The Meta Can Help You, but Don’t Get Fooled by It

Did you know that Uncensored runs the biggest Discord of Neverwinter? Come join our team, streamers and hundreds of players to talk the site and all facets of the game!

I like theorycrafters and the stuff they contribute to games. They test, set up spreadsheets and report bugs. One of the core aspects of this site is to give them a platform because far too often it gets buried somewhere else. I believe what they do is often wrongly labeled elitism, but their work in the end helps players across all tiers. Acting smart is a feat, not a burden. And why not profit from someone else spending hours finding out synergy and stuff? Even if you don’t understand or care for all the math and numbers yourself, somebody does and the core points will spread. There’s a decent chance you’re being positively impacted by theorycrafters right now without knowing it.

“The Meta”

One thing that’s always coming from theorycrafters is “the meta”. It’s a term for running with the best possible combination of classes and builds. For some this is a dreaded topic, because it can be exclusive. Most guilds and some private channels even enforce picking roles when building dungeon groups, not certain classes. I personally think the benefits far outweigh the harm, but I get why people sometimes get annoyed. Part of the issue however is not the information itself, but folks not putting it to good use.

As player, you still need to understand the underlying theory of the meta. You can’t blindly follow it. I mean you can, but then the meta might work against you and makes your runs less effective than they could be. So here are my top reasons why you shouldn’t always trust the word on the streets.

The Meta Is Not the Same on All Item Levels

You can be pretty sure that optimal group setups are tested on “bis” characters. That also means that the conclusions gathered only apply to that particular tier of players. On lower item levels, the optimal setup might very well be different. So it helps to understand why certain classes are better than others and evaluate whether that’s still the case below the max. Sometimes a build needs to hit certain thresholds to make it superior, like keeping a daily up permanently or whatever.

Different Content, Different Approach

This ties into what I’ve said above. Just like classes, it makes sense to check the meta against different content. The hardest dungeons might require a special setup that you don’t need somewhere else. This is especially true if the meta stacks healing or damage mitigation. In that case you are probably better off going with more DPS in easier content.

Your “Run Length” Includes Time to Assemble a Group

The meta has the annoying tendency that everyone and their mother are searching for the same classes. So it usually takes a while to get the perfect group. The time required to assemble your team obviously works against your run efficiency. If you need 20 minutes to run the content and an additional 10 for recruiting, then any group that’s instantly available and can do the content is less than 30 is better. So you always need to weigh the time saved by a certain pick against the time required to get it.

The absolute worst case scenario here is that you not only wait comparably long to get your group, but also settle for lower item levels eventually that could very well be less efficient than an alternative.

This is probably the number one reason why runs in the meta can take longer than other options. Since it’s hard to know how long it’s going to take to get your group however, you probably can’t fully avoid this. Also it’s much less of an issue if you plan to do multiple runs and at least everyone but the leader can do other stuff like dailies while waiting to not effectively waste as much time.

Check Class Synergy

Some classes within the meta might only be good because they work well with others. If you need to replace one, maybe because you can’t find it, then be aware of a possible domino effect that makes other classes less effective than alternatives as well.

Overall the meta is a great thing. It gives you the best possible group composition in endgame content. You still want to avoid certain traps when using it or you risk ending up being less efficient than you could be.

What’s your approach of assembling groups? Do you insist on a certain combination or just pick up what’s available and viable to get into dungeons faster? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.



j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

2 thoughts on “The Meta Can Help You, but Don’t Get Fooled by It

  • Avatar
    December 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    “The Meta Is Not the Same on All Item Levels” +1
    “Different Content, Different Approach” +1
    “Your “Run Length” Includes Time to Assemble a Group” +1
    “Check Class Synergy” +1

    I agree to all your points,couldn’t say it better myself.

    And one more thing to add:


    “CW in pvp has zero cc :/ ”
    CW CC abilities have not changed since mod..4?
    For years people were saying these,untill the rise of the repel spam CW in mid mod8-mod9.The abilities were there,theorycrafters failed to notice.

    “OP cannot tank,is sooo inferior to GF :/ ” Moto from mod9 untill Mod11.
    OP is now N1 tank,the abilities are the same from back then.Theorycrafters failed to notice both the value of an Op to a group,and to theorycraft its rotation and gear itself.

    “HR has no DPS ”
    HR is one of the strongest DPS now.

    “in pvp ,power is better than RI,we,the n1 pvp guild we tested it ” Somewhere mod7-mod8 statement.
    Wrong RI was bugged and untill very recently it was going enemies DR into negatives,more damage than raw power in any case (since 100 stat=1% RI 400 power=1% damage)

    “SM GWF is the way to go for DPS,not IV” For years untill mid mod10.
    Wrong ,single damage IV was always better.And since mod6,Single damage is king in most dungeons/raids in NW.

    Bottom line:
    In noumerous cases,the “meta” was wrong.People did not tested enough.Or more commonly people adopted the suggested meta,with out experimenting and testing themselves.
    If that comes from unexperienced players is expected.But from veteran experienced players ,then that is a problem.Indicates that,in most cases,they create instead of solving problems.

    Might be best to keep thier metas and their theorycrafting ,in private discussions,instead of trying to influence the general public population of NW ,and to misdirect ,the direction of the game.

  • Avatar
    December 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    The 2 LoLs i always see is a DPS class asking for 2 DC’s when you inspect and know his damage will not be good enough to run with a full buffing party (fail). Or others that think when picking the 2 DC’s that all they need do is grab one DO and one AC . I play a DC and know we have to have good synergy and with a simple inspection of the other DC i can tell if run will be fast n smooth or a dry snails pace .


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.