What made Avara great?

I was thinking... I'm less interested in seeing a true sequel to Avara than in seeing a sequel-in-spirit (though I would certainly pay $100+ for a major upgrade). We all agree that Avara was and is Ambrosia's best game (the best game for the Macintosh ever to come out, in fact - even if it didn't sell). What d'yall think made it so good? What kind of future game could replace it?

• easy networking
• true 3d environment
• user-made levels (coulda used level transfer though)
• no luck used; skill based combat
• hull choices (coulda used more options though)
And mustn't forget:
• the great community that developed

I know I was first drawn to Avara by the ability to immerse myself into the level. I felt like I was a James Bond in training - slowly building on skills and techniques. I played most of the solo levels for a day or two before venturing into netplay.

There, the beauty of this "experimental interface" really shines.The ability to have a small chat room - and then play a few games with select people out of that group is cool. Team Play also helps diversify the gameplay.

I think the chat capabilities of Avara - limited as they are - is one of the strengths of the game. But- the best chat program doesn't do any good without people to chat with.

Over the years there have been a wide range of groups people could meet and talk with. Most people I've met through Avara are good folk, and always have some interesting view on the game and/or life. I'm not saying I agree with their views - and I'm not saying I didn't vocally disagree sometimes. But the ability to share those opposing viewpoints help everyone grow.

As far as the shortcomings of the game noted - I don't agree they were shortcomings at all. Personally I don't need more than 3 hull choices. And while a level transfer would have been nice built into the game - it doesn't detract from the game itself. It requires a certain amount of "keeping up with the Jones'" to play.

The one missing element that I can think of would be the lack of a level editor when the game shipped- or soon after. I think that would have made level creation easier -and more widespread at the beginning.

Ok, I've ranted too long here. Someone knock some holes in these words.

When you're right 90% of the time, you can disregard the other 3%

I'd welcome to post an organized essay/rant on this very topic on Avara.net.

You can check out a large, somewhat ordered rant conveying my point of view on all things Avara.