MapleStory: Opinions of the Game
MMORPG.com MapleStory Correspondent Stone Ng writes this overview of the nexon free-to-play MMO, giving his opinions on various aspects of the game.
I have been playing MapleStory for more than a year now, I have played other MMOs as well, but I have stuck with MapleStory throughout most of it. Despite its shortcomings, it is a very solid MMO.
There is pretty bad balance in the beginning, but it all evens out in the end. It mainly depends on your funding. The classes all have their ups and downs, but in the end,every class will be needed for something.
Character Customization (Physical)
Customization is very limited. Basic customization includes the choice of a few hairstyles, facial styles, skin colors and shirt colors. If you purchase NX cash for real life money, you can buy more options. One problem is that you can't change your character's weight, height, or body part size.
The Maple world is quite overpopulated. Though that means that you can always find a party, you will end up wishing that the place was deserted. There are a lot of hackers and botters who will take up full maps. The maps that aren't taken up by botters are usually occupied. Though there are multiple channels in each server, the best training spots are usually filled. When you are lucky enough to find a good, empty training spot, milk it for all it's worth. Chances are someone stronger will come around within an hour and KS you until you leave. Occasionally, people will be willing to party with you or share the map.
On top of the training issues, the market is quite screwed up. The Free Market is either deserted or filled to the brim. In the more popular channels, it is hard to even see what people are trying to sell. To make it worse, once you find someone selling the product you are looking for, it is often impossible to find someone and make a trade. The Free Market is also filled with spammers and meso sellers.
To top it off, most of the users who hang around the starting towns are quite rude. I remember having to ask ten different users how to find Athena Pierce when I first started out. Although it varies by server, it doesn't get much better.
There is a lot of content in MapleStory. There are constant updates, and many weapons and armors to choose from. There are well built quests, and many monsters. There are countless worlds.
The one problem is the lack of PvP. For some, that is a problem, but there are Party Quests that pit one party against another. Though you won't be directly fighting the other party, you will each be trying to out score your opponents.
There are twelve classes at the end game. The classes are all somewhat different. They are grouped into five main classes: Mage, Warrior, Archer, Pirate, Thief. Each class is needed at the end game as well.
MapleStory has lot of glitches. Many of these glitches have very annoying effects. For example, if you get hit by certain monsters, you get perma banned. Though you can report a ticket, you will only get a computer response.
The graphics are very clean cut, and there is a nice background. It has better graphics than most other 2D side scrollers. The spell effects look cool, and so do the other class skills. The turn off to some is that the graphics are too kid oriented.
The character models are weird as well. Their heads account for half their body height, and they have twig arms.
MapleStory has considerably less grind than other Korean MMOs. Party Quests allow for constant exp and money when one gets bored of grinding.
In most areas, there is no lag whatsoever. However, in more crowded servers and more popular channels, the city areas and the free markets tend to lag a lot. Also, boss areas and event areas often disconnect users.
MapleStory has "kiddie" sound to match its "kiddie" graphics. The soundtrack is average, and it loops. The background music is quite pleasant though. The spell and skill effects are unusual at times. For example a crossbow shot sounds like someone plunging a toilet.
The tutorial is very good. MapleStory's tutorial is updated frequently, and gives the user a lot of information. There is even a class quiz to see which class suits you the best. The one complaint that users usually give is that one can't skip the tutorial anymore. Another good thing about the tutorial is that it teaches you how to build your stats in a beneficial way for a starter. Though one does not need to follow MapleStory's advice, it is pretty good. If one messes up their stats in the tutorial, they need not worry. All characters get their stats reset upon their first job advancement.
There is a good user interface. It is quite customizable, and does not require the mouse at all. One uses arrow keys for movement, but it is easy to change movement to WASD. Almost any key can be set to an option. One can use macros for easier casting.
MapleStory is F2P. The only investment is your time. With a two hour download, the game has enough content, and is solid enough to deserve a try. NX cash is worth it to a hard core gamer who wants the advantages it gives, however one can obtain most items with mesos (in game gold). There is also the Trade System which allows users to sell their items across all servers for mesos or NX.
Overall, MapleStory is a very good game. There is a lot of content, and everything about the game is above average except for the community and the customer service. If you are a PvE type of person, this game is definitely for you. If you like partying, you should still give this game a try. Eventually, you will find a group of nice people who you can party with until the end game.