Check out the patch notes for the v19 Winter Mischief update here: http://maplestory2.nexon.net/en/news/article/55464/winter-mischief-v19
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I have a different opinion as to why people are burning out. There are no rewards or sense of fun for doing content making it feel painful. The difficulty upgrading gear is just a symptom of the real problem. If you were having fun running dungeons you wouldn’t care as much that you don’t have perfect gear. As it is right now, people are telling themselves “the game will be more fun when... x” and when it takes a long time to get there they blame the lack of fun on the lack of gear. Sorry to say even with perfect everything you will still be unhappy because the process itself isn’t fun.
Why isn’t it fun?
Well honestly I went over this in another post about life skills, but long story short the game does not give you anything exciting to look forward to at the end of a dungeon. You get the exact same drops every single run, those drops might be exciting the first run or two “yay my first puple weapon” but after your 50th run they might as well not even be there. Yes there are a couple of exciting drops like the wings, but generally nope nothing. Then the disappointment of those weapons are enhanced when you check and you realise yet again they have the wrong stats.
If you consider any other looter that is fun, the gear drop itself is rare and exciting. When you get a legendary drop in diablo there is a sound that you hear that triggers and excitement response, you anticipate the legendary and then hope it is one for your build. Once you see the legendary and it actually belongs to your build you have a followup excitement as you identify it and check if it has better stats then your current gear. This is why it is possible to play a lot of d3 without getting bored even though it is repetitive. Because it is fun!
If they want to make ms2 fun, the simplest fix i can think of at this point, without a huge revamp, would be to add a new item type that is a perfect stat gear piece (looks like a normal one with a gold border). This will increase excitement when they drop as you hope it has the right stats for you. I recommend adding a need to “identify” the perfect stat weapon too because there is a reason games like d3 do this, it prolongs the excitement for the drop. ie. prolongs the time you have feeling excited about the piece of gear you just got and hoping it’s good for you.
When you finish a dungeon there should be a possibility of something in the loot table that will make you excited, so you feel happy and can’t wait to do another run and see if you can get more.
ie. rare but exciting drops instead of common but boring drops. I personally think there should be a mix of semi-rare items (5% drop chance but something the player really wants, eg. the perfect stat gear) and omg super rare (0.01% chance but if you get this you won the lotto, this could be amazing weapon skins, aura badges or mounts - realllly cool ones tho, probably not anything with stats to prevent people feeling like the”must” have it).
The other major problem with the game is that dungeons are a chore. Because of the way the dungeon cap works you feel like you “must” do your 10 dungeons a day so you can complete 60 for the week. This turns dungeons from ”can’t wait to run another dungeon, i hope i get something good” to “sigh i better get my 10 dungeons done before reset”
I get why the cap exists, it is to prevent the hardcore from going insane on the game, and botters from making easy money. But I think it also creates a feeling that there is a minimum to play each day to keep up. It is difficult for me to think of how to make dungeon cap less of a chore.
I think perhaps if the cap was removed completely, but the tradeable epics moved from the drop loot table to a weekly chest along with a bunch of onyx (that you get for completing a dungein that week, with your highest rank and dungeon difficulty affecting possible drops), and the dismantle reward of the gear reduced and made non-tradeable. So you can farm the crap out of the hard dungeons but the only first gives significantly more rewards, it would still give hardcore players an option to push further, while reducing the money bots can make from dungeons. Maybe the first dungeon of the day could give a chest too that is a lesser version of the weekly.
IDK just an idea. It’s a difficult problem, I don’t envy the MS2 team.
Edit: I was thinking about how loot works a bit more, and why in Diablo 3 I am happy with gear even when the stats are imperfect, but in MS2 I am not. I realised it is because of upgrading. In D3 if I get new gear and it is not perfect it is still a major upgrade that makes my character feel stronger. In MS2 imperfect gear sucks because I cannot make my character feel stronger until I upgrade my gear. Therefore everything that is not perfect is frustrating and unrewarding because it is just holding me back since I don’t want to waste mats upgrading an imperfect weapon. The only idea I have to fix this issue is to let us “transfer” the stats between identical gear. That way I can aim for +15 while I hunt for perfect stats. Oh an please if you choose this option Nexon, don’t make it some annoying impossible to get scroll that basically leaves me in the same position anyway u.u;;; just make it a normal option that costs onyx or metacells or something.
Tell them to change your name to something else, then immediately change it back (then take away your name change voucher). If they can't do that themselves, then they should give you a free extra name change voucher so you can do it yourself.
They probably just can't figure out how to fix it, but it's actually a pretty simple fix.
Hey this is going to be a long and opinionated post, so I apologise in advance, also it is just my personal opinions please don't bite my head off about it, I would like to hear your views too.
I took a break from MS2 and came back recently. Really I felt like I was too consumed by the game, I was running a guild, and I felt like I "had" to log on every day to get anywhere in the game. I think taking a break really helped me with that feeling and gave me a fresh perspective on the game. I logged in and straight away jumped into my old habit of starting off with dailies like Life Skills, then Daily Quests then Dungeons, and I realised there is one problem that exists throughout all of MS2, but is most obvious in Life Skills: It isn't fun! I felt like I was pulling teeth doing my dailies, and when I levelled up a couple of days later I realised I actually felt pain at levelling instead of the joy and sense of accomplishment I expected. This is because when I levelled I realised I would have yet another material type to farm each day, adding even more pain and monotony to the ritual.
I know I can just not do it, but I don't think this is a good solution. I LOVE farming games, like Stardew Valley and Harvest moon. And even in other mmos I usually really enjoy gathering. So I wanted to figure out why I hate MS2 Life Skills so much.
I think it boils down to this:
1. I feel "forced" to do it. It is a daily quest, if I skip a day I can't make it up the next day. This really sucks and makes it feel like a chore, taking away from my enjoyment significantly. I personally think that the plants should "grow" over the week, so you can farm them each day if you like and get less resources, or farm them after a few days and get more resources. This is a problem in all of MS2, everywhere are things that if I don't log on every day I am punished, so they turned from something fun and exciting into a chore.
2. There is very little reward from gathering. This is what I consider the biggest problem. What makes gathering fun? Consider a game like Ragnarok Online, which is one of my favourite games ever. I used to grind for hours and hours every single day with very little boredom, I actually really enjoyed the grind. Why did I enjoy it? Well I think there were three parts:
- -I was always making progress (this part exists: I farm I make progress levelling both Prestige and farming skill)
- -I was rewarded often. Every time I killed a mob it dropped loot, that I could sell for Zeny and buy things I wanted (this part also exists, although since I feel the need to horde it for crafting, I think this is a little more blurred for me)
- -I was rewarded in a BIG WAY rarely. This is the part MS2 is missing from life skills. Many loot based games rely on the dopamine shot you get to your brain when you anticipate a reward. That is the part that makes grinding mobs fun, the anticipation. You kill a mob and anticipate a reward. Games like RO and Diablo do this really well. For example in RO when you see that card drop you can't help but have a shot of excitement as you wonder "is that card good? which mob did it drop from?" it is an exciting time the moment you see it on the ground, then you open it and maybe it was a crap card, but you still got the excitement in the moment before you confirm that it was not the one you want. Similarly, in D3 you see a legendary drop, you get a shot of excitement as you anticipate it being a legendary you need, then if it is a legendary you need you get yet another excitement shot when you anticipate it having better stats than your current gear! Genius. This is what makes grinding in those kinds of games fun. In MS2, there is nothing like this. An ore vein will never ever ever drop anything exciting, so I can never get any excitement or anticipation from looting it.
3. Currently gathering is a cookie clicker, without any progression. It is like you played a cookie clicker where as you gained more cookies, you could use them to buy different coloured cookies. At first you would be excited "oooo blue cookies, oooo red cookies", but after a while you would get bored and realise there was no meaning to those cookies, they are just a different colour. Cookie clickers are fun because you make progress and begin to automate the clicking progress. Personally I don't think this is necessarily suitable for a game like MS2, but it is something to consider. MS2 Gathering is basically a cookie clicker if you took out the fun part.
So here is my opinion on how MS2 could improve Life Skills. In particular gathering.
Firstly, make gathering build up over time, so you can do it daily and be rewarded by it being quicker, or weekly and it takes a bit longer. Don't force me to log in every single day and turn gathering into a chore. Reward me for doing it daily by making it easier, but don't punish me for doing it weekly.
Secondly, I suggest that there are 1% and 0.01% drops added to gathering (numbers are picked at random to give an idea, what I mean is "rare" and "super duper rare"), and make those rare drops exciting, so I have something to look forward to.
Here is an example using Mining/Blacksmithing as an example. (Please don't judge my examples too harshly, honestly I am more interested in the idea of making gathering more rewarding than the specific rewards, but the point is that the 0.01 needs to be so exciting that you want to jump out of your seat with excitement just for getting it, or something, haha)
Have a 1% drop that gives a special rare gem or metal, that can be used to craft a gem box. (yay I got a shot of excitement when I realised I got a rare drop). Then make that gem box have a medium-low chance to have a Tier 2 gem (shot #2 of anticipation at getting something i really want, prolonging the excitement). The second chance has to be high enough that I think it is possible, but low enough that I won't get it often.
Have a 0.01% drop to get a gem that can make an random armour box. This armour box can have ANY epic+ armour in the game, even legendary items, but at appropriately low drop rates (ie. legendary probably won't happen, but hey maybe Varrekant's wings could, and there is still a chance right?) Again we are doubling up on the excitement. First I get OMFG excited when the 0.01% drops because I know it will be good no matter what, but what if it is something AMAZING???, then the anticipation when you actually open the box (please be legendary +.+).
You could do similar things with Foraging/Alchemy, making 1% drop be an elixir bundle for example, and the 0.01% be something like a random attribute lock/reroll card, especially if you could add something amazing like an attribute perfecter card which takes the attributes currently on a gear piece and perfects them, that would be exciting!
The above suggestion is particular to mining and foraging, but I want to make another suggestion to be considered for farming and ranching. (I mostly suggest this because I really like farming games hahaha :P But it would be awesome, even if it might be a lot of work to implement.)
Instead of having ranching be a cookie clicker like it currently is, what if instead we had a special currency, lets call them "seedlets" for the sake of the example.
Let me buy seeds with "seedlets" then plant them, have them take a period to grow (eg. 3 days). Have them benefit from daily watering but not require it, maybe daily watering increases the chance of getting a rare seed as a reward. Let me either trade the produce for more seedlets or use for crafting life skills. Let me buy higher quality seeds that produce more produce per farm, so I start with low quality wheat that gives 10 wheat per plot, but I can buy higher quality later that gives up to 50 per plot.
Rare seeds could be as simple as, a seed that keeps growing every x days and never has to be replanted, or perhaps I could use 100 rare seeds to buy an auto-gathering machine which automatically harvests crops in a 9x9 around it, so I can just pick them up instead of having to gather them myself.
I think Life Skills highlights a problem in a lot of areas of MS2. The feeling that it is a chore because it "must" be done, instead of doing it because it is fun and I want to. And the feeling that it isn't very rewarding.
For example with dungeon drops you could probably easily increase the excitement by adding the equivalent of Diablo 3 primal weapons. Let us occasionally get a weapon that has guaranteed perfect stats which is a different colour (eg. purple with a gold border), and have that anticipation/excitement of hoping it will have the correct stats.
And removing the chore aspect of Dungeons would be instead of having 10/20 - 30/60 limits, let them build up. If I get to Friday and haven't done any dungeons let me go ham and do 60 in a row. At least it will take the chore feeling away from Sat-Thurs, that feeling like "sigh I really should do my 10 dungeons today or else I won't be able to use up my weekly cap").
Fun comes in when we anticipate a reward. Very few things in MS2 give any sense of anticipation. Weapons drop almost every run, so there is no excitement when you see a weapon drop, there is only possible excitement when you check for the correct stats, you have reversed the anticipation/excitement formula (to make it worse, actually only correct stat weapons feel rewarding, so you have made it only possible for people to even feel rewarded once and repeat failures would make people feel jaded, preventing any possibility of anticipation and excitement from weapon drops). Gathering materials drop every gather, so there is no excitement gathering. If you want to make this game more fun, instead of throwing more items at as or making things easier, you need to reduce the items but increase the feeling of reward for getting them. Low drop rate high reward items are fun, high drop rate low reward items are boring.
Anyway sorry it's so long, this is just something I have been thinking about for a while. I hope the MS2 team considers my suggestions, since I think without compelling rewards, and just relying on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out; which is the main addictive formula of this game), will just cause people to become unhappy and burnt out.
TL;DR Life skills are boring because they are daily which makes them feel like a chore, and they do not give any sense of reward since they always drop the same thing.
EDIT: I realised after re-reading it that it is all a bit negative toward the game. But honestly I love MS2 sooooo much and I really want it to succeed. That's why I keep making suggestions and really want to try help it become a better game. Overall I think the game is amazing, I just think there are some issues with it that if they get improved would make the game better. I am so thankful to the MS2 team for everything they do.
EDIT 2: Spelling errors etc.
Please let us equip pets and mounts as a cosmetic option to override the functional versions, similar to how armour works.
For example if I have a combat pet with +stats, can I please equip a cosmetic pet that changes the appearance of the pet. For example the pets on the cash shop or the ones received from events that cannot have stats.
Also the same for mounts, there are a lot of cool mounts that are blue or less that I would love to equip because of how they look, but the speed is so much worse. Let us equip mounts as a cosmetic option to override the appearance of others (the exception being two person mounts), so I can have the speed of a purple mount and the appearance of a blue mount.
I hope this makes sense, hopefully it would be an easy change and then I would be more tempted to buy/get cosmetic mounts and pets. (even if I have to use something like the glamour anvil to turn the pet/mount into a badge that makes all pets/mounts look like the badge equipped)