For those who don’t know, I ran a journal dedicated to a MMO I used to play for sometime. As of now, I have retired and will never play another MMO.
It’s been about 2 years since I last played MapleStory. Some good memories and some bad. It was my second MMO as well since I didn’t have anything decent to play. My cousin introduced MapleStory when I was in high school in 2nd year. Played the game for 5 years straight and on August 2010, my account was breached and I was officially done with the game. As a 5 year player, I wasn’t excited when Big Bang was arriving since new data will make the current items worthless with each patch.
After doing much soul searching after I got hacked, I decided to return two years after I got hacked. Turns out I didn’t like the scheme Nexon was doing to the game. To be fair, it is putting more content and taking out what is wrong with MapleStory but that is curing the symptom, not the problem.
Ever since Big Bang is introduced which is equivalent to World of Warcraft’s cataclysm, it changed. For me it was neither good or bad.
Much like every other MMO out there, they must change for the better if they want to keep players or reel in new players. Because stagnation is inevitable. But sometimes vanilla (insert MMO title) is what possibly kept the game good.
As I watch Brian Schmoyer’s New Leaf Saga and his commentaries, the community degraded 6 months after MapleStory was officially released. Bluntly put it, it is taking the worst of internet personalities and put in this world. Then again, Penny Arcade GIFT (Gabriel’s Internet Fuckwad Theory) works because a digital mask or being anonymous with an audience having an attention span of a hyperactive 7 year old kid. There are several mature players but they are equivalent to diamonds in the rough as majority of players are power hungry and prone to mocking and driving away new players. The worst comes from elite players who currently play this game stating the obvious that it is easy to decimate bosses when they have no experience about first year or even beta for that matter.
Leveling is absurdly easy now comparison to 7 years ago. The only way to gain experience points back then was pure grinding. Killing monsters and very little quests. The challenge of the game is gone. When Nexon implemented new bosses, it was difficult to defeat them when they first appeared. Now they are trivial, featuring zero feat but to be highly leveled to curb stomp bosses solo. Obtaining a Zakum helmet back in 2006 was a sign of accomplishment as a group. Now people can blast Zakum to oblivion as a solo level.
But there are several areas that still surprised me. Party quests are still around but part of why they blow is a) You have to learn about them in advance and b) one party group per channel. It is already 7 years and they still don’t have the problem solved. NPCs for the party quest do so little to help you to obtain the information needed to advance to the next stage and problem is that the party group expects specific classes to do their job. If people managed to know how to do their work they are either lucky or a lying sack of crap to know what you are supposed to do. From 1 party group per channel rule, I could recall that there was a competitive Free-For-All contest called Ariant Competition and it has 3 groups per channel. From what I understand, some party quests are worth the trouble and some are not. It does not give a legitimate excuse why it is packed every time I enter channel 1 to recruit other members and find other channels to be full. Otherwise, your other option would happen to be using the tracking feature.
Classes classes classes. Is Nexon running out of ideas or are they trying to place more variety? I see 5 regular joes called adventurers, 5 legends that dedicate to the heroes, 5 classes that are sub servants, 3 classes are twists of the original and some are expansions while others are something else from another dimensions. When new classes debut to the game, they overpowered the new classes to give the player feelings of empowerment till when the month passes, they are nerfed to never be able to play again by someone.
Perhaps that I am old and bitter about this game that I used to like so much 5 years ago. It is certainly not the same and I doubt that it would stay the same. After all, MMOs come and go and before you know about a certain MMO you liked then vanishes due to lack of development and some MMOs can last long.