lets start with a nice over-simplification:
AVATAR is a very simple MUD...
on the mailing lists of AVATAR from time to time discussions come up, which talk about the lack of clear laws, or the lack of sophistication, or the lack of encouragement to roleplay, or lack of whatever. and in a way all of that is true. At the same time though it allows for a surprising ease of learning the game. this combined with quite a number of ever-helpful angels and players, with the rather extensive help-system make AVATAR an extremely easy place to get used to and to enjoy in the beginning.
after a while the lack of rules (or lets say their mostly vague pronouncement) shows its other face: players start complaining about the way things are run or what things are changed to, or that things are not changed quickly enough. as this starts only after quite some time you will find rather experienced players with completely opposed views to some aspects of the game. and those players will be surprised, that the others did not realize, that the mud was following one set of rules all along, and that it is only now changing them. this may sound a bit confusing, but for a normal day of playing it simply means:
you should be able to play the way you like it, just do not expect others to have the same opinion on how to play.
currently the mud seems to be in quite an active time. in the last year the number of quests run by immortals and staff have increased a lot, and a number of new classes have been introduced. quite a lot of those changes are catering for the players with a long-standing commitment to AVATAR, leaving those without that time a bit in the dry. but it would also be possible to say that in a more positive way: you have quite a lot to look forward to, in case you decide to stay past your first one or two instances of 'mud-fatigue', which will set it without a doubt.
most of the time AVATAR's atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed, when it comes down to meeting people and talk on channels. for the actual running (whacking monsters and such) this can change sometimes, as quite a few people seem to be out to make the most experience points in the shortest time. especially for characters without the powerful equipment, of the 'wrong class', without 'big' friends or without years of experience that can be frustrating. As time passes, these aspects get easier and easier though, and there might be more time to get upset about
the general running of the game : )
one thing which is not to be forgotten: a mud is not a democracy, rather a dictatorship, but the bosses try their best to keep their minions happy (of course this says nothing about whether the bosses' perception is 'right') - and i as one of those underlings wish to thank the people running AVATAR for making it such a good place to be.
pico, the toy