What Is 'Proc' and 'Proccing'?

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Question: What Is 'Proc'? What Is 'Proccing'?

You have seen this peculiar term online, with gamers saying things like "this things procs every 20 seconds!", and "this has a bad proc rate" Now, you hear your kids talking like this in front of the computer. So what exactly does "proc" mean?

Answer: "Proc" is a computer gamer term. It rhymes with "dock". "Proc" is both a noun and a verb.

"Proc" and "proccing" is used to describe whenever a random gaming item activates, or a random gaming event occurs. Particularly common for massively multiplayer online games, procs are random events where special armor or weapons provide the user with temporary extra powers, or whenever the opposing monster suddenly becomes more powerful in some way.

  • e.g. "Whenever my trinket procs, I get extra dodge for 20 seconds"
  • e.g. "My rifle speed-up never procs enough for my tastes."
  • e.g. "My ring usually procs once every two minutes"
  • e.g. "Don't let his lightning charge proc, or else we are all dead"


Here are some examples of gaming procs:

  • a special spell cast suddenly becomes available to the player.
  • a sudden armor bonus will activate and last for 10 seconds.
  • the player will temporarily receive more health points, allowing her to fight a monster longer.
  • the monster will suddenly gain extra strength to crush the players in front of him.


The Origin of the Term "Proc":

The programmatic term "proc" has been influenced by many sources. No single source has been definitively credited with the term "proc", but here are the candidates:

 

  • 1) Programmed Random OCcurrence. This is a favorite explanation of "proc" amongst programmers. This alleged origin describes the randomness of a proc, and how it is not a guaranteed event.
     
  • 2) PROCess. Most laypeople believe this to be the source of the expression "proc", but software programmers prefer the explanation above.
     
  • 3) PROCedure. Coming from the world of Pascal programming, there were text-based games where gamer commands would be typed like "proc meleestrike wraith"
     
  • 4) special PROCedure. This is a variant of the #3 explanation above.