I played this MUD on and off for about 5 years since the time it opened in 1998. I have now been (steadily) at this MUD for a little over a year now. I've got one thing to say about this place, I love it!
I've read other reviews about Ages of Despair. It seems to me that most of the other players who have written reviews recently have commented on the equipment and guild changes that have taken place here. Equipment was downgraded in order to be made more balanced. I understand this fully and I don't understand why some players had to make a big deal about it. Some of the equipment I use was even downgraded. I don't have a problem with this. I see the downgrades that happened to the equipment to be needed in order to keep, us, as players from being able to kill everything without the risk of dying. To me, monsters just shouldn't be that simple.
I love this place, and though it is sad that some people feel disdain towards this MUD, I see the changes that have been made to be something that was needed.