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General: Meta-Gaming Adds to the Fun

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 22,955MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

Being -in- the MMO we love is probably the best part but there are times when the MMO carries itself outside of the game but that keeps us involved. See what we've got to say about the meta-game in today's Devil's Advocate and then let us know what you think.

For the staunch devotees of MMORPG gaming, it can be said that the game matters. You invest a lot of time into playing a game, acquiring new skills, growing stronger, and fulfilling dreams of adventure. You derive enjoyment from that time spent. What a good number of people don't realize is there are times when they're not playing the game, but the game is still firmly entrenched in their consciousness as a result of their present activity. This is the power of the Meta-Activity, and it's a concept we'll be delving into today.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Meta-Gaming Adds to the Fun.



  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAPosts: 1,777Member
    Aye, played DAOC since it's release, i always keep up to date with it. Even if i am not playing it, i still keep up with the news on the game.
  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,305Member Uncommon

    FFXI was the epitome of a game that took metagaming to the next level.  From websites dedicated to job builds, skill chains, weather patterns and their affect on the game, crafting and which direction to face when using a certain crystal, to those wierd ancient machines in certain dungeons that had you put a code in, to camping locations, etc.  Square with their mysteriousness took metagaming to serious heights I have yet to see matched.  It was one of the biggest draws to that game.  Sadly, it was also a weakness as they weren't to savvy to communicate with the playerbase.

    Hopefully a game will come along with that amount of pure metagaming but with a better communication bridge to the players so as not to frustrate.  Perhaps TSW is the next best thing to that, I don't know.  I do know it's one thing that is missing from these newer games.

    Sure they have their mini meta gaming what with builds and stat calculators...but they kind of end there.  The games themselves don't have deep intricate systems the way FFXI did with it's crafting and other hidden things.

  • CeridithCeridith Posts: 2,980Member Common

    Metagaming is a symptom of game mechanics that are over complicated by arbitrary rules, or a lack of communication of relevant information to players.

    Proper game design means that common sense should win out over having to learn the intricacies of a system or otherwise pull out a spreadsheet to figure out the "right" way to build your character. This is achieved by avoiding convoluted mechanic systems that have arbitrary rules, and clearly presenting relevant information to players.

    For example, in WoW you need a certain +hit in raiding. In prior incarnations of the game, you had to metagame to understand the value of +hit and where you should stop. This happened because there was no clear communication or even hinting to what was needed within the game to how much was needed, and how much was too much.

    The defense stat in WoW in prior versions of it is another good example of poor design... Early on in the game a lot of tanks weren't even aware of the value of +def gear. Even when it started to become known that it was important gear in dungeons and raids due to making a tank crit immune, the proper amount to aim for was unclear for many players. That's not to say that the concept of a defense stat is bad, but rather there was a distinct lack of information presented to players within the game and it's UI as to the effect of the defense stat and how much players should aim for.

  • GandolfiGandolfi CanterburyPosts: 43Member

    @Cerldith - I completely agree that better information for players and careful design are vital for the best experience in a game, but I would add that for me and most of the friends I play with, the challenge of unravelling the complexities of a game and finding the 'sweet spots' amongst all the build possibilities is part of the fun. I certainly feel it adds to the richness and immersiveness of a game, but appreciate that not everyone will feel the same way.


  • dnadestinyxdnadestinyx Phoenix, AZPosts: 22Member

    I like to read the game's facebook feeds or twitter even if I'm not currently playing it. It's nice to know what's going on.

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