The Metaverse is Stardock's answer to "no multiplayer". Players may submit their games and have their scores recorded. Inspection of the savefiles also allows Stardock to see what strategies/abuses/cheats players are using.
Scoring on the Metaverse has been described by the equation:
score = (sum of game scores) / (# games played)^0.4
For the purposes of Metaverse scoring, individual game scores degrade 5% every month to a floor of 65% their face value.
For example, if you scored 28000 points in a game this month, 26000 points in a game last month, and 20000 points in a game ten months ago, your score would be (28000+.95*26000+.65*20000)/(3^.4) = 42,337
Thus, in general, you are rewarded for playing more games as long as the submitted scores aren't abysmally lower than earlier scores.
Metaverse "penalties" for long-time gamersEdit
There is a very common misconception amongst players that the Metaverse penalizes you for playing more games. The above explanation is fine for those of us willing to read the math and figure out what really goes on, but most players either don't care or don't want to spend the time figuring it out.
A few well-respected (but confused) community leaders chose to explain the math behind the Metaverse scoring system in simple terms, such as:
- The metaverse scoring penalizes you more for the more games you submit.
- Your 32nd game only gives 25% of its points. Your 64th game only gives you 12.5% of its points.
- Submitting low scores is a bad idea because once you submit too many scores you get such a penalty that you have to start a new character.
- The net effect is that long-time players are getting penalized and cannot compete.
These arguments are incorrect, and players should be made more aware of exactly how this "penalty" actually works:
- The more games you submit, assuming your average score stays the same or goes up over time, the higher your Metaverse score will be.
- Your 32nd game doesn't get a penalty. The formula makes it so that if you post 32 games, each game is worth 25% its original points.
- The wording is misleading as the anti-Metaverse crowd seems to believe that the 32nd game isn't giving as much value as the 1st game.
- The "penalty" isn't on individual games - it's a modifier applied to your total score.
- Submitting low scores will only hurt if your other games are significantly higher or if you haven't submitted many games.
- Even if your other games are drastically higher, a long chain of low scores will eventually raise your ranking in the metaverse, as will be illustrated below.
- The net effect is that people who play a lot of games will rise on the Metaverse, and can compete far better than those who play a few high-scoring games and quit due to the perceived penalty.
- Joe has played 50 games, which averaged around 10,000 points after the decay down to 65%. This is a fairly low-scoring player, but one who loves the game, and plays lots of short, but low-scoring games.
- Fred has played 10 games, which averaged around 100,000 points after the decay. These are very respectable games, but Fred read about the penalty and stopped playing after those great games. He was also getting bored - he wanted to play a few "fast" games, but those don't score well, and he had read about how low-scoring games in the metaverse were such a huge penalty.
Joe's total ends up being 416,277. He's worked damned hard for those points, but he's never had a single really high-scoring game. The Metaverse rewarded his dedication, and not his raw scoring ability.
Fred's total ends up being 398,107. He's played just a small fraction of the number of games that Joe has, but they were all significantly better scores. However, because Joe is so dedicated, his very mediocre skills have given him the better rank.
Now let's say Fred reads this wiki and decides to start playing and submitting shorter and easier games. He plays another 40 games, but only scores around 25,000 each game (again, for simplicity, we're assuming the score is after the decay). So now he has 10 games at 100k, and another 40 at 25k. The anti-Metaverse crowd would suggest that Fred just shot himself in the foot, but let's take a closer look.
- 10 games @ 100k each: 398,107 -- this is our baseline.
- 30 games (new games @ 25k each): 384,806 -- After 20 games at the significantly reduced score, Fred is unhappy with his new Metaverse rank. But he believes me that persistence is key, and keeps playing.
- 50 games: 418256. Not much of a gain, but it is a gain. Even though the games were far worse than Fred's prior games, the long-term persistence wins out. Every game from this point forward that is 25k or higher will contribute to raising Fred's standing.
This is not to say that the point farmers aren't going to tend to dominate the top positions, but casual players who enjoy the Metaverse should not be turned off by the belief that only the most amazing players can reach a top-25 spot. It's a lot of work to get there using only low- to medium-scoring games, but it absolutely can be done.