As a player who's been here for 3 years or so now, i have appreciated this place because of its combat system. It takes a bit getting used to, and once you think you have made yourself familiar to it, there you find another tactic that's much more efficient. That i believe is still true. But now the reward for these newfound tactics and efficiencies have decreased. First by the heavy introduction of lvls in the hit table (which made it next to impossible to hit a stunned lvl 45 mob at lvl 14--with regular attacks, anyway) and now the next-to-worthlessness of killing something three or four times your level.
It used to be that there was a line between new players and those of old, not only because of their familiarity with other players (altho most through some form of x-play--be it overt or a silent nod) but also because the old players knew what the difference in lvls meant-- not simple difficulty of hitting/getting hit, but what matters most here--difference in stats.
Using this knowledge, and passing it down to others over the time, most of the people i know, have grown to regard mobkilling as nothing more than a chore. Getting xp, or losing it, was simply a matter of time, and it didn't add to the enjoyment of playing this mud. Killing mobs was only exhiliarating the first time, when you first kill that mob. After that, it is part of your 'diet,' and once you know its in's and out's, no more challenge, other than trying to kill it with an alt, really remains.
So some of us turned to pkill, because there, the players evolve much quicker than the code does. And mobkilling, xp, become a burden if anything, just a form of currency here in order for us to enjoy the mud. Some despised mobkilling to such extent that they simply let their characters permanently die when the time comes, and create a new one. Some of us, just keep the character alive indefinately, mobkilling only to recover what they have lost, deleting the character when they are sick of it.
Some of us simply choose to unclan the character, although it involves as much time as it takes bringing up a new character.
I'll have to admit, mob killing IS a burden, but how about if they removed xp as a whole? It might be pushing it to the extreme, but if there was no "burden" in death, then people would be killing others all over the place in pkill. The non clanned would have no reason to fight anything. Then theres rp, others have enjoyed that instead of mobkillings too...
Doesn't really contradict anything you're saying, but just something to think about...
Zelda the confused.