After 10,000+ hours grinding, MapleStory's first level 300 player slams the brakes at 299.99 to rant about the MMO and then quit, all on a dev-promoted stream (2024)

After 10,000+ hours grinding, MapleStory's first level 300 player slams the brakes at 299.99 to rant about the MMO and then quit, all on a dev-promoted stream (1)

Some 20,000 viewers piled into the chat of Twitch streamer and famous MMO grinder niru (tniru on YouTube) yesterday, April 25, to witness a historic moment: the first level 300 character in the 19-year history of MapleStory. Instead, they saw a very different yet still historic moment as the fatigued player slammed the brakes at level 299, exactly 99.993% toward level 300, to rip into the game's economy for an hour straight, all on a stream previously promoted by developer Nexon itself.

About 16 hours and 42 minutes into yet another lengthy grinding stream, niru kicked off an hour-long rant primarily about how different MapleStory worlds operate and how the game's economy functions. As Twitter user sub noted, this was merely the latest in countless regular streams, some reaching 48 hours, adding up to over 10,000 hours of pure level grinding by conservative estimates. Niru's stream FAQ simply says he's been grinding for "too long" at a rate of about 0.13% every two hours, though earlier levels would've been a bit faster.

For a quick primer, Nexon says Heroic Worlds "focus on character self-sufficiency and growing stronger through adventuring," while Interactive Worlds "combine growth through individual effort and access to the marketplace." Heroic characters can't trade many items, but they get more drops and some items are purchasable with in-game currency instead of premium NX currency. Interactive characters rely more on the player market, and sometimes their credit cards, hence the nominal focus on player interactions. Niru, who plays in Interactive, offered slightly more colorful descriptions.

The WORLD's FIRST Lv. 300 in #MapleStory is happening today 🤯 Tune in and join us in celebrating Niru's legendary accomplishment! 🏆📺 https://t.co/le4i2uFUdM pic.twitter.com/PtJrmc5BTkApril 25, 2024

"Over here [in Heroic] it's free-to-play friendly, by a considerable margin," niru begins, talking over a graphic showing the player distribution between the world types, with Heroic leading in global MapleStory by some margin. "Pay-to-win is accepted here [in Interactive World], but the free-to-play experience is awful and that's what needs to be improved right now."

"I am not advocating for anyone to get nerfed, changed for the worst, etc," he continues. "That's not what this is about. I'm not trying to make it this server versus that server. That's not what this is about. I'm not trying to make it about this region versus that region versus this region. That's not what this is about.

"I'm not some 260 hyperburn who struggles to kill monsters at Cernium after playing for one month ... I have the most play time probably in this game in general, out of anybody. I know what I'm talking about here, and there's all this misconception and all this weird stuff being thrown around over here that just don't make sense. So I'm gonna be here to tell you and show you just how bad it is, and hopefully then people can finally understand."

The complaints get pretty nitty-gritty. Niru rips into the number of servers available for Heroic and Interactive worlds, arguing that the latter offers too many, spreads players thinner, and hurts the vital player economy. He reckons these servers should be merged, goes on to argue that some untradeable upgrade items should become tradeable, worries for individual economies that hinge on specific events and items, and of course gets into the game's cash shop.

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It's the end of the stream that truly stands out to me. Around 17:25:30, niru, staring down the XP meter still frozen at 99.993%, says: "I'll be honest, I don't even want to level up anymore because of how bad it is. I really don't. But I feel like that's not fair for everybody else, so I will level up today for everybody. I really don't want to play this game after today, I'll be honest. It's not even like I've been playing massively for so long I'm burnt out. I'm not ... The more and more I think about it, I don't want to play the game after today. And I won't, until it gets improved. I'm over it. It's pathetic, man."

Visibly exhausted, niru steps away around 17:35:00, returns minutes later with a small towel on his head (I'm not sure why either, but let's roll with it), and sits in silence for a bit. His last words after a near 18-hour stream are curt and despondent: "I'm just gonna end stream. I don't really want to play this game or level up anymore. I'm sorry, guys. Thank you all. Much love. I'm over it. I'll be back I don't know when."

Niru ended up streaming the very next day – today, April 26 – and is still live at the time of writing. But he's playing a very different game: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Niru says his streamed 100% playthrough of the retro classic "won't end until it's complete," so he's clearly not lost his appetite for Twitch – just for MapleStory it seems.

"Look, guys," Niru said at the start of the Zelda stream. "I'm sorry I had to go that way, I really am, but I genuinely think this is the right thing to do ... If I just leveled up and continued to play the game as it is, they're just gonna be like, 'oh look at this, our player, GMS pride.' Everybody's gonna be focusing on a level, and then I'm gonna have to continue to play with the game in that state, and it's just not worth it, man.

"I genuinely think that that game is not worth playing anymore in Interactive World, and if I just jump ship over to Heroic, then it's GG. I'm running from the problem, and I'm not doing that. And nothing wrong with Heroic World at all, I have nothing against you."

His chat of around 650 average viewers is still peppered with messages of support from other MapleStory players who seem similarly frustrated with the issues niru called out. That, and a lot of BibleThumps. You've just got to respect the mic drop after such an arduous grind.

Earlier this year, Nexon was fined $9 million for misleading players over microtransactions.

After 10,000+ hours grinding, MapleStory's first level 300 player slams the brakes at 299.99 to rant about the MMO and then quit, all on a dev-promoted stream (2)

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.

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After 10,000+ hours grinding, MapleStory's first level 300 player slams the brakes at 299.99 to rant about the MMO and then quit, all on a dev-promoted stream (2024)

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