Exclusively meta culture in WoW/online games in general

General Discussion
Was it always like this? A lot of my game time these days is usually spent following guides on platforms like icy-veins, wowhead etc.

Is there a way an MMORPG like WoW or any similar game in the genre not end up like this? Where everything is figured out for us and we're just gonna be cookie cutting up the scoreboard?

As a kid I didn't see this kind of do-what's-proven-best-or-don't-bother strategy in games beyond what was published in gaming mags and cheatcode websites ... things sure have changed.
Idk but I've played and have known Tekken and Street Fighter players who were competitive and it's exactly like that, it's not just wow. I would say if you're not worried about being super top tier and getting server firsts or something don't pay any attention.
10/09/2018 05:16 AMPosted by Fzd
Is there a way an MMORPG like WoW or any similar game in the genre not end up like this?


Maybe it's only a matter of time at the moment, but for the most part FFXIV has largely avoided not being overburdened by the meta-game. Perhaps it's more prominent if you avoid the hardcore endgame content, but outside of it you generally aren't pressured about performance.

... it could be due to the fact that damage meters are technically "banned", and have been from the start of the game. They generally turn a blind eye if you keep the data to yourself and actually use it for self-improvement, but linking it in-game (especially to harass other players for poor performance) WILL get you banned.

Still, I can see some other factors in play here:
  • A huge part of the game is the plot itself. After all, it is Final Fantasy and this should be expected. The "Main Story Quest" (MSQ) are effectively mandatory, with even the expansions themselves being locked behind doing the prerequisite story content.
  • It should be noted that the game's developers are essentially "OK" with players dropping the game every once in a while and coming back later. It's actually fairly common for players to come back in waves with each major patch for the new story content (and other stuff to do when it happens).
  • The game has been called "Dance or Die", referring to all the AoE attacks bosses and enemies throw out... and it is quite literal. If you can't dodge the AoEs, you're taking a dirtnap. They do tend to follow a distinct pattern which can be memorized, which may be necessary for higher-difficulty content, but for the most part you can just learn how to read the fight and react appropriately.
  • The difficulty curve for the mandatory story content is steady (the odd spike here and there), and continually pushes the player to perform better without needing to push them into the meta-game to meet the requirements... and the MSQ has actually become fairly challenging lately, FAR beyond the "casual" difficulty for WoW.


Does the meta-game still exist?
Yes... but it CAN be ignored, at least for now. Can't say the same for WoW.
Min/maxing has always been a thing. There’s been published help/guides/strats/builds for any rpg (mmo or otherwise) I’ve ever played. The internet is just in a much different place now than it was 20 years ago.
10/09/2018 05:16 AMPosted by Fzd
As a kid I didn't see this kind of do-what's-proven-best-or-don't-bother strategy in games beyond what was published in gaming mags and cheatcode websites ... things sure have changed.


The world is just more hypercompetitive now than it used to be even a decade and a half ago. Life in a lot of first world countries is basically "do the best or you'll be homeless/living in a ghetto eating ramen and big macs for the rest of your life".

it's exacerbated by things like e-sports coming into their own, and information about games through datamining becoming easily disseminated on the internet.

that's all compounded on top of males being naturally competitive, and most video game players are young males, the most competitive of them all, with raging testosterone, a need to prove themselves in the arena of public opinion, and little wisdom.

the internet was a different place in the early 2000s. everything was.

10/09/2018 05:49 AMPosted by Inter
Min/maxing has always been a thing. There’s been published help/guides/strats/builds for any mmorpg I’ve ever played. The internet is just in a much different place now than it was 20 years ago.


also this. minmaxing was a thing even in D&D. but back in those days, those kinds of gamers were called "powergamers" and were maligned for their no fun attitude. the difference now being that attitude is fostered by the community.
Wow can't have a meta game because leveling an alt, gearing it is a long process

Gw2 however, you can max pretty much instantly max thanx to tomes, You can buy the best gear/mats from the trading post and then you can select the best traits via few clicks (no reforging). Done META READY it takes like 10 mins or less.

Can you do this in 10 mins^ in wow??Nah
10/09/2018 05:16 AMPosted by Fzd
As a kid I didn't see this kind of do-what's-proven-best-or-don't-bother strategy in games beyond what was published in gaming mags and cheatcode websites ... things sure have changed.


Depending on how old you are all we had were gaming magazines, which would give cheat codes. There has always been a what's proven best strategy even in simple games like Pac-man. If you are playing in group based gaming people are going to expect you to do the best you can do. There is no way to get around it. If you are solo gaming then you can do what you want.
This is a thing I hate about online gaming... You can't just play the way you want without others criticizing you if you don't have the perceived best stat/talent choices. Dumb.
In games (few left) that dont have dps meters there's still "meta" though it's less encompassing. In wow cookie cutter has been around since Vanilla once people started figuring things out. With that being said if you are playing casually and with fellow casuals it's not a problem. If you want to get into a progressive play then yeah unless your choices outside of meta keep you competitive, be ready to cut the cookie.
10/09/2018 06:02 AMPosted by Evirquest
This is a thing I hate about online gaming... You can't just play the way you want without others criticizing you if you don't have the perceived best stat/talent choices. Dumb.


Pretty much this.

When classic comes out I’m going to look for/build a guild with a pally/Druid MT.
It does make me remember why I love single player RPGs so much. To me the best part is the experimentation and figuring out the best way to allot stats, the best boss strats, etc... on your own without having to constantly read guides.
10/09/2018 05:16 AMPosted by Fzd
Was it always like this? A lot of my game time these days is usually spent following guides on platforms like icy-veins, wowhead etc.

Is there a way an MMORPG like WoW or any similar game in the genre not end up like this? Where everything is figured out for us and we're just gonna be cookie cutting up the scoreboard?

As a kid I didn't see this kind of do-what's-proven-best-or-don't-bother strategy in games beyond what was published in gaming mags and cheatcode websites ... things sure have changed.


Some people are competitive some people arent.
In any team based/competitive game, I sincerely doubt you'd be able to avoid a meta, short of avoiding or not caring about any higher level play.

If all you do is quest, or LFR, you can go ahead and avoid any and all meta. No one is relying on you, you aren't competing with anyone so no one will really care what you're doing. Mess around, do your own rotation. Who cares?

However, if you wanna do Mythics or arenas or something, that's where metas and min/maxing becomes prevalent. Because everyone needs to pull their own weight so intentionally avoiding the most efficient builds/rotations is messing up someone else day.

And if you just play some solo competitive stuff like Starcraft, if you really want to be the best, you either follow the meta, or theorycraft a new one. Because if you don't, you will be demolished by those who do.
Let people be the way they want to be. Stop trying to control the world and just focus on your tiny little portion of the world.

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