I'm a long time player of Darkwind, almost eight years. The mud has changed ownership and is now maintained by some hardcore players. The mud is pretty well written and has features that you won't find on all muds. Most of the players and staff are friendly and helpful. The room and object descriptions show a lot of imagination.
That said, I don't recommend playing there if you plan on spending any serious time building up a character. There are a few reasons for this.
The first is the experience system. Levels from 30 up to the maximum of 90, are insanely hard to get. The proof is that the highest level player is level 71 after 75 playing days (that's about 1800 hours of play). This is a player who knows the mud inside out. Nobody else that I know of is within 20 levels of him.
The main complaint is the stability of one's character. Players have no say at all in this. The mud was purged in 1996 with almost no warning and taken offline for several months. It came back---with players reset to level 1. Over the next three years, it went offline again for days at a time without warning or explanation. In late 2000 it was taken offline supposedly permanently when it was attacked by hackers. Some hardcore players got an old copy of it from the prev2ious owner and put it back up in March of 2002. The mud's been up since then on a very good server, but that doesn't mean that a serious player can rest easily. In early 2003, the admin decided that they wanted to restart (purge) the mud again. Everybody was reset to level 1 again. Players had little say in this. Now they're talking about another purge when they install the nobility and kingdom system. It's frustrating to build a character over many months or even years and have it taken away because the admin decide one day that they want to do something different.
If you do decide to play Darkwind, be very careful with Player Killing (PK). PK is optional, and non-members can't be attacked by members. If you plan on being PK, expect to be killed frequently by players twice your level. There's no level difference restriction. Level 45s can kill level 5s (and will if they feel like it, although to be honest, only a handful of players will do that). If you don't plan on being PK, be sure you never help any PK player in any way, or you might be force-registered PK by the admin and given a penalty ranging from a few levels to being sent to level 1.
There are a few other beefs, such as the lack of roleplaying and the fact that the high-level players hog all the unique items every reboot.
When the experience system and purges are fixed, I'll start playing again (I have a mid 30's character). Until then, no way Jose.
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