Mine wasn't all that long ago it seems. The first mud I played was called Gundam Wing MUD. Needless to say I spent several hours of my life on that game. Anyways, it had trouble and went down. About a day or two after I discovered Gundam Wing MUD (thanks to my brother), I also found AvatarMUD, which I still play to this day. I don't get on much, but when I do I manage to gain a few levels, especially during a HoG-a-thon. It will win no award for roleplaying, but they did a fantastic job with their mud otherwise. All of the classess are balanced pretty evenly, and there are several races to choose from (such as elf, ents, slugs, goblins, kziniti and other usuals). Levels 1-50 are considered mortal, but when you hit level 51 you are considered a hero. You then are able to gain a whole slew of new spells and what not, most from other classess. You then have 999 sub levels as a hero, in which at some point (I think level 500+) you remort into a Lord (level 52, process repeats, lvl 999 lord is max currently). The greater your level, the greater your chance of remorting successfully.
Its up and running at avatar.outland.org:3000 if you want to check it out. I'm Odis/Syncarny/Syncarn (damn spelling mistakes in character names), so send me a tell if you see me on.
Oh, and for you bard's tale lovers, take a look at http://www.thebardstale.com
It appears they have a new one As a side note about this, be careful where you put your mouse. If you happen to move it over the womens breasts it may send you to http://sexualharrassment.com