As a long lasting player in NWA (for over two years) i feel obliged to write a honest and complete review of this game, as it is pretty unique and most interesting, but with a dark side.
Let's start with the good, the world is pretty large (not as much with size, as with hidden areas and secrets to discover) that is actually fun to explore. You do get a thrill and excitement when you traverse into unknown and look for any detail that may warn you about upcoming danger. Descriptions are well written, some of the word-triggers for quests/exploration are clunky at time (for example when you have to figure out the wording to climb up the tree and grab a pineapple, there is only one good answer and You must submit it exactly it was coded).
Player base is indeed overly inflated, but then it's not that bad as long as you are playing withing US time zone (the EU timezone is very empty and over the years it only got worse), so if you only can play during daytime/early evening CET, i strongly recommend looking for another mud. Guilds and religions are pretty well thought (from RP point of view), and they are interesting to discover as long as you keep it in character.
But this is where dark side of this mud kicks in. It is not coded well, and because of that most of the separation between OOC (out of character) and IC (in character) requires for players to be mature and not use the illegal information. While some people try their best to keep it IC at all times, it becomes hard when you are constantly bombarded with OOC information that can help you in your game a lot (like the fact that even though it is supposedly using intro system, you see a name of anyone doing any action, even if he didn't introduce to you).
Other problem is staff that not only is actively playing the game and keeps on denying it (even after they slip up and make it obvious to everyone) which is something they should be open about and let people make an informed decision whether they want to play in such environment. Personally, in my long history of muds, I've never found one where staff, which was playing the game, would not abuse their powers for selfish gain every now and then.
Staff also strictly controls two 'secret' guilds inside the game, that are by default given a leeway off the rules (meaning that they can break some of them), which results in creation of privileged players who are favored by staff (as I said, those 2 guilds are strictly controlled by administration, and people who join them are picked for OOC, not IC reasons as it states in help-files).
Another big issue with it is the stagnation of the world. Staff keeps strict control over any major RP (that would impact the world in any way) so while players may put a lot of effort toward something, they will never see it reflected in the world. As a result of that, people gave up on trying to breed some major RP within the game and vast majority of the time spent in game is either in hugely/cuddly tavern role-play, or during sprints across the world to collect gear, during which most participants don't even talk to each other, which is a very sad thing to partake with.
I don't recommend this mud to anyone as the only thing of unquestionable value in it is the exploration, while the rest is mediocre at best. What is worth a final note is that during my days on NWA, there was no real content added to it. There were no new locations added, only a small handful of powers coupled with one mini-game. Most of the bugs that were there when I started, are still there.
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