Response to Gynamede's Review:
* HMPs are the bane of all muds. In an attempt to make the life of 4,500+ quiet people happier, we've recently dramatically raised the bar of what we expect in terms of civility on public channels to avoid player/staff pain, outbursts of anger and (mis)perceived slights.
* As this player knows me irl, he should also realize that I NEVER remove something "for no reason" but ALWAYS to better the game imho. However, I will take the hit that I don't exactly communicate effectively with every one of our players. In light of this we are creating processes to help distribute design responses and creativity to our website and mailing lists.
* I'm a bit confused as to what is referred to as "mud politics", as Avatar is a dictatorship/tyranny. To use the word politics is to imply there are various, competing camps in which opinion can be swayed, and while persuasive and rational arguments can certainly alter our course of direction, I don't see how this can be likened to "politics". Imho, this player assumes more influence that reality would indicate.
* I myself am a powergamer. I have worked with the Avatar team from before it's inception to create a game that is challenging, fun, yet doesn't "end". However, what with old age approaching (ie, I'm not 14 ;) ), I have to admit there are people who play 20-24 hours a day, day after day. I am challenged to balance the game such that they will enjoy it and yet also satisfy those of us who work, sleep and/or do something else from time to time and only get to play occasionally.
* As time goes on, eq especially becomes problematic, suffering from "inflation". So, as in all non-stagnant organizations, we continue to revisit our areas, and as necessary, add or sometimes prune. Again, this is an attempt to improve the game, not destroy your enjoyment.
* If you ask the Imp, his statement on nerfing would be "when necessary"... This can usually be determined by weighing the code changes required to improve the spell vs. nerfing the spell in question. Ie, if by increasing the power, we get little value, but requires someone to modify 20 routines to ensure continued balance, but to nerf it requires only 2 changes and the net net is the same, we'll nerf. We carefully consider each change to allow for continued balance and growth in MY long-term view... A player who has been here for 6 years doesn't necessarily have the same vision that the Imp does at 8 years. And certainly a player who has been around for 9 months usually (although not guaranteed) have the same vision convergence that the longer term players have. Unfortunately, I have to ask for faith, with the only proof that I know what I'm doing is as follows:
+ I admit when I'm wrong.
+ I occasionally change direction if
I am provided with additional data.
+ We've constantly gotten BETTER for 8 years.
Again, I hope I've answered your issues here in a way that's positive and concise.