I, as well as the few who have posted here concerning Realms of Despair, have a few things to say. More so, they may seem negative to RoD lovers but believe me, they are quite a positive attribute to how others view the MUD.
I started playing about seven years ago, coming over via advice from friends, to see what a MUD really was and how much fun it could be. And I was astounded....a text game where people from all over the world could come and do so much. But alas, as the years go by, so do the positive comments being expressed.
When I came back from a lengthy vacation, due to real life committments, I felt back at home again. I'll give it to ya, things were way different because partly before I left, I hadn't reached avatar status or been able to take in certain things. And I was once again hooked to RoD, being on some 12 to 14 hours a day. I joined a guild and thought "Wow, maybe I can finally get some experience and be big and buff!" and it was fine for a while. I quickly made friends, went on runs, etc...and then the politics came into play. People were treating others in harsh ways, discussions became personal, and the whole basis of functions were to gain status and exceptional equipment. So after a few changes in status myself, I started to realize that things weren't as grand as they used to be. I finally started seeing the things that made people leave from RoD before and alas, it drove me into retirement.
And now with the code changes, I'd like to know what the coders were thinking. To take four years worth of code and smash it all into a one-day change, well, was harsh. People were forced to hoard equipment and the market went dry (before the new code was instituted). Class changes, geographic coding, and other various small items made Realms of Despair into something that it dreads the most....to not be the number one MUD in all the world. I sorely think that some changes could have been phased in differently, other than throwing it all in at once and suprising people completely. It's forced those who poured 5, 6, 7+ years into the game to quit and thus, brought out the worst.
And it's not just the gameplay that's made it an unlikely place to be. It's the way that the immortals handle things. It's the people who clique together and completely make others feel miserable. It's those who take the game way too seriously and create that soap opera drama that people either dive into and thrive in, or get upset about and make things worse. Immortals who bend rules for their friends make it bad too. In order to ensure fair gameplay (which I ensure you, is in their laws somewheres), immortals have to follow all the rules and be a role model to the mortals. I, as well as many others, don't see this. Newbies now come to the MUD and either treat others horribly or are nice as rain (more times, treating others horribly). People make characters that are completely opposite of their own sexual orientation, all in hopes of gaining more status and/or equipment (seen it happen, hence half of MaidenStone). Most of the time, the laws are completely broken and the friends of the immortal handling the situation are either exonerated and told 'don't do it again' or are given a small and unfair sentence. Favortism runs rampant, as the friends of the high-ranking players are chosen more-over than those who have no association with them whatsoever. And to take code that's been used for the last few years and completely change it without thought to how it would affect things in reality, well, could have been handled better.
My suggestions to those dealing with the everyday aspects of this MUD is to seriously take into considerations, the comments and suggestions that are given out by honest players. To shush them and basically tell them their opinions don't matter is poor gameplay. I'm pretty sure that if the suggestions are well-thought on by the people who can change things, then gameplay will surely improve 200 percent.
As a long-time MUD enjoyer, I wouldn't recommend this MUD to anyone looking for a fair and enjoyable place to be.