Introduction: I've played this mud on and off over the last 10 years (the last hiatus was caused by WOW). As a European, I find that I mostly play during the quiet hours, when there are little or no other players online, with player killing and interaction with the mostly American population happening only in the early or late European hours. Still, the world itself is built with such care that just exploring the new areas (that are regularly added), the fleshing out of older areas (also regularly), or to explore one of the classes I haven't played yet, is enough to keep me coming back for all these years.
Current news: Avendar's codebase is currently being rewritten from scratch (read up on the plans on the forum), and where the initial stance of the imm-staff was to focus all resources on that process, protest from the players (who left like they were left behind in a world that wasn't taken care of anymore) changed the imms point of view. The number of patches and tweaks and fixes to the current world (that are being communicated to the players through 'help recent') is larger than in years. This response has been greatly appreciated by the players, as no one likes playing in a dead world.
Examples: the latest areas added to the mud are heavily progged and more importantly, have visible stories woven into the game's lore and content. This makes the areas not separate, but things that add an enormous amount of life to the game. The valley of nordath, for example, has quests running over the whole mud to lift (or replace!) its curse, during which its history becomes clear. The bard class has a song (called the Walls of Nordath), which is inspired by the events in that area (All bard songs in general have names that are tied to game areas or history). Jindaska is the village of the caladaran race, and breathes the spirit of that race with all the quests and mobs. Quests in Jindaska will send you through the world again, as you follow the footsteps of a young druid. I still love the Ryarl plains, where you learn what kind of world the kankoran wolves live in, and can become a 'Kahn' of their people. I love the forst of Morn, which is just a harsh place, and sets the bar for every forestry area in Avendar. And I love the hundreds of little riddles and tricks and clues left all over avendar. If a beautiful lady is loitering near a pile of bones, get your priorities straight!
Anyway, to sum up: if you're seeking a world to explore, Avendar is a very, very nice place to waste your time in.
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