This week I got the opportunity to chat with a couple of the folks behind MapleStory, a game that you may have seen a fair amount of coverage here in recent months. Yes, this game that launched in 2003 is still going very strong, with major content updates coming out on a rather impressive schedule.
You see, every time I talk about MapleStory there are some questions that I see revolving the content that I’m talking about and often times I don’t exactly have an answer. Who is the Black Mage, what are these theme dungeons, what’s the deal with the Reboot server, etc. So we brought Nexon on board, and they were happy to provide two of their own to give us some answers; Nam Jun (NJ), Global MapleStory Lead Game Designer, as well as Young Mi (YM), Global MapleStory Leader of Planning and Designing.
Us: What is the current state of the MapleStory story for those that may not have kept up with the game in recent times?
Nam Jun: Going back to the story from last winter in 2018, Black Mage, the character that reigned as the “final boss” for a long time in MapleStory, was defeated. Black Mage had planned to destroy Maple World, and to create a new world without transcendents. Empress Cygnus of Maple World formed an alliance in order to fight against his great power, and triumphed after a hard fight in Tenebris, located at the end of the Arcane River.
After Maple World found peace again, we then presented players with ‘Pathfinder’ as the next storyline, which included a new Explorer Bowman class captivated by ancient artifacts.
Us: How do theme dungeons factor into the overall plot of MapleStory?
NJ: In theme dungeons, we sometimes include hints or characters that may relate to the future plot, or provide players with a glimpse of different events that take place in various parts of Maple World that may not necessarily tie to the main plot. When players play through the theme dungeons, on top of each job’s story quests, they’ll be able to enjoy the added fun that comes with understanding MapleStory’s supplemental plot.
Us: How many total classes are there right now?
NJ: There are a total of 45 classes at the moment.
Us: Can you explain what the idea is behind having temporary characters like the Beast Tamer and Pink Bean? Why not make them permanent?
NJ: Because MapleStory has 45 different jobs, we’ve been servicing some jobs to only be available to be created or played during a certain period. For example, Pink Bean, one of the most beloved boss characters in Maple World, was specially made available as a playable character for a limited time, so players can experience something new.
Us: Are there any functional differences between named hero classes and explorer classes?
Young Mi: Heroes refer to the five heroes who have sealed the Black Mage, and therefore praised most highly in Maple World.
Explorers are new heroes that appeared in Maple World after the heroes who sealed the Black Mage have disappeared, and they try to protect the peace in Maple World.
Regarding the functional differences, we do try and make a general distinction by giving each job a unique story, theme, function (combat method), and etc. So we’d like players to experience those differences and enjoy them in various ways.
Us: Has the Pathfinder class been positively received?
NJ: Yes! Pathfinder drew attention as the first Explorer Bowman Class character to be released in a while. We also received feedback that she was enjoyable to play with given her exceptional hunting abilities–dealing high amount of damage and displaying excellent secondary skill functions—and her superior abilities when it comes to bossing.
Us: Do the burning character events bring back a high number of people who may not have played in a while?
NJ: Absolutely! We heard a number of people saying they returned to the game after hearing the news that a Tera Burning Event (benefits until Lv. 200) and a Burning Event (benefits until Lv. 150) will take place back-to-back this summer.
Players will be able to level up their character quickly with the burning event providing various equipment, items, and the perk of 1+2 leveling. So a lot of new and returning players, and of course the existing players who are leveling up various characters for link skills and Legion bonuses, usually take advantage of this event.
Us: What are the tradeoffs of the reboot server for people who might be looking to come back to MapleStory?
NJ: Reboot server is a special server where trade between other characters is limited, and obtained meso rate is 6 times as high and EXP obtained is 2.5 times than that of a regular server. Because trade is limited, more time and effort may be needed than in regular servers in the beginning stages of growing the character to obtain equipment items.
However, players can benefit from the feeling of achievement by leveling up their character, and earning equipment items on their own.
Us: What is next on the plate for MapleStory?
YM: Right around the corner, we plan on proceeding with the world merge that a lot of people have been looking forward to. We also have various new events and contents in the works.
We know players will be most curious about the story after the battle with Black Mage. An entirely new story is planned to unfold, beginning with the story of Explorers standing up against a newly approaching danger. We hope that you look forward to it as the story continues.
I’d like to thank Nexon for getting us this Q&A session, as well as both Nam Jun and Young Mi for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer them.