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Old 2012-07-15, 11:34 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sardus
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The Meta Game Discussion


First and foremost: community day on Friday was a blast. The game is incredibly fun and ran really well. The vehicles are absolutely hair raisingly awesome; just wait until you take off in a galaxy for the first time. That thing is a beast.

There's been a lot of discussion lately about the metagame of PS2. I wanted to step in and give a discussion of it.

First off, you may be asking, what the hell is this metagame thing? The metagame is what differentiates planetside 1 from every other FPS and MMO out there. It is the ability for the few to influence the many, for outfits to accomplish the impossible, and for resources to actually have value. Strategy, tactics, player controlled missions, player controlled economy, outfit customization and controls- that kind of stuff. The metagame is the game within in the game, and it is what games like Battlefield and Call of Duty lacked.

The greatest idea behind an MMOFPS is that it allows the players to create the content. You give the players the tools to create the battles, the objectives, and the fun, and you can sit back and watch as they continue to do it for years and years. That's what games like World of Warcraft lack, and why Blizzard constantly has to produce large million dollar investments into new game content.

That said, my impression from when I was there Friday tells me that the PS2 team understands this. The basic game mechanics right now are absolutely solid, and SOE's focus appears to be gradually shifting into fleshing out the metagame and lifting the game to its fullest potential. It may not be immediately clear to the team what is needed, but as beta comes to fruition and as the community becomes more directly involved, I'm confident that the end result is going to be epic.

The devs are definitely listening. Keep up the positive constructive criticism and I doubt anyone here will be disappointed with the end result
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Last edited by Sardus; 2012-07-16 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 2012-07-15, 11:52 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion





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...I called Jo Jo's Psychic Alliance last night and she assured me that JFK's ghost killed Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman is being compelled by the Illuminati to take the fall. ... Don't you scientists be telling me lies, getting me all confused about "facts" and "magnets" and so on.
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Old 2012-07-15, 11:56 PM   [Ignore Me] #3
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


My favorite part of the metagame so far is Propaganda.
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Old 2012-07-15, 11:59 PM   [Ignore Me] #4
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Originally Posted by Malchance View Post
My favorite part of the metagame so far is Propaganda.
Find me one person who went on Friday and didn't enjoy it and I'd believe it LOL
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Old 2012-07-16, 12:03 AM   [Ignore Me] #5
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Originally Posted by Sardus View Post
Find me one person who went on Friday and didn't enjoy it and I'd believe it LOL
I think one of us is misunderstanding the other. I didn't mean any kind of SOE marketing. I meant the 'My faction rules and the others suck' kind of propaganda. The many well-spirited insults between factions is always good for a laugh, and can serve an actual recruitment purpose.
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Old 2012-07-16, 12:05 AM   [Ignore Me] #6
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Originally Posted by Malchance View Post
I think one of us is misunderstanding each other. I mean the 'My faction rules and the others suck' kind of propaganda. The many well-spirited insults between factions is always good for a laugh, and can serve an actual recruitment purpose.
This is one of my favorite aspects. I actually find new people are really interested in it; some even seem pretty intimidated by it. PS1 faction loyalty is definitely a unique thing.
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Old 2012-07-16, 12:06 AM   [Ignore Me] #7
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Originally Posted by Malchance View Post
I think one of us is misunderstanding the other. I didn't mean any kind of SOE marketing. I meant the 'My faction rules and the others suck' kind of propaganda. The many well-spirited insults between factions is always good for a laugh, and can serve an actual recruitment purpose.
I totally agree. And I love the idea of outfit rivalry stuff that people have been kicking around.

Oh... and...

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Click here to go to the next VIP post in this thread.   Old 2012-07-16, 12:24 AM   [Ignore Me] #8
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


I am perhaps one of the most avid fans of the PS1 metagame. I lived and breathed it for a long time and can thin-slice a situation very effectively. I was initially quite disturbed by the apparent lack of metagame, but I've come to think of it differently over the months. Here's my brief thoughts.


Non-Essential
Metagame isn't essential for the game to launch and be successful. I see a lot of opportunity for them to add in metagame elements as time goes on. But before they can do that they need a rock-solid FPS foundation. I do believe it is essential for longevity and to offer more gameplay depth that keep players sucked in for years to come. But it the game can get off to a great start without it. The dev team priorities are correct for this.


Influence & TC Potential
The Influence and territory control system they have is utterly brilliant and leaves a lot of possibilities open. It's a dynamic system to which they can attach many mechanics. To me it is clearly the most significant innovation in PS2. There is tons of potential here for awesome continent-level metagame improvements.


Space Matters
The game has to be ready for a good cross-continent global metagame. The key concept here is space utilization. Having a highly rich metagame involving actual conquest of significant chunks of territory really means that the game must allow for some content to be locked away for periods of time - which means low space utilization. PS1 had 10 continents and could afford low space utilization. Metagame was rich, but it certainly wouldn't have been if there were only 3. In shipping only 3 continents at launch they must have high space utilization on their three continents or we will have some very boring gameplay. It's the right call to suspend global metagame until they can afford the lower space utilization required for it to be successful.


It Isn't Always Good
The metagame of PS1 wasn't always good, and it led to some rather sour gameplay situations. In not having it they're also omitting the bad parts. I'm hoping that as metagame is introduced later if any poor gameplay results it will be more obvious compared to the existing gamplay so it can be noticed and mitigated.


Metagame Shift
I'm not convinced the metagame is absent - it has simply shifted from the the global view to the more local continental view, at least in the short term. By doing so they'll be making the continental game richer so when it expands to be more global later all aspects of the game have depth. We'll see innovations and mechanics at the continental level that will make normal continent conquest interesting and have value at the more micro level before they expand it to a more macro level. Starting small and building up is a good way to go.


It Takes Time
Another interesting part of the metgame is how it evolves over time. It is difficult to assess the impact, even in beta, of what the Metagame will become for PS2. It took several months before key metagame strategies and patterns developed in PS1, and it evolved over years. It isn't easy to predict how it will develop, and chances are we won't even scratch the surface in the beta time frame. It makes sense therefore to take a bit of a wait-and-see approach to it. See how it develops, see which elements would bring the most depth and then add them in.


Given what we know of the game and the priorities of the team they appear to me to be doing exactly what they need to do in order for PS2 to succeed. While I would enjoy a more rich metagame, as they say Rome was not built in a day. It started with a simple city-state with a solid foundation and great values. Conceptually I believe PS2 to have a solid foundation that can blossom into a truly magnificent metagame. But it will develop over time and does not need to be there immediately. Investing in it too much right now could threaten the foundation and be disastrous.


For those curious about the PS1 metagame, the manifesto link in my sig has an entire chapter devoted to it.
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Old 2012-07-16, 02:26 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Nice posts OP, and especially Malorns input.
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Old 2012-07-16, 02:47 AM   [Ignore Me] #10
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Contrary to popular belief, history, science, and common sense, Rome was, in fact, built in a day.



Edit: "And on the 43rd day, God built Rome and said to the Romans 'see those Etruscans? Fuck them and everyone near them.' And it was good."
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Originally Posted by Warborn View Post
...I called Jo Jo's Psychic Alliance last night and she assured me that JFK's ghost killed Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman is being compelled by the Illuminati to take the fall. ... Don't you scientists be telling me lies, getting me all confused about "facts" and "magnets" and so on.

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Old 2012-07-16, 03:25 AM   [Ignore Me] #11
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Interesting words. I hope you're right about PS2. I really hope.

Last edited by KaB; 2012-07-16 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 2012-07-16, 04:57 AM   [Ignore Me] #12
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


Nice contribution Marlorn .....

one of the good things I heard Higby say quite a while ago was something like they realised that they didn't need to guide every details of the gameplay but what they should do is build a framework and let the players take over from there.

And I agree, players are content.
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Old 2012-07-16, 05:02 AM   [Ignore Me] #13
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So, it seems like the devs will complete PS2's metagame feature with lots of player feedback on their hands this time, unlike PS1's case where the overall scheme of implementing metagame was mostly decided and created in-house.
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Old 2012-07-16, 06:56 AM   [Ignore Me] #14
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


The key to PS2 vs PS1 is the devs are actually listening to the player bases feedback on different elements. They have done a great job, so far, of keeping the hype up and trickling out information to keep the buzz not only in this fanatic community, but the gaming community on the whole. I am excited to see how the usage of resources, the hexagonal territory map, and terrain are going to complement and complicate strategy and game play. The key to keeping people around in a game after the shiny "new game" smell wears off requires a platform where people feel like their actions matter on a daily basis, and that they aren't just stocking up trophies in their online locker. By the looks of things, PS2 is headed in the right direction with the right people steering the ship.
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Old 2012-07-16, 10:36 AM   [Ignore Me] #15
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Re: The Meta Game Discussion


The so called Rock Paper Sicissors Concept untill people get good enough to beat scissors with paper, the it becomes paper paper paper
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