The original MapleStory has been incredibly successful, particularly in Asia, over the course of the 15 years it's been in service. The sequel, MapleStory 2, originally launched in South Korea back in 2015, but had its Western (global) launch last month and is now available via Steam. With that being the case, we reached out to Miyoung Oh, lead game designer at Nexon Korea, to learn more about the game, its launch, and the road ahead.
Give us the elevator pitch — what is MapleStory 2?
MapleStory 2 is an all-new game in the popular MapleStory franchise in full 3D and provides a unique experience that both hardcore and casual MMORPG players can enjoy. Like the original, MapleStory 2 boasts a rich variety of content: from immersive epic quests to difficult dungeons and raids for players looking for a greater challenge. Additionally, MapleStory 2 features all-new creative features for casual players to enjoy. Players can customize and design their own outfits, construct their dream homes, improve their instrument skills, play fun mini-games, and so much more! Regardless of your playstyle, MapleStory 2 has you covered with its passionate community of fellow Maplers!
What has the feedback been like from players since launch?
We have received a lot of positive feedback regarding the game since launch. Starting with our very stable launch (especially for an MMORPG), many players praised the various customization aspects and casual activities found within the game. What sets MapleStory 2 apart from other MMORPGs is the sheer variety of different activities players can enjoy within the game. In addition to going on adventures, fighting monsters, and completing quests, players can become a fashion designer by designing their own clothes, an architect by constructing their dream houses, or even become a musician while composing their own music scores. Casual players who are not into dungeons and raids have been enjoying playing mini-games, exploring the world, and excitedly posting creative designs within the MapleStory 2 community. There are so many activities that players will almost never run out of things to do. One of the best pieces of feedback we have received was regarding our team's stance on having no "pay to win" items in the global version of our game. As part of our effort to give players the best MapleStory 2 experience, we have removed every bit of possible pay-to-win content from the game. Players definitely loved the change, which we also feel is important to the long-term success of the game. Since then, we have also been communicating with our players frequently to provide a level of transparency with our community and to introduce more features and improvements based on our players' direct feedback.
What have you learned from the previous game and what have you taken from that into the second?
MapleStory has been in live service for quite some time, and we have definitely learned and experienced much throughout the years. When preparing to launch MapleStory 2, we wanted to focus mainly on three key things: stability, communication, and content. First, we had made sure we were confident in the global servers' stability before launching the game to the public. Throughout our two closed betas, we have done numerous testing to secure stable servers where all our players can play without running into any critical issues. Secondly, we made sure to pay close attention to our players' feedback. We have been communicating directly to our players through various social channels, and have been providing detailed information frequently through our Producer Blogs as well. We believe that part of MapleStory 2's successful launch is from the valuable feedback we have discussed and received from our players. Lastly, we have prepared and are continuing to plan many engaging events and content updates for the future to ensure players have the best experience possible. Although MapleStory and MapleStory 2 are two different games, we have tried our best to combine all of the successful elements of MapleStory with MapleStory 2's new and unique gameplay to create an all-new MMORPG experience for our community.
How do you approach both character building and progression?
In a character building perspective, you get a sense of growth as you gradually learn skills in the process of leveling up each time. You learn the basic skills of the relevant job once you reach Lv. 50, and you can freely change the skills based on the content you play. We approached this in a direction where there's not [many hurdles] in testing out various builds. Spec-wise, there are attribute points and skill points in the leveling up of the character, progress from gears, and progress from additional content such as pets or gemstones that are provided in stages for you to constantly have things to do, and enjoy and progress through various methods.
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