In his July 12 memo, SavageAce explained the low bonus stats on non-KMS equipment thus:
“As many of you know, in regards to Bonus Stats and flames, some equipment obtained from bosses can behave differently than items obtained from regular monster drops. The items mentioned above do not follow this special behavior due to many of these equipment already exceeding the capabilities of other equipment obtained from bosses. Similar to Superior gear restrictions, some of these items may potentially disrupt the balance of equipment and power, and overall satisfaction with many other content available in MapleStory.”
I'd like to re-examine this rationale, in light of developments since then, especially the introduction of level 25 star force.
First of all, and regardless of developments, restricting bonus stats on all
non-KMS equipment because “many of these equipment” or “some of these items” are OP, is not fair. I realize it's a lot of work to try to sort which items do or don't deserve the “boss reward” flag, but the VFM team will gladly help.
Second, and again regardless of developments, it makes no sense from a game consistency perspective, to require GMS players to know which items originate from KMS and which don't.
Now, let us look at the sets and items most often mentioned in this context.
I'll go from easy to hard:
a.k.a Sengoku: This set is nowhere near “exceeding the capabilities of other equipment obtained from bosses.” The proof is in the fact that nobody chooses to wear it. The only ones wearing this level 150 set are those people in Reboot who choose to not get carried through Chaos Root Abyss for the Root Abyss set. And even those people prefer the Empress Cygnus (level 140) set, if they can get it.
So, since this set is dropped from a boss (Ranmaru) and is not overpowered, it should be marked bossReward and allowed to have top-tier bonus stats.
weapons: These items are not overpowered, due to their lack of a set effect. Again, the proof is that people prefer to use Fafnir equipment – and of course Absolab or Arcane Umbra if they can manage to get them. On the other hand, these items were not originally a boss drop. Even after they were (supposedly) added to The Boss's drop table, the vast majority come from Cash sources. So these items should not be tagged bossReward.
: They have stats comparable to the Absolab set, which makes sense since both are level 160. They can only be obtained as drops from bosses. They should be tagged bossReward.
: This is an interesting case. The sweetwater set, on its own, is nice – but due to having an overall rather than a top+bottom, it is once again not used except by people who can't obtain CRA set.
The Cape, Boots, and Gloves can obtain “Superior gear” stats by being transposed from Tyrants. However, they can get top-tier bonus stats through that transposition (since Tyrants can get those). So untransposed Sweetwater can only have low-tier bonus stats, but Sweetwater transposed from Tyrants can have high-tier bonus stats that “disrupts the balance of power”? Obviously this makes no sense.
Fortunately, the power of the Sweetwater Cape, Boots, and Gloves is restricted by their cap of 15 stars (even when not transposed). Which means that now with the introduction of 25 stars, even transposed Sweetwater is no longer considered the best-in-slot gear in GMS.
So, I cannot see any justification for not letting Sweetwater armor, which is only obtainable from bosses, be tagged bossReward.
: Everyone (who can) uses the Sweetwater face and eye accessories. They are not, however, more powerful than anything
dropped by other bosses. The true Best-in-Slot items for face and eye are those dropped by Lotus and Damien.
The Sweetwater accessories are not directly dropped by bosses. They are obtained with coins that can, theoretically, be earned without defeating any bosses. However, so are Tyrant Gloves, and they do count as a bossReward.
In my opinion, allowing these items to have top-tier bonus stats is not going to break anything in the game. But keeping them as they are is also acceptable.
accessories: These are, indeed, better than anything KMS has for those slots (except for the belt). Especially in non-Reboot, where all parts of the set can realistically be starred to 22.
However, the fact that Nexon allows Gollux equipment to have 25 stars, proves that they don't really see it as deserving of "[tyrant-like] Superior gear restrictions".
In my opinion, the difference between tier 5 and tier 7 bonus stats, on just 4 items, is not going to make anyone excessively overpowered. And on the other hand, it's important for game consistency that “boss rewards” include everything obtained from bosses, especially those that are in the Boss Matchmaking UI (which Gollux is).
Some other non-KMS items that should be marked as “boss rewards” since they are obtained from bosses are:
Krexel shoulder (shoulders can't be flamed, but many items that can't have bonus stats at this time still have the bossReward flag, for future update)
Ghost Ship Exorcist badge
Alien Fragment equipment
Lastly, many KMS event items are “boss reward” despite not being obtained from bosses. In order to be consistent with those, we should probably mark the following “boss reward” as well:
Sengoku Hakase badge
Red Leaf and Sengoku High pocket items
Hunter's Club badges and pocket items (they are low level so it hardly matters, but...)
For reference, here are the items currently marked "boss reward" in GMS: http://www.southperry.net/showthread.php?t=80876
Opinions, or discussion of items I forgot, welcome.