First of all, a few reviews for this MUD have been complaints to its treatment to "newbies".
To be honest when I first played RoD a couple years ago I did feel like I didnt get much help (it was my first MuD too, so I was sitting there trying to learn commands and being a total newbie). BUT RoD is actually quite easy to learn to play, the controls and syntax is simple. I wandered around during my first hrs of play and I bumped into a lot of people and there was a lot of chatting going on the channels. I dislike MUDs where you wander around and dont see anyone, or if the channels are silent...it makes you feel alone, like you're the only one playing and thats not a good feeling...
Anyway, I managed to get to level 10 and then I bumped into a complete stranger who was also leveling (unknown to me, they already possessed numerous avatars), he gave me some helpful eq, some leveling tips and also accompanied me to some difficult leveling areas just to make it easier for me to level. i met a couple of these helpful people along my way to avatarhood (they were not in the Newbie Council, just normal people willing to sacrifice their time to help others).
I'm not sure if this really fits in here, but I hope others who read it will consider it as a review for RoD's newbie treatment, or as a defense against complaints that RoD is nasty or uncaring towards newbies.