This is a list of terms and acronyms you will come across in WoW. Not all of them are specific to WoW and not all are even specific to video games, but you’re going to hear them all at some point and it will help you out if you know what they mean.
AC – Armor Count. How much armor your character has.
AFK – Away From Keyboard.
Aggro – Aggro has a couple of meanings. It is primarily used to signify which person is being attacked by the mob. That person is said to have aggro. It can also mean that a mob or group of mobs has been pulled into combat. As in, “Oh noes, I just aggroed a pat.” See also Hate, Threat, Pull.
Alt – An alternate character. One that you play but that is not your Main. See also Altitis, Main.
Altitis – Someone who has many Alts can be said to suffer from Altitis.
Altaholic – See Altitis.
AoE – Area of Effect. AoE spells target an area, rather than a specific mob, and every enemy in that area is affected by the spell. See also AoE Grinding.
AoE Grinding – AoE Grinding is a method of grinding used by some classes that have AoE capabilities. It can be an incredibly effective method of grinding as it allows for the killing of several mobs at once. See also Grinding.
BG - Battleground.
Bio – Signifies the need for a break for biological purposes – food, bathroom, major head trauma, etc.
BoE – Bind on Equip. Refers to Loot that becomes Soulbound once the item has been equipped. If the item is not equipped, it can be sold to other players through the Auction House. See also BoP, Soulbound.
BoP – Bind on Pickup – Refers to Loot that becomes Soulbound as soon as a player picks it up. BoP loot can only be vendored or disenchanted. See also BoE, Soulbound.
BRB – Be Right Back. Player will return shortly, as soon as he has recovered from his major head trauma.
Buff – Buff can refer to two things.
1) Any beneficial spell that can be cast on a player. They can be cast by other players or NPCs. Arcane Intellect, Power Word: Fortitude, Blessing of Might and Strength of Earth totem are all examples of buffs. See also Debuff.
2) Any change made to a class, spell, or ability that strengthens it is called a buff. See also Nerf.
Clothie – This refers to the type of armor worn by your character. Mages, Warlocks and Priests are all Clothies. Druids and Pallies wearing cloth to heal in certain situations would also be Clothies, but that is more rare. See also Squishie.
Cooldown – Refers to the period after casting a spell or using an item during which you cannot use that spell or item again. For instance, the cooldown on your Hearthstone is one hour. The cooldown on Thinking Clearly after a major head trauma is approximately three days.
CC – Crowd Control. Refers to any ability that takes a mob or enemy player out of combat for a period of time. Examples include Mage’s Polymorph (commonly called Sheep), Warlock’s Seduce, and Rogue’s Sap.
DD – This can stand for a couple of things:
1) Direct Damage – This refers to spells and abilities that cause damage all at once, instead of over time. Frostbolt is a DD spell. See also DOT.
2) Damage Dealer – This refers to classes that primarily deal damage, e.g., Rogues, Mages, Warlocks, etc. See also DPS.
DE – Disenchant. See also Shard.
Debuff – Any harmful or detrimental spell cast on a player or NPC, by a player or NPC. Examples include most Warlock Curses, Faerie Fire and Demoralizing Shout. See also Buff.
Ding – Used to signify that a player has reached the next level. As in, “I just dinged 27.” Can also mean your popcorn is ready.
DOT – Damage Over Time. Any spell or ability that does its damage over a set amount of time, rather than all at once, is a DOT. Warlocks have the most DOTs, but several other classes have them as well. See also DD(1).
DPS – Stands for Damage Per Second. It usually refers to the classes that primarily deal damage, such as Rogues, Mages, Warlocks, etc. DPS is one of the three main jobs in a group. It can also refer to how much damage a particular person is doing. As in, “How much DPS are you pushing?” See also Tank, Healer, DD(2).
Dungeon – A dungeon is a instanced area of the game that requires a well rounded group of people to complete. Dungeons have elite mobs and (generally) excellent loot. See also Instance.
Dual Wield – Using two 1-handed weapons at once. Abbreviated DW. See also Sword and Board.
Elite – A mob that is much stronger than other mobs of its level. Signified by the gold dragon on its portrait. See also Rare Elite, Rare Spawn.
End game – Refers to anything at or near the level cap. For example, end game dungeons are those that only level 70 players can frequent.
Energy – Energy is what Rogues use to do special attacks, similar to mana for other classes. See also Rage, Mana.
Farming – Farming is the act of going after a certain item, object or mob with the intent of getting or killing it repeatedly. For instance, you can farm cloth by repeatedly killing a group of humanoids for their drops. You could also farm leather by repeatedly killing mobs that can be skinned for it. See also Grinding.
FP – Flight Point or Flight Path. Refers to the gryphon master or wing master in an area.
FTL – For The Lose/Loss. Used to signify the player’s annoyance or disagreement with a certain fact. As in, “You need to tank with a sword and board. Dual Wielding FTL.” See also FTW.
FTW- For The Win. Signifies the player’s agreement or appreciation of a certain fact. As in, “We need a good healer. Holy Priest FTW.” See also FTL.
GG – Good Game. Used to congratulate someone. Sometimes used sarcastically.
Grinding – Grinding is the act of going after a certain item, object or mob with the intent of getting or killing it repeatedly. Can also be used to signify that a player has decided to stop questing for the moment and is just going to kill mobs for XP. As in, “I only need a little more XP to level. I’m just gonna go grind it.” See also Farming.
Hate – Refers to who is being attacked by the mob. See also Aggro, Threat.
Healer – Any class that is capable of healing other players. One of the main three jobs in a group. Having First Aid or Mend Pet does not make you a healer. Also, what you need after major head trauma. See also DPS, Tank.
HOT – Heal Over Time. Any spell that provides healing over a certain amount of time. Renew and Rejuvenation are examples of this.
HP – Hit Points. The amount of health your character has. Shown by the green bar on your character portrait.
Instance – An instance refers to a “walled-off” area that only you and your group can go into. Instances are noted by the portal that takes you from the regular game world into the instance. Other players and groups that follow you through the portal are taken to their own version of the instance and you cannot see or interact with them. The purpose of an instance is to give each group a fair chance at killing the boss and getting the best loot. See also Dungeon.
LFG – Looking For Group. Signifies that the player is looking for fellow adventurers to group with, usually to do a dungeon or group quest. As in, “LFG Deadmines.” See also LFM.
LFM – Looking For More. Signifies that the player already has at least one other adventurer in his group and they are looking for more. May sometimes be followed by the class or group slot they need. As in, “LFM Deadmines need tank.” See also LFG.
LOL – Laughing Out Loud. You may occasionally see a player say this in WoW.
Loot – The treasure dropped by Mobs.
Main – Your Main character. Generally the one that you play most often and the highest level. See also Alt.
Main Tank – The Main Tank is the person in the group or raid that is the primary target for Aggro from the Mob(s). Generally used to differentiate between two potential tanks in the same group. As in, “We have a Warrior and a Pally in our group. The Warrior will Main Tank.” See also Aggro, Mob, Off Tank, Tank.
Main Healer – The person in the group that is primarily responsible for healing the other group members. Generally used to differentiate between two potential healers in the same group. See also Off Healer.
Mana – Spells use Mana when cast. Mana regenerates slowly when you are not casting. The blue bar on your character portrait shows you how much Mana you have. Mana is used by all classes except for Warriors and Rogues. See also Rage, Energy.
Min-maxer – Min-maxer is a term used to describe a player that wants to maximize the efficiency of their character. They will often go to great lengths to ensure that they can do the most possible DPS, Healing or Tanking through their choice of talent spec and gear. See also Theorycraft.
Mob – An enemy NPC. Short for mobile or mobile unit. See also Threat, Aggro, Pull.
Nerf – When a change is made to a class, spell, or ability that makes it weaker, that change is referred to as a nerf. See also Buff (2).
Newb(ie) – A newbie is simply a person who is new to WoW. Everyone is a newbie at some point. See also noob.
Ninja – A player who abuses the loot system and takes an item unfairly is a ninja. There are several ways that this can happen but generally it comes down to the ninja rolling Need on an item that they should have passed on. Mistakes do happen, but do your best to avoid being a Ninja.
Noob – Noob is a derogatory term that players use to signify another player or behavior they find childish, immature, or lacking in skill. Knowing how to play your class well will help you greatly in avoiding noobish behavior. See also Newbie.
NPC – Non-player Character. Every character you see in the game that is not another player is an NPC.
Off Tank – The Off Tank is the person in a group that is second to the Main Tank in taking Aggro. If the Main Tank goes down or can’t handle all of the Mobs, the Off Tank will step in and help. See also Aggro, Main Tank, Mob.
Off Healer – Similar to an Off Tank, the Off Healer has secondary healing duties. If the Main Healer goes down or can’t heal everyone who needs it, the Off Healer steps in and helps. See also Main Healer.
OMW – On My Way.
OOM – Out Of Mana. Used by Mana users to let their group know they need a short break.
Own – Used to signify a decisive victory. As in “We killed that guy so fast. We owned him.” See also Pwn.
Pat – Short for Patrol. Used to let other group members know there is a group of Mobs heading your way. See also Mob.
Proc – Refers to when the special ability of a “Chance on Hit” item or spell activates. For instance, the Fiery enchant gives a chance on hit to hit for an additional 40 fire damage. When the fire damage occurs, that is called the Proc. Can also be used as a verb as in, “How often does the Fiery enchant proc?”
PUG – Pick-up Group – A group that is found via the LFG tool or chat is a PUG. A PUG is usually 5 people in a group that do not know each other at all. It is differentiated from getting a group with guildies or friends that you already know.
Pull – Pulling is the act of attacking with a ranged skill to get a Mob or group of Mobs to come attack your group. Often used in Dungeons to split large Mob groups up into more manageable chunks. See also Aggro.
PvP – Player Vs Player. Used to signify any combat done against other players. Can be done in BGs or elsewhere. See also BG.
PvE – Player Vs Environment. Any combat that is done against Mobs or NPCs.
Pwn – Intentional misspelling of Own. Pronounced “pawn” or “pone”. See also Own.
QQ – Used to imitate crying eyes. Generally said in response to comments that the player deems whiny.
Rage – Rage is what Warriors need to use their special abilites. Similar to Mana, but starts at 0 and builds as combat progresses. See also Energy, Mana.
Raid – A group of more than 5 people. Raids are generally used to tackle end-game dungeons.
Rare Elite – A Mob that is both Rare and Elite. Often found in Dungeons, but they can be found in the regular world as well. See also Elite, Rare Spawn.
Rare Spawn – A Mob that appears periodically in the regular game world. See also Elite, Rare Elite.
Retnoob – A somewhat derogatory, somewhat playful nickname for Retribution Paladins. The Retri tree is generally considered to be the weakest Talent spec for a Paladin (whether this is true or not is a topic of considerable discussion) and some people like to call them Retnoobs to point this out.
Rez – Resurrection. As in, “I’m dead. Need rez please.”
Rezzer – Any class that is capable of rezzing other players. Generally this means Priests, Pallies and Shaman. Due to the cooldown of the Druid’s rez spell, they are not usually included in the Rezzer category.
Re-roll – Start another character. Generally a re-roll is done with the intention of making this new character your main.
Shard – Shard can refer to a couple of things, both related to Enchanting. As a verb, it refers to the act of disenchanting an item. This is commonly done in groups when BoP loot drops that no one can use. The item is disenchanted so that the enchanting mats can be sold (generally for more money than the item would vendor for). As a noun, Shard refers to the enchanting mats that end in shard (e.g., Large Brilliant Shard).
Skillcoil – A derogatory name for the Warlock spell “Deathcoil.” Some people feel that, with Deathcoil in their arsenal, it takes little skill for Warlocks to win duels and PvP and so they have sarcastically named it Skillcoil. We all know that they’re just hatin’.
Soulbound – Refers to items that have become “attached” to your character and can no longer be sold or traded to another player. BoP items become Soulbound as soon as they are picked up and BoE items become Soulbound when they are equipped. Soulbound items can still be sold to a vendor or disenchanted when you come across a better item. See also Boe, BoP.
Spec – See Talent Spec.
Squishie – Any character that has a low AC is said to be Squishie. Generally cloth and leather wearers. See also AC, Clothie.
Sword and Board – Refers to a character using any 1-handed weapon and a shield, usually with the intention of Tanking. See also Dual Wield, Tank.
Tank – The Tank is the person in a group that is designated to keep Aggro from Mobs so that they attack him. Tanks are generally Warriors, Pallies, Bear-form Druids or Shammies (in a pinch). One of the three main jobs in a group. See also Sword and Board, DPS, Healer, Main Tank, Off Tank.
Talent Spec – Refers to how a player has chosen to spend her talent points. See my Talent Guide for more information.
Taunt – Taunt refers to a skill that forces a Mob to attack the player. It is used by tanking Warriors (Taunt), Paladins (Righteous Defense), and Druids (Growl) to pull Aggro from another player and onto themselves. See also Aggro, Threat.
Theorycraft – Theorycrafting is the practice of delving into the numbers and equations behind DPS, Healing and Tanking to maximize the efficiency of your character. Theorycrafters ponder such questions as, “Would 10 extra crit rating or 40 extra attack power help me do more damage?” See also Min-maxer.
Threat – Threat determines what character the Mob will attack. Every action done in combat causes some amount of Threat, and the Mob will focus on the character with the highest threat level. See also Aggro, Hate.
Tier X – Tier X refers to armor sets that can be obtained by running dungeons and raids at the level cap. Tiers 1, 2, and 3 were released before BC came out and were drops from Molten Core, Onyxia, Blackwing Lair, and Naxxramas. Tiers 4, 5, and 6 drop from Karazhan, Gruul’s Lair, Magtheridon, SSC, The Eye, Mt. Hyjal, and the Black Temple. Each class has their own set of armor within the Tier and each set is made up of anywhere from 5 to 9 pieces (depending on the specific Tier). The different sets are usually considered to be the best PvE armor available.
Twink – A Twink is a low level character that has gear and enchants of a much higher quality than most other characters at their level. Twinks are usually made through the help of a high level main or high level friends. A popular Twink goal is to be maxed out on gear and enchants at level 19, to compete in the 10-19 BG bracket.
Wipe – A wipe occurs when everyone in a group or raid dies at the same time.
WTB – Want To Buy. Used when the player wants to purchase an item.
WTS – Want To Sell. Used when the player has an item they want to sell.
WTF – What The Frick? Used to signify extreme surprise or irritation. As in, “WTF? A giant rock just fell on me and now I have major head trauma.”
XP - Experience Points.
>.< – Signifies scrunched-up eyes, as if the person is annoyed or irritated. Also used to signify severe pain after major head trauma.
>.> – Signifies shifty eyes, as if the person is looking around innocently after having done something not innocent.