Until this past Halloween night I was a player and Immortal staff member for Awakened Worlds. I had been playing there for nearly three years when after a heated exchange with another member of the Immortal staff I decided that I wanted no more to do with Awakened Worlds.
For those of you who do not know, Awakened Worlds is a ShadowRun themed Mud which uses the CircleMud codebase. The setting for AW is Seattle in the year 2064, in a world where magic and technology are parts of everyday life.
The site administrator, Che, has done fabulous things as far as making changes in the coding to make the experience more interesting and the build team has been working diligently to improve and add zones in the Mud for players to explore. During my time there I had witnessed many of these changes, first as a player and then later as an Immortal. Overall my experience there has been pleasing and I have enjoyed it immensely. However, there are far worse underlying reasons for my departure from AW. Ones that I personally believe are most important for the survival of any roleplaying game whether it be pen and paper or online.
During my exchange with the other Immortal we were arguing over many things that we disagreed upon. The largest among these were styles of roleplaying that players have and his dislike for it. While I agreed that this form of roleplaying was not very good I still protected the players right to roleplay how they chose as long as they were enjoying themselves, not disrupting the enjoyment of others, and not violating policy. This other Immortal, however, made it clear that his objective was to drive off such players because in his opinion they did not deserve to be playing on AW.
I think this is inconsiderate of the players and an elitist attitude to have when he is trying to force others to play his way or leave. When I presented this to a senior Immortal with the evidence of his own words she turned a blind eye to his actions because she shares those same beliefs. I cannot say I was surprised though by her actions when she disregarded my claims about him. She had been doing so for any accusation brought against him as an Immortal and as a player prior to his ascent to being an immortal as they have been roleplaying partners for some considerable time.
Another topic we argued over was the difference between my contributions to the Mud versus his. I had already conceded that since my becoming a part of the staff I had contributed little due to real life interferences which was the original reason I was handing in my resignation. Also I acknowledged his work as one of the builders with his improvements and additions to zones. This exchange continued endlessly, most of which resulted with his accusations of me doing nothing more then stalking players and watching them while they do what we call mudsex.
I informed him that while I had on occasion done so, I also watched players for roleplaying so that I could reward them for it. He accused me of lying about that since every time he saw me watching players it was in private areas of the Mud, which in his ridiculous belief, is that no roleplaying goes on in these areas, just mudsex. I informed him that if he had actually watched players once in a while instead of generally acting like a jerk to them he would see that such was not the case.
This brings up my next and final topic of this review. Some time back, Che decided to lower the payouts received from auto-quests, selling stolen information, and mob-farming. This caused some complaint among players since it took away a good deal of their livelihood and most had to scrape by just to get their characters the most basic of necessities. Still though AW thrived since the players found a means to get by via doing heavy mob-farming, they just were unable to afford some of the more expensive equipment. During one of his tirades, the Immortal of whom I am speaking berated the players for this publicly over the OOC channel and said he was going to slash more farms because of how heavy they were harvesting. He also indicated that he was displeased with them not appreciating the work he had put in the MUD by adding new zones and auto-quests for them. However the players were skeptical to how beneficial these new additions were really going to be to them since everything else that had been so far had been nerfed to the point that they could gain almost nothing from them. I cannot say that I blame their skepticism and in fact agree with it because I donít see how the reductions in payouts were meant to make the Mud more enjoyable for players when they have to have their characters scrape by to make a halfway decent living.
In closing, I wish to say that if it were not for the elitist attitude of older players and some of the Immortal staff, though both are the same in some cases, AW would be a fabulous Mud to play on. Even with the lowering of payouts for auto-quests and mob-farming I still have had an enjoyable time there until just recently. But with the final straw of a certain pair of Immortals denigrating my roleplaying and that of other players because they donít think it belongs in a game like AW I decided enough was enough and I have resigned as an Immortal and most likely as a player too. I cannot abide such attitudes and refuse to support a Mud where the admin allows his staff to act as such.
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