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Vicarious Existence

To blog about what is going on in the MMO genre from a casual MMO player's viewpoint.

Author: UnSub

The Twelve Trials of UnSub: MapleStory

Posted by UnSub Monday May 5 2008 at 10:31AM
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As a change of pace, I thought I'd trial a MMO that wasn't a failure and did things a bit differently.

MapleStory is a 2D side-scrolling MMO that can be summed up in two words: "cute" and "repetitive". Early on it's simple to get the hang of - walk along, hold down the attack key to kill the monsters, pick up loot. I only reached lvl 11 having taken the job as a Thief, but by I got to this point I was well sick of holding down that attack key to kill increasing numbers of monsters that might drop the loot I need.

MapleStory's key strengths are its simplicity and cuteness - it's easy to pick up what you have to do to play and it's cute anime stylings with lots of character variety (which you can customise with items bought from shops, including shops where you can spend the 'real life' money / through microtransactions), It's also free to play as it has no sub fee... but Nexon makes a good return on MapleStory, suggesting a lot of people pay via microtransactions / RMT in order to get new goodies for their characters.

But the key weakness is lack of variety at this early lvl - you walk around and attack things, or you can walk around and jump over things. The quests you take on are all about getting the right number of the right monster item (which involves killing a lot of certain types of monster) or just plain old killing a lot of certain types of monster. The kinds of monsters that spawn too can be oddly combined - you can find in some locations monsters that are easy kills for your right alongside something that comparatively outlevels you by a long way - which leads to a  lot of running away  and resting.

Apart from the above, there isn't much to say about MapleStory. You'll either love it or get bored of it quickly. While I enjoyed the novelty of playing a 2D MMO, in the end MapleStory just didn't have enough to draw me in. The microtrans element works well enough for those who want that option, but you could also play this MMO for free over as much time as you'd liked. At the end of the day MapleStory bored me by the time I got to lvl 11; I was never going to make it to lvl 200!