It’s about time I did a followup for that initial peek at Maplestory. I managed to get two characters to level 40 with no issues, so I’ve got some stories to tell. I also explored a few old/new areas that have apparently undergone some drastic changes in regarding lower level access. There are also major discrepancies between the in-game drops and the drops listed on each and every information site I’ve visited thus far. That in mind, let’s get down to brass tacks.
Victoria Island has been dramatically reorganized, with roads to all areas consolidating in the center, called the Six Paths crossing. This serves as a hub for movement between Kerning City, Henesys, Ellinia, Perion, Lith Harbor, and Nautilus. Several smaller areas have been purged from the game completely, favoring instanced mini-dungeons with high spawn rates over obscure farming locations.
Due to the increase in the rate at which characters gain levels, other areas have had their mobs boosted. Orbis and Ludibrium are no longer level 40 solo friendly, to say the least. Other areas, like Edelstein and Rien, are brand spanking new to my knowledge, providing extra low-level grinding opportunities. All the same, the gaps imposed by the higher level areas are easily bridged by dedicated questing.
Speaking of questing, there is a surplus of opportunities to gain easy experience from collection, hunting, or story quests. The Level-Up guide will provide players with suggestions of places to grind, quests, PQ, etc, making it a valuable but optional asset. It even provides a navigation passive to lead you to your desired area. Handy, dandy, cotton candy.
Cut scenes. There are certainly a lot more of those this time around, I can tell you that much. Unskippable, sadly. I say “sadly” because of just how irritating the voice actors are. I’d most assuredly be less critical if I could skip the bastards; I’d rather find my enjoyment in gameplay as opposed to finding it in admittedly cute, noseless animations. Just, the voices. Egh. You know that anime thing that happens when people are nervous or scared? That sort of breathy, grunting noise? Seems a mite superfluous. The facial expressions will suffice, I think.
Bosses also play an important role in the new and improved Maplestory. They typically have an hour spawn timer, a shit-ton of health, self-buffs, crowd summoning abilities, and crowd control abilities. For a player with low damage output, bosses are apt to be the most painful thing in the game. But, with the new potpourri of class-related skills, and availability of experience, it’s unlikely that will be a problem.
Finally, I really should touch on just HOW many servers there are. With over 20 different worlds and 19 channels in each, there’s room enough for more than double the amount of players already active. It’s impressive, really. Especially considering they’re just barely halfway done with transferring the content from the other versions. The game is nothing short of a powerhouse. It’s free, anyway, so why not give it a shot?