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I am reluctant to edit the page directly, since I don't have the appropriate references at hand, but I can comment a bit on the etymology of "nerf" in the context of MMOs. Raph Koster, who was then the lead designer of Ultima Online, held a public chat with the players of that game who were upset that melee weapons were not as useful in the game as archery or as magical spells. He promised to do something about "fixing the nerf swords", by which he was likening the effectiveness of the swords in the game as to nerf bats vs real baseball bats. As happens frequently and quickly on the Internet, the adjective "nerf" was soon used as a verb, hence the common WoW complaint that "warlocks need to be nerfed".
Appropriate references might be found at Raph Koster's own web page, or less likely, it might be the case that Origin Systems International (later absorbed by Electronic Arts) has kept a history of any design chats similar to that one.
Tamayo 10:13, 10 April 2008 (UTC)