Runescape Versus MapleStory
I recently started looking at free MMORPGs to play during my lunch hour, and came across two highly popular games. One was MapleStory, a free, downloadable game, with cute anime style graphics. The other was Runescape, a browser based game (no lengthy downloads) with only so so graphics. I decided to try them both, and I wrote this article to help you choose the game that’s right for you. There is a very big difference in the graphics between these two games. MapleStory has a very cutesy graphics set up, with a lot of bright colors and textures, with anime style art. It is a two dimensional game, set up like a platform game (like the old Mario games). You attack creatures by pressing a button, which will hit creatures that are close enough (also like a platform game). You also move with the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Runescape has a more standard color scheme, and low quality graphics that are the standard for a browser game. It is a three dimensional game, with a semi overhead isometric view. Moving and fighting are accomplished solely by clicking your mouse; no keyboard controls are used or even available except to change views. I prefer being able to use my arrow keys to move, so that was a minor negative for me. You attack creatures by selecting them, and pressing attack, similar to most RPG’s. Leveling up in MapleStory is similar to an average RPG, but in Runescape, leveling consists of using your skills until they level up. Skills include crafting skills, fighting skills, and some various other skills.
MapleStory is very much a grinding game. Although there are some quests, the game’s focus is in fighting the many types of cutesy monsters in the game, such as various sizes and colors of mushrooms, armored pigs, and tree stumps. Also, the class system is different from many other RPG’s. You do not pick a class at the start. Instead, you choose a class later on (the starting choices are pretty general, a mage, fighter, rogue, and archer class), and later on after that, you specialize in one of the different branches for that class.
In Runescape, you fight the standard RPG monsters, such as orcs, giant insects and arachnids of various types, and Giant Rats. There is no real class system, but you focus on the skills you want to be better in. For instance, if you like magic, level up your magic skill, and if you like archery, level up your ranged skill. Questing in Runescape is much more detailed than MapleStory, filled with pop culture references and humor (such as the Romeo and Juliet quest, which is extremely funny).
In MapleStory, there is no real crafting system. The only crafting system is done by NPC’s who will create things for you, as long as you supply the items needed (which all drop from monsters. No harvesting in this game). The way the crafting system is set up, they are more like quests than anything else.
In Runescape, there is a rather fun crafting system. Some of the many skills you can level up are crafting and harvesting skills, such as blacksmithing and mining. You harvest the ingredients from various sources, then go to the required appliance (like a forge, or anvil) with your tools in hand, and use the raw materials to create various items. You can use these items yourself, or sell them to the many awaiting players who have need of better armor or weapons.
Neither game requires a subscription, but with Runescape, paying a 5 dollar monthly fee will give you access to a much greater amount of in game content. MapleStory, on the other hand, makes money for itself through its Cash Shop, a shop where you can buy in game items, pets, and accessories for real money.
All in all, MapleStory is great if all you want to do is fight cute monsters using a cartoonish character as your avatar. It also has a more detailed class system than Runescape. Runescape has a better variety of things to do, however, and if you like crafting, then Runescape is the better of the two. The game only lets you use about a third of the content without a monthly fee, however, so don’t be surprised if after a month or two of play, you don’t have anything left to do. Both games are worth a try, and are pretty fun in their own ways.