I have considered writing a MUD for years, and I have a lot of ideas my friends think are really cool (and that's how I'd hope to get anywhere -- word of mouth).
Thing is, there's one thing I have always wanted, that my friends and strangers hated: permanent death. Now, the emotional response I get to this is visceral revulsion, every time. I'm pretty sure I am the only person that wants this, or if I'm not, I'm a tiny minority.
Now, the reason I want it is because I want the actions of the players to matter. Unlike a lot of other MUDs, which have a set of static city-states and social institutions etc, I want the things my players do, should I get any, to actually change the situation. And that includes killing people.
If you kill someone, you didn't send them to time out, you killed them. What happens when you kill people? They go away. They don't come back in half an hour to smack talk you some more. They're gone. Forever.
By making death non-permanent, you make death not matter. It would be similar if a climax to a character's arc is getting a speeding ticket. It cheapens it. Non-permanent death cheapens death.
How can I: 1) Convince my players (and random people!) that this is actually a good idea?, or
2) Find some other way to make death and violence matter as much as it does in real life (except within the game, of course) sans character deletion? What alternatives are there out there?