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Author Topic: Common Raiding / Group Content MMO Terms  (Read 287 times)

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Offline Niarra

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Common Raiding / Group Content MMO Terms
« on: 07/30/17, 06:14:12 PM »
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I'm writing up this post primarily as a reference tool for the community group who will be trying to run Operations shortly, but my hope is that it might be helpful to anyone who might be new to MMO raiding and interested in learning more, whether or not you're part of the group we'll be running.

I'm going to note some common terms that you'll hear during MMO raiding content, particularly when a raid leader is explaining a fight in voice chat, or calling things out during a fight itself. Some of these might be very familiar to some players, but it's never wise to assume! So here goes:

Adds - This refers to enemies that might might spawn and join a fight sometime after the fight is first initiated. They are "additions" to the fight at a later time, hence "adds." The term is most commonly used to talk about weaker enemies that appear during a fight against a boss-level enemy that may have scripted phases to their tactics. Often a fight might have several waves of adds, spawning into the battle at different times/phases. Instructions for party members to 'focus on defeating adds' generally means that players in the DPS role should stop attacking the boss and instead target all adds until these weaker enemies are defeated. Sometimes adds must be taken out in a specific order, or moved to specific areas of the battlefield. There are all sorts of instructions that might come about in the effort to defeat or manage adds.

Rotation - Although it is possible for most class types/roles to have a rotation, primarily this is relevant to characters in the DPS role. A 'rotation' refers to executing a character's abilities in a specific sequence so as to maximize damage output. Depending on the complexity of any given class, a rotation might be short (maybe 8-12 sequenced abilities), or very long and including multiple insertions of an ability, or sequencing variations, depending on the random-chance triggers of things like critical chance or gear set bonuses. Although a heavy focus on understanding, memorizing, and executing a rotation generally only comes into play at higher level game difficulties and raiding efforts, it doesn't hurt for any DPS player to spend some time learning their abilities and looking at which abilities gain bonuses from being executed before or after other specific abilities. A simple Google search on your class + 'DPS rotation' will likely point the curious player to many resources.

Cooldowns - Although in a general sense, 'cooldown' refers to the period of time it takes any ability to recharge before it can be used again, usually when referred to in the plural as 'cooldowns' the term is being used to describe a class's powerful defensive abilities, most of which come with significant cooldown times of 1+ minutes. Learning when to "pop your cooldowns" is about reading the situation in a battle to determine if you need to give yourself an extra boost of protection at any given moment. Players who are very comfortable with reading battles and managing their abilities may incorporate these into their rotations (and tanks in particular need to learn to use these very well), while others will simply hold them in reserve for emergencies, or for when their party's healer or raid leader might call out for party members to use them because they are seeing danger signs. Offensive powers (such as boosts to critical chance) can also be referred to as "cooldowns" but these are rarely called out by others in a raiding context, as it is assumed that players will be incorporating offense boosts into their rotation as a matter of course.

LOS - This is an abbreviation of Line Of Sight. It can be used in its more straight-forward sense to talk about whether or not an avatar has line of sight on an enemy in order to execute an attack (the game itself will give you a flash-message telling you when your line of sight on an enemy is being blocked by other avatars/enemies or by the environment). 'LOS' can also be used as a verb or command, when discussing executing a tactic that involves a character attacking an enemy (thereby getting the enemy to focus attacks on them) and then positioning themselves behind a piece of environmental geometry in order to force the enemies to chase them; this tactic is often used to move enemies into a more favorable position for the rest of the party. When used in this fashion you might hear a tank say, "I'm going to LOS that group behind this corner. Everyone wait here while I bring them over."

Pull - This term is used to describe the act of deliberately grabbing enemy attention and engaging enemy NPCs in combat, either by attacking them directly or by entering the enemy's attack radius. You 'pull' an enemy or a group of enemies by engaging with them, which usually results in enemies moving over to you (hence the choice of the word 'pull' for to describe this). You will often hear a raid leader give a tank permission to "pull when ready," which means clearing them to begin the fight. You might also hear someone say "I'm going to pull this group over to the left," which is both a game-specific and literal use of the term. Or, in keeping with the above explanation of LOS, you might hear a tank explain they are going to "LOS pull this group to spot X." And of course, you might hear a warning along the lines of, "Walk close along the right wall to make sure you don't unintentionally pull that group over by the left door."

CC - This is an abbreviation of Crowd Control, and refers to specific abilities that allow a player to stun or immobilize an enemy. These are referred to as 'crowd control' abilities because they can temporarily eliminate an enemy from a fight, thereby minimizing the number of active enemies and allowing a party to maintain better control over the 'crowd.' If a player is instructed to "CC that droid on the far right" they are being asked to use their stun ability on said target. Note that some players have short-duration stuns (abilities that might immobilize an enemy for something like 4 seconds), and though these might technically fall under the same umbrella, generally speaking when referring to CC you are only talking about abilities that can stun/immobilize for long durations such as 1 minute. It's also important to note that almost all CC abilities can be broken if the target takes damage, so when your party chooses to employ Crowd Control on a group of enemies it is very important that players do not damage the stunned enemy; being careful about targeting your AOE abilities (or foregoing AOE abilities altogether) when there is a Crowd Controlled enemy around can be crucial.

Stun breaker - All classes in SWTOR have an ability that allows them to break the effects of a stun or immobilization effect being used against them. These abilities generally have a long cool down, and should be used strategically. If a raid leader warns about a particular mechanic for which you should (or should not) use your 'stun breaker,' this what they're talking about.

Cast Bar / Channeled Abilities - Both players and NPCs have some abilities that might take 1-3 seconds to execute, as opposed to instantly triggering. These abilities, usually called 'channeled abilities,' have a visual indicator to them within the user interface of the game, represented by a "castbar" that appears and shows a meter marking the progress of the cast/channel. By adjusting your User Interface in SWTOR, you can turn on and move both your own castbar (player castbar) as well as the castbars for your target, and your focus target. In a raid, it can often be very important for players to pay attention to an enemy's castbars, so making sure that these are activated in your User Interface and placed in a position that is easy for you to see is a good idea.

Interrupt - All classes in SWTOR have an ability that allows them to interrupt an enemy's cast of a channeled ability. (This is often described in the tooltip as "interrupts the target's current action.") Some classes have an interrupt ability that works at range, while others will need to be within melee range to use theirs. It will often fall on a player in the tank role to interrupt key enemy abilities, but this is a responsibility that can frequently go to a DPS player as well. Sometimes interrupting an enemy ability can be crucial to success, and mean instant death of a player if the interrupt is missed. Many Operations or FP bosses have a "boss immunity" that prevents interrupts, so use of interrupts depends on the specific fight's mechanics.

Focus Target - SWTOR allows commands that will designate your selected target as your 'focus target' - doing so will pop up your target's portrait&health bars in an area of the screen that you can choose by activating and moving the 'Focus Target' panel in your Interface Editor. This portrait of your focus target will always remain visible on your screen even if you are actively targeting and attacking a different enemy, allowing you to monitor what your focused target is doing at all times. It is often advisable to mark an enemy boss as your focus target, so that even while you are attacking adds you can still see if the boss is casting a particular ability, or monitor their health. It also gives you a means of quickly re-targeting back on the boss when you need to, by simply clicking that focus target portrait. To set the key command you want to use to designate a target as your focus target, go into Preferences > Key Bindings > Targeting and determine your command for 'Set Focus Target.'

Telegraphs - Many powerful enemy abilities affect wide areas of the battlefield. Players are often given advance warning that such an attack is going to be executed by virtue of symbols that appear on the ground - circles or bars or auras of varying colors and patterns. These indicators are called 'telegraphs,' because they are telegraphing where an attack is going to hit. Telegraphs might appear several seconds in advance of an ability being triggered, or they might give only the briefest second/sliver of warning; the amount of time a telegraph lasts before the attack is actually triggered depends on the difficulty of the fight and the size/radius of the attack. A raid leader may often explain a fight by telling you about telegraphs to look out for (usually describing them by shape and color), and they might also call out telegraphs to be conscious of during a fight itself. It's a general rule of thumb that when the game gives you a telegraph warning, it's usually doing so because you are supposed to move out of the indicated area before the attack triggers, or stay out of it for the duration of an area effect. If you've ever heard people talking about the importance of not "standing in stupid" they are talking about the importance of getting out of a telegraphed danger area promptly, rather than staying put to keep attacking at the expense of taking massive damage when the enemy attack you were warned about finally goes off.

Threat - SWTOR, like most MMOs, has built into it a mechanic by which enemies are drawn to attack certain player characters over others. That is the most simple way to describe the mechanism of 'threat.' You can think of 'threat' as the amount of enemy interest a player is generating. In traditional MMO roles, it is the job of a character in the role of a tank to try to maintain the highest threat level in their party, to keep enemies focused on attacking them rather than the DPS or healers. Tanking classes have both passive and active abilities that increase the threat they generate, and it is the tank's job to learn to use these effectively to help manage a battlefield. But doing damage and healing allies also generates threat; DPS will generate threat on the target you are currently attacking, and healing will generate threat on all enemies in the area. This means that a DPS will usually only draw the attention of an enemy they are attacking (which is often the boss, who should otherwise be focused on a tank), whereas healers might generate threat on the entire room at once (something that frequently puts healers in peril when adds first spawn into a fight). Although SWTOR uses the term 'threat' in its ability tooltips, some players might use the alternate term 'aggro' to mean exactly the same thing.

Threat dump - All DPS and healer classes should have an ability that, when triggered, instantly lowers the amount of threat they are generating against all enemies. It is important to identify and familiarize yourself with this ability for your class. Knowing when to use it is something that will come with experience, but failing all else your raid leader or tank may call out for a DPS character to use their 'threat/aggro dump' at any given time - often because, as a tank, they can see when the boss whose attention they are trying to hold has now turned its attention to you instead. As a healer you are going to need to learn when to use a threat dump on your own, but generally speaking if you find you are being swarmed by adds it's a good time to use your threat dump!

"Let the tank build threat" - You might hear your read leader call for this tactic when explaining an upcoming fight to you. Generally this refers to an opening tactic that calls for the party to hold back and let a tanking character engage a boss by themselves for a few seconds. During that time a tank may be executing a specific sequence of high-threat abilities in order to really make sure they've got the boss's attention locked in, before the DPS get in there and start generating threat caused by their damaging attacks.

Cleave - This term is used to refer to any variety of boss attacks that might affect a wide area in front of the boss, and will damage any character within that area. A cleave attack may be targeted on a single character (usually the tank, or whomever is holding threat) which means it isn't technically an AOE attack, but it will still do damage to anyone within the cleave telegraph. For this reason you will often see that a common tanking tactic is for a tank to turn the boss away from the rest of the party (resulting in the rest of the party standing at the boss's back while the tank is alone at their front). As a general rule of thumb it's better for DPS and healers to stay behind the boss whenever possible, but sometimes the mechanics of a fight require too much movement to maintain that positioning. At minimum, it's important to know if the boss has any cleave attacks of which you should be aware, so that you know how critical it may or may not be to be mindful of that positioning.

Target markers and kill order - During a fight, your raid leader might use game tools in order to place target markers on enemies - colored symbols that will float above a NPC's head to make them easier to spot and to target. This might be used to indicate which targets need to be CCed, or even just to call out specific targets of interest. It might also be used to designate a 'kill order' - a priority order in which enemies need to be focused and taken down by the DPS in a group. For example, your raid leader might mark three out of four enemies with a Fire, Target, and Star symbol, and tell you to kill enemies in that order.

Kill Weak to Strong - SWTOR classifies enemies as Normal (no special outline/symbol on their portraits), Strong (silver outline/symbol), Elite (gold outline/symbol), Champion (mixed gold & silver star symbol), and then Bosses. When you are confronted with a group of multiple enemies to take out in a group content/raiding situation, it is advisable to always (unless the mechanics of a fight require otherwise) kill enemies from weakest to strongest. In other words, start by taking down the Normals, then move to Strongs, then to Elites, and etc. The primary reason for this is to quickly reduce the amount of damage the enemies can put out; Normals have less HP and will die quicker, but while they are up they are still putting out damage that is often focused wildly all over the party, and this puts strain on your healers. In the time it would take you to kill one Elite you can kill 2-4 Normals, so it is better to remove the potential damage output of 2-4 enemies in that same time frame than it is to remove the output of just one. (Note that the counterbalance to this DPS perspective is the tank's role, in which the tank will generally engage the strongest enemy on the battlefield and hold their attention thereby allowing the DPS free rein to mop up all the weaker enemies.) 

Raid-wide damage - When an enemy has an attack that will deal damage to everyone in the party at the same time, this is called raid-wide damage. Raid-wide damage often does not take range or LOS into account, meaning that it won't matter how far away you are from the boss or whether or not you are hiding behind something. Raid-wide damage can be some of the most difficult mechanics for a healer to contend with, so it is often going to be called out as something to be particularly wary of. Often a fight will call on a party to successfully execute interrupts or other mechanics in order to specifically avoid a raid-wide damage attack.

DOT - This abbreviation stands for "Damage Over Time" and refers to the effect an attack might place on a target in which smaller increments of periodic damage are dealt to the target over a set period of time, lasting after the attack is initially executed. Both PCs and NPCs can have attacks that inflict DOTs. These lingering effects can sometimes be removed by a healer with a special "cleanse" ability, but sometimes there is nothing that can be done and you just have to hope for the best!

Buffs / Debuffs - Hopefully everyone is familiar with what buffs and debuffs are! But if not, here's some brief definitions found in any variety of MMO glossaries out there. Buff: Temporary boost to character attribute or combat ability. Debuff: The opposite of a buff, an offensive spell cast on enemies that weakens an attribute or combat ability. These are indicated as icons over your character portrait/health bar, with tooltips that explain what their effects are when you hover over them. I mention this only to lead into the next couple items below:

Stacks - This term is used to discuss buffs and debuffs that can be applied multiple times on the same target. If the effects of the buff/debuff are cumulative or additive in nature, then they can be called "stacking" buffs/debuffs. The number of times - or "stacks" - that a buff/debuff has been applied is indicated by a number on the buff/debuff icon. Stacking debuffs can be particularly crucial for players to be aware of, because a fight's mechanics might hinge on them. For example: a certain number of stacks on a debuff could trigger instant death, or a tank may need to switch places with their co-tank once they've been hit with a particular number of stacks on a debuff, or a healer may need to know to cleanse a particular debuff from a party member when it's reached a certain number of stacks.

"Stack up" or "Stack on" - These phrases generally have nothing to do with stacking buffs or debuffs, which is why they are being called out here for clarification. When the party is instructed to "stack up" it means that the players should all reposition themselves in order to be standing closely together, usually to avoid damage or to bring the whole party into proximity to allow your healers to hit everyone with AOE healing abilities at the same time. The party may also be called to specifically "stack on the tank" or "stack on the healer," meaning to reposition themselves around the player thus called out - again usually to avoid specific types of damage or to enable group heals.

Raid buffs - Many SWTOR classes have an ability that grants a temporary party-wide (or raid-wide, depending on the tooltip wording) buff. These are potent abilities that generally have a long cooldown, and as such might only be used once during a fight (or twice, if it's a particularly long boss fight). As a general rule of thumb it's a good idea to only use these abilities when your raid leader calls for it. Because most raid buffs specifically increase damage output, raid buffs are often used during a phase in a boss fight where the party might be required to reduce a boss's health by a certain percentage within a limited window of time.

Resource-starved - If a player is "resource-starved" it means that the resource their class uses in order trigger their abilities has been depleted or is close to being so. This might be Force power, or energy cells, or ammunition (or it might work in "reverse" and be a generation of heat which, once maxed, prevents you from triggering more abilities). Learning how to manage your resource, either by using abilities that regenerate it or measuring out your high-consumption abilities to allow your normal regeneration rate to catch up, is part of the process of learning how to most efficiently play your class. This will come with time! Most commonly, concerns around being resource-starved will relate to those players in the healer's role, who may find themselves pressed to the resource breaking point in tough fights, and for whom being resource-starved might mean the death of the party.

Enrage / enrage timer / hard vs soft enrage - Many bosses in Operations have a built in mechanic called Enrage. A boss might be set to "enrage" after a specific amount of time has passed from when the fight was first initiated (for example, maybe 5 or 10 minutes into a fight). That is the enrage timer. When a boss becomes "enraged" they generally acquire a reddish sheen to their avatar and will begin dealing out massively increased amounts of damage. Usually when a boss enrages that means the party is going to be wiped out in very short order, since the enrage exists to indicate to the party that you took too long to beat the encounter, and that successfully passing the fight will mean trying again and being more efficient next time. (Yes, sometimes it's possible to survive a a boss enrage by the skin of your teeth, but generally speaking this mechanic exists to force a party wipe and a retry.) The enrage described so far is what is sometimes called a "hard enrage" - something deliberately designed to kill the party off. A "soft enrage" can be any mechanic wherein a boss suddenly acquires a significant boost to their damage output, either because you failed a mechanic that resulted in giving the boss this new buff, or because you killed enemies in the incorrect order and thus triggered an enemy's extra rage upon seeing their allies fall. So basically: a "hard enrage" is a mechanic meant to end a fight as indication that you just took too damn long, while a "soft enrage" is a mechanic meant to indicate you took a wrong turn and make the fight much harder for you but isn't necessarily a guaranteed failure.



There are probably tons more terms I could put in here, but I think this is more than enough to get started with.   :wtf:  :nuu:

If anyone has any suggestions for terms to be added, or any questions about terms you've heard that you've never understood, please post with a reply here and I'll try to make updates!
« Last Edit: 07/30/17, 08:31:39 PM by Niarra »
Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master and Diplomat // Derrad Reymark, Starfighter Ace and Softie // Jheva, Padawan and Pattern Reader // Yatei, Jedi Knight // Zelek Arr, Corn Grower
Sivala, Sith Academy Overseer // Rannayel, Sith Lord and Museum Curator
Erran Veshkgalaar, Mandalorian Accountant // Caustrin Neyvor, Dangerous Puppeteer // Ariza Fey, Psycho and Pyro // Kettur Vaen, Semi-Spook

Offline Dezzrevas

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Re: Common Raiding / Group Content MMO Terms
« Reply #1 on: 08/19/17, 01:43:52 PM »
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Parse A program outside of the game to measure the effectiveness of your rotation of abilities. It keep track of what you are killed by who was taking the most damage who was healed the most etc. It also can tell you what your in combat rotation actually was how many times you hit a specific ability. An invaluable tool to learn how to master your class and subclass or spec. It tells you an over view of basically everything that happened during a fight good or bad. A lot of players look to this as a dick measuring contest and yeah some people are like that and take it too far. But this tool is a massive help not only to see where you might be falling short and need to work on but also where you are hitting your potential. the best program at the moment is Star Parse obtained here: http://ixparse.com/
~Dezz'revas~ Republic (The Revas Order)
~Dessel'revas~ Imperial (The Fallen of Revas)
21st Sage in ranked PVP Grouped(season 6)