I have been involved in role-playing games for about 18 years now, some experiences have been good, some fantastic and some I would prefer to leave in the dark recesses of my mind (thank the gods I have a bad memory). Materia Magica has definately been an experience and a journey that I will not forget.
My main character has been a work in progress for about 4 years now, she still has a long way to go. Admittedly, I do not play her every day, nor as much as I like but the feeling of accomplishment I get when I reach the next stage, or explore a new area, satisfies me every time.
There are ships, that can take you to each of the 4 continents in Alyria but you can also ride them through the maelstrom to the Alyrian Underworld, an complete virtual world of its own, with serveral places for higher level characters to explore. The ships are great fun, complete with your own ship plank command, which you can send unwanted guests to the depths of the seas.
Pk is part of the realm, it can be avoided easily but it is usually something that most people get involved in at some stage, though there are some clans that do not enter PK at all.
There are tons more things I could tell you about MM, it is probably easier if you come see it for yourself. When you get there, pray if you need any help. There is a bunch of players called guides, who exist just to serve the novice player.