Don’t be like this.
dayum that went downhill fast
Quite ironic to see it go so soon, back in the release days people way praising it over ToS for being way more of a polished game…
I think ToS will still survive at least a few semesters more, IMC is not willing to take risks to connect it back to its core concept and the game can’t grow much in this current direction. It’s reasonable since it is more of a stable state to keep the business going in the short term, but that works only if you ensure your players will stick around, and that may or not be the case for the longer run.
Maple Story 2 was only more polished on a graphical level. Other than that, it’s always been inferior to TOS, hands down – and I say this as a huge ex-addict of OG Maple Story who really, really WANTED to like MS2.
I don’t think TOS is anywhere near its lifespan. There’s nothing else like it, and it gets the most important things right – its cosmetics/art style are great and its core gameplay mechanics are actually FUN. That’s why so many people have been willing to stick around through a slew of bugs and balance issues. The population is actually increasing and I strongly believe that if TOS had launched in its current state, there is NO WAY its population would be this low. It’s just that a lot of people got burned during early days and didn’t come back. Still feels weird when I think about the fact that TOS had about 10x as many players as it does now (I’m sure some were bots, but a significant number were not).
Of course, it could just be rose tinted glasses because I love the game so much, but yeah. TOS and MS2 just aren’t on the same level IMO. And to date, I still can’t wrap my head around why MS2’s devs decided to build their universe around a blatant fad like Minecraft’s blocks. Running around on floating blocks looks lazy and makes the world so much less immersive.
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I can’t say I agree with that. Most MMOs hinge on their PVE content. You follow the main quest and then you team up for raids. Unless it’s explicitly stated to be a PVP-oriented game, the PVP is more of a side or endgame thing with benefits.
You can’t escape this in an RPG. People bring it up in every game, but nobody has a solution, because there isn’t one. You can manage the rate but that’s about it. The very draw of an RPG is progress – chasing something better and more desirable than what you currently have. I haven’t heard of any alternatives that haven’t eventually done more harm than good to the playerbase’s enjoyment of the game (resetting things every season makes hard work meaningless (which is why even Battle Royales can’t survive without permanent season pass rewards), reducing the rate of progress eventually gets exhausting, etc.). Even GW2 had to throw their hands up and accept that they needed to add level cap increases and better gear because sidewards progression wasn’t satisfying their playerbase – because why make the effort when what you’re getting isn’t better than what you have? And so on.
I agree with you, but again, what’s the solution?
I can say with certainty that this isn’t the answer. PVP done right provides emergent content that takes a lot longer to get stale, but people who primarily PVP are the minority in most MMOs. This is true whether it’s TOS or even a shooter like Destiny 2. There are many people who absolutely despise it when the game forces you to PVP for progression.
So backing up a bit, I do agree with your points overall but I don’t believe that PVP is the answer (unless you mean introducing PVP as another method to progress to engame, which I think could work well). I’m also not sure that there’s a solution to the endless grind given that devs aren’t machines – they simply can’t create content fast enough to give players something to do all the time. It doesn’t matter whether it’s TOS or WOW or Black Desert or whatever.
This is the curse of MMOs.
Games are games, and they have lifespans. You can extend a game’s life artificially by (a) lowering drop chances and forcing you to repeat content, (b) adding daily/weekly/monthly limits, etc., but at the end of the day it’s going to get boring after a few years. Devs can speed up releases but at the end of the day it’s something we simply can’t get around.
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Nexon is cleaning house. JP ToS, TH ToS, MS2, JP MS2. Cancelling upcoming projects, etc.
Don’t know how you can say “Don’t be like this.” when they’re straight up selling $100 packages with golden sockets, 9* abrasives and lv430 T10 scrolls. MS2 may have been extremely subpar but they never sold gear.
The issue lies in many systems, but the main problem is that the game direction moved away from the core concept - promote diversity.
ToS doesn’t offer enough room for classes to have equal value and yet hold different strengths and weaknesses on different scenarios. This happens by a combination of generic/broad class design (skill set wise), poor combat variation, lack of map design (enemy wise) and limited (or non-existent) benefits when you deviate from the standard path. The only decision making that is relevant is your build and equipment. When your active decision is so limited you can’t get much of a challenge or fun from playing.
I personally thing the best (or one of) solution is to go ram on diversity.
- Make enemies have their own quirks to have you play around differently depending on your classes, combat can be more interesting if i have to factor different elements to win or perform better. People can say whatever they want about rotations as personal skill expression but they make combat repetitive.
- Map environment (monsters pool) could be compose to favor certain playstyles/strategies and push back others, right now we have dedicate single target classes but no map that allows these classes to be more effective than AoE based options.
- Focus class identity into a concentrated aspect (aka - “this class does X”) and leave it be the only (or best) option for it, this is the only way for classes to coexist out of DPS balance and have building as a main part of the game experience. Note that it META will still exist, but this at least allows more variations and niche builds to have their own value.
- Ensure classes have certain tools to deal with monster quirks. It won’t make “low tier” classes great but it can be enough to make all classes viable to the minimum degree. I could even see certain drops to be less common (and thus more expensive) if the mainstream classes are less effective against the monsters that drop it, which can be a good measurement to heat up the market. Important to remember that no class from a sphere (offensive, support, defense) should be incapable of performing in it, just that it is less effective than other options in it.
There are (at least) three types of progression - personal, character and material (there’s likely a better name for those, but i’ll use these since i don’t recall it).
Personal progression is tied to what you, as a person/player, gains from playing the game, or rather how you change by playing the game. In ToS this is limited to social interaction (completely out of dev’s control), game lore, mechanical knowledge and command execution. Out of those three the game lore is the one that takes the short stick since you need to do a lot of repetitive quests to progress into it, and you only get it from the first time. Mechanical knowledge are found in bosses and instances only, which are limited to entry count/timers, as such you don’t have to much to learn nor why to invest on it. Command execution is just how well you well you can perform game actions, the ceiling isn’t that high.
Character progression is almost self explanatory, everything your character obtain that cannot be taken away from it. These are classes, levels, skill points and exclusive rewards. Not much to expand here.
Material progression is all the things you can trade among other players, mostly items. This is often used as the main type of progression because it is clearer to perceive, and less limited than character progression.
Power scaling is a major problem when you put too much value on material progression over the other two. You can have a game with a lower curve on power scaling if you focus on the other forms of progression, such as adding more depth to the combat experience. On the character progression side you can also have certain minor rewards for completing content, such as exclusive companions, emotes and actions (even costumes).
This is why i say IMC doesn’t want to take risks and isn’t leading the game into a good direction. If your main attractive is diversity, then you have to do your best to sell it out. Games life span is determined by how much people can have fun with it, if you turn your game into a chore checklist you can’t expect it to hold for long. Anyway, ToS won’t die so soon, but it likely won’t survive enough for a full decade (at least in this current direction).
So i hopped over to take a peek or grasp at what really made the “Tos-Killer” game break before ToS did
#1 RNG Fest
ToS was at some point near this boundary, but they reworked certain mechanics like Ichor Transmutations, as well as reducing the cost of it. Seal Enhancements however by far is still a very dangerous RNG trap. All or nothing with 70% success rate.
With the introduction of Events churning out golden anvils like nothing (Compared to the past where you had to field grind all of them at a 2% drop rate) , and T8 +11 Savinose, RNG only heavily punishes the greedy. Outliers like + 6 0 Potential still exist though.
RNG still exist, but mechanics to control RNG by investing more materials are giving players more breathing space.
#2 Cyclic Dailies with RNG% chance to progress
Repetitive content that is not rewarding, offers no progression (if RNG is bad) Content-gated if equipment is not up to mark?
Yes some content is gated if equipment is not up to mark, but that enforces players to form static teams with individuals with the same drive and goal to achieve the success they seek. Majority of the content is however, still accessible with event T8 + 11 Savinose.
ToS is Cyclic as well, but at least nucle powders and silver are a form of guaranteed progression. The only similar factor i see here in terms of RNG progression in cyclic dailies are - Vaivora Weapons
Capped dailies for RNG % chance to progress
Official explanation supporting alt-ing to differentiate casual vs hardcore player
It seems like ToS has weekly/daily caps as well in the form of dungeons, raids etc. But we have so many on hand now. The hardcore ones probably do all of them
But at least progression is guaranteed in some way. (getting fragments to change for the equipment you need and want; lowering fragment cost to exchange)
- ToS is also an MMORPG like MS2, bound to similar elements.
- RNG is an element to defer progression
- Players dont like to work for weeks without getting progression
(Thankfully, we only have that in boruta seals + 3)
- Cyclic Dailies must have purpose and guarantee progress. chores are never fun
- Fun is from social activity in game; guild/friends etc
- Their forums don’t have the abuse wars
(Thankfully, we only have that in boruta seals + 3)
Hope IMC learn from MS2’s downfall
Tree of Savior right now looking at the players that left for MS2 when it came out (especially the ones during the Silver Hack incident that threatened to leave for MS2 and never come back if bans weren’t lifted, proclaiming that Tree of Savior will die once they leave):
Because they limit the countries that can play the game, SO MANY of us we’re waiting it to open in PH but No, they blocked it … and was forced to use vpn which is a hugeeeee hassle …
Now … if they launch this as a mobile game it would probably be a hit …
GTW: may i introduce myself ?
no one force you to make the strongest class, there are even some monk mains out there, they still do content very well, you dont need a blossom blader to clear legend skiaclipse or moringponia
many players out there got those without whaling, cause they spent time and effort to learn about game, and farm in most efficient way. unlike some kind of ppl who never farm, never learn and always ask for freebies
as a normal salary mann, an accountant, this is totally normal to me, don’t we all repeatly do the samething everyday irl ?
ofcause it is dead PvP cause you bring event gear into PvP, then end up at last place, can’t match with anyone…sure
feel free to leave and come to those games then, where they give you everythig automatic, afk farming, auto pick up items, auto pathing etc… those are more suitable and ofc, always has more players, ToS is not that kind of game.
What? It’s a video game. It’s escapism. You are not supposed to do the same soul crushing things as you do IRL.
Anyway, there’s nothing to learn from MS2. It was closed because N■xon is cleaning house. Just like jToS was closed recently.
The problem of ToS is still the same since the game started being developed: the people in charge do not play video games. That’s why most of the design decisions (be it technical, gameplay or balance related) are so chaotic and make little sense. The only strong points are: it’s cute and it’s free. But anything else where planning and engineering and gamer mindsets are required will be broken by design, rubbish, unpolished and directionless.
I believe this is the main reason why player retention is so poor and IMC is reaching its limits on how to boost Steam numbers (it’s already free, it already doesn’t have IP blocks, it’s already bot/hacker/multiboxer friendly, it already has literal AFK events and multiaccount events).
Also, all mmos have RNG and dailies but they all try to make those aspects less mindnumbing, less punishing and overall less frustrating. But not ToS. ToS is like in a different dimension. The game itself, the devs and the community will make everything they can to make you want to quit and play something else.
“It’s cute” can only bait you for so long.
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I was willing to give MS2 a chance but it was laughable. Its core gameplay and design were so bad and embarrassingly so for a game that was actually older than Tree, just not brought to the west until very late.
IMC is small, they make mistakes, but Tree at its core is a very solid game.
Sure, you can also walk your way from a city to another, but you’d rather get some other kind of transportation.
Exactly. It’s reasonable to say that every MMO will force to repeat certain tasks over and over so you can get what you need/want, the key difference is that this aspect is often split into sections that you clear individually and then move on to the next. Repetition is there, but you don’t get saturated, ToS will get you to do the exact same tasks every single day because you need them to keep playing, with an eventual weekly option that you can do on a day you feel like or have more time.
Now factor that in to players that have limited daily time to play and you get gaming chores.
IMC isn’t small. They are spread all over the world, handling many regions and many platforms.
Maybe they should actually focus on making ToS playable if they are really that small instead of re-re-remaking mobile rebranded re-remakes.
What’s ToS “core”? Build diversity? No such a thing. It’s costume collection diversity.
The meta is very important because one issue exacerbates others: you have to play meta because you want to spend less time doing dumb chores. I like how yuukikami above says that nobody forces you to play certain meta builds and then immediately after says you need to farm efficiently. Of course it’s all about efficiently making sure you play the game as less as possible. Why do you think so many people want freebies and afk events so popular?
The game itself, the engine itself just don’t allow for any kind of gameplay beyond rolling gacha and absentmindedly bashing trash mobs non-stop.
They can’t even do simple “don’t stand in fire” mechanics because of how laggy and buggy everything is. Imprecise networking, abysmal framerate, attack speed depending on latency, terrible visual clutter, animation locks, microstuns and constant knockdowns, omnipresent bugs and glitches, etc… none of this helps in making the gameplay enjoyable. The engine also lacks support for important mechanics like line of sight and real projectiles. No crafting nor gathering gameplay either (I don’t know if I should laugh of cry at Fletcher’s retarded arrow crafting or the permabroken Alchemist class).
I think MS2 had a lot of incredible potential, but ultimately chose to disregard all facets of it, and focus on making a game that isn’t MS1 as old MS1-like as possible, which just really doesn’t work these days.
I played to chaos raids before quitting, and the grind was absolutely grating with Fair Fight.
20 minute dungeon runs 30 times a day (10 runs per 3 characters) for 3-6 days to funnel items to upgrade your main with is just insane.
That doesn’t include the long queue times w/o priest, even during peak hours.
Game was burning me out hardcore.
I think the game had far better rng though, because at least it was eventually assured to you 100% over time.
ToS has a ton of rng and items to work toward as well, but it’s not going to feel like the same grind because you’re much more accustomed to it, or you already have the silver to buy what you need off of mb.
I think what ultimately killed it though, was it’s lack of juice to make you feel like you’re really doing anything. You get to the max level almost instantly, and you proceed to farm yourself to death to farm yourself to death some more.
Games take awhile to reach this point, usually… but this was more or less Day 1 for MS2. And it could have been taken in any direction besides where it went from there.
With all the other things to do that are genuinely enjoyable (I’m someone who loved MML-making in Mabinogi, so breaking out some sheet music and 3mle was my main reason for coming, but I wound up too worn after dungeon spam to type many songs) it’s really unfortunate that they chose this direction, but… oh well, you know?
For me this meta thing is making the game boring, i mean theres always been strong classes but the diference wasnt so big as it is rn…
Before you could do just fine with primus stuff good enough to clear et/velco.
Rn you just dont need the gear, it doesnt even matter if you invested months getting the best gear you can afford or lvl your echanced arts if you dont play the “classes” you are f…uck.
You need to play the “class” to do content, and i aint talking about cms and low lvl raids the new content like the new moth raid, is “balance” around the meta classes and all other classes can go fu…ck themselves if you play an offmeta class you simply wont get in a party (unless you get in a party friends) you ll be kick you ll be call a meme etc etc… The pvp in this game it has always been awful the froster lord “meta” Block “meta” ppl using zoomy addons to snipe others “meta” genbu “meta” and know the “evasion” meta
wich is ppl using a cheap flawed mechanic ( wich was ment to be for scouts) on everysingle thing a fcking swordie with 500k hp that cannot be hit cuz they evade literally everything, and when you finally hit em you do 10 dmg cuz they are swordies