The current logo of MapleStory
|Publisher(s)||Nexon (South Korea, Japan, North America, EU)
AsiaSoft (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam)
Gamania (Taiwan, Hong Kong)
Level Up! Games (Brazil)
|Release date(s)||KOR April 29, 2003
NA May 11, 2005
TW June 1, 2005
EU April 12, 2007
|Genre(s)||Fantasy, Massively multiplayer online role-playing game|
MapleStory (Korean: 메이플스토리) is a free-to-play, 2D, side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game, developed by the South Korean company Wizet. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies such as Nexon. Although playing the game is free, some character appearances and gameplay enhancements can be purchased from the "Cash Shop" using real money.
In the game, players travel the "Maple World", defeating monsters and developing their characters' skills and abilities as is typical in role-playing games. Players can interact with others in many ways, such as through chatting, trading and playing minigames. Groups of players can band together in parties to hunt monsters and share the rewards and can also collaborate forming guilds to interact more easily with each other.
In July 2010, the Korean version of the game was completely revised in a patch named the "Big Bang". Other versions followed suit and have since received the Big Bang update. Later in the year, the Korean version received the Chaos update which introduces PvP (player-versus-player) and professions to the game.
Players assume the roles of citizens in the Maple World with no specific objective to win the game, but to work on improving their characters' skill and status over time. The antagonist of the game, the Black Mage, was sealed away years ago by five heroes. Fearing his resurrection, Empress Cygnus enlisted the Maple World to join her Cygnus Knights in preventing his evil from returning. However, they failed and the Black Wings resurrected the Black Mage resulting in a cataclysm known as the Big Bang.
MapleStory is a 2D scrolling platform game. The controls for the game are executed using the keyboard and mouse. The keyboard is used for many game functions, and much of it can be rearranged to suit users' needs. The mouse is mainly used to trigger NPCs and manipulate items. Like most MMORPGs, gameplay centers on venturing into dungeons and combating monsters in real-time. The players combat monsters and complete quests, in the process acquiring in-game currency called "Mesos", experience points and various items. Players are able to acquire in-game professions, allowing them to craft equipment, accessories or potions.
Players have a variety of options when interacting with others online: They can form parties where loot and experience are distributed from a monster; in-game marriages where the game will recognize the two players as a heterosexual couple; guilds which is indicated with a guild's name listed under their character name; or families, an architecture gathering of juniors and seniors. Players are also able to raise or lower the in-game popularity stat entitled Fame of other players and compete with other players in minigames, such as Gomoku or Concentration.
MapleStory characters exist in worlds or servers. Players are able to create multiple characters in each world, though the characters in different worlds can not interact with each other. Each world is similar in content with each other. The worlds are divided into channels, among which characters are allowed to freely switch. The ability to transfer entire characters between worlds was added in December 2007 to Global Maplestory, with restrictions placed on items.
When creating a new character, there are four branches of classes currently available: Explorers, Cygnus Knights, Heros and Resistance. Some classes are currently not available in other regions.
Explorer characters start on Maple Island and begin as a Beginner class. The Beginner is able to advance into one of the five classes: Warrior, Bowmen, Magician, Thief and Pirate. After choosing their class, further class progression is only allowed within the scope of the first class advancement with advancements at level 30, 70 and 120. Two separate classes, under the adventurer branch, are created differently from normal Adventurers: Dual Blade and Cannoneers.
Cygnus Knight characters begin as Noblesse class and begin their journey on Ereve. At level 10, they are allowed to class advance into five Cygnus Knight classes, each one parallels to the Explorer class. Upon reaching the level limit of 120, Cygnus Knights are able to change into a level 50 explorer with benefits.
Four Hero classes are currently available: Aran, Evan, Mercedes, and Phantom. The Hero classes are characters with background stories related to the antagonist of the game, the Black Mage. Arans have the Combo System, a unique feature to the class, allowing them to generate combo counts by hitting monsters, giving them buffs and allowing them to cast combo-consuming skills. Evans are similar to Magicians, but use a dragon, which fights on their behalf. Mercedes is an elven archer who uses dual bowguns. Phantoms are Thief characters with the ability to mimic skills from Adventurer characters.
Resistance characters begin in Edelstein, a town taken over by the Black Mage's followers. The characters created under the Resistance branch begin as Citizens and have four available job advancements: Battle Mage, Wild Hunter, Mechanic and Demon Slayer. A Battle Mage uses a staff for physical attacks, a Wild Hunter rides a jaguar while wielding a crossbow, a Mechanic uses a robotic suit to fight. Demon Slayer, a separate class, under the resistance branch, is created differently from the normal Resistance.
There are three main continents common to all versions in the MapleStory world: Maple Island, Victoria Island and Ossyria. Maple Island is where adventurers start off their characters. Victoria Island contains eight cities, and is where most classes begin. Ossyria features seven distinct regions with varying environments: El Nath Mountains, Ludus Lake, Aqua Road, Minar Forest, Mu Lung Garden, Nihal Desert and Temple of Time. Ereb and Rien are separated from another land which is the beginning of another job of the game. The World Tour regions contain in-game versions of real life locations, such as Zipangu, Singapore and Malaysia.
The Cash Shop is an in-game shop where players use real-life currency to purchase unique virtual goods such as avatars, digital pets and other in-game items. Most Cash Shop items expire after a period of time. The Cash Shop also offers a shop permit, allowing players to set up a store in the in-game market location called the Free Market.
MapleStory was developed and released in South Korea and was localized to ten different regions as of 2010. As other publishers license the game for their region, proxy blocks are put in place (excluding the Korean version, it requires a KSSN), forcing players to play their localized version. On July 7, 2011, LevelUp! Games announced that they will not be renewing the contract for localization in Brazil.
An update entitled Big Bang was released in Korean Maplestory in July 2010 with other versions following suit. Big Bang changed the game's core coding, and changed many aspects of the game. An update entitled Chaos features the introduction of professions, and PvP.
The Japanese anime, entitled MapleStory (メイプルストーリー Meipuru Sutōrī ), was adapted of the game and produced by Madhouse Studios. It was aired on TV Tokyo between October 7, 2007 and March 30, 2008, spanning 25 episodes. The plot revolves around a warrior as he journeys to revive the world tree.
The North American publisher, Nexon, released a MapleStory trading card game on November 6, 2007. Nexon Korea and Japan have since released similar trading card games, while Nexon North America has discontinued this service.
Two adaptations of MapleStory have been released for iOS by Nexon Mobile:MapleStory: Thief Edition and MapleStory: Cygnus Knights Edition. The Thief Edition has only one job, Thief, while the other edition features two jobs: a Soul Master and a Fire Wizard. The games do not have multiplayer.
On July 27, 2011, Nexon released a public beta of a MapleStory Adventures as an adaptation for Facebook gaming format. The game consist of mainly single-player, but incorporates the main goals and themes of the full MapleStory game, which includes creating an avatar, fighting monsters and completing quests.
In 2006, Wizet revealed they earned over US$ 300 million from Maplestory. In Global MapleStory (GMS), more than a million players have bought items in the Cash Shop. In 2006, Nexon announced MapleStory had a combined total of 39 million user accounts worldwide. Maplestory Global has over 8 million users as of 2011.
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