Against the Metagame

Discussion in 'Unrelated Discussion' started by icycalm, September 7, 2014.

  1. Devak

    Devak Post Master General

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    Meta is an emergent thing. Even if you prevented people from interacting somehow, except through a game, the solutions that work would be found and used.

    In League of Legends, the 1 top, 1, mid, 2 bot 1 jungler (5 lanes) meta exists because it's the most efficient way to deal with the map and objectives at hand. The double bot is there to better protect the dragon objective, the other lanes being singular makes most effective use of the minions and gold at hand. The use of a single Carry an a single Support for bot is to ensure you have one powerful champion with one weaker champ, that has the utilities to "line up" kills for your carrying champions. This is true for many games.

    In strategy, there's usually harass (denying your opponent the valuable early game resources), offense (attacking early enough to pressurize your enemy into defence, giving greater map control to you), defence (winning through losing less than your opponent) and an expansion rush (to get a greater amount of resources early at the expense of safety).

    Throughout RTS games this does not vary a whole lot, though the units used to do so can be varied.

    The meta (though there can be multiple metas) is what emerges as the "most playable form of the game". You can be for or against it, but in the end it will always happen. Unless you forbid people from playing it at all. The only way to "deal" with it is to keep changing the game so the (or multiple) ideal way(s) of playing the game changes.
    Quitch likes this.
  2. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Of course the best solutions will be found anyway. But I want to find them for myself. That's all I am saying.
  3. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    shoot. we're already at this. If you're scared of offending me don't be. I won't take it personal.
  4. masterevar

    masterevar Active Member

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    In a balanced game, even just a slightly unbalanced, there is ALWAYS a way to beat the meta, this is not LoL where every unit is designed for a special strategy, dox-rush is thinning out now, yes they have been balanced but heavy tank and a very turtling start with lots of turrets everywhere, just bide your timw while the opponent throws units into you defences, eventually you will be able to wreck the enemy. And now you can also go for air-superiority to counter dox-spam. This will create a chain where the strategy of heavy tank spam + turtling can be broken by normal tank spam + expansion and either more tank-spam, t2 rush or air-superiority, and so it goes on.
  5. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    I'll PM you.
  6. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    So I took the time to skip over your arguments and I still disagree. First of I am actually the kind of person who will get a new RTS and directly click "ranked 1vs1" and get stomped a few times. I do like to play around with things myself as well. Though that actually does not mean I am blindly experimenting. I think up stuff of my own, but I also largely copy whatever I see in replays of games I lost. That way I learn the current "good" things from other players just as much. In games with help and tutorials "sc2" after a while I start to look at the super high level play as well, mostly through replays.
    I strongly disagree with your notion that looking at the findings of "how to play" from other players is like reading a solution to monkey island. RTS are most fun when they are played in a way that the developers did not plan anyway. There is no "solution". Yes games do not have infinite complexity, but the fun is where the current border of "how to play to win" is. Expanding that border is what I strive for. I see the current meta of PA and go "so the best player thinks he can win single base like that? Really? I'll prove him wrong" The current meta is not the solution to the game, it is the thing I am out to break to put myself ahead of everyone.
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  7. poiuasd

    poiuasd Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone enjoys sucking at a game for the first couple of hundred hours while they're still learning the basics.
    Comparing competitive multiplayer games to story driven single players in this regard is also dumb.
    Geers likes this.
  8. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    colin, I see what you are saying. I even talked about it in the article:

    I guess the difference between us is that I get such a HUGE hit of pleasure every time I devise a new strategy and see it working, that I am not willing to learn a single thing from anyone else. I too may reach the cutting-edge of the "metagame" one day -- or not -- but if I DO reach it I want to have taken every single step of the way there myself (and that's why I never reach it lol).
  9. temeter

    temeter Well-Known Member

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    That's a point where i disagree. A metagame is an idea to follow or a strategy to immitate. It is not the defining factor of your play, not even close. Monkey Island with FAQ basically takes out all gameplay out of the game, while the metagame in an RTS is a tool for many people to access the strategic depth in the first place. It can be a big tool to reach an understanding of the gameplay, it's dynamics and intricacies and using them to their full effect. And that's the place where you can advance from.

    Of course there is fun in developing your own strategies, but that can be tricky, especially when you either aren't to well-versed in the genre/title, or it already advanced before you even started playing.
    When i started playing RTS in MP, i did it in starcraft 2. And such a tightly paced game heavily relies on decision making. Even things like correctly diverting your attention is a big task at the beginning. Learning about the metagame, and then more and more understanding why it's elements add to your play, is a great tool to work with.

    Again on top of that, your own playstyle evolves. RTS have an infinite skillcap, even the best in esports aren't even close to perfection, they mostly just learned where they personally can play out their strength, and what elements can be neglected in favor.
    In as sense that counts for 'normal' players even more. The SC2 community actually has an almost elitist and simultaneously self-condescending attitude about this, since even a good and experienced player will still have an incredible big potential to improve. There is a perfect execution to the metagame, but even following a simple strategy will be hugely 'flawed' or stylized to acommodate your mistakes.

    I'm following the SC2 esports scene a bit, and even while it's one of the esports with the highest skill levels and a somewhat stale meta, the best players in the world have completely unique styles. Nobody will confuse the ultra-aggressive and micro heavy style of maru, the irregular and seemingly random runby's of life, or the almost abusive playstyle of hero.
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  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    We are the same in this regard, but my definition of "working" is "Wins most games vs the current meta game, thus putting other players in the position to adapt to ME"
  11. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Which works fine as long as developers keep changing the game. But let me ask you another question.

    Would you play a game like that which its developers have stopped changing? Or would you simply not play that game at all?
  12. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Actually, I think I know what your answer might be.

    You will play that game if you can mod changes into it :)
  13. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    The fun part is to not go "this is the final state of the game", but "I will make it so this really is NOT the final state of the game". I've never seen any issues with "the end of all meta development has been reached" anyway
  14. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    I hear this all the time about old games that the developers are no longer changing on a regular basis. And the ones in which this doesn't happen tend to be "micro"-focused games, where mouse-wiggling speed etc. are a factor, which as elodea pointed out can always be improved.

    One thing this thread has helped me understand so far is the distinction between what people in the esports community call "competitive" and "casual" players. Competitive players follow the metagame and casuals don't. So by this distinction, I and all my clan members are indeed casual players. Which makes me wonder if I really have any business joining that Clan Wars tournament after all...
  15. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    The clan thread linked in your signature is empty.
  16. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Your chance of winning certainly is higher if you cheat a bit and study what other players might try to win vs you ;)
  17. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    My clan members are all subscribers to my site: http://www.culture.vg/

    The clan currently has 12 members, including me. Two of them are at the top of the 2v2 ladder right now: http://ladder.pastats.tk/2on2
  18. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Maybe they are following the metagame behind my back!
  19. masterevar

    masterevar Active Member

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    If you do not want to follow the meta, just dont do it. If you do not like other players following the meta, then there is nothing to do. There will always be people that follows a meta, and if you play against someone that plays using the meta, then that only means that the player will be playing good, you will have a challenge and if your experimental strategy defeats the meta, then you should be happy.
    icycalm likes this.
  20. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Yeah, that's what I've been doing and will continue to do. I am glad you understand me. I think it's possible for other people to understand where I am coming from without them following the same path as me.

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