This is a detailed guide on the WINTER meta. This will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the innerworkings of this game and is a staple for all those that wish to master the game.
Guide to WINTER meta
A guide focusing on the highly effective yet uniquely misunderstood WINTER meta
The first misconception players run into is that WINTER is an acronym. It is actually an acronym of acronyms, but more on that later…
The WINTER meat will start within the first moments of the game when someone claims an identity, preferably out loud. (If claimed in chat ask them to spam chat so no one can refer to that later.) Someone else can block that claim with a rebuttal but that is unlikely, you are better off assuming no one can hear you at all.
Let’s discuss mentioning the WINTER meta, such as typing “I am WINTER meta, you are listening?” This is a call for help within the game but is also grasping at a deeper game. The first seconds are INTEGRAL to discovering the complex nature of this strategy. More on that later…
Understand that this meta is dangerous because it can be used by both Innocents and Traitors, but the strategy cannot be used by a player who disconnects due to the strategy’s complex nature.
Winding Up For Deception
The W in WINTER stands for WUFD – Winding Up For Deception
Before engaging in any pregame prepositions, consider your plan for if the strategy fails. This is best read before the pre-tense of the guide but ideally before the last two parts, so feel free to come back but not after the last two parts.
First off, lets attempt to counter the WINTER meta. Your first instinct is to drop everything, hit rocks and trees and resort to the norm. You see many new and experienced players alike falling for this fallacy but not considering the deeper game at hand.
Your first step should be to drop everything and say “Are you WINTER meta my brother? You are listening?” This should signal to all listeners you are WUFD and considering WINTER which is the optimal play regardless of the game. Next, check if you are innocent or traitor and choose the person who spawned counterclockwise to you unless it is immediately evident that they are malicious, and you are not.
Assuming you have completed WUFD you should re-initiate ICE. More on that later… If you haven’t gotten to that point or weren’t quick on the draw, identify your potential grapple-point partner. The next most important part of the early game is to identify your r2a/r2b and consider if now is the optimal moment to re-commence ICE. If not, return to the general flow of the game until pb > r1 + r2 and all associated risk eg. r3).
Congratulation, you are now ready to move onto the next step. More on that later…
Identifying your Grapple Point Partner
The I in Winter stands for ICE – INTEGRAL COMPILATION EXERCISE
The INTEGRAL phase is the most important aspect of a well-done Winter meta. Let’s make this a little easier to understand with an analogy. Consider the problem of predicting the shots made by an expert billiard player. It seems not at all unreasonable that excellent predictions would be yielded by the hypothesis that the billiard player made his shots as if he knew the complicated mathematical formulas that would give the optimum directions of travel, could estimate accurately by eyeing the angles, etc., describing the location of the balls, could make lightning calculations from the formulas, and could then make the balls travel in the direction indicated by the formulas. Our confidence in this hypothesis is not based on the belief that billiard players, even expert ones, can or do go through the process described; it derives rather from the belief that, unless in some way or other they were capable of reaching essentially the same result, they would not in fact be expert billiard players.
It is only a short step from these examples to the hypothesis that under a wide range of circumstances individual firm behave as if they were seeking rationally to maximize their expected win rate. Those with full knowledge of the data needed to succeed in this attempt; as if, that is, they knew the relevant cost and demand functions, calculated marginal wins to marginal games played from all actions open to them, and pushed each line of action to the point at which the relevant marginal wins and marginal games played were equal. Now, of course, players do not actually and literally solve the system of simultaneous equations in terms of which the mathematician finds it convenient to express this hypothesis, any more than leaves or billiard players explicitly go through complicated mathematical calculations or falling bodies decide to create a vacuum. The billiard player, if asked how he decides where to hit the ball, may say that he “just figures it out” but then also rubs a rabbit’s foot just to make sure; and the player may well say that he wins at an average rate, with of course some minor deviations when Project Winter makes it necessary. The one statement is about as helpful as the other, and neither is a relevant test of the associated hypothesis.
Suppose the pool player is so perfect that he makes all his shots. In that case, using physics equations to predict what he does is a pointless waste of time and effort. All you need is a map of the pockets. Now you know where the balls go. No equations required! Actually, even that’s too much…since in most pool games it doesn’t matter which balls go in which pockets, you don’t even need a map, you just need to know one fact: he gets them all in.
It’s a trivial optimization problem. But if really good pool players made 100% of their shots, there wouldn’t be pool tournaments. It would be no fun, because whoever went first would always win. But in fact, there are pool tournaments. So expert pool players do, in fact, miss. They don’t quite optimize. So, if you want to predict which pool player wins a tournament, or why they miss a shot, you need more than just a simple balls-in-pockets optimization model. And you probably need more than physics – you could use psychology to predict strategic mistakes, biology to predict how arms and hands slightly wobble, and complex physics to predict how small random non-homogeneities in the table and air will cause random deviations from an intended path.
To break this down a bit, if pb > r2, then ICE should be initiated as shown in ROP. However, is pb < r1(+r2 due to the standard risk evaluation, more on that later…
Else assume pb to be positive.
Now COMPILATION occurs when you can identify those who are clearly on your team. Look for those who follow the basic rules of ROP. As you have now completed the INTEGRAL phase this should be obvious. This is the most integral part as it is now where you can dual-grapple onto another player or fall back onto your grapple point partner.
Finally, reinforce the EXERCISE by bringing up WINTER subtly. If players dismiss WINTER, you can assume they have not completed the INTEGRAL phase and their pb are considerably lowered. If this occurs watch the clock and bring WINTER up every 3 minutes to assess when they have completed their own INTEGRAL phase unless the second objective has been found and/or you’ve died to wolves. More on that later…
Technical Denial Maneuver
The T in WINTER stands for TDM – Technical Denial Maneuver
Under a given circumstance, where such a circumstance is unfavorable, I would suggest denying all knowledge and changing the subject. You might be subjected to NIPS but you shouldn’t feel as though you have anything to prove. This step is important to track your pb, showing your ever-evolving understanding of the WINTER meta.
But remember, you cannot make decisions as a solo player in this game. You must provide a beacon of light for the other WINTER TDM ships. Do this without threats or risk a confrontation with NIPS. Remember, a lighthouse does not steer ships away but guides them into its light to dock at the shores of understanding unless the ships do not want to dock at the bay which the lighthouse keeps. More on that later…
If everyone has completed ICE, which can be safely assumed unless the bay is closed, then deny unless to not seem suspicious. The best play in this scenario is to accept what your GPP states as fact and if everyone does this no traitors should be able to get anywhere close to the second objective.
Realistic Optimization Problems – ROP
The R in Winter stands for ROP. This step involves complex understandings of practice and perfection. Consider the issue of a cat hanging from a telephone wire. Assume this cat to have invisibility, which might mean you are anti-social according to a 2006 study. The cat cannot free itself and it is up to you to decide between a number of things. Is it in your pb, or potential benefit, to even assist the cat? Is that cat’s plight worth the energy you must expend to rescue it? Will that cat kill a traitor or, if it is in fact invisible, can you see it? Consider whether the wire is electrified and if you might be injured trying to save it. Do you own the cat? If so, are you required to help it? Does the cat even exist, and if not, who is its owner? Has the cat given you any fuel, and does the cat have cool clothing?
All these risks must be considered by grouping them under r1, and r2. These risks are much deeper however, so must be assigned subcategories r1a and r1b as well, including r2c, etc.) Assess your pb for these r’s such as if pb <= r1b + r2a, and all associated risks. More on that later…
Nincompoops In Popular Spots – NIPS
The N in Winter stands for NIPS. This refers to your teammates who believe themselves to be all knowledgeable and are popular among the group. They apply under the principles of EEIB but have a level of trust that is hard to bypass. The best way to destroy their power is to slowly undermine their authority. Don’t listen to what they say and encourage others to do the same. Remind them that they don’t make all their billiard shots and thus are interesting to watch.
Ask them if they have completed ICE and snicker at their reply. You need to be their TDM and continue to break them down until they are nothing but a shell of a human. Only do this if it is in line with your pb otherwise discontinue. More on that later…
The other teammates now should trust you entirely, if they don’t, play calming music from your mic and ask them about their friend Jason. If they deny knowledge you know they are using TDM and therefore mustn’t be trusted. They have completed WUFD and are trying to manipulate you. In this case, analyze r1a and r1b, and locate your Grapple Point Partner.
Everyone Else Is Braindead
The E in WINTER stands for EEIB. This is a streamlined version of NIPS because everyone around you needs help with everything. WINTER is an incredibly discreet strategy, as is to be expected from a game like Project Winter. Due to a set of probabilistic inferences traitors and innocents can trust its nature to discover the best possible options for the tasks going forward. Players must realize just how discreet this strategy is and must not elaborate on it during a game. If a player asks you to elaborate, it is safe to assume they are trying to distract you. However, it is best that you just explain it as it is likely your team is not operating at as high of a level as you.
At this point in the guide you may be wondering in more absolutes what has been done in previous sections before this one, but not after this section. To do this we shall extrapolate on the lore of PW while also explaining what WINTER is.
The adventure begins with Jason, a proud young boy who has trouble in the cold. He grew up on his dad’s farm with his old bike from 2004. He sits atop a waterfall and stares out over the icy wastes of WINTER (both ironically and physically). He hops down from his perch and grabs a bottle of hand sanitizer to clean his hands from blood. He and his best friend Alyndra went back into the cabin. Suddenly Jason the 1st had a flashback to Jason the 0th, his father. He saw the power outages; every electronic device was destroyed. His father tried to stop the Traitor Cumulate but, in the end, eternal winter swept the land. Back in the year 2038, Jason blinked his eyes as he stood next to a tree near the cabin. Suddenly, the tree lifted him up into its bristles. Jason screamed out shocked as the tree spoke. “Jason, it is I, your father.” Jason was in disbelief, “Jason the 0th, it can’t be you! You died trying to stop the Traitor Cumulate back in ’09!” “Relax son,” muttered the tree “it is up to you to return balance to the innocents and traitors.” The tree muttered one final breathe before withering. “My best friend Alyndra did this to me. Beware son.” Jason the first knew what he must do. The next morning, he awoke to a clean bedside table, but a floor strewn with golf balls. He got onto his bike from 2004 and smeared it with hand sanitizer. It lifted into the sky and carried him to the cabin. His best friend Alyndra climbed on the back and he flew to the grocery store to pick up his fathers’ medication who was long since dead. As he flew, he heard the wails of police cars and was suddenly flung into the cold snow. His space heater that he always carried with him fell somewhere into the snow beside him. As he frantically searched for it the police snowmobiles arrived. He grabbed the super space heater and as he prepared to fire it, saving the earth from eternal cold, Alyndra grabbed it from his hands and threw it into an icy ravine. Jason realized that it was Alyndra who has betrayed his father and cast the world into ice. The police arrested Alyndra for trespassing on a bike with expired plates. Jason did the only thing he knew how to do and jumped into the frozen chasm. He hasn’t been seen in years, but legend foretells that when the earth needs him most, he will rise from the depths to save us once again. The government has seized this excellent economic opportunity to sell budget space heaters for the low low price of 26 dollars plus tax.
It should now be clear the innermost workings of the WINTER meta. In case you read the end but not the middle or the prelude, please refer to the forums on this issue. I encourage discussion of this advanced and nuanced topic in community forums to broaden our understanding as a community. The WINTER meta is always growing and evolving so if you have any developments please run it by the forums. The WINTER meta is like a dandelions seed in the wind. It is your job to blow it forth and raise it as though it was your favorite child.
A HUGE thanks to Infinity02 for inspiring this guide and providing many of the ideas for the individual sections. Another thanks to Jason Bourne and Alyndra for letting me use their names in my guide.
Hope you enjoy the post for Project Winter Winter Meta Information Guide, If you think we should update the post or something is wrong please let us know via comment and we will fix it how fast as possible! Thank you and have a great day!
- Check All Project Winter Posts List