Wait, hear me out.
(or scroll to the bottom for the conclusion)
Ok, so partying has extremely few uses in modern Maple outside of having enough DPS for the latest of late-game bosses. In fact, the devs are actively making changes to make partying even less useful. Case in point, the change to shared meso for parties in the last maintenance, or how boss crystals are worth less when you kill them in a party. At this point everyone is focused on that solo (plus a kishin mule!) grind for nodes, symbols, droplets and whatnot, and that brand new race to Level 275! And so Party Quests, which already have poor rewards and no incentive to play in today's Maplestory, fall further and further by the wayside.
But what if someone like myself wants to give old Ellin Forest PQ a shot? Relive the good old days of LudiPQ? See what this Kerning PQ everyone's so nostalgic for is all about? Well, good luck getting several other people to step away from their busy schedule of grinding and Henehoe-ing to waste 10 minutes in Nett's Pyramid with you for no real gain. About the only time you'll be able to find these like minded individuals is during an event that uses those PQs like that one Party Punk event last year, or if you're asking to do one of the three PQs that actually have something people want.
My solution? Just make it so a party of one can enter all the PQs. It's already the case for quite a few of them, so why not go whole hog? The baby that is party play in MS has long since been tossed out, might as well toss the bathwater too and let some people get a little amusement out of this outdated and empty content.
Obviously the idea of making any PQ soloable kind of goes against the spirit of a "Party" Quest, but I feel like that ship has already sailed in a lot of ways. Mechanically speaking, I struggle to think of any cases where a PQ would be totally undoable alone or with a smaller group than currently needed; maybe a tweak or two in a couple of them. So, let's review the available party content in the game and see why it could or couldn't stand to have it's entrant requirement lowered.
The Ones People Actually Care About
So these are the PQs people actually seek parties for on a semi-regular basis, and even then it gets more and more rare.
Dragon Rider (current requirement: 3+ players): The only reason this PQ hasn't been tossed aside like Ludi or Orbis is a mechanic not even available in the original Korean game: monster cards. At some point, any Mapler who intends to do some serious bossing from mid-game up will want that sweet, sweet 30% IED from the Leafre set. And the only way you're getting that is by doing this PQ to get Dragonoir and the Dragon Rider's card. You'll grab a couple of people who also need their cards, run the PQ 3 times so everybody gets their cards, and proceed to never sniff at this one ever again. And that's to say nothing of how this PQ will still semi-regularly cause a DC, just not to the catastrophic level it once did.
There's no mechanical reason this PQ can't with less people. Just a few rooms of clearing out a couple dozen mobs, two easy bosses, a pathetically easy trap dodging room, and praying to RNGesus you don't D/C. I've done it myself when the rest of my party did D/C and could have done more, but for a shoehorned in press-the-arrow QTE after the second room that apparently requires multiple players. I swear that didn't used to be there.
Commerci Trade Union (current requirement: 3 players): Now this was a hot commodity up until Sweetwater gear stopped being the meta with the advent of 25 stars and flames to GMS, especially on Reboot. 9 months of 3 daily runs it took me to get my Sweetwater weapon to drop, only for some idiot to not turn off pet loot and steal it right in front of my eyes. On Reboot. Good times. And to think they're just giving those things away now...but I digress.
This PQ is far less relevant at this time and there's no mechanical reason a person couldn't just clear any given voyage themselves. It's just more mobs at once and some slightly stronger bosses. That there's even separate solo and party voyages is honestly a bit redundant anyhow.
Hungry Muto (current requirement: 1-4 players): Ah, arcane symbol dailies. A year of busy work to reach symbol lv. 20 and never having to do it ever again. Unless you switch mains. Or raise up a kanna mule. Whatever. People just getting to Chu Chu will probably look for a party to clear Hard mode to get the full 15 symbols a day until they're strong enough to just solo it, sometime after they get their 300 Arcane Force most likely. I feel like this one is good proof of concept for PQs to have no minimum party size. Players can group up to speed up the run, or just handle it themselves if they can and nobody else is around in the middle of the night.
The Ones That Can Already Be Done Solo
Several PQs can already be done with a single party member already and they work just fine: Xerxes in Chryse, Cooking with Tangyoon, Dimension Invasion, Alien Visitor, Evolution Lab, Ghost Park, and formerly Mr. Lee's Airlines. RIP in peace, Mr. Lee. You and your wilderness hunter buff are sorely missed. All of these are basically just a lot of mob killing, but that's no particular difficulty with the modern design of most classes. Really, most PQs boil down to that, collecting items, and maybe a bit of jumping and moving around a map, so these having minimal party requirements while others need more feels inconsistent.
The Dead Ones
A few PQs have been removed from the game but their entries are still visible. Ice Knight for example is like a low rent Hoblin PQ, probably wouldn't need a full party anymore. Tynerum Altar was very similar to CWKPQ, and didn't seem to have any deep party mechanics. The latter though is why I bring up this category of PQ. As I understand it, in Crimsonwood Keep, you needed each of the 5 types of class to complete it, which go against the idea of lowering it's entry requirement. Unfortunately, it looks like CWKPQ is never coming back, so it's all moot.
Oh and Sharenian, the guild PQ. Does that even exist in-game anymore? Presumably that would need multiple players, but if it's long gone, who cares?
The Ones That I Think Don't Need Multiple People
These are the ones that extremely few people do for the previously stated reasons. No rewards worth speaking of. Too much hassle to get enough people who even want to do them. These are the ones that it'd be especially worth dropping the entrant requirement so that a person could at least mess around with it if they wanted to on a whim. It's not like they're ever going to be used for anything else but a nostalgia run.
Romeo and Juliet (current requirement: 4 players): This was a pretty popular level grinding spot for a while at lower levels, but that seems to have faded with new and changed content, so this one is back to being dead. The only part I can see being "hard" for a fewer or solo players is filling the beakers, but I see no reason that it couldn't be done with current power levels.
Nett's Pyramid (current requirement: 4 players): This might have been hard back in the day before every class had decent movement skills and near-to-full map attacks, but with a bit of elbow grease, most any 5th job class or even earlier could solo all 4 lanes just fine. It's basically just the Castle Defense bounty hunter portal with a couple more lanes.
Lord Pirate (current require
ment: 3+ players): Mostly a mob killing PQ. Zero difficulty there with current power levels for any group. There was a thing in the past where you'd need to have multiple keys to summon angrier versions of Lord Pirate at the end, and each player could only carry one, but that could be changed pretty easily if it mattered.
Escape (current requirement: 3+ players): Mob slaying and jump questing. And only one person needs to clear the jump quests already. No need for 3 people to do this.
Kenta (current requirement: 2+ players): Another one that used to be a popular grind spot, killed by better maps being added lately. Defending Kenta during the rock collecting stage could be a bit tricky alone, but again, with modern skills I can't see it being that hard to do. This one has those little QTEs that the whole party has to hit like Dragon Rider PQ too, but that could always be removed.
Hoblin King (current requirement: 2+ players): The big escort mission PQ. Could potentially be a pain defending Shammos without backup, but I should think it's doable.
Dimensional Crack (Ludi PQ) (current requirement: 3+ players): Now this one could possibly have a hangup for having less players than the current requirement. Stage 5 needs the players to stand on three different spots to answer a math question. Impossible to do with less than 3 players? Well, unless something has changed, there's already a mechanic built in to solve this problem, ostensibly in the event of other party members leaving, disconnecting, what have you. You can get dummy items that can be placed on the right spots in the event that someone is missing. Problem already solved for us here!
The Crossworld Ones
Honestly, it's already irritating that these aren't all individually available and you have to wait for it to be in the rotation thanks to the Crossworld PQ system, let alone trying to get enough people who care together to do the one you want. I feel like in addition to allowing fewer party members to start these, they should really go back to being accessible from their original locations like all the rest.
Moon Bunny (current requirement: 4 players): Kill stuff, defend the bunny, pick up items. No challenge that should need 4 players.
First Time Together (Kerning PQ) (current requirment: 4 players): This is the first one I can think of that would need actual adjustment for any less than 3 players. The standing on platforms combination puzzle can be solved just like ludi PQ, with dummy items that I believe are already in the game, but I don't think there's any such thing that could be done for hanging from the vines in Stage 2. Maybe if the party had less than 3 players in it, that could be detected and the Stage bypassed? This is the only tricky one I've seen.
Remnant of the Goddess (Orbis PQ) (current requirment: 4 players): Nothing about this one that really require 4 players. Killing mobs, and some jump questing.
Forest of Poison Haze (current requirment: 4 players): Again, nothing that needs 4 players, aside from speeding up the jump quest bit.
Ariant Coliseum (current requirment: 4 players): Kill scorpions, collect jewels. Nothing else to say. Slower for less than 4 people, but nothing more.
Amoria PQ (current requirment: 6 players, males and females, character married) by its design and concept really seems to require multiple players, if only for the male/female parts. Less players could be needed for the standing on platforms combination puzzle with the dummy items from Ludi and Kerning PQs, but this is the one PQ that wouldn't make as much sense having a party requirement as low as 1.
As long as I'm wasting text space, here's a few boss encounters that for some reason require multiple party members despite every other high level boss in the game, straight on to the Hard commanders, being able to at least be entered solo if not beatable.
Astaroth (current requirment: 3 players): When the devs put this guy's doorway back in the game, for some reason they never updated him to not require multiple people to challenge. I can almost guarantee any character at second job would one-shot him at this point. Just like Balrog some time ago, this dust old content should go ahead and have its restrictions removed.
Princess No (current requirment: 2+ players): This one obviously gets easier with more characters, as the monsters here are damaged more by different job branches, but it's not like this couldn't be one with a single player. It'd just be tedious. Maybe if a player could go it alone whenever, more people would go after her secondaries. Or not. Whatever, it's just weird is all.
Malaysian Targa and Scarboss (current requirment: 6 players): Really scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but these guys really don't need a full party to fight them given the current level of power creep. I mean, not even the level of creep from a couple years ago. Probably doesn't matter, wouldn't be surprised if Malaysia goes the way of Singapore the way Nexon does things these days.
In the game's current state, I don't see any reason not to let single-player parties enter all this content, or with bigger groups if they really want. Partying is on life support and Nexon keeps stabbing it anyhow, nobody bothers with most of this content without a compelling reason, why not just finish opening those floodgates the last little bit? Some PQs are already wide open, what's the harm in cracking open the last few holdouts to give bored people something to do when their friends aren't on and nobody else will bother?