Star Wars Mud - SWmud
I am not going to flame Hanse's review, by any means, but I do think some things should be mentioned that he did not.
His assessment of the current state of the mud is fairly well accurate as far as what is going on right now and how long some things have been in the works. He did neglect to mention that the guild skills system has been undergoing a significant overhaul for the last year. When you have 10 guilds each with an average of 30 skills, it is going to take some time to make all the upgrades and balance fixes.
Two of those guilds are not being updated at this time - Jedi is already finished, and Pilot is on hold because the space system is under rewrite and is waiting for Space v.2 to update the Pilot guild at the same time... (The space system rewrite is another of those sore points for many players because it has been underway for so long - it's extremely difficult code to understand and manipulate, and only one or two wizards know it well enough to have a prayer of working on it.)
At the time the guild changes began, the wizard who was working most tirelessly on them had all day to spend on such tasks, and did finish updating the first half of the guilds and began working on the second half. However, as tends to happen, life situations change and this wizard changed jobs and has had less time to spend on the guild updates. Changes to the MUD do still happen, and the guild skill system updates are continuing- just not at the monstrously quick pace that they were happening before.
There was significant work going on the HM quest in January. (It was close to beginning alpha testing was my understanding.) But the wizard who is responsible for rewriting it was recalled into the National Guard and is still serving. Things like this cannot be helped. It would be nearly impossible for another wizard to try to step into the middle of all of this code to attempt to 'finish' it while he is gone. Those who code for a living usually understand this. Many players do not.
Players needs to remember that not everyone on a mud is a high school or college/university student who has nearly every waking moment to spend on a MUD if (s)he so chooses. (I am not saying Hanse believes this - I know he knows better - but some people do forget this fact.) All wizards change jobs, have children, move across the country, fall prey to illnesses, deal with nasty social situations, and even just sometimes need a break (heaven forbid).
I do understand the frustration that many players feel at the current time. The HM quest was closed the first time I wanted to try it too, and the Jedi Teacher quest is closed currently. But, the Jedi Master quest recently re-opened, and it is designed in such a way to be much less 'cheatable'. Everything evolves, usually for the better (even though players typically don't see it that way initially), and as it does the MUD becomes better.
I have heard several people say they think SWmud has stagnated. I know that there just aren't enough hours in a day to get things done as fast as some players want them done, or to teach others to do them. I believe that the Admin staff is doing what they believe in their hearts to be best for the MUD. I know the player base has a hard time accepting that. And yes, there have been occasions where I have been the one 'having trouble accepting that'. But through the ups and the downs the MUD survives, and I believe that it usually comes out for the better, in the end and in hindsight.
SWmud is still a wonderful mud and many things are still happening on it. Just recently SWmud had 1 planet open (Naboo) and one planet re-opened with a complete facelift (Yavin) to make it at least two times bigger (and better, I believe, though I'm biased) than it was before. Some smaller sub-areas and fun changes have also been introduced within the last year, as well as many many general bug and typo fixes.
Ideas from players are even actually considered and implemented at times, assuming that the idea is balanced, not a waste of coding time, and a wizard likes it enough to work on it. Many ideas are placed in a To Do list. There are always things to be done to make the mud better.
Some of the wizards have recently begin to add their current projects status in their plans in order to keep players informed (or perhaps I should say appeased) of what they are working on and how often and how fast. I, for one, am grateful for this information.
I'm not saying mistakes haven't been made. I'm saying the MUD is still fun, even after everything that's happened in its 9 year history.
I still think SWmud is a great place to play, and one of the best places to get started that you can find.