Alright, so I'm probably not the first to complain and bash Maple Story. In fact, I know i'm not the first. But I think that the only reason this game is so damn popular is because of it's Anime Artstyle.
Now, anybody who has met me knows I'm a huge anime fan. It's my preferd viewing actually, but MS here takes it a bit far. My first bone to pick with MS is that it advertises that you can do whatever you want in it. This however, isn't true until you reach the 2nd Job Advancement because you won't have enough material to get this stuff. Then, Leveling in MS takes forever. At first it's kind of like 'Oh yay, a lvl! I'ma go be a Magician now! =D", then it's like "HORRAY! LVL 19! And it only took 5 hours of pure grind!", but it gets worse. When you start getting into the later levels. You'll find that it's actually imposible to solo, this is actually pretty normal for a lot of games but MS takes it to a whole new level.
Then there is the Battle System of MS. The battles are actually kind of fun at first. But then, after killing you're billionith slime, you realize that it's just the same thing over and over again. And then, you have to manuver around that slime's buddies just to be able to kill it, because in MS, They have a battle system were every enemy is free moving. This means you're going to get gangked, a lot! Mostly you'll be killing one group of enemies, and then all the sudden, a giant monster that is 10 levels higher then you comes out of nowhere and gangkes you. And it's not just him that does it, it's everybody on the map. Because the giant comes, pushes you, then you run into another monster, and pushes you back, then the giant pushes you forward, and then you become a ball in a game of catch. The only real hope you have in MS is to be a ranged specialist becuase then at least you have the choice to kill the monster before it even hits you.
Graphics and animation are very smooth, possibly the only thing not weird or messed up about MS. If you like Anime style drawings that is.
Community in MS is infact the only thing nobody can really complain about in MS. Just about everybody in MS is very nice and helps out Newbies. Starting a party is very easy no matter what job you have. The only problem with this is that all the popular places to train are usually taken and so you have to find a nice, secluded spot to train, were there is nobody else, to talk to, to listen to, or to even look at. It kind of forces you to go into town and look for friends. I personally play MMO's just so I don't have to intereact with random people. The best way to have inerativity is to Join a guild as soon as possible and have conversations with your guild. But since most guild masters are either high levels and dont' go into low level places, and becuase guilds are kind of rare in MS, this is very hard to do.
The interface in MS is very simple to use, there really is no learning curb, just use the arrow keys and CTRL/ALT/Z/X to interact with objects/NPC's. The mouse is used for clicking on NPCs and spoils.
One of MS's biggest problems is Hackers. People who put tape over CTRL and hack the game so they attack all these enemies in this range and every minute, pick up all items dropped. This isn't a serious issue but hackers make the game unfair and since nobody really reports hackers, they continue to grow.
Events are trivial in MS. Here's a story:
The 2008/2009 MS Christmas/ Newyears even was to collect snowpieces, collect enough and get some awesome prizes. So, I check out the prizes. One prize is a scarf that increases all stats by 2. This is pretty cool, It was 1K Snow Pieces. So, I grind day and night trying to get this blasted thing, I finally get it, I log out for the day because I'm tired and I dont' see a point in playing anymore for the day. The next day I log in, the prize is gone. It turned out, the prize only lasted until the event ended, or the prize had a time limit. Either way, I was pissed.
It is encouraging to give newbiest high level quests, it gives them something to go for. But the one thing Nexon forgot when making MS, is that if the trail to the end is boring as hell, not a whole lot of people are going to stay for the grand fanale (which I'm guessing the lvl cap is 200).
At first, like in all MMO's, you start off as a peon. After about an hour or two of game play, you can chose to be a Wizzard, if not, you can wait 30 minutes to become either a Thief/Rouge, Warrior, Archer, or Pirate. Apparently Thief is the most popular choice but since Pirate came out, I believe that's changed.
Thief is the easiest class to solo in. You're fast, you can deal dammage, and you can make it so you don't get hit at all.
Warrior comes next, a warrior still needs to party though, Warriors are incredibly hard to buy new equipment with for some reason, I think it's because they kill less but get exp faster because they can kill something 2 levels above a Thief, and still be the same level as theif.
Wizard is a very fun class. Lots of MP buying, not a whole lot of HP buying. One complaint is that the Wizard starts out very slow in dealing dammage, but after you've doubled you're level, you start dealing heavy dammage. Kind of unfair if you ask me.
Archer, easily the easiest class to play startigically. You can decied to knock away the enemy or deal some dammage with an arrow. Archer was very easy to kill and very hard to kill. I suggest this as they have a little less DEF then a Warrior and a little more DEX then a Thief.
Chart of what each job needs you to put stats into
Thief - Luck
Archer - Dex
Wizard - Int
Warrior - Str
I'm not sure what the Pirate needs. Maybe a mix of Dex and Luck. Depending if you got the Sword or the Gun.
Scale (10 highest - 1 lowest)
Graphics - 6: Seen better, Anime is always nice.
Interface - 7: Easy to use, no learning curb, I give it a plus
Fighting - 3: Terrible attack system, I dislike getting gangked by a large monster when I'm just trying to level, but when that large monster actually messes up my concentration about killing the other guy, thats just a bad game.
Community - 8: good community, join a guild fast and you won't have any worries
Events - 5: Events are meaningless as you lose you're item at the end of the event. The best you get out of it is EXP but oh well.
Total - 29/50 (D) But barely.
I know there are people out there who think MS is the best MMO ever. These people are the ones who are Casual gamers. Very very casual gamers. The same ones who think Halo 2 Campaign was actually good, and the same ones who go to Best Buy asking for MGS4 for the 360. I don't understand the thought process of these people, but I guess if they're having fun, that's all that matters.
I'll recommend MS to a child or a new-gamer. I would never even dream about recommending this game to anybody else though.