Make Your Own Meta


Give a warm welcome to our new columnist here at Crossing Zebras, Protovarious! Starting next weekend, Proto will be our Saturday columnist discussing anything and everything related the big, beautiful universe that is New Eden

Eve. Sandbox. Two words that have become synonymous and indistinguishable from each other. Yes, it can be hard to find one’s place in our little universe, but if that struggle is a recurrence for you, there’s hope. By now you’ve probably heard the term ‘meta game’ thrown around so many times that you filter it out. I break down the term like this:

Meta game: influences that affect the game by either direct player actions, community culture, gameplay trends, creative use of game mechanics, or political propaganda

Now in my observations of the meta game, I tend to take a little bit of heat. But that’s only because I tend to expand on current ideas and trends then think outside of the box on how we can change the normal ideals with a simple twist of current mechanics. What do I mean? Things such as ‘Slowcats’, the ‘Wrecking Ball’, and other fleet doctrines that began with one person daring to go beyond what we think we know and breaking the mould. I enjoy studying the meta much like a psychologist enjoys studying their patients. I open it up, see what makes it tick, then throw out new ideas based on what I observe. Sometimes those ideas can seem unorthodox or downright weird to those who think a different way. As a matter of fact, that’s precisely how I came to Crossing Zebras. Ironically, I found myself in a Twitter argument with our very own Xander Phoena here at CZ. After the dust settled and apologies were exchanged, I found myself here. My personal blog, The Eve Editorial, will most likely continue, but by putting myself out there and being willing to back my opinion up with decently written reason and honesty instead of hyperbole and propaganda, I come before you now – the newest member of the #1 CCP Certified® Crossing Zebras team – which probably means that we’ll risk slipping in the ratings sometime soon 🙂 cropped-eves20_c7ol1nx73m1-e1388465597718 I’m an over-the-road truck driver now and I get precious little time to play, much less do anything constructive in game. I keep in touch with the community and stay connected to events, current fleet doctrine trends, and significant personalities. Most people who are familiar with my blog posts know me from the Open Apology to CCP Games. It caused quite a bit of stir on Reddit and the Twitterverse. But after that, I found my voice. I wanted to continue to blog and get conversations rolling on things that people don’t often think about in Eve Online. In the before mentioned link, it was about trying to focus less on rage towards CCP for things the vocal community expressed, and more of what we could do as a player base to help the situation by thinking outside of the box and showing appreciation for what we do have (even those dumb ESSs). As we saw in the Battle of B-R, precise and strategic thinking is what won the day. While the workhorse of the CFC fleets maintained DPS supremacy on grid, the rest were pouncing upon PL staging systems in a previously unheard of level. We saw multilateral use of capitals, dreads, and subcaps. Hmm… I seem to remember somebody saying something about multi faceted battles: ‘Knowing what the results are going to be, thousands of drone laden pilots make their way to a single grid knowing the limitations, but acting surprised at the results. Instead of adapting their methods of warfare to the current limitations of your technology, I’m afraid that most have accepted the idea of being the embodiment of insanity by doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results. When multi-faceted battles become more attainable and worthwhile given current mechanics, perhaps this mindset will change.’ – Protovarious, The Eve Editorial, 23 January, 2014. I’m certainly not trying to take credit for the strategy that helped the CFC win against N3/PL in B-R. I think both sides were smart enough to learn the lessons from HED on their own. What I was saying in that article was that until the need to dogpile 5000+ people in a system becomes more of a hindrance than a benefit, people weren’t going to change their minds about taking drone-laden fleets of subcaps into a capital fight. More is always better, right? I mean, isn’t that what we’ve seen thus far between Asakai, 6VDT, and HED-GP? It was CCP’s fault that they couldn’t have a decisive capital fight without node crashes according to most nullsec players. It was all broken mechanics and server issues, right? Who would have thought all that would change in a battle that was the most expensive in Eve’s history? It was the change in the mindset of how the CFC deployed that excited me. (Okay, so Nick Fuzzeh’s kick-ass twitch stream had something to do with it as well.) We had a break from the normal line of thinking and strategic planning on the spur of the moment undertaken by two incredible FCs on both sides of the fight. The result of throwing away the rulebook was historic not just for CCP and the game in the media, but for us as players who were exhausted from the rage for something that (I believe) was perfectly in our hands the whole time. BIxRd The battle in B-R wasn’t just epic for all the Titans that now lay wasted. It was the contributions of people: Lazarus Telraven and Manfred Sideous for taking the reigns as FCs, Nick Fuzzeh for his hilarious streaming, Sindel Pellion for her ingenious parody song, and all the other streamers and pilots who played their part. Decisions were made and personalities were presented front and centre. To those who were watching the twitch streams asking what was going on, we proudly showed them that, ‘This is Eve, bitches!” The game AND the culture within it was on display for all the world to see. Using our given definition of what the meta game is, we can start to open more doors and possibilities in our feedback to CCP regarding improvements to the game that, in turn, gives us more tools to think laterally. This is the root of my studies of the meta game. Whether you post blogs, make videos, record podcasts, make parodies, develop new fits and doctrines, role play, or simply go about things ‘Lone Wolf’ style, every contribution to the community has the potential to affect us all for better or for worse. Each of us individually can change Eve Online. The ‘butterfly effect’ was fully encapsulated in those 20 or so hours that took our collective breaths away. If you’ve ever needed a reason to shake off the ‘bittervet blues’, the time is now. I think we are starting to see the shoots of evolution CCP Seagull has been hinting at since Fanfest. Either you want to be a leader and a part of it, or you don’t. There is nothing stopping any one person from making a difference in this game. We call it the meta. So… what did you do today to change Eve Online?
Tags: meta, nullsec, proto

About the author


Proto began his career in Eve in 2007 and is a current member of Brave Newbies. He spends a great deal of his time blogging and contributing content for Eve related podcasts. When he can put a few sentences together, he's usually worth a read.