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MNwild

What exactly is this "meta?"

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So, I've been reading around and people keep tossing the word "meta" around. "The Phantom is going to change the meta." "It's not local meta... etc."

 

I'm having trouble understanding exactly what meta is supposed to mean. 

 

I did a cursory search on the forums and didn't come up with anything.

 

My guess (based on the context) - "the popular ships people are playing with?"

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meta is the metagame decisions of the group.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metagaming

 

The type of lists common ie. swarm, high PS interceptors, Han Shoots First, ect...

a high PS phantom will cause problems for low PS swarms or even mid level PS rebel lists because they will shoot first and then re-cloak giving them 4 agility dice making them hard to hit

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When you consider squad building in a vacuum, when you play a match the opponent could use any of the vast combination of ships and upgrades in the game.   In reality there are common trends based on what has been proven to be effective plus whatever strategies have become popular to counter those popular strategies, and so on it goes.  To consider the metagame is to know what is popular, and why, and build your own squadron around that knowledge.

 

"Local" meta is just what types of builds people are running in your area.  TIE fighter swarms have been a popular build type throughout the game's history, but if you are going to local tournament and already know that probably no one will be playing that type of squadron, then you can tailor your own build to be more effective against whatever it is the local players do typically play with.

Edited by Effenhoog

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OK. Thanks everyone. I was pretty sure thats what was being implied based on some of the context, but every now and then I see it used in a conversation or scenario in which it didn't seem to make sense. 

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meta

—adjective

high-level analysis or commentary, especially one that consciously references something of its own type.

Most people shorten it to meta but really it is the meta-game. It's like the game inside the game. Think of how a pitcher in baseball studies a batter and learns where he is likely to swing and miss. That study is over and beyond just the simple game of baseball and would be considered a meta-game being played by the pitcher.

In X-Wing the most common meaning is the expected squads that will show up for a tournament. If the same 10 people show up at a local event each tournament and bring the same squads you would have a very defined meta there. You would be able to build and focus on the larger common feature of the squads that get played there. Let's say 6 of those players run a variation of Tie Swarms. This would lead you in a direction whee if you play a squad that has a favorable match up Vs the Swarm you should do well in that meta.

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People mostly use the term to sound knowledgeable about the game. It's a buzzword. As with any sport or hobby, there are catch phrases and buzzwords that people like to throw around. That's why sometimes people use a term like meta incorrectly. In medicine, we sometimes do a meta-analysis, which means that we look at several studies of an issue, like cancer treatment, to identify trends or to draw conclusions confirmed by multiple studies, so, what they said above. Meta game would be the full term, but it sure sounds like you know what you are talking about when you say just say meta.

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My first wife was a country girl, and she always wanted to appear sophisticated, so she would throw out terms she did not always understand. We were at lunch with some of her friends (all of whom were nurses, as she was) and the conversation turned to menage a trois. In the conversation gap she says. "You know, I have always wanted to try that. " to which I replied, we'll honey, pick one out. " I knew she did not know what she had just said, but when she figured it out, she turned as red as I have ever seen her. It was priceless. Anyway, of topic but had to share it anyway. My phone doesn't do French well, by the way.

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Pretty sure Meta has been used as a term for D&D longer than I've been alive.

I'm not sure how long it's been used...

I started D&D with the red box, back when you had Basic D&D and Advanced D&D. I honestly don't remember using that term much way back when. It was an issue back then but we called it Out of Character knowledge or Player Knowledge vs Character Knowledge.

The first time I remember seeing the term used, was for the MtG book written by Richard Gardfield, which he wrote back in 93 or so. It talked about the early pre-alpha versions of the game, photocopied and passed out to the playtesters before WotC came into the picture.

He said he wanted MtG to be both a game and meta-game, the game being the duel between players and the meta-game being the trading and list building that people would do. So when Richard would trade for a given card, just so Skiff couldn't get it himself, that was part of the meta-game, or the game outside the duels.

Not saying that Richard came up with the term, but it's the first time I remember seeing it used in that context. I do think he was the one who got it into the gamer vocabulary, though in reference to things like list building and the game outside the game.

It's actually a very interesting book just for a look at the very early history of MtG and the design process that went into it.

Edited by VanorDM

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A meta is some abstract or high-level analysis or commentary about what is happening in X-Wing. For example, people fly swarms. The fact here is that people fly swarms AND win with that list. People observe this and start flying swarms.

What's the meta here? I'm talking about people flying swarms in X-wing because that's what's happening.

 

So, basically, you're just talking about people playing the game using their brains and experience?  And some people call that "meta" because - I don't know why - because they thought about game strategy before their match?  

 

Isn't that kind of like watching a youtube video on the proper technique for a pitcher to pick off a runner at second base, and then calling that "meta"?

 

If we boil this all down, it appears that "meta" is just a catch-all word meaning "playing the game using lessons learned from the community".

 

And for those of us, like me, who are unfamiliar with using the word "meta" in this context, this entire conversation is "meta" with respect to the use of the word "meta" in social media.

 

Did I just make a circular reference?  (stack overflow)

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So, basically, you're just talking about people playing the game using their brains and experience?

No. Meta really just means 'beyond' so when you talk about the meta game, you're talking about what happens beyond playing the game. It's a very all encompassing type of phrase.

Posting on these forums is a form of the meta game, doing math-wing stuff, or researching builds, or looking for advice, or trying to figure out combo's that work well together.

Effectively the Meta-game is everything about the game, expect actually playing the game. Quite often though it's used to refer to the lists, tactics and methods used the player base as a whole, and/or the group of people you play with.

For example perhaps everyone at your LGS tends to play high PS ships, so everyone there builds there lists knowing that they're going to face high PS ships.

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So, basically, you're just talking about people playing the game using their brains and experience?

Posting on these forums is a form of the meta game, doing math-wing stuff, or researching builds, or looking for advice, or trying to figure out combo's that work well together ... Quite often though it's used to refer to the lists, tactics and methods used the player base as a whole, and/or the group of people you play with.

 

 

To me, this sounds like the term "meta" is being used to describe how human beings learn.  In this specific instance, humans are learning / researching how to play this game more effectively, and some people call that "meta" because these learnings are socialized with others "beyond the game".

 

So, anything you do to learn how to play this game better, when you're not actually playing the game, appears to be called "meta".  So, game homework.

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