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Thief: How were you able to get your stats so high as a level one character?Fighter: Gee, I just put everything into my "Use Swords To Kill Stuff" skill.
Red Mage: Oh, it's quite simple, really. I took a variety of low impact flaws to add points to my character point pool. Thus, I maximize my powers and minimize my disadvantages.
Whoring is a widely-used catch-all term that describes the process or act of focusing all effort or resources into only one or a couple aspects of a game's mechanics with the intent of drawing massive profit or advantages from it. This can be extremely effective. So effective, in fact, that people will consider it cheating, or at least a good way to spoil other people's fun.
Whoring undermines the strategic aspects of the game as originally envisioned by the developers, and often completely changes the way a game is played. A player who whores a certain trick can become unbeatable to anyone who doesn't do the same thing. This can be particularly vexing to people who've invested their efforts in learning every part of the game mechanics, since it obsoletes or invalidates many of them (a sort of player-induced Antidote Effect).
General examples of whoring:
- Using a game element that is considered a Game Breaker.
- In a fighting game, using only one character or using the character's most powerful or difficult-to-dodge attack over and over ("spamming").
- In a first person shooter, using only the most powerful gun, usually one with an explosion effect and a massive blast radius (such as the BFG).
- In a strategy game, creating massive armies of a single type of unit ("Zerg Rush").
- "Camping", or staying in a tactical place for extended periods of time in order to pick off other players, block a passageway, or collect a reappearing special item. This is justified if playing defensively accomplishes an objective. For example, campers keep the team's flag from being taken in Capture the Flag while their more offensively-minded teammates try to take the enemy team's flag.
- In a MMORPG, Level Grinding to inhuman levels or earning inhuman amounts of money or another item.
- In any game, repeatedly using a verified glitch to your advantage.
- In any game, building up massive amounts of defense for a character or perhaps a base, so that any enemy attack will deal very little damage. This is often referred to as "turtling".
The existence of Whoring is a testament to how difficult it is to balance a game. For good or bad, expect your game to be played in ways you never imagined. Even with an army of testers, you are very likely to miss that one crucial flaw in your carefully balanced strategic house of cards. There is no way to make a game whore-proof, except perhaps by making the gameplay so diverse that there's always room for new strategies (and hence a chance to finally beat the trick). Even so, once you ship the game, balance is ultimately in the hands of your players.
The designers may or may not choose to Nerf a strategy that's just a little too successful, because it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" proposition. One particular trick might be defeated, but everyone who relied on it will protest, and there's no guarantee that some even more horrible trick isn't lurking just around the corner (bonus points if the original trick being removed was consistently able to beat its replacement -- that is, the original exploit was keeping an even worse exploit in check). That said, if even the professional player base doesn't manage to develop new strategies in response to whoring, a tweak might be necessary just to keep the game interesting at all.
Those who whore may prefer the term "playing to win" instead, and they'll disdainfully call the players who refuse to whore Scrubs. This reflects a fundamental divide in opinion on what makes a game fun to play, and players from either side usually do well to avoid the other side like the plague.
See Min-Maxing for the Tabletop Games equivalent trope. Very common among "Stop Having Fun!" Guys, and even more common among God Modders. Not to be confused with what the Hooker with a Heart of Gold does. Crosses over with Complacent Gaming Syndrome, where people will abuse moves, characters, or strategies over and over again for the sake of winning the easy way. Often the reason for Diminishing Returns for Balance.
This is a fanspeak definition. No examples are wanted