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I will admit I'm one of those elf characters who wants dual wielding for "the looks", as I have always loved the trope of the elf archer who pulls out a pair of knives when the action gets too close. And thus the inability for an elf to use some kind of dual wielding has always bugged me to a point, as Mabinogi is seemingly the only fantasy game in the freakin' universe where *only* elves cannot do this.
Sadly, I doubt it will happen at this point, and if it was, it'd probably be heavily nerfed. The way the Koreans play elves is too freakin' powerful. All balances and adjustments are an attempt to bring other races *up* to that point. Korea's idea of giving elves a melee boost was to bring us chainblade and add those "Tech" skills.
Way back in the day, I upgraded and enchanted the hell out of a Chef's Passion to get an enormous STR and Damage boost out of it. While this did work out fine in SMs and still works against smaller enemies, it lacks the ability to do special upgrades, reforges, erg, or spirits, and thus it doesn't hold up to the amount of damage you're expected to put out in higher level bosses. Meanwhile a good shot from my Bhafel Hunter, assuming good conditions, buff stacking, etc. will put out a 90k+ hit. (I am not by any means "min/maxed" nor do I have the absolute best gear, enchants, or reforges. I'm too much of a cheapskate to go for max rolls unless I can buy them off other players for cheap.) Add Ladeca for some good spammy fun, and Final Shot for situations where you can't use it. If you've got some humans or other distractions with you for crowd control, you're destroying enemies.
Keep in mind that people who go all out with perfect rolls, enchants, reforges, food, whatnot, can end up with individual hits of over 300k. Imagine that with Ladeca spam? Combine with Final Shot? Yeah, it's too powerful.
Another person made the point of being able to spellwalk with full elf running speed. I've done it myself, against those bone dragons in Sidhe. Yes, it's likely more powerful than it should be.
I really do want dual wielding for character purposes, but it seems Mabi's most recent attempt at a compromise on this is certain types of shuriken skins. (Example, the Elegant Lotus skin converts a shuriken into a pair of chakrams.) I'll take it for now, if grudgingly. Gives me an excuse to get better at those ninja skills. And hey, if nothing else, I got my special upgrades, reforges, erg, and spirit.
While I like the new items, I'm kind of disappointed there weren't more homestead items available in there... I mean, it's called the secret *GARDEN* gacha. The "throwaways" should have been homestead/house items like previous flowers or trees or stuff.
I feel like we're overdue for a full-on homestead gacha.
Honestly the merchandise wasn't a bad idea, but there wasn't a lot to start with. I think t-shirts might have been a better starting point than pop-sockets, but that's just me. (There are companies out there that do them made-to-order so you don't have to worry about stock.)
Sadly I found Mabi through a random banner ad. Having previously played Maple Story and knowing Nexon through that, I decided to give it a try.
I think Mabi has at least another decade in it if they play their cards right. Even if they can't update the engine (which let's be real, they managed to reverse-engineer the dungeon system, so they can if they really want to), they can start updating character/outfit models and animations. The engine's handled a lot of abuse so far, so I just don't see why not at this point. If the game looks good enough, people will find it on their own.
Some easier upgrades that would help seal the deal: They need to update hands/feet models, do a tad bit of animating on hair/outfits (similar to the flowing wigs and make it default), increase geometry on character models. Older outfits should be updated as well. Increase maximum draw distance a very large amount in all areas (and adjust the sliders accordingly so that people still on older systems can still have their 5-foot drawing distance. :P ).
Thing is, there just aren't a lot of MMOs like Mabi out there. It's unique in both gameplay and appearance. Upgrading the graphics, even by just upping the geometry here and there, would go a very long way.
As for Lutetium's post... it's not really MMOs vs MOBAs.... I think the old "MUD-Style" MMOs (such as WoW) are on the verge of death since there's just no way to keep newbies flowing in when the content itself blocks them every few levels. (I'm talking about things like "heroic" or "raid" quests and the like.) These games decay when too many players hit "endgame" and get bored of alts, perpetually locking new players out of later content. They get bored and leave. Mabi's "do whatever you want in whatever order you want" character progression never had this particular problem, except at the very very beginning, and they wisely retuned the game to get rid of it.
Meanwhile I think games like "Sea of Thieves" are the future of MMOs. There are no levels, skills, or gear. Every player has every in-game ability regardless of how long they have played. (It is the player behind the skills that truly defines the character's ability and power.) You quest in the game for the sake of questing, loot (entirely cosmetic) exists purely to be found, and there's a ton of lore for those who like to discover it. I like this, because I always loved finding lore stuff in MMOs. While I'm not into pirates, I can see why this game seems to keep growing.