In some years, though not all, Avatar MUD's immortals host area-building contests. These contests are not normally held more often than once per year because hosting them takes much time and effort.
Normally, these contests are open to all Avatar players. Also, normally, each entrant may submit only one area per contest. Each contest's guidelines usually require all submissions to be within a certain level range and, sometimes, within a certain geographical region of Avatar.
In each contest, each participant is normally given (1) a list of general guidelines and restrictions (such as area level range) specific to that contest, (2) an electronic copy of the most-recent edition of The Avatar MUD Builders' Guide (Player Version), (3) a specific range of "vnums" to use in building his/her entry's rooms and mobs and objects, (4) a program called ListArea that helps to troubleshoot area files for certain kinds of errors, and (5) a deadline to submit his/her entry. Contestants are usually prohibited from giving their submission's objects either any affects flags or any values for casting spells, though they may provide recommendations for these; immortals will add such flags and values if and when contest submissions become permanent parts of Avatar. All submissions become Avatar property and thus may be altered further by Avatar's staff without any notice to—or consultation with—their original authors.
Some time after this submission deadline has passed, all (functional) contest areas receieved will become accessible together from a temporary Hall of Judging (or other such area) located somewhere in the realm so that Avatar's staff and players may explore them. In weeks that follow, Avatar's staff will judge each of these areas and, eventually, announce a contest winner. This winner's area, along with selected other areas, will then be slated to become permanent additions to Avatar while those that do not "make the cut" will eventually disappear forever. Prizes are usually given to those who participate, to those whose submissions "make the cut," and/or to those who win. Prizes vary by contest and may (or may not) include gains in character levels or quest points.
2004 Hero Area-Building Contest
This contest was held to develop new areas to replace New Thalos and the existing nearby coastal and oceanic regions. The theme was a tropical ocean, populated by a chain of single-area island similar to those found in Greek mythology (notably The Odyssey). Two overarching plot elements were featured heavily in most areas: pirates and Lord Audis, the man who controlled all trade within the island and coastline. The following are the accepted entries:
Name: Builder: Level Range: Map: Judgment: Derelict's Domain by Mringasa levels 51-51 The Dragon's Atoll by S.Heart levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Dream Steppes by Masamune levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Gorn's Anchor by Neyne levels 42-46 (Map) runner-up Greed's Gallows by Yoyo levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Island of Helios by [Z] levels 51-51 Island of the Amazons by XerXes levels 51-51 Island of the Dragons by Grizz levels 51-51 Island of the Lost by Meldur levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Isle of Lost Souls by Draggie levels 51-51 Isle of NaamBres'Shho by Pico levels 51-51 (Map) winner Isle of Shrewd by MiNDeSTo levels 51-51 Lizard Island by Flinn levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Pyrrus Island by Kenji levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Redtooth's Isle by Imij levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Shinwa Island by Doolen levels 51-51 Siren's Rock by Mekrith levels 51-51 Tainted Isle by Wiseman levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up Verdant Isle by Jaromil levels 51-51 (Map) runner-up
The accepted areas were added in 2005. In addition to receiving their prize for having their area displayed in the Hall of Judging, the winner was given the honor of naming the new ocean, which is now known as the Sea of Strayed Hopes. New Thalos, the coastal city of old, was replaced with Mervue when the contest areas were finally implimented.
2005 Lowmort Area-Building Contest
This contest involved creating areas with up to 25 rooms/mobs/objects each for levels 15-25. Each contestant was to choose an appropriate location in Midgaardia for his/her submission. Contestants were encouraged to build areas that were logical, creative, appropriate for level 15-25 characters, fun, and with a good storyline. Entries were as follows:
Name: Builder: Level Range: Map: Judgment: Ash Canyon by Enda levels 15-20 Borley School of Music by Vivaea levels 15-18 Catacombs of Solace by Dani levels 21-25 (Map) runner-up Centaur Hollow by Yaxche levels 20-20 (Map) winner!!! Crypt of the Damned by Erion levels 15-25 Cryptid Hollow by Ibn levels 20-25 (Map) runner-up Dungeons of Undrehand by Towner levels 15-25 Feeding Grounds by Jaromil levels 15-15 Of Dice and Men by Neuf levels 15-25 Fangclaw Island by Tevildo levels 15-25 Garden of Perathia by Shdwtop levels 15-22 Hidden Spider Forest by Anthem levels 15-25 A House of Stone by Pico levels 43-45 Laboratory of Chalmus by Waite levels 20-25 (Map) runner-up Mirlion's Cottage by Mirlion levels 20-25 The Mon-Keigh by Pros levels 15-25 Moss Village by Becky levels 15-20 (Map) runner-up The Proving Grounds by Elonan levels 15-25 Qass Tomb by S.Heart levels 15-20 (Map) runner-up The S.S. Mutgar by Timond levels 10-15 (Map) runner-up Thrall Swamp by KayeOss levels 17-23 (Map) runner-up Tul-Sith's Hospice by Kyandra levels 17-22 (Map) runner-up The Walking Woods by Neyne levels 15-20 (Map) runner-up Westwood Outlook by Quidt levels 15-18 (Map) runner-up
All winner and runner-up areas were added to Midgaardia in 2006 March, as was A House of Stone. Some area level ranges were changed at this time; this list above shows these areas' current level ranges.
2018 Hero Area-Building Contest
Some notes from Pallidus:
Greetings Avatarians! I'm hosting an area building contest starting May 1st. -This is a chance to build something fun but there are no guarantees that the areas will be incorporated as permanent parts of the realm -This contest will involve building standard Hero tier areas -The area size will be small (25 room max) unless I see a solid plan -There is no overarching theme for the areas -I would encourage you to build something that would integrate with an existing area in the event your area does get selected to become permanent -Any items in your area need to be vanilla. No stat bonuses, etc. If an area is added to the game, items will be revisited to determine their final stats
The following are the accepted entries:
Name: Builder: Level Range: Map: Judgment: Antharian Arena by Ginta levels 51-51 The Tesseract by Xochitl levels 51-51 Ruin Of The Arcanists by Wiseman levels 51-51 A Private Hell by Morda levels 51-51
These areas were added in early 2019. They are located off the lobby at Sanctum, 2e, u.