What actually needs to change in a big way is how Nexon handles questing in Maple
Horntail is Lv160 and gives tremendous EXP for that range. Expecting more from him once you’ve outleveled it isn’t fair. If you want the next big thing in EXP afterward you fight Pink Bean which is Lv180.
Bosses don’t need to give EXP so high that you’re effectively training off of them, like pre-revamp Zakum. Bosses are meant for item rewards first and foremost, not EXP. EXP is just a bonus. The problem is that Nexon doesn’t give bosses any real incentives, item-wise, to fight most of them. Some bosses should get a bit of an increase, because they give less EXP than they should for their level and effort required to beat them, but I would never say fighting bosses alone should be *that* viable for leveling in the grand scheme of things.
What actually needs to change in a big way is how Nexon handles questing in Maple. They’re still using the same approach they used since the game was created: very few quests, most of which give pathetic EXP/item rewards and require so much in terms of monsters kills and whatnot that you end up gaining far more out of defeating monsters to finish the quest than the quest itself. It doesn’t help that some quests actually still give their pre-Big Bang EXP rewards. Yeah, I’m Lv100+, but I guess I’ll take that 50k EXP… Hi, Temple of Time, I totally need a mere 1mil EXP at Lv140+ and a whopping, singular ore.
Questing is *decent* early in the game, usually in the form of theme dungeons, but once you get to about 4th Job and beyond, you notice that quests become quite scarce, and don’t give anywhere near the amount of EXP they should be, *especially* since there aren’t many of them. When your entire area has only a handful of quests, and each one only gives the player around 3%-7%, that’s pretty awful.
Players don’t need more grinding spots, they need more *quality* content for their level ranges. Any new area that is effectively “just another grinding spot” is poorly designed. You’re just back to where you started. Lv160+ *has* grinding spots already. The reason why they’re bad is because the EXP curve starts getting worse, and the quests start disappearing and rewarding very little. The only range that needs more entirely new content is Lv200+, but they’re already working on that at least with Damien update.
We don’t need quantity, we need quality.
I’ve played many MMOs over the years, and usually you’ll have quests constantly as you progress through the game, to the point where leveling up feels like it’s around equal parts grinding and questing, maybe even more on the questing. Maple, unfortunately, has felt more like 95% grind for over 10 years. People can only subject themselves to grind hell for so long before they get absolutely sick of it and quit, which is the main reason why people have always quit Maple. You’d think Nexon would have realized that years ago… The vast majority of players that have left the game over the years didn’t leave “because it’s not old Maple anymore D;”, they left because the game doesn’t give them anything but grind, pre or post-Big Bang. The only reason why a ton of people were around back in the day is because the game was more relevant and had more new players coming in to replace the many that quit on a regular basis. It isn’t exactly in that position anymore, especially since newer MMOs have made so much effort to push the standards higher for players. It isn’t like back in the days when MMOs were usually all bad, and they got away with it because that’s the only choice the people had. Now, you can easily ditch an outdated MMO because you know a better, newer one is available.
I like Maple, and it honestly just pains me to see how many fundamental problems it has, and always had, that just go unchanged all these years. Does any higher-up at Nexon understand game design? Any of them? How so much of the game is, in its current form, ever got the “OK” to implement is beyond me.. Do they even play-test any of this stuff?