Leeching In Maplestory Private Servers

A Bishop leeching in maplestory private servers

Leeching in maplestory private servers is a controversial game mechanic where a player can effectively train another player by simply being in the same party.  Some people love it, some people hate it, but before we get into that, I want to talk a bit more about how exp works in maplestory private servers.

EXP as it relates to Leeching in Maplestory Private Servers

Typically, whenever you kill a monster all by yourself, you will get 100% EXP.  This means that you will get 100% of the exp that the monster was suppose to give.  So let’s say you killed a brown teddy, you will get 60 exp (brown teddies normally give 60 exp each).

Party EXP as it relates to Leeching in Maplestory Private Servers

However, now let’s say you are in a party with a friend.  Now for every kill, you will get 80% exp and your friend will get 40% exp (assuming you are the same level, the higher the level difference between you and your friend the less exp the lower leveled person will get).  

So this means that by simply leeching, a leecher can gain exp at about 40% the rate you would get exp by simply training solo.

Let’s go back to the teddy example.  For each kill you would now get 48 exp, and your friend would get 24.

Adding in Holy Symbol

This becomes even more efficient when you add in holy symbol (a party buff that increases EXP by 50% when in a party of 2 or more).  The attacker will get 120% exp, and the leecher will get 60% exp. Essentially, this means that leeching in maplestory is EXTREMELY efficient, you are getting 50% of the exp of the attacker while doing 0% of the work.

Going back to our teddy example, you would get 72 exp per kill and your friend would get 36.

Do you see some weird here?  You are getting MORE EXP with a leecher than with solo play.  So having a leecher is actually increasing your exp (not draining it).

The Straw That Breaks The Camel’s Back

Now, if the above mechanics I described was all there was to leeching, there wouldn’t be too much of an issue.  However, there are additional things that combine with leeching that make it the most efficient means to gain exp.

The Requirements To Leech

The requirements to leech exp in vanilla maplestory are very, very lax.  You only need to do 1 of the following:

  1. Attack the monster and deal at least 1 damage (this is very overpowered for boss leech)
  2. Be within 5 levels of the monster you want to leech
  3. Be within 5 levels of the person killing the monster you want to leech

The lax requirements means that you can party with high level characters and leech off them with ease.  You can just hit a boss for 1 damage and leech off a high level attacker class for insanely fast exp (remember you will get roughly half the exp that the attacker gets), or you can leech off a 4th job mage hitting up to 15 mobs at a time.

The end result is that leeching becomes significantly faster in terms of exp gain than normal grinding (which is the original intent of how Maplestory was meant to be played).

Why some people find leeching in Maplestory Private Servers problematic

I want to start this section off with a quote from the MapleLegends forum from user Hito:

The other day on Legends I watched a guildie go from 70 to 135 in something like a week or two as they self-leeched with their Bishop. Congratulations for them but that makes me feel terrible, my effort in levelling is useless compared to those with mules who can level faster due to leeching, let alone them being tankier, moving faster, and earning more mesos with mules.”

Essentially, some people feel that leech makes the game uncompetitive and unfun because people who leech / self leech have a significant exp advantage over players who simply grind their main class.

The other reason people rage at leech is because a character that is not actually playing the game (but rather sitting afk leeching) is progressing faster than they can when manually playing their own character.

Others dislike leech because it forces people who want to play efficiently to make mages first to leech their main class.  Some people find it ridiculous that they need to create a class just to level the class that they want to play.

I personally find all of these arguments somewhat flawed (in that these arguments are often sentimental and charged with jealousy), though they do have basis in the fact that leech is the optimal way to play maplestory private servers.

The real reason leeching is imbalanced

In my opinion, the real reason leech is imbalanced isn’t because of overpowered attackers who can kill bosses in minutes, or overpowered mages who can clear an entire map in seconds.  Leeching is overpowered because of how party exp is split. Our 80/40 ratio means that leechers share too much of the exp that attackers gain.

We can fix this by adjusting the ratio to make it so attackers gain more exp and leechers gain less.

How to balance leech

The simplest way to fix leeching in maplestory private servers is to change the party exp formula from 80/40 to 90/30.

Doing so keeps leeching as the most efficient means of gaining exp, but makes party grinding your character not so much more worse in comparison.

At this point leech is more balanced because you now have a tradeoff between making a mage to leech your character versus playing the character you want to play from the beginning.

If you invest in making the mage for leech, it will take you a very long time before you see a return on your investment, whereas if you just start playing your attacking character, you will see a return immediately.

Of course if you play for a long period of time, the advantage of having the mage will in fact pay off and be more worthwhile.  However, the person who is playing the attacking class will not be as far behind as when the exp split ratio is 80/40.


The root of all evil when it comes to leech lies in Maplestory’s party exp split formula.  If we change the split to favor attacking over leeching, we can significantly balance leech and make maplestory private servers that are more enjoyable for all groups of players – those who hate leech and those who love leech.

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