Run home Charlie! And don’t stop until you get there!
So you’ve gotten a golden ticke- err, testing invite. As the hairs on your arms return to their regular position, and you no longer feel faint, you may find yourself a little lost on what exactly happens next. First off, I’ll be the first to say, “Congratulations [Player Name]! I’m very happy and jealous of you for getting in!”. You should bookmark this page and read it if you get into testing, because this should be the only place you hear that (from anyone not also helping test).
You are hereby bound, under penalty of law…
“It’s like winning the lottery but then being banished to a deserted island.”
The NDA is a good place to start because it has potential real life consequences. A Non-Disclosure Agreement is a legal document that you will have to agree to in order to test the game. The contract binds you to terms of the agreement. This will require that you treat everything testing related as confidential and cannot to talk about anything testing related unless specifically authorized. Note that you can talk about this stuff with people under the same NDA though. In other words, to be safe: Don’t talk about testing with anyone that’s not testing.
If you were wondering why you have to be 18 years or older to test games, the NDA is the reason. You are only legally culpable in the United States of America in a civil agreement such as this when you have reached the legal age of adulthood: 18 years old. If you are not 18 and proceed to break the NDA, there is no way for the company to hold you liable.
So, the quote that starts this section has the right idea, but your island won’t be deserted. You will not be playing by yourself. There will be other testers around. Also, most companies now offer out-of-game protected forums where you can discuss testing with other testers and developers, with only those in testing having access to these forums. To ensure a lengthy and complete time testing the game, it is advisable to restrict all conversation about the game you are testing to in-game and official authorized out-of-game mediums of communication.
Just what I always wanted.
The Initial Steps
“I am overwhelmed by the idea, just underwhelmed by my download ETA.”
Invites will be sent in email format so, to backtrack a bit, make sure you have the company’s email domain whitelisted (will not be filtered as spam) on your email client. If you’re unsure how to do this, consult the help files on your email client. Emails will have general instructions on the steps you need to take in order to use your testing key (a unique code that confirms you have been chosen as a tester), download the game files, and log into the game. In addition, some emails may have information about what the testing times are and who to contact for support. So wipe the tears of enjoyment away and read the email all the way through.
The first step after any sort of confirmation will be to get the game files onto your PC. Companies vary in how they distribute the files. The initial download can be anywhere from a couple megabytes to a couple gigabytes. This is dependent on how they want to distribute the root files: Total download (big), or distributed through a Client Launcher or Official Torrent File (small). Regardless, the total amount of drive space is often that of any standard game (couple-several gigabytes). Note that you will not be the only one downloading the game files; invites are sent out to large amounts of people at the same time (termed “waves of invites“). There might be lag in the download speed due to the sheer amount of people downloading concurrently. The download and installation will be the most time consuming issue keeping you from launching the game, so be prepared.
Depending on how late you get into testing, you will likely have to patch the game. A patch updates the game files and (sometimes) the version number. That means that even after you’ve downloaded and installed the game, you may have more downloading and installing to do. Most patching is done through the client launcher, so right when you start the launcher it will check your version number and files, download any needed updates, then install them. However, after certain pivotal changes in the coding, older (or all) testers may be required to download an additional patch to install manually. There will often be announcements by the development team about patches, but not always. While waiting for updates to complete, it may be worthwhile to find and read the “patch notes” (a list of game changes in the most recent patch) as well as take a look at any Known Issues/Bugs threads you can find.
After you are fully patched and up to date, you should be ready to test. Yet this does not necessarily mean that you will be testing the instant your game is done updating. Early in testing, there are normally scheduled times that the testing server is online and you can actually log into the game. It may be as little as four hours once a week early on. As the game is in testing, the server may also crash or be brought down during scheduled testing times. The server may actually remain down due to an issue for an entire scheduled testing time, and you will not be able to play until the next scheduled time. This is part of testing the game. As a tester you are unknowingly testing how the game code runs on their hardware, or the very hardware itself. It is best to keep in mind that testing the game is a privilege, and have faith that when you cannot test the developers are improving aspects of the game as they prepare for release.
Did I miss something?
Your Start Inside the Game
“HOW DO I SHOT WEB (or send a message)?”
Your hands tremble as you hit the launch button and your screen turns black. You hold your breath. Development Company’s logo animation. Publisher’s logo animation. Login screen. Your fingers fly across the keyboard. Negotiating with server… Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations, you’re in game…per se.
While the above scenario is only a speculative representation of what launching the game will be like, moments after you do connect to the server your first step will likely be to create a character. For many, this is a fine science, fiddling with various features, colors, species, classes. However, games can be very limited in what the companies allow you to test. Content limiting is something development companies use for a variety of reasons and may occur throughout the testing process. The reasons can range from the simple fact that some content has not passed internal testing, to the development company wanting to focus all testing on a particular area, class, or feature.
While some overt limiting like disallowing certain classes has become less commonplace, zone limiting is still pretty common. Areas may not be accessible by any means and others may be completely lacking functioning NPCs (Non-Player Characters, such as characters to give missions or vendors to buy supplies), Mobs (killable enemies), or just General Content (a barren wasteland with nothing to do except admire the scenery). There may be a level cap, limiting how far you can go in the game with your character in all aspects. Be prepared for developers to force you to play how and where they want you to play.
The learning curve in games is different for every player, but whether you are a veteran MMO gamer or a person completely unfamiliar with gaming, there are a few steps you can take to speed up your familiarity with the game.
Familiarize yourself with the GUI (General User Interface)
Upon loading your character into the world, stop and just take in what is on your screen. Ignore your character and the background, focusing instead on what exactly is at your disposal on the screen. While many MMOs now implement some sort of tutorial or popup “Tip” system, there is no guarantee this will be functional during testing. Common MMO GUI elements to look out for are your ability bar, chat box, mini-map,andtool buttons. What you’re going to want to play with first is your tool buttons.
Find out where your options and “stuff” are
Hovering over the tool buttons will often give a text pop-up of what each button is. Find a group of buttons near the bottom of the screen with little icons on them, or try pressing your ESC button on the keyboard, which is a very common way to bring up a similar list of options. If all else fails, just start clicking stuff and see what it does…you know, testing.
While there is not set way to go about this, in order to learn the most important functions of the game it is a good idea to search out what the keymapping is (a keymap tells you what keys on your keyboard correlate to in-game actions). The keymap is normally located under the Settings button (other terms: Options, Game Options). After finding this section search for the Keymap. Once found, scan through it and figure out what button you have to press to achieve the desired results. Ideally you want to focus first on key game aspects such as: Movement, Interaction, and Combat.
After finding out the desired amount of information, it may be beneficial to go through the rest of the tool buttons and find what all they do. In many MMOs these buttons will give you access to important game elements like your Character Screen where you can view various elements of your character such as gear and statistics; Journal/Quest Log/Mission Log which is a tool that tracks what missions you have; Inventory that you use to view, equip, or use items you are carrying on your character; Abilities Menuwhich is a tool to view what abilities you have at your disposal and often this is how you will put the abilities on your ability bar; and Friends List where you can add friends to a list to help keep in contact. This list is neither exhaustive nor are the names official, but it is based on common functions served by the tool buttons in MMOs.
The Chat Box
Utilizing the chat box often becomes an integral part of the testing experience. It will become one of the best and quickest ways to share and discover information while in game. Many times if you have a question, someone will have an answer (it is also expected for you to share information as well).
There are often various tiers of chat. While they go by different names depending on the game, there are normally at least two levels: Local and Zone. Local normally does not require anything other than typing in the text and pressing ENTER; local chat is used to chat with players within the immediate vicinity and is not readable by players outside of a predetermined radius. Zone normally is used to talk within an entire area. If you are in “Zone Y” and are talking in zone chat, all players in “Zone Y” will be able to read what you typed.
Many games now have some sort of drop-down menu accessible on the chat box to view the different tiers of chat, but again, this feature might not be in game when you start testing. Below is a list of commonly used commands to enter different tiers of chat.
/say, /yell, /local, /general, /zone, /trade, /global, /tell [player name], /msg [player name], /reply, /party, /guild, /raid
In order to use them, first enable the chat box so that you can type (often just pressing the ENTER button will enable it). Next you will need to type one of the slash commands above (do not include commas), then press SPACEBAR and type your message. Attempt to send your message. If you are successful the message will appear in the chat box, if not there will either be an error message or nothing will show up in the chat box.
The chat box is also how you will enter slash commands to do things other than chat. The function of the commands may vary from simple emotes (used to make your character perform a superfluous action, ex.: /dance might make your character dance) to more advanced functions such as submitting a bug report. The commands are game specific and more information should be sought from other players or developers once you are in testing.
You should now be able to move around and interact with your environment and other players. It is a learning process, so go out and experiment! Have fun and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Get oriented and get moving around because now the real work starts, the real reason you are in-game: to test.
That’s no moon. It’s a space station.
Bugs and Feedback
“It takes a thousand and more small rocks to polish a gem.”
As we’ve touched on already, you are in the game to test. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun; that doesn’t mean this is your job. You may be told during your testing experience to treat testing like a job. The more correct way of putting this is to take testing seriously. If you simply log in during the testing phase and run around playing rather than testing you are not taking your part seriously (but note that testing involves playing!). We’ve seen countless games over the years get released with glaring bugs and exploits, and players complain, and the game sometimes fails as a result. You are there to prevent that. The development company is putting more eyes on their project in order to catch even the tiniest inconsistencies and errors so that they can release the most polished product possible. Don’t think of the game on your computer so much as a demo, but think of it more as a tool that enables you to test. Let’s get to it shall we?
First, find out how to report a bug from other players or developers. This information is normally readily available to testers in an email or on testing forums. Now Bug Reporting is a relatively simple process once you know what needs to happen. If you think you’ve found a bug, the first thing to ask yourself is, “Is this a bug?“. While many bugs are obviously bugs, sometimes we as players slip into the mindset that because something doesn’t work as we want it to, it is a bug. You only want to report things that are not working as intended, so keep that in mind.
A good bug report consists of 4 Key Elements: What you were doing, Where you were doing it, What was the expected result, and What was the actual result. You can file a helpful bug report 99% of the time by simply filling in these four questions in a detailed yet concise way.
1. What were you doing?
For this question, you want to include everything you were doing when the bug occurred or was seen. This may be extraordinarily short or omitted if the bug is simply something static or requiring no interaction to occur (ex. a group of mobs standing still and not reacting to anything). Otherwise include the actions that happened when you experienced the bug (ex. “I was fighting a Gundark with my Jedi Knight, using my Astromech companion.“).
2. Where were you doing it?
The more detailed the better, include all information you can such as Planet, zone, local location, or coordinates (Some games have a /loc or /location command that will give XYZ coordinates for your in game location). If adding specific directions would help, such as a landmark or an NPC nearby, add this as well. (ex. “Location was on Voss, about midway between [Town X] and [Town Y], there were a bunch of ruins nearby.“)
3. What was the expected result?
Include what you expected to happen. (ex. “I used my Force Push ability, expecting the Gundark to be knocked back.“) This is an important one. There can be design flaws that technically aren’t bugs. Perhaps for your report, the game is technically functioning as intended, but your report of your expectation(s) might give developers reason to pause and rethink that particular part of the game.
4. What was the actual result?
Here is your description of the bug. Be very descriptive, but don’t be unnecessarily wordy. (ex. “Instead, when I used Force Push the Gundark froze up. I could no longer target it or fight it. After about a minute it disappeared.“)
This is also a good place to include if you were able to repeat the bug. With many bugs, developers will try to replicate the bug you experienced in order to both confirm the bug and look at the mechanics of the bug for themselves. If you have already repeated it yourself and report that you have, it lends extra merit to your report.
So, putting together the examples above, we have a good report that reads as follows:
I was fighting a Gundark with my Jedi Knight, using my Astromech companion.
Location was on Voss, about midway between [Town X] and [Town Y], there were a bunch of ruins nearby.
I used my Force Push ability, expecting the Gundark to be knocked back. Instead, when I used Force Push the Gundark froze up. I could no longer target it or fight it. After about a minute it disappeared.
Repeatable. Confirmed same results with several other Gundark in the area.
A report may be shorter than this, and some will be longer. Sometimes it will be more difficult to explain your bug, but if you do your best with descriptions and include the 4 Key Elements you should still have a decent report. Your goal is to give the developers the most pertinent information, leaving out things such as personal opinion, expressions of frustration, and other information that does not enhance your report. They are busy and need to get through reports quickly, so help them out!
A note about Screenshots:Screenshotsof bugs should never be posted on any public site (such as Photobucket or Flickr). This is a violation of the NDA. Seek further information regarding use of Screenshots from the game development team.
Now that you know how to report a bug, here are some bug types and quick descriptions to help you know what to look out for.
• World Bugs: These bugs involve the environmental aspects of the game. You may come across a tree that is upside down or two buildings that are overlapping. Other examples include things like doors that don’t open, groups of mobs that are not targetable, missing textures on clothing, or getting stuck.
• NPC Bugs: These bugs involve NPCs and their actions in the game. Examples include Vendors that you cannot dialog (sell/buy) with, quest giving NPCs that will not let you finish a quest, groups of NPCs standing tightly clustered and not moving, or improper voice over for the NPC (male voice for female character).
• Textual Bugs: These bugs involve text in the game. The most common type is text missing from a quest description or item description; the next most common is spelling mistakes.
• Gameplay Bugs: These are bugs that involve or affect gameplay. It is a very broad category, but examples include abilities that do not function, mobs not functioning correctly in combat, and malfunctioning GUI elements.
While most bugs will fall under one of the above categories, there is one more special group of bugs that do not: Exploits. An Exploit is a unique bug in that it grants a player an unfair advantage over the game itself or other players. Essentially, exploiting is cheating. Common examples include, finding an unfair way to accumulate money and finding certain ways to kill mobs or players without them being able to attack you. As a tester you should seek out Exploits, and report them. Exploits that make it through testing unreported and then into the game’s release can be extremely damaging to the game. Some Exploits have been known to create such horrible issues in MMOs that it can take months for systems like the in-game economy to recover. Most companies have strict policies about exploiting and sharing Exploits with other players even in the testing phase. If you do come across an Exploit you should immediately report it (Make sure to add that it is an Exploit in the report!) and not tell other players about it. It is also not recommendable to continue to use the Exploit; this could result in getting removed from testing.
Finally, we should touch on Feedback. While in a bug report it is best to leave most “feedback style” comments out, feedback is a very important part of testing. As an early player of the game, the companies will often be seeking opinions on both specific aspects of the game as well as the game in general. While many companies reserve specific areas or threads on the forums for this, there have been companies that even allow feedback submission in-game. Developers know that the longer a player waits to submit feedback and bugs, the more stale the information becomes.
Good feedback is not hard to write. It’s a good idea to start your feedback off with a quick little summary sentence or couple sentences (think “thesis sentence” or “abstract”). Then dive right into your thoughts on whatever aspect you’re commenting on. Keep in mind that developers will be more likely to read your post objectively if you leave out strong language and over-the-top negativity. Frustration and anger can easily be communicated in one sentence, and not dwelt upon throughout your post. If you are giving general feedback about several aspects of the game, try and divide them up within the post, or use several posts to eliminate confusion or convolution in your post.
While the above pointers will get you going in the right direction, this is not a science (so there is no true formula for making a feedback post!). Some development teams will even put up a certain format they prefer, which may greatly simplify this process for you. Otherwise, another good idea is to constantly read other testers’ feedback to see what good and bad posts look like. Emulate the good ones, ignore the bad ones.
Now that you can report bugs and understand feedback you are a viable and useful tester! Know that the developers need you to help them. If you play your cards right as a good tester you might even get a little recognition from the development team!
We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.
“You did WHAT!?”
As a tester, you will experience many events that will try your patience. Some of these have been outlined already, but there are lots of events that normally occur during testing that can cause you to fill with some level of rage. Knowing about them ahead of time might help you be a bit more prepared. Here are some of the most common issues that cause a loss in moral among testers.
Character Wipes: Getting your character deleted can be one of the most frustrating parts of testing, but it is a standard procedure. Characters may be deleted for a variety of reasons. It might be a server wide wipe of all characters, or it could be just your character. Starting from scratch often is something to prepare yourself for.
Getting Stuck: Having your character get stuck somewhere in the world or somewhere on the server is another common irritant. Your character may become stuck due to some sort of world terrain error. Many games have a slash command to immediately help get you unstuck, but sometimes you may have to wait for a CSR/GM to “unstick” your character. You may also find yourself stuck in an instance, unable to “escape” back to the general zone. (Remember to report places you get stuck!).
It is also not unheard of to have your character get stuck somewhere in the server while logging in or out. This is often temporary, and eventually you will be able to log your character back in. However it is also possible you will completely lose your character or items and experience on your character due to this type of bug.
Getting Ganked: Ganked, in its most broad definition, is an MMO term to describe when a player kills another player via an ambush. More often it is used to describe when a player is killed in the game world by another player of higher level. While getting Ganked is not unique to testing, rest assured if there are PVP testing servers (Player Versus Player servers, where players can kill players in any area or zone that is contested) it will happen. It is an intensely frustrating experience for new players and veteran players alike. The interruption during a quest or on the way to a quest can cause a lot of anger; dying in-game is no fun. Often your best bet is just to pick yourself up, dust off, and continue with what you are doing.
Most times you will get Ganked for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the player who killed you will move along. There are cases though where the player will stick around near your corpse or spawn point, with the intent of repeatedly killing you. This is known as “Corpse Camping” and generally considered a form of Griefing (Intentional malicious actions by one or multiple players levied against another player). Griefing is generally frowned upon by players and considered harassment by developers. It would be worth your time to find out the development company’s stand on Griefing, and what can be done if it happens to you. If you find yourself getting Corpse Camped, it is often helpful to reach out to any friends that are currently in game to help you with the situation, or alternatively use Chat to call out for help from anyone available (Often other players will come to your aid even if they do not know you simply because they do not like players who Grief other players).
The Conclusion of the Testing Phase: Yes, this is a sad day indeed. The game ceases to be testable by external players. The bright side is that the game is normally launched “soon” after the public testing has ended. Many testers, though, do find it particularly frustrating that you cannot take anything with you into the release version of the game. That is to say, you will not get to keep your character, weapons, armor, progress, etc. Basically everything will be deleted, the servers you tested on will no longer exist in the state you left them, and you will be starting from scratch once again. As a note though, many development companies now do offer some sort of unique in-game reward for helping test the game (such as a “tester” distinctive item). While there is no guarantee of such rewards, there has been a progressive move by many companies to follow this trend.
Remember that you are not paying anything to test! Take a deep breath and move on, because no amount of complaining or frustration is going to change what happened to your character. Take a break from the game, laugh about it, or vent to other testers, but don’t complain to developers. They know what they are doing, and they understand the frustration you feel; they’ve been dealing with these types of issues for years.
You’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?”
Well, do ya, punk?
You should! Testing is a wonderful experience, and one that not only lets you preview a game, but develop improved knowledge of something you love doing. It will open your eyes to the “behind the scenes” aspects of a game and what goes into making a game. It will give you an edge when the game is released and make you an asset to other players. It will improve your logic skills as a gamer to deal with bugs as they arise in games, and have the knowledge of the best way to deal with them. It may even give you a serene sense of accomplishment or pride in that you helped make the game what it is.
If this is your first testing experience it may seem like a trial by fire. As you think back on it, after the game is released, it will seem like an intense experience that you will be nostalgic about years later. When the NDA is lifted you can tell your war stories to friends, how “you were there” when cockroaches were bugged and killed players with one hit.
The most important thing is to enjoy yourself during testing. You are a volunteer, aiding in producing a final product for a development company. When things get stressful, take a break. Don’t burn yourself out on the game before it is even released. It is easy to become jaded and cynical while testing a game, so take measures to avoid it. Enjoy the ride!
Below is a list of commonly used MMO words and abbreviations that you may find helpful.
Aggro – Aggression. Gaining the attention of a mob.
AOE – Area of Effect. Normally describes an ability that affects anything in a given area.
Buff – 1) An ability that enhances a player character in some way. 2) In reference to an item or aspect of the game it means that the “thing” has been enhanced in some way.
Bug – An error in the game.
Build – 1) Refers to the specifics of the player’s character and may include abilities, equipment, and advanced class. 2) The current version of the game. 3) see “Craft”
Craft/Crafting/Crafter – To craft in game means to make or build something for other characters. Crafting is often used to refer to the actual profession which gives the character the ability to craft items in game. A Crafter is one who has a profession to Craft something. see also “Profession”
Crash/CTD – A Crash or Crash to Desktop (CTD) refers to when the game completely exits without warning. Considered a bug.
CSR – Customer Service Representative (see also “GM”, definition 1)
De-buff – An ability that negatively affects the target (primarily in stats), normally without causing any direct damage.
Debug – A phase of bug tracking and resolution. Often involves tracking a bug to an error in the programming code in order to come up with a solution.
Dev – Developer
Ding – An expression used to communicate that a player has just reached a new character level.
DOT – Damage Over Time
DPS – Damage Per Second
Drop – Refers to an item found on a corpse of an NPC or within a target (such as a chest).
Emote – Emoticon. A digital expression; often refers to a superfluous action performed by a player character such as dancing, waving, or laughing.
EULA – End User License Agreement. This is a legal agreement that a player most often has to agree to, and often includes rules that a player must abide by or be punished for breaking.
g2g/Logging – Exiting the game. (Got to Go, Logging Out).
gg – 1) Good Game.
GM – 1) Game Master. Often interchangeable with CSR. Both provide in-game support. 2) Guild Master.
Griefing – Intentional malicious actions by one or multiple players levied against another player (e.g., continually killing another player over and over with the intent of bullying or frustrating the player).
Group/Party – A group of players playing the game and able to complete quests together as well as play together within an instanced area.
GUI – General User Interface. Aspects on the player’s screen that are used by the player to perform in game, but are not considered part of the game world.
Hotbar – A GUI element that is used to quickly perform abilities and/or use items from the players inventory. Interchangeable with “Ability Bar”.
Instance/Encounter/Flashpoint – An Instanced Area which is a place in-game that functions independently from the rest of the game world for a player or group of players. That is to say, two players that are not grouped may enter the same Instance but will not be able to interact with each other. Instances often require loading, therefore a loading screen, when a player enters the instanced area.
Lag – Refers to latency between the client’s action and the server-side reaction or execution of the action.
LD – Link Dead. Used to describe being disconnected from the server.
Leet/Uber/Epic – Extremely good or impressive.
Legit – Legitimate. Slang meaning depends on context, but may express impressed approval or to describe challenging situation, player, or NPC.
LFG -Looking For Group
LFM – Looking For Member(s)
lol/lmao/lmfao/rofl – Various textual expressions of laughter. (Laugh Out Loud, Laughing My Ass Off, Laughing My F—ing Ass Off, Rolling On the Floor Laughing)
Loot – 1) See “Drop”. 2) When used in verb form, Loot means to take the items in or on the referenced target (such as a chest) or corpse.
Mob – A Non-Player Character that is hostile and/or able to be attacked.
NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement
Nerf – Used to describe a change in the game that decreases the effectiveness of something (such as a weapon or ability).
NPC – Non-Player Character
Phasing – A game mechanic where a fixed area or zone, which is not instanced, is set to reflect a specific evolution or state in regard to the individual player’s game progress (or lack thereof). For example, if a player had to stop an Imperial Walker from getting to Echo base and failed, the Echo base [zone] would be destroyed and the player would see it that way. If you did stop the Walker the base would be intact. Each player would then enter the zone and see it in the state which is correct for them. (e.g.,All players who have saved the base would enter the same intact version of the zone. All players who failed to save the base would enter and see it destroyed. Note: Depending on how this system is implemented, players may or may not be able to interact with each other in the zone depending on their progression.)
PM – Private Message
Profession – A profession refers to secondary skills a player character learns. The skills are unrelated to combat, but help the player perform ‘jobs’ in game that can be used to gain money or items. Common Professions include: Armor Crafting, Weapon Crafting, and Medical Crafting.
PUG – Pick-up Group. Refers to a player gaming with other players s/he does not normally play with.
PVE – Player versus Environment. This term encompasses any and all combat in the game world that does not involve one player fighting another player (PVP).
PVP – Player versus Player
Quest/Mission – A task in game that is accepted by the player. Completion of the task normally offers some sort of reward. Tasks are normally distributed by NPCs.
Rez/Res – Resurrect. Normally refers to one player bringing another player back to life.
Raid – 1) A large group of players. 2) A term used to describe a high level instance (a “raid instance”). 3) As a verb it describes difficult high level PVE often requiring a certain number of players to complete.
RVR – Realm versus Realm.
Spawn/Respawn – 1) A place in game where a player goes after death, (a “Spawn Point”), or the act of coming back to life in game without being resurrected by another player. 2) A place where a mob exists, or the act of a mob coming back to life after being killed. 3) An additional mob or mobs that come to life around the player(s).
Spec – Specialty. See “Build”, definition 1.
SS – Screenshot.
Stats – Statistics. Referenced in game normally refers to the specific functional aspects of weapons and gear such as damage output or damage resistance.
Trash – 1) Items of no use to a player. 2) Mobs that are inconsequential in regards to the player’s current goal (often used to describe enemies between a player and a high level NPC).
TS/TS2 – TeamSpeak/TeamSpeak2. A voice chat program for gamers.
Vend – Vendor. May also refer to selling an item to a NPC Vendor.
Vent – Ventrilo. A voice chat program for gamers.
Woot – An expression of excitement or celebration.
wtb/wts/wtt – Various expressions used in relation to game economy. (Want To Buy, Want To Sell, Want To Trade)
wtf/stfu/gtfo/qft/qq – Various textual expressions of discontent or insult. (What The F—, Shut The F— Up, Get The F— Out, Quit F—ing Trying; QQ references the appearance of two capitalized Q’s similar to two eyes with tears dripping out of them, substitute the word “cry” for “QQ”).
XP – Experience. Players advance their characters in level by earning experience in various ways (such as killing mobs or completing quests).
Zone – 1) A specific, often large, area within the game world. 2) When used as a verb, “Zoning” refers to a player loading an instanced area.