I'm a real life noob to 4D. I've raised 1 character to level 47.
I'm not going to be around forever because that's just not how I play games. It says good things about your fine MUD that it has held my attention this long and that I'm still very interested in it.
I have no idea if my feelings represent noobs to 4D in general, especially the ones who will eventually commit to the long haul. Still, here they are.
I'm an explorer, always looking for something different. A huge advantage of 4D is that I'm not stuck in an endless rehash of D&D. Your focus on history, and on a variety of historical periods (including the wild future) gave me a reason to explore your world(s) when the other worlds out there were boring me to death. Your MUD is unique and a MUD has to be unique to get and hold my attention.
What keeps me interested is new areas to explore and interesting skills and spells to play with. New combat skills and spells are usually significantly less interesting than utility skills and spells, just because new combat skills and spells tend to do pretty much what the old combat skills and spells did.
Your wide variety of different areas to explore is splendid!
I have two concrete suggestions for making your MUD more attractive for folk like me.
1. Abolish the experience penalty for death. I don't know any popular MMORPGs that still have an xp penalty for death. When your character advances backwards, it is frustrating and is an inducement to give up. Also, it discourages exploration, because the more you explore unfamiliar territory, the more you lose xp, and the less fit you are to go exploring because your leveling slows down. Kicking people back to recall when they die is penalty enough, and is the sort of thing that modern MMORPGs do. Instead of discouraging people from checking out your wonderful zones, let them enjoy entering and getting royally squished by some horrific mob, without the frustration of losing xp. Being eaten by a dinosaur should be fun!
2. Consider getting rid of the need to identify equipment to work out what it does. Instead, the stats of the equipment could be obvious just by examining it. Again, this is what the popular MMORPGs that I know of do. For someone like me who is not a crunch-head, it is confusing enough to weigh the bonuses and penalties of different equipment already without having to search through your SCORE sheet to try to work out what the modifiers are.
Anyway, thanks for building and running this terrific MUD. It really is excellent!