Pile jumping means attacking a player who has just killed someone else in a player-killing area. In other words, it's attempting to kill an already weakened opponent who may be busy looking at their loot from a previous kill. Pile jumping can be considered as dishonorable since the player being jumped may have been able to easily take out their jumper if they were ready.
The abbreviaton PJing can also mean player jumping, which is attacking a player whose opponent is not dead yet.
The word pile refers to multiple players attacking another.
Example of pile jumping
Player A finishes his match against Player B. Player A receives his loot and is suddenly attacked by Player C. Player C's goal is to kill Player A, receiving the loot from both Player A and Player B. Player C is a pile jumper in this scenario.
Example of player jacking
Player B is running away or eating constantly and not attacking Player A. If Player A is also eating or not attacking for a short period of time, Player C is able to player-jack either player.
How to avoid pile jumping
There is no perfect way to avoid pile jumping, but these tips still help in escaping a pile jumping incident:
- Teleporting: You may teleport as a method of escaping, but it will not work if you have been teleblocked, or are in higher than level 20 Wilderness. Teleport tablets are most effective for this, as they are one-click and only take up one space. An amulet of glory can double as a combat amulet and a quick teleport that doesn't take up any space when worn, but it is harder to use when being rushed.
- If teleporting is not available to you, watch around for players who are likely to be player-jackers or have recently PJed at that area, and move to another Player Killing spot or change worlds.
- Be prepared: Whenever you kill someone, be prepared for someone else to join the fray when you aren't ready. Try to eat food to get your Hitpoints as high as possible before you start picking up the loot, equip any "tanking" gear you may have, and turn on Protect from Melee if you can. This will greatly improve your chance to survive a pile jump.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Look around, and find any one with the common PJ gear. Void, Ballista, Dark bow, Bandos armour, Godsword, Ahrim's, Dragon claws/dagger, Initiate armour, Mystic robes, etc.
Historical pile jumping
Pile-jumping originated in a more literal sense, where a "pile" of player-killers coordinating with each other would enter the medium and high level areas of the Wilderness to ambush any players unlucky enough to come within view. The group of players would stand in one game square, which is called a death dot, usually with a lower level player last to enter, to appear as one player. Many victims would fall for the trick and attack the visible low level player, while others would notice the stack by right-clicking. It was rare that a victim of original PJing would survive, and even rarer that they would defeat the ambushers. A common tactic was to have at least two mages performing Ancient Magicks who would alternate in freezing the target. Pile jumping in this sense was eliminated in 2007, and was generally lost as new generations of players entered the scene who had never experienced this kind of PvP. This kind of PJing obviously required teamwork and a relatively high level of trust in the group you were performing it with, and often was a way that a group of friends could lure another player in for backstabbing within their group.
Effective ways to pile jump
Even though pile-jumping is considered "dishonourable", it is still a wide and successful practice. Pile-jumping is often done with a KO weapon, such as a Rune 2h sword, which is commonly used in free-to-play worlds. This way, if a PKer does not eat/has no food and/or use protection prayers and starts looting their kill right away, they will be in for a surprise attack. However, this will not usually deal enough damage to actually obtain the drop, simply because the PKer's kill had done more damage than the pile-jumper him/herself. In members', things are slightly different. With much higher hitting weapons, there is more of a danger for a nearby pile-jumper just lurking, waiting and watching for the correct chance to strike.
One very successful pile-jumping weapon is the Dark bow. The "Descent of Dragons" special attack already has enough power to kill a player in one hit—it is even more devastating if it is used on another PKer who has just killed and looted someone. When using this method, make sure that your target has eaten AND picked up the loot, or else you will get nothing at all. The Dragon dagger and Dragon claws are also popular weapons to pile jump with.
The Ancient Magic spell, Ice Blitz, can be used to not only hold your opponent in place, but add extra damage or so. It is used over the spell, Ice Barrage, due to the fact that barrage hits instantly, whereas blitz takes a while to hit, and by that time, you could be just about to attack, meaning you can stack the hits, leaving no time for eating. This is often used with an Armadyl godsword special.[ ]
PJing in RuneScape Classic
In RuneScape Classic, the term pile jumper has an alternate meaning. Since RSC players are unable to pick up items when fighting, have to fight at least three rounds before able to run away (and then get re-attacked quickly forcing another three-round wait), and do not have the ability to turn off Auto Retaliate, a successful PKer was frequently attacked by another person in order to delay the PKer as much as possible and not let him or her pick up the items from the PK pile. After two minutes, the pile was open for other people to steal from. This tactic is also used in monster-infested areas, where other players simply wait for the pile to appear while the PKer is locked into combat with an aggressive monster.