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Metagaming in PR

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  • Metagaming in PR

    Hey guys,

    I've recently been trying to switch up my role and gaming habits to approach PR in a different light. After playing PR on TG for a ton of hours, I know most ins and outs of the maps, what each player will most likely be doing, who I just killed, where the caches are most likely going to be, that the JDAM killed 16 people, and the list goes on.

    All this knowledge about the game puts myself at a higher situational awareness than other players. However, I feel its been pulling away from the game itself. Sometimes I like to follow someone else and test myself with not hitting the map key to look see what everyone else is doing. It makes my local awareness that much better. Additionally, it makes it feel more like reality instead of some game, which I feel is the purpose of Project Reality.

    Therefore, I've been taking note of things I feel are metagaming that I admit to doing that I feel should be changed on Project Reality for a better gaming experience.

    Kill Counts

    I know almost every regular SL that I've come across judges their squad in some aspect by how well their Kill to Death ratio is. Additionally, I know quite a few people who can tell if other enemies are in the area simply by how fast their Kill counter went up after they killed a person. If the kill counter went up fast, then it's either a newbie squad or there are no medics near him; If you didn't receive a kill count for that Kill after a few minutes, then he hasn't given up yet and it's possible that another player is going to be near that area soon.

    This is metagaming that I do religiously. Because I know how squads work and that sometimes the SL will tell his squad mates not to give up and wait a minute for the area to clear, I can wait also and keep my kill plus another kill. In reality, I would never know if there is a medic near by or another enemy based on how fast a person decides to give up on life and die.. especially from a distance.

    So I'll ask you, what is the point of the kill counter in today's PR? It shows in a general sense what squads are saving more tickets and therefore helping the team out. It also shows who is the best killer on the team and deserves the most epeen. However, I dont believe these two points (or any other point) are strong enough to keep K/D ratios as opposed to metagaming and making PR more like reality.

    Opposite Sides Team View

    Project Reality took out the scrolling text that said "Player A M1A1 Abram'd Player B." This is a fact. Although, at first, I was disappointed in this change (I always enjoyed knowing which SL I was facing against in vanilla), I believe they did this because it supports a more realistic environment and in that case makes PR a better, more accurate game.

    The metagaming on this is exactly what PR took out. I can tell exactly who I killed by a number of ways. When I spot someone, I can look at the opposite list and see who is alive-then kill them-and check who is dead. When I kill someone, I can check who is dead-see who gives up-check my kill count-if it goes higher.. it was that person. This is a metagaming workaround to what Project Reality already took out. Yes, it helps if you keep getting the same enemy coming from the same cache/FOB, you can easily figure it out and know something is near based on how fast he gets to you. However, in reality.. this isn't the same person coming after you. It makes no sense that I can figure this out.. but I can.

    On top of this, by looking at the opposing side, I can figure out: Who is most likely Squad Leading; Who is in whose squad; Who is in assets; etc. These are all metagaming knowledge that I gain based on looking at the opposite teams list and I should not be given this advantage. When I kill Player A's entire squad and look at the list and see who the regular SL is.. then later in the game I kill one of his members.. I know there are five more squad mates right nearby.

    Although I'm not opposed to seeing who is on the other team, I am opposed to showing: When they die; What their Kills/Deaths are; and how many points they have. You can show this information outside of game and at the end of the match, but during.. it takes away from realistic game play. Instead, have an Alphabetized List of the enemy team with just their name and ping.


    I cannot tell you how many times I press the CAPS LOCK key in a single match while playing. Its beyond reasonable. In fact, if this were reality, I would be called a friggin nutcase who could never figure out which way is up. However, the map is one of the best ways to gain some situational awareness and thus an advantage in the battlefield. From the map, I can tell if that guy in the distance is a friendly or foe, if my friendly squad just got taken out in front of me, where I'm going, who is wounded/dead in my squad, what kits each person has, etc etc. And I can do this in about 5 seconds while moving with my gun out. So I ask you, does this sound realistic at all? All this information PLUS the speed of which you can access it? On top of that, every single member of the team has the exact same information on their insta-map. Its the epitome of metagaming.

    First issue to address is the fact that I can instantly view my map in a matter of seconds and that everyone can view their map also. I think this should be changed like it's a weapon cycle. You want to use your radio as an SL now? Your movement is extremely limited when you bring it up and it takes a second to load. Additionally, your hands don't have any other weapon out and ready. Make it like that and it will slow down the rapid succession of always looking at your map.

    On top of this, why does every squad member have the some intel that the squad leader has? I don't doubt that each squad member would carry a basic map, however, I doubt that they would have then intel to know where every deployed squad in the radius is and where each squad member and asset is. Therefore I suggest two separate maps with two types of information. The squad member would have a blank map of the location with only their squads position and the squad marker on it. The squad leader would have the map we say today, with a few changes.

    The map we see today is out of touch with reality. In the battlefield, there is no possible way we can no the direct location of every asset and soldier on the field at every given second. It's just not possible. However, an estimated position of where each squad is located and each asset is located is something that would be more realistic and could be marked on a map. The squad would be dictated by where their squad leader is (or an approximation of the center of the squad's location..for instance.. if 4 person squad and each squad member is on opposite corners of the map.. the approximation would be in the middle of the map.. this theory supports squads that work in a closer range and thus encourages 'teamwork'). However, showing this position every second is another unrealistic setting. Therefore it should be shown by either an updating marker every <insert amount of time here> or by whenever the other squad checks their map (and therefore radios in their coordinates). The same goes for all assets except that it wouldn't just be their Squad Leader, but each asset in the squad.

    Although the squad leader's map is different than the squad members, it could have the ability to be shared. In approximately, squad members could be able to look off their squad leaders map for more intel. Although I am unsure of how hard it is to implement in the BF2 engine, it makes sense and therefore I'm putting it in.

    I realize this is a leap for most people and pulling away from the parts of the game that we rely on so heavily would be hard, but these parts do not equate to what I find in reality. It doesn't make sense to know the enemies kill count or to know when the other side dies. It doesn't make sense to know every location of every solider and asset on the field at any given time. It doesn't make sense to know when I 'really' killed an enemy. These are all metagaming aspects of PR that take it away from what could be a better gaming and more realistic experience.

    Although I type this and will eventually run off and play PR while using these very same 'problems' I mentioned, I am willing to try and take a step and not use them as much. I feel the first step to solving the problem is admitting it.

    Hello, my name is BoogyLoH. I have a problem. I am a metagamer.
    "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
    -Antoine De Saint-Exupery

  • #2
    Re: Metagaming in PR

    Excellent post and the first two issues, quickly knowing that someone was revived and knowing who is dead on the other team, should be doable.

    The time before you find out you got a kill was increased to 1 minute, they should be able to simply change this to 5 minutes to match the wounded timer. This still allows the squads to have a rough, and not immediate, gauge of their combat effectiveness. Since the team's K : D numbers are based on current players and not over the course of a game and doesn't include vehicle tickets that information is not completely accurate but unfortunately does give an indication of how the battle is going. I would like that total to just go away, but I do want to keep a delayed K : D for players as it makes it a bit easier for an SL to know if what he is doing is as effective as he had hoped.

    I'm not sure about the list of who is alive and dead on the other team, it would be great if that was not available during the game but I would like to still see who is on the other team.

    The map, I'm 99% sure, is hardcoded to either show everyone on a team or no one (per a suggestion about only showing squad members on the map), and removing it would cause unnecessary confusion in my opinion. Being able to judge the field of battle at any given time is alright in my eyes, there is enough unintentional tking with the map available and if removed the comms chatter would be insane as everyone kept updating everyone else on what was happening at each location. If it could be restricted to the commander, that would be cool but I don't think it is technically possible.

    These things are of course things you can simply ignore if don't wish to metagame. I've spent some rounds where I only hit caps lock to see if I was in a cap radius, but most of the time I use the map to spot friendlies to avoid friendly fire.

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.


    • #3
      Re: Metagaming in PR

      I agree with you on many points, particularly the KDR cheat. Personally, I don't like to wait for the kill to register, but I do like to go and check for bodies. Especially now that kits stay in the world for much longer, confirming kills by eyeballing a body is my preferred method of confirming kills.

      I like seeing who is on each side, but I do agree that they could take out scores, KDR, etc. until the end of the round. I would like to see it at the end, or maybe even when I'm dead, but not all the time.

      On the map front, this is a tough one for me. I agree that I use it far more as both SL and SM, but it does provide situational awareness that you just can't get in game that you would get in real life. And they do have something called Blue Force Tracker that updates friendly positions in real time, so that part is realistic, even if the real life variant is probably not as accurate as our PR one.

      I do like your idea of having to take a map out to look at it, much like the new SL radio.

      However, this is a video game, and PR tries to find the best fit between simulation and arcade game, which I think it does quite well. I would hate to list to far to the simulation side of things, because sometimes all I want to do is shoot people and not get lost doing it.

      Great comments though!


      • #4
        Re: Metagaming in PR

        While the mechanisms are in the game to support metagaming, at the end of the day, you yourself like and want it. I know how it feels, back when I played tourney all these little peices of intel were critical in making a well-oiled offensive machine, and it takes a lot of detraining to get out of the habits.

        They can remove all the metadata, but in the end you might actually find yourself bored. The data is there and "fun" for min-max'ers, tactical junkies, and anyone else looking for a competitive edge. It's a gameplay "fun" line that has to be walked carefully by the developers otherwise the stat withdrawl and an underlying fustration can creep in and make the game not as much fun.

        Just be careful what you wish for. It's like eating vegetables, good for you, but who doesn't want a pizza?

        Do you pick a weapon based on embedded stats, personal RL experience, or cosmetics?


        • #5
          Re: Metagaming in PR

          I only rarely use the tablist to check if I've killed someone, almost always to see who I was dogfighting against or engaged in a battle for armored supremacy.

          The real problem with getting rid of something like the super up to date map is that it solves a problem caused by a fundamental difference in the way war works in PR and how it works in real life. In PR your options for communication are (if you are a squad member) SM<->SM, SM<->SL. If you install some extra programs, you can speak to any other SM who's within "earshot" or any SM plugged in across the battlefield. There are no different frequencies, it's all or nothing. This means that even with the best possible intentions of communication, you're going to wind up pissing someone off by speaking for too long, or by speaking not long enough and failing to give enough intel.

          Second, even at the highest possible resolution and settings, PR is, quite frankly, pretty ugly and abysmal when compared to real life. Visibility limits mean that BVR weapons or even VR signaling methods such as hand waving or flashing a mirror are simply unfeasible and unworkable. This is also the reason we have magic attack markers. In urban maps, all the buildings look enough alike to seriously hinder efforts to show which building you intend to signal without using tracers. ("White 4 story with scalloped trim" doesn't help if there are four or five of those same statics in visual range)

          I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with these things, but in the end I cannot stress how important it is to keep in mind that this is a game.


          • #6
            Re: Metagaming in PR

            The kill counter, like heavy assets, has become more a source of frustration than positive gameplay. Increasingly, games have become more about KDs than capping flags, or pushing objectives. The team that is better at killing the enemy is the one that tends to win. The necessity to keep a positive squad KD I feel also takes away from the teamwork as well as the immersion factor. Constantly I'm checking both my Tab and Caps-Lock Key to make sure that the squad has a positive KD, otherwise I feel useless. And that obsession is a shame...


            • #7
              Re: Metagaming in PR

              I agree with taking the scoreboard out or increasing the time it takes to show kills, but i would hate to see the map go. However i would want the CO to be able to tell how combat effective the team is, and also give some intel to SLs about their squad. I know you can keep a notebook on your desk and keep count of tickets but i would love to see an in-game version for this, more accurate than the team k/d counter.
              As a leader i don't care about kills or score, only tickets.

              I doubt you could encouarge teamwork by decreasing situational awareness for casual players though. Not everyone plays a ton of hours on TG, it would be an even more pain for new guys to get used to the mod. If you come from vanilla it's already hard to understand teamwork in the pr way, let alone use it effectively. Right now a lot of players think blue mob is teamwork thanks to all the spawnpoint changes. The mod itself suggests this tactic but it fails to show the working together part of it, to understand that you have to be an experienced player with a lot of hours behind you.
              I'd want to see the mod getting more noob-friendly, to show all those nilla lonewolves that teamwork is actually fun. Make them forget the personal gains (k/d, score) and focus on the team (squad score, tickets) instead.


              • #8
                Re: Metagaming in PR

                Originally posted by BoogyLoH View Post
                The map we see today is out of touch with reality. In the battlefield, there is no possible way we can no the direct location of every asset and soldier on the field at every given second. It's just not possible
                Yes it is. Stick a 100 dollar GPS transponder on everyone's back (or, heck, you could use radio transponders, and use triangulation; probably cheaper/more accurate/possibly more realistic for a battlefield the size of PR). Compile the data from them centrally, and broadcast it encrypted to whatever end-user system you want. Do any armies do this? Not as far as I know, but it's DEFINITELY possible. The lag on it would be no more than 3-5 seconds.

                Thinking about this some more, the only shortcoming is that you're emitting some kind of radio or other signal, which could be picked up (even if it wasn't decrypted, it could be triangulated). Still, in a counter-insurgency role, I doubt the insurgents would be able to effectively implement a triangulation system, and use that data effectively.

                But we're already emitting radio signals fairly regularly, over squad chat and commander chat (mumble simulate real-life talking, so I'll buy that that's all without radios.) How often do you order radio silence while assaulting an enemy base in PR?


                • #9
                  Re: Metagaming in PR

                  *Side question: I know from asking this I probably will answer my own question, but if you receive a confirmed kill and if that player sometime during the round disconnects you lose the kill right?

                  In regards to the map statement, I like to think relate it to the Airborne planning of the D-Day invasion. Each member of the Airborne PIR were required to study maps and tables of what their platoons and squads were doing and also of what other platoons and squads were doing. I do like the idea of maybe just the SL having knowledge of where squad leaders are, or where all personnel are, where enemy positions are which are marked by either you or other SL's or the CO, or just the medic of knowing where down men are by seeing the red cross symbol when someone is calling for a medic/corpsman.

                  The PR Devs have also manipulated the way in regards of how BF2 was originally meant to be played, there is probably a whole lot of coding (which would require multiple dbzao's) to go through and eliminate and then link together so that only the CO and SL's would have the option to see who and what assets are around the map.

                  I like your post boogy, though I have been absent from what feels like weeks from PR even though its really only a week in itself, it shows a different gaming style altogether and also gives normal SL's to really pay attention to how newer or different SL's view the battlefield and how they assess and determine how they are going to play the round out.
                  Randy = Ace ! - Warlab
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                  • #10
                    Re: Metagaming in PR

                    Originally posted by Delta*RandyShugart* View Post
                    *Side question: I know from asking this I probably will answer my own question, but if you receive a confirmed kill and if that player sometime during the round disconnects you lose the kill right?
                    Your personal kill and death scores do not change if someone disconnect, just the team totals. I believe the following is how it totals, never verified though so it might actually pull from the other team's totals.

                    Jim's score 15/1
                    Ted 3/5
                    Sam 16/16
                    team total 34/22

                    If Jim disconnects the team total will be 18/21, but no one on the other team will have their personal score change.

                    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.


                    • #11
                      Re: Metagaming in PR

                      best way to confirm people are dead. Kill them, drop a nade on their corpse. Move on.


                      • #12
                        Re: Metagaming in PR

                        Jesus man, you worry too damn much!

                        Maximum I ever do is check my kill counter to check if the mofo gave up or not, but I rarely even do that.

                        If I tought that many **** at once I wouldn't have time to have fun... Just play the game and enjoy the scenery, don't even bother looking at the score board. That's what I do.

                        "Oh I know I don't think I see what I see what I'm thinking."


                        • #13
                          Re: Metagaming in PR

                          Yeah I do the some of the same stuff Boogy.

                          I would like to see the only people shown on you map the squad leaders. I think this would be pretty realistic given the fact that the squad is always going to be near their squad leader anyways.

                          Having the score show at the end of the round is also an excellent idea.


                          • #14
                            Re: Metagaming in PR

                            I like the idea of staying away from the map.
                            I'm not in the same league of "metaplayers"as ?Boogy because I don't use the Tab screen to calculate tickets/ deaths etc but I am in the CapLok map WAAAY too much and I just can't stop.
                            I need information like I need beer and air but if for no other reason than replayability, I will try to use it less and approach the game from a different, more immersive viewpoint.
                            I don't worry about KDR as much as deaths, if my squad is always taking casualties then I feel I'm not leading well enough even if the kills outnumber the deaths.

                            Hello, my name is Callous Disregard. I have a problem. I am a Metagamer.
                            You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
                            So that when they turn their backs on you,
                            You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"


                            • #15
                              Re: Metagaming in PR

                              I would love to see the stats displayed only at the end of rounds. For me the best game play comes from setting and accomplishing objectives in support of your team. I feel focusing on KDR distracts from this goal and that it is a poor measure of both squad and individual effectiveness. There are many factors outside your squad's control which can greatly influence their success or failure. You can be doing everything right and still have a low KDR.

                              I think using the scoreboard to confirm kills and identities clearly goes against the intentions of the devs (which makes me wonder if it is just impossible to fix) and against the spirit of the primer. That said, I think any potential advantage it conveys is negligible.

                              The map is something I would like to keep. Given the limitations of the BF2 engine and the situational awareness demands of other arcade aspects of PR, I think the map is an arcade element essential to maintaining gameplay by providing necessary awareness that is not available in a more realistic manner. On a side note, I also find it helps pass the time when you have to hurry up and wait.

                              However, I would be interested in potential changes to the map. In particular I would like to see topographic maps in PR. This would make it much more useful as a navigational and spotting tool. The current maps are extremely hard to read terrain-wise. I also like the idea of having to be near your SL to see certain features or having certain features only visible to SLs. I think that might be a great way to promote squad cohesiveness and SL briefings. As Buflak mentioned though, any reduction of map information increases an already heavy load on new players and might actually damage overall teamwork.




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