Though Awakened Worlds is fun for a short while, it quickly grows old for those players who wish to find a large world and an engaging playerbase. Too often I find myself at the edge of the virtual 'world', unable to go any further, forced to wander the same tired old streets again and again. Though this problem could be easily solved by 'hiring' or inviting more builders, Che has refused to even entertain the concept of asking for additional ones, and has indeed refused outright requests and applications from players who wish to become builders, saying that his process for hiring is "You don't apply- I invite you." Apparently, these invitations are restricted only to Che's IRL friends, as established players are time and again passed up for new people to join the ranks of mostly-inactive imms. There have been no new areas added for almost two years that this player knows of, and the only one in the works has been there for 5 months.
This limited-world aspect unfortunately also extends to the much-extolled Matrix. Sure, being a decker is fun at first, and it remains that way for a month, maybe two. But after a while, you realize that the matrix just isn't getting any bigger, and with less than 10 runs centered around the Matrix you know that it's not a high priority for Che to expand or refine it anytime soon.
Another thing that is depressing about this MUD is the PK-mindedness of most of the players that one can typically meet. Since Awake is a temporary-death MUD, killing has become an acceptable way of chastising someone for just about anything. One particularly memorable excuse for killing someone was "She looked at me twice. She only needed to look at me once, it was annoying." Sadly, this often gets in the way of RP, as the moment any player tries to bring a confrontation into play the other player will whip out an assault cannon and vaporize the RPer with no remorse nor even thought about it. There is also goading from PKers to non-PKers to try to get the non-PKers to enable PK (a permanent option). PKers will insult non-PKers as much as they feel necessary to get the non-PKers PK so that they too can be trapped in the cycle of fruitless RP as so many PKers are today.
Another thing that annoys me about Awake is the sheer unbalancedness of it all. Recently, a level-8 skillcap was put into place, preventing players from ever raising their skills above this. Older players were given a 'grandfather clause', allowing them to keep their skills- some of which were in the 12s. Combined with some of the coding Che has, this makes it so that newbies of certain classes- deckers who want to build decks to sell, for instance- will never have even the slightest chance of catching up to the older players. Case in point? Daedalus, one of the oldest players on the MUD, is an established deckbuilder who builds MPCP-12 decks. If a new deckbuilder wants to get into the business, he first has to obtain business from Daedalus (a difficult prospect to be sure). After that, he is informed by the code that he can build decks only up to MPCP-8, for that is what the skillcap is. You see, the code is written so that you can build decks up to your Computer B/R skill's rating. Effectively, there will be no new successful deckbuilders. Ever.
And another thing that really irks me? The Imms will rarely step in to fix a problem. Case in point: There are a few doors that are only openable on one side- they were not given any aliases on the other side. These doors reset during zone-resets, trapping players behind them more often than not. Instead of helping the player out and fixing the door, however, the Imms tell the player to get help ICly to do this.
Lastly, I'd like to touch upon the Imms themselves, and how they run Awake and interact with the players. Though some of them aren't bad people inherently, the immortals of Awakened Worlds are truly one of the laziest groups of immortals I have ever come across. Let's do a person-by-person review of the ones that this player knows.
CHE: The administrator of Awakened Worlds, Che is one of the most aggravating Imms that one will ever run into. His policies are based on sheer laziness and vindictiveness, a fact that he has proclaimed himself. Here's a (slightly paraphrased) quote to illustrate my point:
"The new plan for player-group HQs has been created, and will be put in when I damn well feel like it." (This was said a month ago, and the plan still isn't in.)
Unfortunately, things like this are rife in Awake. Che has no set initiation policy, and indeed has stated that initiations are granted 'whenever he feels like it'. This results in some players vaulting to Initiation Grade 3 in two weeks while others take three months- it's all in whomever sucks up to Che the most.
KNIGHT: Probably the most aggravating and confrontational imm on the MUD. Willing to pick a fight over OOC at any time, he will often humiliate players for sport just so that he can enjoy his day. Once, he created a cat character and placed it in front of Dante's for four days so that he could kill a player who attacked cats. The character he created had 20 in all stats and 50 in all skills. Knight's redeeming qualities are that he's willing to talk to Che if Che's doing something wrong (however rarely this willingness may surface) and also that he's the only person that this player knows of who is actively working on a project.
The other Imms are not known well enough by this player to accurately profile here, but they do not seem nearly as bad as Che and Knight do.