The Tales of MapleStory -- Mar 09

MMOs have been one of the earliest gaming genres in history, with several titles spawning over the decades from various manufacturers across the globe.

Notable mentions of the genre include World of Warcraft and RuneScape. One title, however, has lasted a long while sticking to its originality with updates now and then. The game we are talking about today is MapleStory. Released for early access at the end of April 2003, MapleStory has lasted for nearly two decades in the world of gaming. In these eighteen years, the game has gone through constant updates and fixes, as well as events and other elements that have still kept the game alive. Even though the developers Wizet and publishers Nexon partnered with NSquare and NCSoft to develop a sequel to the game titled MapleStory2, the original remains ever popular amongst players across the world. As of now, the game exists in different versions dedicated to different regions. Today we will be going through all this and more in a comprehensive discussion of the masterpiece MMORPG game, exploring its key elements and diving into the lore it presents.

The basics of MapleStory

Like most standard MMORPGs, the gameplay comprises killing monsters to gain experience and level up, while players can band together in the form of parties to perform group quests and take down bigger enemies. However, Maplestory carries with it a 2D-World interface, along with cute character designs that add to it a certain appeal, something that lacked in MMORPGs of its time and has been widely picked up by other games developers. The game also went with the route of a gradually developing storyline, which was explored and revealed further through new events and updates. We will explore this further in a bit.

A unique story

An interesting element about the lore of the game is that every character in MapleStory has its own unique and distinct storyline. However, the stories all converge to a singular point near the end, with the prime goal in sight being to defeat the Black Mage and its forces. The Black Mage is the main adversary character in the game, which is set to return to power after being formerly defeated and sealed away years ago by the chosen heroes of the past.

Teamwork, shopping, and events

Going with this synopsis, several players can band together with the use of their heroes to form parties, allowing them to battle monsters and take down enemies with much ease, along with working together for quests. The players can further enhance their multiplayer experience by joining guilds, allowing them to interact more and communicate more efficiently. In-game marriages and family structures are also an element present in the game, unique to it when compared to several other MMORPGs. Although an entirely free-to-play game, the game has a key element called the Cash Shop, where players can make purchases of all sorts. This includes several elements that add to in-game mechanics, Mesos (the in-game currency) as well as modifications and accessories for the heroes and characters the players create. A large assortment of these items is also available at the Eldorado marketplace, which players can check out and explore simply by clicking here. The game is known to provide players with frequent updates, each of which adds up to elements of the storyline. One of the most notable of these updates was the Big Bang event update, released in July 2010.

The Big Bang Event

Prior to the Big Bang event, the players were engaged in mild side quests, collecting items and leveling up of skills, as citizens and residents of Maple World. However, the Big Bang Update brought forth the Black Mage for the first time to the players. In terms of story, out of fear of the return of the Black Mage who was sealed away six years ago, Empress Cygnus starts to recruit and pursue residents of Maple World to join Cygnus Knights as their first line of defense against the enemy. Meanwhile, the Black Wings, a group dedicated to the revival and release of the Black Mage, managed to bring the Mage back for a brief moment. This series of events caused a resulting cataclysm that is termed the Big Bang. After these events, the player gets a quest of going on an expedition to restore the damaged seal of the Black Mage. However, when the players reach the destination, they will instead get to witness the Mage's return. The Black Mage then proceeds to assimilate both Grandis and the Maple World, as a measure to rule both realms simultaneously. An update that followed, the Chaos update, added in player-vs-player (PvP) battles and a selection of five professions for your heroes to master.

The Black Heaven Update

Another important update that plays a significant role in the storyline is the Black Heaven update. The update came live on March 11, 2015, and, in terms of gameplay, awarded players with existing accounts that had played MapleStory before that with a free Ignition Pack. In terms of storyline, the event signifies an epic battle between the Maple Alliance and the Black Wings and dives into the stories of two characters, Orchid and Lotus. The event is broken down into six Acts, each with its objectives and prerequisites.

The Reboot world

One of the most recent significant events was the Reboot event in which an entirely new world and a server were released known as the Reboot world. The release of this world was a marketing strategy to counteract the claim by some that MapleStory has become a pay-to-win game. In the Reboot world, players cannot make any trades. Purchases are also limited to Mesos-based only. However, the gameplay is tweaked a bit for players. Meso drop rate is significantly increased in this world, along with equipment and weaponry drops, but on the other hand, the difficulty level in monsters gained a boost as well. The Reboot world restarts with the same storyline as the regular servers but with these tweaks implemented.

Conclusion: Totally worth playing!

Despite the release of the MapleStory 2, which switches from a side-scroller, 2D world to a 3D interface (similar to what certain games of the Nintendo 64 had to offer), MapleStory still has plenty of players for its game and receives its fair share of updates and bug fixes. It is a whole pack of fun and addicting gameplay for anyone who wishes to try it. If you haven't played the game yet we strongly suggest you try now. It is entirely free after all, so nothing to lose there!