I found this place kind of charming when I first arrived, but that quickly faded out, the only real draw was a few decent players in my sphere and on the grid. Not a place I'd recommend anyone play, although the player base seems to be down to a maximum of five players total these days so this review may not really matter at this point. Extremely tight, Nazi-esque control of what players can do ICly or how they can build and play their characters via staff, A refusal to allow players to advance in any way or spend their XP on legitimate rules-legal things (unless you submit a novel about all the IC things you've done to deserve a third point in... Drive or something), Overtly snarky and passive aggressive remarks from the site head for legitimate requests or complaints, meant specifically to make you feel like garbage for having opened your mouth at all, Staff that logs on once every six months, if that, who then get offended that you'd like to do something and need their assistance, The outright inability to do anything of any kind in or out of the extremely rare plots allowed to take place, unless you're in a very specific staff loved clique, in which case there seems to be a constant stream of mini plots for these few beloved players run by the site head herself... Another reviewer compared Masquerade to an abusive relationship with a partner that degrades you, makes you feel like and tells you you're worthless, sapping away your enjoyment and smothering the idea that you have a choice to go anywhere else... Yeah, that description is accurate. New players that would like to do anything other than being forced exclusively into bar-RP should find another place to play and give this one a hard pass unless you're just attracted to very tight restriction and have no desire to do anything except chat.
I would strongly suggest anyone who wants to play in a fun atmosphere, with any real control over their character's construction or focus, do go elsewhere. This place suffers from an unfortunate issue I see cropping up with most Mush/Mux/Mucks, and that's that they completely forget the game is supposed to be about the enjoyment of the players, not about them. Staff get into a weird power trip, that starts with tightening their control on the outcome of events to fit *their* plans. It soon becomes limiting PCs at construction, by placing restrictions meant to place the PCs into sub-menial positions inside of areas that the player's intended their character to excel in. It eventually turns into players being little more than NPCs for the Staff to force through hoops. When games aren't fun, they're chores. I can only address an application process for Vampire Masquerade, but I will give me best impression. I'm speaking as a person who's held staffing positions for almost 15 years, and been playing Vampire off and on for more than 10. Vampire, much as any other RPG I've ever played, has more than 1 theme. There's no sole theme to it, and I got the very strong impression that the staff here were only capable or interested in addressing a single theme of the game. This theme was 'I'm losing humanity. Oh God! *angst angst*' They turn a world of high contrast, into something lacking any redeeming features... This means not only is the world beyond saving, you wouldn't even want to try, so why are you playing. That's what the end result of grinding nothing but that theme is. If your a current player, I would suggest trying to get away from the paradigm on this Mu. They're wasting your time, and the saddest part is that most players either don't know they have another choice or are so invested in the games that they can't imagine leaving...even when it frustrates them, killing their love of play little by little. It's like a bad relationship, and is common in Domestic Violence. You have a choice. You have the power to be happy in your game play, and you as a player are worth the time and effort. Don't get trapped into these types of places. I hope this helps someone. I would address this to the player base themselves, but these types of places don't like criticism in front of their players, or the idea of giving the players other options. Much like an emotionally abusive spouse forcing away positive relationships, and constantly trying to enforce the idea that you're worthless, and can't do any better. Players of Masquerade. You can do better!