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[Feedback] Exploration

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  • DrinkTeaDrinkTea
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 910
    Posts: 21
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    No incentives other than world stars and somehow become tedious. You skip so many areas when rushing through the story, and there's no reason to NOT take the taxi (please don't nerf taxi just give a reason for actually moving). And as for the world stars, a lot of them are monotonous; hit a monster with x, talk to x, find golden treasure in x (THAT NEVER SPAWNS, MAY I MIND YOU), and catch x exceptional+ fish (THIS LEVEL OF RNG NEEDS TO LEAVE), etc. Nothing about this is fun, enjoyable, or engaging.
  • YlmirYlmir
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 560
    Posts: 7
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    I apologize in advance, this post is going to be quite lengthy (tl;dr in last paragraph), as I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement on the whole Exploration Stars system. It could have been a great idea, but the reuse of several inadapted, copy-pasted quests brings it down.

    The goal was probably to push the player to explore more – explore the maps, but also the gameplay. Such a system to make the player learn about his environment and interaction possibilities is a good thing. But I felt something was off, when doing these sidequests: it quickly felt like a chore (which is probably why some people are asking for it to be account-wide in the first place).

    Let’s first talk about the system as a whole: On each map, you have between 3 and 5 challenges to accomplish to gain XP and an exploration star – a single objective isn’t very rewarding by itself (unless you try to level up this way). Every few stars, you gain a defined reward: There are potions, outfits, and attribute points. The stars are not shared between characters on the same account, which means you have to do these tasks on every character on which you want the rewards.

    The attribute points as rewards are actually pretty big incentives for people to do these challenges as they make the character stronger and you can only get a limited number of these on each character. But for a gameplay system to work and become a motivation for the player to keep playing, this system needs to be both fun AND rewarding. Here, this is rewarding (if you’re a minmaxer or like the outfits), but the fun isn’t there, most of the time: the quests are often uninteresting, and this makes the grinding for these attribute points (in order to keep an optimized character) incredibly tedious.

    The issue with exploration, and the associated feeling of discovery is that this feeling is, by definition, only there when you discover something for the first time. This means that each map must have between 3-5 different small quests that all have something unique. If a quest do not deliver a different feeling or experience, some extra content or insight, then this quest has failed at serving the purposes of the Exploration Stars: letting the player discover something (even just discovering that you can attack with a shower cabin). This means that all the "copy-pasted" quests are actually hindering the purpose of this system.

    With all that in mind, I see two different possible paths for such a system: Either make quests interesting to complete on different characters, in which case it makes sense to have a separate stars count on each character, or make the quests character-independent (as it is now): completing them twice or thrice on different characters does not provide a different experience to the player, and the star count should then be made account-wide (and the rewards adapted to this).

    This is only my personal interpretation of what purpose this system serves and how it would work better, and I may be wrong on the true intentions of this design (maybe it’s just for completionists after all), but I still think this gives us a good basis on debating the existing quests and whether or not they are efficient, and why.


    * Defeat a world boss or miniboss
    This is probably the best exploration sidequests in the game. Each miniboss has a slightly different flavour on its own, which is enough to justify it being a sidequest, but what makes it better is that if the player completes these on different characters, with a different class, he actually lives a different experience every time: This is exactly the kind of quest that would work even if the star count is not account-wide.
    The Mushmom objective was probably the most interesting I’ve seen, because it is a blend of exploration (there really is this feeling of novelty the first time you find the map, you feel like you discovered an ingame secret), combat (which is character dependent) and even fanservice (no, not THIS kind of fanservice).

    * Binoculars
    These ones are pretty nice – they do serve this purpose of exploration and give a nice different point of view on the map for those who want it, without being too boring for people who aren’t interested in these but want to max their character anyway. Accessing these is, most of the time, quite easy, apart from a few ones where a flying mount seems mandatory.

    * Talk to X / Find X (X being an entity on the map, with some text/lore associated to it)
    Not much to say, these work as exploration goals by inciting players to discover more about the universe and characters of the game.
    Maybe something like “Reach X without using a (flying) mount” could be a nice variation on some maps, if there are places that lend well to this kind of objective.

    * Find the golden treasure chest at a specific spot
    This objective suffers because of how chests work. The fact that the chest isn’t always there makes this objective incredibly tricky. Let’s suppose that a player wants to find the chest without relying on a community guide; the player then needs to find the chest with the indication given in the objective, but also needs to be in an instance of the map where the chest exists – this is an unknown variable that doesn’t depend on him, but can make the objective impossible, without the player knowing he’s looking for something that doesn’t exist. The only reasonable option, for a player, to do this objective is then to rely on an external guide and channel-surf until he finds a channel where the chest exists, in which case this objective isn’t about exploration anymore, but about farming.
    To me, the easiest way to make this objective work would be to ensure a 100% chance of finding a chest for a specific player if he hasn’t completed the associated objective yet, some kind of “instanced chest” that could be managed by the client (with a single check by the server when opening the chest, for the rewards, to avoid exploits). This wouldn’t change much the balance of the game as it would be a one-time thing only for specific chests, and would make this objective far less frustrating to do.

    * Open X wooden treasure chests
    There is indeed exploration involved, but I felt like the wooden chests were curiously rarer than the golden ones. I think this quest is not really interesting for the player, but this is completely subjective.

    * Attack a monster with a given item 10 times
    We enter serious farming territory there. The intention behind this objective is clearly to tell the player that he can interact and attack with the environmental assets. The first time you smash a toilet on a monster’s head, you have a blast. The 2nd and 3rd time, it’s still pretty fun. But by the 10th time on a single map, the novelty effect already wore off. The objective is already a bit boring to do on a single map, with plenty of items to use. But when you are on maps where you have only two bottle crates, located at the opposite ends on the map, you end up doing the less attractive thing in a MMO : Running between two separate points.
    In my opinion, this objective can be kept, but 10 times is probably too much for “just discovering the gameplay”, and it is so common that it may need to be replaced by other quests sometimes.

    * Perform X minutes with friends / Stay AFK/sit for a given period of time / Catch a specific fish
    These ones are (I think) meant to let some room for the “social” aspect of the game, but to be honest, I’m more critical of these quests for rewarding people for actually not playing. At least, it can also tell people to take a break if they don’t feel like socializing, but it can also feel like a forced void in the game experience to some players, especially those that are not enjoying the proposed activities. For the fishing quest especially, it feels more like a misplaced achievement, although it may be a way to tell the player that there’s a unique fish on this specific map. Sadly, it also locks the people who actually hate fishing in MMOs out of these stars – don’t even get me started on doing these on several characters.

    * Drive a vehicle / Swim / Walk in the snow
    These ones are of the easy kind, but, to be honest, I don’t feel like they really have a purpose other than saying to the player “Okay, now, walk around in circles there until I say you’re done”. This is not interesting. Eventually, I discovered that the distance is done faster on inclined “triangular” blocks, but that’s all. And unlike the previous ones, these activities cannot be done during “social” gameplay, as you can’t type in the chat when you’re busy chasing your own tail.

    There are probably other objectives that I forgot, but I think the Exploration Stars, as they are in CBT2, do not bring much to the player’s experience, and may even be detrimental to it, as some categories of players may need to farm these quests on every character, not for the “fun”, but for the reward. These objectives also lack replay value, and as such shouldn’t be on a “per character” basis (unless maybe for some leveling XP, which should be slightly rebalanced if this is changed).
    MapleSapoSubglacious
  • Always_HidAlways_Hid
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 9,900
    Posts: 1,076
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    first off, i love your maps and especially the binoculars so we can see the whole thing. i am a completionist type player and love the idea of exploration goals. that being said i do think your exploration goals are good but there's always room for improvement.

    1) i wish there were a few harder goals (especially on higher leveled maps) or maybe more of a diversity in what to do from map to map. some of the goals are really fun and unique, i just wish more maps had more unique goals.

    2) i do wish there were more hidden streets and objectives to find and complete, i feel like your maps can accommodate things like this easily and it would be fun to hunt for.

    3) speaking of hunting, i think the treasure chests shouldn't despawn until someone has found them. i ran into instances where i was traveling to a hidden chest but by the time i got there it was gone, even when i was alone on a map. this shouldn't be the case. also, as mentioned above i think it would be nice if treasure chests were instanced/shareable.

    4) i think the rewards were a mixed bag. i enjoyed the outfit and the ap points (of course) but thought the low level herbs and potions were a bit meh. i think if you at least started at orange herbs and pots and went up from there it would be a bit more useful. i didn't check out all the rewards (so pardon if this already exists in game) but i think an emblem and player name/chat bubble badge thats exploration themed would be nice as higher level rewards.
    nEwBVnH.gif
  • MapleSapoMapleSapo
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 980
    Posts: 30
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    edited 10:26AM August 2, 2018
    I miss a way to look at the scenary in a first person view turning to the direction I want to look at. It is part of the exploration going to a beautiful place and look at everything, but all we can do is to look at our self, in an specific angle...

    EDIT: There is two other points I want to talk about.

    1) Sometimes we enter in a small space like a hole/little cave in the map, and we cant see anything. There is no transparency in the blocks between me and the camera. So a transparency or a first person view should solve this.

    2) Monsters! As a long time player of the original MS, I noticed some weird things about classic MS monsters in this game. Some like Magma dogs (big and small one) for example, should have their original names. It is really annoying to see new names on classic monsters. And what was that blue "king slime"? Should be "King Bubbling", since there is no blue slimes. The green snail color is too bright, since it supposed to be dark green. Also the size of the Mushrooms (orange mushroom, blue, etc) is too small compared to the horny mush versions (originally the horny and green cap mushies are smaller and have little arms, and the others are bigger and armless). - I know this is a new game, don't get me wrong, but the I would like to see the original game stuff as they supposed to be, not a remake using old stuff.
  • xCarnifexxCarnifex
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 440
    Posts: 5
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    The reward for achieving high numbers of exploration goals are not that exciting.
  • ROTTIROTTI
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 590
    Posts: 5
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    edited 3:24PM August 2, 2018
    I think more of the tasks should be shared amongst party members on the map. I know some are currently shared such as killing elite bosses, binoculars, and some 'destroy object's but other things should be too, like using X items Y times. The spawns are slow/amount per map is small or too far apart. Allowing shared tasks between party members encourages players to explore with friends as it's SUPER boring to do these tasks since they're so repetitive. Team effort makes it more enjoyable.

    Also, chests are just a pain with even when changing channels because if someone took the chests on all channels already, I won't ever know where they're supposed to spawn in the first place.

    Would definitely enjoy more hidden areas though, those are fun.

    Fishing, not so much, especially if my fishing mastery isn't high enough level (which takes forever to level up anyways).

    edit: also please add more rewards because it takes so long to do these : ( maybe more pots? vouchers?
  • OneMapleLeafOneMapleLeaf
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 400
    Posts: 11
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    edited 10:28PM August 3, 2018
    The amount necessary to travel through the maps (taxi) using mesos is insane. You would basically have to do 20 quests in order to get the amount necessary to travel once using the taxi.
  • NavokiNavoki
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 1,010
    Posts: 18
    Member
    I love the idea of this, but feel the goals need to be adjusted slightly.

    Ive seen some people say already that it should make things feel more immersive, go swimming, find this, climb that etc. an i agree with this.

    The one i absolutely hated was needing to take a taxi OUT of the place in like 50% of the areas.

    Its a bit of a contradiction to hijack the camera an show us the taxi stop, then have a goal to leave using said taxi in my opinion. Youve already shown us where its at, no need to search for it. Also, its marked on the minimap.

    Subglacious
  • SmashSenpaiSmashSenpai
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 1,420
    Posts: 63
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    Taxi stars are super annoying. I have to go to that map, just to leave that map. If I was exploring, chances are, I want to be at that map. Not leave it.

    Fishing/Mining/Gathering stars that require a high level in that life skill are very annoying. I'm trying to explore, not level up life skills. Try to keep the two separate.

    Swimming, driving, and flying are fine. But I usually don't want to be hanging on a rope or sitting for 5 minutes. I say usually because I have a guild I can chat with., but if they're not around it feels like I'm wasting my time.

    Exploration stars should have to do with you know, exploration! Meeting the npcs, discover the interactable objects, fighting the unique enemies.

    Finding golden chests is annoying because sometimes they are there and sometimes they are not. Maybe have each chest remember who has opened it and only appear for players who have not opened them before.
  • AlzackAlzack
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 3,745
    Posts: 167
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    I really like that world caters to every environment so PvE-/PvP-focused players will find their place for some fun, region of Victoria Island is huge and every location has its own charm but I'm concerned that maps aren't coherent. There are no weather effects nor day & night cycle in-game, these features would bring some atmosphere to every location. I think that adding 1 map that looks like a transition between the zones would be a great idea, it wouldn't give a feeling that you're in Perion among lava for a moment and then you land in a lush green forest out of nowhere 1 minute later. Camera angle doesn't allow showing anything behind blocks and movement usually ends with fall so development team may consider incorporating some transparent circle around character to show if there's any path ahead, something similar that was done in Dofus and Wakfu.

    Spawn rate of treasure chests on maps seems horrible and may feel like a hassle upon official launch. Every box has fast despawn time and it vanishes before I get to it on time. I'd advise adjusting the rate of treasure chests, also taking into consideration the fact that demand to open them is usually bigger than amount and that leads to frustration, long awaiting period for respawn as well as enforced change of channel. Few exploration goals are already implemented into achievements through trophy system or tasks required for Daily Missions and feel repetitive on further maps (binoculars, taxi, hit monster with XYZ), I would kindly suggest changing them into something that requires a bit of exploration like you did with Vidrem Mansion Garden in Middleton and Chalk Graffiti in Tria (ie. making an item via crafting recipe from parts provided by local NPCs, finding and marking appropriate point of interest shown on picture, escorting NPC to safety, killing some monsters / mini boss without using potions if there's really no idea for anything else). I'm also glad that you implemented World Quests, they provided entertainment to some extent and served as natural progression in the sense of exploration. More sidequests and lore hidden on maps means more fun and reason for further adventures to me. Keep up good work and continue changing exploration goals into something much more interesting than repetitive tasks.

    The rest from CBT 1 feedback on the matter of exploration remains the same.
    Kind regards!
  • al4nw31al4nw31
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 220
    Posts: 7
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    I wish there were more objectives to complete, and I wish they were more varied. Spawn rates of treasures and bosses are a bit questionable. I didn't even know treasure chests only spawned at specific intervals until I couldn't complete a bunch of objectives.

    I think a fun exploration goal would just be to find the highest point in the map or to implement some of them as side quests.
  • mezzofartemezzofarte
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 300
    Posts: 3
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    I'm not sure this belongs in this section, but I'll go for it anyway. There was this one map (I can't remember the name) which was underground/in a cave and had lava, as well as people sleeping on the floor(?) I didn't have any problems with them other than whenever my player stood on top of them and they would become slightly transparent (as to not block the image of the player(?)), their facial features seemed to have bolded/become thicker. I just thought it was funny tbh but it should be fixed
  • SumeSume
    Maplestory 2 Rep: 200
    Posts: 7
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    i enjoyed exploring so much.tried to catch every star, it was fun. the reward for the stars were good. no complaining about that.
    the only thing i'd like to mention is, that the golden chests very hidden sooooooo good. almost to good. there were at least 4 or 5 i think, that i didnt found . but hey no problem at all. that didnt effect the exploration fun.
    the was so much to see *_*
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