As someone who has played this game for several years, I still think that I can make this review as unbiased as possible. So read further if you want a player's honest opinion, who has also played the game for a good long time.
In terms of areas, the game is very sound. Above average, in my opinion. There is a large world that takes quite a long time to explore, assuming that you go looking for secret areas. There are a large variety of areas, and a promise of more to come. The areas lend themselves to different types of players...whether you like hunting more, or roleplaying. They are also very well written, if you take the time to read the rooms.
Immigrants and serfs (aka new players) are generally treated well, much more so than I have been treated in other MUDs. I have played some MUDs before that totally ignored new players, which is not the case here. Once out of the initial tour, most people don't have a hard time finding at least a few friends to help them through the rest of their NW career. Those who do say that they have a hard time, simply give up too quickly.
There is a certain level of immaturity from certain members of the playerbase, but I have found that this is the norm for MUDs across the board. There are always going to be some players who treat it like a buddy chatroom, no matter where you go. If you stick this game out, and ask around, you will find players on this game who know how to roleplay exceptionally well.
Players also tend to get into cliques, but again...this is unavoidable with MUDding. Players who spend a long time RPing with each other are invariably going to keep together. It's not impossible to break this barrier, it's just a matter of asking yourself if you want to. It can be frustrating for a new person to try to introduce themselves into an already established group, but such is life. As with the good RPers, there are those in the game who will accept you, you just have to look for them.
There is a good variety of guilds you can join. Each guild has members within it that RP their profession very well, and some not so well. In terms of mechanics, it is no secret that mages are vastly overpowered when compared to any of the other guild. I think that this is done on purpose, and I don't mind it. It makes kicking a mage's butt that much more satisfying. No one player is particularly invincible, and everyone can be taken down if the need arises. You just need to be crafty enough to try.
There are three "special" guilds that are presently complete wastes of time. Though I don't know for sure, I could wager a guess that two of them haven't even been fully coded yet. The other is poorly run, poorly planned, and will never amount to anything for as long as the administration continues along the path it has set for it.
The admin is generally very approachable, as long as your requests aren't selfish or asinine. The admin does run the came during their time off, which means that it does not have the daily staff that some MUDs do. This means that you are more free to do what you want than you might otherwise be, but it also means that it might take a while to get that new area done.
Overall, it's a fun experience or I wouldn't play it. People need to give it a chance before making assessments about it. There are good players here, you just have to give it more than an hour or two to find them. And if you know how to roleplay, you will ultimately be rewarded because of it.