I've been a longtime TI player, and only recently did I decide to stop. Some reasons were because of the game itself, and others a natural progression of extensive playtime.
TI is initially quite confusing, as most MUDs are, but after the learning curve, which one should get over after a week of playing, the game becomes one of the best things you'll ever experience, given the right circumstances, all of which include an active playerbase, kind players, and a small population of players that make everyone's life difficult. Fortunately for TI, 2/3 isn't that bad.
The game has a unique emote based combat system, although this is often phoned in for cheap and poorly constructed one-line attacks in an effort to save one's character from death. But the intention is very much appreciated. The crafting system is perhaps the best of any MUD out there right now, RP based or not. Threaded, not too cumbersome, satisfying, and very rewarding, no matter what is crafted. The game lends itself to a wonderful technical focus when it comes to impactful events, and not player based RP, which makes things seem linear and fixed.
The reason I stopped playing was due to the influx of newer players. I play TI only for the enjoyment of sponging RPXP (a unique variant of XP-you gain it through roleplaying with other players!), with the few characters I've managed to maintain longterm in-character relations. I hate the idea of going out to public taverns and RPing with commoners and new players, since they are so less refined than my noble clique and the selective few gentry and freemen I permit, provided they be alts to a preexisting member of my circle, and even then, they must only provide me trade goods.
The best RP is that done with maybe a few people who have high status both IC and OOCly. They have the most power, and the most influence over the game. I was an Aide once, a system that the game had a few years ago that gave normal players the power to snoop and access the RP and passwords of other players, although this was vehemently denied by staff. The Aide system was demolished after a rogue player exposed the exploitative nature that it had.
The staff are efficient, if not a bit cold. There was a new player who had only loads of questions about the game, and to their credit, staff did answer him when he didn't use the Visnet channel, a line of communication for questions, but soon staff grew agitated with him, and blatantly began ignoring his questions. They ignored his pleas to explain why no one would answer him, or even RP with him. Staff led a very personal vendetta against him, for reasons unknown. I assume maybe he said something that upset them.
The game is run by a woman named Kinaed who is perhaps the most autocratic staffer I've ever known. She recently banned a long time player and staff member from the game due to a misunderstanding about multiplaying, which she expressly stated she allows. Avoid upsetting her, and you should be fine.
The playerbase is all right.
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