The Daily Grind: What’s some weird or forgotten terminology or concept from an MMO of yore?


Way, way back in the day – and for only a relatively brief run – Ultima Online had a system that came to be known as “power hour.” Every day, for the first hour you logged in, any skills you were working on raised more quickly. I assume it did some weird things to balance or metrics or server stability because that system didn’t last long and was then replaced with “GGS,” the “guaranteed gains” system, which simply ensured that if you went too long without a skill-up, the game would guarantee you one and break your perceived skill-up curse.

These are phrases that had zero penetration outside of Ultima Online and (for power hour) only during very brief period in time. I’d wager that not only do most of our readers not remember power hour, but very few modern UO players know about it. And yet, it was a pioneering effort in game psychology, to figure out ways to get players to log in frequently but not grind too long. UO devs were laying the foundation for “rested experience” and so forth 25+ years ago.

What’s some weird terminology or concept from MMOs of yore that most of us have never heard of? Teach us something new and bizarre!

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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