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To a casual player, World of Warcraft is an overwhelming experience. Not only do you need to deal with getting good at the game itself, you need to deal with other players. Much of the game’s content is only accessible by playing with other people; many quests, as well as every dungeon and Battlegrounds, are designed to be played in groups of people; the economy of the game is designed to accommodate interplayer trade and sales. The only way to succeed in the long run is to learn to interact well with people.

And normally this isn’t too difficult. Blizzard has set up chat channels in-game for finding groups and trading; there are plenty of different ways to speak (private messages, speaking, group chat, and so forth); any player who doesn’t completely suck will eventually be recruited by a guild. The only problem is that these people are speaking in codes.

A natural consequence of a world as immersive as the one Blizzard has crafted is that players begin to develop ways of speaking and assumptions about interaction that are peculiar to the game. Go to any office, any underground organization, any online message board and you’ll find the same thing. What’s different in World of Warcraft is that a need for real-time communication has pushed the development of slang and abbreviations quite far since the game’s creation. There’s a huge amount to learn before a player can interact with others without constantly asking for clarification.

Hopefully this guide will be a good resource to players who need a reference for the minutiae of World of Warcraft speech. Please note that this is meant to be a reference for Warcraft slang, and not simply terminology.

Due to a series of huge mistakes on my part (you can find out more at Editor Log: August 2006), this was originally a sprawling metanode. I’ve reorganized it into something more helpful. Terms are now separated into categories; those terms that can be cleared up with a one to two sentence definition are now taken care of locally. Some terms (such as abbreviations for cities) I will link out to the appropriate node, so that we can give it a real entry.

If you can find anything in here that has been obsolesced, please let me know. The dark side of Blizzard's inimitable update process is that things change fast.


Categories in this reference:

  1. World of Warcraft Slang
  2. Trade
  3. Places and Travel
  4. Grouping
  5. Battle
  6. Interfaction
  7. Equipment
  8. Characters
  9. Other Terms
  10. Exercises

My only reference (other than my own knowledge) for this project was www.wowwiki.com.

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