Due to the recent update to Guild Wars 2, which has changed the trait system, I've heard lots of people asking "What's the new meta?" and "Meta hasn't been outed yet"

In this context, what does "meta" mean? I assume they are talking about specific builds, or trait and skill combinations, so why is it called 'meta'?

  • As an example to this; when I play chess against my friend, I know that he is liable to use specific tactics. Therefore, I make moves that are not the most optimal chess move (objectively), but because I know how my friend plays the game. That is meta gameplay. You play the opponent, not just the game.
    – Flater
    Jul 24 '17 at 12:14

Meta is a term commonly used in MMO's to describe the current best builds and strategies, short for metagame.

It comes from the greek meta, which indicates an abstraction from a concept ; so this is used to designate everything related to the game, not explicitely told by the game.

There is a nice Wikpedia page about it.

And yeah, I think GW2 is the game where I have heard this word the most. When meta becomes the most important thing, that's when I usually grow tired of the game and quit.

  • Metagame can also stand for "achievements", which I love :)
    – Ealhad
    Jun 26 '15 at 8:22
  • 1
    damage formulae is not a good example - it IS part of the game itself. Metagame, in this context especially, usually refers to player consensus of strategies, what is worth doing and what is not, effective talent tree choices etc.
    – Deltharis
    Jun 26 '15 at 9:02
  • Maybe you're right. However, damage formulae are not usually told to users, so I assumed it was safe to call them meta.
    – Ealhad
    Jun 26 '15 at 9:04

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