I've been a player on the Den (our common name for The Dragon's Den) since early in 1993 with long breaks from time to time. I've seen the Den change in many ways, mostly for the better but truth be told, I do miss some of the anarchy of the early years. That said, the Den gives players amazing latitude and with only a few other rules beyond 'your right to swing your fists ends at the tip of my nose'.
The Den is a rich, immersive text-based MUD which, given its long history, is surprisingly newbie friendly. I've witnessed players (and have done so myself) help a newbie for literally hours in a single session. All in all, a very friendly group of people from all over the world. Of course, there's always the occaisonal jerk just to keep things interesting!
The Den has a very intricate Guild system with four guilds currently each of which is very distinct and clearly delineated. Add to that 19 different races, each with their own abilities and penalties, and you get some pretty interesting combinations. Some might not like the Den because the players tend not to be 'character driven' in that they don't 'roleplay' as much as in some other MUDs. For instance, it's very rare to have someone chat only in archaic English. Still, for many that has its advantages as it can get extremely tedious having to type 'dost thou' and 'Hail, good Sir' all the time!
It has a royalty system as well which is controlled by the players themselves. Belonging to a royal house is optional and doesn't really mean much in the scheme of things, except for bragging rights (and impressing newbies with a title like Baronet Alphageek, The Highlord of the First Blood).
The Dragon's Den is a very large MUD with many, many areas to explore and great opportunity for advancement. Quests are an integral part of the Den; these range from easy newbie quests to hair-pulling, mind-numbingly complex ones that can take weeks to solve. There are hundreds of interesting NPC's (non-player characters) some of which are quite interactive. Humour is a fundamental here; most of the Wizards are really quite clever and funny and some of the room descriptions and NPC responses are really hysterical.
Player Killing (PK) is allowed but is very restricted; It's hard or impossible for another player to off you unless you consent to combat. Besides, the culture of the Den is not anarchic and most players are extremely well behaved and cooperative. If you're looking for an Everquest-style environment, where true anarchy rules, the Den is not for you.
If I had to say one negative thing about the Den, it would be that players tend not to 'party explore' as much now as in the past. It used to be quite common for several players to get together to take on monsters far beyond their individual ability to defeat; that seems to happen less these days. Still, I've played many other MUDs and keep coming back to the Den because there's allways something new to explore and it has the smartest, funniest, nicest players I've had the pleasure to play with.
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