I am myself an old player and what made Maplestory a tremendous good game back then was the lovely social aspect of it. Since the early levels you would do parties to grind, people had to do PQ's because was the fastest way to level plus it was wonderful to comunicate with other maplers while doing all that stuff. Another aspect, since the exp rate was way lower than now it would take much more time to level up and that for me, at least, would make me just go to towns or free market just to sit around and talk, because back then chating and meeting other maplers was much more fun and entertaining than now.
I think people, nowadays, are way more obsessed with power, damage, levels, hitting big numbers, having the best equips, comparing equips, showing off, basically being the top notch and that to me it's like secondary or it should be secondary, it's futile, just ruins the game. Let's just take a chill pill here and think about what's important in a game, is power? money? prestige? friendship? socialization?
In my opinion, the developers should take a really good amount of time and come with a strategy to bring back that social aspect of maplestory that so many people miss and quit due to the lack of it.