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Gaming Glossary

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The video game definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known MMO games: Instance

Instances are a separate part of a multiplayer game for a player or small party. It is meant to create a private/small group experience. Instances often include quests or storylines, although the most common are dungeon instances. These are done with a small party (3-5 players) or a raid (as many as 40 players or more).

Thousands of instances can be ongoing simultaneously within a game, but they are unique to the party. Lord of the Rings Online instances, for example, have instances that become available at level 20, and these are primarily dungeons.

Examples of an instance is going to range widely depending on the content. Storyline progression can be instance related. Dungeon instances will likely pertain to the success or failure of the mission and the loot hoped for or received at the end. Instances are a separate part of a multiplayer game for a player or small party, and often include quests or storylines. Although the most common are dungeon instances. These are done with a small party (3-5 players) or a raid (as many as 40 players or more).

History

Term originated in World Of Warcraft, but other games not incorporate them as well. Initially the first instance of Instance combat in dungeons. It has evolved into multiple formats where you can repeat or have a single instance. In some games the first time you come to a certain encounter there is an instance which are meant to be experienced privately to convey the story.

Examples

  • World of Warcraft
  • Lord of the Rings Online

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a series of terms that is applicable to video games: Raid

Pokémon Go

A Raid is a high-level challenge requiring cooperative play amongst several players, usually 10 or more. Often end-game content involves a combination of mechanics, puzzles, and/or a super boss or multiple bosses. Rewards for raids are typically higher than smaller instances such as dungeons. Some raids may also include PVP (player vs player) content.

Raids such as in Final Fantasy or World of Warcraft can be played with a premade group of players or a PUG (pick-up group). Each game has a method for group search.  Raids in MMORPG (many multiplayer online role-playing games) may require multiple tanks (character who draws the damage and can take the damage to protect other characters), healers and dps (damage dealers) in order to complete the challenge.

A quest line may be attached to raids as well, which may involve a specific action to be completed inside the raid not necessary to defeat the raid itself. World of Warcraft for example has an item drop when you defeat one of several bosses.

Examples of Games with Raids

  • World of Warcraft
  • Final Fantasy
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online (requiring 12 players)
  • Pokémon GO.

Raids are the pinnacle of cooperative play. They offer a high-level challenge that to be tackled by 10 or more players. They often include end-game content with a combination of mechanics, puzzles, and/or super bosses or multiple bosses. The rewards for completing a raid are typically higher than smaller instances such as dungeons, making them an attractive option for many players.

Let us know in the comments what your experience was like!


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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known games: Dungeon

Quest Kids has you flip cards to reveal the spaces in the dungeon

A Dungeon is a set location compromising of combat and/or puzzle elements, often with higher rewards or loot than normal gameplay. Dungeons can be a spot for characters to repeatedly have monsters spawn (enter the game), so they can gain XP (Experience Points), or it can be a single continuous narrative and combat experience. Often combat and narrative escalate in complexity and difficulty as you progress through. In some cases they culminate with a boss fight.

Dungeon Academy create the
dungeons with dice

Dungeons can be found across many types of games from card games, board games, table top role play games, LARPs, and video games of all types. Dungeons are also a common part of most MMORPG (many multiplayer online role-playing games). In Minecraft Dungeons they take the dungeon crawler gameplay and adds a boxy twist with their graphics style.

In board and card games there are many formats a dungeon can take. Often you are revealing sections of the Dungeon as you progress. There you may find loot, a monster or loot after encountering the monster.

Dungeons have been a staple in games for years, and with good reason. They offer an immersive experience that often follows a consistent format.

Examples of Board Games/Table top Role Play

  • Munchkin
  • Dungeon Drop
  • Dungeon Academy
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Quest Kids

Examples of Video Games

  • Minecraft Dungeon
  • World Of Warcraft
  • Diablo
  • Terraria
  • Legend of Zelda

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!


NPCs

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to many well-known games: LARP

LARP is an acronym for Live Action Role-Playing. It Incorporates physical action, improv, cosplay, and roleplay into a single event. Players inhabit a fantasy world at a set location in real-time, and can be based in a wide variety of genres.

LARPing involves social interaction with players and NPCs (non-playing characters). LARP events will require specific costumes and props to further the set environment. More experienced players will likely be better outfitted for LARPing events having collected gear over a longer period of time. New players can purchase supplies at various stores and online sites. LARP organizations such as Alliance have forums to guide new players. Preparation: character creation, backstory, props, costuming, etc. assist players with fuller immersion into the event.

A PC attacking an NPC

References can be similar to tabletop role-playing questions, general gameplay, character class and race choices. Parents may need to assist with forum surfing, costuming. As with sports or a new instrument, it is advisable to invest minimally at first to ensure your player is interested enough for larger financial investments.

LARP Found in Shows and Movies

There have been TV shows and Movies, not all that are family friendly, that have depicted LARPs. Our experience is that some aspects that are portrayed are quite accurate and some are not, as one would expect in a fictional story.

Examples

  • Supernatural
  • Hawkeye
  • Role Models

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

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Every other week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is actually relevant in both the gaming space and elsewhere: Parasocial Relationships.

In the age of the influencer, the line between the audience and the personality on the other end of the camera has become rather blurry. We’re made to feel like the person we’re watching on Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram is our friend, someone that surely must care about us as much as we care about them. In actuality, this one-way parasocial relationship was defined back in the 1950s by psychologists Donald Horton and R. Richard Wohl as the result of television hosts establishing “the illusion of intimacy” and making their fans feel like the broadcast is just for them. 

Parasocial relationships rarely apply to one-off viewers, since they can sometimes treat the person on the other side of the camera with much more detachment. 

Now that we’re interacting with both social media stars and actual celebrities in more ways than not, parasocial relationships have wormed their way into our lives in relatively normal, but sometimes insidious, ways. Streamers and influencers create interactions that feel deeply personal to those that they’re interacting. Parasocial relationships are entirely one-sided, which means that even if you feel particularly attached to a streamer or influencer, they aren’t your friend. It’s not that parasocial relationships are bad. In fact, quite the opposite! There are a number of studies out there that have explored parasocial relationships and their benefits, including for young people finding their own identities and for those with lower self-esteem.

Dr. Rachel Kowert published a great video on this subject. I’ve embedded it below so you can take a look!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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Every other week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to BOTH video games and can also be applied to board games, tabletop RPGs, and even collectible card games.

Aggro (often shorthand for Aggressive)

In board games, tabletop RPGs, and collectible card games, Aggro describes a style of play featuring consistent and fast actions. It describes a character, game object, (or constructed deck) that is designed to be played with the intent to win in as few turns as possible.

Red Decks in Magic the Gathering are often Aggro Decks, built mostly of low-cost spells that deal direct damage and low-cost creatures with haste or high power.

Aggro characters in tabletop RPGs focus heavily on offense and try to eliminate opponents quickly and efficiently.



In video games, Aggro is used to describe the behavior of a player or enemy character in a game. A character who is aggro will often directly attack non-allied characters and follow them to within limits of play. Computer-controlled characters will often display visual and audible cues before “becoming aggro” and will often change behaviors when the non-ally character travels a certain distance or specific area of play or is eliminated.

Multiplayer RPGs like Final Fantasy 14 will feature monsters that actively seek out players as they enter their field of vision in order to attack. “Aggro’ing” too many monsters is often a dangerous or unwise choice for the unprepared.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

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Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is Buff/Debuff/Nerf

Buff /Nerf

Buff, when paired with Nerf, are mechanical changes made to a game by designers after launch to balance play. These changes either balance play between other players, balance the player’s interaction with the difficulty of a single-player experience, or both. Players find Buffs and Nerfs paired together and distributed in collections known as Patches. Patches release with the buffs and nerfs specifically identified and typically designer commentary on why the changes were made.

Buff/Debuff

Buff, when paired with Debuff, refer to game abilities . The ability applies to player and computer controlled characters, often only lasting a set amount of time or connected to specific pieces of equipment. These abilities change the availability and preference to choices made in play without completely changing the flow. A buff that increases damage to a particular action encourages its repeated use while the ability is active. A debuff that prevents you from using certain abilities (such as silence/mute in the Final Fantasy Series) encourages finding alternate action, either physical attacks or the use of items or abilities to recover from the limitation


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get

Your Family Game On!

The EFG Essentials

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