1. This is going to be a long review. You have now been notified.
2. Of course, the hours displaying how much time I have put into this game must be about 0.1Hrs or so. But don't let this fool you.
3. I will not be diving deep into how game mechanics work and such.
4. Sorry about how my opinions and thoughts are all over the place.
I am what you call... True veteran of this game. Ones who played this game since the beginning, back in South Korea, until the present. This game's been out for a LONG time and I have played this since the original season when it didn't even have the word "Season -Insert number here-", the game only had three original characters, Elesis, Lire, and Arme, and Lass later released some time later. This is arguably the first MMORPG I have ever set foot on, and that's really hard to say from a South Korean due to other popular MMORPGs like MapleStory.
There are very little people who remember how the original season was. The Quest mode, the Monster Hunting/Matches mode, the Job Advancement mode, etc. all in one single lobby between multiple servers. But of course, every game needs changes, right? For satisfaction of their custome... Ehem, pardon me... I mean, players.
Season 2 was a huge change. In fact, I loved the new change. Having so many new PvE maps, level cap increase, mission system, and the new characters. What I didn't realize back then, was that this was the genesis of frightening changes.
Every person who has played an MMORPG KNOWS for a FACT, that if new characters or classes come into play, they are ALWAYS overpowered and put the older characters to shame.
And Grand Chase is a MAJOR, if not BIGGEST, example of this fact.
My favorite character is Lass. Played Arme since the beginning, but chose to leave her for Lass. I'm a gamer who always studies and learns about things beforehand to choose things that match my type of gameplay and style, and Lass was the one. Like how I mentioned above, the game had very distinguishable character system and one of them was the stat system.
ATT - Attack / DEF - Defense / VIT - Vitality / SPD - Speed
[Elesis was the "tank" character with high DEF and VIT for lower ATT and SPD / Lire was the "strategic" character with average ATT, DEF, VIT, and SPD / Arme was the "magical powerhouse" with high ATT, average DEF, low VIT and SPD / Lass was the "physical powerhouse" with high ATT, low(est) DEF, average VIT, and high(est) SPD]
Now then, you can see that there's ALOT of things wrong in that chart I showed you up above if you have played the game recently. Want to know why? Because our devs, after creating and releasing so many new overpowered characters, despite what the players have said, "balanced" the older characters rather than nerfing the newer characters. But is the "balance" worth anything? Not at all.
Ever since Lass was released (as the first new character ever to be released in the game), he hasn't gotten a single buff (Do not come here to tell me his Theif ST, his illustrations/facial motion, retouched class command lists updates were buffs, because they were all ABSOLUTELY useless compared to what other characters have gotten.) and has constantly been getting nerfed, and for no good reason!
Is he still the most powerful physical character now? Pfft, please.
Is he still the fastest character now? Pfft, please.
Is he still the character with the lowest DEF? Of course, why wouldn't he be?
They took away Lass's core strengths in the game and threw it away. Then they just left him as the character with the lowest DEF, next-to-nothing firepower, and speed thats now outshined by most new characters.
Now that that's over, back to the main topic of Character Balancing. The game has total of 19 characters, right? I lost track because there's so much. The game introduced 2 new game mechanics, AP and AMP system within certain characters. MP characters are free to hold down your Z button until a certain amount and perform specials. AP characters are free to customize the keys ASDFG with various Techniques and Specials and lets you cancel out of Specials with your Techniques for more freedom, all at the cost of not being able to constantly perform Specials due to cooldowns. AMP characters are a fusion of both MP and AP, and thus an overpowered mechanic.
Well, eventually the game devs actually saw that AMP characters were too powerful, so they decided to put out a new patch. The patch made it so that AMP characters cannot cancel out of Specials with Techniques, but what did that also do? Disable the function for AP characters, rendering AP characters almost useless, and it ESPECIALLY effected a character named Lupus (Rufus in NAGC) the most, because his gimmick as a character was to be able to constantly cancel in and out of Specials and Techniques as he wanted with average type of skills. Now Lupus has nothing and players in KGC have raged over at this situation yet nothing has been done over it.
Dungeon system is fine, but with major flaws. Instead of just giving new attacks, having more buffed monsters, etc. guess what the game does to raise its difficulty? Making mobs go into constant super armors and dealing obscene amounts of overpowered damage. Yet, somehow our life count has been cut down to 1 now instead of being able to go up to 5. If we only get one life from the start and not be able to gain any more without the use of Bonus or Natal Ring, what is the point of that "1" on the tip of our HP bar now?
Prepare for the worst balancing in PvP history. Unless you are VERY skilled with no lag, you will have no chances to win. All these overpowered characters rule over PvP with insane amounts of super/hyper armor time, obscene amounts of buff/abnormal status effect skills, overpowered 1st MP/AP skills... If thats not all, if the opponent lags and you don't know how to abuse grab mechanic, prepare to rage quit. It's funny how out-of-country players complain about not being able to play the game... If they cause so much trouble in PvP, they should stay out.
The game has a storyline. Even if you always skip all dungeon dialogues, you will be greeted with some sort of forced storyline cut-scene such as the epilogue of the last dungeon in Archemedia and Veigas' character dungeon. For a game that constantly tries to delve into the story, its plot is horrifying. Not only are there numerous amounts of plot holes, there are things that you NEVER get to find out unless you personally visit KGC's Naver Blog! Why is it not in-game? Who knows, because I sure don't.
The updates... Reason why I say "customers" above on one of the top lines is because the major things they update most of the time are RNG-based Gacha items with low chances of dropping. And when KGC DOES get a true update, NAGC updates in slow fillers...
Now most likely you will only see these characters in-game:
Lire, Ronan, Sieghart, Dio, Zero, Rin, Asin, Lime, and Edel.
Why, you ask? Because the balancing is terrible and those characters above are overpowered monsters without a single noticeable nerf. If you are just starting Grand Chase and don't choose any of those characters I mentioned above... Good luck.
Try to have fun in a PvP match against any of the characters I have mentioned above. Pretty sure you won't. Also, there are multiple people who self-acclaim to be the "#1 -Insert character name here-" that use one of those characters up above and do nothing but generic BS in a match to win and are so darn prideful that they constantly make up excuses whenever they lose.
After all these years of playing the game, I have quit and only go to the official website to see what is new. But even then, the updates are slow and have nothing new besides new cash-related items.
Be wary of your character choice and the players around you.