In Maple Story 2 you are able to customize your character in a variety of ways. You are able to buy clothing items from the cash shop as well as chat bubble customization items and badges that change your name tag background. If buying an outfit does not fit your mood, you can take those merits and customize your own outfit via their Maple Workshop. It is, of course, recommend you have some knowledge of using a creative program to customize the templates. Not only can you customize your clothes you can customize mounts as well. There are a number of mounts you can buy templates for and customize.
To add to the customization you can also customize your home. There are a number of blocks to use to customize and most are free. If none of those are to your fancy, like with clothes and mounts, you can buy block templates and customize those. MapleStory 2 offers a variety of ways to make yourself as unique as possible. If you want to make some merits back, you can take your cool designs and put them up for sale on the Design Shop in-game. It takes merits to post the item to sell and there is no guarantee people will want to buy it, but it is worth a shot.
I've already spoken about the leveling experience and how you can level to 50 in about two days. Now with the cap increasing to 60, it takes a bit longer than two days to get to the cap. After you hit level 50 the leveling slows a great deal.
If you are not rushing to hit max, know there are a bunch of mini-games you can do in between questing and leveling. These minigames will pop up on the side of the screen from time to time. Each offers experience and mesos as a reward. If you are able to make it to last round you are given a Kay Coin which can be used in Queenstown at the spin wheel for prizes. If you would like to know the type of minigames check out the Maple Story 2 site for in-depth details on them as there are many.
Another thing to do in between leveling is playing music and fishing. Both activities give you experience points and can be seen as an alternate way to level your character. If you do not want to stick around at the computer to manually do these activities, it is possible to put them on auto mode using either a voucher or by paying merits. I found this to be a great way to level a character overnight or while I'm doing other work.
As with most MMOs this game has crafting. At the moment there are limitations on how many materials can be gathered at one time. You reach the limit when it says "impossible" and then must wait for it to refresh. As far as the kinds of crafting there are Smithing, Handicrafts, Alchemy, and Cooking. Each has a specific type of gathering to pair with it. The gathering types are Mining, Foraging, Ranching, and Farming. Ranching goes with handicrafts and farming with cooking.
For the most part, these crafting trees lead to unlocking costume parts and housing items by ranking them up. The player can craft items to increase gains for different gathering or crafting. They are also able to make items that provide temporary buffs. In the later levels of crafting players are able to make some weapons though they may not be as strong as what you can acquire from a dungeon.
One way to get some use out of the crafting is to hire an assistant. In the housing, players are able to hire NPC assistants which have crafting skills and ranks. Higher ranking assistants cost merits. Assistants have an initial merit cost, then, in order to keep the assistant, you have to pay a monthly fee. These assistants are able to craft different items for the player.
As you can see there are many things to do outside of the general questing and leveling. Each area on the map has an area quest list of things to do. Completing these awards you stars which goes towards unlocking rewards in the map view. Opening this map view, you will see areas marked with red sword icons. I'm sure you can guess what this means: You guessed it, PvP areas do exist.
I have hopped in and out of those areas but most times I've found them to be empty or people just going there for a quest but not looking for a fight. If PvP is your type of thing you can do it in those areas. These areas do have shelters a player can go to when they want to avoid or take a break from that PvP life. Currently the PVP Arena is not in as developers are working out gear and such for that. It is slated to be reactivated in early December.
You will also see on the map menu red monster icons. These appear when there are world boss monsters appearing in an area. These monsters are typically tough and can take very long to solo. Most of these types of boss monsters have over 20 million HP at higher level areas which shows they are meant to be taken on by more than one person. There is one problem that many people have faced when fighting some of these for daily quests. There is, however, a huge amount of lag that comes from having so many players in one area attacking the same monster. If possible to get a group of people and go to a less populated channel but that can be hard at times especially if you are a solo or not in a guild.
Guilds are also in Maple Story 2. Guilds get to have a guild home area. In this area, you can add shops, assistants and get guild quests. As a leader, you can also activate guild buffs. As your guild levels and ranks up, you are able to purchase different looks for your group home. It takes an enormous amount of mesos in order to do this, however. It is worth it in the end to have an area that might fit with your guild’s theme if it has one.
There is a battle royale mode in Maple Story 2 called Mushking Royale. As it is with other BR titles, this has seasons though at the moment it is still not active. From my experience in the closed beta, you will start by floating in a big air balloon jumping out over a large map. You can find items to pick up and throw at other players as well as battle monsters in the field for item drops to use. There are towers located around the map which will sound off when a player is near. This mode has some fun to it but can take a little getting used to since you do not use your everyday class skills.
With all that this game has come to offer I have found my fun in it. I understand the cutesy depiction of it may be a turn off for some who like realistic or more cartoon-like graphics that are not heavily anime-influenced but do not let that fool you. MapleStory 2 offers great dungeons, amazing boss fights, good class diversity and so far a pretty decent story. I know the story stops short of getting to a culmination of everything but if you've played the first MapleStory or any MMO you know this is par the course. Stories develop over time and so does gameplay.
Right now having reached the current max level of 60, I am enjoying just playing around. I spend most of my time doing dailies to save up different currencies for mounts. As well as completing daily missions in hopes to get voucher pieces to make templates to sell in my design shop. At the moment this is the endgame until the next content update. If you really want to see it at its most challenging get to level 50 and run some of the hard adventures for the first time. I recommend the Balrog fight, Temple of Immortals. Whereas it can be tough for me to the point of yelling obscenities, I really enjoy the experience.
I'm hoping since Nova's popped up recently in the story that maybe somewhere down the road we will get a Kaiser class in this. It is my favorite from MapleStory. I am looking forward to the future activities to be had in Maple Story 2. Also recent update that was posted October 16th, they are working on new weapon templates. I’m so excited for this because I’ll be able to make something for my Heavy Gunner that is better than a box.
Is MapleStory 2 worth getting into right now? Yes, it is. There is an awesome event going on, Mapleoply, where you play a version of monopoly that has various rewards on the board. One being "Roto Air Taxi" walkies that allow you to take a free helicopter ride to any map. No better time than now at the launch of an MMO to just level and have fun then when there are a bunch of people around to do dungeons with. If you can find a class you enjoy playing or something you enjoy doing give it a try for that.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on (platform) with a code provided by PR.