Let’s play with words. A while back I saw someone describing the act of MMO banksitting on Twitter without actually using the term. It’s one I remember from way back, but it doesn’t seem to have any traction nowadays, to the point that when I do use it, I often get the text equivalent of bewildered blinks. (In short, it’s just sitting at a bank in an MMO, watching the world go by, usually showing off whatever cool mount or gear or title you have.)
It’s not the only word I never see MMO players use anymore. How about…
- Muling – the act of using alts as “pack mules” to store your stuff, probably at its height with “bank mules” in World of Warcraft – lowbie alts who did nothing but serve as your auction hall toon.
- Anti-PK – I suspect modern MMO players would assume this was someone who hated PvP, but in fact it was at one point used specifically for PvP players who preyed only on gankers.
- Powergamer – This was all the rage in the aughts, but now the idea of putting someone down for being a powergamer seems bizarre now, right? We’re in the age of world firsts with studios happy to mobilize and monetize gaming obsession and achievement and elitism; it’s non-powergamers who are ridiculed.
My suspicion is that some of these words fall out of favor not because they sound old but because the mechanics that prompted their use are no longer common (or in powergamer’s case, too common). What do you need a pack mule for when you can just buy more bank storage? There’s no place for anti-PKs in games with faction-only PvP! But some of it’s probably just game-specific too.
I thought it would be fun to try to compile a big list – I’m hoping some of you know terms I don’t too. What once-popular MMORPG terminology has fallen out of use, and why do you think it’s happened?