I have been playing Maplestory between on and off periods since 2007, of which I rejoined 3 times since and have played consecutively for about 2 months each time prior to currently playing, which has been about three weeks so far. I've decided to write this because I like maplestory and I think that Nexon does respond effectively to its players. It has evolved greatly, but still requires work for it to be fair on the basis that all players have an equal in-game opportunity to become the strongest character. Maplestory has evolved in many ways, but the players seem to have rotated as it evolves from what I have gathered of every person I know who has quit with distaste; is that they invested so much in the game to get a great item only to discover in the following patch, that a better item is released. Conceptually, I don't find that there was anything wrong with this, given that it's a game and any evolution in an enjoyable game is usually honoured. But, since its inception, there was a system most commonly referred as 'potential system', which accounts for a percentage based on the accumulated points that have been added (by you) over the course of leveling your character. Each character starts with 4 of those points on each stat except one of those that you must focus on in order to achieve a better attack rate. After each consecutive level, each player is granted with 5 of which they could apply those points. Even with consideration that 5 additional points could be added each level, it accounts for very much given the situation that by your max level of 250, that your equipment accounts for a percentage model of what has been applied on that stat. Potential is granted by finding either a rare, epic, unique or legendary item or applying a scroll to make that item, of which you must either acquire from battling monsters, trade or participate in an event. Those categories are in ascending order of which the potential is graded and that grade is based on how much potential it may add. Rare items can add up to 3% on one line, Epic items can add up to 6% on one line, Unique items can add up to 9% on one line and legendary items can add up to 12% on one line (because there can be up to 3 lines per potential on an item and you cannot have a mix of these categories on an item). It is very rare that it's the case that 34% of the stat required to enhance your attack can be added to one item, but it does happen regularly. In addition, there is a concept of bonus potential, which is essentially that potential in the same measure could be added again (with little variation; and that is that the numbers on the bonus potential may result differently, but are approximately the same values). So, as a result, many people who I know have decided to quit this game being what they originally invested in to mean very little consistently rather than continue to play for a challenge.
I don't feel that the concept of a game evolving is a problem, but this game has changed entirely as a result for what had been less desired, yet accustomed for consumers appropriately and inappropriately because this was happening quite quickly and as it evolves, more fair measures are currently being implemented with consideration to old players who decided it was unfair. The fair aspect of that system is that acquiring potential every time is almost completely random (depending on what you use to potentially upgrade). So, the application of potential always occurred on a random basis, unless you apply a scroll because a scroll may apply the grade that will allow you to generate better results on that random basis, but that random basis being generated was originally based on what were referred as miracle cubes, which costed approximately $1.80 USD to reset the potential and generate another random sequence and there was no other way to randomly generate that when the potential system was first released. However, this was not the only consideration to how the concept of attack was effectively applied, because there were still traditional methods of upgrading equipment from other scrolls and that also accounted for a relative impact. But, from what the potential system had risen to be, the traditional methods had no comparison of stats to what the potential system could have offered. Currently, as I once understood maplestory as a leveling system that was very difficult, it has been said to be very easy for people now and I have witnessed and currently play in that situation for which I had never even thought that I would ever be able to achieve when playing during its earlier years (its inception was 2005). Not only did Nexon implement this very strong system to outclass traditional gamers of maplestory, but the monsters and boss maps now are invariably easy compared to what they were, when almost any boss required a party of members to participate, and usually after defeating the boss, a reward (which was usually the best item in the game) would be dropped. My friends in maplestory joke about that reward now, as it is evident that it only really depends on its potential if it would have any. In contrast, maplestory has been seen to decline significantly in social interaction because people can train alone easily and level up so fast that people miss the opportunity of meeting people who undergo similar challenges of being among approximately the same level when this is compared to the traditional format of maplestory because before the potential system, players were more likely to participate in party quests and it was usually the same time that it would be available to their level, given that they are both at least approximately the same level. So, I believe Nexon did not adapt properly to the system of allowing potential, with consideration to its previous format and potential being as incredible as it was for adding stats to equipment. In this respect, it can be seen as broken from its origin by originally requiring players to pay for a system that it could not uphold for players, respectively. So, why give this the rating that I did?
I gave maplestory an 8/10 because Nexon has and is continuing to respond to these issues. Some of the most important being that miracle cubes have been eliminated and new cubes have been added that can be acquired from playing in-game in a variety of ways. The effect of the various cubes that resemble miracle cubes apply random stats, meaning that it is not favorable to anyone in particular. Defeating bosses gives credit to allow purchases for the items that could only be acquired originally from paying USD and alternate versions of the original miracle cube can be crafted in-game. Many of the items that allow the crafting of cubes can also be found and acquired very easily. A boss that will be added to the game resembles what was originally the most difficult boss and he will be added with 50x more health and in pink. In addition, what players could originally use to style their character by paying USD was originally only available for 90 days after purchase before it was deleted from your inventory has now allowed permanent options, some of which can be acquired from in-game features such as defeating bosses and participating in events. Those items can also be traded, which was not allowed previously. There is also a concept referred as 'reboot world' that has become an option for players to start a new character to participate. Reboot world is essentially the same version of the game, but trades among other players is not allowed. As a result, this prevents what has been historically developed in the maplestory economy as a concept of class divide from people who have had more will to spend USD or have had more opportunity from other sources that could have been hacking (because it seemed much more used by players when the potential system wasn't invented) to a relatively channeled way of acquiring items that still depends on the probability of the drop rate from monsters and bosses and some essential items can be purchased at NPCs, which is partially included in the worlds that are not 'reboot'. However, this does not shed illumination on what others had originally invested to reset stats on what was granted from the original potential of their equipment, nor especially to the fact that the monsters are becoming relatively weak compared to how there is growing opportunity for the potential system. The boss with 50x more health does not come close to the equivalence of what the potential system has brought. Since the potential system was introduced, I have known many people to defeat what was originally the most difficult boss in one hit.
Some additional problems with this game is that swearing is not allowed. I don't think I would ever have a problem with that feature, but this makes dialogue very annoying sometimes because what was not intended to be swearing becomes censored because any variation of that word being spelled is used. For example, if I write; 'Can all of my equipment be scrolled?', it would be produced as this: 'C** **l of my equipment be scrolled?' as a result. This has proved very annoying among players and has proved to reduce communication in many contexts. However, there are still people who harass others through use of inappropriate language, and for this, this censoring procedure can be seen as necessary when being accompanied by a minor. Aside from that are some glitches, most notably of fighting certain bosses and when Nexon conducts a server maintenance, they are late almost every single time, if not, every time with opening the servers again. However, they have started to offer compensation for their lack of meeting their expectation of being done at the time they originally announce.
What draws me to this game is nostalgia and its aesthetic of being particularly good music that corresponds exceptionally well with the atmosphere of being immersed in a fantastical world and that every active member who I've met is around the same age as me. They are also elaborating on new ways to incorporate unique aspects to the game such as story arcs with sensitive themes, which I feel that I would have been more accustomed to participating during the traditional era because I would be online and training more frequently, and thus would impact my activity in the game with more involvement. With these new aspects being exposed, communication among many varieties is generally easy, given that every player is exposed to features such as this and event-related participation material. As a result, I can meet new friends who are also exposed, have experienced and would like to be challenged in the same way that I do. But it is slowly descending; that communication is helpful and progressive from the potential one can generate personally, and I am not sure whether the opportunity to meet new people will be more available to myself and others in the current state of this game and its evolution.