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MapleStory
Maplestory
Logo
Overview
Developer(s) Wizet
Publisher(s) Flag Japan Flag Korea Flag America Flag Europe Nexon

Flag China Shanda
Flag Singapore Flag Malaysia Flag Thailand Flag Vietnam Asiasoft
Flag Taiwan Flag HongKong Gamania
Flag Brazil Level Up! Games

Released KOR April 29, 2003

NA May 11, 2005
SEA June 23, 2005
EU April 12, 2007

Genre(s) Fantasy MMORPG
Ratings Everyone
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows: (Windows 98/Windows Me/Windows 2000/Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7
Requirements
System requirements Minimum Requirements
  • Intel Celeron 500 MHz CPU
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 1.5 GB hard disk space
  • Internet connection (at least 56 kbit/s)
  • Direct3D support
Inputs Keyboard, Mouse
MapleStory is an F2P, 2D, side-scrolling, MMORPG 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 Wizet and Nexon. Although playing the game is free, character appearances and gameplay enhancements can be purchased from the "Cash Shop" using real money. MapleStory has a combined total of well over 100 million subscriber/user accounts in all of its versions. MapleStory North America (Global), for players mainly in North America and outside of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Europe, has over 10 million players.

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. Players can also join a guild to interact more easily with each other.

GameplayEdit

Like most MMORPGs, gameplay centers on venturing into dungeons and combatting monsters in real-time. The players combat monsters and complete quests, in the process acquiring in-game currency called "Mesos", experience points (EXP), and various items. Players can kill monsters alone, or they can form a party with up to six total characters. Loot is shared based on relative damage and level of characters in the party, more being awarded to the higher-level members.

MapleStory's 2D scrolling viewpoint more closely resembles a platform game rather than the typical 3D environment or top-down perspective of other games, such as Guild Wars or Mu Online. 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 non-player characters NPCs and manipulate items.

MapleStory characters exist in "worlds" or "servers." Players are allowed to create up to 3 characters in each world (4 for MapleSEA)(although more character slots can be obtained through the purchase of an item from the Cash Shop). Each world, similar in content between each other in the same version, is split into at most twenty channels, among which characters are allowed to freely switch. The ability to transfer entire characters between worlds was added in December 2007 to GlobalMS. However, this feature has a restriction — transfer of mesos is limited to 1 million, and players cannot transfer to the newest world.

CharactersEdit

New players are sent to Maple Island, a floating island specifically designed to be beginner-friendly. Unlike in many other MMORPGs, players in MapleStory cannot choose a job when they create a character. Rather, every character starts with the "Beginner" job. When characters meet certain requirements, they can complete the first job advancement and become a Warrior, Magician, Bowman, Pirate, or a Thief. Further class progression is only allowed within the scope of the first class advancement chosen. There are four class advancements available progressingly through out the game. Some players chose not to get jobs and experience the Maple world in a permanent beginner state. Others chose to isolate themselves in Maple Island, these players are called Islanders.

In addition to combat statistics, characters have "Fame". Although publicized by the game's creators, fame serves little practical purpose besides fulfilling some quest and equipment requirements. Once characters reach level 15, they are able to raise or drop the fame of any other character once per day. A character cannot raise or drop the same character's fame more than once per month. The maximum amount of fame a character may receive is 30,000. A ranking feature, available in certain versions of MapleStory, keeps track of players that are performing well in total ranking, job ranking, world ranking and fame ranking. Rank information is available from the region website of the player and can also be found in-game.

GuildsEdit

Players can form Guilds with other players. Guild creation costs a certain amount of Mesos, depending on the version being played. Guild extensions and emblems, which have separate costs, are also available. The purpose of a guild is to be able to find and chat with others more easily, bond with other players, promote cooperation, and battle using teamwork. Members have their guild's name listed under their character name along with the guild's emblem, if applicable.

QuestsEdit

There are over a hundred available quests. Most available quests require the player to retrieve a certain amount of spoils attained from monsters or to traverse an obstacle course. Some quests can be repeated, although the reward(s) and given EXP may be different from those attained during their first completion.

Jump quests are a unique type of quest in which a character starts at one area of a map and uses timed jumps to get from one to another specific platform. Players attempt to avoid enemies and obstacles that can knock them off of the platforms. Skills and abilities that increase jumping distance or speed do not have any effect during these quests.

EconomyEdit

Items can be acquired from monster drops, purchased from other characters or shops, or obtained as rewards for completing a quest. These items are used for various purposes. Players are also able to trade items, but higher value transactions attract a virtual tax.

Since MapleStory is free, the developers introduced the Cash Shop to generate revenue. This is a virtual shop where players can buy items using real money, so called microtransactions. Most Cash Shop items expire after a certain period of time. (30 to 90 days) Pets, modeled after animals such as monkeys, dogs, cats, bunnies, pandas, pigs and mini version of in-game monsters follow the owner around and can be equipped to pick up spoils dropped by enemies.

The Free Market is a place set aside for people who wish to sell their items amongst other players. Miniature shops can be set up in this area, allowing people to browse their stock. Store permits, which are required to set up a shop, are only available through the Cash Shop. There are two types of store permits: a standard store, which requires the presence of the player, and the hired merchant which does not require the presence of the player but requires additional cash shop money to use this feature. The hired merchant store is only available in time periods of 24 hours, one week, or two weeks. Conversely, the standard store lasts ninety days but only works with the presence of the user. One can meet with players located in other towns, provided the town contains a Free Market entrance. However, one cannot use the Free Market to travel between towns.

Real money trading between players is prohibited in MapleStory, and results in a ban. This includes trading mesos (ingame currency) with NX Cash Items (items bought with real money).

WorldEdit

There are four main continents common to all versions in the MapleStory world: Maple Island, Victoria Island, Ossyria and Masteria. Maple Island is where every new player begins the game. The beginner-friendly island features low leveled monsters and short tutorial quests to introduce players to different aspects of gameplay. Once a player leaves the island (requires 150 mesos or a recommandation letter), they are unable to return to it. Victoria Island is where players arrive after leaving Maple Island. The island has eight cities, and is where Beginners will upgrade to their first class. Ossyria is currently divided into seven distinct regions with varying environments: El Nath Mountains, Ludus Lake, Aqua Road, Minar Forest, Mu Lung Garden, Nihal Desert, Temple of Time and Ereb. Masteria is a new continent that is believed to be off the coast of Victoria Island. There are only three towns on this continent: New Leaf City, the Prendergast Mansion and Crimsonwood Keep.


World Tour regions can be reached by talking to Spinel the World Tour Guide, located in almost every town in Victoria and Ossyria. The World Tour consists of additional continents that are based on real life countries. There are currently four world tour continents: Zipangu, China, Formosa, and Siam. The newest area is Singapore and Malaysia. Currently, there are no regional maps for any of the world tour continents.

MinigamesEdit

Players can play various minigames, both solo and multi-player.

  • Omok is the Korean cognate of the Japanese game "Gomoku," akin to tic-tac-toe. To win, a player needs to place five pieces in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line.
  • Match Cards, also known as "Concentration," can be played with grids of 3x4, 4x5, and 5x6 cards. The facedown side of the cards contains images of various monsters, which players take turns matching.
  • Pachinko is exclusive to the JapanMS and TaiwanMS versions. In order to play, the player must be in a Pachinko House and have pachinko balls purchased in the Cash Shop. Players try to get the pachinko balls into a mushroom hole below a slot. If the player obtains a certain amount of balls, he or she may win in-game prizes.
  • Gachapon is a vending machine, in which the player inserts a ticket bought from the Cash Shop and a random prize comes out.
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors is based on the actual game, in which one plays against an NPC.
  • Fishing King is currently available in TaiwanMS and ThailandMS. After the player completes a quest to obtain a diving suit, he or she is sent to a map to catch fish. The player may return to catch fish as many times as desired.
  • The Fishing System is currently available in all versions except KoreaMS, GlobalMS and EuropeMS. Players can buy fishing equipment from the Cash Shop and talk to an NPC in various towns to go fishing.

MarriageEdit

Players may participate in in-game marriages at the town of Amoria (or Peach Blossom Island in the Chinese version of MapleStory). Guests may be invited to the wedding, and the marrying couple will receive wedding ring items. The wedding "ceremony" requires the completion of various quests. If a premium wedding ticket from the Cash Shop was purchased, the player is entitled to have a party after the ceremony. In Amoria Dungeon, players can fight exclusive monsters. The KoreaMS version of Amoria has been altered to remove the training grounds and the Chapel area, leaving only the Cathedral. MapleStory does not currently allow same-sex marriage.

EventsEdit

On certain days, the Game Masters (also known as GMs) host special events in which any player is capable of participating, given their character is at a given map during the event time. All participants receive a trophy, and winners receive a random prize. Users are notified of an upcoming event by a scrolling box at the top of the game screen. Events are known to bring an influx of players to the event's respective locations, which generally causes massive connection lag and sometimes even disconnections. The large amount of special effects during an event can significantly slow down the player's PC.

Occasionally, certain versions of the game hold events that celebrate a certain event in real-life or an event specific to that version, such as a holiday or new server release. During these events, certain aspects of the game are modified in celebration; for example, the experience rate or drop rate may be increased, or special items may be released.

Versions and registrationEdit

MapleStory has been released in various countries around the world. The main ones are:

Version Language(s) Countries/Regions Local publishers Released Date
KoreaMS
메이플스토리
Korean South Korea NEXON Co., Ltd. April 29, 2003
JapanMS
メイプルストーリー
Japanese Japan NEXON Japan Inc., Ltd. December 3, 2003
ChinaMS
冒险岛
Simplified Chinese China Shanda Corporation Co., Ltd December 5, 2004
GlobalMS
(NorthAmericaMS)
English (Global) North America: NEXON America Inc., Ltd. May 11, 2005
Canada
Mexico
USA
MapleSEA
枫险之旅
English and
Simplified Chinese
South East Asia: AsiaSoft Online Pte, Ltd. June 23, 2005
Malaysia
Singapore
Thailand
TaiwanMS
楓之谷
Traditional Chinese Taiwan
Hong Kong
Macau
Gamania Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. July 4, 2005
ThailandMS
เมเปิลสตอรี
Thai and partial English Thailand Asiasoft Corporation Co., Ltd. August 16, 2005
EuropeMS English, French, German, Spanish, and Dutch. Europe: NEXON Europe Limited
April 12, 2007
Austria

Belgium
France
Germany
Liechtenstein Luxembourg
Netherlands
Switzerland
Spain
UK

BrazilMS Portuguese Brazil Level Up! Games Interactive, Ltd. June 10, 2008
VietnamMS Vietnamese Vietnam Vina Games, Ltd. June 25, 2008

HongKongMS has been merged with TaiwanMS.

MapleStory Korea was the first version to be released; therefore, it currently has the most features compared to the rest. The other versions are at different stages of development and most are not as advanced in content as MapleStory Korea's. With this advantage comes the problem of players (mainly from the North America (Global) version, but some from others) trying to play KoreaMS. These players are often referred to as 이주자, or "immigrants" by a majority of the Korean MapleStory players. These "immigrants" are the reason why a Korean Resident registration number is required to play. IP blocking is used in some of the other versions of the game, mostly for the same reason. Some attempt to bypass this by using Proxies, which spoof IP addresses to make it seem like a player is playing from a different country - however in Europe MapleStory a GameGuard proxy check has been implemented. This is also because Nexon has licenced MapleStory all around the world, to different licencees, and must respect their interests by making players play their localized version. Though some versions share the same world names, they are different and independent of each other. They are defined by their language used, publisher, server location and specialized worlds.

Versions Content
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Number of Worlds 28+1¹12+1¹42+1¹16+1¹4810+1¹2+1¹13
Town Availability (Ossyria)
Leafre Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Mu Lung Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Herb Town Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Ariant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Magatia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Town Availability (Wedding Towns)
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Peach Blossom Island No No Yes No No No No No No No
Amoria Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Town Availability (World Tour)
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Mushroom Shrine Removed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Showa Town No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Ninja Castle No Yes No Yes No Yes No No No No
Neo Tokyo No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No
Shanghai Wai-Tan Removed Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No
Yuyuan Garden No No Yes Yes No No No No No No
Ximending Removed Yes No Yes Yes No No No No No
Night Market Removed Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No No No
Taipei 101 No No No Yes No No No No No No
Floating Market Removed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Golden Temple No No No Yes Yes No No No No No
Central Business District (CBD), Singapore No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Boat Quay Town, Singapore No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Ulu City, Singapore No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
Trend Zone Metropolis, Malaysia No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Boat Quay Town, Malaysia No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
New Leaf City No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
Crimsonwood Keep No Yes No No No No Yes No No No
Town Availability (Other)
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Temple of Time Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Rien Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Ereve Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Ellin Forest Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Area Availability
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Leafre Dragon Forest/Canyon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Mushroom Town Training Camp No Removed Yes Yes No No Removed Removed Removed No
Amoria Dungeon No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Coke Town Retired Retired No No No No No No No No
Shalom Temple No No No No No No Exclusive No No No
Beer tent ("Oktoberfest" event town) No No No No No No No Exclusive No No
Multi-Person Quests
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Zakum Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Horned Tail Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Pink Been Boss Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Balrog Boss Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No
Henesys Party Quest Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ludibrium Maze Party Quest No Yes No No No No Yes No No No
Herb Town Party Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Monster Carnival, Season 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Amoria Party Quest No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
French Revolution Event PQ No No No No No No No Removed No No
Magatia Party Quest Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Valentine's PQ No No Yes Yes No No No No No No
Mu Lung Dojo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Character Progression
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Legendary Spirit (Skill) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Monster Rider (Skill) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
4th Job Advancement Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Level 200 Skills Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Pirate Job Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Cygnus Knights Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Aran Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No
Evan Yes¹ No No No No No Yes No No No
Minigames
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Pachinko No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Rock Paper Scissors Removed Yes No No Yes No No No No No
Fishing King No No No Yes Yes No No No No No
Fishing System No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Others
ContentKoreaJapanChinaTaiwanThailandSEAGlobalEuropeBrazilVietnam
Ranking Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Premium Road (Kerning City Internet Cafe) Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No
Premium Road (Bowwow Mantle & The Seashore Where Dead Spirit Meets) No Exclusive No No No No No No No No
Premium Road (Floating Market Swamp) No No No No Exclusive No No No No No
Maple TV No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
PvP Arena No No Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
World Tour Guide Removed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Maple Quick Delivery Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Guild BBS (Forum) Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Removed Yes Yes
Zakum Squad System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Hall of Fame (level 200 NPCs) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Upgraded World Maps Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Family System Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Guild Story No No No No Yes No No No No No
Window Mode No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
* = Unofficial English Name
¹ = Test servers

Revenue and game populationEdit

As of February 2006, Wizet has generated 200 million USD from the game service in South Korea. Wizet received 110 million USD for licensing the games to other parts of the world.

Game population (as of September 2009):

  • Korea since 2002, 200 thousand subscribers (concurrent users), 20 million subscribers (total)
  • Japan since November 2003, Over 10 million subscribers
  • China since December 2004, 50 million subscribers
  • Taiwan since July 2005, Over 3.5 million subscribers
  • Thailand since August 2005, Well over 550 thousand subscribers
  • South East Asia (mostly Singapore and Malaysia) since June 2005, Over 6 million subscribers
  • North America (Global) since May 2005, Over 10 million subscribers
  • Europe since May 2007, 1.2 million subscribers

The statistics did not consider that players can have multiple accounts, but it also did not state if multiple accounts were not counted. Therefore, the actual number of players could be less than the announced statistics.

In other mediaEdit

In 2006, an upcoming MapleStory game for the Nintendo DS was announced, titled MapleStory DS. Unlike the PC versions, the DS game will be a single-player action role-playing game. The game has been repeatedly delayed.

An anime TV series based on this game began airing on TV Tokyo on October 7, 2007.

MapleGlobal released its own trading card game on November 6, 2007. In conjunction with Wizards of the Coast, the release is available in two parts: a starter pack box with a CD case containing 32 cards, two character cards, one booster pack, and game rules; and a CD containing the software for the online version and a card checklist. KoreaMS and JapanMS have since released similar Trading Card Games.

Critical receptionEdit

In a brief review of the game, IGN praised the game's accessibility and colorful art direction, while questioning the game's slow pace. Players often criticize the game for the need for constant "grinding", or repetitive tasks done to level up. At higher levels, it can take up to a month before a player can level once, depending on how often the user plays.

AbuseEdit

A KTTV investigative report showed that the game could be addicting and costly, citing cases related solely to MapleStory where children stole their parents' credit cards or PayPal accounts to buy Nexon cash.

In October 2008, The Register reported that a 43 year old Japanese woman was jailed for illegally accessing her virtual husband's online account for the game, and deleting his character in May 2008. When apprehended, the woman said her reason for doing so was because her online husband divorced her. When the man had realized his online character had been deleted, he proceeded to call the police. The woman was apprehended by the authorities and jailed for illegally accessing a computer, and manipulating on-line data. She could be facing a five year prison sentence or a fine of up to $5,000. The woman was quoted as saying, "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry.”

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