Metagame =~ Environment

To be entirely fair, the term 'metagame' is still relatively new (as words go, not showing up in most dictionaries), and we could have a rousing argument about whether or not language should be prescriptive or descriptive, but it's certainly the case that (1) People use metagame to refer to both the environment as well as the outer game being played (sometimes out of some confusion, but some people know exactly what they are saying) and (2) Guildwik has generally chosen to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, when possible. At any rate, I don't want to even tempt an edit war, but I'll at least say on this talk page that at least one commonly used definition of metagame is the environment, even though most game theorists generally don't use the term that way (because they need to be more technical when using terms like environment). One possible edit could be simply to say that some people use the term environment to describe the current distribution of builds, while others use the term metagame to mean the same thing.

As a minor point of reference, Magic: The Gathering theorists often use both the term environment and metagame to refer to the environment. Given the influence that Magic had on GuildWars and the intentional similarities, I'd at least suggest we not call their language outright wrong.

OK, I'll stop rambling.

(All excellent edits, fwiw. I'm glad someone else attacked the article.) --JoDiamonds 11:58, 24 March 2006 (CST)

Well, I just felt awkward with metagame being defined as the environment - I don't mind it's use, but I think it's proper to note that "IWAY is the FOTM" is not "the metagame". But I also hate hearing words like indexes, matrixes, and stadiums (indices, matrices and stadia) so I'm one of those people. I actually wanted to make it more precise, as it is pretty much a game theory term, and was used for example to show that by using contingent strategies one can change the dominant strategies of a game. The classical Hawk/Dove (and extended forms with Bully/Retaliator/Bourgeois...) games are great for showing how a change in populations can change the effectivness of a strategy - the population will seek an evolutionarily stable strategy. But I'll happily concede that the term is generally used to mean the current builds, rather than the interplay which causes the builds to be current. And I know it still needs work, and feel free to change it bak - I don't need it to be correct, I just like things that way :P --Epinephrine 13:19, 24 March 2006 (CST)
Using evolutionary game theory is the wrong approach here, since we cant really assume that more successful GW player have more children that use their parents GW builds, who in turn will have more children (using their strategy) if they are successful, and so on. If you want to talk in terms of gametheory, using repeated games and/or mixed equilibria seems to be the proper way to describe the problem. But all that apart, I think we should not use any game theory terms at all and just state that most players use the term "metagame" to describe which builds are popular at the moment and which are counters to these.
I disagree, I think sucessful builds behave very much like successful parents in the environment, as a build that is succeeding will continue to be played by that player often and will inspire others to follow suit (see IWAY for example, which was successful, thus bred more of the same - and then by accounting for IWAYs influence we saw the rise of the successful anti-melee builds), abandoning less successful strategies. I think it's a pretty good analogy, and the concept of evolutionarily stable strategies and the environment works well - in a heavy physical damage environment a skill like physical resistance has a good payoff, but the more it is used the better the payoff for adopting elemental damage in your build - so the concept of ESS works well to describe the interplays. Still, if you want to skirt the game theory I'm fine with that, I just don't like imprecision and misuse of terms. Anyway, I didn't like the way the article portrayed it, but you are welcome to edit away until it is in a shape we can all agree on. I'll agree that my use of the term ESS may be a bit of a stretch - I don't know that there is one strategy stable against invasion for example, but it does behave in a similar manner. To be fair, I've only had one grad level course in game theory, so my knowledge of the area is far from perfect, but there are some strong parallels between evolutionary games and Guild Wars. --Epinephrine 22:00, 24 March 2006 (CST)

Evolutionary game theory doesn't have to have anything to do with actual childbearing or literal genetics. It's not evolution of players themselves (and their kids), it's evolution of the builds. A particular popular healing build will evolve into other builds, possibly eventually becoming something else entirely. For instance, when the enivronment changed with the major balance change to Protective Bond, the 55 monk build evolved to use Protective Spirit instead. This is a particular clear example (because ArenaNet made such a drastic change), but there's tons of this stuff going on all the time.
As for earlier comments, I certainly wasn't arguing that "environment" shouldn't be defined, and it certainly the more precise term. My argument is more simply that the term metagame has multiple meanings, one of which is the same as environment. Saying such is reasonable; saying that people who use that term are wrong isn't the right approach in my mind (and is at least heavily debated in general, per the Prescriptive vs. Descriptive). I think anyone arguing against the word Stadiums is clearly living in the past, though. For what it's worth, I recommend reading "Mother Tongue" by Billy Bryson, if this stuff interests anyone. Fantastic and amusing work that convinced me that Prescriptive is mostly the wrong way to go -- there's terms that Americans use that the British laugh at us about, even though they are originally British terms, that fell into disuse in Britain but not America. Funny stuff.
--JoDiamonds 23:40, 24 March 2006 (CST)
While it's off topic to discuss the use of language, I'll admit to living in the past. I actually know the difference between "less" and "fewer", and properly use whom, and correct my daughter to say "If I were taller" rather than the horrific "If I was taller" as examples. Yes, I'm rather prescriptivist. I'm probably a relic. I do have a keen interest in language, and have read The Professor and the Madman and The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, as I have an interest in language. I think that it is also a matter of accepting that we err - there are some things that are either right or wrong, and I feel that the dictionaries are far too accepting of errors, including them simply due to their commonality. If that's the case, the word "ur" may as well replace "your", and in fact we should forget about distinguishing between its and it's, or your and you're, as the vast majority of people are unable to correctly use them. Despite the claim that the dictionary is a record of the use of language, it is also a reference - otherwise why would anyone bother looking in a dictionary, or learning to spell? Certainly stadia is a lesser concern for me, but I object on principle to the change - I have no desire to see the beauty and complexity of the language reduce to an MSN chatroom. Anyway, I wasn't aware that there was an official policy for the wiki to be descriptive rather than prescriptive - by the way we use only the official ANet terms quite often it would seem the opposite. --Epinephrine 00:06, 25 March 2006 (CST)

Random Arena Metagame

PS: Random Arena metagame? Yes, that is one reason why using game theory terms here is a bad idea lol. --Xeeron 19:03, 24 March 2006 (CST)

There is certainly a Random Arena metagame, if ill-defined. There is a specific list of builds that are being played in the Arena, even if they are hard to categorize. If you can figure out the trends, though, it can certainly lead to greater success there -- there is a meta game to be played there, even if few people consciously play it. Anyone who would say there's no Random Arena metagame really doesn't understand the term, I think.  ;) --JoDiamonds 23:40, 24 March 2006 (CST)

Red links

This page has too much red links. -- Annonymous

Then remove them... Silver Sunlight SSunlight 11:18, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

Link "meta" to this page?

pl0x? --Alf's Hitman 13:09, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Done :) Silver Sunlight SSunlight (T/C) 13:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
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