I have walked Avatar since the first day it was born. I play there by choice and have never been asked to IMM, or been involved in any official capacity. I never play hero, Lord, or high level players. I spend my days in the low mort game because I enjoy playing with new players teaching them the mud and not just handing them equipment nor giving them spells. I am totally unseen and unappreciated by the staff for what I do, but I enjoy doing it, so it is what I will continue to do until they kick me out.
I don't know any of the IMM's very personally except Darii who I love, Mendek whom I loathe, and Snikt whom I admire and respect. So, I feel kind of uniquely positioned to give the mud a fair review from my perspective as a very common role play oriented player.
The IMM's are a credible lot even if all of the policy they enforce isn't to my liking. I can't really point at a bad IMM, and lord knows I would. The fact I don't like Mendek doesn't make him a bad IMM. Anessa, a new social IMM, is perhaps one of the best additions to the MUD in recent years. She is friendly and patently patient yet forceful. Really in the area of IMM's Avatar is blessed to have an excellent group of volunteers, and the direction of the mud is away from boredom and towards more fun and excitement. Some IMM's have a bit to learn, but by and large Avatar IMM's are fair, helpful, courteous, and judicious in administering the policy and affairs of the mud.
PLAYABILITY OF AVATAR
Playing in Avatar is just plain fun. There are plenty of original areas to explore yet a base of old standards that lend familiarity and set the tone for a really well balanced mud. Low mort play is very well designed, interesting, and offers challenges even to the most praticed players. My only criticism of low mort play are a few mobs that can see invis and kill off noobs which tends to somewhat stiffle the exploration that I encourage. If you're just learning to mud you cannot find a better more challenging design than Avatar. It isn't easy. You earn your way level by level, but it is fully understandable, logical, and questions of play are well covered by help files and an abundance of helpful players. When you hero in Avatar you have earned a badge worth wearing. Then it's on to Lord and remortability and every sort of high level challenge and excitement built into a game that will continually test your patience, intellect, stamina, and resourcefulness. Avatar is a "group oriented" Mud, so you must learn social skills to excel. In time you will learn your way around, about equipment capabilities, and what spells and skills you can acquire to make yourself a success.
FAIRNESS OF AVATAR
There are always malcontents and there are always IMM's that make really bad judgement calls. Get the two together and it makes for some interesting mud slinging. I'd have to say I've seen both on Avatar. The bad IMM's finally leave and the Malcontents gripe and whine and stand in the shadows and point cowardly fingers of blame. Sometimes an IMM is just having a bad day and sometimes they've been stupid or impatient in making a decesion. It happens, it's called being human. Come into any mud looking for trouble and you can find it. IMM's treat the game fairly and players fairly and so does the implimentor. I would say most of the complaints are normal and expected. I would also say that over the years Snikt and staff have devoted themselves to maintining fair play. They are a Success!
I am a roleplayer. Avatar is the wrong mud for doing role play. Snikt isn't going to appreciate my criticism here but I have to agree with Akejama that Role play in Avatar is barely tolerated. Snikt and I came to words not a month ago over this issue. The deal is simple,roleplay is allowed so long as it never hints of being on the negative or dark side, which is absurd. Roleplay naturally creates some friction but it is done between consenting characters on open channels. Avatar IMM's go ballistic at the first seemingly cross or flaming word. You call an Orc a stupid orc and the IMM's frown immediately. I know the rules and yet choose to disobey them and I suffer the consequences on occassion. I am not going to stop, and someday I may go to far and get banned, but I am a roleplayer and I can't help it. I am not going to change and can only hope to somehow influence staff to accept what I do. I have been trying for years and years. I am an OLD STYLE PLAYER that values honor, duty, and service to my lord and his lands of Avatar as did the hero's of old. This kind of thinking has little merit on Avatar with anyone except Snikt who knows a few of us still believe in the old code. He tolerates us, but does nothing to preserve us or improve our plight. He is the lord and master and I take no exception with him, but I am what I am and cannot be less.
Avatar is a fair mud, with intelligent leadership which is a bit overbearing on verbal policy. Maybe a roleplaying channel might help. (hint hint) Avatar is a fun play and 75% of the people are fantastic, 10% are so involved in the game they ignore you, 10% are bored out of their minds, and 5% are devious rude crude jerks interested in causing problems of any and every sort. I'd think we have no more nor less than our share of such folk. Avatar is a great mud, it can be better, and a welcome infusion of new staff is working towards such goals.
I'd say to anyone interested in looking at a new mud, come look at Avatar it's still growing and changing and we need new minds, new players, and new thinking. If your are a role player get on in here we need more of you.
Finally to Snikt / I must say I have walked your lands in anger, love, sadness, and with great joy. You have always treated me with respect and as a friend. I hope my evaluation doesn't hurt, but I have never been more truthful that herein stated. If you want my sword it is yours, just ask. I am proud to be from Avatar and proud of m'lord Snikt. I say to all that hear, come visit Avatar it is worth the journey.