If you follow me on Twitter, then I doubt you /aren’t/ aware of my current addiction to this wonderful game. Mabinogi is an MMORPG released by Nexon and developed by devCAT. Yes, Nexon. The same company that brought us Maple Story—but I don’t want to talk about that game. And I don’t think I need to explain why. Anyway, I found out about Mabi in late 2008 and didn’t start /really/ playing until a few months ago. Of course, there’s a reason to this. As with all games, Mabi does have its down points and, despite how much I love this game, it’s got a lot of them.
When I first made my account in late 2008, I had no idea what to expect from Mabi. I heard it was “quite different” from other MMOs, such as Maple Story–and, mind you, I just ended my MS phase. To be honest, I was still a gaming newb. The only games I had any really good experience with was Flyff, MS and Gunbound. I tried many other games afterward, but I never really found my place–so I was desperate for something new. Mabi /seemed/ to be it, but I was disappointed.
I’ll say it now. Mabinogi ISN’T an easy game to play. It requires time, effort–and well, money even. I’ll get into the details of this later, but to start off, this game isn’t very newbie-friendly. Getting into this game without any friends and completely clueless will only result in you leaving and cursing at this game forever. How do I know? That’s exactly what I did. Two hours into Mabi, I was TIRED of doing beginner quests. I didn’t know what to do. The freedom of this game was overwhelming. Not being bound by any classes or select quests to do threw me off. Plus, getting around without a mount was …. TEDIOUS AND LONG. I spent 90% of my time walking to places while cursing at people who had mounts. Of course, you can always wait for moon gates to bring you where you want—but that can result in doing nothing for long periods of time.
Needless to say, my first experience with Mabi wasn’t pleasant.
Mabi’s GREAT features
A few months ago, a friend of mine (who was a beta tester) dragged me into playing this game. Peer pressure, you know? I was hesitant, but I decided to try anyway. Mabi is a really special game once you get pass how hard it is. Character customization possibilities are endless. The game is largely skill-based, to the point where your level doesn’t matter much. There’s an aging system and rebirth system that are important as well for AP. Without AP, you can’t rank up skills … and if you can’t rank up skills, you can’t do much. The BEST thing about Mabi is that YOU get to choose what you want to do—and no matter what you do, you’ll never be classed under a category. You can compose and play music. You can be a cook. You can be a great magician. You can tailor clothing for yourself and others for money. The list goes on.
In other games, NPCs don’t serve much use aside selling you items, giving you quests and the usual mumbo. In Mabi, however, players can create relationships with NPCs. They can like you or hate you. And, if you talk to them often, they’ll remember your face and name. By gaining affection from an NPC, they can open up a secret shop for you and help you with other stuff. Some NPCs even serve a purpose in the plot—because YES, this MMORPG has a PLOT. I ‘ll get into that later.
The downside, Mabi is an expensive game. As I said, it requires a hell of a lot of effort and time to play this game. I’m going to go right out and say that items in Mabi are downright OVERPRICED. I’ve been playing for a couple of months now, but up until a couple hours ago, I was playing with my newbie clothes and a cheap robe. Plus, getting around without a mount is difficult and, players will quickly get annoyed at their lack of inventory space. Mabi indirectly and subtlety forces their players to buy NX to buy mounts for transport and inventory space.
You can also buy (with NX) certain services that can make the game more enjoyable. When you FIRST make an account, you are given Nao service for free until you reach a total level of 30. This is something new in the game actually—and I think it’s one of the first steps Mabi is taking to make itself more newbie-friendly.
(Mabi also has an internal clock, counting 36 minutes real-time into one full day in-game. Which is why you age one year every week or so, real-time. The clock is also extremely important to do certain things in the Mabi world, such as part-time, talking to certain NPCs, transformations, Moon Gates—and so on.)
THIS GAME HAS A FRIKKEN STORYLINE
Okay, I’m going to start spazzing now because THIS is what I love about the game. The only other game I played with a distinctive storyline was Lunia and, I didn’t play that game for long. The parts of the storyline are divided into Generations, which also acts as updates to the game; introducing new features and such. The NA version currently has G1, G2, G3 available to play, as well as content from G4 to G8—I don’t know the details so I’ll redirect everyone to this fabulous place: http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/index.php?title=Wiki_Home
I’m currently playing through G1 and I have nothing but praises. The plot is your typical fantasy-type storyline. You talk to a bunch of NPCs to learn new things, play through dungeons AND some dungeons even have to RP as a certain character to learn their story. I could go on. I’m only going to name one downpoint: There is a LOT of going back and forth from two places to talk to certain people. It was honestly TIRING, but I felt it was worth it. As I said, Mabi requires a LOT of time and effort. I’m going to repeat that lot.
I like dungeon crawling, personally. There are a lot of dungeons in game and, each dungeon has its difficulties and quirks. You can get passes for dungeons to play them on different levels. Each dungeon is different from the other, so the experience is never the same. My friends and I play dungeons while on skype–to make for easier communication– and this really makes it fun. Death in Mabi means absolutely nothing. Okay wait, that’s a lie. You lose EXP and reviving a certain way has different penalties. Like, reviving in town has the least penalties. And, if you have Nao service, making her revive you is the best way to go. When playing a dungeon your level, it’s almost impossible not to die… even if you’re pro. Yes, it’s effing hard—but hey, I think it’s fun and humorous.
Personal Experience: An opinion
I haven’t been playing for long, so most of this is just my impressions. To be honest, the fact that I have advanced player friends in-game is what’s making this game so damn fun. Playing Mabi alone would be boring, honestly. Dungeons are best played with other players to enjoy it with. I love the fact that I have a plot to play through and I’m attracted to how difficult a game Mabi is too play. I feel like my efforts amount to something. When I used to play MS, I would always ask myself why I was even playing that game. It was the same thing every day and it was tedious. In Mabi, every day is new a experience. I learn new things about the world every day and I think that’s wonderful.
This is a personal opinion. I know there are A LOT of people who think Mabi is crap, and I can’t blame them because there are lot of things off in this game. Personally, I like the difficulty. It gives Mabi a charm and sets if apart. It also prevents an influx of stupid n00bs from staying for too long. So far, everyone I’ve met in Mabi are good, sensible, intelligent people. And to be honest, an intelligent community is what I like in a game. (That and PLOT—heh)
(P.S: My name is Einhart on Mari server)
(P.P.S: Trust me. Once school stops being a bitch, I’m making a Hetalia guild)