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Reviews Section
Avatar MUD by Mary Lynn Martin

Depressing.  That is the only word i can think of to describe this MUD.  The channels are full of talk of the "good old days" and of popular players who were either jailed by the immortal staff or who left the game for a number of valid reasons.  There counts are dropping so low that soon there will be more imms than players.

Lag is always present.  Somedays it is worse than others.  The only way to fix the lag is to donate money to Snikt.  So, players donate and the lag remains.  There is no accounting for the amount of money donated.  It is all a secret.  You can ask how much was received and the answer is always "not enough."  So, players blindly donate to the mud with no expectations of improvement in the connection or accounting for the amount of money received.  Quoting an immortal who was questioned about the amount of money raised during the last few months, "That's none of your business."  Imm notes are generously peppered with comment encouraging players to donate.

While players are encouraged to donate to his MUD, Snikt has stopped coding the mud.  He says it's because people use triggers.  Most feel it's a convenient excuse to continue the status quo.  

There is an overwhelming number of immortals who are always haunting the halls of Avatar.  If you say something private to a friend in a group that the imms consider off-color, you may get fooled and restored which leaves your hp/mana/moves all at 0.  There is no warning, no explanation just punishment.

No two imms will interpret the rules in the same way.  One imm may have no problem with an action but another will log on and smite you for the exact same behavior.  It's all up for interpretation and my god are there a lot of imms.  The day I decided to leave the imms were monopolizing conversation on hero and lord.  They bait the players and then punish them when they get a reaction.  

It seems to me they could be coding new areas, improving the god-awful worship system or working on legend rather than spending their time baiting players and then punishing them.  But, I guess, that is just my humble opinion.

On many muds, the imms are approachable and really care about what the players think.  At Avatar, it's just the opposite.  Players are to play and offer no criticism or feedback.  Some players have been denied or jailed for offering an opinion that differed from the immortals or for being what they call "high maintenance."  You can interpret that as daring to have an opinion and exploring every aspect of the game.

Players are also punished for the shoddy work of the coders.  Some lords discovered they could duo or solo various lord mobs.  The imms don't want soloing or duoing lords so, rather than fix their shoddy code, they threatened the entire lord community with an increase in shield block which would make many of the more difficult runs practically impossible.  

If they don't want soloing or duoing lords, deal with the individual lords, fix the code, or deal with the overpowerful races but punishing the entire lord community is the lazy way out and typical of the "hard work" the imms put into this game.

When I first arrived on Avatar, I was told to explore and have fun.  I was told the Angels would help me if I got into trouble.  Don't believe it.  If you travel too far and die or if you forget to use the almighty "recall set" command a couple times, you are in for a self-righteous lecture from these angels.  They can really quash your desire to explore.  It is humiliating enough to die but to be lectured on top of a messy death is insulting.  Not everyone is an expert and I'm willing to learn (and eventually did) but the lectures hindered my enjoyment of the game.  I would rather risk losing a full set of valuable gear than deal with some of the "Angels" of Avatar.

This MUD is depressing and over-regulated.  If you want to play Avatar, expect to check your enjoyment of mudding at the door.