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The MMORPG genre never really clicked with me until I stumbled upon Mabinogi. I had less than zero interest in Everquest, WoW, Runescape, Maplestory or anything else that followed - none of it really called out to me, despite the fact that I've had numerous people along the way try and get me into a fair variety of such things. It wasn't that I disliked the MMORPG concept in and of itself, it just didn't seem like the games that were being pushed at me were my sort of thing.
This changed fairly recently, in November of last year when my spouse and I, interested in finding games we could play together (my game preferences don't overlap much with her's) decided to give a few random free to play games a try. Everything struck out rather quickly...
...except Mabinogi, which I've since gone on to pour over 700 hours into, with a few breaks here and there. What keeps me coming back? I've fallen in love with the world, the lore, the characters, the main quest lines, the open ended nature of character progression, the silly little things like freestyle jams and the mercantile system, the combat system, and so much more. The fact that the game allowed my spouse and I to get married in game and didn't have obnoxious and unnecessary restrictions on same-sex stuff? Frosting on the cake. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
With all of that said, I feel like I should touch on another game I started playing recently - Maplestory 2, since it's the only other MMORPG I've really (more than a couple hours) played at this point.
I poured an utterly silly amount of time into that game when the global version was first released last month. Finished up the story content, a large portion of the side quests, got involved with guild stuff (something I never did on Mabinogi due to being shy af), etc. And you know what? I honestly don't really feel any drive or desire to log back into it at all. I don't particularly feel like I have anything to look forward to in playing it. Compared to Mabinogi, I would say that it has a dull story, uninteresting characters, a world I don't particularly care about, and... well... a whole lot of blandness. It's funny, actually - my time in Maplestory 2 convinced me to return to Mabinogi following a period of extremely intense Mabi burnout, lol.
I don't say that to trash on Maplestory 2 so much as to highlight the fact that when I went looking for something to fill the role of my own personal 'Mabinogi Successor' there was... well... nothing that really measured up and delivered on the sort of things that drew me in with Mabinogi in the first place.
tl;dr: I like freestyle jams, nao, the characters/lore, nao, trying to someday afford a bloody piano, and... uh... nao? pls don't judge me