Somewhere along the line during my childhood, I developed a habit for playing games with nearly every game I've ever played. I can even remember a time in my early teens when I sat down with a few friends and collaborated on making our own version of battlechess. Pages of chicken-scratched rules and several dice results-tables later, and we were off and running for a solid week of the most entertaining chess matches I've ever played. Or there was that time with The Sims when I started creating experimental families and then leaving my computer on overnight and not interacting with them, just to see how successful they could be without my help. I could bore you for hours on end with examples of how I twisted the rules and made my own games from the games I've played.
I suppose I can blame my penchant for metagaming on my early introduction to pen-and-paper roleplaying (i.e., D&D 1st Ed., to be specific). All I had was a sheet of paper, a handful of dice, a description of the world around me, and my imagination. By its very nature, PnP gaming is sandbox gaming. The reason I'm bringing this up now is that, until WAR, I had pretty much been able to "find the sandbox" in any MMO I was able to get my hands on. Whether it was building hardcore Dungeons & Dragons Online characters, roleplaying in City of Heroes, or achievement-chasing in World of Warcraft, I've never really been troubled with finding something to do when the grind started to wear me down. But now, with WAR, I'm finding most of my old tricks for MMO metagaming just aren't working.
To read about what I've tried, and why it didn't work in WAR, follow along after the break.