Chris Houren: Explaining gaming

Chris Houren

With this being my second online column, I wanted to bring new readers up to speed.

This time we’re gonna kick back a little and just cover some things that people have asked or commented on, or things I think need stated.

It’s been mentioned that a casual gamer may not understand some of what I talk about in this article. To some extent this is intended. The article is mostly a commentary about things happening in the MMO world. That doesn’t mean I want to leave the casual game player out in the cold, not in the least. But it does mean that from time to time I will need to delve into a more hardcore discussion in a way that may get technical.

In an effort to further explain some of the jargon I may use, I thought I’d do some more vocabulary terms.

- Aggro, or argo as it’s commonly misspelled, is basically a term used for the level of aggravation your avatar has caused a mob.

- Mob is a mobile computer generated enemy.

- Assist is a term used by groups of players which means to assist one designated person. If you’re in a group and someone tells you to assist the tank, they mean to attack the same Mob that Tank is.

- Tank, also known as the main assist, is generally the fighter or warrior of the group but can be any of the other classes with high hit points andhigh armor ratings that you may have in your group.

- DPS stands for Damage Per Second and is a way to measure the effectiveness of a weapon combo or a fighting style. This term can also be used as a descriptive for a class type that will generally have low hit points and low ac but has a high output of either burst damage or sustained damage, IE Wizards and Rogues respectively.

I want to cover one more thing here before I bring this dictionary of confusion to a close. Classes and archetypes: The first being specific titles in most cases, like Cleric or Magician, the second being the style of class such as front line defense or main offense like Healer, or Utility.

Chris Houren can be reached at This column is written for the Linn County Leader and focuses on gaming, technology and geek culture.