I've played avatar on and off for several years now. Like every other mud out there, the mud goes through changes or phases. Some good some bad. However Avatar seems to be on a steady decline which will soon phase itself out of the mud communitiy all together. As I will state why below.
Avatar used to be one of the top muds in the mudding community. However with recent chagnes, lack of intrest by it's staff, it's been on a constant decline. Well here's the truth for the mud reguardless of what other reviews have been posted. Lets start off with the cold hard facts
Avatar has 29 Immortals who are listed as supposedly active (with 1 exception). Along with a support staff of 16 so called "track memebers" who help with quests, web stuff, buildign areas, and new ideas. And an angel staff of 7 memebers who's primary role is to help new players become accustomed to the game. That's a total of 52 "Staff" Memebers who have some role in the game's development. There's an active player base of around maybe 200 different players with a peek number of players on at around 120. Average 80 players (60 players from a newbie point of view due to invisiblity). Now with a staff of 52 memebers, one would think there would be a lot more development. Most of the development lately seems to be in small forms of updated help files, new socials, and occasional nerfing and tweaking of current spells and skills. Now most will come back and say, "Check out www.outland.org/design" to see what's actually going on. Please do this. Look at the open tasks and close tasks list. Please read them carefully. Compare the two lists. You'll notice that most of the closed tasks are very minor stuff like socials and helpfiles and other miscleanous stuff that is not important. This is what this massive staff of 52 spends thier time on. Anything else on the closed task list is stuff that has minor effect on the players at all. Like echo messages from spells or not (stuff shouldn't even need fixing if coded properly).
What most older players will contest do is the amount of empty promises by the staff. The major empty promise is the unvailing of the legend tier at Ubercon I (for those that don't know what this is, lets just say the date was Febuary 2003). Legend is still not imped yet. Not to mention that the sole coder of legend and owner of the mud is now using the excuse that player triggers is what's stopping development of legend. Since he can be quoted saying "I want to code for the players not a players mud client". To most mudders this is a lame excuse to prolong coding or an excuse to procrastination and laziness.
On to player/staff friendlieness. On the most part the players are very friendly and are easy to get along with If you don't mind playing with 12-14 year olds. That seems to be the average age of the mud where everything is gear towards immortals playing mom and dad and the players being son and daughter. For those that are actually older, the immortals instead of playing mother father are trying to be control freaks on a powertrip. There is no aspect of the game that the immortals of avatar try not to control. They try to control everything from private conversations, player opinions, ideas, channel content, player creativity ect. They control this by either removing players who voice strong opinions that are detrimental to the immortal's idea, nerfing skills that allows a player to be creative and make things easier for himself, ect. Immortals are also notorious for abuse of thier powers, from twinking thier own player characters and denying it later, to even mentioning a name of a political figure can get you in trouble.
I could go on and on about all the small little details of why not to play here, but i think the major ones listed above should give you enough reason of why not to play here. However to say something good. If your completely new to mudding and want a good place to learn basic mud commands and what not. This is a good place since i have yet to see a better newbie/intro to mudding system out there, and I've seen my fair share of mudschool systems out there.