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Y2K Korean MMOs


Sandwich Maker
Jul 26, 2021
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They were the shit weren't they? Grando spada, Mu online, Gunz, MapleStory, Flyff, Ragnarok online...Eeven Gaia online, though not Korean, had that spirit of the era. I played them quite a bit, but for some reason never formed significant memories out of them. I remember wanting to get master rank on Flyff on a character named Bator, so my tag would be Master Bator, but that's about it.

In any case, I think the aesthethic, music, and optimism of the era were beautiful, so I'd like to talk about them with any travellers are open to share their stories and experiences.

Here's some choice selections so those unaware can get a small glimpse of the scene:

View: https://youtu.be/gMPJ38mSkt0

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVuvm91zBVA&ab_channel=chrispyman0

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x46z5iMK1Wg&ab_channel=MephistoJoe


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Jack of all trades
Dec 17, 2021
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The only korean MMO I've played is Soulworker, in a private server. It's a game unlike anything I've played elsewhere, since MMOs kind of missed me in my high school days when they were really popular. That weirdness left a big impression on me, and I haven't played any MMOs (korean or not) since.

Soulworker had big hubs and the gameplay itself was in instance-based dungeons, so it was very grind-y at times (e.g. you could be level 25 and to advance the story you had to be level 30 so you basically had to play through the last available dungeon for 5-10 times to get XP). Something else that it had was the really cool huge area in between all the hubs that was full of ultra high-level monsters and you had to run through it all the time (or pay for a helicopter ride to skip that). After I got closer to the level cap I could kind of solo those monsters but they were still somewhat hard. And once while running through there I was pulled into a big boss fight with around 100 other people. It was interesting as a free-to-play player doing so little damage to a monster with hundreds of thousands of HP while a bunch of characters with huge weapons were dealing 100x my damage. I got rewards out of it so it was fine, but it left me thinking all of the game's content was in that special area, and the dungeons were just ways to inconvenience you from playing the actual game.

Also the story was nonsensical (partly due to the translation which was still incomplete in some parts) and all the systems (crafting, refining items, the personal house, the furniture shop, the plant growing system, the bank system to extend your inventory) were difficult to figure out, and there were a million options buried deep inside menus. And the auction system was just a mess too, with even simple items you could get as rewards from the early dungeons being sold by the hundreds of millions for a few dozens. The title system is also interesting: you earn titles from playing and you can only equip one at a time. They give you buffs and stuff, and I think they are a staple of the MMO genre but it was new to me.

Maybe it wasn't a good choice for a first MMO but it was purely by chance that I played it, and I still miss it since they shut down that server. Now I want to boot it up again and run around in those weird and disjoint areas with bad level design, and talk to NPCs that could sometimes start talking in korean, and string combos to beat up the bosses with a huge scythe or an electric guitar. There was even a noclip you could turn on from the chat, and it showed that the actual world was well detailed and they put a lot of care into it. It was just flawed everywhere else. But the exploration aspect was really good, and now I want to find some other game to fill that desire I have to explore far and wide in worlds like that.

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Webcomics! Banzai!
Jan 20, 2022
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I have played MapleStory a few times. I never could really get into it though.
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Double Nickels on the Dime
May 15, 2022
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How has no one mentioned Drift City? (I mean, i dunno if you would constitute 2007-2010 as Y2K but I think I would)

It's a Korean MMO with a great soundtrack, fun driving and boost mechanics etc.
Not sure what else to say, so watch some gameplay:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_9-hsZ3Ei4

Not to mention, people from the community have revived it, so you could hop in and just play right now:
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