I started playing on The Gathering about three and a half years ago. Due to RL, I had to take a break from most fun things, including mudding, but when I came back to it, The Gathering was the place I wanted to be. It didn't matter that the people there were new to me, it was a very friendly environment, and what makes it so special is the people it attracts.
Generally the people who play on TG are a lot of fun, and extremely diverse. Of course there are always elements that are unpleasant, that's the real world too, you can't completely control the people that you meet. I will say that the Admin staff has always been friendly and courteous, as long as you extend the same courtesy to them, and are very quick to enforce the 'Law' of the game. There is just about always someone available to RP with, and the staff usually has a good storyline going, or sometimes a player written story.
If you don't want to RP, the world is absolutely massive and beautiful. It ranges from fantastic flower gardens to the darkest horror. The mobs are as diverse as the people, and can at times seem like they are controlled by real players, they are so detailed. The mud can be serious or downright hysterically funny, depending on where you go and who you talk to. Despite what I have read from some others, I believe the mud to be very Newbie friendly, and a great deal of effort has been put into a Newbie School to introduce players to the basics of mudding, and there is not a time that I have seen a new player sign on that someone has not welcomed them and offered to help in any way they can.
As for calling this a 'Sex Mud' as some have, I believe that they are trying to find things to criticize. Yes, a few years ago it was a very sex heavy mud, but I cannot express enough how much that has changed. The rules regarding sex are very strict, stating that sex is to be in private or in a separate section of the MUD that has been designated for those that wish to engage in such activities.
I have been a builder on TG for a while, and have found the assistance for the builders to be very helpful, and again, always courteous. All in all, my time playing on The Gathering has been an enjoyable experience, and I have met quite a few people that I now consider to be my friends on here. Because that is really what The Gathering is like. It is a community, and we have a lot of fun!
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