Yes, Avatar is a group oriented mud. This is something we have always been. Yes, some players like to powerplay, that's something difficult to prevent in a hack and slash type mud. But I don't think it is quite as prevalent as you make it out to be.
One of the things I encourage players who do not like to play that was is to learn to lead the groups. You do not have to be the tank to be the group leader, or at some levels, the tank. It's fun to lead and learn new areas and make your own groups.
Thanks for the nice words about the immortal staff.
Ceredwy, Design Staph Immortal