However, the aesthetics are definitely the least important differences between your two games.
In MapleStory 2, there’s you don't need to stay on one map and grind monsters all night on end like inside original game.
And while quests felt such as a waste of MapleStory 2 Mesos time in MapleStory, its sequel’s story quests are basically mandatory for leveling up.
Your character levels naturally and easily just from doing the Cheap MapleStory 2 Mesos storyplot quest, similar to Final Fantasy XIV and other modern MMO.
This is one in the biggest techniques MapleStory is catching up using the current generation.