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Reviews Section
Avatar MUD by Cuendillar

Disclaimer up front:  I'm a senior member of staff on  Avatar.  Take what I say how you like.

A bit of history:
I've been playing Avatar since somewhere back in 1995 or 1996.  I don't recall exactly when I started - and I don't really want to try (it'll prove I'm addicted!).  I still have my original dragon character, started a few months after I started playing.

One day I re-wrote the FAQ for the game and mailed it to the Imp.  He loved what I had done with it, asked if he could have the copyright on it (I had it copyright to me) and what I wanted as a reward.  Silly me asked for Immortality.

Fast forward:
I've now been an imm for over 4 years.  In that time I've worked my way up to Elder status and an administrator of the system.  I've seen spells and skills suggested by players get implemented with no changes (or very slight changes).  I've seen suggestions from players cause a few days of discussion on the staff mailing lists, with the end result being something based on the player suggestion.  I've then seen Snikt say 'Give that player a reward for the idea/suggestion'.  One of our bigger problems with suggestions though is that we don't have a formal system to inform players as to which ideas have been accepted/rejected and why.  Perhaps this Christmas I'll finish implementing that.

One of the earlier reviews here talked about how we removed a bug that was 'fundemental' to the game play.  Sorry, if its a bug, it is a BUG.  If I was to guess, I'd think he (she?) means the one where when the leader of the group attacked the rest of the group got a free round of attacks, and then their real set of attacks.  We removed the free round.  Players enjoyed that bug for quite a while.

Everything comes and goes in cycles.  Unfortunately, many players like to focus on the stuff we remove, rather than the stuff we add.  Moreover, many of the code fixes we make to the game aren't visible to the players in terms of increased damage, item perks etc.  Instead they're stability fixes.  A buffer problem here, a memory leak there.  They exist, and we fix them when we can.  We reboot, and players clamour to know what we just added to make them hit mobs harder.  The fact that we work to keep the game stable seems irrelevant.

Now, do I deny that some changes we make may be detrimental to the player base?  No.  However, in the end, this game is the property of one person.  If he wants that change made, that change is made.  Logical, clear and polite arguments can get him to change his mind.  Complaining about how your warrior now 'sucks' and the change should be reversed - that won't do you any good.

Oh, and finally - one of the other reviews said that they paid for the game.  That's impossible.  We cannot charge players to play, simply because of the licence on the code.  We have, however, asked players to donate IF THEY FEEL that it is worth it to them.

Want to argue with me?  cuendillar AT  Make them polite though, I won't read or respond to mail that goes anything like 'you suck, your MUD sucks'.