One core elements of BatMUD is the uniqueness of playing. While the good old grind is ever present on BatMUD, we've taken quite a different approach to even what the latest and greatest of MMOs (such as WAR, AoC and WoW) offer. Please, let us elaborate and drift about the subject for a bit.
Instead of giving the player an instant set of easy advancement "click-through" quests which, in essence, don't differ from each other except for perhaps a very vivid story and a few-times fascinating landscapes-- we're trying our best to actually involve the player in the world of exploring, investigating and unique problem-solving.
The commercially bred games have a common shortcoming of having invented quest engines, which force all quests into a certain template and usually, result in the player being made first to travel to location x for a gathering mission of item y and then to return for a prize z. All fine, but to the seasoned player, this quickly becomes a chore: you don't care anymore- you just don't care about the storyline, you don't care about the prize or even where you're being made to travel; you only want to complete the quest (and the other quests you've accepted on the way) as efficiently as possible: on your way to the max level. Suddenly, it isn't the game you subscribed to anymore.
Now this is bad. If we think about the nature of the commercial games...they've hired tens of content developers, who are being paid for what they do. They are, no doubt, very creative in their own right - but with the difference of a free vs. commercial project - they're also harnessed to a greater extent: to a certain set of limits, rules and possibilities. They're also tied to the fact that they must produce. We at BatMUD put our hearts into our development work. We do it through passion, tears and vicious stubborness: by the individual's or groups' own desire to create. Without being bound to templates. We do it; For free.
We've had content that has been for years in the making. Right now, we even have huge projects that have run for a good 10 years "in the works" - perhaps never to be introduced to the public. Our coders use their skills to their very own limits for countless and yet countless hours-- only to be brutely rebuked by the players for not introducing good enough content. We take the risks.
Our player community is different. We aren't the new genre anymore: we've been publicly open since 1990. Probably not a day since then has gone by that we haven't been developing. We've played all of the MMOs: we've been used as examples, but we've also learned from them. And in the administration, we listen. This doesn't either mean we'd be unapproachable by anyone under 30. No. Lay back in your chair, take a deep breath and relax-- it's time for a longer journey.