Alternative Meso-making Methods (and concerns about progression)

potato12

New member
May 21, 2021
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In-game name: Nozomi

Description of suggestion:

Sorry, this is going to be a really long post. So I'll start with the TL;DR:
1. Dojo or alternative bossing system.
2. Daily quests.

Longer Description:
Disclaimer: Most servers I mention in this post are no longer running, so there is no intention of advertising other servers. If you have any concerns, please let me know, and I will remove the names of all servers still currently running. All names of other players are changed to prevent harassment/ abuse.

1. Dojo:
The server needs an alternative to farming, because as things stand, classes who aren't good at mobbing are pretty much unplayable, and are never able to make money at a reasonable rate. This leads to the vast majority of the playerbase playing classes that are good at farming, aka: Night Walker, Striker, and Evan (I/L currently overshadowed by Evan). A dojo/ boss rush system (probably solo) that offers good rewards that are tradeable (such as EEs and cogs) at a rate comparable to farming spots throughout various stages of the game would allow 1v1 classes, or classes with poor mobbing (aka all dex classes) to be playable. I know someone in my guild has talked to Shavit about this, and I believe something like ElliniaMS dojo would be fantastic, with party play bonuses removed to prevent abuse from muling.

2. Daily Quests: KastiaMS was the first server I've ever played that had daily quests, and frankly, looking back I think it's an absolutely brilliant system. The idea is that you perform tasks that repeat daily (weekly would be fine too) to obtain rewards. Many of the tasks are something that you would do anyways (log in, kill XXXX monsters, do XXXX boss), and others are something that you would go out of your way to do for dailies (kill XXXX boss that has no good drops, fame a player, do XXXX PQs). What does this do? It gives early game players a workable amount of income, and incentivizes players to play daily and do tasks that would normally hold no value, when possible. Obviously, as you progress, the daily quest income becomes less and less impactful, and farming long hours would still considerably increase the rate of progression.


The longggggg winded description and overview of my concerns with the current server state:

About me
(can skip, hoping to give some background to my experience with other servers and why I have the concerns I do):
I've played a lot of private servers over the last ~10 years, with the majority of them being more up to date servers. I usually only play Maplestory when I have a LOT of free time (currently due to COVID lockdowns and work from home), and tend to farm probably somewhere around 6-8h a day on average. I tend to do a lot of merching (buy + make + upsell items), because it's what I enjoy most about Maplestory, other than the social aspect.
The servers I have played include (my progression in brackets): GMS Scania (early game) and Reboot (midgame), ElliniaMS (endgame, top 3 archer), Kastia (lategame), FluffyMS (midgame), PotatoMS (midgame, then promoted to GM), AriesMS (midgame), SwordieMS (endgame, top 2 kanna), TomatoMS (endgame).
So I have good exposure to Maplestory and the mechanics of the game, albeit fairly limited when it comes to Old School Maplestory.

My Concerns: The early and mid game progression sucks. Hardcore sucks. By far the worst of any server I've ever played. Why? Let me give you a rundown of why I think it got the point where it is. I know many endgame players don't agree with me that it has gotten far worse, and say things like "it's the same when we played", but I don't believe it is, after long discussions with some players from my guild. All early and mid game players I have talked to have similar concerns.

What changed
(I know my numbers may be a little off, please feel free to correct me on certain rates):
LHC and future ereve was released, increasing the rate that endgame players farm at by >3x, while the rates everywhere else remained the same.

Let's take a look at farming rates when Veracent was the best map, in v83:
Veracent (endgame): 10-12 cog/hr.
ROR4, RTO4 (midgame): 2.5 cog/hr, 4 cog/hr (~30-40% of endgame).
ULU (early game): 1.25 cog/hr (~10% of endgame).
What do these numbers mean? These are healthy numbers. These are the numbers you see in most servers, albeit with a relatively big jump between RTO4 and Veracent. I do believe this server has a smoothing issue for farming, but in most servers, midgame generally makes about 40-60% of what endgame players make. This allows them to be somewhat competitive to endgame players when it comes to buying power, and can progress because their upgrades are cheaper than what an endgame player needs.

What does it look like now, with LHC?:
KH5, Golems (endgame): 35-55 cog/hr.
Veracent (midgame): 10-12 cog/hr.
ROR4, RTO4 (early game): 2.5 cog/hr, 4 cog/hr (~30-40% of endgame).
ULU (early game): 1.25 cog/hr (~10% of endgame).
But wait, midgame is still 30% of endgame, that sounds fine right? Except I moved Veracent down to midgame, which essentially changes the time to leave "early game" by over a hundred hours, if not easily more. The problem is, early game progression has not improved, or increased in speed significantly. It is as slow as before v84, but now instead of competing with players who make 4 to 8x their income, they're competing with players who make 10 to 50x their income. RLS went from 25 cogs to 100 cogs in the span of 3 days. Early game players have zero buying power compared to endgame players. The player base size is unfortunately also an issue, because due to low supply in the server, late game players make enough income to basically monopolize certain aspects of the market (be it SBR, Timeless Prelude, etc.).
Example: my friend smega'd to buy Preludes regularly in the chat for 2-3 days, Preludes were selling for 5 cog, instead of the standard 2-3.

The dojo/ farming issue, expanded:
Only 3 stats have a good farming class: NW (luk), Striker (str), and Evan/ IL (int). Most players recommend making a mage early game to get to RTO4 before funding a stat you want to play at Veracent.
Where does this leave the economy? TImeless mage equips are 5 to 10x the price of other timeless equips. Int continues to be the most expensive stat until endgame, where Luk becomes comparable, or just slightly surpasses it. Str is relatively cheap at all stages of the game, and Dex is absolutely dirt cheap at all stages of the game.
Dex has no farming options until Knight Hall 5 (which isn't the best farming map, and is also endgame), so the stat as a whole is essentially unviable, due to farming at half the rate of the 3 farming classes at all the other maps, if that.
Warriors fortunately can swap a fair number of equips with Strikers, and have crash to be taken along to some bosses, but that's a Hero exclusive luxury. Archers are mostly SE mules for bosses, while Corsair may as well not exist, with people giving out Loveless Guns for free because they just don't sell.

"Just Gach LMAO":
Gach is great money. I'm not going to deny that. I gach'd for probably hundreds of hours before going to Veracent/ KH5.
The problem with Gach is that there's no alternative. Not everyone wants to Gach. Additonally: Gach isn't nearly as good without VIP, and if every new player actually did gach, prices would plummet. Gach is not viable as a sole alternative for farming until you can reach Veracent and make 10 cog/hr there. Simply telling new players "Gach for 300h so you can farm, it's what I did" is NOT a good solution.

The wealth divide (no, not US economics):
I alluded to this earlier by looking at the farming rates pre/post LHC, but this is the number 1 biggest issue with the economy. Having a 20 cog price hike on RLS is a minor inconvenience for an endgame player, while it is devastating for an early game player. What's considered a lot of money for an early/ mid game player is peanuts for an endgame player. If a player farms at RTO4 for 10 hours, they make less money than an endgame player farming 1 hour at Castle Golems in LHC. This is completely ignoring the price of pet vac, which at the current state of the server, is equivalent to a significant amount of money. If we consider Vote Points only as Spell Protection Scrolls, 20 VP = 4 SPS = 1 RLS, and 32h (3*10h+2h for 20 VP) of petvac is equivalent to over 100 cog at current market prices, meaning someone farming with pet vac is essentially losing money if they're farming at a map earlier than RTO4, and barely above breaking even at RTO4.

Dependency on other players:

So I started about a month and a half ago, I'm about 17b DPM, 135 SF, and farm about 12-15 cogs an hour at KH5 or Golems. You're probably thing: WTF? That's fast as fuck, why are you bitching about progression rate?
See this is the sad thing. I farm a fuck ton. Way more than most players. But I KNOW that that's not the #1 reason why I've been able to progress so much faster than my friends. Most of my friends farm a few hours a day too, but they're mostly at ~50 SF, farming at RTO4 still.
I'm where I am because I made an endgame friend (who we'll call Matcha) who "lent" me a lot of things, that essentially skyrocketed my farming rate compared to my friends.
First, Matcha lent me 4 Freuds, then a weapon and shield, so I jumped straight from RTO4 on MM (<2 cog per hour) to RTO4 (mage), essentially increasing my farming rate >2x compared to my friends (although I mostly gach'd at this point).
Then, a few days later Matcha lent me some equips so I could hit 80 SF for Veracent, then 105 SF for KH5 and LHC. This boosted me from RTO4 (mage) to about ~8 cogs an hour straight away, increasing slowly as I farmed, increased my DPS, and started paying him back (at this point, I alternate between gach and farming depending on my mood/ availability)
This isn't fair. Like I'm on the receiving end of this being super unfair and I'm still frustrated at how Matcha being a super nice guy and helping me out has such an exponential effect on my ability to progress through the game. Obviously this all stems down to Matcha being helpful and super generous/trusting, but the reality is I received equips that he called "standard" or "nothing special", without recognizing how impactful these equips that they would never use elevate the progression of a new player. An equip worth something along the lines of 50-100 cog is straight garbage to an endgame player, but for an early game player, these are equips that take them DAYS or WEEKS to farm for. Yes, my progression is obviously also tied to me farming and gaching an absolutely insane amount, but ultimately it still comes down so heavily to receiving hand me downs from friends and my guild to progress, and this feels bad. Most people don't receive this level of aid, and expecting someone to RTO4 or Gach for 500h to hit Veracent, and still know they make 1/5 of what endgame players are making, is a fast way to demoralize and lose a large portion of these players.
But lategame players could choose to help people on any server??!!! Yes. Except most servers don't have an income disparity this big between early and late game players. An endgame player could farm for a week and easily gear a character to Veracent. A new player would take months to do the same.

Useless bosses, aka the "useless progression":
Czak, CHT, CWK, and CPB basically only exist right now as prerequisites to do Kerberos and Von Leon eventually. They are not worth the time it takes to do these bosses, taking into account their drops, the DPM requirements, and the expected return per run. Based on current market prices and DPM/ time considerations, normal PB has a better rate of return than all 3 of these bosses. This makes absolutely 0 sense. Farming is a better expected return per time spent than doing these bosses for pretty much anyone of any DPM. These bosses essentially don't exist, and it's very disappointing for a newer player progressing to the point of being able to duo/trio these bosses. You find that no one ever wants to do them. Why? It's not worth the time, never mind the effort required to find a squad, split the drops, and do the boss itself. So what does this mean? Your DPM doesn't really matter until you hit the next Star Force threshold. If you 2 shot at Veracent, any DPM you get is useless until you either 1 shot, or are able to get enough Star Force to move to LHC.

Multiclient, and why I think it's terrible for the server:
I always hated the idea of muliclient, and this is the first server I've played that allows it (I have heard from others MapleRoyals and MapleLegends allow it too). What are the biggest problems?
1. It prevents party play, because people will abuse it using mules.
2. It makes archers worthless. My friend Andrew (a MM) was actually the one who brought it up to me, and I never even thought about it. Sharp Eyes is a key skill for many of the best classes on this server (Evan/ Striker/ NW NL), but because you can multiclient, many players and bossing parties are choosing to bring a mule for Sharp Eyes instead of finding an archer and having to split their loot.
I do recognize that many people would be very mad if multiclient was ever removed, as I know many people who have invested heavily into secondary accounts. Just some food for thought, as allowing multiclient does make a dojo system like ElliniaMS or a leeching system that helps new players very difficult to implement.

Why am I writing this now:
Honestly, I've wanted to write this for a long time, and have spent long days complaining to my friends and guild about how bad the progression is and how it could be improved. Seeing all my early mid-game friends in a constant consensus with me whenever I complain is what makes me realize that yes, it's not just me complaining, it is an actual problem that plagues every new player that joins this server. But why now?

INCREASING THE SF REQUIREMENTS FOR LHC, VL AND FUTURE EREVE IS A HUGE MISTAKE WITHOUT FURTHER TUNING OF FARMING RATES.

Why? There is already a huge jump from RTO4 to Veracent due to Star Force, that takes players hundreds of hours to reach, with a HUGE income jump of 4 cog/hr to easily double that. A jump from Veracent to LHC at 195 SF (number I heard, will edit once patch is out) is disgusting. The fact that this server uses Star Force to gate progression is a band-aid for the real biggest issue with progression on this server:
Why is 10 shotting at golems better than 2 shotting at bleaks? This should not be the case. Every other server I've ever played smooths progression so that the best farming spot is always where you 1-2 shot mobs, until the extreme lategame where this isn't possible (literally like 1 map generally). The biggest issue in this server is that the discrepancy between early + midgame and lategame maps are far too big, to the point where Star Force is the ONLY thing preventing everyone from farming at Golems, because it is strictly the best map in the game due to the way the drop system in this server works. The difference between someone having 194 SF at Veracent, and 195 SF at LHC golems is over a 50% income gain, assuming they have LOW DPM. If they have HIGH DPM, this is easily a 3-5x jump in income. THIS IS INSANE, and extremely bad for the progression system in the server. If other maps became more viable, we wouldn't have the problem where every Golem map is full, while there is essentially no one farming anywhere else.


Ending Remarks:
I know I wrote a lot, some hopefully useful, some probably not. I know you've probably heard a lot of these concerns before, but I think it is important that these problems are presented to you again and again and again, because I talk to a lot of my friends, many of whom are new players, most of which did not receive the aid that I did, and they all have the same concerns. I'm only writing this because I enjoy the server, I've met a lot of great people, and have been very sad to see many, many of them quit due to burnout in the early game after hitting pink bean. I know it's a lot to digest, and understand that implementing any meaningful changes will take a lot of time and a lot of effort. Thanks for the work you guys do.

Sincerely,
Nozomi
 

Leyvin

New member
May 24, 2021
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I've never felt so represented in my whole life....
Thank you for this