MMO players have nowhere left to hide as 'tank', 'healer', and 'DPS' get added to the dictionary

Final Fantasy 14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

As part of its Winter 2023 update, added more than 1,500 new entries to its online word collection earlier this week, and a few of them will send chills down the spines of MMO players everywhere.

Along with a few development-focused new entries - asset, render, and build - the update features new, official, dictionary definitions for tank, healer, DPS, and spec. That means that if you ever mess up and see your damage dealers pay the price, they'll have an exact spot to point you to in order to demonstrate your failings.

DPS is primarily defined as what it stands for - damage per second - as a way of comparing certain items and characters against each other, but it also acknowledges the existence of the damage-dealing 'DPS character'. A healer is specifically defined as a category of video game classes, noting that they're "tasked with restoring the health of other player characters in a party, but [are] poorly equipped to either withstand damage from an enemy or deal damage to an enemy." An example sentence also notes that "healers are essential to any raiding party," so I don't want to see any more DPS supremacy.

Interestingly, tank is a verb, rather than the adjectival way I'd most often use it, or the noun of healer. To clarify, it means "to provoke and hold the attention of an enemy character so that it does not target other player characters in the party who are less able to withstand large amounts of damage." For its use in a sentence, "if you're properly tanking this boss, you'll never let him face your mages." Or your healers, for that matter.

While their roles are well-defined, arguments about the combat effectiveness of tanks, healers, and DPS are as old as MMO raids themselves. I prefer MOBAs to MMOs, but as a tank/support player, I'm very familiar with the trope of the mouthy DPS who forgets they wouldn't be able to get their damage down without my help, so I'm glad that I've got somewhere to direct them to to remind them of what everyone is bringing to the table.

Looking to start an argument? Here's our list of the best MMORPG.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.