This is written from the hands and mind of a player who has been with this game for many years. I am loyal and willing to acknowledge the good in Nexon when it is demonstrated. But I cannot help but feel frustration over the most recent of attempts to force players to change up their equipment choices (not simply upgrading of a single equipment piece).
As with any game, what keeps it alive is an active playerbase which play the game and contribute towards the game as a revenue stream for the host company.
For Maplestory, these objectives can be achieved in the form of dailies, grinding, item progression and cosmetics sales.
Historically speaking, in a time before time, back in the days of nostalgia and childhood ignorance, the GMS community (by forums and proxy of Maple Leaf Council) was asked whether or not it wanted flames and a higher star cap. Back then, there was sufficient community opposition against these features as power creep was a major concern.
As a result, GMS progressed down an alternate pathway, fixating on NEBS (which we had before KMS had flames), implementing Gollux and Commerci (sweetwater), merging EMS into GMS but not implementing flames or stars (because they weren't necessary AND because of past opposition to flames and stars),a status quo had been sufficiently established around a 50m damage cap. Fast forward to 2016 and KMS reveals V, a 10b damage cap, the V-matrix system and suddenly the progression ceiling exploded in all directions. Power creep had come anyway.
In order to respond to this power creep, players had to heavily invest further into the NON KMS equips and features by spending time, money or both. Players would forego precious tyrant equips (KMS origin) and convert them into NON KMS sweetwater equipment via transposition which effectively killed the tradeability of these equips (barring 1 trade if you used a scissor) (keep in mind, while whales are most affected, players who were seeking the most efficient path of progression also went this route (refusal to cube 3 line reg pot and bpot for more reliable gains)). Players would heavily cube the far Superior Gollux equipment and players would spend additional time/cash to complete events such as Sengoku high for high stats pocket items. All of which are NON KMS. We played the Meta that Nexon America gave to us.
What has recently changed:
1) Nexon has finally agreed to give us flames
2) Nexon is also currently discussing releasing the 25 star system in Global Maplestory
3) Nexon has implemented flames in a manner which makes it extremely difficult for non KMS boss equips to acquire similar flames to KMS boss equips.
Touching on this last point, in its current state the tyrants which players sacrificed to convert into transpose sweetwater equips for set effect are now arguably better and more reliable. The sweetwater transposition system offers far too many disadavantages for too few advantages. Personally, IF I HAD KNOWN that this is how it would turn out, I WOULD NOT transpose my Tyrants. Having a greater chance of high tier flame lines AND unlimited (paid) tradeability is worth far more than a set effect which has been limited by its poor flame outcomes. The supposed upgrade which throws away tradeability is now WORSE than the original item. Is that how gear progression is meant to work? No.
However, I am in agreement that Transposed SW should not gain the 25 star cap. I believe they should behave like Tyrant equips but with a set effect (Transfer the superior status over during the transposition process). Normal SW should be permitted to reach the 25 star cap.
I do not mind that Arcanes are better under the flame and 25 star system. It is as it should be... its a higher level equipment set.
Call me a whiner/whinger but these actions are perfectly in line with Nexon's business goals. More gameplay - More revenue. If you spend more time on the game, you are more inclined to purchase cosmetics to make the visual experience better (dem sweet sweet pixels). If you are forced to constantly replace equipment with new equipment, you either spend even more time (Reboot) or even more money (Regular servers). Did I mention Marvel is about to hit?
Why is this not okay? Because as time went on, it became evidently clear that Nexon NA had less and less control in the overall direction of the game. It was never truly in Nexon NA's power to control the power creep of the game. More and more content gets released in the Vanilla version (KMS) and the ceiling keeps rising. Players who wished to play Maplestory and reach end game content, were by in large forced into Nexon NA's non kms meta (primarily gollux with sprinklings of sweetwater transposition). To do a 180 turn and say we have now decided to give you flames, but all your non kms stuff gets the shaft is insulting and just reaffirms my negative opinion of the company managing the game.
Prove me wrong Nexon. Give my cynical side a good walloping. Show me that this was just an honest mistake rather than a calculated move.