These are my comments about this recent addition to MapleStory, after 2.5 weeks of working on leveling my farm (21 now). I have not been
breedingcombining monsters except for quests, so I will not comment much on that.
Also, keep in mind that I have never played Farmville, or any clone thereof, so I have no preconceptions on how such a game is supposed to be. I'm looking at it from a pure Mapler's viewpoint.
The good stuff:
- Once past the horrible lag of the first week and Hot Time, and disregarding the tendency to disconnect after exiting ML (same as any channel change), the game seems stable. Even lags don't make it glitch and do things twice or not at all.
- While meant to be addictive, it's not punitive. Unlike Maple's item pot organisms, the monsters on the farm do not suffer if you don't nurture them, nor do the buildings deteriorate for lack of harvesting.
- The graphics are mostly pretty.
- Quests take you smoothly to level 16, no need to do any "grinding".
The criticism. Hopefully constructive. By caterogies:
Farm doesn't fit in the window. Not even the basic 15x15 farm. It gets worse the more you upgrade. So the more NX you spend on your farm, the harder it is to navigate... We should be able to zoom in and out, or, failing that (since ML, like all of Maple, uses fixed-size sprites), the sprites should have been made smaller.
Alternatively, we could have a schematic "view from above" for farm management. The isometric view is very pretty, but also inconvenient, especially when the farm gets crowded with buildings and decorations.
Speaking of inconvenient, the auto-panning is very much so. Especially when the sides of the screen are cluttered with other controls, so I need to place my mouse cursor just so if I want to move. And yet, if I don't want to move, it seems to fly around at random when I'm just trying to access those controls or reposition the window (my physical display is a tad too small for Maple's "high resolution"...). I would much, much prefer traditional scrollbars.
- Story quests cease rather abruptly, and quite a few people said they thought there was a bug, because they completed the quest and didn't get a new one right away. Probably would be nice to have an NPC tell you "time to let you run your own show for a while. I'll talk to you again when you reach level 18."
- I really wish we could trade monsters.
- When breeding monsters, the result should have an equal chance to be like either parent. Or maybe the chance should depend on the relative levels of the parents. The way it is now, that it's far more likely to be similar to the monster you already have, is simply mean.
- Speaking of breeding, would be nice to be able to say "release result" right there in the combine window, instead of having to go back to your farm to do it. For extra credit: make it automatically credit you with three nourishings before the release.
- Would be nice to have a "harvest all" functionality. Yes, I know Nexon wants us clicking a lot, but seriously, what do they get from it?
- A propos clicking: keyboard shortcuts. Arrow keys. It's a PC game, not a phone game.
- Achievements don't seem to do anything. Other people can't even see them. Would be nice to have your "trophy room" in your farm's home page.
- Speaking of the home page: this is probably a bug, but it takes a really long time for (existing) messages to appear.
- A propos not seeing things: would be nice if I could see who my followers are. Also, would be nice if we had actual numbers displayed for monster experience, rather than just the bar.
- I'd like to be able to move the farmhouse around.
- The monsters' roaming seems uneven. They tend to congregate at the bottom of the map (or as close to it as the area left open for them allows).
Integration with MapleStory:
- It really sucks that while you're on your farm you can't see MapleStory chat. It's rather ridiculous that if I were to play a browser game (such as the original Farmville) I could do so while having Maple in Windowed mode, so I could see Maple chat - but Monster Life that is in Maple cuts me off from the main game. I can't even see the chat I missed when I get back to it.
- It would be nice if we could get farm alerts in the main game, similar to the item pot notices. Let me know when my buildings are at max waru (for bonus points: let me know when they're at a user-defined threshold, like we can set for HP/MP bar flashing), when my monsters want nurturing, or when I can get new repeatable quests. On the other hand, get that big ugly "Monster Life: go to farm" thing off my Maple window. I really hope it's temporary, and will go away next patch. We can still reach our farms through the menu at the bottom of the screen, like Clara teaches.
- Would be neat to see my MapleStory character, dressed as a farmer (alternate outfits available for NX?), walking around the farm.
- UI principles are not the same as Maple's. For example, in Maple you double-click on items, in Monster Life it's single click. For another example, the way quest dialogs look and behave (especially the way they have keyboard shortcuts in Maple but not ML).
- The released monsters showing up in-game is cute. Their text is too long to comfortably read, though. Consider giving them chat text, like some boss monsters get.
I might add more if I think of anything.