I was talking to a friend of mine a few days ago, who has never played or seen a game of Warcraft played at all...I tend to explain things to her in order to help myself think, and also because I like explainning. I began to explain triggers, thinking they were a little too complex for someone who had never even seen the game...However, she came up with a medaphor that was pure genius. 'So triggers are like dominos'. At first I didn't get what she meant, but then I thought about it and I realized that was 100% true. I thought maybe this idea would help people who, like me, have trouble understanding triggers...
Step 1: Figure out what you want your trigger to do.
All triggers are meant to DO something. By figuring out what you actually want, it makes it a lot easier to know what to do from here on out. Ex: The domino's desired result is for them to all fall down.
Step 2: Find out how to start the chain reaction.
In order for a chain reaction to start, you need to do something. You need to start
the chain that will fire off the actions. Ex: In domino's, that something is knocking over the first domino.
Step 3: Figure out what has to be evident for your result to be possible.
This step is Conditions. If all the conditions are true, the trigger's actions will take place. If even one part of a condition isn't true, the trigger WILL NOT work! Ex: In domino's, each domino must be close enough for the one before it to hit the next one. Otherwise, the chain is broken, and the actions no longer work.
Step 4: What has to happen next?
So, you have your event. You've made sure all your conditions are met. What next? The actions, of course! :D Once the event(s) happen, the trigger will check to make sure the conditions are true. If they're not, the trigger just won't work. If they are, the actions will ensue. Ex: In domino's, the result is the chain reaction of the first domino hitting the second, which hits the third, and so on.
Step 5: Try it! :D
Naturally looking at the domino's, planning, and then changing things over and over again is only going to get you what you THINK will happen. The only way to know is to try it out! If you fail, hey, you can set the domino's back up, right? Trial and error are just a natural part of making maps...
Now, for more advanced map makers, like Acehart, Conan, Darg, and Royoko, this might seem a little juvenile. But recently, I've just started learning triggers...I thought it was soo complicated, even when people explained it. This was just my way of trying to help those other new people who might not understand your terms, guys! :D Though, when you look at it, all people understand things in their own way, so maybe someone will understand your explanation. Maybe someone will understand mine. All I know is that after my friend said that, and I thought it out, I realized how easy and obvious triggers really are...Hopefully this will help others out too!