials gloss over in hopes of helping out newcomers. It's going to be a challenge, as I've been playing massively multi-player games for what can best be described as a very long time.

MMO Shorthand

There's a lot of typing shorthand that gets thrown around in zone chat (if you don't understand the chat system, check out the recent article I wrote about it). Here are a few of the more common acronyms and terms tossed about in chat:
  • LFG / LFM: Looking for Group / Looking for More - This is someone looking to join forces with others, generally for a specific quest, raid or instance. LFG is usually an individual looking for others, LFM is usually an already formed group looking for additional members.
  • Mob: Mobile - A common term for any monster you can kill in game. This term dates back to the days of text-based MUDs.
  • NPC: Non-Player Character - the various non-hostile characters such as quest-givers, vendors and trainers.
  • PvP / PvE: Player vs. Player / Player vs. Environment - The two main types of activity in an MMO. PvP generally involves fighting other players, PvE is everything else. 
  • Main: Main Character - A player's primary or most advanced character.
  • Alt: Alternate Character - A player's secondary or side project character.
  • Bio: Bio Break - An indication that someone needs to take a quick break for the bathroom, food or other bodily needs.
  • BRB / AFK: Be Right Back / Away From Keyboard - Another common indication that someone is stepping away from the game for a moment.
  • DPS: Damage Per Second - A measure of damage done. Also used to refer to characters designed to deal maximum damage with little regard for other utility.
  • Gank - Being killed in game, usually by overwhelming force. Usually used in a PvP context.
  • LOS: Line of Sight - Usually referring to a Mob's line of sight in game. Clever use of obstacles can force pursuing Mobs to move to specific locations to separate them from other hostiles.

The Daedalus Project has a huge list of MMO slang available, but the list above should get you started.


The action bars can be customized by opening your spell book ("P" key by default) and dragging icons to the desired location on the bar. You can also move usable items, potions and some quest items, from your bag to the bars and use them just like skills. Just remember to remove quest items once you've done the quest! You can remove skills on the action bars by left-clicking and dragging the icon to the center of your display.  There are bars on the bottom and right side of the display. You can use hot keys or click on buttons to use these skills.

Party Settings

If you're in a party or raid you'll see portraits and bars for everyone else in your group. If you right-click on your own and other people's portraits you have additional options available, like leaving the group or, if you're the leader, setting up loot and reassigning people to different groups. Take a minute or two to check out the options next time you're in a group so you can handle leader duties if needed. It's not hard.


An instance is a special area of the game, generally a dungeon, which is a private setting for you and your group. On the League side, Oreshek is the first instance you'll encounter. Think of it as a giant room that's copied for each group that enters it. Instances generally hold tougher monsters and better treasures, but usually require a group to complete. If you're in an instance and running the party, be sure you set the loot system to group loot / uncommon (see below).


When you're running around solo in game, you can loot any treasure that drops from monsters you kill by clicking on the glowing bags they leave behind (or using the "Z" key when it pops up). In a group things are a little different. There are two different loot systems in Allods. Free-for-all loot means whoever clicks first gets the loot. Generally if you're in a quick group for a quest this is fine. The second form of loot is group loot. In this system the group leader sets a minimum item quality, generally green items, which causes a dialog box to pop up for everyone in the group for items of that class or better. There are three choices available:
  • Need - The item is an upgrade for you, something you can use.
  • Greed - You just want the item for cash.
  • Pass - You don't want the item.
Pretty self-explanatory, but be sure you're fair to your companions when loot rolls come up. If you've won three or four greens on an instance run, pass on some so others get a little cash out of the deal. If you're a party or raid leader you can set loot options by right-clicking on your own portrait.


Bugsy said...

Thanks Mark. This is helpful as I started my own party today. I wish I had known more about the loot settings prior to it!

MaybeKathy said...

Thanks for this! I am totally stealing it for the newbie tester guide I am currently writing :-)

mthomas768 said...

Definitely take a look at the acronym link too. There's a huge list of jargon there that may be useful.