MapleStory Adventures

Date Sat, January 28 2012

I admit, I was pretty excited when Nexon released MapleStory Adventures on Facebook. Now, I don’t play any other Facebook games but I could get with this. I have played more MapleStory than any other game in my life. It’s bad, guys.

So I added the MapleStory Adventures app and I’ve been playing. At first, I was kind of annoyed at its limitations but also intrigued at how they had made the MMO into a casual social-networking game.

MapleStory Adventures

MapleStory Adventures

Character design, for example, is limited. You can choose to either be a warrior or wizard. I went with magic. Gender aligns with your Facebook account and there are limited options for equipment and appearance, unless you pay for them.

The world map is a very scaled down version of the full game and you begin in Henesys, fighting stumps and slimes and the like. Most of the monsters are in appropriate areas; however, their levels are much lower than in the actual game. Fighting is based on a clicking mode; although, there are skills you can obtain as you level up. As you level, more maps open up. Each map has three quests for you to complete and it’s reasonable that you can wind up finishing all the quests on all the open maps and waiting to level to open a new map with new monsters.

Leveling uses the traditional EXP format but, rather than health or magic, you have “Energy.” Energy is used as you attack the monsters so it’s akin to MP. Monsters don’t really hurt you. Energy is re-gained over time or obtained through items, which you can get from completing quests or monsters drops. Friends can also help you out.

In fact, with MapleStory Adventures, you want to have a lot of friends who play — or a lot of cash to spend. You see, you will run out of energy and your option is to buy more with real cash, ask friends for items or wait. That’s right, every five minutes you’ll get five more energy. Doesn’t sound like a lot? It’s not. However, if you have lots of friends who play, you can get more energy and keep your wallet happy.

You can also invite your friends to come play with you. They’ll fight monsters and, for every friend you summon, you get a bit more energy. There is a skill, however, that you must learn in order to summon friends. Plus, if your friends are a much lower level, they won’t be much help at all. So I usually sign on once a day, use up all my energy and then invite my friends before using up all their energy. Then I’m done.

You’ll also want friends to give you skill permits, which are required to level up skills in addition to mesos that you collect from monsters. Friends are also beneficial because you can ask them for keys, which you need to unlock boxes that monsters drop. These boxes contain energy, money,  equipment or consumable items. Some boxes require no keys at all but you’ll quickly find your inventory filling up with chests if you do not have friends to give you keys.

The running theme here is the more friends, the better. In fact, I wouldn’t play this at all if you don’t have any friends who play it. A couple groups exist on Facebook that allow you to find more friends, luckily.

MapleStory Adventures includes this heart scale thing that you get when you help out friends or invite them to help you. It’s separate from the experience and energy guages and, as you play, you’ll level it up. Its effect is indirect, however. I’m not quite sure what it does.

Another difference from the actual MMO is the homes. When you’re out in the world, fighting or visiting towns, you can click the button to go to your home. Here, you can learn spells to create items, such as potions or scrolls. Talk to the enchanter to use scrolls to improve your equipment and customize your home with different items. You can visit others’ homes and help them to harvest items there and speed up their item crafting. This helps your heart rating and earns you five energy. You can also access special areas, like holiday maps, from your home.

Nexon has just added a couple of dungeons to the MapleStory Adventures world. These are like obstacle courses, where you must move through the maps, collecting treasure and killing monsters, before the time runs out. This feature is only a couple of days old, however, but it adds some excitement to the grind. You see, MapleStory Adventures is much more mindless than Maplestory. This makes it a good game to play if you’re just trying to waste some time as you don’t need to be very involved.  It also makes it frustrating because there’s no one else to talk to and the limited game play means nothing will ever come as a surprise. It’s all programmed into the game.

Speaking of programming: the Flash interface can use up a lot of memory and cause your browser or computer to run sluggishly, especially if you’re doing a lot more in the background.

The bottom line: MapleStory Adventures is cute and reminiscent of the actual game but is no replacement. Unless you have many friends that play or don’t mind spending your money, you’ll find yourself grinding — when you have the energy — just trying to reach that next level. It’s good to waste time and addictive to certain personality types while others will eventually stop playing.

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