Thursday, February 19, 2009

WoW: The Language Barrier

In FFXI, there is a very obvious language barrier. A high proportion of our players are Japanese, which can, of course, lead to difficulties in communicating.

I'm used to this.

That's fine with me. If they managed to learn that language, they can go right ahead and use it.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting a big language barrier when I started playing WoW. As I understood it, the majority of players were english speakers.

Apparently, I was wrong.

No, no one was speaking Japanese.

I wish.

Instead, everyone finds it easier to shout everything using abbreviations.


That's a sentence.

I think.

LFG I knew. We use that one in FFXI, too.

After speaking with a translator, I came to find this meant a melee fighter was looking for a group to run through Deadmines and that anyone interested should send him a tell.

I will grant you that the shout was very concise.

If Blizzard charged by the word, this guy would be saving a fortune.

But they don't.

So, really... The whole thing is unnecessary.

Can it honestly be saving you enough time to make it worthwhile?

Would the people in your Guild make fun of you is they saw you using vowels?

I could maybe understand if this was in the heat of battle and he was trying to convey important information quickly.

That shit is important.

This guy, however, was in a city.

Just standing around.

What's he saving time for? Does he have a dinner party that he's going to be late for if he uses twenty more letters?

And everyone does it. The whole city chat is filled with people yelling random combinations of letters.

PSTs and WTBs.

It's anarchy.

Somewhere, Vanna White is weeping.

Yes, I figurd out what they meant. It's really not that hard given a little bit of knowledge into the game.

That's not the point.

Cutting out letters for no other reason than to see how badly you can butcher the English language and have it still function is entirely wrong.

That's how AOL started.

Is that how you want to end up? Really?

Nobody wants to see that happen.

It's bad enough we have one AOL.

I'm not saying that you should stop using game-related slang or anything. That's just a natural part of the MMORPG experience.

Like joining your first linkshell/guild.

Or ignoring your wife.

It's just one of those things you do.

But if you're going to type a message, type the whole message.

Vowels and everything.

Let's pretend we're not all 12 year-old girls on MSN, k?

Man, that shit pisses me off.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go PUG a DM run.


At 9:04 PM, Blogger Kei said...

Oh major city chat. Then again, if < omgmybalzrhuge > took more than 5 seconds to type his message, it'd be spammed out by < uberpally >'s "WTS [Sickeningly Overpowered Healing Maul]"

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Dxoh said...

First! Also first time poster. I've played both WoW and FFXI, so I've had firsthand experience with both. I can say that the abbreviations and acronyms are one of the most difficult part about picking up a new MMO. For myself, I always prefer just typing what I want to say out, but that may just be the OCD.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Dxoh said...

Oops. Beat by two seconds. *Mutters* (Bastard)

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Robert said...

DPS =! melee fighter
DPS = Any damage dealer(ranged or melee)

At 9:15 PM, Blogger tanzo said...

You know I never thought about all the abbreviations in WoW when I played it. Its really funny now that I think about it.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Sean said...


Maybe it would be better if you didn't "FIRST!!11!!1!!!11one11!" at all?

Anyway, I know what you mean Dave. I've played 5 different MMOs wuite a bit, and WoW is the only MMO that has a playerbase addicted to acronyms. Other MMOs use them, sure, but whereas others are 80% words and 20% acronym, WoW is closer to 90% acronym and 10% words.

At 10:22 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

I could never understand abbreviating everything. BRB, AFK, WC I don't mind that much. But when you start substituting single letters or numbers for entire words, I want to shoot you. Seriously, I had hoped that shit died out when cell phones started having full qwerty keyboards.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger breakingthedawn said...

yea...the Acronyms suck, but it's like what Kei said...if you type it all out you'll get ignored by someone else's post.

But...technically Deadmines is acronym'd VC for the boss Van Cleef. If I remember right, DM is Dire Maul

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Phillip said...

ah the LFG spams... good times. as for the DM abbreviation, around the time the Burning Crusade expansion came out, people started using DM interchangeably for Deadmines and Dire Maul, level / area contextually. Not that anyone ever runs dire maul anymore.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Mystic said...

Sadly, I became a victim to the abbreviations. I started off writing sentences. No one responded. Eventually your will crumbles and you become one of the mindless masses. Hey, at least I still use full words in my guild... small guild.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Aryonis said...

at least it's not barrens chat.

At 12:50 AM, Blogger Codexx said...

A lot of WoW terms are easily shortened. While I agree, replacing words like "you" with just "u" is absolutely retarded, and the people who do it are clearly morons, typing out "damage dealing spec is looking for a group to run Heroic The Violet Hold, please send me a tell before inviting me" is a mouthful, and not everyone knows how to press alt+up to resend the message, or make a macro.

I can type DPS LFG H VH, PST. It takes less than 1/3 of the time, and if you have knowledge of the game most people can read it.

Also: more language barriers. Horde and Alliance can never talk, group up, or otherwise play nice. This happens regardless of if you're in the pre-Wrath "tentative peace" setting or the post-Wrath "Humans are Racist against Orcs again because the king is back" setting.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger Codexx said...

Also: VC is usually used for Deadmines since Dire Maul was released. It used to be acceptable, but then LFG chat became global. Once the mass spam storm was over, it was kind of a pain. I preferred the old system, where it was zone-wide. You'd get the occasional jerk who'd tell you to use VC instead of DM, then you'd point out that at level 17 and in Westfall, you aren't going to be running Dire Maul any time soon. Also: Deadmines came first. It totally has dibs.

At 1:03 AM, Blogger quinn said...

as a ex-wow addict it will happen to you to. if you want to do a WC run and its taking you 10 minutes you start getting annoyed everytime you have to retype that message. so you shorten it, and little by little LFG DPS WC PST

At 1:37 AM, Blogger Robin said...

I simply can't wait untill I get to read about the four retards he grouped with, and wiped just before VanCleef, by a lowbie pull and the whole group left.

happens all the time.

At 2:42 AM, Blogger Tiran Kenja said...

Yeah. The acronyms on is usually more to do with being able to type the same stuff over and over quickly, since nobody really trusts they can get a group in any other way than spamming a channel every 10 seconds.

Actually it is quite funny. Most MMOs have some sort of LFG system. And I believe WoW is on their 3rd or 4th. And usually they will be discarded within the first 10 minutes because "noting happens". And with that general attitude of course it will never really work.

In contrast people can see stuff happen when they spam a channel. Even if is it highly inefficient and you have to deal with people who use it for other things.

At 2:42 AM, Blogger Rune said...

For extra effect, you should read the post in a .... different way:

At 5:11 AM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

I generally avoid abbreviations. I'm one of the few people that actually joins LFG chat and says "Need a healer for heroic Halls of Lightning" instead of "LF1M healer for H-HOL.

I think of it like an idiot check. While I don't look down on groups who do use abbreviations if I'm trying to find a group, since it is the "norm," the way I see it if I bother to actually sound intelligent in LFG chat when I'm looking for an extra person or two I'll get more attention.

Plus it's not a lot of extra effort since I usually just copy/paste my LFG spam anyway instead of typing it all out every time. ;-)

At 5:14 AM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

@Kenny: "I could never understand abbreviating everything. BRB, AFK, WC I don't mind that much. But when you start substituting single letters or numbers for entire words, I want to shoot you. Seriously, I had hoped that shit died out when cell phones started having full qwerty keyboards."

The weird part IS when people do it in cell phone texting. As I saw one person put it, the predictive dictionary is in English, it must take them AGES to type like morons.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Vibrato said...

The abbreviations don't bother me as much as the kids that insist on typing in "leet" speak, lol leik i no rite, ur just a toal n00b diaf... Or PeOpLe ThAt Do StUpId CrAp LiKe ThIs, like it's going to get them noticed faster in trade when they well something about Murlocs, Chuck Norris or parts of their or others anatomy.

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Eric said...

WoW implemented the LFG function yet people are still too retarded to use it.

It needs expanding imo since you can only put yourself into LFG for three different runs but it's still the easiest.

Takes 30 seconds, pick your three runs. Go do dailies while waiting to get a tell. Much easier then having to watch trade chat (no one uses trade chat for trade anymore) and hoping to score the dps spot for any run you're looking into.

I'm surprised you could actually find a real VC run. Most every person just pays 5g to have someone run them through it in 10 minutes while you soak up the xp and get your quests completed :P

btw - 5 min stocks run 15g pst <3's

At 7:06 AM, Blogger RamblingDreamer said...

I've been WoWing for three or four years, now, and I *still* don't know all the abbreviations. Mostly the various instances that seem to change on someone's whim. The PSTs and the LFGs and whatnot I get. You see it enough, you get it. Even if it bugs the hell out of you. The rest...I still have to ask my hubby what they mean, unless it's one I've seen a lot of. WC (Wailing Caverns), for instance, or maybe BRD (Black Rock Depths), or SM (Scarlet Monestery). The stuff that's been around forever. The new stuff - still no clue.

Regardless, I feel your pain about the lack of proper English, spelling, grammar in chat in general. I tend not to pay attention, put myself in the "LFG" thing and wait it out. It's easier on my sanity that way.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger RamblingDreamer said...

Er...Monastery, rather. Sorry - there's no edit function and that typo was bugging me.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

Dave, WoW DOES limit the lines you can send in chat. And most folks won't read huge blocks of text; it's like any medium. FFI has its share of shorthand, too.

Think of it like the personals in your newspaper. Yeah. THOSE personals. Instead of writing out all the commonly used terms over & over, they use abbreviations to save space...WASP LFG PST...

And jeesh, considering some of the convoluted over-punctuated names of those dungeons, hell yeah, I'm using abbreviations.

Eric --
WoW implemented the LFG function yet people are still too retarded to use it.

You've been a victim of all the random whispers asking if you can heal/tank, too, I'm guessing? I actually have a whisper macro to snap back: "If I wanted to RUN a dungeon, I'd be in the LOOKING FOR GROUP QUEUE. Click the Green Eye Icon & leave me alone."

At 8:45 AM, Blogger jj said...

The only reason you don't see more abbreviations in FFXI is because we have the auto translate so you still only type 2 letters and tab. Ny<tab> Do<tab> /t<tab>, <Nysult Isle> <Do you need it?> </tell>. And yes i cant spell the zone names without the darn <tab> thing. You try spelling Ug<tab> Temple.

And even with that we use the auto translate to mean different things <sea> <sky> <moon>(Does anyone even use <moon> anymore?).

So yea FFXI tends to have more full words but not because they are fully typed by hand. And the auto translate has a nice side effect of people seeing what fun combination they can make every time new words are added. Hey guys look the added <grip>.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Autumn said...

You didn't know PST? That's pretty standard over in City of Heroes...when I tried Warcraft, honestly, 'PST' and 'LFG' were the least of my concerns. The class and location abbreviations are hella annoying, though. Seriously, is it so hard to type 'Level 15 Rogue LFG Randomplace Dungeon'? How the hell am I supposed to know that PDQ refers to Police Dog Quest? I didn't even know there WERE police dogs in this game.

(There are not police dogs in Warcraft.)

This tendency to abbreviate everything is getting out of hand. LOL is fine. Kind of lame, but fine. PST, I get. LFG, yep. OMG WTF BBQ had better mean exactly what it says on the tin, though, or I'm going to go PVP and GM on YSLA.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Anonymous said...

Well in FFXI its the same thing as using the translator. People do that because its faster. In WoW they abbreviate because there is no translator. I know sure as heck I didn't use the translator in FFXI just because a Japanese player might happen to be online to read it. I was lazy, and was saving time. And c'mon < Hume > < Meat > < Rod > in < Mithra > < Fun > < Hole > < Can I have it? > You know people abused the translator after reading things like that in the main cities... -_-;

At 9:33 AM, Blogger MinorAgentofChaos said...

OMG, I just caught the last part of Dave's entry...

He's gonna PUG (pick up group) for Deadmines. For non-WoWers, that's basically picking up whatever other random folks happen along to run the dungeon.

Oh, Dave, oh dear, oh dear dear dear. You've just entered a whole new level of hurt -- the PUG and Deadmines.

Word of advice, Dave -- CLICK THE GOLD COIN TO ROLL NORMALLY ON LOOT. If you click the Dice (as I did innocently my first few instance runs), folks will accuse you of Ninja'ing loot. Gold Coin is the normal roll, Dice are the "need" roll, and usually reserved for loot that's obviously for your intended class/spec. And it's considered polite to ask before you "need" on a piece of loot.

Tomorrow's entry should be an OMGWTFBBQ to contend with.

Too bad Dave hasn't said what server he's on. I'm tempted to level a fast DPSer to go help him out. :)

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Tommy Schouw Rasmussen said...

One thing worth noting is that the standard WoW-chatframe doesn't allow "partial" posts. If even the first line of a post is out of the frame, due to new posts, it won't show anything from the post at all.

This is the main reason for people writing short messages, because they stay visible longer, and because can actually register "LF1M DPS VH HC" in a fraction of the time it takes to read: "Skilled team of companions needs a final brave soul to challenge the horrors of Violet hold, only true heroes need apply".

While the latter is certainly more fun to read and write, it will get noticed by only 10% of the audience of the first message. Heck, of the 10% reading, half will stop after the first line and think "meh, goldseller" and ignore it.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Salt said...

I think everyone here has already stated all the reason WoW players use abbreviations.

It's easier to type, especially if you are typing it for the 5th thousand time, because it's the 100th time you are running Heroic Violet Hold since you hit 80.
It's human nature, as least among English speakers, to shorten commonly used terms in writing and speech.

It's easier and quicker to read, and get straight to the point.

It doesn't clog up the chat window with "walls of text".

You will get used to it.
If you don't know the meaning of something, that normally can be solved just ask someone or ask in chat.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Adam said...

I don't usually look for many groups, but when I have to, I always start out with "looking for < usually DPS > for ...". I can understand doing the abbreviation for DPS because it encompasses so many classes though if you think about it, it doesn't make a lot of sense. DPS is Damage Per Second. Why not call them DDC (damage dealing class) heh. Ok, off topic.. Occasionally I'll abbreviate the dungeon name depending on the dungeon. Half the time though I don't get a response and when I rewrite it as LF1 DPS for < insert dungeon abbreviation > people respond. It's really irritating. I dislike shortening a sentence that really doesn't need it. I'm also usually a nut for spelling (and knowing my luck there will be some word or another misspelled here). I can be halfway through some long explanation, see a mistake and have to go fix it before I'll finish. A lot of times, if someone asks me a question using too many abbreviated or leet words, I'll ignore them or ask them to speak English.

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Kinam said...

the only thing I hate for a difference between FFXI and WoW, if you say in FFXI "WC" .. it means water closet, or going to the bathroom ... yet in WoW it's referring to an instance ... 'course when you say WC in party chat in WoW some people understand, most though are like "WTF WC? We're SM-Cathing!"

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Chrysalis said...

On occasion my friends and I use Moon when everywhere else is full and we just want to have some fun, get a little exp and not fight for a camp with all the other people.

At 6:21 PM, Blogger semele said...

Have you gotten a spam tell yet? Awful! People will contact you with a private message (/tell) offering to power level you or sell you gold. Yikes.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Cydian said...

I'll abbreviate dungeon names, but that's about it. I think G2G is horrible, and PST is kind of superfluous.

"Warlock looking for VH"

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Aerinravage said...

I know I'm late to this party, but I thought I'd share a funny related to this: As a long(ish)-time player I've seen all levels of communications ability. I've known this one Elvaan for most of that time.

A couple weeks ago, he asked me if I was an English major since I rarely abbreviate besides the jobs.

I took it as a compliment ^^


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