I've played this game since G1, I've seen many motions and incarnations within itself from it's "Harder than Dark Souls" version back when Defense/Shields did nothing for you to the more present incarnations where Fashion reigns over stats themselves for many; but i've also played MMOs since their conception with The Realm/Nexus TK years ago up into a number of modern ones and I believe these are areas that MABINOGI could use revisiting with to add a lot more playability and life to the game. But i'd like to start this post with a pearl of wisdom most gaming companies miss:
*MMOs have no expiration date or shelf life, they can make your company money for decades or even plausibly centuries if maintained and upkept well enough and kept relevant and engines exist to permit such gradual growth/modification -- Mabinogi is no different and if given the proper care could be a game we see some incarnation of being played by our great grandkids."
1.) Revise the Difficulties/Add More:
- When you have characters over 10,000 levels above the 'level necessary to enter' for a region, it's time for the game to have a few more modes added to the locations. They don't always need to even be creative in terms of how they are, you can literally use "Developer Cop Outs" like 'INFINITE MODE' where the dungeons mob levels get X% more EXP per floor descended but gain Yx Many levels and gradually move down a 'Hue List' as you get deeper and deeper -- people appreciate things like this less than if the monsters looked more fearsome/evolved every 10 or 100 floors, but they'd take it and like it. The fact the hardest area MIGHT require TTL 3000 or 5000 now and I know people over 20K is silly.
- Add an ANCIENT variety to each Iria Field boss; this would be their Tier 2 version and would be substantially stronger in terms of requiring more penetration, having more HP, and possibly an additional special attack 'and always a normal attack' (Key for breaking defense.) These could likewise have as big a pool of special items as even a gachapon in terms of what players might get and it could be a global announcement when one shows up versus a 'local' one the present versions give.
- Add MID-BOSSES that can ambush within Dungeons and Shadow Missions; such as the bandit leaders, Morgant Encounters, all sorts of wild possibilities could be here -- these would be random events within a room that had a low (2%?) chance of happening, but could imperil the players as well as give them the rare opportunity for a unusual reward be it the form of some blessing/boon or loot. This would help keep dungeons feeling 'fresh/random'.
P.S - Fewer enemies with Smarter AI goes further than dumb-swarms; theres a lot to be said for swarm rooms like Sulfur Spider but the stock should be a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio with the players.
2.) Add more tiers of gear to the game. Every RPG knows about this.
- In conjunction with the first, the game needs to use the BDK/Focused Beam weapons as a standard for a "Second Tier" of weaponry that permit more hybrid playstyles as well as have higher stats and points, because in RPGs much as WoW and many MMOs have shown you have to always have another Excalibur with another + behind the name. This could even revitalize crafting and put a lot of more useless advanced materials to having a more universal/desirable usage where a crafter could make an effort to "temper the weapon/armor" to the next tier, or risk causing durability loss on a fail. (Note: I didn't say destroy it, that's a terrible mechanic.) This would stimulate the economy tremendously as well as add more life/excitement to players of the game; to keep Blue/Red Stones relevant I would say the intensity of blue should be based on the Tier, since Red would scale regardless due to it's Crit % nature.
- A second note about this; It isn't JUST about 'Higher Damage/Stats' Tier 2 Equipment could require two master or more titles to equip but allow usage of multiple talent trees' skills (For Example: A Weaker BDK named Harmony also able to use musical skills or function like a Wand and have options for better music/casting 'or' more raw damage within upgrade trees, or knuckles, or even lances of such nature, even Katana/Shuriken combos) It's also important to note something as simple as "Tier 2 Weaponry" having ridiculously higher penetration and their armors offering more 'penetration negation' would suffice for a 'new level of challenge'.
P.S - It's CRITICAL for anyone reading this to remember, NPC stats can always raise/lower and it'd make sense fundamentally and gameplay wise for the sake of balance so that in 5K+ mob regions we'd finally need to be seeking out better gear or means to temper/enhance our existing gear -- the Soluna blade took a guy $7,000ish to make and it's "barely" better than a BDK, for what it takes to make one I really feel that weapon should of sat around 320-540 damage; which might sound ridiculously but you can change your entire real life in 8 months with $7K; a sword that took that much in a game should feel dramatic/impressive too, like you've climbed the final summit; it's Infinite-1 shouldn't be so close you ask 'Why exactly did I come here?'
3.) Homestead/Crafting Revitalization/Furniture Loot
- I can't stress how huge a disappointment it is that after so many years I still can't go into my Homestead house when I know FOR A FACT we have TENTS you can do the very same in and it'd be as easy as a tent with a 3x larger area and maybe a few "Fixed furniture locking" positions to do that let you use more furniture based on your Homesteads' level. Come on Nexon; you're better than this.
With FURNITURE as craftables we'd see 'More usage for Carpentry' as well as 'More incentive' for Dungeon runs to find 'Exotic/Rare Furniture Patterns' within dungeons and shadow missions, our players have shown they are so addicted to fashion they'll play more for the sake of it than they will gear that's technically all one tier (Addressed above.)
- Crafting as mentioned earlier should be augmented to even allow players the means to do "Second Tier" ascension to others' gear if they can accumulate sufficient Divine/Crusader/Squire/Hardmode materials to do so, and this would usher in a new era of Mabinogi in terms of passion and feel -- it'd give everyone a collective and determined goal, but in adding Tier 2 gear the game also needs a level 4000/5000/7500 tier areas in the form of more difficulty; likewise i'd propose LORD just be made to scale based on the groups level.
- Add a vanity slot for weapons under the STYLE tab [Require they be the same type] and permit ENCHANTING at r5+ to have the ability to convert objects into WEAPON/ARMOR CHANGE PASSES; the game could even justify charge 200,000 gold upon the attempt and glittering paper as the 'material components necessary' to keep it under check, this would serve to remove rare objects from the game while improving desirability of the more common craftables that just aren't as nice to look at.
4.) Permit more Customization; potentially with a cost and revise cash shop gimmicks;
- A very new MMO I tried that also has a small community likewise had a cash shop much like our own, but I noticed when someone would purchase x2 EXP there while they spent about the same amount as us, they got a x2 boost for EVERYONE on the server/channel, not just themselves. The interesting side to this was players were able to make-shift their own events and festivities through this and tended to buy it more if just for the announcement they did it and many people thanking them. Such an idea could be implemented within mabinogi as a 'GLOBAL Edition' and a 'GUILD Edition' for any booster-item with the guild version being less.
- Add a STANCE vanity slot and permit people to purchase any of the passive/combat stances all the race models are able to use and let them equip one there; there would be no duration on the STANCE vanity items, but they'd be cash shop only obtained and could probably be $5-$10 a piece and still sell like wild fire.
- Remove the name change potion and instead utilize it in tandem with achievements such as being X many Rebirths, many varied hues for certain TTL achievement marks, Mastery-Hues as well -- there's more potential here than trying to sell name change pots alone! [Such as then selling 'Firey/Sparkley' variants that are temporary for twice what the present change is.]
- Permit Dyes for ones' transformation hues. Seriously. And potentially allow 1 or 2 different form options as the final; if not finding a way to make Paladin/Beast/Sage/Dark Knight forms for each race and let the person pick out of the pool of them which fits them best.
- As with STANCE vanity slots add DEMIGOD VANITY slots with the option of various aesthetic effects purchasable such as: Dark Miasma, Firey Presence, Arctic Winds, Swirling Leaves/Blossoms, etc... or just a shiny-hue-change. Theres a lot of money to be gained here.
5.) Fix major issues within the game
- Charge FREQUENTLY demanding the enemy is too close when they move at all.
- The bugged hallways as you try to traverse dungeons/SMs.
- Rubberband effect occasionally mobbing a player.
- Major Balance issues many known about.
6.) Allow more hybridization/advanced trees/Revive old ones:
- Dan 1, 2, 3 should all be brought back with the option of each Dan achievement letting you select HOW it improves the functionality of your skill; possibly even having it so Master/Dan titles make it so the skill recharges faster hence making them universally desirable on a level 'equal' to how insane they used to be to get.
- Add Tier 1 and Future Tier gear that uses equipping requirements similar to the Demonic Weapons, but with multiple talents and allows access to more skills a person is going to have once they've broken TTL 2000+ because it's silly I have 4-8 trees but at any given time might be able to use 2-3. I'd say no weapon should bridge more than 2 exotic paths beyond what it innately could have unless doing so took upgrade sequences to achieve which would mean it'd be weaker than a more 'focused result'. There should be all manner of hybrid option upgrades that could make a weapon multi-faceted.
- Consider adding Trees for mixed talent titles such as: Battle Bard, Spellsword, Polymath, Etc... Skills within these could be finely tailored to perhaps not only replace a starter of the basic trees but 'buff' follow ups within their respective trees to perhaps improve the original "Starter skill" for combos or to cause the combos' nature to be wildly different. One idea of this I had was them making it so people with Champion+ Warrior/Mage could learn INFUSE ELEMENT to give themself (and/or party members) element X effect to their attacks, if it'd help with said enemy, for a mechanically achievable way for Non-Pay-To-Win players to get ELEMENT on gear.
7.) 'New Coat of Paint'; AKA update the visuals!
- It goes without saying every 5 years a MMO probably needs a revisiting aesthetically, but it need not be huge and major in the sense it makes the players get a new computer just to run the revision of the game, but none the less the company needs to be addressing the issue of the game looking ever-more-dated, because while those of us that love mabinogi look past that and see how great it is, it makes recruiting VERY difficult when you have to get past the "It's like how minecraft isn't beautiful/new but it's great!"
8.) Add options/variety within Storyline and changes to the world as RL time passes!
- Frankly the main story as it stands has as many holes as swiss cheese and leaves me questioning the intelligence of a certain Red Haired dark knight. But with those said, there should be more options added within the storyline at least within new arcs as it can be assumed G1-15 your character is mostly 'finding themselves and their own way' which is finally seen when they disobey a narrating entity (Nuadha) and despite any intents we have choose against godhood. It could be reasoned Newer Generations allow the player to choose between Light/Dark just as Lugh himself ended up doing.
- MAKE CERTAIN ALL GENERATION QUESTS LET FRIENDS COME. This is an MMO Nexon. Don't take that out of it. Just have it check for the player count and scale enemy HP/Defenses accordingly if necessary.
- Make it so many of the NPCs in game get older as years pass in real life and eventually yes will DIE; only to be replaced by their younger counter-parts (New additions/replacements to the story too) such as Sions' dad dying, Sion eventually becoming an adult miner, and Sion possibly being wed to Ibbie with their kid pining for the affection of another small town girl as Sion did Ibbie. It'd add a huge level of depth no other MMO presently has.
9.) Fix Bards so that they can stack different songs again.
- Does this one need explaining? Originally you could have a party of bards each maintaining a different musical buff, but it was disabled/removed and that makes no sense -- even if it had taken a special skill to use more than one in a party it makes having multiple bards (VERY easy) a detriment to the team versus useful additions. Can we get some love for a change guys? C'mon.
10.) Offer smithing/clothing/crafting patterns in gachapons less so than vanity items themselves
- this would lead to an increase in the value of patterns as well as the desirability of crafters because you'd need one to get the item you got the pattern for -- if you were lucky MAYBE you'd get more than one item out of the pattern, maybe not. But it'd also make crafters more relevant than they presently are and leave people feeling better about the grab-bag nature of the gachapons.