Ambiguous Name (new crowner 8/2): Dronejam

Total posts: [71]
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Wow... just... wow. This has got to be one of the most random sounding and opaque names on the whole site. The trope itself is quite common: an NPC that blocks your path and halts progress. Pretty much anyone who's played an RPG is familiar with that. The name, not so much. After looking it up, I found out that it comes from The RPG Cliches Game, but still had no clue as to how the name makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Also, let's take a look at the usage stats. While a wick count of 125 isn't horrible, it could be better. But 20 inbounds is just sad. Especially when compared to Broken Bridge, which has 536 inbounds, and especially Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence, which has 4,416.

Oh, and if you Google search the name? The first result is us. The rest of it is completely unrelated. Yeah, this name sucks.
2 jkbeta15th Jul 2012 02:01:35 PM from right behind you , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Agreed. That name sounds like some weird music genre. How about "NP Cs get in the way"?
3 SeptimusHeap15th Jul 2012 02:14:03 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Does Obstacling NPC make sense?
4 jkbeta15th Jul 2012 02:22:56 PM from right behind you , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
Yes, although Obstacle NPC or NPC obstacle sounds slightly better to me.
[up][up]"Obstacling" isn't a word, but you've got the idea. NPC Obstacle, Obstructive NPC, NPC Barricade, NPC Blockade, etc.
It's like a logjam only with drones. Seriously though, clarification would probably help.
Maybe a type or subtrope: An NPC won't let you buy, but the path is way too wide to block by himself. It's like he's at the end of an invisible barrier, and beating him will let you through it.
[up]That's Invisible Wall.

Problem is there are two tropes on the page.

The name makes sense for the trope described in the second paragraph: One or more randomly-wandering "drone" NP Cs get accidentally stuck on something (up to and including the player character), blocking the way.

It makes no sense at all for the second trope mentioned in the last paragraph: an NPC intentionally blocking the way as a form of Broken Bridge.
9 jkbeta16th Jul 2012 03:56:29 AM from right behind you , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
@Filia: Even if I had known that term before, I wouldn't have made the association. This trope seriously needs a better name.
10 ccoa16th Jul 2012 07:38:17 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Our new rules require demonstration of misuse or underuse if you're claiming a name is ambiguous.

Is there a reason we should expect this to have more than 125 wicks? Is there misuse?

I'm giving this thread one day to come up with evidence. Otherwise, it needs to be locked.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
11 jkbeta16th Jul 2012 08:03:32 AM from right behind you , Relationship Status: You cannot grasp the true form
A quick check seems to indicate no significant misuse. Redirects are free, aren't they?
Dragon Writer
This may fall under the category that Eddie labels as "circle-jerking" if nobody but us uses that name.

I see this title and I think of strategy games where you're controlling dozens of units ("drones") at a time, and wind up with traffic jams because the game's unit AI has difficulty coordinating movement en masse. Not RPG's.

NPC Jam would be much clearer.

edited 16th Jul '12 8:33:12 AM by Stratadrake

13 lu12716th Jul 2012 08:24:01 AM from 空蝉 , Relationship Status: Loves me...loves me not
Well, the poor inbounds are a sign against it, and the fact that we might be the only ones using the name is troubling...
@ ccoa: Did you read my whole post? You completely ignored the most important part of my post, where I clearly stated that the trope had 20 inbounds, proving that the trope is not thriving at all outside the wiki's boundaries. Failure to attract off-site use is a perfectly good reason to say that a trope's name is overly obscure.

Should this trope have more wicks? I don't know. But the point is, as shown by the sad inbound count and the fact that a Google search shows mostly unrelated results, nobody uses this name but us.

edited 16th Jul '12 1:29:07 PM by MyTimingIsOff

15 ccoa16th Jul 2012 01:33:38 PM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
You're right, I did not read your entire post. I apologize.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I agree that it could use a better name (although I happen to like Dronejam, it'll be just as funny as a redirect), but "not everyone will recognize the semi-uncommon English idiom it's based on" is much less important than the other issues raised so far. Inbounds and wicks aside, NPCs aren't commonly called drones.

Incidentally, have you heard of a traffic jam? Because that association would work just as well.

edited 16th Jul '12 7:42:55 PM by EnragedFilia

17 Xtifr16th Jul 2012 08:25:13 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
The term sort of makes sense after you read it, but since "drone" and "jam" are both terms associated with music/sound, my first reaction was that it had something to do with really stoned hippie jam bands who noodle aimlessly around a single droning chord. :)

(In fact, I think it would be an excellent term for that—much better than what it's currently being used to describe. And I say that as someone who occasionally likes jam bands.)
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
19 Xtifr17th Jul 2012 12:39:35 AM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
[up]Never listened to the portion of Grateful Dead concerts typically called "Space", have you? :)

It might also be a reasonable description of the title track to their Blues for Allah album. And it's certainly my feeling about what I've heard from the band named Lotus, which has a pretty big following. And the stuff put out by former Gong guitarist Steve Hillage when he switched from hard rock to new age. In fact, a lot of stuff sold under the term "new age" probably qualifies. I think I could meet Three Rules of Three no problem. :)

A-a-anyway, back on topic....
"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
Bumping for more votes.
Not really seeing a problem with the name, especially since it's usually written as Drone Jam, not dronejam, which is clearer.
[up]Not seeing how that clarifies anything. The name still does nothing to evoke "NPC that gets in your way". As other posters have pointed out, it sounds like a type of music.

edited 20th Jul '12 11:40:56 AM by MyTimingIsOff

24 Xtifr20th Jul 2012 11:58:19 AM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Indeed, I don't think I've ever heard "drone" used as a term for NPCs. Outside of music, the most common meaning of the term is "useless member of society", as in the aristocrats and upper class twits who populate P. G. Wodehouse's Drone's Club.

edited 20th Jul '12 11:58:43 AM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
It could also mean Robots or other machines, and a class of ant or insect.

Alternative Titles: Dronejam
21st Aug '12 11:10:20 PM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:
Note: The trope has been slightly redefined. The trope is now only about NPCs as intentional Broken Bridges and no longer covers NPCs that accidentally wander in your way.

Total posts: 71
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