Producer Blog Week 6 has been released and most of the MapleStory2 players are actually disappointed by the direction Nexon seems to be heading with how progression functions in the game. Perhaps this new patch is to slow down progression on purpose, or it’s because current content is not even mentioned there. Sadly to speak, the absence of Nexon’s sight of the overall picture and inexpediency over the trade-off between MapleStory 2 progression and its actual worth is exposed. It is shocking that with the player behavioral statistics that Nexon is able to pull regarding player activity in MapleStory 2 dungeons is not analyzed further than a number. Player behavior in how content is used and completed is a result of how the game is built. Ideally, the goal should be the most optimal method to intrigue players to join in more variations of dungeons without feeling burned out or repetitive, and sadly based on a full analysis and assessment over this new MapleStory 2 progression system that Nexon just released, it actually is worse than the old system. Why? Let’s break it down with a topic by topic analysis starting with the current system, and the “goal” Nexon has established the Hard Dungeon content to cater to regarding future content.
Current HD Progression System Assessment
It is common knowledge even without statistics that Lab Halls(abbreviation of Labyrinthine Halls, the same below) and FD(abbreviation of the Fire Dragon, the same below) are probably the two most “run-need” dungeons during most times. This fact is proven by and used as “the reasoning and issue” in many producer blogs. So how did this issue really even start?
This issue actually traces back to the Founders Closed Beta. The foundation of the progression system has been extremely vacillant and last minute choices have created countless PR and balancing issues, which has to lead to the state of the game.
In Founders Closed Beta, players that made to level 50 had privileges to shift to questing dungeons that only provided 2 different choices of weapons – Murpagoth and Rune. Generally speaking, it was pretty clear which one would give a better damage boost without too much experimentation needed(yes, Murpagoth Warrior Blade it is). This resulted in CBT(abbreviation of Closed Beta Test, the same below) players running FD weapons most of the time. This resulted in the initial influx of players already being trapped by the infinite “FD” runs they need to do progress.
When it reached to the point that the game to be officially released, the new dungeons did not turn the situation around as the initial influx of players were already rooted in one type of dungeon. No doubt to say there were some people that switched to MSL, but that was the minority of players. What did this cause exactly? Players needed to run as many FD as it required to get more weapons to progress and upgrade. There was no benefit of running any other dungeon except for the accessories and the tradable epics. However questing any of these dungeons would have potentially hindered progression towards the Chaos Raids, as your weapon would miss out on potential fodder.
When the new players joined in, FD was by far the most talked-about, done choice. So new players invested in FD weapons naturally. As a result, this caused a snowball/domino effect that all the newer players that started to play the game get involved with. This is what I personally reckon, and based on how this current system works, am really positive about what resulted in this “Players only doing FD”: There seems to be a huge barrier among the players, NA team, and the developers that already formed as a result of the lack of communications between the GMs and the developers of the game.
Why is the new system not so intriguing at all?
So Producer Blog 6 came out, let’s quickly highlight what’s in there.
-Adjusting the difficulty level for each dungeon and, as such, will be changing the Gear Score requirements.
-Weakening the bosses for The Fire Dragon and Labyrinthine Halls Hard Adventure Dungeons, giving them 10% less health and 25% lower attack.
-Now players must choose dungeon based on which part of their gear they want to progress.
– Adjusting the difficulty level for each dungeon and, as such, will be changing the Gear Score requirements.
Weakening FD dragon HP by 5mil does not cause the dungeon to become any faster like . . . Lol sure it might be “faster” but still going to be 15mins+ for no geared people that will still probably die instantly to laser beams and burn.
– Now players must choose dungeon based on which part of their gear they want to progress.
Here’s where the real problem begins:
According to the current system, you get a weapon and an armor every time you wipe out a dungeon. Now you only get one or the other once you’re in the new progression system. In simple terms, this is holding back overall gear progression. Now the good rolls you may have gotten on your armor no longer exist as you don’t get armor from farming the weapon, which gives an obvious better benefit compared to farming armor that is the first thing you will change once you complete the first two chaos raids. Doesn’t make sense? Exactly. Neither of the chaos raids gives a prominent DPS boost needed to potentially clear cPAP, and cDev honestly does not help you clear cMOC any faster. Your weapon will. Making for the same influx of players now shifts to the 2 weapon box dungeons. Perhaps if the weapon boxes they provide ONLY give by your class, you may be able to progress faster, but it only aggravates the symptoms of the disease that is the 2 dungeon weapon grind that already exists in our current system. This system does not benefit new players but makes it harder for new players to get sheltered by other players, as players that need their weapons to +15 will only go into those 2 weapon dungeons. Players hoping to get sheltered do not get an opportunity to go into any of the other dungeons as they don’t have the weapon needed to clear it as smoothly. This is literally the problem of the current system, with a knife cut into it, followed by a “new system bandage.” It comes out to be worse for new players, and old players just switch to the two dungeons. What an actual joke.
The clear solution and easy fix that would have literally promoted dungeon diversity were to make all HD weapons usable as fodder for enhancement while the current drop system retains the same as it was before. This way those who didn’t want to challenge themselves could continue to farm FD or Halls, and those who actually want to mix it up are now not punished for not doing their respective weapon dungeons. Not to mention the difficult dungeons come with better dungeon specific epics, so those who want to challenge themselves for better potential rewards will no longer be punished.
NEXON you should be making progression easier for newer players to reach the endgame, not harder just to promote “dungeon diversity” because your current system is flawed. Stop trying to add this bracketed progression system, and see the bigger picture for once.
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