Posted: Oct 13, 2018 @ 7:03pm
Updated: Oct 13, 2018 @ 7:08pm
I don't play MMOs or f2p games, but I downloaded Maplestory 2 because it's free and because it's a Diablo-like you can play with a controller, which is something I like and don't see that often. Mechanically, what you do isn't terribly dissimilar to Diablo II, but it's covered in several dozen layers of meaningless complexity. It's an incredibly simple game that seems deliberately designed to look as unapproachable as possible.
I have no idea how anyone can become invested enough in this game to play longer than an hour, much less spend money on it, but apparently people do. The promise seems to be "trust us, once you play for 20-40 hours the complexity will become meaningful and you'll be really glad you learned all this stuff", but I have no idea why that's appealing. It doesn't even have the addictive loot grind of Diablo. I played until I hit level 15, and at least so far, enemies don't drop anything. All of the equipment is doled out as quest rewards at a pace which seems totally predetermined. About every 20 minutes, you get a new piece of equipment that's a couple points better than what you have.
The character progression is also totally one-dimensional. Most of the skill tree is level-gated, so you only have two or three options to put skill points into every level-up.
The character class I chose, Knight, starts with one skill that is so obviously better than the other ones that you have no reason to do anything else. It's twice as good as your basic attack, has no cooldown, and doesn't use any resources. (I have a "spirit" meter, and some of the skills say they refill this meter, but none of them seem to actually use it.)
The first 90 minutes of the game consisted entirely of walking from one objective marker to the next, skipping cutscenes, holding the left trigger + X, and occasionally spending a skill point or right-clicking a new piece of equipment. There were no meaningful choices to make.
X is mapped to your basic attack, and the game doesn't give you the option to remap it. There's no reason to ever use the basic attack, but the game forces me to use LT+X for the good attack instead of remapping it to just be X.
Finally, you can't use a controller in the menus, you still have to use the mouse.