Check out the patch notes for the v17 Precursor Update here: http://maplestory2.nexon.net/en/news/article/53778/precursor-update-v17
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That's what happens when games do all the hand-holding for you, it's actually ridiculous that people are this clueless about the existence of a standard key to pick up items.
I agree I'm pretty ashamed of myself rofl. aside from the fact its not as obvious as most games where an actual icon shows up saying 'loot' or something. It would be nice if it was taught in the tutorial or some type of indication popped up. I can say this is definitely not a common issue but I wouldn't doubt the idea of other players out there not realizing this exists either. Though its probably a small handful
EDIT: I now know about the manual loot key. I've been playing since head-start, have 6 lv50+ alts and thought everything was looted by walking over it. Never once had the need to use the Z key, glad I made this post lmao.
The way auto-loot works is that as soon as you drop an item, your character or your pet will attempt to pick it up by themselves. If it fails because of a full inventory or whatever the cane may be, then it won't attempt to auto-loot anymore and you have to manually loot instead.