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We Need to Talk About Masteria

PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
Reactions: 5,010
Posts: 798
Member
edited January 8 in Suggestions, Feedback, and Requests
By "we", I mean myself, the community, and the VFMs and Nexon employees that forward this thread to the team that will inevitably throw this thread into the trash.

History:
Masteria is an area that's been a staple of GMS since 2007, and has gone through many changes. Ever since the original team behind Masteria left Nexon in the first half of 2009 (with Crimsonwood Keep PQ being their final addition to Masteria), it was left in a state of purgatory, with Nexon not knowing where to proceed with it.
The first addition to Masteria was Haunted House Season 2 in October 2009, which consisted of the Olivia boss fight as well as Rotting Skeletons, Dead Scarecrows, and Twisted Jesters (with an awful story, but I digress).
The next addition was the Destroyed NLC / alien invasion content, which reorganized the map layouts (even oversimplifying the Crimsonwood / Phantom Forest area to where you could walk 5 linear maps to get to the Keep). It was highly despised by the community, only being liked because the Alien monsters gave a ludicrous amount of EXP for their level. The Destroyed NLC content was reverted in February 2014, while keeping the aliens nearby and changing the Crimsonwood exchange quest to include iTCG items, such as Stirgeman items and more.
Following that in March 2016 was the addition of Masteria Through Time, a blockbuster serving as a backstory to the area. There are a myriad of issues with the story, with contradictions, retcons, and plot elements that don't make sense, but that's not what I'm here to discuss. This update also changed a few map layouts around in NLC and Crimsonwood closed the Haunted House and Crimsonwood Keep Party Quest, the latter of which was promised to be reopened "later this year" in this announcement post: https://maplestory.nexon.net/news/7663/crimsonwood-keep-pq-closure. It's currently October 2020 with no sign of it being reopened any time soon, and while I understand that priorities change, they haven't said a peep about the area since.

Today:

In December 2019, Nexon hyped up a Masteria revamp, with many players (including myself) being skeptical, given Nexon's track record towards reworking the area and messing with its lore. Nonetheless, Anna, our current producer, wrote in a memo (https://maplestory.nexon.net/news/54907/maple-memo-v209-status-update-december-12) that it would contain "new powerful set equips that can be obtained and enhanced only through playing the content", and that "Our internal teams have some special feelings about this content so we’re putting in a lot of effort to make it more enjoyable". The former statement didn't specifically state how it would be enhanced, and the latter statement ended up becoming further from the truth, as I will outline below. Even though a lot of people hate the revamp and would be fine with its removal, I actually want Masteria to remain in GMS; as I said, it's a staple of GMS, and I also want the content to be enjoyable.

The way I will outline this thread is covering the issues in dedicated sections, mentioning the core issue with the content and proposing alternatives / solutions.

New Leaf City and MesoGears:
Admittedly, New Leaf City (NLC) is the area I have the fewest issues with. While I do miss the original maps in the Krakian Jungle, I'm okay with the new map designs and music. The main issues I have with the area are related to map spawn rates and quests, which go hand-in-hand to a degree.

Issue: Map Spawn Rates and Mobs
Some of the earlier maps, such as the City Outskirts area, have decent spawn rates and map layouts, but could be better. However, the maps with Jungle Bugs, Mighty Maple Eaters, Aliens, I.AM.ROBOTs, and both types of Jungle Monkeys all have terrible spawn rates and/or terrain; the two Jungle Monkeys having long respawn animations does not help either. The spawn rates for all the Warriors and Gryphons are decent, but the map with normal Gryphons (Where the Valley Ends) will send you a few maps back if you fall into the pit (and a lot of Gryphons end up flying toward the bottom of the map). While this was also a feature in the pre-revamp NLC, it is outdated and archaic since the game has shifted more towards clearing hoardes of monsters as fast as possible. Side note: Gryphons and Aggressive Gryphons are identical except for the name; would it be possible to add a couple differences in design or stats?

MesoGears's maps have below average spawn rates and mediocre terrain that hasn't been updated in years, with girders and steel beams getting in the way from moving around. Fire Tusk and Electrophant are also immune to fire and ice respectively, meaning that they take 1 damage rather than half damage from those elements.

Solution(s)
The best solutions for the mobs would be to increase spawn rates in some of the inferior maps and speeding up the respawn animation speed for the monkeys. For Where the Valley Ends, I'd suggest either adding a platform at the bottom like most other maps, or having the pit send you to the top of the map (like the Black Heaven Inside maps in Scrapyard). Another addition I propose is the inclusion of Star Force maps (maybe 150 SF requirement) in NLC: one in the City Outskirts area, one in the Krakian Jungle, and one in the Alien Excavation Site.

Some of the Phantom Forest’s Crimsonwood Mountain maps are decent in terms of spawn rate, but the Forest itself is underwhelming, and could use some spawn boosts.

As for MesoGears, I suggest making some of the girders and steel beams into background objects, rather than foreground objects (like how Lachelein's curtains used to be disruptive platforms that were later turned into background objects). Fire Tusk and Electrophant can have their immunities be changed to 50% damage.

Issue: Quest Drop Rates and Rewards
This sort of ties into the previous issue, but is enough of a problem that it can be its own section. The quest items in NLC, namely Flora Samples from Mighty Maple Eaters, Ecological Samples from Aggressive Gryphons, and Soil Samples from Violent Jungle Monkeys, each require 50 drops, but the drop rate is so low that you will kill more than 300 of each monster before completing it. The quest EXP is also mediocre, giving at most 5 million EXP per completion. For reference, Kritias, another Level 170 area, has some quests that give upwards of 28 million EXP.

Solution
The solution to this is simple: increase the drop rate for each item, maybe by more than double. Refined Lianium from Aliens could also use a drop rate boost, but not as badly as the other items as those are part of a side quest. The EXP from the quests in NLC could also use a boost.

Phantom Forest:
The main crux of the issues with the Masteria are within the Phantom Forest, as most of us already know.

Issue: Sanity System
The sanity system was added to the Phantom Forest, slowly causing your sanity to deteriorate as you spend more time in the area, whether you take damage or move from portal to portal. Various effects will occur, including distorted colors, screen shaking, reduced HP/MP/EXP/damage, reduced drop rates, and flying monsters that can lock your potions. I have recorded a video showcasing the area at its worst:

While you can recover your sanity up to 5 times a day, the sanity system turns players off from this area, for several reasons:
1. The effects will cause lag and memory leak for many players, even those with high-end computers.
2. The effects, especially the distorted colors and screen shaking, can cause motion sickness for certain players.
3. The flying monsters that attack you will eventually cause you to die if you aren't careful, leading to lost EXP.
4. The reduced EXP, drop rates, and damage prevent this area from becoming a realistic training ground.
5. The amount of time required to complete this area's Daily Quests will take at the absolute minimum 1 hour, seeing as how you have to hunt a specific Elite Boss in the area (will cover that more in the next section).

As it stands right now, the area actively turns players away due to how badly it's implemented. A lot of monsters deal double lines of damage with no invincibility period in between (like the Shadowknights and Stormcasters), and your sanity decreases quickly. It's a terrible sign when even the Community Manager cancels a livestream of the area at the last minute (likely out of concern for the players' health and safety).

Solution 1
The most obvious solution is to do away with the Sanity system altogether. I understand that it was meant to make the area stand out, but in its current format it's more of a gimmick than anything else (and it isn't even a good gimmick).

Solution 2
An alternative solution, if Sanity removal isn't an option, would be to rework it and make it less resource-heavy on computers. A few people I've talked to theorize that the Sanity system was a prototype of Giant Monster Gloom's Fear gauge, which came out about a month after in KoreaMS. This version, while it has its gimmicks, is a lot less resource-heavy and could potentially serve as an alternative to the existing Sanity system.

For those unaware of how it works, instead of slowly deteriorating over time, you have a Fear meter that slowly increases as you take damage during the boss battle. Once full, you are put in a state of Fear, blackening the screen and summoning a bunch of monsters that try to attack you. Eventually the meter depletes, restoring you back to normal and beginning the process again. While the Fear gauge does have a few cheap moments, it is eons better than the Sanity system, and could serve as a basis for a modified Sanity system.

Issue: Daily Quests
The Phantom Forest Daily Quests in their current state provide 3 quests to hunt normal monsters (granting 3 Raven Ninja Coins each), 2 quests to hunt the area’s special Elite Monsters (granting 1 Shadowknight Coin each), and 1 quest to hunt one of 3 special Field / Elite Bosses (granting 3 Shadowknight Coins). Completing all of these will grant an additional 5 Shadowknight Coins, but there is little incentive to complete all of them for the following reasons:
1. Some of the monsters have mediocre spawn rates, most notably the Phantom Trees.
2. You will have to hunt for minimum 1 hour to get one of the special Field Bosses (Masters Killian and LeFay, Large Phantom Tree, and Phantom of Naricain) to spawn, since it works the exact same as a normal Elite Boss (Black Knight, Mad Mage, Vicious Hunter, Rampant Cyborg, and Bad Brawler). This means that hunting for an Elite Boss will not result in getting the correct Elite Boss to spawn, as it is completely random.

On that note, I’d also like to see the Elite Bosses be more challenging rather than having a couple attacks that do minor damage, while the Elite Monsters should be less challenging, as some of them can 1-hit KO most lower level players.

Solution 1
The most practical solution is to have the Daily Quests require killing any Elite Boss, rather than a specific one, so that players don’t have to spend an hour for a chance at the Elite Boss they need.

Solution 2
An alternative solution is to reduce the time spent to summon the Elite Bosses by at least 50%, as well as to make each boss spawn in specific maps. For example, Masters Killian and LeFay can only appear in the Crimsonwood Mountain region, while Large Phantom Tree and Phantom of Naricain can spawn in specific maps within the Forest itself.

Solution 3
A third solution I can propose is to make all 3 bosses into free-spawning bosses that spawn in specific maps, similar to other Field Bosses (Mano, Leviathan, Ghostwood Stumpy, Sky Guardian, etc), like how the Headless Horseman and Bigfoot spawned in the area pre-revamp.

Solution 4
A fourth solution I can propose is to have the Elite Monsters and Elite Bosses's spawn cycle work like the Lion King Castle's Rose Garden, where you kill a set amount of monsters to summon a Special Monster (the Golden Bee), and then a Boss (King Castle Golem), with a repeating cycle of Special Monster + Boss. In this case, the Elite Monsters would serve as the Special Monster and the Elite Bosses would serve as the main Boss.

Issue: Shadowknight Coin System
The Masteria’s Legacy Set was advertised as powerful, and upon initial release it was noticeably strong with a 10% Critical Damage boost in the set bonus, as many players discovered via the use of Pet Item Ignore. However, this boost was nerfed to 5% Critical Rate, and players soon discovered that Shadowknight Coins were a necessity to Star Force this accessory set, at a rate of 5n + 5 (i.e. 0->1 requires 5 coins, 1->2 requires 10 coins, 2->3 requires 15 coins, and so on).

The worst part is that the Star Force success rates are exactly the same as any other equipment, making the entire set worthless except for the Glona’s Heart ring. Players have also calculated that, on average, a single equipment from this set will take on average 4.7 years to get to 22 Star Force. For comparison, Morass and Esfera’s Arcane Symbols take about 1 year to go from Level 1 to Level 20 without any events. Nexon has attempted to mitigate this by throwing more coins our way (such as with Sunny Sundays and Gollux’s Mountain Mumur shop), but most players end up avoiding the area like the plague.

ZeroByDivide made a video showcasing his efforts in farming Shadowknight Coins to Star Force a Glona’s Heart ring.



While he is a controversial figure within the MapleStory community for many valid and justified reasons, I feel that his video is the best example of how ludicrous the Shadowknight Coin system is. He also made a very poignant statement on the system in the video (paraphrasing): “Anyone who thought this was okay probably has never Star Forced anything to 15 Stars before.”

Solution 1
The most practical solution is to remove the coin cost, which could be tough because Nexon Korea already doesn’t take too kindly to the Superior Gollux Set being better than the Boss Accessory Set (which raises the question of why Nexon spent so much into effort and resources to create the Masteria’s Legacy Set).

Solution 2
An alternative solution is to massively reduce the coin cost for Star Force. As it stands now, most players only gain coins from Gollux’s Mountain Mumur shop (which I will cover in a later section) due to how inefficient the Daily Quests are. Given the effort required, the coin cost should be reduced by more than half, maybe in multiples of 1 or 2 instead of 5.

Solution 3
A third solution, which could be implemented alongside Solution 2, would be to increase the Star Force success rates exclusively for this set. Currently, the set has the exact same success rates as a normal item. Given the effort to reach just 17 Stars for a normal item, much less 22, the success rate would need to massively increase for this set to be worth considering.

Issue: The Magician’s Trial
This quest is part of the Level 190 Masteria questline, and I felt it was necessary to include as its own section due to how restrictive it is. As it is right now, one of the quests named “The Magician’s Trial” requires you to have one of each class archetype in a party (Warrior, Magician, Bowman, Thief, Pirate) and have them talk to the NPC to complete the quest. Each person has to have the quest either in progress or already completed, but it’s unnecessarily restrictive. Side note: I feel that this quest is Nexon’s subtle way of hinting that CWKPQ is never coming back, but it fails because it’s a single quest rather than an accompaniment.

Solution
The solution would be to change the quest requirement, maybe to have players kill a set number of monsters or complete a mini jump quest rather than its current requirement.

Issue: Phantom Forest Familiars
This issue is pretty minor, but given how we have familiars for both old and new Crimsonwood / Phantom Forest monsters, we can't obtain either version. The old ones (such as Windraider, Stormbreaker, Firebrand, Nightshadow, etc), can no longer be obtained, and the new ones (Corrupted Windreaver, Corrupted Stormcaster, Corrupted Flamekeeper, Corrupted Shadowknight, etc) do not drop at all.

Solution
The solution for the new monster familiars would be simply to have them drop from their respective monsters. The solution for the old monster familiars is actually quite simple as well: convert them to Crimsonheart Castle monsters and have them drop from the monsters in that area (the Level 130+ theme dungeon where Gollux used to be).

Gollux:
I felt that Gollux’s revamp was a mixed bag. I understand the motivation for making him tougher to fight, and I appreciate the changes to the way drops are distributed (including making coins instanced and having the heart be a monster we can attack rather than an object to click on). However, there are a few issues that need to be discussed.

Issue: Gollux Shops
Gollux has two shops: one for Pennies and one for Coins. You can only obtain Pennies from doing Easy or Normal (Level 1 or 2) Gollux, and you can only obtain Coins from Hard or Hell (Level 3 or 4) Gollux. The problem is that players who can only do the former are unable to make use of the Pennies for any accessories, and players who can only do the latter cannot obtain any of the collectibles / usable items such as the Trait Boost items and the Mineral / Herb Pouches.

In addition to that, the Mountain Mumur shop in the Gollux reward map sells items that are too costly worthwhile, especially since clearing the highest difficulty of Gollux only grants 25 - 30 Coins a day. For example, an Eternal Rebirth Flame costs 250 Coins, and you can buy 10 Shadowknight Coins a day for 5 Gollux Coins each.

Solution
For the first shop, I suggest adding a coin exchange between Pennies and Coins, maybe at a 1:10 ratio (or some other arbitrary ratio). For the Mountain Mumur shop, I suggest reducing the costs of most items sold for Coins by 90% (for example, Eternal Rebirth Flames can be reduced from 250 to 25 Coins), and selling Shadowknight Coins at a 1:1 ratio ratio than a 5:1 ratio.

"Issue": Gollux Mobs
To be honest, this is the most minor issue here, but I felt it was necessary due to the revamped Familiar system. While I like the new monster designs, having 4 Corrupted Veilstone familiars in the Cursed Badge is confusing when the new familiar cards all look like this: uAv1wKC.png. The other monsters that had different variants are all identical now. For example, Corrupted Wardlock, Mutated Wardlock, and normal Wardlock all look like this now: Wi3Eop0.png. Black Perdit, Clear Perdit, and Red Perdit, which came in those respective colors pre-revamp, all look like this now: ER3cGkL.png. The monsters are also Level 140 - 150 (with the Perdit Seeds being Level 45), despite Gollux now being Level 180+ to enter.

Solution
The only suggestion I have for the redesigns is to add different color variants for each mob to differentiate them, and to raise the monster levels to Level 180.

Conclusion
In conclusion, I am suggesting these changes not because I hate Masteria, but because I want it to be significant in the game’s current state. It's kind of depressing when ChinaMS and TaiwanMS, two MapleStory versions with zero standards, haven't picked up the revamp yet and chose to stick with the pre-revamp version instead. Please take this into consideration, Nexon, and don't let us down.
ZennykinsbumbertyrSyphikiOnions_KunBeefAggraphineAKradianCMKyriosSlicedTimeDracoNosferatuand 2 others.

Comments

  • ZennykinsZennykins
    Reactions: 630
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    edited October 2020
    Some good and well thought out suggestions and quality of life changes!, I'm forwarding this
    PirateIzzy
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
    Reactions: 5,010
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    Member
    edited October 2020
    Added a new Phantom Forest Familiars section.
    Some good and well thought out suggestions and quality of life changes!, I'm forwarding this

    Thank you very much! I hope it makes a difference.
  • darikdarik
    Reactions: 3,030
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    edited October 2020
    Damn i like the feedback, really well written and touching crucial points. If anything to add would be the prices of gollux items, they are way too high in my opinion, it takes way too long to get 750 coins, i understand its end game, but theres other end game content that can be achieved/obtained faster, so why make gollux items so hard to obtain?
  • BeefBeef
    Reactions: 2,320
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    edited October 2020
    darik wrote: »
    Damn i like the feedback, really well written and touching crucial points. If anything to add would be the prices of gollux items, they are way too high in my opinion, it takes way too long to get 750 coins, i understand its end game, but theres other end game content that can be achieved/obtained faster, so why make gollux items so hard to obtain?

    IDK, a month for a guaranteed piece vs 1 year+ if you're lucky for an Arcane drop in Reboot, Gollux seems pretty generous especially when people party up for coin leeching.

    If anything, Hell mode Gollux should have all the drops instead of just locked down on Earrings and Belt
    PirateIzzy
  • AKradianAKradian
    Reactions: 39,625
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    Volunteer Forum Moderator, Private Tester
    edited October 2020
    PirateIzzy wrote:
    The Masteria’s Legacy Set was advertised as being powerful, and upon initial release it was noticeably strong with a 10% Critical Damage boost in the set bonus, as many players discovered via the use of Pet Item Ignore. However, this boost was nerfed to 5% Critical Rate, and players soon discovered that Shadowknight Coins were a necessity to Star Force this accessory set, at a rate of 5n + 5 (i.e. 0->1 requires 5 coins, 1->2 requires 10 coins, 2->3 requires 15 coins, and so on).

    The wording "upon initial release" isn't quite accurate.
    As you may recall, the release of the Phantom Forest revamp was delayed due to bugs, and at first we only got the NLC revamp. However, the data for Phantom Forest was mostly included in that patch, and so you are right that people learned of the 10% crit damage set bonus in the upcoming set, and got excited for it, even though the individual items in it were unexceptional.
    When Phantom Forest was finally released, it was with the crit rate set bonus, which instantly made the whole thing not worth breaking other accessory sets for. Only the ring remained viable, because we have 4 slots for rings, and this one is high enough level to get 22 stars. But the catch is that it needs to have high star force to be better than other rings that are much easier to obtain. So the coin requirements for star force killed that last bit of desirability for any part of the set.

    Before the revamp, Masteria was "dead" and "people only went there to craft Balanced Fury and Crystal Ilbi throwing stars, or for anvil-fodder novelty equips". And now, after Nexon invested a lot of developer time to revamp it, and suffered much backlash from players, both for nostalgia reasons and for objective game design reasons (like your well thought out post), Masteria is still dead and people still only go there for those throwing stars. Some of the novelty equips are still obtainable from the revamped Masteria, but some joined the ones lost in the 2016 Masteria updates, in the great bit-bucket in the sky. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
    PirateIzzy
  • AggraphineAggraphine
    Reactions: 19,405
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    edited October 2020
    darik wrote: »
    Damn i like the feedback, really well written and touching crucial points. If anything to add would be the prices of gollux items, they are way too high in my opinion, it takes way too long to get 750 coins, i understand its end game, but theres other end game content that can be achieved/obtained faster, so why make gollux items so hard to obtain?

    Given the amount of reboot players I've seen over time gripe about having a weeks-long dry spell on any superior drops from hellux pre-revamp, I can't say the 750 coin cost is excessive. You either get lucky and get the drops you need, or you get shafted on drops long enough that you can just outright buy what won't drop. It's not a complete departure from what people had already been dealing with, just now there's a diligence backstop.

    I do agree with Beef though, hellux needs to drop all four pieces instead of functioning exactly like pre-revamp hellux in only dropping half of the set.
    PirateIzzy
  • darikdarik
    Reactions: 3,030
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    edited October 2020
    Beef wrote: »
    darik wrote: »
    Damn i like the feedback, really well written and touching crucial points. If anything to add would be the prices of gollux items, they are way too high in my opinion, it takes way too long to get 750 coins, i understand its end game, but theres other end game content that can be achieved/obtained faster, so why make gollux items so hard to obtain?

    IDK, a month for a guaranteed piece vs 1 year+ if you're lucky for an Arcane drop in Reboot, Gollux seems pretty generous especially when people party up for coin leeching.

    If anything, Hell mode Gollux should have all the drops instead of just locked down on Earrings and Belt

    i agree with thepart that gollux should drop all 4 pieces of the equipment.
    PirateIzzy
  • SorbitolSorbitol
    Reactions: 420
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    edited October 2020
    Great write-up. I would like to piggyback on the "Map Spawn Rates and Mobs" issue with my complaint that in Reboot, the mobs in Masteria (along with other regional content) appear to not have their HP/EXP scale by the usual Reboot multipliers. I feel like changing this could help with content engagement, since otherwise the maps are doubly useless for training in Reboot.
    PirateIzzy
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
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    edited October 2020
    Sorbitol wrote: »
    Great write-up. I would like to piggyback on the "Map Spawn Rates and Mobs" issue with my complaint that in Reboot, the mobs in Masteria (along with other regional content) appear to not have their HP/EXP scale by the usual Reboot multipliers. I feel like changing this could help with content engagement, since otherwise the maps are doubly useless for training in Reboot.

    Unfortunately it affects all non-KMS monsters like you mentioned.
  • BeefBeef
    Reactions: 2,320
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    Member
    edited October 2020
    Also someone else mention on the Reddit, but anvils stuff that got sacked from removed haunted house/cwkpq/riley stones and weren't included in the phantom forest shop need to be brought back into the Phantom Forest shop.
    xxx1zdarikPirateIzzy
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
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    edited October 2020
    Beef wrote: »
    Also someone else mention on the Reddit, but anvils stuff that got sacked from removed haunted house/cwkpq/riley stones and weren't included in the phantom forest shop need to be brought back into the Phantom Forest shop.

    I agree, I just didn't have any room in my OP. For those who haven't seen it:
    xxx1z wrote:
    You talked more about the gameplay issues that the new Masteria brings altogether to which I agree with all your points and with great solutions given out.

    But on a side note, I am concerned with the loss of all the cool anvil items throughout the years. Although most have been made available through the exchange shop. For some reason nexon decided not to put all of them in there, and only some of them, for example Facestompers. In addition to CWKPQ being removed, specs, khanjar, crossheider, smiling mask, and more were essentially lost to the void. Along with that, the old haunted mansion housed some of the most anvil goodies such as these:

    Twisted Jester:
    Emergency Rescue Tube
    Luminous Earth Katara
    Black Tube
    Trumpet

    Dead Scarecrow:
    Cherub's Bow
    Zhu-Ge-Liang Wand
    Himomaru Fan
    Black Tube
    Emergency Rescue Tube
    Toy Rifle
    Green Ski
    Trumpet
    Red Umbrella
    Bullseye Board
    Luminous Earth Katara
    Scissor Stick

    Rotting Skeleton:
    Mysterious Book
    Orca Bro
    Tsunami Wave
    Duck Tube

    Lunchbox Lv.60 luminous heaven katara AND dagger also dropped from jesters. All of which have been pretty much unobtainable since their removals. It especially sucks as a reboot player since you essentially had less than a year to obtain the items. Nor did you know the areas would be closed never to be reopened again.
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
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    edited January 8
    Decided to revive this thread with a new suggestion:
    Solution 4
    A fourth solution I can propose is to have the Elite Monsters and Elite Bosses's spawn cycle work like the Lion King Castle's Rose Garden, where you kill a set amount of monsters to summon a Special Monster (the Golden Bee), and then a Boss (King Castle Golem), with a repeating cycle of Special Monster + Boss. In this case, the Elite Monsters would serve as the Special Monster and the Elite Bosses would serve as the main Boss.
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
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    edited July 24
    Well, it's been a while since I commented on this. Since then, Nexon renamed the Corrupted Veilstones, giving each of them their own unique suffix (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta), which I am okay with even if it's not the solution I would have went with. I may have to make another thread like this on Gollux one day, but I'll save that for another time.

    Nexon has also made a few changes to the Phantom Forest in v224, so let's talk about them.

    RTqRnGp.png

    They supposedly improved the Sanity System, but a couple people I've talked to said that the Sanity System was even *more* resource-intensive on their computers compared to before this update. The visual effects, especially the screen-shaking, are still enough to turn off people prone to motion sickness. I'm okay with the change to the Logging Work quest, but the respawn change for Phantom Trees merely makes them take 5.5 seconds to actually appear after spawning, meaning that they take even longer to appear than before.

    As for the Special (Elite) Monsters, this one isn't as useful as it sounds. Previously, they would spawn at a 0.5% chance, with a 2 minute cooldown after appearing. After this change, they still spawn at a 0.5% chance but with a 1 minute cooldown instead. Given the 0.5% chance, what this means is that unless you are farming in a map with a spawn booster (i.e. Kishin, Wild Totem, or Frenzy Totem), then chances are you will not notice any difference in terms of the time taken to summon an Elite Boss in the map. Personally, I'd rather spend my time farming in Cernium for an hour than farming in the Phantom Forest for an hour.

    To sum up, the changes made in the v224 accomplish very little in terms of improving the daily quests, aside from the Logging Work quest (which is negligible). At this point, it may be better to overhaul the area once again, or drastically improve farming Elite Bosses in the area while either overhauling or removing the Sanity System altogether.
  • gaspardgaspard
    Reactions: 900
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    edited July 27
    100% this, it's just popular opinion even now but they never address it
  • gaspardgaspard
    Reactions: 900
    Posts: 10
    Member
    edited July 27
    I will never do the phantom forest dailies in it's current state, it's horrible, and it's a shame because I do think the storylines have potential and it could be fun
    I'm very nostalgic for nlc and I miss things like the haunted very much; the mall was also much better than kerning tower and could be brought back along with the monsters like discs etc
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
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    Member
    edited August 30
    So recently TaiwanMS announced that they are going to remove Monad and the old version of Masteria, and ChinaMS will be as well as proven by their test client blocking access to Masteria. It's kind of a shame that GMS was never able to make Masteria good enough to be distributed to other versions, especially JapanMS which is the only version that's still following the Monad storyline aside from us. I'm not worried that GMS will remove Masteria. That being said, I'll take this moment to share that I actually got into contact with NxProse, the original writer for Masteria from back in the day (even though he would always emphasize that it wasn't him solely responsible for making Masteria as good as it was, and that it was always a team effort). I will share what he told me here to put it into perspective:
    NxProse wrote:
    Hello,

    First, thanks for playing. Ive gotten asked this a lot over the years. And given its been 10+ years since I put the pen down for MS, it's time I answered.

    So, first, I viewed those areas as love letters to the games I played when I was younger. So just like CWK is an homage to one, Krakia would be to another.

    I regret not finishing that story. That was probably the worst feeling about leaving, was knowing the story was going to change.

    Bringing back memories and honestly, they've tried to remake this many times instead of just finishing the original story.

    Did they know where to continue? Yes. I left the next chapter (~20 pages, Krakia design, area, gameplay, party quest) and all 11 transition quests (ie Lukan gets his memory back) with the team when I left.
    C'est la vie.

    I actually wrote this out from memory way back.
    ...I suppose sharing the full details of the path untaken wouldn't hurt. So this was the plan:

    Biggest possible map with hidden puzzles to unlock sections (hidden item here to use inside Yetinx for special long stage passage to Ariant)
    Rotating Day/Night Maps
    "K.K" - Roaming Monster
    Weekly rotating 8 stage party quest
    11-part boss fight w/variations ("Krakiatoa" + The Alchemist)
    Next Exchange Quest with Taru Spirits + Corrine
    ~37 quests

    ...and the story was something like this:

    The Polis of Krakia
    Part 1: Main idea was essentially one giant jungle, as in 1-2 of the biggest possible maps that could be made. The jungle has hidden entrances, shortcuts, etc, similar to Phantom Forest and Crimsonwood Mountains. Players would basically figure out a way to reach the town, The Polis of Krakia. The original quest to find the Polis is given by Foxwit, who asks you to find his assistant, Gori. Once you reached Krakia, the real quests would start, by 1 NPC, Rogi, who you question, and simply says Foxwit always forgets his name, being an old man. Rogi wants to help keep Masteria safe. However, to do this, he'd like to calibrate the continent so it stays anchored here. Remember all those random pods and futuristic structures in the background of the original Krakian Jungle? Those are now interactable, and you'd have to find and visit all of them to turn them on. Of course, this is made more difficult by 2 things: one, you have to find them, and two, the Taru Spirits are attacking you. After turning on 50 beacons, you'd report back to Gori, who'd give thanks and one last quest for beacon 51, in a special map in the jungle--you are advised to take friends. Once arriving at the area, you are confronted by the latest urban legend, K.K., a giant Jungle Ape with cyber-enhancements; he'd be around 120-150, and the whole point is to stun him so you can escape from his lair...and since you escaped, he now roams the jungle (similar to Bigfoot), looking for you. You can stun him for items (that come from others that weren't so lucky), but that's it; he's not killable.

    Now that you've escaped, there's only question--why did Gori/Rogi try to kill you?

    Upon reaching the Polis of Krakia again, you find Gori/Rogi has disappeared, but you can now enter his hut. Upon entering, you find a disguise, a strange device and a copy of a note written in gibberish, Versalian. Taking the note back to Foxwit, who sends you to Elpam, he translates it in horror: "Continent now ready for transport, Master. Reporting back to Octoplex". He asks you the name of the NPC, which you tell him. He says that this is The Alchemists' loyal servant, who in this world, would be known as Igor. He sends you back to Foxwit, who deduces that his assistant is no more, which is how he got the disguise, and that Igor is Dr.Krakia's assistant from their time together, which means that The Alchemist and Dr.Krakia are one and the same. He asks you to visit 5 of the beacons so he can assess what you really did. Upon going back to the jungle, you find the Taru continue to attack you. Going back to Foxwit and sharing your findings, he tells you that Rogi lied to you--you've calibrated the exact position for the continent for the Alchemist and Naricain to transport Masteria back to Versal; at which point he can invade the entire Maple World and take over.

    This is your mess, and there's only one way to clean it up: Find the Octoplex and Stop The Alchemist.

    Part 2: To learn more about the Jungle, Foxwit tells you to visit Corine, who may have some knowledge about the Taru and how to find the Octoplex. She gives you a token that allows safe passage through the jungle, and asks you to go back to the Polis, as things should become clear. You make it back to the jungle, and back to Rogi's hut, and turn on the machine. The Taru spirits, now freed, appear in the Polis, 5 Taru Spirits total. You speak with the Chief, who explains that they attacked you because they knew what the devices did, having seen them ages ago when they were wiped out. Once you explain your side, and give them the Token, they mark you as an ally, and say they will help you find the Octoplex. They also give a warning--the ultimate weapon that destroyed Crimsonwood Keep and ended the war is here, and is known as Krakiatoa. There would also be an exchange quest here, as well as other lore-driven activities and new bounties. Upon entering the jungle, you find a new enemy--the Krakian Army. Battling through their legions of strange warriors, you find the path that leads to the Octoplex and battle towards the front gate, only to be denied passage, as you are not Versalian. Going back to Foxwit & Elpam, they come up with a plan--you must head to Crimsonwood Mountain and collect items from the Versalian Army there to create a disguise that will fool the sensors. However, you will also need to synthesize the disguise in Magatia. In addition to that, you must have at least 4 friends, max of 20, help you--the groups always enter in 4's. Visiting Magatia and Dr. DeLang reveals the truth of the Alchemist--he is a time traveler, but much more. He's learned from the most powerful scientists and magicians in history, from the Black Mage to Foxwit, and has allied himself with Naricain in a bid to reverse the destruction of his world. A large part of this, is the Antellion, a crystal of immense power, and what he used to transport the continent the first time around. However, Subani and Icebyrd's deal snatched back the continent before he could finish his research. The Antellion is one of two items he needs to save his world, the second of these is located at the grave of Christopher Crimsonheart, still unknown.

    Upon collecting enough items and heading back to the Octoplex, you can now enter...and start the Party Quest.

    Party Quest: The Octoplex is really 8 random stages out of 32. You must complete a different challenge in each to unlock the Launch Site corridor. The challenges change every week.
    Upon finishing 8, you can now reach the Launch Site, which you can see the gigantic Robot known as Krakiatoa in the distance...

    Boss Fight - Krakiatoa
    The Krakiatoa Boss Fight takes place from the Launch Site to special versions of each NLC map--Krakian Jungle, NLC, Crimsonwood Mountains, to the Keep, to the Heart of the Keep, where the Antellion is. The idea being that players would beat each form on a different map both as it goes to get the Antellion and fails, and destroying each piece as it crashes into the Octoplex.
    But that leaves The Alchemist, who's alive, pissed, and the most dangerous boss to walk the face of Masteria.

    Boss Fight - Alchemist
    The Alchemist only has one human-sized form, and the fight takes place on one map. He can teleport, and uses both AoE killing spells and snares. But the real danger is his summons--due to his knowledge of time travel and dimensions, he can summon any 4 of the following bosses at once: Twisted Masters, Black Crow, 3rd Job Clones, Manon, Griffey, Pap, Ergoth, Bigfoot, K.K.. Rogi enters the fight when he's at half-health with basically, a giant laser cannon that you have to dodge. Every time he's drops 25%, he warps you to a prison--Aqua Road, Crimsonwood Mountain, and a dark dimension, where you must find the anchor, and destroy it to escape in limited time. Upon getting him to zero health, he reverses time and drops you in his sanctum (where the reward chests are). You emerge at the launch site again, and go talk to Foxwit. He explains, that essentially, he has to find a way to break The Alchemists' control over time, but until he can do that, you have to keep beating him. PQ can be done 1x a day at that point.


    Temple of the Elementals
    You visit the Isle of Vigilance and meet the Raven Ninja Clan leader, Unife. He tells you that that they have found a strange temple in the woods, but there aren't enough of them to mount as assault, as the Dragon Ninja Clan has additional reinforcements and strange new powers. Once you beat an infiltrate the temple, you find a captured Rapheal, who would then join the fight after you beat his captors, True Ocelot and True Phoenix, leaders of the Dragon Ninja Clan. He would finally lead you to the Chamber of the Antellion, where he would now stay as a guardian. He offers to give you a lesson of just how powerful Naricain currently is. He hands you a one-time use item that activates upon defeat of the Alchemist; which sends you to Versal. Upon landing in Versal, you are met by Elpam 's father, who leads the Resistance, and before he can warn you, the entire party is drained of all HP/MP and unequipped of all items. Elpam's father panics, and summons Subani, who casts a spell to send you back...and at the moment he succeeds, Crushmom shows up (the beast that "ate" the sun, basically black and red version of Mushmom) and leaps at Elpam's father...

    And you find yourself back in the Maple World, good as new. You return to Rapheal, and now that you know what you're up against, it's time to prepare--there's an entire world that needs to be freed, as Naricain will never stop his pursuit of the Antellion. And you can't do it without Crimsonheart. Rapheal has deduced his location, and needs Foxwit to build the device to bring him here, to your time. Once he's finished the device, you can pursue Crimsonheart, and bring him back to lead an all out assault on Versal. His grave is a portal that leads to a new land where he was last seen.

    And that's as far as I wrote, Versal was going to be a twisted version of the most popular maps in the game; and would've taken multiple acts to weaken Naricain and finally be able to kill him. The Realm of Versal would've been you killing his anchors and totems, and The Shadow of Versal would've been the final fight.

    The reason I am sharing this is because it shows how much effort he put into Masteria's original lore. Why GMS never ended up completing it is beyond me, especially since NxProse is completely right when he said "Bringing back memories and honestly, they've tried to remake this many times instead of just finishing the original story."; Nexon has tried so many times to reinvent the wheel with Masteria instead of giving it a proper conclusion, and the story that they ended up reworking it into is a depressing husk of what it used to be. It would be nice if Nexon would actually allow players familiar with the original Masteria lore to restore it back to its former glory, but the chances of that are likely zero. Quite unfortunate that it's come to GMS being the only version with Masteria now, and it's a shadow of itself. Just to reiterate what I said in my OP, I don't talk about these issues because I hate Masteria, but because I appreciate it and want it to be significant again.
  • PirateIzzyPirateIzzy
    Reactions: 5,010
    Posts: 798
    Member
    edited October 19
    So I decided to revive this thread again, because I had another idea for how to improve the Shadowknight Coin system, inspired by link37890's thread here, and talking with people like Bumbertyr. I am still convinced that the Sanity System does more harm than good in terms of incentivizing people to use this content.

    Issue: Shadowknight Coin System
    Solution 4
    Another option I could suggest as an alternative would be to keep the Star Force + Shadowknight Coin system as is, but to increase the success rate in exchange for double or triple the coin cost for 12 Stars to 22 Stars (i.e. excluding 23 Stars to 25 Stars). For example, you could pay the meso fee + double / triple the coin cost to increase the Star Force success rate to 100%, meaning that the Shadowknight Coin cost from 21 to 22 on a Glona's Heart ring would go from 110 coins to 220 (or 330) coins, in exchange for a 100% chance of ranking up. People would have a lot more incentive to participate in this system if not for the poor base Star Force rates.