Avatar is a good mud. You can have a lot of fun there and meet good people. I spent a lot of time there over the last few years, had good times, and now I'm retiring. Why?
I have met most of the staff at one time or another and am good friends with several now. With a couple of exceptions, they're GREAT people. (Riviat and Kenji, who post here a lot are two of the best! They love the mud, so cut them a little slack if they seem to rush a little too quickly to get the last word in to defend it.)
I spent the majority of my online hours with the rank-and-file player (like me), and with rare exception, they're GREAT people, too.
However, there is a HUGE gap in communication and trust between these two groups. To *generalize*, players perceive the immortals as draconic, antagonistic lag-happy coders who make empty promises, treat 20-somethings like they're in fifth grade, and leave rules intentionally vague so that they are subject to the whims of the imm at hand.
Again *generalizing*, the staff perceive players as a twink-happy, gear-obsessed, immature complaining lot who, when they find and use an advantageous facet of the combat code, for instance, must be doing so with the intent of abusing loopholes.
Who is right? Both have some reasons for seeing things their way. Neither side would ever state things as I have (they're far too nice for that), but years of notes, e-mails, conversations both online and in person have all led me to this conclusion.
Keep in mind, what I find frustrating is not that either party is correct, but that they're two groups of overwhelmingly great folks who can't get along. Yes, some players are immature jerks. So are a couple of immortals. That's life. Personally, I've invested a lot of time trying to defuse various situations with both sides, and I'm spent.
If you aren't familiar with Avatar, don't take this review as a negative take on the mud, its players, or its staff. All three are great and worth your time. Staff-player relations does not solely consist of idea/rule wars or arguments; there are too many good people for that. You can have a lot of good clean fun there, and that's what it's all about. Go play it; you won't be sorry.
I love Avatar; it's like a second family to me. But just like a real family, it hurts to watch the members feud and drift apart, and that's why I'm taking my leave.
And before anyone points out the anonymous nature of this review, let me explain. I have no fear of retribution from the staff. They are above that sort of thing. But, like I said, I'm good friends with some of them, and basically I don't want to hurt any feelings should these criticisms be taken personally (which they shouldn't). :)