There are many reviews listed on this site - many are helpful, some are just rants. In hopes of this falling into 'helpful', but also being honest, I am going to segment my review to address basics, roleplay, issues, and the like. Hopefully, you will find this helpful.
Some information about my experience to start with. I am not a gamer - I don't borg or level grind. I came to this for the roleplay aspect of it, and it was my first game of its kind. Previously, I was a member of a very intensive roleplaying community in forums. I have played the game off and on for several years. Moving on.
Basics: The game is very new-player user friendly, compared to others I have tried. It has a lot of help files, a nice tutorial, and even an in game system in the north for new arrivals. This is likely one of the greatest aspects of the game. The mechanics are easy to understand and use, and the race selection and history is pretty easy to grasp and friendly to dive into. The world is not as large as one might expect of a MUD this old, but it has plenty to occupy you with for awhile, though some aspects are clearly incomplete (something the staff often hint at being expanded, though thus far I have not seen such). It is very blind-player friendly as well, which I thought was quite a bonus (Though I am not a blind player).
Roleplay: For a roleplay-enforced MUD, the roleplay is very lax, unfortunately. Especially in the north. I have played predominantly in the south (Darmahk) and can state that it is a little better, but not by much. Over time, from when I first started until now, I have witnessed a dramatic decline in roleplay, from its prevalence to its integrity. While a few gems remain in this game, by and large, if you are looking for a serious roleplay experience, look elsewhere. Most now playing are obsessed with level grinding, since this is the only respected consistently way of gaining respect, and those who do roleplay, primarily only focus on smut roleplay. You generally never see them around unless they are trying to pick up your character. THAT SAID. You also get what you put in. If you make a conscious effort to roleplay with people, and I mean more than just standard smily emotes and basic pleasantries, you may stumble upon those rare gems. Or you may not - its all about luck and how determined you are. I will state that I have never had trouble finding people who enjoy my roleplay enough to stick around my characters, but I have a particularly engaging style. But, you will still have to deal with the copious players who have no roileplay integrity, who do not competently play a character, and who do often act irrationally. Play at your own risk, in this regard.
Story: This MUD, unfortunately, does not have a very evolving story. There are many things implemented into the game already, but as far as story development goes, this game lacks it. The big events they do have are often not fully original and don't occur often enough. A roleplay event by this games standard is the Warlord attacking your city, killing your weak, and causing everyone to get grumpy for losing skills. If you like that kind of thing, more power to you, but from experience, it really just pisses people off and makes the borgers more borgy.
Issues: So, a lot of reviews focus on staff issues. I will offer what I can on this subject. Staff, by and large, do try in this game. I honestly believe that they care, even if just a little. THAT SAID, they can be jerks, especially with their characters. But in my experience, while everyone points a finger at Andrew's character, I have had minimal issues with him. Having played mostly females, he has never sexually harassed any of them, and was even polite to my character after she declined his advances. Does the harassment happen? Based on the number of claims, most likely, but I still believe we can be mature and work through such a situation like adults. And if you aren't an adult, don't play this game. I have had more issues with other staff characters being dictators in the south and living solely to cause people trouble. It often ruins roleplay, but I know this is unlikely to change. As for how they handle situations, I have had the good and the bad. I think, like most people, they get good moments of judgement and bad moments, and have good and bad days. When you agree to play a game, you agree to play by the creator's rules, so whether you think they are fair or not doesn't matter. You really just have to deal or leave.
Donations: This has its own section, because I feel you should know how this effects the game. While originally introduced simply as a way to support staff, with no benefits aside from roleplay, the donation system gives certain players vast advantages, not only in items for their character, but also in favoritism. Rules have been forcefully bent to suit players who donate copious amounts of money to the game, and this is unlikely to change any time soon. I wouldn't want to offend my bag of money either. But it causes a lot of conflict in the game, and you should be warned that it does make a difference - often a big one.
Overall: Know what you want out of a game. I see very little point in sugar coating the issues of this game, and there are plenty of them. Lots of excellent players have quit this game because of what it is slowly becoming. But, the game is easy to play. It can have its really fun, ridiculous moments. It does have some awesome players. For all that is wrong with it, I still play it. But don't go into this ignorant. I am not going to say whether you should or should not join this game, because either way, I would be hypocritical. But you should know what to expect, simply so you are not disappointed if it doesn't meet your standards. If you are looking for a light roleplay environment in which you can grind a character up to high levels that take ridiculous amounts of actual time achieving, this game is perfect for you. If that isn't what you want, think about what it offers before you try it out.
I hope this helps!
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