Someone was asking you to play metaverse games? That's a bit odd, since the metaverse's time as a high score list has come and gone. As a social tool, it's also no longer relevant.
On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with playing a game and having it checked against the limits and rules set forth by the developers. That's pretty much the limit of the metaverse's usefulness in my opinion.
If you want to make your own rules, mods or use cheats, the metaverse wouldn't make sense.
For TOTA, I'd have to agree that it's pretty well broken without mods. On the other hand, DA has some subtleties that you might not notice at first glance. The buildings and techs are dependent on alignment and each race has unique abilites that add to their personality.
The races don't share all of the techs and buildings unless you modify the game or severely limit which races are involved.